Invasion, disturbance and community dynamics

Biology: Martha Hoopes (Mount Holyoke College)
Mathematics: Amy Wagaman (Amherst College)

Invasive species alter community dynamics by changing access to resources and potentially altering abiotic environments. We can assess these changes with the experimental removal of invaders from natural communities or with common garden or greenhouse experiments that create communities. The field removals start with random replicates containing very different initial communities and then remove different relative proportions of the community. Analyzing subsequent community responses offers possibilities for basic factorial statistical analysis, as well as matrix geometric approaches of community characterization. Students will collect data in the field and greenhouse and explore statistical analysis and community characterization.