Poster Title

Analysis of Projected Outcompetition of Any Two North American Species of Vegetation

Research Mentor(s)

Aquila Flower

Affiliated Department

Environmental Studies

Sort Order

04

Start Date

18-5-2017 12:00 PM

End Date

18-5-2017 3:00 PM

Document Type

Event

Abstract

Outcompetition of species naturally occurs in all ecosystems when two species come into geographical contact and attempt to occupy the same niche. One species is more effective at competing for a resource, and forces the other out of the region. In areas where outcompetition goes unmonitored, invasive species can dominate an entire ecosystem and significantly reduce biological diversity. In this study, I identified an invasive species, Rubus armeniacus (Himalayan Blackberry), and a recessive species, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir), whose saplings suffer from sunlight deprivation in areas dominated by blackberry. Using current species distribution data these species, I determined climate-limited factors restricting the regions in which these species live, and found where these species could exist in the future, given particular emission scenarios. I then performed area-overlap analysis on the resulting distribution models to estimate where these two species could be interacting in the future, and how much area Douglas fir would be losing due to interactions with blackberry. The results combined the effects of climate change with the projected distribution of Himalayan Blackberry to show the resulting projected area of Douglas fir in North America. Finally, using these results as a proof-of-concept, I recreated this process as a GIS tool, with open inputs and parameters. This means that any ecologist or biologist concerned about the future interactions of two species can quickly analyze projected interspecies competition and determine if a region might suffer from diminished biodiversity in the future.

Rights

Copying of this document in whole or in part is allowable only for scholarly purposes. It is understood, however, that any copying or publication of this documentation for commercial purposes, or for financial gain, shall not be allowed without the author's written permission.

Language

English

Format

application/pdf

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May 18th, 12:00 PM May 18th, 3:00 PM

Analysis of Projected Outcompetition of Any Two North American Species of Vegetation

Environmental Studies

Outcompetition of species naturally occurs in all ecosystems when two species come into geographical contact and attempt to occupy the same niche. One species is more effective at competing for a resource, and forces the other out of the region. In areas where outcompetition goes unmonitored, invasive species can dominate an entire ecosystem and significantly reduce biological diversity. In this study, I identified an invasive species, Rubus armeniacus (Himalayan Blackberry), and a recessive species, Pseudotsuga menziesii (Douglas fir), whose saplings suffer from sunlight deprivation in areas dominated by blackberry. Using current species distribution data these species, I determined climate-limited factors restricting the regions in which these species live, and found where these species could exist in the future, given particular emission scenarios. I then performed area-overlap analysis on the resulting distribution models to estimate where these two species could be interacting in the future, and how much area Douglas fir would be losing due to interactions with blackberry. The results combined the effects of climate change with the projected distribution of Himalayan Blackberry to show the resulting projected area of Douglas fir in North America. Finally, using these results as a proof-of-concept, I recreated this process as a GIS tool, with open inputs and parameters. This means that any ecologist or biologist concerned about the future interactions of two species can quickly analyze projected interspecies competition and determine if a region might suffer from diminished biodiversity in the future.