Internship at the Mpala Research Centre near NanYuki, Kenya
To distinguish between two hypotheses regarding the underlying mechanism for species abundance-occupancy relationship by answering the following questions
1) Do abundant, widespread species maintain their “core” status through higher rates of immigration into localities or greater rates of in situ recruitment?
2) Does the mechanism by which abundant, widespread species maintain their “core” status depend on the environmental productivity?
CGS International Internship/Fieldwork Grant
Identifying and understanding the mechanism(s) by which species abundance and dispersal are affected is important for general ecological knowledge and theory, and the information from this study can be incorporated into conservation management decisions.
I will trap small mammals on 60 x 60 meter grids at 18 previously established 1-hectare sites. Additionally, I will make artificial burrows and nest boxes for the three species, and follow individuals that inhabit these. I will preserve collected DNA and transport it to Princeton University for genotyping; this will allow me to determine relatedness between individuals and therefore provide a metric to quantify the extent of rescue effects and in situ recruitment in regards to abundance.
This is the first field test assessing the two competing hypotheses on species abundance mechanisms, the results from this study will almost certainly be published in a peer- reviewed scientific journal.
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
Dyck, Marissa, "Internship at the Mpala Research Centre near NanYuki, Kenya" (2017). CGS Student Awards 2017. 8.