Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, United States
Species Coexistence in Diverse Communities
While the impressive biodiversity we see all around us is a principle motivation for studying the natural world, much of our understanding of how species coexist has come from studying simplified systems of species pairs. How to build an empirically motivated theory of ecology for biodiverse communities remains one of the major challenges for our discipline. In this talk I will begin by exploring how shifting competitive interactions under climate change necessitate a better understanding of interactions uniquely emerging in diverse communities. I will then present results from a pollen addition experiment showing how a higher trophic level can destabilize plant competition for resources. Finally, I will use mathematical theory and field experiments with annual plants to explore how interactions only emerging in systems with three or more competitors influence coexistence. Continued synthesis of theory and data is essential for advancing understanding of coexistence in diverse communities.
Click or tap the speaker's name to see their biography.