Organized Oral Sessions for 2014

The information provided here is accurate as of January 23rd and is meant to serve as a general guide to the sessions in progress. Specific details may change between now and May. If a contributed speaker indicates interest in an Organized Oral Session at the time of abstract submission, the abstract will be sent to the session organizer for consideration after it has passed review. The session organizer ultimately decides which abstracts will be added to the session.

Click each session’s title to read more about it – including a session overview, its organizers, speakers, and tentative talk titles.

20 years of Restoration following Cessation of Livestock Grazing: Lessons from Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge

Organizer
Lisa M. Ellsworth
Oregon State University
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

Moderator
J. Boone Kauffman
Oregon State University
Department of Fisheries and Wildlife

The sagebrush biome is among the most endangered ecosystems in western North America. This is due to the interacting impacts of overgrazing by domestic livestock, introduction of invasive species, altered fire regimes, human development (eg., roads) and climate change. Land managers are actively seeking strategies to preserve and restore the natural structure and function of this ecosystem. Domestic livestock grazing affects the greatest land area of any land use in the western USA. In the late 1800’s and early 1900’s, it is estimated that over 45 million cattle and sheep were grazed on Western rangelands. Although today these numbers have declined by more than half, permitted livestock use still occurs on nearly one million square kilometers of public land. Domestic livestock have had deleterious impacts on sagebrush biodiversity including soil compaction/trampling, excesive utilization of native plants, alteration of fire regime, and dissemination of exotics. The long-term effects of domestic livestock and patterns of recovery following their removal are poorly understood in sagebrush ecosystems, and to date have been largely limited to small exclosure studies. However, livestock removal on the 110,000 ha Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge (HMNAR), Oregon, in 1990 has provided an opportunity to examine landscape scale changes associated with this passive restoration approach. The HMNAR provides critical habitat for an abundance of wildlife species, including sage grouse, pygmy rabbit, bighorn sheep, and pronghorn antelope. Current studies are underway to examine responses of wildlife and their riparian and uplands habitats. The HMNAR can provide a model for passive restoration efforts elsewhere in the Great Basin and semiarid west. This symposium will provide the history and results of current research on flora and fauna in riparian and upland plant communities within HMNAR.

One-sentence Summary:
This symposium showcases the history, management, and current research on flora and fauna in riparian and upland plant communities within Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge, where domestic livestock have been removed for over 20 years, facilitating passive restoration of plant and animal communities in sagebrush ecosystems.

History and Management of Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge:  From livestock grazing to a comprehensive management plan for wildlife habitat
William H. Pyle, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Aspen Recovery Following Livestock Removal: A Landscape-Scale Natural Experiment on Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge
Robert Beschta, Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Short-term and long-term responses of riparian bird and plant communities to the landscape-scale removal of livestock in the northwestern Great Basin
David S. Dobkin, High Desert Ecological Research Institute, Bend, OR

A photo chronosequence of vegetation recovery following livestock removal
Schyler Reis, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Grazing simulations in cheatgrass and native bunchgrass communities at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge
Michael D. Reisner, Environmental Studies, Augustana College, Rock Island, IL

Impacts of livestock removal on upland sagebrush vegetation communities at Hart Mountain National Antelope Refuge
Lisa M. Ellsworth, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Sage grouse demography and nest success:  Long-term data sets and future questions
Michael Gregg, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service

Long-term trends in sage-grouse demography and habitats on the Sheldon-Hart Mountain National Wildlife Refuge Complex and adjacent BLM lands
Jim Sedinger, University of Nevada, Reno

50 years of wilderness science: What have wilderness areas taught us about ecosystems?

Organizer
R. Travis Belote
The Wilderness Society
Research Department

Co-organizers
Matt Dietz
The Wilderness Society
Research Department

Gregory H. Aplet
The Wilderness Society
Ecological and Economic Research Department

