TCBES Research Seminar Series: Hawaiian Lava Tube Biology - Event Details

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This event is being held online. Passcode: TCBES

TCBES Research Seminar Series: Hawaiian Lava Tube Biology

University of Hawaiʻi at Hilo Tropical Conservation Biology and Environmental Science Research Seminar Series presents, "Hawaiian lava tube biology and evolution along the space-time continuum" with Rebecca A. Chong, Assistant Professor, School of Life Sciences, University of Hawai’i Mānoa and Megan L. Porter, Professor, School of Life Sciences, University of Hawai’i Mānoa.

Abstract: Many cave-dwelling animals have evolved striking traits, such as reduced or lost eyes, lost pigmentation, elongated limbs, and altered metabolism associated with colonizing a range of unique subsurface habitats. Previous studies of individual cave-adapted species from the same locations suggest that complex biological interactions within and among species have occurred over time. However, it is unclear how long it takes to form a cave ecosystem and how ecosystem functions are maintained through time. On Hawaiʻi Island, continuous volcanic activities over hundreds of thousands of years created subterranean habitats, known as lava tubes, that are of different geologic ages and represent distinct eco-evo “islands.” Diverse yet understudied communities of cave-adapted arthropod species live in these Hawaiian lava tubes and are sustained by the roots of the native pioneer tree, ōhi’a. This research involves documenting and describing new species occurrences and distributions, as well as obtaining ecological and genetic data for the lava tubes and species, both of which will serve as significant breakthroughs for Hawaiʻi, where island biodiversity loss has reached unprecedented levels.

The seminar will be streamed over zoom. All are welcome!

For more information, contact: uhhtcbes@hawaii.edu (808) 932-7571

Tags: tcbesseminars TCBES Online Only Lava Tubes

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