Title

Effects of Omnivory on Trophic Cascades

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Dr. Howard Whiteman

Presentation Format

Event

Abstract/Description

Omnivores occupy a broad trophic position and have generally been shown to dampen trophic cascades by feeding at multiple trophic levels simultaneously. However, much previous research has neglected to account for several factors such as density and size structure of the omnivore assemblage which may alter this relationship between omnivory and trophic cascades. Additionally, the presence of heterospecific competitors may affect the role of omnivory on trophic cascades by changing omnivore feeding strategy. Experimentally manipulating and crossing these factors will provide a more complete understanding of the role of omnivory on trophic cascades within natural ecosystems. The speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus) is an omnivorous fish species native to the western United States that feeds primarily on macroinvertebrates and algae. Within beaver ponds, the speckled dace is naturally found at varying densities and size structures and cohabitating with various heterospecific competitors. Thus, the speckled dace is an ideal study organism for examining the interacting effects of density, size structure, and presence of a heterospecific competitor on trophic cascades.

Location

Barkley Room, Curris Center

Start Date

April 2016

End Date

April 2016

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Apr 20th, 9:00 AM Apr 20th, 4:00 PM

Effects of Omnivory on Trophic Cascades

Barkley Room, Curris Center

Omnivores occupy a broad trophic position and have generally been shown to dampen trophic cascades by feeding at multiple trophic levels simultaneously. However, much previous research has neglected to account for several factors such as density and size structure of the omnivore assemblage which may alter this relationship between omnivory and trophic cascades. Additionally, the presence of heterospecific competitors may affect the role of omnivory on trophic cascades by changing omnivore feeding strategy. Experimentally manipulating and crossing these factors will provide a more complete understanding of the role of omnivory on trophic cascades within natural ecosystems. The speckled dace (Rhinichthys osculus) is an omnivorous fish species native to the western United States that feeds primarily on macroinvertebrates and algae. Within beaver ponds, the speckled dace is naturally found at varying densities and size structures and cohabitating with various heterospecific competitors. Thus, the speckled dace is an ideal study organism for examining the interacting effects of density, size structure, and presence of a heterospecific competitor on trophic cascades.