EEB Seminar: April 17th

Dr. Shannon McCauley will talk on

Assessing the interactions between local and regional processes in freshwater metacommunities

at 12:30 in the EEB lounge (BioSciences 4338)

The structure of ecological communities can be affected by both local processes occurring within habitats and by regional processes including the connectivity between habitats, shaped by both landscape structure and species dispersal. I will discuss how habitat connectivity and differences in species’ dispersal behaviour affect the distributions of dragonfly species across a landscape and how dispersal behaviour can shape species ranges across much larger (continental) scales. Local and regional processes do not, however, exist in isolation from each other and can interact in ways that have implications for populations and communities. I will also discuss results from work in dragonflies and other semi-aquatic insects that provide insights into some of the ways these interactions may develop including context-dependent dispersal and individual variation in dispersal behaviour. While we are just beginning to understand the connections between local and regional processes and how they modify each other, recognizing the linkages between processes at these different scales is yielding insights missed by a focus on processes only occurring at a single scale.

a marked dragonfly

Dr. Shannon McCauley is an Assistant Professor at the University of Toronto, Missassauga. She is a freshwater ecologist interested in the processes that shape ecological communities across different spatial scales. For example, how do predator-prey interactions shape local communities? How do dispersal abilities of organisms shape community composition and species distributions? And how do these processes (predation and dispersal) interact to influence community structure? Shannon addresses these question using a diversity of approaches from extensive spatial and temporal surveys of aquatic communities to experiments that range from mesocosm-level to landscape-level manipulations.

Everyone is welcome to attend
Coffee and treats available at the seminar

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