January 15 2015

5:00 pm BSRB 154

EcoEvoPub Series

Graduate Student Presentations



Department of Geography
Texas A&M University

"Reproduction and dispersal in the desert shrub Acacia greggii in the Mojave National Preserve"

Desert ecosystems are increasingly affected by the human-driven environmental pressures changing global landscapes and climates. For instance, residential and industrial development is at an all-time high in the Southwestern US, fragmenting the existing landscape and disrupting historic dispersal corridors. To identify the effect these changes have on the persistence of plant species in this zone, we examined movement and reproduction patterns in the desert shrub Acacia (Senegalia) greggii A. Gray in the Mojave National Preserve. Over three years we monitored the effect of variable floral production, pollinator availability, and seed predation on pre-dispersal fruit-set in this representative shrub species. Additionally, we assessed dispersal by comparing the genetic patterns of adults and pollen over a large (2,700 km2) and fine-scale area (4 km2). Our work documents a species with a well-adapted reproductive strategy and historically widespread dispersal. In spite of these results, the movement pattern of A. greggii is shaped by landscape features likely to change given contemporary disturbance patterns, suggesting a potential impact of landscape change and development on future movement patterns of this and other similar species.















































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































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