Wendy M. Loya
The Wilderness Society
Ecology and Economics Research Department

Peter S. McKinley
The Wilderness Society
Research Department

Jason Leppi
The Wilderness Society
Research Department

Hugh Irwin
The Wilderness Society

Moderator
R. Travis Belote
The Wilderness Society
Research Department

2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. In its half-century, the Wilderness Act has provided the U.S. Congress authority to establish over 100 million acres of land “where earth and its community of life are untrammeled by man.” Wilderness areas help sustain biological diversity and important ecosystem services and, therefore, remain a vital part of global conservation networks. As the science of ecology has matured to span spatial scales and ecological levels from genes to landscapes to global processes, wilderness areas may also serve as a scientific resource where landscapes function as untreated controls. In addition, large tracts of wilderness may provide unique opportunities to study ecosystem patterns and processes that function at large spatial scales where human intervention is minimized. In this session, we celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act, and will highlight the role wilderness areas and wilderness-quality lands can play in understanding and sustaining ecosystems. We will focus on ecological themes that benefit from using wilderness areas as sources of inference while also addressing dilemmas associated with non-interventionist approaches to conservation. Themes covered by our speakers will include: (1) disturbance dynamics in maintaining landscape composition and structure, with particular emphasis on the ecological role of fire; (2) movement and stability of populations of animals across large landscapes; and (3) spatial structure and persistence of populations at the watershed scale. Speakers will also address the role of wilderness areas in understanding ecological processes in response to the impacts of global change, offering case studies of dilemmas and possible tradeoffs between conserving “untrammeled” land and sustaining biodiversity and ecological processes.

One-sentence Summary:
The year 2014 marks the 50th anniversary of the Wilderness Act. This session highlights the role wilderness areas have played in advancing ecological and conservation science. From Rocky Mountain fires and fish to arctic caribou, our session showcases how protected wildlands help us understand ecosystems.

Ecological characteristics and conservation management of wildlands: wilderness as a scientific resource
Gregory H. Aplet, Ecological and Economic Research Department, The Wilderness Society, Bozeman, MT

What ecosystems do wilderness areas represent and can they serve as “controls”?
Matt Dietz, Research Department, The Wilderness Society, San Francisco, CA

Fire as a process in wilderness: un-logged forests possess latent resilience in the Bob Marshall Wilderness
Andrew J. Larson, College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT

Where the wild things are: wildlife research in the National Wilderness Preservation System
Beth Hahn, Aldo Leopold Wilderness Research Institute, US Forest Service, Missoula, MT

Movement of caribou across Arctic landscapes: the role of wildlands in sustaining animal migrations
Wendy M. Loya, Ecology and Economics Research Department, The Wilderness Society, Anchorage, AK

Structure, dynamics, and persistence of chinook salmon in the Frank Church River of No Return Wilderness
Russ Thurow, Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Boise, ID

Population stability of wild salmon in Bristol Bay: biocomplexity at the interface of marine and freshwater wildland ecosystems
Daniel Schindler, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Wilderness science: lessons of the past and prospects for the future
Norman Christensen, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC

A Path Forward for Improved Representation of Fine Roots in Large-scale Models: Linking Models, Data, and Experiments

Organizer
Colleen M. Iversen
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute

Co-organizers
Anthony P. Walker
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Environmental Sciences Division

David J. Weston
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Biosciences Division
Oak Ridge TN 37831

Jeffrey M. Warren
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute

Moderator
Jeffrey M. Warren
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute

From coastal wetlands to mountain tops, plant roots serve as a bridge connecting the soil environment to the aboveground ecosystem. Ephemeral roots with a narrow diameter (“fine” roots) are responsible for most plant nutrient and water uptake, contribute organic carbon throughout the soil profile in the form of labile root exudates and decomposing root material, and strongly influence ecosystem CO2 and CH4 fluxes through respiration, rhizosphere oxygenation, and passive transport. Global terrestrial biosphere models are used to represent ecosystem processes and functions, and their feedbacks to the atmosphere, across the diverse biomes of Earth. Fine roots are poorly represented in large-scale models, meaning a key component of ecosystem dynamics is missing. Reasons for the overly-simplistic representation of roots include poor empirical understanding (and therefore representation) of important processes, limited communication among empiricists and modelers, and lack of data from ecosystems spanning the globe. Our objective in this session is to develop a path forward to improve the representation of fine roots in terrestrial biosphere models in order to better project responses of terrestrial ecosystems to global change. We will meet this objective by hosting talks that: (1) Assess current and future model representations of roots; (2) Discuss the availability of root data across the globe to inform model processes; (3) Suggest improvements in model process representation through novel insights from root ecologists; and (4) Develop experimental approaches that will fill gaps in our understanding and representation of fine-root processes. Our approach is based on the notion that root ecologists should be proactive advocates for the inclusion of their data in models. The session will begin with a review of the current representation of root form and function in large-scale models, followed by an improved model representation of fine roots based on empirical data. Next, the role of databases in providing comprehensive data on plant roots from a range of ecosystems will be discussed. Following these initial talks will be recommendations from empiricists on key processes to represent in models – from genetically-linked root traits, to above- and belowground linkages, to rhizosphere dynamics. Technological advancements, including links among roots and high-resolution soil microclimate conditions, as well as new experiments, including root responses to environmental change, will be touched on. The last talk will summarize a community consensus on a path forward to improve model representation of fine roots, drawing in part on knowledge gained from a workshop planned for spring, 2014.

