|List of Sessions||
Symposium # 1: Education and Human Resources Vice President's Symposium: Defining Ecological Thinking as a Goal for Ecology Education.
When considering what are the enduring understandings in ecology we wish to engender in our students - be they undergraduate biology majors, future ecologists or future teachers - we are ill-served by the current structure of the curriculum or even the discipline (e.g., population ecology, community ecology, biomes, etc.). As a guide to radically new curriculum and instruction, from the design of single ecology segments of larger courses to the structure of undergraduate majors, we propose to identify the foundational "ways of thinking" that are essential tools of the ecologically literate person. Ultimately, we seek to define the overarching goal of ecology education - ecological thinking - by exploring its component parts and their integration.
This symposium aims to begin that process, with each paper developing the substance and rationale for a different sort of thinking as an essential component of ecological thinking. Following the presentations, a panel will address these questions: 1) Have we omitted critical "ways of thinking", including some that are not essential, and provided an adequate vision for their integration into ecological thinking, and 2) What are the implications of ecological thinking and its components, as defined herein, for curriculum and instruction? We plan to assemble the papers and commentary from the panel and submit them to Ecology for consideration as a Special Feature on Ecological Thinking and Education.
Symposium # 2: Stressors in Western Mountain Ecosystems: Detecting Change and Its Consequences.
Mountain ecosystems are experiencing increased levels of stress due to a variety of human impacts. Mountains of the western United States have been intensively used for habitation and resource extraction for the past century, and are now beginning to exhibit quantifiable signs of altered ecosystem patterns and processes. This symposium focuses on stressors that significantly impact mountain ecosystems, specifically: climatic variability, altered disturbance regimes, exotic species, air pollution, and human land use. These stressors are currently being studied through long-term research and monitoring programs in the western United States, but the results have not been reported concurrently. Each speaker in the symposium will address specific stressors and their effects for the major Western mountain ranges (Cascades, Sierra Nevada, Rockies). The result will be a state-of-the-art synthesis that melds the basic science underlying characterization of stress impacts with the applications of this knowledge for the design of detection strategies. The symposium will highlight long-term studies, and will provide a framework for evaluating the vulnerability of mountain ecosystems to stress.
Symposium # 3: Linking Communities Across Ecosystem Boundaries: A Symposium in Memory of Gary A. Polis.
Land-water margins, in addition to harboring unique communities of organisms, are areas of active exchange of organisms, organic matter, and nutrients between aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Much of the research conducted at this land-water interface has focused on the unidirectional flow of energy and organisms from terrestrial watersheds to adjacent aquatic habitats. Recent studies, however, suggest that the translocation of energy, nutrients, and organisms from aquatic systems to the surrounding terrestrial landscape may be more important than traditionally thought. This has direct implications for how we model nutrient fluxes and food web interactions both within and across traditional ecosystem boundaries within the watershed. New experimental techniques, such as those that utilize stable isotopic tracers or persistent novel chemicals, coupled with newly developed theoretical concepts such as analysis of "resource sheds" and utilization of "perimeter to area ratios", can provide ecologists with new tools to model these trophic transfers and identify food web linkages at multiple scales. The purpose of this symposium is to synthesize findings from freshwater and marine studies in order to: 1) Document the flow of energy and nutrients from aquatic to terrestrial habitats; 2) Determine if terrestrial consumers respond to this additional nutrient and energy subsidy; and 3) Determine how human alteration of the watershed might impact connectivity between these aquatic and terrestrial foodwebs.
Symposium # 4: Human Development and Biodiversity Conservation in the Developing World: Finding a Balance in Concept and Practice.
This symposium will explore the conceptual and practical challenges of balancing the goals of biodiversity conservation and human development in developing world contexts. Conservation and human development are often presented as conflicting goals, but new research on several continents shows that these goals can be brought together into a conceptual and practical whole. This research links long-term ecological and social science research with close practical work in communities and with policy-makers on the ground. Several speakers will highlight broad social forces that can either threaten or ensure biodiversity conservation, including land-use change, land tenure, institutional arrangements, and policy. These broad issues will be knit together with specific examples of when and where these goals can be aligned and when they cannot. Speakers will also emphasize practical tools that are being used to bring the best of ecological and social science research into the realm of policy at community, national and regional scales. The symposium will conclude with presentation of the conclusions of a workshop that precedes the ESA meeting and will synthesize principles that cut across sites on three continents.
Symposium # 5: Incorporating Landscape Processes in Ecological Restoration.
Current restoration activities often focus narrowly on sites actively being restored. The success of these restorations, however, will often depend upon their position in the landscape, relative to the condition, land use, and community composition of land in the surrounding area. Restoration ecologists have often discussed landscape-level processes in general. Nonetheless, theory has rarely led to recommendations that are put to use on the ground.
In this symposium, we bring together speakers from both the academic and management community to discuss applying ecological theory to prioritize restoration decisions at a large-scale. Speakers will present results of their recent research on large-scale restoration and will address the following two questions: 1) To what degree have you been able to predict or assess the effect of large-scale ecological processes on restoration success in your projects/research, and 2) Are there any tools for applying basic knowledge to prioritizing restoration efforts that you have found particularly useful (or useless) that might be more widely applied?
