Corridors are strips of habitat that connect habitat fragments. They are a popularly implemented as a conservation tool for mitigating negative effects of fragmentation. But, how do they work? When do they work? Could they have negative effects? The Savannah River Site Corridor Experiment (South Carolina, USA) is designed to test these questions about corridor function. Within this experiment, I work in collaboration with a team of PIs, Nick Haddad (NC State), Doug Levey (NSF), Ellen Damschen (UW-Madison), John Orrock (UW-Madison), Lars Brudvig (Michigan State), and Josh Tewksbury (Future Earth). I’m particularly interested in potential negative effect of corridors on facilitationg invasive species (e.g., Resasco et al. 2014 Ecology, Haddad et al. 2014 Cons. Biol., Resasco et al. 2012, Ecosphere) and how experiments like this can help conservation practice (Resasco et al. in press Ecography).
Habitat loss and fragmentation are considered the leading drivers of biodiversity loss. Landscape experiments can provide unique insight into how fragmentation affects biodiversity and ecological processes at scales that approximate management activities. The Wog Wog Habitat Fragmentation Experiment, is one of the largest and longest running fragmentation experiments. Within the Wog Wog experiment I am investigating how fragmentation affects species niches and the structure of arthropod food webs. I do this work in collaboration with Kendi Davies (CU-Boulder) and Saul Cunningham (Australian National University).
Temporal dynamics of plant-pollinator networks:
Interaction networks are typically presented and analyzed as compiled observations over multiple time periods but decomposing networks into their the temporal components can give us insights into to ecology and evolution of these systems. For example, understanding which interactions are temporally stable and which are dynamic has important implications for understanding potential for coevolution, as well as stability of these systems and resistance and resilience to human stressors like climate change. My work on these topics is in two systems: 1) in Argentina in the Monte desert at the foothills of the Andes, work in collaboration with Diego Vázquez (IADIZA, CONICET, Argentina) and Natacha Chacoff (IER, CONICET, Universidad Nacional de Tucumán, Argentina) and another in the a subalpine meadow in Colorado’s Rocky Mountains at University of Colorado’s Mountain Research Station where I am an REU mentor.
I’m interested in various aspects of ant ecology. For example, how climate change affects ants (e.g., Resasco et al. 2014 PLoS One), sodium limitation in ants (Resasco et al. 2013 Ecol. Entom.) and species interactions among ants (especially with fire ants, see above).