Antonio Rodriguez-Campbell

Student Speaker | Étudiant.e
Darwin theorized that species interaction intensity increases towards the Tropics and lowland ecosystems, leading to important implications for conservation under climate change. These biotic interactions are often measured with predation rates on seeds and occasionally invertebrates across latitudinal and elevational gradients. But at what scale do the intensities of biotic interactions from different trophic levels correlate together, and what factors determine them? By compiling data from a standardized experiment done by collaborators in more than 30 mountain transects spanning from the Arctic to Patagonia, this project will: 1) test if caterpillar predation rates predict seed predation rates better than latitude and elevation combined, and 2) test what environmental factors drive seed and caterpillar predation strength over space and time. The results obtained following analyses will shed light on the main drivers of the evolution in our most diverse ecosystems by correcting inconsistencies in methodology and spatial scales of previous studies.