Symposium #6: Ecological Consequences of Adaptive Evolution Among Invasive Species in Terrestrial and Marine Systems.
Ecosystems throughout the world are being threatened by the invasion of introduced species. What permits certain introduced species to disrupt the systems into which they are introduced remains widely debated. Evidence is now accumulating that organisms placed in new environments can evolve rapidly, and that the resulting changes in phenotypic characters such as size, prey preferences or host usage can influence the strength of ecological interactions. For example, organisms can be larger in their introduced versus native range; increased stature often may enhance competitive ability and therefore the likelihood of spread.
The goal of this symposium is to present some of the exciting recent evidence that suggests that introduced organisms have altered phenotypes compared to native conspecifics. Speakers will evaluate whether changes in phenotype result from plasticity, founder effects, or from rapid evolution, and explore how altered phenotype may influence ecological interactions and invasibility. While ecological hypotheses for what makes organisms successful invaders are manifold, the importance of plasticity or evolutionary change in altering phenotypic characters that can facilitate invasion is often ignored. The objective of this symposium is therefore to provide a synthesis of both ecological and evolutionary hypotheses relating to invasion. The proposed symposium will bring together scientists who work on both plants and animals in marine and terrestrial systems. The broad representation of organisms and habitats will appeal to a broad range meeting attendees. In addition, the issues covered in this symposium ranging from predator-prey dynamics, and host plant-insect interactions to phenotypic evolution, will be of general broad interest to many in the society. This kind of approach, one that tackles an important problem in applied ecology by combining basic ecological and evolutionary approaches in very different systems, has been poorly represented by past symposia and contributed paper sessions.
Symposium # 7: Thirty Questions for Ecology in the 21st Century.
Borrowing from the famous address given in 1900 by the mathematician Hilbert that introduced a research agenda for mathematics for the 20th century, we consider ecologists' visions for ecological research in the 21st century. The purpose of the symposium is to recognize the coming century, stimulate the thinking of ecologists and encourage the development of new ideas and a broader perspective for ecological research for the new millenium. Ten ecologists each propose three leading questions for the next century of ecological research, to make a composite total of thirty questions drawn from a variety of perspectives. Speakers represent a broad range of career stages and research backgrounds. The questions range from evolutionary to applied and conservation ecology, from examining the usefulness of ecology to a call for action.
Symposium # 8: Ten Years of the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative.
Referred to as a "call-to-arms" for all ecologists, the ESA Sustainable Biosphere Initiatve (SBI) was published in 1990 and defined research priorities for ecology in the closing decade of the 20th century. The impetus for this bold endeavor was the increasing reality that the ecological community has a significant role to play in addressing environmental problems, in making ecological knowledge available to managers and decision-makers, and in improving the human condition. In this symposium, we will review some of the breakthroughs in ecology over the past decade that addressed SBI's objectives. We will also discuss ways that the SBI influenced ecological research funding and science policy in its three priority areas: Global Change, Biological Diversity, and Sustainable Ecological Systems. Finally, we will reflect on the SBI as a platform on which the next decade of research, management, and policy can be founded.
Symposium # 9: The Water Limitation: Issues in Plant, Community, and Ecosystem Water Use.
Water is a limiting resource in most ecological systems. The symposium will present an up-to-date overview of the fast changing field of ecological plant water relations, integrating individual plant, community and ecosystem level approaches. At the individual plant level, there have been recent highly publicized challenges to the theory of how water moves through plants (cohesion theory) and the mechanisms of how plants recover from impairment of the water transport capacity (xylem refilling). Two of the speakers will critique these challenges, pointing out that the cohesion theory still stands, but that we need more research into the mechanisms of xylem refilling under conditions where plants are transpiring. Also at the individual plant level, two speakers will present the latest interpretations of stomatal responses to hydraulic vs. chemical signals from roots. Understanding the mechanism of stomatal responses to soil and atmospheric drought increase our ability to predict and manage plant water use. The remaining speakers will address the impact of individual plant water use on community and ecosystem level responses. Hydraulic lift is an apparently widespread phenomenon that redistributes water from one soil region to another via plant roots, and it has major implications for competition and total water use of plant communities. Hydraulic constraints on stomatal conductance may play a central role in the decline of productivity with forest age. Ecosystem level studies of water use indicate the extent to which controls on whole plant water use scale up to regional patterns and also reveal new controls operating at higher levels. Overall, the symposium will provide a summary of current debates and advances in the field of ecological plant water relations for ecologists with interests ranging from physiology to ecosystem biology.
Symposium # 10: Integrating Ecosystem and Landscape Ecology: Causes and Consequences of Spatial Heterogeneity in Ecosystem Processes.
