Presentation Title

Testing the Influence of Drought-Adapted Traits In Shaping Fagaceae and Ericaceae Communities

Start Date

November 2016

End Date

November 2016

Location

HUB 302-59

Type of Presentation

Poster

Abstract

Finding the factors that influence patterns of diversity has been a long-standing interest for community ecologists. Community structure is formed by a number of processes that act at varying temporal and spatial scales (Webb et al. 2002; Emerson & Gillespie 2008; Cavender-Bares et al. 2009). We combined phylogenetic comparative methods with NEON-collected plant community data (National Ecological Observatory Network 2016), Bioclim climate data (Hijamns, Cameron, et al. 2005), and TRY trait data (Kattage, Diaz, et al. 2011) to investigate how ecological processes have shaped Fagaceae and Ericaceae plant communities across the United States. Phylogenetic trees were constructed for each plant family using the ITS, rbcL, and matK genes and tested to determine community relatedness. Mean nearest taxon distance (MNTD) and mean pairwise distance (MPD) was calculated to determine whether species in a given site were more related than expected by chance. A regression analysis was conducted on traits associated with drought tolerance in a given community to environmental parameters in that community to determine correlations between environmental conditions and community assembly. MPD and MNTD determined that five out of the eight Ericaceae communities are more closely related than expected by chance while four out of eight Fagaceae communities are more closely related than expected by chance. There was no significant correlations between climate and community assembly within selected NEON sites which suggests other ecological factors or processes could be at play. The influence of historical processes, such as speciation and extinction, will be included in future analyses.

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Nov 12th, 1:00 PM Nov 12th, 2:00 PM

Testing the Influence of Drought-Adapted Traits In Shaping Fagaceae and Ericaceae Communities

HUB 302-59

Finding the factors that influence patterns of diversity has been a long-standing interest for community ecologists. Community structure is formed by a number of processes that act at varying temporal and spatial scales (Webb et al. 2002; Emerson & Gillespie 2008; Cavender-Bares et al. 2009). We combined phylogenetic comparative methods with NEON-collected plant community data (National Ecological Observatory Network 2016), Bioclim climate data (Hijamns, Cameron, et al. 2005), and TRY trait data (Kattage, Diaz, et al. 2011) to investigate how ecological processes have shaped Fagaceae and Ericaceae plant communities across the United States. Phylogenetic trees were constructed for each plant family using the ITS, rbcL, and matK genes and tested to determine community relatedness. Mean nearest taxon distance (MNTD) and mean pairwise distance (MPD) was calculated to determine whether species in a given site were more related than expected by chance. A regression analysis was conducted on traits associated with drought tolerance in a given community to environmental parameters in that community to determine correlations between environmental conditions and community assembly. MPD and MNTD determined that five out of the eight Ericaceae communities are more closely related than expected by chance while four out of eight Fagaceae communities are more closely related than expected by chance. There was no significant correlations between climate and community assembly within selected NEON sites which suggests other ecological factors or processes could be at play. The influence of historical processes, such as speciation and extinction, will be included in future analyses.