Grantee Research Project Results
Species Diversity and Genetic Diversity: Parallel Processes and Correlated PatternsEPA Grant Number: U915992
Title: Species Diversity and Genetic Diversity: Parallel Processes and Correlated Patterns
Investigators: Vellend, Mark
Institution: Cornell University
EPA Project Officer: Just, Theodore J.
Project Period: January 1, 2001 through January 1, 2004
Project Amount: $102,000
RFA: STAR Graduate Fellowships (2001)
Research Category: Academic Fellowships , Fellowship - Terrestrial Ecology and Ecosystems , Ecological Indicators/Assessment/Restoration
The objective of this research project is to investigate the striking parallels between the processes that influence species diversity and genetic diversity, which suggest that theories of biodiversity may be unified across organizational levels.Approach:
I am using simulation models to explore the range of processes that may influence this relationship. The correlation between species diversity and genetic diversity represents a novel, general pattern, opening a broad scope of opportunities for studies integrated across multiple levels of biodiversity. If these parallels are manifested in nature, we expect species diversity and genetic diversity (within single species) to be correlated across habitat patches. I have found strong support for this prediction using data from the literature on islands, and my own empirical data on forest-herb diversity in a fragmented landscape. Larger islands have greater diversity at both levels than small islands, and primary forests in central New York have greater diversity at both levels than postagricultural forests.Supplemental Keywords:
fellowship, species diversity, genetic diversity, parallel processes, correlation, biodiversity.