Functional Diversity of Adaptive Landscapes

The functional diversity exhibited by species within ecosystems arose from species adaptations to the environment. These adaptations may be divergent among species or clades, or convergent among different clades and species found in similar ecosystems. We work to understand the selective processes that drives convergence and divergence in the traits that underlie functional diversity, and how those traits are being selected for or against in the Anthropocene. We aim to then identify how this shifting landscape of adaptations influences ecosystem functioning and services. We focus particularly on amphibian and reptiles in the Caribbean. Our work requires us to measure functional traits in the lab and field, mine existing data (literature and museum specimens), and construct large phylogenetic trees.

Photo credit: Christian Irian

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