Research in the Flory Lab at the University of Florida covers a wide variety of topics in community and ecosystem ecology with a focus on non-native plant invasions and agroecology. Luke also oversees the UF/IFAS Assessment of Non-native Plants in Florida’s Natural Areas and co-teaches the study abroad course UF in Cuba: Tropical Marine and Island Ecology.
Some of the primary research questions addressed in the lab, include:
- Which species are likely to become invasive and what habitats are susceptible to invasions?
- How do plant invasions impact communities and ecosystem processes?
- How will plant invasion dynamics and interactions with fire, pathogens, and other disturbances change over the long-term?
- What are the potential effects of climate change on agroecological systems and how can they be mitigated?
Lab members have conducted basic and applied community and ecosystem ecology research in diverse systems, including remnant native forests in Kenya, coffee agroecosystems in Costa Rica, silvopastures in the Colombian Andes, managed grassland systems in south Florida, invaded forests in the Galapagos, pine forests in Florida, and deciduous forests throughout the eastern US.
In general, our research group seeks to advance general ecological knowledge of ecological communities and to answer applied questions that are relevant to natural areas management, restoration, and conservation.