Professor Peter L. Meserve - Ecology and Evolution Faculty

Representative Publications

Gutiérrez, J.R., P.L. Meserve, D.A. Kelt, A. Engilis, Jr., M.A. Previtali, W.B. Milstead, and Fabian Jaksic. (2010). Long-term research in Bosque Fray Jorge National Park: Twenty years studying the role of biotic and abiotic factors in a Chilean semiarid scrubland. Revista Chilena de Historia Natural 83:69-98.

Madrigal, J., D.A. Kelt, P.L. Meserve, F.A. Squeo, and J.R. Gutiérrez. (In press). Bottom-up control of consumers leads to top-down indirect facilitation of invasive annual herbs in semiarid coastal Chile. Ecology.

Previtali, M.A., M. Lima, P.L. Meserve, D.A. Kelt, and J.R. Gutiérrez.2009. Population dynamics of two sympatric rodent species in a highly variable environment: the influence of rainfall, resource availability, and predation. Ecology. 90(7), 2009, pp. 1996–2006.

Randa, L.A., D.M. Cooper, J.A. Yunger, and P.L. Meserve. 2009. Prey switching of sympatric canids to variable prey abundance. J. Mammalogy. 90(3):594–603, 2009.

de la Maza, M., M. Lima, P.L. Meserve, J. Gutiérrez, and F.M. Jaksic. 2009. Primary production dynamics, climate variability, and its ecological consequences in semiarid Chile. Global Change Biology. 15: 1116-1126.

Meserve, P.L. 2007. Chapter 8, Zoogeography of South America, pp.112-132. IN A. Orme (editor). Physical geography of South America. Oxford University Press, Oxford, England.

Yunger, J.A., P.L. Meserve, and J.R. Gutiérrez. 2007. Effects of biotic interactions on spatial behavior of small mammals in a semiarid community in north-central Chile. IN:  Festschrift in honor of Oliver P. Pearson (D.A. Kelt, E. P. Lessa, J. L. Patton, J. Salazar-Bravo, eds.).  University of California Publications in Zoology pg. 141-164.

Milstead, W.B., P.L. Meserve, A. Campanella, M.A. Previtali, D.A. Kelt and J.R. Gutiérrez. 2007. Spatial ecology of small mammal populations in north-central Chile: role of precipitation and refuges. J. Mammalogy 88(6):1132-1138.

Holmgren, M., P. Stapp, C.R. Dickman, C. Gracia, S. Graham, J.R. Gutiérrez, C. Hice, F. Jaksic, D.A. Kelt, M. Letnic, M. Lima, B.C. López, P.L. Meserve, W.B. Milstead, G.A. Polis, M.A. Previtali, M. Richter, S. Sabaté, and F.A. Squeo. 2006. A synthesis of ENSO effects on drylands in Australia, North America and South America. Advances in Geosciences 6:69-72 (Humboldt Conference Proceedings). (pdf)

Holmgren, M., P. Stapp, C.R. Dickman, C. Gracia, S. Graham, J.R. Gutiérrez, C. Hice, F. Jaksic, D.A. Kelt, M. Letnic, M. Lima, B.C. López, P.L. Meserve, W.B. Milstead, G.A. Polis, M.A. Previtali, M. Richter, S. Sabaté, and F.A. Squeo. 2006. Extreme climatic events shape arid and semiarid ecosystems. Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment 4 (2):87-95.

Lima, M., M.A. Previtali, and P.L. Meserve. 2006. Climate and small rodent dynamics in semi-arid Chile: the role of
lateral and vertical perturbations and intra-specific processes.
Climate Research 30:125-132.

 Kelt, D.A., P.L. Meserve, K.L. Nabors, M.L. Forister, and J.R. Gutiérrez. 2004. Foraging ecology of small mammals in semiarid Chile: the interplay of biotic and abiotic effects. Ecology 85(2)383-397.

Kelt, D.A., P.L. Meserve, M.L. Forister, L.K.Nabors, and J.R. Gutiérrez. 2004. Seed predation by birds and small mammals in semiarid Chile. Oikos 104:131-141.

Kelt, D.A., P.L. Meserve, M.L. Forister, and J.R. Gutiérrez. 2004. Seed removal by small mammals, birds, and ants in semi-arid Chile, and comparisons with other systems. J. Biogeography 31:931-942.

Research Interests

Photo of Research Site in Chile

I have been conducting research in areas of population and community ecology and biogeography with a variety of terrestrial vertebrates since 1965. My research has been directed towards evaluating the role of population processes and species interactions in determining patterns of vertebrate distribution and coexistence. Areas that I have been interested in include small mammal population dynamics, resource partitioning, plant-small mammal interactions, predator-prey relationships, and the role of historical, environmental, and ecological factors in biogeography. Starting from a largely descriptive approach, I have gradually incorporated more experimental tests of major ecological questions and processes in field situations. Projects conducted in the 1980's included studies of microtine population dynamics and plant-herbivore interactions in the Illinois tallgrass prairie, and of small mammal assemblage structure, microhabitat use, and altitudinal distributions in the southern temperate rainforests of Chile. Since 1989, I have been involved in a long-term study of the role of predator-prey and plant-small mammal interactions in the northern semiarid scrub zone of north-central Chile. Now in its 16th year, this is one of the longest running experimental manipulations in temperate South America.