Research in Landscape and Restoration Ecology
Effects of Fragmentation on Plant Population Dynamics
Plants in fragmented habitats are hypothesized to be at increased risk of extinction, yet the effects of fragmentation on plant population dynamics are for the most part unexplored. Our lab is doing so, using a combination of demographic surveys, manipulative experiments, and models. Our model system is populations of the Amazonian understory herb Heliconia acuminata in 13 permanent plots at Brazil's Biological Dynamics of Forest Fragments Project.
- Spatial dynamics of plant recruitment and the influence of disperser behavior
- Stochastic demography of plants in fragments and continuous forest
- Effects of genotype and environment on plant growth and physiology
Landscape Habitat Assessment
My interest is in determining community spatial patterns in the landscape resulting from natural and Map showing species richness of herpetofauna in Florida as part of the Florida Gap Analysis projectanthropogenic disturbance in ecological systems and how these relate to sustainable wildlife communities, maintenance of natural processes, and habitat change. His approach has been to integrate detailed biological information with broad-scale landscape concepts and methodologies using explicitly spatial statistics and modeling.
- Florida gap analysis www.wec.ufl.edu/coop/gap
- Multi-species/habitat ecological evaluation of alternative everglades restoration plans (with Frank Mazzotti)
- Methods for wildlife habitat surveys using geo-coded videography from unmanned aerial vehicles (with Franklin Percival)
Private ranches occupy a large proportion of the south Florida landscape and are comprised of many habitat types ranging from intensively managed pastures to relatively pristine natural forests, marshes and grasslands. Understanding the ecological value of these habitats to Florida's wildlife complex may aid in preserving these agro-ecological systems into the future.
- Wildlife on Florida's Ranches (see www.agen.ufl.edu/~maerc/)
- Buck Island Ranch Grazing Study
Wetlands Ecology- Conservation/Restoration
My research objective is to define the variables regulating ecologic structure and function of degraded wetland ecosystems and develop ecological models (from landscapes to species) in combination with spatial hydrological data at various scales. Projects are generally long-term, multidisciplinary, and targeted to resolving vegetation succession and faunal responses to large-scale perturbations. Given the complexity of wetland systems and the interactive nature of the various perturbations to which they are subjected, the projects are topically diverse, multidisciplinary, and hierarchical in spatial and temporal scope.
- Vegetative and faunal effects of hydroloical modifications to the deltaic wetlands of the Lower Savannah River
- Spatial hydrology, fire ecology, and hindcasting the effects of an earthen sill in Okefenokee Swamp
- Population estimation, demography, and dispersal of the snail kite
- Vegetative habitat conversions due to altered hydrologies and/or nutrient loading in the Everglades