Michael Graziano's Doctoral Scholarly Seminar
A Doctoral Scholarly Seminar will be presented by PhD candidate, Michael Graziano. He will present Vernal Pools, Trees, and Amphibian Conservation — Stability through Stochasticity in 333 Kottman Hall.
Writer and naturalist David Carroll states: “More dramatically than many habitats, vernal pools become lost when they are cut off from their larger systems…Their animal life dies out with the death of their ecological integrity.” Amphibians, perhaps the most iconic of vernal pool-dwelling organisms, are particularly susceptible to the loss of these unique ecosystems. In addition to discrete loss of vernal pools, habitat degradation via shifting plant communities has the capacity to further alter amphibian assemblages in vernal pools.
It is of the utmost importance that restoration ecologists have a holistic view of the systems in which they work in order to best accomplish their goals. With worldwide amphibian decline being well documented, largely as a result of habitat loss and disease, it is increasingly more important to elucidate how these habitats are able to maintain high levels of biodiversity and understand how to best restore these systems when they have become degraded. In this seminar, I will present a primer on vernal pool ecology, including characteristic amphibian communities and the importance of the plant community as a resource. Further, I will review how past and current efforts to construct and restore vernal pools can be enhanced for future projects.
Advisor: Stephen Matthews