Most of the work in our lab is within the Wog Wog fragmentation experiment in southeastern Australia -- a large-scale, long-term experiment, now in its 33rd year. The experiment was established by CSIRO scientists in 1985. We continue to collaborate with CSIRO, and our recent work on beetles has been funded by NSF. We study how landscape fragmentation affects populations, communities and ecosystem processes in an experimental context. Wog Wog also presents an excellent context in which to experimentally test spatial community theory at realistic spatial scales.
We are community ecologists, focused on the persistence of species and communities in heterogeneous, fragmented, and disturbed landscapes. We study extinction, community assembly and disassembly. We use the focus of spatial scale to understand the processes that determine how communities are structured (see what I have been up to).
Dr. Kendi Davies
ESA meeting, August 2018
Rachel presented her work on the trophic position of funnel-web spiders in forest fragments. Theory predicts that isolating communities on fragments should collapse foodwebs. Rachel's result condradicts these predictions.
Matt presented his work on a small parasite network in forest fragments. Fragmentation disrupted the network, removing parasites from fragments. Over time, the network slowly recoverd but not completely. Why not is currently a mystery.
Anna presented her individual based model on tree growth in Eucalyptus fragments. Anna is working to understand how reduced competition at edges alters growth.
Kendi co-organized an Inspire session with Morgan Ernest and Christie Bahlai on rapid transitions in long-term data.
Recent work by postdoctoral fellow, Julian Resasco. Fragmentation does not reduce the trophic level at which a generalist predator skink feeds but does result in niche shifts. Read the paper to find out why.
See former graduate student John Evan's beetle work: "Short‐ and long‐term effects of habitat fragmentation differ but are predicted by response to the matrix".
The best predictor of a species' response to habitat fragmentation was its response in the matrix habitat surrounding fragments. What is fascinating is that the magnitude of a species response in fragments was predicted by the magnitude of its response in the matrix. We are currently investigating this response ratio for more species.