Kyle E. Coblentz

Kyle E. Coblentz
University of Nebraska at Lincoln | NU · Department of Biological Sciences

PhD in Zoology

About

22
Publications
5,910
Reads
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350
Citations
Introduction
My research focuses on the ecology and evolution of species interactions in biological communities. The interactions among species are central to determining the abundances and dynamics of organisms in communities. In turn, these abundances and dynamics determine several of the services we receive from ecosystems. I hope that my research on species interactions will help us to understand how ecological systems function and how we can conserve and protect them.
Additional affiliations
November 2018 - present
University of Nebraska at Lincoln
Position
  • PostDoc Position
September 2014 - September 2015
Oregon State University
Position
  • Research Assistant
Description
  • Developed and implemented material in Introductory Biology laboratories and a Marine Ecology laboratory
June 2013 - September 2018
Oregon State University
Position
  • PhD Student
Education
August 2009 - May 2013
Tulane University
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Publications

Publications (22)
Article
Full-text available
Intraspecific variation in ecologically relevant traits is widespread. In generalist predators in particular, individual diet specialization is likely to have important consequences for food webs. Understanding individual diet specialization empirically requires the ability to quantify individual diet preferences accurately. Here we compare the cur...
Article
Full-text available
Individual diet specialization appears widespread and has several ecological ramifications. Hypotheses on the causes of diet specialization generally assume prey preferences differ among predator individuals. They then predict how the magnitude of diet variation should change when ecological factors (e.g. intraspecific competition) alter prey abund...
Article
Full-text available
Predator functional responses describe predator feeding rates and are central to predator‐prey theory. Ecologists have measured thousands of predator functional responses using the same basic experimental method. However, this design is ill‐suited to address many current questions regarding functional responses. We derive a new experimental design...
Article
Full-text available
1. Theory suggests that intraspecific trait variation will alter species interaction strengths through nonlinear averaging when interaction strengths are nonlinear functions of individuals' traits. This effect is expected to be widespread, yet what factors mediate its magnitude in nature and hence its potential effects on ecosystems and communities...
Article
Full-text available
1. Predator functional responses describe predator feeding rates and are central to predator‐prey theory. Originally defined as the relationship between predator feeding rates and prey densities, it is now well known that functional responses are shaped by a multitude of factors. However, much of our knowledge about how these factors influence func...
Article
Full-text available
AbstractA scientific understanding of the biological world arises when ideas about how nature works are formalized, tested, refined, and then tested again. Although the benefits of feedback between theoretical and empirical research are widely acknowledged by ecologists, this link is still not as strong as it could be in ecological research. This i...
Article
Predators are generally under selective pressure to get better at foraging, leading to steeper functional responses and stronger predator–prey interactions. Yet strong interactions can de-stabilize food webs, and most interactions across ecological communities are thought to be weak. This conflict between evolutionary and community expectations for...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. Predator functional responses describe predator feeding rates and are a core component of predator-prey theory. Although originally defined as the relationship between predator feeding rates and prey densities, it is now well known that predator functional responses are shaped by a multitude of factors. Unfortunately, how these factors interact...
Preprint
Full-text available
1. Predator functional responses, which describe how predator feeding rates change with prey densities, are a core component of predator-prey theory. Given their importance, ecologists have measured thousands of predator functional responses. However, most of these studies have used a single standard experimental method that is ill-suited to addres...
Article
Full-text available
Predator functional responses describe predator feeding rates as a function of prey abundance and are central to predator‐prey theory. Despite ample evidence that functional responses also depend on predator abundance, theory incorporating predator‐dependent functional responses has focused almost exclusively on specialist predator‐prey pairs or li...
Preprint
Full-text available
Much of the theory on disruptive selection has focused on selection in generalist consumers caused by ecological opportunity through the availability of alternative resources and intraspecific competition for those resources. This theory, however, makes several ecologically unrealistic assumptions. First, this theory assumes that consumers have a l...
Article
Full-text available
The difficulty of experimentally quantifying non-trophic species interactions has long troubled ecologists. Increasingly, a new application of the classic “checkerboard distribution” approach is used to infer interactions by examining the pairwise frequency at which species are found to spatially co-occur. However, the link between spatial associat...
Article
Full-text available
A long-standing debate concerns how functional responses are best described. Theory suggests that ratio dependence is consistent with many food web patterns left unexplained by the simplest prey-dependent models. However, for logistical reasons, ratio dependence and predator dependence more generally have seen infrequent empirical evaluation and th...
Article
Full-text available
As the contribution for long-term ecological and environmental studies (LTEES) to our understanding of how species and ecosystems respond to a changing global climate becomes more urgent, the relative number and investment in LTEES are declining. To assess the value of LTEES to advancing the field of ecology, we evaluated relationships between cita...
Preprint
Full-text available
A longstanding debate concerns whether functional responses are best described by prey-dependent versus ratio-dependent models. Theory suggests that ratio dependence can explain many food web patterns left unexplained by simple prey-dependent models. However, for logistical reasons, ratio dependence and predator dependence more generally have seen...
Article
Full-text available
Benthic infaunal communities are important components of coastal ecosystems. Understanding the relationships between the structure of these communities and characteristics of the habitat in which they live is becoming progressively more important as coastal systems face increasing stress from anthropogenic impacts and changes in climate. To examine...
Article
Full-text available
For over a century, ecologists and evolutionary biologists have investigated the association between sedimentary characteristics and the infaunal communities inhabiting sediments. Relationships between infauna and, specifically, sediment grain size distributions, have provided a common methodology to predict the distributions, composition, and dive...
Article
Full-text available
Endophytic fungi live symbiotically in the tissues of plants. Although a large amount of evidence suggests a mutualistic role for vertically transmitted endophytic fungi in agronomic grasses, the role of horizontally transmitted endophytic fungi as mutualists has been challenged. Recent studies, however, have shown that horizontally transmitted end...

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Projects

Projects (2)
Archived project
A longstanding debate concerns whether predator functional responses are best described by prey-dependent versus ratio-dependent models. Theory suggest that ratio-dependence can explain many of nature’s paradoxes left unexplained by simple prey-dependent models. However, for logistical reasons, ratio-dependence and predator-dependence more generally have seen infrequent empirical evaluation and then only so in specialist predators, which are rare in nature. Here we develop an observational approach for simultaneously estimating the prey-specific attack rates and predator-specific interference rates of predators interacting with an arbitrary number of prey and predator species. We apply the approach in non-manipulative surveys and two manipulative field experiments involving two intertidal whelks and their full suite of potential prey. Our study provides strong evidence for the presence of weak predator-dependence that is closer to prey-dependence than ratio-dependence over natural and manipulated ranges of species abundances, and suggests further that the strength of predator-dependence in generalist predators may be prey-specific.