Wayne Sousa's Research
Mangrove population and community ecology
Wayne's current research examines the role of disturbance-generated light gaps in the regeneration of canopy trees in a mangrove forest on the Caribbean coast of Panama. Using a detailed spatiotemporal sampling regime and field experiments, he is investigating the roles of interspecific competition, herbivory by insects and crabs, propagule dispersal, and various edaphic factors in forest regeneration and succession.
During the 1990's, Wayne studied the interactions between the salt marsh snail Cerithidea californica and a diverse assemblage of larval trematodes that exploit it as first intermediate host in their life cycles. Most of the work was conducted in Bolinas Lagoon, just north of San Francisco. The major questions this research addressed were (1) how are multiple species of parasites able to coexist within a single host, and (2) can parasites regulate host population size?
Disturbance and coexistence in the intertidal
Wayne's early research focused on the role of disturbance in the assembly of rocky intertidal communities. Using field experiments, he demonstrated that intermediate levels of disturbance could maintain the diversity of algal assemblages, and tested several alternative models of successional species replacement. He later conducted research on the interactions between disturbance frequency, habitat size, and herbivory using mussel beds, as well as the role of propagule supply.