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Vegetation and Landscape Ecology Lab

Janet Franklin, Principal Investigator

PROFESSOR FRANKLIN JOINED THE DEPARTMENT OF BOTANY AND PLANT SCIENCES AT UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA - RIVERSIDE IN JULY 2017.

     
                                      

Climate Change and California Forests          Species distribution model: Tecate cypress       Broadleaf forest, The Bahamas           Giant Sequioia, McKinley Grove, Ca

In my lab we study the patterns and dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems at the landscape scale. Our work emphasizes the impacts of human-caused landscape change especially on forest, shrublands and other plant communities, and the wildlife that depends on these habitats. Patterns of human land use -- agriculture and urbanization -- and other large-scale human impacts such as climate change and the introduction of exotic species, often interact with natural disturbance regimes such as fire and hurricanes, to shape plant community dynamics and affect habitat quality for the animals in those communities. How resilient are ecological communities to these multiple impacts? What are the long-term past and future human impacts on ecological communities and biodiversity? Conservation and land management questions drive this work. The tools we use include field surveys of plant community composition, multivariate analysis, spatial statistics, landscape simulation models, and geospatial data analysis (GIS and Remote Sensing).


HOT TOPICS


A phylogenetic classification of the world’s tropical forests (Slik et al. 2018 Science). 
Identifying and explaining regional differences in tropical forest dynamics, structure, diversity, and composition are critical for anticipating region-specific responses to global environ- mental change. Floristic classifications are of fundamental importance for these efforts. Here we provide a global tropical forest classification that is explicitly based on community evolutionary similarity, resulting in identification of five major tropical forest regions and their relationships: (i) Indo-Pacific, (ii) Subtropical, (iii) African, (iv) American, and (v) Dry forests. African and American forests are grouped, reflecting their former western Gondwanan connection, while Indo-Pacific forests range from eastern Africa and Madagascar to Australia and the Pacific. The connection between northern-hemisphere Asian and American forests is confirmed, while Dry forests are identified as a single tropical biome. 




A paper published Sep 23 2016 in Science shows that tropical dry forest (TDF) in the Neotropics is surprisingly biodiverse with a lot of conservation value, and is also highly threatened. It is very exciting and unusual that a conservation biogeography paper makes the cover of Science!  The BBC and ASU News did stories about this article. This effort was lead by a group at Royal Botanical Garden, Edinburgh and wonderful collaborators from all over Latin America and the Caribbean. Janet Franklin is a (very minor) coauthor of this article, so let me know if you would like a reprint. janet dot franklin1 at gmail dot com



More Recent News About Publications

Big data for forecasting the impacts of global change on plant communities published on line 30 Aug 2016 in Global Ecology and Biogeography

How Landscape Ecology Informs Global Land-Change Science and Policy PUBLISHED ON-LINE 29 Feb 2016 in BioScience -- free and open access.

Global change and terrestrial plant community dynamics in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences: Franklin, J., Serra-Diaz, J.M., Syphard, A.D., Regan, H.M., Global change and terrestrial plant community dynamics www.pnas.org/cgi/doi/10.1073/pnas.1519911113 A reprint can be found here

Vertebrate community on an ice-age Caribbean island doi:10.1073/pnas.1516490112 PUBLISHED ON-LINE OCT 19 2015 IN Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. A preprint can be found here

THIS ARTICLE WAS FEATURED IN THE GBIF ANNUAL SCIENTIFIC REVIEW 2016 (on p. 35)

See news about this study in the LA TimesThe Washington Post, the Gainesville Sunphys.orgUniversity of Florida News New York Times, the National Science FoundationASU-SGSUP newsand learn more about it here