"My drawings at first were made altogether in watercolors, but they wanted softness and a great deal of finish."
"A Tale of Differing Time Scales: Bristlecone Pine, Clark's Nutcracker, and Catastrophic Fire, Impact an Endangered Butterfly of Southern Nevada"
Dr. Daniel Thompson
School of Life Sciences
University of Nevada
Thursday, February 14th, 2019
Fort Collins Senior Center, 1200 Raintree Dr.
Social Time: 7 p.m.; Program 7:20 p.m.
Dr. Daniel Thompson, will take us to Nevada and share with us his research on the Spring Mountains of southern Nevada that harbor ancient bristlecone pine forests and numerous Clark's Nutcrackers whose caching behavior facilitates tree establishment on ridges and slopes above 9,000 feet in elevation. These high elevation slopes are also inhabited by the endangered Mount Charleston Blue Butterfly, an endemic alpine species with larvae that feed on several cushion plants typically found in open areas within bristlecone forest. Because the butterfly occurrence is inversely related to tree density, critical habitat of the endangered butterfly has been restricted by tree establishment, facilitated by Nutcrackers on the slopes of Mount Charleston. The catastrophic fire in 2013 reversed this trend, burning 40 square miles of forest. As all of the trees burned within the 700 to 1000 year old Bristlecone pine forest and the first plants to recolonize have been the food plants of the endangered Mount Charleston Blue Butterfly, fire has opened up potential habitat for the butterfly. At the same time, Clark's Nutcrackers have begun to cache seeds on the now open burned slopes, starting the slow process of tree and forest regeneration that, centuries from now, will once again encroach on butterfly habitat.
Dr. Daniel Thompson is an Evolutionary Biologist with the School of Life Sciences, University of Nevada. His research addresses a variety of topics in ecology and evolution including: evolution of phenotypic plasticity and morphology of grasshoppers, spatial ecology of desert shrubs and rodents, quantitative analysis of bighorn sheep behavior, and molecular evolution of gene families. It is our pleasure to be hosting Dr. Thompson, son of long-time Fort Collins Audubon Member, Edie Thompson
Join us February 14th, 2019, for this informative presentation. This program is free and the public is welcomed.