One-sentence Summary:
Our objective in this session is to develop a path forward to improve the representation of fine roots in terrestrial biosphere models in order to better project responses of terrestrial ecosystems to global change.

Representation of plant roots in terrestrial biosphere models
Anthony P. Walker, Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

The Radix model
William J. Riley, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA

Roots in the TRY database?
Jens Kattge, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Germany

Variation in root traits depends on rhizosphere microbes
David J. Weston, Biosciences Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Above- and belowground linkages for model parameterization/processes
M. Luke McCormack, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing P.R., China

Root controls on microbial utilization of labile soil carbon inputs
Marie-Anne de Graaff, Department of Biological Sciences, Boise State University, Boise, ID

Coupling high-frequency root and hyphal observations to soil-atmosphere sensors: diurnal to seasonal dynamics
Michael F. Allen, Center for Conservation Biology, University of California, Riverside, CA

The path forward: measuring and modeling fine roots
Colleen M. Iversen, Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Achieving Energy And Ecological Literacies For All: Towards Best Practices In Science Education And Outreach At The Interface

Organizer
Leanne M. Jablonski
Marianist Environmental Education Center
University of Dayton

Moderator
Leanne M. Jablonski
Marianist Environmental Education Center
University of Dayton

This session is a series of case studies developed by ecologists and educators to improve literacy at the interface between ecology and energy. Recently, energy literacy has become a concern for scientists, policymakers, and educators since energy is central to our lives, and aspects of energy production, transmission, and consumption are often fiercely debated. Examination of these debates often reveals a lack of understanding of key energy principles – especially regarding supply and demand, benefits and risks of energy choices, and concepts relating to sustainability. In particular, the ecological impacts of different forms of energy generation and transmission are often poorly understood by different stakeholders, despite the extensive research of ecologists over the past century. How does one best evaluate the risks and benefits of energy choices, given their distinct environmental impacts on humans and the non-human components of ecosystems? To improve energy literacy, ecologists and other environmental and science educators will present programs suited to various audiences. These include college undergraduates – both science majors and non-majors, and K-12 audiences in formal school settings, or through informal approaches such as youth organizations. Three presentations focus on efforts to enhance energy literacy for undergraduates. Mulvaney integrates solar-energy research to foster learning about the social and ecological impacts of renewable energy transitions. Groom teaches students interdisciplinary research methods by examining petroleum as an energy source. Duggan-Haas introduces undergrads to the interplay of place, ecology, energy production, and use, from a geographic perspective. The latter five presentations address energy-education strategies aimed at K-12 students. Kermish-Allen’s “Energy for ME” program teaches middle and secondary students how to better understand their communities’ energy-consumption habits, and strategies for increasing energy efficiency. Puttick integrates online and real-world activities relating to climate change to an audience of Girl Scouts. Midden is a middle-school teacher who has developed games and simulations to teach sustainable energy use. Bruce Johnson’s Earth Education program helps adolescents understand the flow of energy from natural systems into our daily lives. Bodbyl has a G-K-12 initiative that asks students to evaluate whether plants can have energy and ecological value alike. This session complements a proposed symposium that takes a more global view of the question of energy literacy, especially as it relates to ecological impacts and sustainability. The Symposium and this Organized Oral are developed and supported by members of ESA’s Education and Environmental Justice Sections, and the Committee on Diversity in Ecology.

One-sentence Summary:
Educational and outreach programs developed by ecologists to improve literacy at the interface between ecology and energy. Designed for non-formal and formal settings from school-aged to college and general public.  Features learning activities involving diverse renewable and non-renewable energy forms; carbon footprint, efficiency, lifestyle and geographic perspectives in decision-making.

