Herbivory, Herbivore Diversity, and Ecosystem Function

A large portion of the lab's work focuses on the impact of herbivores on community dynamics and ecosystem function. A central question for this research area is how redundant or complementary are different species of herbivores (parrotfishes on reefs, ungulates in savannas) in their effect in these ecosystems. Essentially, do different species of herbivores do different things and are some species more important than others? We primarily address these main questions via behavioral observations of herbivores, feeding assays with different food sources, and manipulative experiments that allow different species of herbivore to feed in some areas but not others.