Pau Hana Pū Kākou | Restoring Plant and Animal Biodiversity in Tall-Grass Prairies
with Dr. Pete Guiden, Post-doctoral Fellow, Evidence-Based Restoration Lab, Northern Illinois University
Friday, March 19, 2021
4 – 5 p.m. HST
Online Platform: Zoom
Bishop Museum Members: Free with online registration
General: A suggested donation of $5–$10 can be made here.
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As one of the most threatened habitats in North America, tall-grass prairies are the focus of many ecological restoration projects. A common assumption is that restoring high-diversity prairie plant communities will passively create high-diversity animal communities (the “Field of Dreams” hypothesis). We tested this hypothesis at Nachusa Grasslands, a restored prairie in Illinois maintained with historical disturbances (fire and bison) to maximize native plant diversity. While plant biodiversity was occasionally correlated with animal biodiversity, animal biodiversity was more often independent of plant diversity. Restoring entire ecosystems will therefore require understanding how management shapes both plant and animal communities.
Guiden is a trained community ecologist, primarily interested in understanding how humans are reshaping plant-animal interactions. Guiden’s dissertation research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison examined small-mammal foraging behavior in novel habitats during autumn and winter. This summer, he will be starting a tenure-track faculty job at Hamilton College teaching plant ecology and conservation biology.
The Pau Hana Seminar Series is a bi-weekly live stream program by Bishop Museum researchers, collection managers, and community affiliates. These programs provoke engaging conversations on a wide range of topics related to culture and history in Hawai‘i and the Pacific.