Scaling up the effects of physiological constraints from individuals to communities

Date Thursday October 06, 2011 at 4:00 PM
Location 23-105 Center for the Heatlh Sciences (CHS)
Speaker Samraat Pawar, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Fellow, Department of Biomathematics, UCLA
Sponsoring Dept UCLA Biomathematics
Abstract Biodiversity patterns are generated by processes acting at multiple levels of biological organization, ranging from individual organisms to whole ecosystems consisting of multiple, interactions populations. Understanding the mapping between these levels is crucial for the development of a general theory of the generation and maintenance of biodiversity. I present a quantitative framework for predicting how individual-level physiological constraints in nature drive the dynamics and structure of multiple species communities. This theory accurately predicts the effects of organismal body size, habitat spatial dimensionality and environmental temperature on consumer-resource interactions, and scales up these interactions to the species interaction networks that drive dynamics of whole communities. Furthermore, it makes predictions that explain a number of observed features of existing biodiversity patterns, and can form a foundation for better predicting future changes in these patterns due to natural and anthropogenic changes in the environment.
Flyer pawar_samraat_20111006.pdf