OOS 20 - Species Interactions and Communities in the Context of Relatedness (2 of 2)

Tuesday, August 4, 2009: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Brazos, Albuquerque Convention Center
Michael Stastny, Cornell University
Nicholas J. Deacon, University of Minnesota
In recent years, there has been a growing recognition among ecologists of the potential importance of evolutionary relationships among species on the outcomes of their interactions and the consequences for community structure. Because of their shared ancestry, related species are likely similar in their phenotype and ecology, and are thus expected to overlap in their environmental preferences and resource requirements, or niches. Consequently, close relatives are also predicted to compete more intensely with each other, and experience similar interactions with other species and trophic levels, including antagonists and mutualists. Such ecological interactions may lead to evolutionary shifts in species traits or niches that prevent local exclusion by reducing species similarity, or, alternatively, to community patterns that reduce co-occurrence of similar close relatives. The consideration of species relatedness, whether at the level of phylodiversity of a larger community, or within a single clade or genus, can provide a powerful conceptual framework for addressing some of the classic questions in community ecology. Researchers now increasingly apply this framework to studies of local community structure and assembly, species coexistence, competition, niche theory, functional trait diversity, and phylogenetic conservatism in a variety of systems. Their innovative approaches helped create an emerging field of phyloecology, and improve our understanding of community organization; yet, several crucial challenges remain. For instance, what is the relative importance of species relatedness and ecological similarity at different phylogenetic and spatial scales? Do species interactions within and across trophic levels reflect signals of relatedness detected in community structure? How can we use experimental manipulations to identify ecological processes that generate patterns we observe in community surveys? This two-part organized oral session will serve as an overview of the recent conceptual and empirical advances in this field, and strive for a new synthesis. Talks will explore a diversity of ecological and evolutionary questions centered around species relatedness, and feature a wide sample of approaches across diverse study systems. The session will aim to critically assess the contribution of evolutionary relationships and traits in explaining current ecological pattern and process in communities, expand the present conceptual framework of relatedness to other types of ecological interactions, and connect species interactions and local community structure.
1:30 PM
 Fewer lineages, more aliens: Phylogenetically clustered plant communities are more open to alien species
Pille Gerhold, University of Tartu; Meelis Pärtel, University of Tartu; Stephan Hennekens, WUR - Alterra; Igor Bartish, Université de Rennes 1 / Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique; Joop Schaminée, WUR - Alterra; Andreas Prinzing, Université de Rennes 1 / Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique
1:50 PM
 Not seeing the forest for the trees: Pitfalls in analysing pairwise distances derived from topologies
Jasper A. Slingsby, University of Cape Town; G. Anthony Verboom, University of Cape Town
2:10 PM
 Phylogenetic community structure along altitudinal gradients
Steven M. Vamosi, University of Calgary; Simon A. Queenborough, The Ohio State University
2:30 PM
 What influences the intensity of competition? Differentiating the roles of relatedness, plants traits, and phenotypic similarity
James F. Cahill Jr., University of Alberta; Steven W. Kembel, Université du Québec à Montréal; Ping Wang, Ningxia Academy of Agriculture and Forestry Sciences
3:10 PM
3:20 PM
 Co-occurrence patterns across environmental gradients in a species-rich genus of sedges
Kathryn M. Flinn, Emory & Henry College; Marcia J. Waterway, McGill University; Martin J. Lechowicz, McGill University; Benjamin Gilbert, University of Toronto
3:40 PM
 Community assembly of an Amazonian forest: what does a phylogenetic perspective add?
Nathan Kraft, University of Maryland; Renato Valencia, Pontificia Universidad Católica del Ecuador; David D. Ackerly, University of California
4:00 PM
 Eucalyptus phylogenetics: How traits, evolution, and the environment influence the distribution of a diverse genus
Laura Shirley, The University of Melbourne; Peter Vesk, The University of Melbourne
4:20 PM
4:40 PM
 Explaining hybridization propensity in plants
Kenneth D. Whitney, Rice University; Jeffrey R. Ahern, Rice University; Lesley G. Campbell, Rice University; Loren P. Albert, University of Arizona
See more of: Organized Oral Session
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