Late Lunch Talk: Understanding and managing hungry herbivores and their interactions with clever plants by Dr. Jennifer Sorensen Forbey (Boise State University)
Late Lunch Talk by Dr. Jennifer Sorensen Forbey from Boise State University
Understanding and managing hungry herbivores and their interactions with clever plants
A central focus in the field of foraging ecology is to understand how diet quality influences the behavior, distribution, and evolution of animals. For vertebrate herbivores, there is strong evidence that the quality and quantity of "toxins" (i.e. secondary metabolites) in plants can significantly alter the foraging behavior and physiology of captive individuals. However, there remains a general lack of ability to use captive studies focused on individual herbivores to predict how herbivores respond to the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of toxins in wild, natural systems. I will demonstrate how enzyme activity assays, chemical biomarkers in free-ranging herbivores, and remote sensing can be used to understand and predict the ecological and co-evolutionary interactions between plants and herbivores from cells, to individual organisms, to landscapes.