2022 Fall Seminar Series Presents

Dr. Elizabeth Leger
Professor, Department of Biology, University of Nevada, Reno
Director, Museum of Natural History, University of Nevada, Reno

 

The importance of evolutionary history for ecological restoration:
evidence from the Great Basin

 

Land management and evolutionary ecology may seem like disparate fields, but in fact, they can be highly complementary. Quantifying natural selection in the field can be an opportunity to improve the efficiency and success of restoration projects, and management-scale operations present opportunities for measuring the consistency and strength of natural selection at scales that would be difficult for individual researchers to achieve. Focusing on native plant restoration in the Great Basin, US, I will present results of experiments designed to identify the most promising strategies for restoring natural systems affected by fire, invasive species, and chang​ing grazing strategies. By studying local adaptation and selection in the wild, my lab has identified a suite of strategies that increase plant survival in invaded and disturbed systems, notable in that these strategies are diametrically opposed to the long-standing views of traits that should be prioritized during restoration of these cold desert systems. We are also investigating how plant communities function (e.g. productivity, invasion resistance) when composed of species with differing evolutionary histories and have found some unexpected (and to us, intriguing!) results. 

 

Everyone is welcome to join the seminar, please email jacki.craig@ucdenver.edu to receive the Zoom link. Requests can be submitted any time before the seminar but not after 10:00am the day of the seminar.

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Please email jacki.craig@ucdenver.edu to receive the Zoom Meeting Link. Requests can be submitted any time before the Seminar but not after 10:00am the day of the seminar.

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