Abstract Detail


Dant, Anthony [1], Dlugosch, Katrina [2].

Differences in functional traits in Centaurea melitensis across an urbanized landscape.

Urbanization has steadily increased across the globe in last 200 years. As human populations increase, so do associated urban environments and the contacts between cities and wildlands. Biologists are increasingly asking how urbanization affects the natural world. While the field of urban ecology has arisen in response to help answer some of the questions asked within urban environments, many questions regarding ecological functions and processes have yet to be studied. One of these questions include how invasive species respond ecologically to rapid urbanization. To help shed light on this issue, we studied how the invasive, annual plant Centaurea melitensis has its ecology affected throughout urban landscapes in California. We collected multiple populations of C. melitensis across California from different land types and major urban centers. These populations were then grown in greenhouse conditions and had a variety of different functional traits measured. In addition to this, we redefined urbanization and land types through hierarchical clustering using multiple environmental and socio-economic variables. Our results found that there were significant differences in functional traits between multiple populations of C. melitensis. It was also found that these traits were specific to different cities across the coast of California. These findings have important ecological implications for invasive species and their ability to colonize urban environments. In addition, these results also highlight the importance of including socio-economic variables into future urban ecological studies when describing urban environments. We hope these results serve future studies which investigate how invasive organisms respond ecologically in the context of urbanization.

1 - 7122 Atheling Way, West Hills, CA, 91307, United States
2 - University Of Arizona, ECOL AND EVOL BIOLOGY, P.O. Box 210088, Tucson, AZ, 85721, United States

Urban ecology
invasive species

Presentation Type: Oral Paper
Number: EC09005
Abstract ID:979
Candidate for Awards:None

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