Plant species are expected to respond to warming temperatures and changes in precipitation in the face of climate change by shifting ranges to higher latitudes and elevations. Oaks are one such species, but unlike wind-dispersed species, will depend upon animals (such as squirrels, mice, and voles) to disperse their large seeds into their new habitable range. Many factors can influence this plant-animal relationship, including individual behavior. Ivy Yen will share her research, which investigates how the small mammal personalities (whether they are shy or bold) differentially select and cache seeds to influence future forest regeneration. She will explain that it takes a range of personalities to maintain forests.
IvyYen is a doctoral student in the Department ofWildlife,Fisheries,and Conservation Biology at the University of Maine in the lab of wildlife ecologist Alessio Mortelliti, who is based at the University of Trieste. Her research focuses on the consequences of individual behavioral variation while using small mammals as a model system.
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