The Aleutian Archipelago
Understanding Carnivory from Patterns of Variation in Space and Time
Beginning at 12:00 pm
April 16, 2010
SOMAS - Endeavour Hall 120, Stony Brook University
Estes seminar flyer
Trophic Cascades project
Noon seminar by Dr. James A. Estes
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of California, Santa Cruz
Islands, because of their isolation and unique individual histories, can often provide powerful insights into the pattern and process of ecology and evolution. My colleagues and I have utilized these simple properties of islands to explore the ecological importance of mammalian carnivory. My seminar is a synoptic account of 36 years of research in the Aleutian archipelago that addresses the direct and indirect effects of 3 different predators and their prey: sea otters and sea urchins; killer whales and coastal-living marine mammals; and arctic foxes and seabirds. In each case, the predators reduce prey abundance by one to two orders of magnitude, in turn setting off a diverse array of indirect effects that permeate their respective interaction webs. These indirect effects involve both top-down and bottom-up forcing processes, establishing in some cases important linkages across ecosystems. Striking landscape-level effects are an ultimate manifestation of mammalian carnivory.
Dr. Estes is an external grantee of the Institute for Ocean Conservation Science.
A link is provided above to read about his project and upcoming book on Trophic Cascades.