Date of Award


Degree Type


Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Mathematics and Statistics

First Advisor

Mevin Hooten


Predicting effects of climate change on species persistence often assumes that those species are responding to abiotic effects alone. However, biotic interactions between community members may affect species’ ability to respond to abiotic changes. Latent Gaussian models of resource availability using precipitation and NDVI and accounting for spatial autocorrelation and rodent group-level uncertainty in the process are developed to detect differences in seasons, groups, and the experimental removal of one group. Precipitation and NDVI have overall positive effects on rodent energy use as expected, but meaningful differences were detected. Differences in the importance of seasonality when the dominant group was removed reflect complex community dynamics and the presence of coexistence mechanisms that can dampen the ability of community members to respond to climate change.


This work made publicly available electronically on May 13, 2011.