Understanding the patterns and causes of spatial heterogeneity in ecosystem function remains at the frontier of ecosystem and landscape ecology. Despite tremendous advances in understanding ecosystem processes over relatively small spatial extents, there exists very little theory for predicting variability in ecosystem processes across heterogeneous landscapes. Although the library of empirical data from a variety of regions is slowly building, we have no general answers to such questions as: 1) Just how spatially variable are ecosystem processes, 2) How do the controls on processes and rates operate across space, 3) Are regional processes simply the area-weighted sum of the processes measured in component ecosystems, 4) Are there critical thresholds in spatial patterns that are important for ecosystem processes, 5) How do disturbance-generated patterns influence spatial dynamics of ecosystem processes, and 6) Do simple scaling rules work when we move from ecosystems to landscapes? Ecologists have long recognized that the abiotic template is a powerful constraint on ecosystem function. However, spatial processes such as land use, natural disturbance, and the activities of organisms also influence the rates and patterns of ecosystem processes. A more synthetic understanding of spatial heterogeneity in ecosystem processes remains an important research need, one which should include both theoretical development and empirical study. This symposium is designed to highlight a developing research area rather than synthesize a well-researched subject. The program will emphasize presentations by ecologists who are currently working at the interface between ecosystem ecology and landscape ecology. Each speaker will be asked to identify what s/he considers to be the most important questions or hypotheses for future research in this interface as part of their presentation.
Symposium # 11: Urban Ecology: The Eastern and Western Perspectives.
The urban environment represents ecological systems that are most drastically transformed by human activities. While only a few per cent of the global population lived in cities in 1800's, urban environments accommodate nearly 50% of the world population today. In the United States, 74% of the population resided in urban areas in 1989 while in 2025, 80% are projected to live in urban areas. While they are arguably the most important habitats for human survival, urban ecosystems, after being long ignored, only recently have begun to receive much deserved attention from ecologists. However, urban ecology is new to North America ecologists in several respects, and it is important to learn how urban ecology has long been studied in Asia and Europe. Thus, the goal of this symposium is to bring together a group of leading urban ecologists from Asia, Europe, and USA to discuss the history, scope, and methodology of urban ecology. This symposium will highlight the major historical developments, different perspectives, and theories and principles that are shaped by different physical and cultural landscapes. This symposium will help facilitate communications among ecologists in the USA and other parts of the world, and should be of great interest to many ESA members who are working on or concerned with urban environment. The presentations and subsequent publications by this group of leading urban ecologists will help clarify several issues of the scope and methodology of urban ecology.
Symposium # 12: The Role of Ecology in Environmental Justice.
Environmental justice is concerned with the distribution of environmental benefits and harms, and asks whether the procedures and impacts of environmental decision making are fair to the people they affect. This focus on distributional issues adds new layers of analysis to the fields of ecology and environmental science. Just as ecologists focus on understanding how human actions influence ecosystem structure and function, environmental justice focuses on how the environmental repercussions of human actions affect societal equilibrium.
Given that many of the major U.S. environmental organizations have ignored the environmental health and needs of communities of color and low-income communities, the environmental justice movement has been very critical of conventional environmental initiatives. However, making the connection between environmental justice and ecology goes straight to the heart of resolving many of the conditions that lead to the current array of environmental problems, both inequities and injustices. Understanding the connection between ecology and environmental justice is also important to ecologists seeking to insure that the discipline of ecology remains central to the fields of environmental health and environmental science. Absent the integration of ecological understanding into the environmental decision-making process will ensure that future decisions will be politically but not ecologically influenced. In this session, leading ecologists and environmental justice advocates will explore the relationship between ecology and environmental justice. Papers in the session will also explore how an awareness of environmental justice will change the face of ecology.
Symposium # 13: Ecology in the Media.
The most important way of communicating ecology to the public today is through the mass media. This symposium will showcase some of the best examples of media coverage of ecology, compare the advantages of the different media for communicating ecology, and discuss how most effectively to interest and inform people about ecological issues. For example, the "fireside not pulpit" proposition holds that, to avoid public fatigue with environmental programming, ecology in the media should tell more stories and deliver fewer sermons. The symposium speakers are science journalists, producers, and writers who have translated the work of ecologists into newspaper stories, magazine articles, radio broadcasts, and television shows, plus an ecologist who has experienced translation. Communicating ecology through the media is a two-step process, from scientist to journalist to the public. By assembling two of the parties to this process, this symposium hopes to provide a practicum as well as an analysis of how to communicate ecology through the media.
Symposium # 14: Ecology and Agriculture.
Agriculture provides the central food resources for humans and is necessary for our continued existence. Yet ecology and agriculture are often perceived in opposition. For many ecologists, ecology champions the preservation of native ecosystems and ecological functions, while agriculture replaces them with monocultures and intensive external inputs. Consequently, most ecologists avoid investigation of significant issues in agriculture leaving the discussion of how to attain agricultural sustainability largely in the hands of agricultural scientists. The ESA has addressed agriculture in symposia and contributed paper sessions scattered during the past 15 years. The early events showed that agroecology could address some significant agricultural issues, but the primary result was to validate using agricultural materials to investigate significant ecological problems.
