Dr. Julie Messier (University of Waterloo)
Exploring the limits of trait-based ecology: Causes and consequences of phenotypic variation and integration across biological scales
April 15th 12:30-1:30pm ET
The popularity of the trait-based approach to ecology (i.e. functional ecology) is partly due to three important promises the approach makes: generality, predictability and integration across biological scales. The promises are based on explicit or implicit assumptions made by the approach, but they remain poorly tested. I present research centered on the themes of variation, covariation and biological scales that test some of these fundamental promises and assumption. Together, these studies explore when the trait-based approach works well and when it doesn’t.