Seeing Beyond Carbon: Teaching activities that explore the social and ecological dimensions of renewable energy development
Dustin Mulvaney, Department of Environmental Studies, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

Imagining Oil Futures: cultivating an integrative and interdisciplinary understanding of the impacts of our energy choices.
Martha J. Groom, Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences & UW Restoration Ecology Network, University of Washington, Bothell, WA

The geography of energy: The interplay of place, ecology, and energy production and use.
Don Duggan-Haas, Teacher Programming, Museum of the Earth at the Paleontological Research Institution, Ithaca, NY

Energy for ME: Using Energy Literacy Education to Promote Environmental Awareness and Local Action for Middle and High School Students
Ruth Kermish-Allen, Antioch College

The Girls Energy Conservation Corps (GECCo) initiative: teaching the climate benefits of energy conservation through teamwork and new media
Gillian M. Puttick, TERC, Cambridge, MA

Using gaming strategies to teach students about energy and biogeochemical issues
Chris Midden, Unity Point School, Carbondale, IL

Revealing the hidden ways we use energy in our daily lives.
Bruce Johnson, Learning & Sociocultural Studies Department, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

KBS GK-12 BioEnergy SusTainability (BEST) Project: Using schoolyard research plots to grow ecological and energy literacies.
Sarah Bodbyl Roels, W.K. Kellogg Biological Station, Muchigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Advancing Knowledge of Alpine and Arctic Treeline Ecotones and Responses to Environmental Change

Organizer
Lara Kueppers
University of California Merced
Sierra Nevada Research Institute

Co-organizers
David M. Cairns
Texas A&M University

Melanie A. Harsch
University of Washington
Biology Department

Constance I. Millar
USDA Forest Service, Pacific Southwest Research Station

Moderator
Lara Kueppers
University of California Merced
Sierra Nevada Research Institute

Treeline research has been advancing rapidly, motivated in part by the need to predict land surface feedbacks to regional and global climate change, water resources in mountain regions, and impacts of environmental change on high latitude and high elevation biodiversity. Upper elevation and northern treeline ecotones are boundary zones between forest and arctic or alpine treeless zones. Although presence of upright trees has defined the treeline per se, treeline is more accurately described as an ecotone structured by complex interactions among vegetation, soils, animals, climate, snow, topography, and disturbance regimes. Responses of this ecotone to environmental change have been observed, but complex lags and feedbacks — in addition to topographic influences that confound of responses in mountain treelines — challenge predictions of change. This session brings together diverse perspectives and expertise in treeline research to report recent advances, both in basic understanding of treeline dynamics and in predicting responses of alpine and arctic treelines to environmental change. By including talks from diverse subfields in ecology the session seeks to foster new collaborations and insights that will advance integrative science of the treeline ecotone. A further objective is to bridge the historical divide between arctic and alpine treeline research. The session comprises ten talks on different aspects of treeline research: paleoclimate and paleoecology, tree demography, ecophysiology, modeling treeline, plant-animal interactions, experimental ecology, ecosystem processes, and the role of disturbance in structuring treeline. Speakers represent the international nature of treeline research and work in both arctic and alpine treeline ecotones.

One-sentence Summary:
This organized oral session brings together diverse perspectives and expertise in treeline research to report recent advances, both in basic understanding of treeline dynamics and in predicting responses of alpine and arctic treelines to environmental change.

Physiological explanations of current and future treeline positions require a stringent treeline definition
Günter Hoch, Institute of Botany, University of Basel, Basel, Switzerland

From sink- to source limited vegetation modelling
Sebastian Leuzinger, Department of Applied Sciences, Auckland University of Technology, Auckland, New Zealand

Soil nitrogen availability constrains growth and allocation of treeline trees in northwest Alaska
Paddy F. Sullivan, Enri, University of Alaska, Anchorage, AK

The impact of herbivory within the treeline ecotone
James Speed, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

Disturbance, climate, and non-linear forest changes at the northern boreal treeline
Jill F. Johnstone, Biology, University of Saskatchewan, Saskatoon, SK, Canada

Past Climate and Treeline
Marc Macias-Fauria, Department of Zoology, University of Oxford, Oxford, United Kingdom

Climate isn’t everything: biotic interactions, life stage, and seed origin will also affect range shifts in a warming world
Ailene Ettinger, Department of Biology, Tufts University, Medford, MA

Multiscale analysis demonstrates the importance of pattern-process interactions at subarctic alpine treelines
Ryan Danby, Department of Geography, Queen’s University

