(2000) Louisiana State University
Areas of Expertise
Plant ecology, plant-animal interactions
My research interests include the areas of (1) frugivory and seed dispersal, (2) disturbance ecology, and (3) conservation, restoration, and management. More specifically, I am interested in what drives both spatial and temporal aspects of seed dispersal by frugivores, and the resultant plant population and community consequences. Though I find all types of disturbance fascinating, I am especially interested in quantifying the important role hurricanes play in tree recruitment dynamics, how hurricanes can interact with other disturbances, and how post-hurricane recruitment patterns differ from those predicted by conventional treefall gap models. I am also interested in developing plant conservation and management strategies by using experimental data, long-term data, and simulation modeling.
Currently, I am interested in establishing projects that integrate various aspects of my research interests. For example, I am interested in integrating fruit-frugivore relationships into conservation and management plans, especially within dynamic settings; I am currently pursuing this framework in The Bahamas, where wintering birds such as the endangered Kirtland’s Warbler and other Neotropical migrants, as well as resident birds, consume fruit and disperse seeds in habitats affected by hurricanes.
Kwit, C., and B. Collins. 2008. Native grasses as a management alternative on vegetated closure caps. Environmental Management 41: 929-936.
Drewa, P. B., W. J. Platt, C. Kwit, and T. W. Doyle. 2008. Stand structure and
dynamics of sand pine differ between the Florida panhandle and peninsula.
Plant Ecology 196: 15-25.
Kwit, C., D. J. Levey, S. A. Turner, C. J. Clark, and J. R. Poulsen. 2007. Out of one shadow and into another: causes and consequences of spatially contagious seed dispersal by frugivores. Pages 427-444 in A. Dennis, E. Schupp, R. Green, and D. Westcott, eds. Seed dispersal: theory and its application in a changing world. CAB International, Wallingford, U.K.
Holladay, C.-A., C. Kwit, and B. Collins. 2006. Woody regeneration in and around aging southern bottomland hardwood forest gaps: effects of herbivory and gap size. Forest Ecology and Management 223: 218-225.
Kwit, C., C.C. Horvitz, and W.J. Platt. 2004. Conserving slow-growing, long-lived species: input from the demography of a rare understory conifer, Taxus floridana. Conservation Biology 18:432-443.
Kwit, C., D.J. Levey, C.H. Greenberg, S.F. Pearson, J.P. McCarty, and S. Sargent. 2004. Cold temperature increases winter fruit removal rate of a bird-dispersed shrub. Oecologia 139:30-34.