Keywords

Population modeling, integral projection models, plant herbivore interactions, plant demography

Abstract

Understanding factors limiting population growth is crucial to evaluating species persistence in changing environments. I used Integral Projection Models (IPMs) to elucidate the role of biotic interactions and disturbance on population growth rate in two plants: Helianthemum squamatum, a perennial endemic to gypsum habitats in central Spain, and Liatris ohlingerae, a long-lived perennial endemic to the Lake Wales Ridge of central Florida. In H. squamatum, there was a strong positive effect of trampling in the site with the highest plant density and moderate positive effects of seed addition in the site with the lowest plant density. Differences in treatment effectiveness between sites may represent a shift from seed to microsite limitation at increasing densities. Additionally, a distinct drop in population growth rate occurred in the hottest and driest year (2009-10). In Liatris ohlingerae, roadside populations had consistently higher population growth rates than scrub populations. A modest negative effect of time-since-fire was observed in plants that did not experience herbivory. Both habitat and time-since-fire showed distinct interactions with vertebrate herbivory, with herbivory increasing the difference in growth rate between habitats and decreasing the difference between time-since-fire classes. The direct effect of herbivory was negative in all environmental combinations except in long unburned populations. These results demonstrate the importance of considering environmental interactions when constructing population models, as well as the validity of using IPMs to assess interactions in species with differing life histories.

Notes

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Graduation Date

2014

Semester

Spring

Advisor

Quintana-Ascencio, Pedro

Degree

Master of Science (M.S.)

College

College of Sciences

Department

Biology

Degree Program

Biology

Format

application/pdf

Identifier

CFE0005271

URL

http://purl.fcla.edu/fcla/etd/CFE0005271

Language

English

Release Date

May 2014

Length of Campus-only Access

None

Access Status

Masters Thesis (Open Access)

Subjects

Dissertations, Academic -- Sciences; Sciences -- Dissertations, Academic

Restricted to the UCF community until May 2014; it will then be open access.

Included in

Biology Commons

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