About the Project
This trade-off has been identified in one study system, but the generality of these patterns and their implications for conservation of plants in fragmented landscapes are poorly known. This project will use spatially explicit demographic and foraging models (Bocedi et al. 2014, Nicholson et al. 2019) to explore the drivers underlying the evolution of flower trait variation and test the implications of these trade-offs for the maintenance of genetic diversity and population persistence in spatially heterogeneous fragmented landscapes.
Example questions: Do specific trait values or combinations of traits predict differences in fine-scale spatial genetic structure and the likelihood of sib-sib mating among species? How does habitat fragmentation affect pollen dispersal and maintenance of genetic diversity for species with different trait values? Are some species more tolerant of the genetic implications of habitat fragmentation than others, and how can these vulnerabilities be offset by restoration of habitat connectivity and gene flow?
Training will be provided in the use and development of relevant modelling platforms and the statistical approaches required for data synthesis and analyses. To parameterise and validate the models there may be opportunities for fieldwork in a tropical forest environment and collection of genomic data from plants and their pollinators. Training will be provided in preparation for fieldwork and laboratory analyses.
More project details are available here: https://www.quadrat.ac.uk/projects/conservation-implications-of-variation-in-reproductive-traits-among-fragmented-populations-of-tropical-forest-trees/
How to apply: https://www.quadrat.ac.uk/how-to-apply/
Before applying please check full funding and eligibility information: View Website
Kettle, C.J., et al. (2011) PLoS ONE, 6: e16111. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0016111.
Nicholson, C.C., et al. (2019) Journal of Applied Ecology, 56, 618–628. doi: 10.1111/1365-2664.13333.
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