OOS 5 - The Community Ecology of Florida

Monday, August 8, 2016: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Grand Floridian Blrm H, Ft Lauderdale Convention Center
Benjamin Baiser, University of Florida
Benjamin Baiser, University of Florida
Florida is full of iconic ecosystems ranging from the Florida Keys to Apalachicola Forest. The intersection of Caribbean and North American taxa on a peninsula that spans 6.5 degrees latitude has resulted in one of the most species diverse states with some of the highest levels of endemism in the United States. This diverse species pool assembles into marine communities along Florida’s extensive coastline, tree islands and “rivers of grass” in the everglades, and crystal clear springs that emerge from the state’s karst limestone topography. The majesty and diversity of ecological communities in Florida has inspired foundational research in the field of community ecology. One of the most fundamental theories in ecology, the Theory of Island Biology, was tested for the first time with invertebrate communities on mangrove islets in Florida Bay. Silver Springs was the site of one of the first and most detailed food webs ever compiled. Furthermore, some of the first phylogenetic community analyses were conducted on Florida oak communities. The tradition of innovative community ecology research in the state of Florida has continued into the present day and experts across a wide-range of ecological communities with different approaches will be showcased in this session. The stewardship of Florida’s ecological communities faces many challenges as ecological communities in Florida have and will continue to undergo dramatic alterations due to global change. Florida will likely be ground zero for rising sea levels due to its low topography and extensive coastline. Florida has some of the highest numbers of exotic and invasive species of any state; including the high profile invasive Burmese python in the Florida everglades. Understanding how ecological communities in Florida assemble, how they are maintained, and how they may change are key questions for the future of biodiversity in the “Sunshine State”.
1:50 PM
 Modeling the effects of biocontrol of the invasive tree, Melaleuca quinquenervia, on the native tree community dynamics of southern Florida
Bo Zhang, University of Miami; Donald DeAngelis, U. S. Geological Survey; Min Bahadur Rayamajhi, United States Department of Agriculture
2:30 PM Cancelled
 From algae to alligators: Examining food web structure in Florida's spring ecosystems
James C. Nifong, University of Florida; Thomas K. Frazer, University of Florida; Robert A. Mattson, St. Johns River Water Management District
2:10 PM
 Florida ferns: Community phylogenetics and traits
Emily B. Sessa, University of Florida; Benjamin Baiser, University of Florida; Sally M. Chambers, University of Florida
2:50 PM
 Florida ferns: Species’ distributions and climatic tolerances
Sally Chambers, University of Florida; Emily B. Sessa, University of Florida; Benjamin Baiser, University of Florida
3:10 PM
3:20 PM
 Phylogenetic signal to invasion and rarity in Florida’s imperiled Pine Rockland flora
Lauren Trotta, University of Florida; Benjamin Baiser, University of Florida; Jennifer Possley, Fairchild Tropical Botanic Gardens; Emily B. Sessa, University of Florida
3:40 PM
4:00 PM
 Nest protectors and food provisioners: A two-way ecological facilitation supporting reproducing wading birds and crocodilians in tropical and subtropical wetlands
Peter Frederick, University of Florida; Lucas A. Nell, University of Florida; Brittany Burtner, Monroe County; Jo-Szu Tsai, National Chiayi University
4:20 PM
 Restoring an iconic ecosystem? Non-native fish and everglades restoration
Joel C. Trexler, Florida International University
4:40 PM
 Invasive pythons reshape the Everglades mammal community
Brian E. Reichert, University of Florida; Robert A. McCleery, University of Florida; Adia Sovie, University of Flroida; Kristen Hart, USGS; Rena Borkhataria, Everglades Research and Education Center, University of Florida; Robert Reed, US Geological Survey