Castilleja Fallon Olmsted- Carson Lab
Herbivory, Phenology, and Cryptic Biodiversity: Towards a Greater Understanding of Processes That Regulate Phenology and Soil Seed Banks
While the ongoing loss of forest biodiversity due to overabundant white-tailed deer is well documented, herbivory also has more cryptic impacts on reproductive stages of plant life. The timing of life events such as reproduction is sensitive to environmental change and stressors, including herbivory. Similarly, herbivory may undermine the efficacy of the storage effect and the ability of stored diversity in the soil seed bank to contribute to succession following natural and anthropogenic disturbances. However, the processes regulating the dynamics of soil seed banks in temperate forests are largely unknown. Here, I present community-level phenological responses to direct and indirect effects of overabundant herbivores. Additionally, preliminary results show that seed banks may be more important to forest communities than previously thought. Finally, I propose to study the combined effects of disturbance and herbivory on soil seed bank density, richness, and composition.
Wednesday, Semtember 9, 2020