Howeth, J.G. 2017. Native species dispersal reduces community invasibility by increasing species richness and biotic resistance. Journal of Animal Ecology
This study highlights that dispersal-diversity relationships in metacommunities can yield dispersal rate-dependent local diversity-invasibility relationships. This suggests that the degree of native community connectivity in the landscape is potentially as important to consider as other factors known to influence invasion success of non-native species, including propagule pressure, facilitation, and the abiotic environment.
Keywords: Daphnia lumholtzi; dispersal-diversity; diversity-invasibility; intraspecific variation; invasive species; metacommunity; niche complementarity; non-native species; non-native range; zooplankton
Howeth Lab graduate student Chris Sferra recently published his Master's thesis in Ecosphere!
Sferra, C.O., Hart, J.L. and J.G. Howeth. 2017. Habitat age influences metacommunity assembly and species richness in successional pond ecosystems. Ecosphere 8(6):e01871.
Link to paper: http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ecs2.1871/full
Stay tuned for more exciting research coming out of this study system in the next few years.
Keywords: beaver pond; Castor canadensis; chronosequence; community assembly; dendrochronology; disturbance; diversity-age; metacommunity; secondary succession
The lab will be doing a lot of cleaning, draining, and drying over the next two months! Countdown to the 2017 Texas Lake Survey. Five, four, three, two…
You can learn more about the problem of zebra mussel invasions in Texas lakes from Texas Parks and Wildlife.
The month of May brings lab departures and new lab folks. Gabrielle King successfully defended and graduated with a Master's degree. Grace Taylor and Clare Parker graduated with Bachelor's degrees. We welcome to the lab new doctoral student Riley Lovejoy (who also just completed a MS) and undergraduate Joey Matthews. Gabrielle, Grace, and Clare – you will be missed! Riley and Joey have already started their research, more to come on that front.
Proud of the University of Alabama Biology graduate students that participated in the Birmingham March for Science, including our very own Gabby King (pictured below on right with the Lorax)! More on the Birmingham March, and photo credit, from Birmingham Now: https://bhamnow.com/index.php/2017/04/23/birmingham-march-science-draws-crowd-two-thousand/
Lab undergraduates Clare Parker (left) and Grace Taylor (right) presented posters at the 2017 University of Alabama Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Conference last week. Both did an excellent job presenting their research, and Grace was a finalist in the poster competition. Congratulations on a job well done!
Not just the beavers take advantage of the pond ecosystems they form, other species appreciate the pond habitat as well. River otters can be observed in the older and deeper beaver-formed ponds that we study in the Talladega National Forest. Take a look at this video of river otters playing in an approximately 60 year-old beaver pond during one of graduate student Thomas Olinger's angling surveys (fast-forward to 1 minute in the video to see the otters):
The lab is hosting Dr. Tad Fukami, a community ecologist from Stanford, for a departmental seminar this week! Please be sure to sign up for a meeting or lunch, and attend the seminar.
The seminar will be from 12-1 in North Lawn Hall 1014 and is entitled, "Embracing historical contingency in ecological community assembly: current status of the field and some insights from nectar microbes"
You can find out more about Dr. Fukami's research here: http://web.stanford.edu/~fukamit/