February 24 2010

12:00 LSB 2320

Jennifer L. Funk
Dept of Biological Sciences, Chapman University

Trait based approaches to ecological restoration in invaded communities


Invasive species represent one of the most serious threats to vegetation community composition and ecosystem function worldwide. One of the greatest challenges for ecological restoration is to promote the growth of native species while simultaneously suppressing the growth of invasive species. In this talk, I discuss the idea that plant functional traits can be used to direct ecological restoration in invaded communities. One specific hypothesis is that community resistance to invasion can be strengthened by selecting native species that are similar to invasive species in resource use, thus increasing competition between native and invasive species. An outcome of this theoretical development is that a trait-based community framework can guide restoration efforts to assemble plant communities that are resistant to invasion. I examine this hypothesis using physiological data from tropical and seasonally dry forests in Hawaii and a California desert annual community.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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