Movement ecology of seeds
Understanding how and why organisms move is critical for predicting species distributions and the impacts of human-induced changes, including habitat fragmentation and climate change. We have developed and tested models of plant movement (Damschen et al. 2008, PNAS) and are measuring plant functional traits that may serve as proxies for movement ability.
Wind dispersal in heterogenous landscapes
Our work in plant communities has generated an interest in how landscape heterogeneity affects wind dynamics. We are especially interested in how altered air flow affects the dispersal of seeds. With funding from the National Science Foundation, we have created a dispersal model for wind-dispersed plants that incorporates landscape heterogeneity and empirically evaluated this model in our experimental corridor system.