September 30 2009

12:00 LSB 2320

Van Savage
Dept of Biomathematics, UCLA

Linking temperature, metabolic rate, and ecological dynamics


Understanding how biological systems respond to and are driven by the environment is necessary for predicting the effects of climate change on ecosystem stability and biodiversity. These predictions require an understanding of how the environment drives ecosystem change across multiple levels of organization from the individual to the population to species interactions. In my talk I will present models and extensive empirical data that link ecological dynamics and diversity to organismal physiology and temperature. Temperature is a key example of how the environment can drive individual metabolic rate, which can in turn influence rates of population growth and mortality. Building on this, I combine metabolic theory with species interactions to make predictions for predator-prey dynamics and coexistence. Using a compilation that represents the most comprehensive data set for how species interactions and individual traits depend on temperature, I attempt to identify general empirical patterns and to test model predictions. If time permits, I will briefly discuss a trait-based framework to investigate the effects of fluctuating environments on ecosystems when individual traits are correlated.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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