Can we forecast climate impacts on regional-scale invasion dynamics?
Our goal is to learn how to predict the effect of climate change on the population dynamics of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) across its range in western North America. To make accurate predictions about population growth, do we need to account for local genetic variation? Do we need to account for intra- and interspecific interactions with other plants? Will information about phenology and physiology improve predictions? Or do we need to integrate all these sources of information?
With support from the National Science Foundation, and help from a network of volunteer participants, we will answer these questions with a combination of common garden experiments, distributed demographic observations, and dynamic models, all designed to provide independent tests of model predictions.
If you want a bit more detail, you can read the public summary of the NSF project.
We recently completed our first season of seed collections.