February 15 2012

5:00 pm 154 BSRB

EcoEvoPub Series

Graduate Student Presentations


Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA
"Behavioral roles and social structure in the yellow-bellied marmot, Marmota flaviventris"
Analyzing relationship patterns is fundamental to our understanding of social organization. Identifying such patterns can be achieved by comparing the variance in behaviors within groups. Variance across group members in the distribution of such behaviors is called “skew”. Consistent and significant variation in activity levels across group, for one or a variety of behaviors can be seen as having behavioral roles within a group. Behavioral roles can affect fitness correlates at both the group and individual levels. I described and quantified behavioral roles and identifying the associated costs and benefits a population of yellow-bellied marmots (Marmota flaviventris). I described and assessed behavioral roles for: (1) alarm calling, (2) first emergence, (3) affiliative and (4) agonistic behaviors. I used a combination of observational and microsatellite data to study behavioral roles in a population of marmots near the White Mountains Research Station, (Barcroft facility), in California. I examined behavioral roles in relation to group and individual fitness correlates.

Dept of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, UCLA
"Effects of natural enemies and abiotic variation on the population dynamics of a spatially-structured host multiparasitoid community module"
I investigate the population dynamics of a spatially-structured host multiparasitoid community module inhabiting the coastal sage scrub community in Santa Barbara Co., CA. The community module consists of the bordered plant bug [Largus californicus] and its three parasitoids (an egg parasitoid [Gryon largi] and two parasitoids that attack the later nymphal and adult life-stages: a parasitoid wasp [unidentified sp.] and a tachinid fly [Trichopoda pennipes]). This research is motivated by a striking pattern observed in the host?s population dynamics in the field. Many species of Hemiptera are characterized by an adult stage that is invulnerable to attack by natural enemies and persists year-round. The bordered plant bug is attacked at multiple stages, including the adult stage, and demonstrates high variability in adult abundance, with adults virtually absent in late spring (March and April) and late summer (August). I hypothesize that the confluence of natural enemies and host sensitivity to temperature variation drive the unique population dynamics observed in nature. I investigate this community module in both a local and meta-population context using a combination of mathematical models, field observations, and laboratory experiments. The results have implications for host ? multiparasitoid interactions in patchy and variable environments and practical applications in biocontrol strategies for suppressing agricultural pest species.











































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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