Agroecology and its Applications, From Marine Kelp to Mountain Coffee

Organizer
Alex E. Racelis
University of Texas Pan American
Biology

Co-organizer
Deborah K. Letourneau
University of California-Santa Cruz
Department of Environmental Studies

Moderator
Carlo R. Moreno
University of Texas Pan American
Biology

Session Description:
Amidst a growing pressure to meet the food needs of a growing population, agriculturalists also face severe challenge of maintaining (or increasing) food production in the light of a changing climate, pollinator decline, and increasing dependence on fossil fuels, synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. Many agricultural areas–from the emerging aquaculture farms in the northeastern bays and waterways of the US, to coffee plantations the that populate the mountains the tropics, and even the fruit and vegetable producing areas of California–are associated with rich and unique diversity of biota, landscapes, and populations, and thus require management approaches that are considered environmentally, economically, and socially sustainable. The field of agroecology in part aims to address these challenges by promoting science-based strategies and uncovering information necessary for meeting growing food demands while managing agroecosystems in ways that protect and promote both environmental integrity and socio-economic well-being. But to what extent is agroecology actually helping agriculturalists and growers meet these challenges? This organized oral session aims to highlight recent practical applications of ecological research for promoting sustainable food production, addressing agricultural policy concerns, and improving educational engagement in food systems. Presenters in this session will to spend part of their presentation explaining the justification and/or broader impacts of their work as a way to convey to the audience some successful approaches and general heuristics to the application of agroecological research across various settings and circumstances. With a wide range of expertise and geographic range, this session will be of interest to a broad audience as all presentations emphasize how current ecological theory can be successfully applied in various agroecological settings to help orient efforts towards improved management of our ecosystems and the services they provide.

One-sentence Summary:
This session highlights recent practical applications and broader impacts of ecological research for promoting sustainable food production, addressing agricultural policy concerns, and improving educational engagement in food systems across various settings and circumstances.

Conserving biodiversity to enhance natural pest suppression
William Synder, Washington State University

Landscape effects on diversity and biological control in California vegetables
Deborah K. Letourneau, Department of Environmental Studies, University of California-Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Biodiversity, ecosystem services, and coffee management: Ecology and Application
Stacy M. Philpott, Department of Environmental Studies, UC Santa Cruz, CA

Agroecology and Aquaculture: Linking Fish and Vegetable Production Systems”
David Love, Johns Hopkins

The effects of harvesting and landscape composition on pollination and biocontrol services in bioenergy landscapes
Claudio Gratton, Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, WI

Pest management decision-making: A comparison of farmer and scientist mental models and implications for outreach
Randa Jabbor, University of Wyoming

Agroecological research, education, and extension: an integrated approach to improving educational engagement in food systems
Alex E. Racelis, Biology, University of Texas Pan American, Edinburg, TX

Mobilizing Science in Formulating Organic Policies
Kathleen Delate, Iowa State University

Anoxic Microsites In Unsaturated Soils: Drivers Of Soil Biogeochemistry, Greenhouse Gas Flux, And Microbial Diversity

Organizer
Paul E. Brewer
Colorado State University
Graduate Degree Program in Ecology

Co-organizer
Céline Pallud
U.C. Berkeley
Environmental Science, Policy and Management

Moderator
Joseph C. von Fischer
Colorado State University
Dept. of Biology

Small-scale (μm-cm) redox heterogeneity within unsaturated soils, and the consequent formation of anoxic microsites, has recently been shown to contribute to greenhouse gas flux, heavy-metal mobility, nutrient cycling, and microbial community structure. Such redox structures provide substrates and conditions necessary for a much wider range of reactions than would be found in a soil with uniform redox conditions – creating the potential for an underground network of vast interfaces where unexpected chemical and metabolic functions occur. Pioneering work that established the importance of anoxic microsites for denitrification and N2O flux in upland soils has been followed by environmental quality and microbial ecology studies that highlight the role of anoxic microsites in stabilizing contaminants in soil and shaping microbial diversity. There is also mounting interest in investigating the effects of small-scale soil structures on soil communities and their function. This session spans many ecological disciplines due to the wide-ranging effects of redox heterogeneity and the paradigm-challenging nature of the subject. There will be presentations appealing to biogeochemists, microbial ecologists, ecosystem ecologists, plant and rhizosphere researchers, climatologists, soil chemists, and those interested in environmental quality. We have invited speakers from across this wide range and they span positions from graduate students to established faculty. We begin the session with researchers who have helped establish the importance of anoxic microsites to predict greenhouse gas fluxes. We then move to empirical studies of small-scale soil structures, gas and fluid transport, microbial communities, and the varied biogeochemical activities occurring in microsites. Next we scale up to ecosystem models and conclude with work done using new tools developed to measure otherwise inaccessible aspects of soil redox structure – this will show how current empirical work informs theory and what new paths have been illuminated for future experiments.

