23 May 2012
Venue: Room 231, Building 733, Tamaki Campus
Centre for Biodiversity and Biosecurity seminar by Dr Daniel Laughlin, Senior Lecturer, Waikato University.
The promise of predicting species abundances using physiological principles has generated tremendous interest, has inspired vigorous debate, and has been heralded as the Holy Grail of Ecology. Community assembly involves two processes that yield seemingly paradoxical predictions. Environmental filtering tends to increase the functional similarity of species within communities leading to trait convergence, whereas competition tends to limit the functional similarity of species within communities leading to trait divergence.
In this talk, I will introduce an alternative approach that incorporates within-species (intraspecific) trait variation into a predictive framework as a solution to the paradox. Our hierarchical Bayesian model explains significant variation in species abundances along a climatic gradient and predicts the correct dominant species over half the time. The model is generalizable to any ecosystem and is free of the problems associated with recent trait-based approaches.
A shuttle leaves the City and Tamaki campuses on the half hour. Visit http://www.auckland.ac.nz/uoa/intercampus-bus/