NRES Departmental Seminar by Dr. Matthew Betts, Oregon State University
Title: Why do Species Occur Where They Do? An Examination of Land-use, Climatic and Behavioral Drivers of Animal Distributions
Speaker's website: http://www.fsl.orst.edu/flel/index.htm
According to recent models, the expected effects of climate change on the future of biodiversity have been projected to be dire. I will present a summary of my research that is relevant to the question of whether such predictions are likely to transpire over the coming half century. First, I will discuss the relevance of land-use change as a contributing factor to species distributions, demography and pollination ecology. I will present a new approach that offers the potential to test for generality in the responses by species to habitat loss and fragmentation. Second, I will summarize the potential impact of social behavior on the potential for species to adapt to changing environmental conditions. Finally, I present a quantitative test of the degree to which climate, land use and the synergistic effects of these factors, have influenced bird populations across the western United States over the past 30 years.
Matt Betts is an Associate Professor of Wildlife Landscape Ecology in the Dept. of Ecosystems and Society at Oregon State University (since 2007). Prior to this Matt was at the Dept. of Biological Sciences at Dartmouth College, NH, where he was involved in a long-term project on the demography of migrant songbirds at Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest. Matt also served as Research Coordinator for the Greater Fundy Ecosystem Research Group in New Brunswick, Canada. Here, he published a book on the topic of forest management guidelines to protect native biodiversity. His primary research fields are biogeography, animal behavior, forest ecology and management and landscape ecology. Matt’s current research is based in Oregon, New Hampshire, New Brunswick, and Costa Rica where he examines the influence of intensive forest management on biodiversity, species distributions in relation to climate and land-use change, and the effect of tropical landscape fragmentation on hummingbird pollination dynamics. Matt teaches Landscape Ecology, Ecosystem Informatics and Wildlife Ecology. His education includes a Ph.D. in Forest Ecology (U.N.B), a Masters in Regional Planning (U. Waterloo), and a B.Sc. in Forest Management (U.N.B.).