One-sentence Summary:
We highlight studies investigating the effects small-scale redox heterogeneity in unsaturated soils have on greenhouse gas flux, contaminant mobility, nutrient cycling, and microbial communities while learning about novel technologies that make small-scale soil redox measurements tractable and cultivating communication between the disparate disciplines whose work is impacted by anoxic microsites.

Micro-scale soil physical and biological interactions
Dani Or, Institute of Terrestrial Ecosystems

Formation of anoxic microsites in centers of decomposition and effects on greenhouse gas fluxes and related communities
Paul E. Brewer, Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Effects of artificial soil aggregates on soil contaminants
Céline Pallud, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, U.C. Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Variations in microbial structure and function among soil organic matter aggregates
A. Peyton Smith, Department of Soil Science, University of Wisconsin-Madison

Microbial communities in different size soil aggregates
Kirsten S. Hofmockel, Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Ecosystem models incorporating anoxic microsite
Klaus Butterbach-Bahl, Karlsruhe Institute of Technology (KIT), Germany

Use of planar O2 and pH optodes in sediment and soils
Morten Larsen, University of Southern Denmark, Denmark

Use of various techniques to image micro and nano-scale soil structures and elemental speciation
Juergen Thieme, Brookhaven National Lab

Backing It Up: Science at Non-Profit Conservation Organizations in California

Organizer
Candan Soykan
National Audubon Society
Conservation Science

Co-organizer
Chad B. Wilsey
National Audubon Society
Conservation Science

Moderator
Candan Soykan
National Audubon Society
Conservation Science
:
Non-profit, non-governmental conservation organizations are traditionally valued for their advocacy, outreach, and conservation actions. In that unique position, these organizations have designed and championed several well-known conservation strategies, such as Audubon’s Important Bird Areas, The Nature Conservancy’s Ecoregional Assessments, and the National Wildlife Federation’s Climate-Smart Conservation. These and other local-scale strategies are increasingly supported by in-house monitoring and scientific analysis. Many conservation organizations have established science divisions contributing to a variety of disciplines including wildlife biology, agro-ecology, climate-impacts science, and the study of ecosystem services. Their scientists also partner with academic and government scientists through co-sponsorship, memoranda of understanding, and cooperative research agreements. Connections between ecological research and conservation science are strengthening with conservation science benefiting from advances, both theoretical and methodological, in ecology as well as contributing new questions for ecological research. This session addresses a broad range of research topics, including ecosystem function in novel plant communities, rangeland restoration, trophic cascades, water management and freshwater conservation, citizen science, and endangered species management. In fitting with the theme of the meeting, this session stresses the diversity of landscapes that constitute California from offshore islands and marine ecosystems to the agriculturally-oriented Central Valley, the high country east of the Sierra Nevada, the Mojave Desert, and major urban centers such as Los Angeles and San Francisco. Although the research topics vary, each speaker will place his or her study within the unique context of their organization’s mission and/or decision-making process. Thus, the connection between science and its application will be a unifying theme running through the diverse talks included in this session.

One-sentence Summary:
This session highlights the expanding role of science at non-profit, non-governmental organizations, focusing in particular on the application of scientific results to further each organization’s mission.

Modeling cascading effects of house mouse eradication on bird populations on the Farallon Islands
Nadav Nur, PRBO Conservation Science, Petaluma, CA

Quantifying the freshwater needs of conservation targets in the Central Valley of California: how much water will they need and what are the trade-offs?
T. Rodd Kelsey, The Nature Conservancy, Sacramento, CA

Evaluation of rangeland management practices for the provisioning of ecosystem services
Wendell Gilgert, Point Blue Conservation Science, Petaluma, CA

Positive or neutral effects of non-native plant species in hybrid ecosystems: The use of songbirds and other observable wildlife as measures of ecosystem function
Sandra A. DeSimone, Audubon’s Starr Ranch Sanctuary, Trabuco Canyon, CA

Climate-impacts on the Greater-sage grouse
Chad B. Wilsey, Conservation Science, National Audubon Society, San Francisco, CA

The desert renewable energy conservation project and the future of desert tortoise habitat
Tosha Comendant, Conservation Scientist, Conservation Biology Institute, Napa, CA

Citizen science relates urban nectar resources to hummingbird abundance
Justin Schuetz, Conservation Science, National Audubon Society, San Francisco, CA

Biota of the Los Angeles River, New Studies and Insights In 2014

Organizer
Ellen M. Mackey
MWD of So. Cal. and Council for Watershed Health

Co-organizers
Kristy Morris
Council for Watershed Health

Daniel S. Cooper
Cooper Ecological Monitoring, Inc.

