Biosciences Seminar Series - Autumn 2015
22 October 2015 - 1pm - Zoology Museum (Wallace 129)
Using Species Conservation to Drive the
Restoration of Ecosystems
This week's seminar will be by our won Cynthia Froyd. Cynthia is an ecologist interested in long-term dynamics, disturbance ecology and natural resource management, especially of forest systems. She uses paleoecological data to understand past ecological conditions, to inform present day management and conservation planning.
Long-term ecology (palaeoecology) provides the temporal data that is crucial to many modern conservation planning issues. Palaeoecological research techniques allow the detailed examination of biodiversity and ecological change over hundreds to thousands of years. Aspects of many international environmental agreements (i.e. the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment) require a temporal perspective significantly longer than that which can be obtained using traditional ecological methodologies alone.
A number of issues pertinent to modern conservation planning may be addressed through the examination of the long-term ecological record including: the stability and resilience of ecosystems over time, regime shifts or thresholds of nonlinear change, the range of natural ecosystem variability, the examination of baseline reference conditions on which to base measures of change, and natural disturbance regimes. These themes are examined for the Galapagos archipelago.
Reconstructions of long-term plant community dynamics and environmental change are presented from sites throughout Galapagos, providing evidence of: the first human presence in the islands and resultant impacts on native vegetation, doubtfully native plant species’ provenance, changes in both terrestrial and aquatic communities over time, plant extinctions, the ecological consequences of reductions in large herbivore populations, and long-term changes in ecosystem function.
Hope to see many of you - everyone most welcome to attend!