Understanding the ecosystem dynamics of the shrubland biomes

Aug. 2, 2018

Graduate student Ciro Cabal is trying to understand the ecosystem dynamics of the shrubland biomes, and concretely some endogenous and exogenous causes of its existence and physiognomy. Among the endogenous causes, I am interested in disentangling the role of the optimization of individual reproduction allocation in woody plants, developing models to understand how this may limit plant size. As for the exogenous causes, I will explore how plants compete for soil resources using both theoretical models and field observations. This summer Cabal is taking soil cores in order to determine how different surrounding shrubs allocate their fine roots at different distances and competition levels, using genomics to link root samples to nearby individuals.