Our big rainfall manipulation experiment with Susan Harrison and Elise Gornish at McLaughlin Natural Reserve is getting up and running. We'll see how germination, survival and fitness responds of grassland plants respond to even more extreme drought (rainout shelters) and mitigation of drought (watering).
Melis Akman's paper "Transcriptome sequencing reveals population differentiation in gene expression linked to functional traits and environmental gradients in South African shrub Protea repens" will appear in New Phytologist later this year.
We helped to run a small conference and workshop in Cape Town 20-22 July: Plant Diversity in the GCFR -- From Genomes to Biomes
New PNAS paper out with Adam Wilson using remote sensing to study ecological processes through time (post-fire recovery in South African fynbos shrubland). Video, blog post.
Marina visited NCAR in Boulder CO for a workshop on data anlysis methods
Allie was awarded a fellowship from ISEECI for her project on the evolutionary fire ecology of Ceanothus.
Marina was awarded an NSF Graduate Research Fellowship
Melis presented a talk at the 2015 microMORPH conference at Harvard on "Phenotypic Plasticity: Evolution at the Intersection of Ecology, Genetics, and Development."
Jens published einen Doppelpack of papers on climate and disturbance effects on forest understory plant communities
-- In Journal of Ecology: "Forest disturbance accelerates thermophilization of understory plant communities"
-- in Global Change Biology: "Snowpack, fire, and forest disturbance: interactions affect montane invasions by non-native shrubs"
Derek got a grant from the Joint Fire Science Program to study the effects of post-fire weather on tree recruitment.
Stebbins Cold Canyon UC Reserve after the Wragg Fire:
What we're doing
Our group studies how environmental variation affects plant communities, populations, species and lineages. We are especially interested in how plants respond to change -- rapid major disturbance such as fire, as well as more gradual changes in climate. At the shortest time scales, we are focusing on how communities and populations respond to drought and fire, and how invasive species respond to novel habitat. Over longer time scales, we examine local adaptation to gradients in climatic conditions and to variability in those conditions. At the longest time scales, we are also interested in how lineages change as they encounter novel conditions and diversify. Much of our work involves fire, since this plays such a major role in the ecology and evolution of Mediterranean climate floras and in local land management here in California. Our research on the interactions among fire, vegetation, and climate has direct application to forest management in an era of climate and land use change.