Sarah Rose's Graduate Defense Seminar
A Graduate Defense Seminar will be presented by Sarah Rose, PhD candidate in Ecological Restoration. She will present Quantifying Changes in the Spider Community after Natural and Anthropogenic Disturbances. This seminar will be held in 333 Kottman Hall.
Ecosystem restoration efforts that emulate natural disturbance processes, and the legacies provided by these disturbances, are thought to be the most successful. Without a clear understanding of how ecosystems develop following natural disturbances, however, it may be difficult to design effective restoration practices and evaluate restoration success. While plant communities are often used as a metric of whether restoration goals have been achieved, other organisms are also important indicators of success that are less frequently used. One group of organisms that holds promise are spiders; they are abundant in most terrestrial ecosystems, easily sampled, and have been shown to respond quickly to changes in habitat structure and environmental conditions. Unfortunately, little is known about the composition and structure of spider communities following both natural and anthropogenic disturbances. In this seminar I examine changes to the spider community following wildfire and wind disturbances in eastern forests, and explore how we can use spider communities to provide more holistic approaches to ecosystem restoration.