Dynamics of natural communities

Symposium name: External and Internal Influences on Community Structure: A New Paradigm
Symposium date and time: Monday, Feb. 19, 3 p.m.-6 p.m.
Online program: http://www.aaas.org/meetings/2001/6185.00.htm

This symposium honors the scientific contributions of the late Gary Polis, former chair of the UC Davis Department of Environmental Science and Policy. UC Davis presenters are symposium organizer Alan Hastings, professor of environmental science and policy, and Gary Huxel, postgraduate researcher in environmental science and policy.

Understanding the dynamics of natural communities in space and time has been, until recently, a relatively neglected issue in ecology. Plants and animals live in habitats that vary greatly in productivity, resource abundance, consumer behavior and demography. Even ecosystems with clearly defined boundaries, such as islands in seas, or streams in forests, are actually subject to myriad outside influences. Yet ecologists have largely neglected the consideration of how those spatial patterns and processes affect the structure and functioning of food webs -- the basic descriptions of who eats (and does not eat) whom and the consequences for determining how species affect other species. Speakers will describe new evidence that cross-habitat exchange, such as the flow of nutrients between sea and land, is a common, important factor determining the dynamics and function of diverse systems.


Contact: Andrew Fell
University of California - Davis

Page: 1

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