Monday, January 22, 2018 - 4:00pm to 5:00pm
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BioLabs Lecture Hall 1080, 16 Divinity Ave., Cambridge

OEB Special Seminar

“An Integrative Approach to Predicting Plant-Insect Interactions Under Future Climates” with Nathan Lemoine, Research Scientist/Affiliate Faculty, Department of Biology, Colorado State University. Reception to follow. 

Rapid climate warming will induce numerous changes in community structure and ecosystem function. Most, if not all, of these changes emerge from temperature-driven changes in individual physiology and demographics. Therefore, quantitatively integrating physiological, population, and community ecology provides an excellent framework for predicting how climate change will impact species interactions, biodiversity, and ecosystem function. In this talk, I apply this approach to predicting plant-insect interactions under rapid climate warming. Rising temperatures stimulate insect metabolic demands and reduce insect nitrogen assimilation efficiencies, leading to temperature-induced nitrogen limitation of insect herbivores. This pattern is robust across multiple taxonomic groups, and causes host plant-dependent impacts of climate change on insect performance. Incorporating such temperature-by-nutrient interactions into population models significantly alters our expectations of population stability and species coexistence under increased temperatures. Finally, I demonstrate how warming alters the role of predators in a community and stress the importance of integrating behavioral ecology into predictions of species interactions. This integrative framework provides a strong baseline from which to assess the impacts of other aspects of climate change, e.g. drought, on evolution, species interactions, population dynamics, and terrestrial ecosystem function.



Contact Name: 

Wendy Heywood

Research Areas: 

Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Address: 26 Oxford Street, 4th Floor, Cambridge
Phone: (617) 495-0368

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