Moderator
Mike Antos
Council for Watershed Health

Session Description:
The Los Angeles River (LAR) system is a gleaming river of (mostly) concrete from the base of the mountains to Long Beach harbor. Though seasonal, it was at times a “killer river” (responsible for 113 deaths in 1938 floods), prompting the ACOE and Public Works Department (DPW) to permanently contain its course. During the 70+ years of river confinement most functions normally associated with riparian systems were lost, most notably support of wildlife. Gone are the fens, tall gallery forests, sandy washes, cienegas, and adjacent scrublands, replaced by an armored concrete channel with fenced/gated rights-of-way (ROW) that exclude the public contact while protecting it from seasonal danger. In 1991 the County Board of Supervisors directed the DPW to begin a master planning effort to revitalize the public ROWs into urban amenities. Progress was slow at first but in 2004 the LAR Landscaping Guidelines outlined the development of linear parks within ROWs that could link communities and ecological processes along the river. In 2005 the City of L.A. adopted a Revitalization Plan emphasizing community connections and water conservation. Despite a perception of the river as a giant stormdrain, in 2010 the US EPA asserted the entire river as navigable, so granting full protection of the Clean Water Act. Kayakers, bicyclists, joggers, fishermen, and birders enjoy limited areas within a very urban river. The pending ACOE LAR Revitalization Plan provides a project framework to restore riparian/aquatic habitats along 11 miles of the river. However, recent most revitalization efforts emphasize human habitat, despite long stretches of natural habitat between cement portions, and high wildlife usage of completely artificial river portions. While generally ignored by large research institutions, many consulting biologists collect data on its flora and fauna for various projects, resulting in a considerable amount of ecological investigation scattered in unpublished reports. In 1993, the Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County (NHMLAC) published The Biota of the Los Angeles River, still the only comprehensive study of the river’s natural resources. Surveyed resources included algae, vascular plants, freshwater mollusks, fish, amphibians and reptiles, birds, and mammals. This proposed session will examine the river’s background, its drastic change over the last 200 years from a seasonally free-flowing river to an armored flood control channel, and the grassroots efforts that eventually refocused public attention. We present new studies and insights gained by local researchers since 1993 and identify data gaps and areas for future study.

One-sentence Summary:
This session focuses on insights into the history and biological resources remaining within the Los Angeles River watershed. We explore the river’s verdant past and unsustainable present, and examine efforts to revitalize parts of the river for linear parks, wildlife habitat, and connecting biological and human communities today.

Los Angeles River background (tentative)
Carol Armstrong, Los Angeles River Project Office, Los Angels Dept of Public Works, Bureau of Engineering, Los Angeles, CA

Recent avifaunal change in riparian habitats along the Los Angeles River
Kimball Garrett, Ornithology, Natural History Museum of Los Angeles County, Los Angeles, CA

The Los Angeles River channel as shorebird habitat
Daniel S. Cooper, Cooper Ecological Monitoring, Inc., Los Angeles, CA

Freshwater macroinvertebrates
Wendy Willis, Aquatic Bioassay & Consulting Laboratories, Inc., Ventura, CA

Fish toxicity in the Los Angeles River
Kristy Morris, Council for Watershed Health, Los Angeles, CA

Natural and un-natural plant communities of the Los Angeles River system
Ellen M. Mackey, MWD of So. Cal. and Council for Watershed Health, Los Angeles, CA

Rare herpetofauna of the LA River upper watershed
Adam Backlin, San Diego Field Station, US Geological Survey, San Diego, CA

Large mammal movements and the Los Angeles River
Erin E. Boydston, Western Ecological Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Thousand Oaks, CA

Breaking from the Center: Increasing Resilience to Climate Change and Extreme Events from the Sierra Nevada to the Atlantic Ocean

