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Vine invasion? UWM ecologist looks at coexistence of trees and lianas
Date:8/6/2008

reases in liana abundance," Schnitzer says. He hopes to test this hunch when funding is secured, by monitoring liana growth rates and internal water flow in a number of wet and dry forests. Panama, where one side of the isthmus is far wetter than the other, provides a perfect natural location for such a study.

By studying lianas, Schnitzer hopes to answer the larger question of what mechanisms determine the distribution and abundance of lianas, and maintenance of plant diversity, in tropical forests.

With so many variables clouding issues of diversity and abundance, Schnitzer's investigative approach is to test his theories on the organism that is most different from the others like lianas.

"If you can't figure out what's going on in the ecological system, then look at the oddball, the deviant something that doesn't fit the model," he says.


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Contact: Stefan Schnitzer
schnitze@uwm.edu
414-229-3146
University of Wisconsin - Milwaukee
Source:Eurekalert  

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