A Trait-Based Perspective of Ecological and Evolutionary Dynamics

A Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Seminar Series featuring Priyanga Amarasekare, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA

Wednesday, October 02, 2013
12:00 PM - 1:00 PM
2320 Life Sciences Building

Abstract:

Populations and communities are complex systems whose properties result from the interplay between non-linear feedbacks that are intrinsic to the system (e.g., biotic interactions that lead to density- and frequency-dependence) and external inputs (e.g., abiotic factors) that are outside the feedback structure of the system.  Understanding this interplay requires that we understand the mechanisms by which the effects of external inputs on lower levels of the system (e.g., traits of organisms) influence properties at higher levels (e.g., population viability, species diversity).  Using temperature as the axis of abiotic variation, I develop a mechanistic theoretical framework for elucidating how abiotic effects on traits translate into population dynamics and species interactions, and how these ecological dynamics in turn feedback into the trait response, causing trait evolution.  I test model predictions with data on insects.  The integration of theory and data paves the way for making testable predictions about the effects of climate warming on population viability, biodiversity and the control of invasive species.

Host: Dick Zimmer

Refreshments will be served at 11:40 a.m.