Phenology, Ontogeny and the Timing of Species Interactions: Building a Temporally-Explicit Framework
Tuesday, August 12, 2014: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
204, Sacramento Convention Center
Louie H. Yang, University of California, Davis
Volker H.W. Rudolf, Rice University
Nicholas L. Rasmussen, Rice University
While ecologists since before the age of Elton (1927) have recognized that species interactions are constantly changing in time, ecologists of the past half-century have generally emphasized other aspects of community complexity (such as spatial population structure and food web structure) ahead of temporal complexity. This is changing, as ecologists place greater emphasis on non-equilibrium dynamics, seasonal and ontogenetic trajectories, windows of opportunity, event-driven dynamics, phenological shifts, and stage-structured species interactions. In the broad view, we are moving towards the development of a “temporally explicit ecology” – an effort to look beyond static models of communities to understand how real species interactions are coordinated in time, and the implications of disrupting this coordination. In many ways, the reality of climate change has made understanding coordinated temporal dynamics in species interactions more urgent. Understanding the complex effects of climate change will require a deeper understanding of the temporal dimension in community dynamics – a temporally explicit ecology.
This session aims to bring together ecologists that are working in diverse areas that share a temporally explicit view of ecology. These speakers represent several levels of biological organization from the individual to the landscape scale, and work with a wide range of species interactions, including predator-prey, plant-pollinator, plant-herbivore, and plant-detritus interactions. These speakers also represent a range of approaches, including long-term observational studies, mechanistic experimental studies, and the development of mathematical theory. Finally, this session includes speakers spanning the range from early career faculty to senior scientists.
The speakers in this session will address several important aspects of temporally explicit ecology. The overall sequence of speakers will progress from a general, conceptual introduction to develop the concept of temporally explicit ecology with concrete examples at the level of individuals, populations and communities. This session is organized so that each talk establishes a motivation and foundation for the next. Throughout, the speakers will emphasize general themes and commonalities, and each speaker will be encouraged to integrate their work into a bigger conceptual picture.