This experiment illustrates how ecological theory can help conserve native species in a
fragmented landscape. It is germane to units on biogeography, human impacts on
ecosystems, landscape ecology, conservation, and restoration. During the first lab, the
instructor introduces the process of habitat fragmentation, the degree to which species
in species-poor assemblages are proper subsets of...
An example of a late spring frost and snow event at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (RMBL), at 9,500 feet in the Colorado Rocky Mountains. This photograph was taken on 13 June 2001, when the temperature went down to 21.5 F, (-5.8 C). This cold period killed flower buds of several wildflower species that had already produced leaves and buds.
A graphical representation of a frost event at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory (Colorado). The temperature dipped to 25.1 F on 11 June 2004. Winter snowpack melted at the monitoring location on 8 May that year. The late-spring frost killed flower buds that had developed in the four weeks following snowmelt.
A flowering plant of Helianthella quinquenervis (aspen sunflower, Asteraceae) at the Rocky Mountain Biological Laboratory(RMBL). This species has flower buds that are frost-sensitive. The plants have a mutualism with ants, which are attracted by extrafloral nectar secreted by the bracts that cover flower buds.
Ants (Formica obscuripes) searching for extrafloral nectar on the involucral bracts around a flower head in bud in the frost-sensitive herb Helianthella quinquenervis. The ants help to deter oviposition by flies (Tephritidae) that try to lay eggs on the flower heads. Because fly larvae eat developing seeds, the ants benefit the plants. Thus, the ant / herb interaction represents a mutualism....