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Abstract Detail

Ecological Section

Gehring, Julia [1], Koptur, Suzanne [2].

Effects of Fragmentation, Fire Regime, and Landscape Position on the Vegetation and Insect Metacommunity Dynamics of Pine Rockland Sub-Tropical Forests.

Pine rockland habitats of south Florida support a high level of endemic and endangered biota of conservation concern. The biogeographical range of this habitat has been severely diminished to nearly two percent of its original extent due to economic pressure of urban and agricultural development. The resultant remnant habitat is a series of isolated patches intermixed within a heterogeneous matrix ranging from dense urban to Everglades National Park. Fragmentation often destabilizes long term population success by creating barriers indirectly and directly limiting dispersal of pollen and seeds by affecting dispersal vectors such as birds and insects. However, the impacts of this severe habitat fragmentation on plant and insect communities of the pine rocklands have yet to be determined.
We conducted landscape-level sampling to better understand the impacts that fragmentation, fire regime, and invasive species have on native plant and insect diversity and dispersal rates. To assess how these changes in structure affect biological processes, we used a combination of pollen fluorescent dyes, anemophilous and entomophilous pollen traps, vegetation and insect community monitoring, and remote sensing. These methods were used to define the current landscape level structure of the pine rocklands and to determine species richness, pollen density and viability at the patch level. There are significant differences in structure and diversity in respect to fire regime and fragmentation severity. This research will allow stakeholders to better understand mechanisms driving genetic exchange and colonization events between patches of this globally, imperiled habitat.

Broader Impacts:

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1 - 3429 NW 44th Street, Apartment 203, Lauderdale Lakes, FL, 33309, USA
2 - Florida International University, Department of Biological Sciences, 11200 SW 8th St, Miami, FL, 33199, USA

plant-pollinator interactions
fire ecology
urban ecology.

Presentation Type: Poster:Posters for Sections
Session: P
Location: Grand Salon A - D/Riverside Hilton
Date: Monday, July 29th, 2013
Time: 5:45 PM
Number: PEC023
Abstract ID:613
Candidate for Awards:Ecological Section Best Graduate Student Poster

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