General Meetings and Presentations
May 2017 Program
- May 31, Wednesday, 7pm, Bristlecone Chapter Program: Mousetails in warming chambers at 13,000 ft: plants on the move in response to climate? Presenter: Meagan Oldfather. White Mountain Research Center, 3000 East Line Street, Bishop
Alpine plants have been identified as harbingers of the biogeographic impacts of a changing climate. However, in montane systems where population viability may be driven by fine-scale climate conditions, populations at the same elevation range limit may show variable responses to changing conditions, leading to complex range shifts across geographic space. Refining predictions of species range shifts with climate change in these complex landscapes can be achieved by pairing individual-based vital rates (e.g., germination, growth, survival) and field-measured climate variables, as well as incorporating exposure of individuals to climate variables outside of the historical range of variation and species interactions. Presenter Meagan Oldfather's research addresses this with a demographic analyses, a manipulative experiment of summertime temperature and soil moisture, and community monitoring across the entire elevational range of Ivesia lycopodioides var. scandularis (Rosaceae). Since 2013, she has monitored 16 populations (over 4,000 individuals) of this long-lived alpine plant across its range in the White Mountains, CA (3350 – 4420m). She asks the following questions: 1. How do vital rates vary across the species range? 2. How do experimental warmer, wetter conditions impact population growth in range edge and center populations? and 3. Does community composition shift with experimental warmer, wetter conditions?
Meagan Oldfather received her Bachelor of Science in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology from University of California Santa Cruz, and is currently working to complete her PhD at the University of California Berkeley Integrative Biology Department in the lab of Dr. David Ackerly. Her research focuses on the complex relationship between topography, microclimate and demography across species ranges, and asks how this relationship shapes the rate and magnitude of range shifts of mountain flora with a changing climate. She is a graduate student researcher with the Institute for the Study of Ecological and Evolutionary Climate Impacts and the Terrestrial Biodiversity Climate Change Collaborative. Meagan is also a dedicated volunteer for the Global Observation Research Initiative in Alpine (GLORIA) Environments in California. After finishing her doctoral research she plans to work on how to best protect, monitor, and manage natural landscapes in the face of a changing climate.
For further information contact Michèle Slaton.