Jeremy Kerr, University of Ottawa, Canada besøger CMEC – University of Copenhagen

29. marts 2011

Jeremy Kerr, University of Ottawa, Canada besøger CMEC

Dr. Jeremy Kerr
Macroecological perspectives on conservation during rapid environmental change


Talerens adresse: University of Ottawa, Canada
Tid: Onsdag d. 30. marts kl. 13.45 ! 
Sted: CMECs møderum
Environmental changes are occurring very rapidly, precipitating sharp increases in extinction rates and even imperiling some ecosystem services. Although widespread use of macroecological perspectives to address conservation challenges, macroecology has contributed clear evidence of both the scope and pace of threats to biological diversity. In Canada, whose area exceeds that of Europe outside Russia, natural and human-induced environmental gradients are very steep. For macroecologists, Canada is an effective global change laboratory. Gradients of agricultural land use and land use intensity predict rates of species endangerment. Although extensive wilderness areas remain, human activities are concentrated in the most diverse regions of Canada and rates of species endangerment are similar to those observed in developing countries. Recovery of such species will require conservation efforts in intensively used landscapes, but the costs of shifting such lands toward restoration of endangered species is fairly low. Greatly complicating efforts, however, is the rapid onset of anthropogenic climate change. Many macroecological studies have demonstrated strong links between climate and species numbers, but in Canada we have shown that this relationship can be consistent through time as well. Indeed, the species richness-energy hypothesis predicts increases in species numbers across Canada as well as species distribution models, although the latter are also effective. This is a rare instance where SDM's proved reliable through time. Broad-scale observations of species' responses to rapid climate change have been helpful in generating momentum for massive conservation efforts in boreal wilderness areas, yet rapid land use changes in some of those areas continue. This is an instance where global change biology intersects with macroecology, conservation biology, and remote sensing to generate both opportunities for scientific, and especially practical, advances.