Center for Population Biology

Investigating the Seagrass Microbiome

March 28, 2018
Seagrass carpets the seafloor creating a unique and vital ecosystem in shallow marine environments. Sea turtles graze on seagrass leaves while smaller organisms seek refuge in the green fields but, on the microscopic level, seagrass is also home to microbial communities. Such microbes compose the seagrass microbiome and potentially play a role in seagrass ecology.

Bacteria of the Flies: Tracing the Spread of Disease-Controlling Wolbachia

March 09, 2018
In a study appearing in Current Biology, Michael Turelli, distinguished professor of genetics in the Department of Evolution and Ecology, and his colleagues traced the spread of closely related Wolbachia across Drosophila fly species. They found that while the flies evolutionarily diverged tens of millions of years ago, their Wolbachia bacteria diverged only tens of thousands of years ago.

Native Wildflowers Bank on Seeds Underground to Endure Drought

March 01, 2018
Native wildflowers were surprisingly resilient during California’s most recent drought, even more so than exotic grasses. But signs of their resilience were not evident with showy blooms aboveground. Rather, they were found mostly underground, hidden in the seed bank, according to a study from the University of California, Davis.

Small Flowers, Big Implications for Species Extinction in the Face of Climate Change

February 21, 2018
A small, short-lived mountain wildflower is providing clues to understand the larger threats of species extinction as the climate warms. In a new study from Science Advances, UC Davis alumna Anne Marie Panetta, ’17 Ph.D. in Ecology, used historical surveys and experimental data to demonstrate that climate warming contributes to a reduction of biodiversity in ecosystems.