Dan McGlinn, UNC: Disentangling Spatial Structure in Ecological Communities
Spatial autocorrelation is a pervasive and biologically important component of ecological communities. Ecologists have typically viewed spatial autocorrelation as a nuisance, but in this talk I will outline two quantitative frameworks that harness the spatial signature of communities to infer which ecological processes are driving community assembly. These frameworks are unified by the concept of the community variogram which provides a useful tool for both describing community pattern and developing null hypotheses related to species associations. I will demonstrate the utility of these frameworks by examining their ability to explain the rate of species turnover in two herbaceous plant communities and patterns of species associations across several hundred avian communities.
Fall 2010 Environment and Ecology Seminar Series, sponsored by the Curriculum for the Environment and Ecology and the Institute for the Environment. These weekly seminars bring distinguished local and national speakers to UNC to present cutting edge research from across the Ecological Sciences. Seminars will be held on Thursdays at 4:00pm in Wilson Hall, Room 128. Light refreshments will be served prior to the seminar, and please join us afterwards for happy hour at Top of the Hill. http://www.cee.unc.edu/seminars.cfm