The influence of vertebrates, insects, and pathogens on patterns of early plant recruitment in a Neotropical forest

Noelle Beckman
Mathematical Biosciences Institute, The Ohio State University

(March 14, 2013 10:20 AM - 11:15 AM)

The influence of vertebrates, insects, and pathogens on patterns of early plant recruitment in a Neotropical forest

Abstract

Vertebrate seed dispersers and seed predators, insect seed predators, and pathogens are known to influence plant survival, population dynamics, and species distributions. My research investigates the importance of these groups of organisms in the sequential stages of early plant recruitment (i.e. from fruit developing in the crown to seedlings on the ground) in Neotropical forests. I use a combination of experimental and theoretical studies to investigate the influence of vertebrates, insects, and pathogens on plant survival and spatial patterns and the role of plant traits in mediating these interactions.