ESA Poster: Synchrony of flowering phenology within clusters depends on the spatial scale at which clusters are defined

Last week, I attended ESA for the first time and presented a poster on a project I’ve been working on for the past few months: how the synchrony of flowering phenology within clusters of Echinacea depends on the connection distance used to define those clusters. I presented on Tuesday, August 7, 2018 in PS 18:┬áHabitat Structure, Fragmentation, Connectivity from 4:30-6:30, board #92 (just feet away from Will’s poster). My main results are that clusters of Echinacea defined by a small connection distance tend to have lower synchrony on average than clusters defined by larger connection distances. Clusters defined by smaller connection distances also have more variation in synchrony. In terms of a bee’s perspective, this could mean that bees with smaller foraging distances are experiencing more synchronous clusters of Echinacea as they travel from one plant to the next. However, the experience from one small bee to the next is variable. Larger bees with larger foraging distances might be experiencing clusters that are more asynchronous, so as they travel from one Echinacea to the next, plant flowering times might not be overlapping as much.

There was an almost continuous flux of people coming by, and even though I was nervous at first, these couple of hours were probably my favorite part of the conference. Even if some of the listeners didn’t ask me specific questions at the end, just describing my project over and over made me realize what parts I wanted to continue thinking about and working on. I had scientists come by that I recognized from talks I had seen, Team Echinacea alumni interested in what we are doing now, and people I didn’t know that just came because of the title! It was all really exciting and I have a page of notes with questions and ideas to think about as I move forward with this project.

The conference as a whole was a really great experience for me, because I could start to see how both this specific project and my general interests fit in with the rest of the ecology world. It helped me to start to define the questions I want to ask as I think about grad school and the future.

Tracie and her poster at ESA 2018 ­čÖé

Stay posted for more updates on this clusters project!

Link to PDF of Tracie’s ESA poster



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