The goal of the symposium "Ecology and Agriculture" is to probe the relation between ecology and agriculture in order to create a broader discussion within the ESA about the role of ecological investigation in agroecosystems. Specifically, we have asked the speakers to address this issue directly using their own interests to highlight significant questions for future ecological investigation. For example, we anticipate that some of the speakers will address how ecologists can make important contributions toward resolving pressing environmental, crop production, and crop protection problems associated with conventional production practices. Our specific objectives are to have speakers evaluate how agricultural issues can be addressed from various ecological perspectives, including ecosystem functioning, microbial and soil dynamics, insect-plant interaction and evolution, plant communities and biodiversity, theoretical ecology, and population biology.
Symposium # 15: Measurement Error in Ecological Data.
To acquire their data, ecologists typically rely on measurement processes that are subject to a relatively large amount of uncertainty. This is particularly true of data collected at larger scales of resolution. At the largest scales, remotely sensed data contain many sources of error that can enter into ecologically relevant data such as estimates of vegetation density or habitat classifications. Error also enters into ecological research any time populations are censused. It is rarely possible to obtain an accurate and complete count of the number of individuals in a population, and many sources of measurement error potentially increase the uncertainty in estimates of population size, density, and demographic properties. Uncertainties can be compounded or propagated when inaccurate data are aggregated at larger scales to describe properties of large ecological units. Significant statistical problems arise when measurement error is not properly modeled in the process of data analysis.
The purpose of this symposium is to gather together individuals who have had experience in estimating, modeling, and evaluating the effects of measurement in ecological data. The speakers will address a variety of problems that arise when measurement error contributes a significant component to the overall uncertainty of an ecological data set. A number of solutions will be discussed, including various statistical techniques that can be used to evaluate the role of measurement error in the data. The symposium will give practicing ecologists an introduction to statistical solutions to the problems encountered when there is a substantial amount of measurement error in a data set.
Symposium # 16: Plant Physiological Ecology: Linking the Organism to Scales Above and Below.
In 1987, a series of papers on plant physiological ecology were published in BioScience. These seminal papers set forth a set of themes that essentially defined the field and communicated some of the more important questions in need of further research in the decade to come. Since their publication these papers have also helped scientists, graduate students and funding agencies see where the field was headed or needed to head. Over the last 13 years, plant physiological ecology has gradually broadened and diversified beyond these central themes. Today the field is challenged with redefining its goals and future directions; the forthright and concise agenda it set forth in 1987 has evolved and needs to be revisited. This was made painfully clear to Coleman when he ran NSF s Ecological and Evolutionary Physiology program in 1996.
Today, physiological ecologists still hold tightly to the idea that the "organism" remains the cornerstone for all of its investigations. Organisms define the boundary and ultimate product of molecular and cellular processes, the unit of selection, the key elements comprising populations and communities and its is organisms that drive or shape ecosystem functions. Not surprisingly, therefore, scaling-up from organismal level processes to populations, communities and ecosystems and scaling-down to molecular and cellular phenomena as well as over evolutionary time seems to be what, today, best defines where the field is headed.
"Snowbird 2000" is the perfect venue to take a retrospective and prospective look at plant physiological ecology. In our symposium, the ultimate goal is to clearly communicate a future vision of plant physiological ecology to students, scientists, funding agencies and the public. More specifically, this symposium will address the following questions: 1) What path has the field taken to get where it is today, 2) How well did we answer the questions posed in the BioScience series, and 3) What is the path for the future? Our goal is that Snowbird will foster discussion that will culminate with a workshop in 2001, and ultimately a series of papers like those in BioScience that so clearly communicate a scientific agenda.
Symposium # 17: Land Use and Land Cover Change: The Last Century and Prospects for the 21st Century.
In the last century, as much as 40% of the earth's land surface has been transformed by humans. This land use/land cover change continues at unprecedented rates as the human population continues to grow exponentially. These land cover changes in many cases fundamentally alter basic ecological processes such as biogeochemical cycles and availability of key limiting nutrients, trace gas fluxes, C sequestration, atmosphere-biosphere interactions, and biodiversity. These land transformations may perhaps irreversibly alter the ability of natural ecosystems to sustain an ever growing human population in the 21st century. The objective of this symposium is to bring together speakers with a variety of expertise ranging from remote sensing, biogeochemistry, community ecology, and socioeconomics to synthesize the present state of knowledge of rates and causes of land transformations in the US and globally, and to predict potential ecosystem consequences for the 21st century. Such an ESA symposium would make an excellent venue for bringing the highly interdisciplinary and newly emerging issues of land use and land cover change to the forefront of the ecological community.
Symposium # 18: The Role of Theoretical Ecology in Biodiversity Conservation and Management.
Growing awareness of the looming biodiversity crisis has provided the impetus for the development of areas of ecological theory relevant to conservation problems. Questions addressed by this body of theory include the estimation of extinction rates, efficient allocation of conservation effort, integration of population models with data, and understanding the effects of habitat and landscape fragmentation. Development of these areas of theory holds the promise of increased synergism between theorists and empiricists in ecology.
