Seth Reice is interested in how biodiversity is determined and maintained. Dr. Reice’s work is a blend of theoretical, experimental and applied research. He works on modeling and experimental tests of nonequilibrium theories of community structure. His work is focused on the interactions between disturbance and spatial heterogeneity. Disturbance both creates habitat patches and is a response to the underlying patchiness of the environment. Recolonization processes include local migration and regrowth in place, and stochastic recruitment. The relative importance of these processes varies with the size and nature of the disturbance.
This theoretical work has important applications to real world issues. Dr. Reice has an EPA grant to study the relationship between regulatory stringency of erosion and sediment control ordinances the actual impact on stream community structure. Dr. Reice is also working with the Natural Resources Conservation Service on the restoration of channelized stream. Dr. Reice also is an ecological consultant for the restoration of the Rio Tibagi in Parana, Brazil. Each project contributes to the testing of the nonequilibrium hypothesis of determination of community structure.
Although he concentrates on streams he has worked on desert springs, salt marshes, rainforests and mangrove swamps. His students work on various aspects of biodiversity in streams, ponds, coral reefs and forests studying the impact on biodiversity of patchy ephemeral resources; local vs. regional control; buffer zones; and predation processes.