Experimental evolution of species ranges and coexistence using competing duckweed species

Event Details

October 23, 2023
12:00 pm
RW432 & Livestream


Guest speaker: Takuji Usui, Postdoc – Frederickson lab
Host: M. Frederickson


Understanding the evolution of species distributions and ecological communities is a goal that unites both ecology and evolutionary biology. With global change, rapid changes in species distributions can provide unique opportunities for ecology to shape evolution, and for evolution to govern population and community dynamics across space and time. My research seeks to uncover general principles by which rapid interactions between ecology and evolution (eco-evolutionary dynamics) scale up to shape patterns of biodiversity across space and in response to global change.

In this talk, I will ask a series of questions on how eco-evolutionary feedbacks govern species range dynamics and community assembly, and explore some curious answers provided by the experimental evolution of competing duckweed communities. I will start by questioning how evolution and competition alters the outcome of range expansion and range contraction across thermally variable landscapes. I will then talk about how competition can shape the evolution of coexistence mechanisms during the formation of ecological communities, and its consequences for the origin and maintenance of biodiversity.