Reading for October 20th

We will be reading this selection from De Leon et al. for October 20th.  I will try to post some discussion questions before the end of the week, but feel free to beat me to the punch.  Consult with our fearless leader on the availability of snacks.


One response to “Reading for October 20th”

  1. jacobsfrancis says :

    A couple of possible points of discussion for this evening’s PaInt:

    1) The authors found that the majority of variation in food selection could be described by species differences and temporal differences (with spatial separation playing a much smaller role when accounting for food abundance). How might infrequent isolation, likely due semi-periodic drought, maintain species boundaries? What other factors might be at play in isolating these species?

    2) Why have the authors included resource used data that have not been standardized for availability? Do these data give us information that is not available in the abundance-corrected data?

    3) In previous weeks we have discussed what might drive specialist-generalist oscillations. We came to the conclusion that reversions to generalist diets seem improbable except in cases catastrophic ecosystem change. In light of this work, how might our perspective on reversions to generalist diets change?

    4) (This may be too speculative to discuss) Though this paper does not examine plant population dynamics, it seems as though competition between seeds to avoid predation my vary temporally also. How might variation in a predators diet breadth affect competition between these seeds? From the perspective of one plant species, when might rates of predation stay constant, when might they vary with climate? Under what conditions might a single plant species gain an advantage (wet vs. dry years)?

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