BIRS Workshop Lecture Videos

Banff International Research Station Logo

BIRS Workshop Lecture Videos

Ecological dynamics of colliding populations at habitat ecotones Miller, Tom

Description

Globally, habitat boundaries are shifting directionally at a pace that will likely increase under climate change. Predicting the trajectories of ecotones – areas of habitat interface – requires basic understanding of the mechanisms by which they arise and their responsiveness to global change drivers. Ecological theory for spreading populations, which emphasises the coupled roles of density-dependent demography and dispersal, provides a lens for understanding of ecotone dynamics but has been under-used for this purpose. Building upon theory for single-species invasion, I will develop a model of “collision” between invasion waves of two foundation species and use the model to study ecotone formation and change. I will connect the model to empirical data from ecotones defined by creosote bush and black grama grass, two foundation species of Chihuahuan desert habitats. Expansion of shrublands into grasslands is a global phenomenon that can reduce biodiversity and ecosystem services, but its underlying mechanisms are poorly understood. I suggest that IDEs provides a powerful framework for understanding and predicting the dynamics of habitat boundaries based on the combined influences of demography, dispersal, and competition.

Item Media

Item Citations and Data

Rights

Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International