The topic of the proposed symposium, The role of theoretical ecology in biodiversity conservation and management, fits in well with the ESA meeting s theme of Advancing and Communicating Ecology. The symposium represents opportunities for advancement of ecology through the potential for developing linkages between theoretical and empirical research in ecology, and perhaps more importantly between basic and applied research in ecology. The symposium also exemplifies some of the most important challenges in communicating ecology, because of the continuing controversy over the important issue of biodiversity conservation.
All of the proposed speakers have made important contributions to the integration of ecological theory and conservation practice. Some of these contributions are widely recognized, while others deserve to be more widely disseminated to the scientific community. This symposium will provide an opportunity to communicate advances in ecological theory in an area that is relevant to a large fraction of the ESA membership.
Symposium # 19: Carnivorous Plants as Model Ecological Systems.
Although portrayed as simple curiosities of the plant kingdom ('toy plants'), we suggest that carnivorous plants (CPs) actually are ideal organisms with which to generate and test ecological theories. This symposium will illustrate how the unique combinations of traits that CPs possess can be used to test novel hypotheses about population biology and community organization. Because CPs are both autotrophic and heterotrophic, one fundamental question that CPs can be used to address is "why be a heterotroph?" CPs also possess suites of life-history traits that make them particularly amenable to demographic modeling and life-history analysis. At the population level, we can take advantage of the dual trophic nature of CPs to test general theories of resource competition using responses of CPs and non-CPs to soil fertility gradients, and to explore the evolution of pollination, deception, and resource parasitism. A central theory in plant community ecology is Grime's partitioning of plants along a three-way axis (C-S-R) related to disturbance, stress, and intensity of competition. This theory asserts that there is no life-history strategy for high-disturbance, low-productivity habitats, yet many CPs live in just such habitats. It is well-known that the inquiline communities of pitcher-plants (Sarracenia, Darlingtonia, Nepenthes) are model systems for studying trophic structure and community assembly across a broad range of environmental variables. It is less appreciated that CPs themselves may illustrate novel patterns of community structure and community assembly in habitats with dramatically different ecosystem properties (nutrient cycling and carbon dynamics). Finally, CPs are model systems for studying evolutionary convergence in response to similar ecological constraints. This symposium will highlight how a concerted focus on a unique group of plants can illuminate a wide range of open ecological and evolutionary questions.
Symposium # 20: Global Change in Forests: Interactions Among Biodiversity, Climate and Land Use.
Understanding interactions among climate, land use, and biodiversity is important for predicting and coping with global change. Climate and land use both drive biodiversity. The responses of biodiversity both influence human society and feedback to influence climate and land use. Coping with global change will require manipulation of biodiversity to mitigate negative outcomes. We are examining these issues within the biodiversity committee of the Forest Sector of the National Assessment. The project involves both synthesis of current knowledge and new assessments of the response of biodiversity to future global change. The results are targeted for publication in BioScience and Ecosystems.
The objectives of this symposium are to: 1) Summarize the objectives, approach, and current findings of the National Assessment, 2) Synthesize current knowledge on interactions among climate, land use, and biodiversity, 3) Present state-of-the-science assessments of biodiversity resonse to future climate change, and 4) Outline key implications for future research and for coping with global change.
This symposium is of importance and interest to ESA Members in that it is designed to lay the foundation for advances that will shape research and management on aspects of global change in the next century. One advance involves the integration of climate change and land use in management on aspects of global change in the next century. One advance involves the integration of climate change and land use in studies of global change. These two prongs of global change have been largely studied in isolation. This symposium will explain why these factors need be linked and approaches for achieving this integration. Another advance involves more direct consideration of biodiversity in global change research, with reference to how biodiversity mediates ecosystem response to global change and how biodiversity feeds back to influence climate and land use. We hope that attendees leave the symposium with several new ideas for research questions and management approaches for understanding and coping with global change.
Symposium # 21: The Rhizosphere: Top-Down and Bottom-Up Approaches.
Study of the ecology of the rhizosphere is, by necessity, interdisciplinary. The rhizosphere is most often defined as the volume of soil most heavily influenced by the root, and thus the study of the rhizosphere depends on understanding plant biology, soil physical and chemical properties and their interactions with roots, and soil community structure, dynamics, and function. Summary volumes from the early 90 s (e.g. Lynch, 1990, and Box Jr. and Hammond, 1990) reflect this interdisciplinary nature, with contributions focusing on root form and function, carbon allocation belowground, microbial-faunal interactions, cropping systems, rhizosphere processes, root disease, and soil structure. Furthermore, these volumes emphasize that not only is rhizosphere research academically interdisciplinary, but also it has wide applied value for natural and agricultural system management alike. We propose a symposium focusing on recent developments in rhizosphere research. New experimental techniques for analyzing key rhizosphere processes will be presented, along with new views of the links between rhizodeposition under elevated CO2 and soil organic matter dynamics, and novel connections between soil food webs, soils management, NPP, and biodiversity.
