Laura Viviana Morales

Laura Viviana Morales
World Agroforestry Centre · Peru

PhD Ecology

About

17
Publications
7,580
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197
Citations
Introduction
I am generally interested opportunities to bridge ecological research with practical management applications and measures, with most experience in the field of restoration ecology and ecological restoration. My work combines manipulative experiments, field collection from "natural" experiments and surveys. I've worked in the highland Andes and more recently lowland Amazonian forests and lands. Currently, I research resilience and social-ecological systems in agroforestry intervention landscapes
Additional affiliations
October 2017 - June 2020
The School for Field Studies
Position
  • Lecturer
Description
  • Lead faculty and lecturer in tropical ecology
September 2011 - April 2017
University of California, Davis
Position
  • PhD Student
Description
  • Doctoral research on high elevation Andean forests and restoration ecology
October 2010 - July 2011
Princeton University
Position
  • Lab Technician/Manager
Education
September 2011 - April 2020
September 2005 - June 2009
Princeton University
Field of study
  • Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Publications

Publications (17)
Article
In South America, “alpine birds” are those bird species inhabiting the High Andes (> 2500 masl). The study of this group has progressed from the inventories and catalogues of expeditions led by 19th-century European naturalists to ecological studies of their distribution, work which has enabled the production of country-specific field guides allowi...
Article
Full-text available
Plant communities in abiotically stressful, or 'harsh,' habitats have been reported to be less invaded by non-native species than those in more moderate habitats. Here, we synthesize descriptive and experimental evidence for low levels of invasion in habitats characterized by a variety of environmental stressors: low nitrogen; low phosphorus; salin...
Article
Full-text available
Los bosques de Polylepis, endémicos de las montañas de Sudamérica, suelen estar asociados con sitios relativamente inaccesibles como quebradas, roquedales o laderas empinadas. Las hipótesis más discutidas que explican esta asociación son: 1) factores abióticos como la humedad, la temperatura o el viento, ó 2) factores antropogénicos como la protecc...
Article
Full-text available
¿Cómo acercar la ciencia a la práctica de la restauración de bosques de Polylepis? Esta pregunta suscitó la discusión y reflexión entre un grupo de científicos académicos y practicantes de restauración que participamos en el simposio “Reforestación y Restauración de Ecosistemas de Polylepis: Experiencias y Perspectivas” durante el IV Congreso Inter...
Article
Full-text available
Successful forest expansion into grassland can be limited by seed dispersal and adverse conditions for tree seedlings in the grassland environment. In the high‐elevation Andes, human‐induced fragmentation has exacerbated the patchy distribution of Polylepis forests, threatening their unique biological communities and spurring restoration interest....
Article
Full-text available
Coffee is a major global commodity whose production is sustained by and provides livelihoods for millions of smallholder families in the tropics. However, it is highly sensitive to climate change and the climate risk family farmer's face from direct impacts on coffee production are often compounded by further impacts on the physical and social land...
Article
Full-text available
We use presence/absence data collected from field surveys to model the environmental niche an, in conjunction spatial data on current forest cover, estimate the cover of two sympatric high Andean tree species. We show that despite their sympatry, these species have distinct differences in their environmental distribution, with important implication...
Article
Full-text available
¿Cómo acercar la ciencia a la práctica de la restauración de los bosques de Polylepis? Esta pregunta suscitó la discusión y la reflexión entre un grupo de científicos académicos y practicantes de restauración que participamos del simposio "Reforestación y Restauración de Ecosistemas de Polylepis: Experiencias y Perspectivas" durante el IV Congreso...
Article
¿Cómo acercar la ciencia a la práctica de la restauración de los bosques de Polylepis? Esta pregunta suscitó la discusión y la reflexión entre un grupo de científicos académicos y practicantes de restauración que participamos del simposio "Reforestación y Restauración de Ecosistemas de Polylepis: Experiencias y Perspectivas" durante el IV Congreso...
Article
Full-text available
Ecology and conservation of Polylepis birds: what do we know about this increasingly vulnerable community? Throughout the mountains of South America, Polylepis forests and the bird community they host stand out as one of the ecosystems of greatest conservation priority. These forests form one of the highest altitudinal treelines in the world and ar...
Article
Phenological differences in flowering arising along elevational gradients may be caused by either local adaptation or phenotypic plasticity. Local adaptation can lead to reproductive isolation of populations at different elevational zones and thus produce elevational genetic structuring, while phenotypic plasticity does not produce elevational gene...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This may also be viewed at: http://www.ars.usda.gov/research/publications/publications.htm?seq_no_115=308388 Background/Question/Methods Grassland and prairie restoration projects in California often result in long-term establishment of only a few native plant species, even when they begin with a diverse palette of species. A likely explanation f...
Article
Ground-truthing the stable isotope ratio of diatom frustule-bound organic nitrogen (N) as a paleoceanographic proxy of phytoplankton nutrient consumption calls for studies of modern diatoms from cultures and the field. This work has been hindered by the lack of a method to prepare fresh diatom material, which has significant geochemical differences...

Questions

Questions (2)
Question
Having come across the term disease/pest pressure, prevalence and incidence I am wondering if they describe slightly different things, particularly pressure vs. prevalence or incidence. How are they used and measured?
Intuitively, I think that if a disease or pest has a more than one host organism, then when looking at the incidence rate of the disease/pest infection in a particular population (for example: a crop or X animal) then pressure is not the same thing as incidence. For example: the environmental incidence of a disease pathogen may be high (in environmental reservoirs or other host organisms) and so a population of interest has constant, high exposure to the pathogen, but the actual infection or disease rates within that population may be low at the time (low incidence or prevalence within that population).
Similarly, if a disease or pest has only one host (an organisms of your population of interest) and no environmental reservoir then pressure= population incidence rate.
Can someone in epidemiology, integrated pest management, or horticulture explain how the terms and accompanying metrics are used in their discipline? I haven't found any clear explanations with metrics, it often seems like the terms are used interchangeably.
Thanks in advance,
Laura M.
Question
I am generally interested in what has been studied (ex. maximum retention times), but also in genetic and environmental controls on cotyledon retention (ex. is it pretty standard in a species vs. does it vary according to growing conditions?).

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Projects

Projects (2)
Project
Investigate the ecology of the Polylepis bird community to provide scientific opinion and suggestions in order to improve the current conservation efforts along the High Andes
Project
1. To understand the multiple and simultaneous influences of abiotic and biotic factors in controlling current forest-grassland boundaries in high-Andean Forests above the continuous treeline. 2. To understand the demography of Polylepis tree seedling colonization and understand how cattle grazing affects it throughout the upper elevational ranges of these forests. 3. To forecast expansion under climate change and make recommendations about management of land use and reforestation schemes in these areas based on the results for Huascaran National Park .