My research draws from landscape ecology, statistical modeling, and biogeography to understand the determinates of species abundance and diversity through space and time. I use a combined approach of field studies, ecoinformatics, and analytical models to tease apart the influence of different driving processes on single and multi-species patterns in plants and birds.
There is a vast number of potentially competing hypotheses for the drivers of species richness and turnover. Many of these hypotheses are likely to be valid at least in some contexts; therefore, I think it is important to develop empirical and analytical frameworks that provide a means to examine the relative importance of various driving processes.
My work in this area has focused on the species-time-area relationship and patterns of distance decay. I’m also interested in discovering new ways to link patterns of species covariance with ecological theory.
Scheiner, S.M., A. Chiarucci, G.A. Fox, M.R. Helmus, D.J. McGlinn, and M.R. Willig. 2011. The underpinnings of the relationship between space, time, and species richness. Ecological Monographs. 81: 195-213. pdf
McGlinn, D.J. and M.W. Palmer. 2011. Quantifying the influence of environmental texture on the rate of species turnover – evidence from two habitats. Plant Ecology. 212: 495–506. pdf
My interest in patterns of species richness and turnover has led me to take an increasingly rigorous look at the statistical methods ecologists use to detect patterns and infer processes. Towards this end I’m interested in how we can best use multivariate statistics and neutral and null models to test theory with data.
Locey, K. and D.J. McGlinn. submitted. Efficient algorithms for sampling feasible sets of ecological patterns of abundance. Methods in Ecology and Evolution. (preprint & associated python and R packages)
Palmer, M. W. and D.J. McGlinn. in press. Scale detection using semivariograms and autocorrelograms. in S. E. Gergel and M. G. Turner, editors. Learning Landscape Ecology: A Practical Guide to Concepts and Techniques.
Palmer, M.W., D.J. McGlinn, and J.F. Fridley. 2008. Artifacts and artifictions in biodiversity research. Folia Geobotanica. 43:245-257. pdf
Disturbance as a driver of community composition and as a tool for process-based restoration
Historical processes, such as past disturbances, can have strong impacts on the structure and composition of our ecosystems. Additionally, restoration ecologists have been increasingly interested in using disturbance such as a prescribed fire and mowing to manage and restore ecosystems. Much of this work rests upon the Natural Variability Hypothesis which asserts that the diversity and health of natural systems can be improved through the usage of heterogeneous management regimes.
Thus far I’ve been interested in documenting the response of both plants and birds to disturbances (e.g., prescribed fire, tornado damage) as well as attempting to understand the importance of these responses within the context of restoration ecology.
McGlinn, D.J., P.J. Earls, and M.W. Palmer. in prep. The influence of variation in fire and grazing species relative to inherent landscape heterogeneity on the vegetation of a tallgrass prairie.
McGlinn, D.J., R.J. Churchill, and M.W. Palmer. 2010. Effects of a tornado on a Cross Timbers bird community. The Southwestern Naturalist. 55: 460-466. pdf
I’m interested in developing the application side of my theoretical research for the conservation of diversity. Specifically, I’m interested in the implications of patterns of species turnover and source-sink dynamics for optimal reserve and predicting the effects of climate change. Although I am not currently actively perusing these lines of research, I’m interested in collaborations that may lead me towards addressing these issues.
Applequist, W.L., D. J. McGlinn, M. Miller, Q.G. Long, and J.S. Miller. 2007. How well do herbarium data predict the location of present populations? A test using Echinacea species in Missouri. Biodiversity and Conservation. 16:1397-1407. pdf