A recording of this online seminar is available to view HERE
Speaker: Prof Jennifer Powers, University of Minnesota
Tropical dry forests are characterized by lower rainfall compared to tropical rain forests and a dry season that can last for many months. In this talk, Jennifer will explore how rainfall regimes have shaped the diversity and function of plants in these forests, using plants from the liana lifeform and legume family as examples. She will then discuss how tropical dry forests are responding to climate change by focusing on drought, and the functional traits that underlie these responses.
Jennifer Powers is a Professor in the Departments of Ecology, Evolution & Behavior and Plant Biology & Microbial Biology at the University of Minnesota. She received her PhD in Biology from Duke University in 2001 and then completed postdoctoral studies at the State University of New York- Stony Brook and the University of Minnesota. Her research program focuses on understanding how land-use and climate change affect biogeochemical cycles, ecosystem processes and forest dynamics in tropical landscapes. Much of her work over the past twenty years has centered on seasonally dry tropical forests, which have received less attention but are more threatened than tropical rain forests. Together with her students and network of collaborators, they have investigated these questions from hierarchical scales—from the microbe to the biome, using a diverse toolkit that includes long-term observations, large-scale manipulative field experiments and simulation modeling.