Our immediate objective is to bring together experts from three general backgrounds (plant biology, soil physics and chemistry, and soil community ecology) to foster a stimulating symposial conversation of interest to plant, soil, microbial, mesofaunal, and global change ecologists. Such a conversation between disciplines specifically supports ESA theme "Advancing and Communicating Ecology" by fostering communication among rhizosphere researchers of varied background. Moreover, such a rhizosphere symposium should draw an audience of scientists with a broad range of basic and applied research interests and, we hope, stimulate further collaboration between soil, plant, and ecosystem ecologists beyond the rhizosphere.
Symposium # 22: Species Diversity at Broad Scales: Linking Science and Management.
Managers are increasingly expected to manage public lands for sustainability of non-economic values, such as biological diversity, as well as for economic outputs, such as timber. To do this, land managers must consider how their actions influence these values using current scientific research. Although it is easy to stipulate that forest management plans must maintain or enhance biological diversity, how this is to be accomplished is less obvious. Traditional stand-level management is becoming outmoded, rendering the collection of current management tools incomplete. With greater emphasis on managing landscapes and ecosystems, new methods for translating information to broader scales and for using this information are needed as we move into the 21st century.
The goal of this symposium is to provide a forum for forest scientists and managers to present issues relevant to the mutual exchange of knowledge and technologies concerning species diversity at broad scales. In the context of current public sentiment regarding biological diversity as well as changing scales of emphasis, it is now more important than ever that scientists and managers effectively communicate with each other their information needs and research results. The symposium will focus on relationships between forest management and diversity at broad scales, highlighting specific projects and tools that have successfully bridged the gap between scientists and decision-makers. Speakers represent national, state, private, and research viewpoints, presenting both general talks and case studies, including some good examples of ongoing projects that directly link science and management.
Symposium # 23: Why Variation is Not Just Noise: The Influence of Variability on Plant-Herbivore and Plant-Pathogen Interactions.
In 1983, the influential book Variable Plants and Herbivores in Natural and Managed Systems introduced a new conceptual focus to the field of plant-herbivore interactions. The chapters in this book identified many sources of variation in plant-herbivore systems and, more importantly, suggested that variability itself might have important ecological and evolutionary consequences. In the 17 years since this book was published, an impressive body of research has addressed variation in plant-herbivore systems, with a particular wealth of work on herbivore responses to host-plant quality, induced plant resistance, and herbivore responses to plant diversity. Despite this important work relating to variation, relatively few studies have directly confronted the consequences of variation per se. Given the new data now available and the increasing use of mathematical theory as a tool in plant-insect studies, we feel that the time is ripe to re-examine this issue. We are now in a position to both evaluate how far we have come, and to highlight how variability can be the focus of conceptually exciting work in plant-insect interactions in the next decade.
We propose a symposium to address how levels of within and among plant variability affect the ecology and evolution of plants and their herbivores and pathogens. Rather than cataloging sources of variation, we focus specifically on differences between systems with more or less variation. This symposium will highlight the impact of variability as an important new direction for research in plant-herbivore/pathogen interactions, and for ecology in general. We have chosen speakers who will address a broad range of topics in this area, representative of the variety of approaches currently used in plant-herbivore studies. The proposed talks will include ecological and evolutionary studies of both herbivores and pathogens, and applied and basic research using both theory and experiments.
Symposium # 24: Re-thinking the "and" in Humans and Nature: Ecology at the Boundary of Human Systems.
The traditional division of human and natural sciences reflects a long held belief that human systems, their behaviours and interactions, differ dramatically from ecosystems. Now, at the beginning of the 21st century, the relationship between humans and nature has become the foremost driver of ecological research and the science of ecology is now thematically and functionally embedded in the "human dimension". With the explicit consideration of humans in the ecological equation, the traditional boundary between nature and humans, which once delineated natural from social sciences, has become a critical edge. This edge is the site of conceptual and operational factors that lends structure to science and society while erecting barriers to resolving critical socio-environmental issues. Resolving these issues requires understanding how humans perceive and interact with nature, and how these perceptions give rise to the boundaries between science, society, and nature.
Perceptions of the nature-human relationship frame scientific questions and determine how knowledge is created and used. Science, like all knowledge systems, develops within a specific set of historical dynamics; modern ecology in turn reflects its cultural origins with attendant models and myths. The emergence of alternative views (e.g., complex adaptive systems, indigenous knowledge, ecopsychology) suggests a re-structuring of the nature-human dichotomy and raises several important questions: How will this affect the conceptual foundations of ecology? What does it mean conceptually, pragmatically, and operationally to incorporate humans into the study of ecosystems? Does a new conceptual framework need to be developed which integrates social and natural sciences? We present discussions and perspectives on these topics resulting from an NCEAS workshop.
Symposium # 25: Cows and Conservation: A Role for Ranching in Protecting Biodiversity.
