Community and population dynamics of non-native plants, responses of plant communities to climate change
Global climate change will cause shifts in the distribution of plant species. Current vegetation communities provide important ecosystem services such as erosion control, soil conservation, carbon sequestration, nutrient cycling, and maintenance of water quality. However, climate-induced shifts in the species compositions of these communities may alter their ecosystem services. My dissertation research addresses how changes in precipitation patterns resulting from climate change may affect composition and ecosystem services of plant communities.
My study site is located in a grassland ecosystem in the foothills of Colorado, USA. At the site, I have established a manipulative experiment to examine how changes in the timing and amount of precipitation may affect the abundance of historically dominant (native) and recently-arrived (non-native) plant species, and the resulting impacts on the function of this ecosystem.
- EPA STAR Graduate Fellowship, EPA, 2010