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K-State Today

April 20, 2023

Carla Staver to present Division of Biology Seminar

Submitted by Division of Biology

Carla Staver, associate professor of ecology and evolutionary biology at Yale University, will present her research titled "Temporal Dynamics of Savanna-Forest Bistability" as part of the Division of Biology Seminar Series at 3:30 p.m. Monday, April 24, in 221 Ackert Hall.

A mechanistic understanding of biome distributions is a critical issue in modern ecology, especially in the context of predictive models of past and future climate change. While we can explain the current distribution of many biomes accurately, our predictions are less successful in dynamic systems where vegetation-environment feedbacks are significant. The challenge is to integrate feedbacks more fundamentally into a coherent theory of ecological process that determines biome distributions currently, and that will shape them into the future. Savannas and grasslands cover approximately 40% of the Earth's land surface, and forests cover another approximately 30%. Understanding the dynamics among these biomes will help explain biosphere dynamics, past, present and into the future. Staver will combine empirical and theoretical work for insights into the mechanisms that give rise to the emergent stability of savanna, with special focus on predictions and evaluations of temporal dynamics of vegetation change.

If you would like to visit with Staver, please contact Emily Wedel at erwedel@k-state.edu