Despite the historical animosity between ranchers and conservationists, these two groups do share some objectives (clean water, flourishing wildlife, and healthy ecosystems). Out of these joint concerns, private, public, and non-profit collaborations are being formed. A notable example is the Malpai Borderlands Group, a collaboration of ranchers, environmental groups, government agencies, and university scientists with a commitment to restore and maintain the natural processes that create and protect a healthy, unfragmented landscape to support a diverse, flourishing community of human, plant, and animal life. Conservation-minded ranches, such as The Nature Conservancy s Red Canyon Ranch in Wyoming, can provide examples of how saving biological diversity goes hand-in-hand with a financially viable business venture. They can also serve as research sites for scientists, classrooms for students, and neutral meeting places for ranchers, community members, recreationists and conservationists. Conservation and ranching can be a tremendous combination, as ranching may be one of the best alternatives for protecting threatened open space and areas of high biological diversity already being ranched. Ranchers are changing their operations and management techniques to include ecological processes and protect environmental values. Some of these changes include more fences (fencing off riparian areas to provide habitat for neotropical birds and/or to exclude cattle from stream banks), water troughs to divert cattle from streams, rotational grazing systems that change the timing and duration of grazing, dam removal to restore natural water flow, noxious weed mitigation, and native plant reintroduction. Ranchers are also collaborating with scientists to advance the understanding of grassland and riparian ecosystems, the impacts of grazing, and the conservation of biodiversity.
Symposium # 26: Conservation of Ecologically Important Variation: Comparing Molecular Markers and Ecological Traits.
Impacts of human activity and future climate change make estimating ecologically important (non-neutral) genetic variation crucial to accurately assess the ability of species and populations to persist in the face of spatial and temporal environmental variation. Often in conservation levels of neutral or nearly neutral genetic variation are estimated using random genetic markers. Neutral genetic markers infer the present and historical population structure of taxa of concern. However, to maintain evolutionary potential we need to preserve genetic variation in ecologically important (non-neutral) traits. In particular we must preserve genetic variation in traits involved in local adaptation, such as behavioral, morphological and physiological traits, which will allow species to survive across habitats, both present and future. Testing for the presence of local adaptation is critical in conservation, e.g. stocking, translocation and restoration, however this is not possible using only molecular data. This symposium will examine the current state of understanding of the relationship between neutral and adaptive variation in natural populations, and emphasize the importance of considering ecological genetics in conservation. Content of the talks will seek a balance between theory and application, in order to communicate the need for new approaches in conservation. Given the accelerated rate in the loss of biodiversity, we need to critically evaluate current approaches to assessing evolutionary potential.
Symposium # 27: Advancing the Individual-Based Modeling Approach: New Tools and Concepts.
Individual-based models (IBMs) have great potential for both advancing and communicating ecology. IBMs are among the few tools ecologists have for studying and demonstrating natural complexities. We will make the following points: 1) Despite their promise, IBMs have made little contribution to basic or applied ecology, 2) One root cause of IBMs failure to advance ecology is their lack of an established conceptual foundation. Modelers are unaware of key conceptual flaws in their models. For example, the practice of forcing model individuals to reproduce behaviors observed in real populations is dangerous when the model is applied to previously unobserved situations. Failing to let individuals make decisions predictively makes realistic behavior unlikely. We lack even a list of IBM design considerations, 3) A second root cause has been the lack of appropriate software tools. Because IBMs use individual behavior to predict population responses, IBM software must allow individual behaviors to be observed; otherwise, the model is essentially untestable and unlikely to advance the science, 4) New software tools for individual-based simulations help eliminate the software concerns. Technologies like animation and probes allow individual behaviors to be observed, making models much easier test and improve, communicate, and believe, 5) The new field of Complex Adaptive Systems appears useful as a conceptual foundation for IBMs. Thinking about such issues as emergent vs. imposed behaviors, what kind of adaptation is appropriate, how individuals predict decision outcomes, and how fitness is evaluated can help modelers identify and address the subtle but important formulation decisions that determine model success, 6) Giving individuals simple fitness-maximizing decisions rules, and the information about their environment necessary to predict decision outcomes, can cause many realistic behaviors to emerge naturally from an IBM. This result makes us hopeful that IBMs can meet their promise for advancing ecology as a predictive science.
Oral Session #1: Plant Carbon Allocation.
Oral Session #2: Conservation Ecology.
Oral Session #3: Avian Ecology.
Oral Session #4: Herbivore Responses to Plants.
Oral Session #5: Mutualisms.
Oral Session #6: Pollination Ecology.
Oral Session #7: Aquatic Ecology: Shellfish to Snails.
Oral Session #8: Mycorrhizal Fungi.
Oral Session #9: Respiration and Isotopes.
Oral Session #10: Light Relations in Plants.
Oral Session #11: Trophic Cascades.
Oral Session #12: Roots.
Oral Session #13: N Fixation and Biochemical Patterns.
Oral Session #14: Disturbance Effects on Bird Populations.
Oral Session #15: Parasitoids and Diseases.
Oral Session #16: Plant Demography: Trees and Shrubs.
Oral Session #17: Mammalian Herbivory.
Oral Session #18: Mangrove Ecology.
Oral Session #19: Grassland Restoration.
Oral Session #20: Riparian Ecology.
Oral Session #21: Small Mammal Population Ecology.
Oral Session #22: Multiple Disturbance Effects, Including Fire.
Oral Session #23: Soil Ecology.
Oral Session #24: Ecological Learning Activities.
