(Meta)Community Ecology — Species Interactions & Demographic Habitat Selection

I have a considerable interest in the assemblage of aquatic communities through processes of dispersal and colonization. Using mesocosms, we construct artificial pond arrays to understand how patch characteristics influence community assembly and metapopulation and metacommunity dynamics. This research has mainly focused on how patch quality affects oviposition and habitat selection of tree frogs, mosquitoes and aquatic beetles. I am currently leading projects investigating the generality (or specificity) of fish avoidance, mass effects (i.e. density-dependence, spillover), patch quality trade-offs and temporal patterns along with their underlying mechanisms.

Fig. 1a Mesocosm array used to study mosquito oviposition.

Fig. 1b Mesocosm array used to study tree frog and aquatic beetle habitat selection.

Fig. 2 Contrast group means (means ± SE) and P values for one-tailed a priori contrasts for untransformed abundance of all insects, showing control values for comparison and the absolute and relative abundances of the three dominant taxa. Ncon is the total number of individuals in the contrast treatments; bars above treatment groups indicate which treatment groups contribute to each contrast. Contrasts are (from top) single predator vs. multi-predator, single predator vs. paired predators, and single predator vs. all three predators (Resetarits et al 2021).

Fig. 3. Unpublished figure (currently preparing) showing phylogenetically diverse predators and their variable effects on Culex restuans oviposition site choice. On the X-axis, 0.0 represents control values, and colored circles represent proportional effect of predators. Negative values indicate predator treatments received fewer egg rafts than controls, while positive values indicate they received more egg rafts than controls. Blue = Amphibians; Red = Fishes; Orange = Insects.

Fig. 4. NMDS plots of beetle assemblages. Points are illustrated and enclosed minimum convex polygons based on (a) predator density (0, 1, 2 fish per pool), (b) nutrients added (0, 4, 8 g rabbit chow), (c) location (site 1, 2 or 3) and (d) time (times 1, 2 or 3; see Section 2). p values indicate significance of each factor in PERMANOVA. Graphs exclude one outlier (a two fish, 8 g pool). 2D stress = 0.21; 3d stress = 0.15 (Pintar et al 2018).