Oral Session #25: Organic Matter Dynamics in Ecosystems.
Oral Session #26: Invertebrate Herbivore - Plant Interactions.
Oral Session #27: Salamanders, Lizards, and Tortoises.
Oral Session #28: Effects of N Deposition in Ecosystems.
Oral Session #29: Communicating Ecology.
Oral Session #30: Effects of Elevated Carbon Dioxide.
Oral Session #31: Agroecology.
Oral Session #32: Paleoecology.
Oral Session #33: Plant Demography.
Oral Session #34: Water Relations in Trees.
Oral Session #35: Fire Ecology.
Oral Session #37: Phytoplankton.
Oral Session #38: Amphibian Ecology.
Oral Session #39: Theoretical Ecology.
Oral Session #40: Elevated CO2 In Forest Systems.
Oral Session #41: N Dynamics: Additions, Retention and Transformations.
Oral Session #42: Disturbance Ecology: Effects of Storms.
Oral Session #43: Plant Community Responses to Climate Change.
Oral Session #44: Terrestrial Invertebrates: Foodwebs and Plant Responses.
Oral Session #45: Water Relations in Shrubs and Annuals.
Oral Session #46: Modeling Populations and Statistical Ecology.
Oral Session #47: Zooplankton Ecology.
Oral Session #48: Anti-Predator Responses: Fish to Sagebrush.
Oral Session #49: Linkages Between Land and Streams.
Oral Session #50: Plant Gas Exchange.
Oral Session #51: Disturbance Ecology: Harvesting, Grazing and Roads.
Oral Session #52: Carbon Storage in Ecosystems.
Oral Session #53: Terrestrial Invertebrate Ecology.
Oral Session #54: Lake Ecology.
Oral Session #55: Invertebrates in Streams: Foodwebs.
Oral Session #56: Metapopulation Analysis.
Oral Session #57: Ocean-Going Fish and Mammals.
Oral Session #58: Landscape Ecology.
Oral Session #59: Plant Communities: Vegetative Analysis.
Oral Session #60: Forest Restoration.
Oral Session #61: Plant Responses to Nutrients.
Oral Session #62: Freshwater Fish Ecology.
Oral Session #63: Evolutionary Ecology.
Oral Session #64: Remote Sensing.
Oral Session #65: Wetlands, Estuaries and Salt Marshes.
Oral Session #66: Large Scale Climate Change.
Oral Session #67: Decomposition Processes.
Oral Session #68: Dispersal of Seeds and Fruits.
Oral Session #69: UV-B.
Oral Session #70: Aquatic Ecology.
Oral Session #71: Soil Microbial Biomass and Soil Respiration.
Oral Session #72: Plant Competition.
Poster Session #1: Light Relations.
Poster Session #2: Mangroves, Salt Marshes, Plankton and Riparian Ecology.
Poster Session #3: Education.
Poster Session #4: Reproductive Ecology, Climate Change, Conservation Ecology, Water Relations.
Poster Session #5: Landscape Ecology.
Poster Session #6: Avian Ecology, Paleoecology, Gas Exchange.
Poster Session #7: Mycorrhizal Fungi, Root Processes.
Poster Session #8: Herbivore Effects on Plants, Plant Animal Interactions, Animal Ecology.
HERBIVORE EFFECTS ON PLANTS
Poster Session #9: Fish, Lakes, Streams and Wetlands.
Poster Session #10: Plant Demography, Carbon Storage, Restoration Ecology and Invasions.
RESTORATION ECOLOGY AND INVASIONS
Poster Session #11: Agroecology and Microbial Ecology.
Poster Session #12: Disturbance Ecology.
Poster Session #13: Decomposition and Soil Respiration.
Poster Session #14: UV-B.
Poster Session #15: Nutrient Cycling.
Poster Session #16: Dispersal, Remote Sensing, Statistical Ecology.
Poster Session #17: Vegetative Analysis.
Poster Session #18: Elevated CO2.
Workshop #1: Vegetation Classification Panel Workshop.
Workshop #2: Assessment of Student Learning: Implementing the Scholarship of Teaching and Research in Ecology ((Biology) Education - Part II.
Workshop # 3: The Art of Giving an Outstanding Oral Presentation.
Workshop #4: Using Undergraduate Course Projects for Long-Term Research.
Workshop #5: Sustainable Biodiversity in the International Arena.
Workshop #6: Crossing the Moat II: Using Ecosystem Services to Communicate Ecological Ideas Beyond the Ivory Tower.
Workshop #7: Funding at NSF: Where and how to dig for buried treasure.
Workshop #8: Introduction to ESA.
Workshop #9: Emerging Issues in Ecology (FOR MEMBERS OF THE PRESS AND MEDIA).
Workshop #10: Connecting Ecological Information: National Biological Information Infrastructure and Ecologists Workshop.
Workshop #11: Integrating Disciplines to Understand Invasive Species.
Workshop #12: How to Find Your Niche: Career Options in Ecology.
Discussion #13 - Impacts of Science on Society: a Discussion for Researchers and Educators.
Discussion #14 What DOES cause age-related decline in forest productivity?