Organizer
Toni Lyn Morelli
Northeast Climate Science Center
University of Massachusetts

Moderator
Michelle D. Staudinger
US Geological Survey Northeast Climate Science Center
Missouri Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit

This session will highlight research at the nexus of the scientific and conservation communities: cutting edge science that addresses specific management needs. It will cover a variety of analytical approaches to addressing the effects of extreme events and climate change on a wide breadth of focal systems. The objective is to showcase innovative research that is identifying important climate adaptation options in response to the increasing occurrence of catastrophic weather events and changing climate. Reflecting the oceans to mountains theme of the conference, the opening speaker will address the use of refugia as a tool for climate adaptation in the Sierra Nevada, and the final speaker will discuss how communities and trophic webs change in response to sea level rise and coastal erosion. Other presentations will cover research on species responses to variation in weather and changes in climate, evolutionary capacity to adapt to environmental change, the implications of landscape changes and connectivity for biodiversity and conservation in the southern Great Plains, and decision frameworks to address climate adaptation in freshwater systems. Research in this session is supported by the Department of Interior Climate Science Centers, whose mission is to provide natural and cultural resource managers with the tools and information they need to develop and execute management strategies that address the impacts of climate change on a broad range of natural and cultural resources.

One-sentence Summary:
A session to showcase innovative research exploring the effects of extreme events and climate change on species and ecosystems, with an emphasis on the identification of climate adaptation options for natural resource management and conservation.

A test of climate change refugia in the mountains of California
Toni Lyn Morelli, University of Massachusetts, Northeast Climate Science Center, Amherst, MA

Projecting and detecting species-level responses to variation in weather and changes in climate
Erica Fleishmann, University of California, Davis, Southwest Climate Science Center

Direct and indirect effects of climate variability on butterfly population dynamics
Tyson M. Wepprich, Department of Biology, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Evolutionary tipping points in the capacity to adapt to environmental change
Carlos A. Botero, Initiative for Biological Complexity and SE Climate Science Center, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

The implications of landscape changes and connectivity for biodiversity and conservation in the southern Great Plains
Elena Zozaya, Department of Zoology, Oklahoma State University

Shifting variance structure as an indicator of large-scale ecological change
Brian Irwin, Georgia Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, USGS

Decision frameworks to address climate adaptation in freshwater systems
Evan H. Campbell Grant, U.S. Geological Survey

How communities and trophic webs change in response to sea level rise and coastal erosion
Mary Ratnaswamy, Northeast Climate Science Center, USGS

Causes And Consequences Of Non-Equilibrium Dynamics In A Changing World

Organizer
Tarik C. Gouhier
Northeastern Unviversity
Marine Science Center

Co-organizers
Emily Klein
University of New Hampshire

Flora Cordoleani
UC Davis

Pradeep Pillai
Northeastern Unviversity
Marine Science Center

Moderator
Emily Klein
University of New Hampshire

Determining the relative influence of ecological and environmental processes on the dynamics and persistence of ecological systems is critically important, particularly in an era of global climate change. Despite the ubiquity of complex, non-equilibrium dynamics in natural systems, most theory to date has relied on equilibrium and linear approaches to both predict and manage ecological patterns and human use. This session will demonstrate how bridging the gap between equilibrium theory and non-equilibrium reality can foster a better understanding of the natural world and improve our stewardship of its invaluable resources. The talks will broadly address the causes and consequences of non-equilibrium and nonlinear dynamics across scales, and their implications for the management of interconnected and exploited ecosystems experiencing environmental change.

One-sentence Summary:
This session will demonstrate the need to bridge the gap between equilibrium theory and non-equilibrium reality in order to foster a better understanding of the natural world and improve our stewardship of its invaluable resources.

Non-equilibrium spatial dynamics in finite-size meta-ecosystems
Frederic Guichard, Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Detecting the cause of non-equilibrium dynamics in complex ecosystems
George Sugihara, UC San Diego

Non-equilibrium dynamics of food webs in a changing world
Kevin S. McCann, Integrative Biology, University of Guelph

Combined effects of environmental variability and fishing on resonant cyclic dynamics in marine populations
Louis W. Botsford, Wildlife Fish and Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Which came first, non-equilibrium dynamics or human exploitation?
Sarah Glaser, University of Denver

Accounting for non-equilibrium transient dynamics in the design and assessment of marine reserves
J. Wilson White, Department of Biology and Marine Biology, University of North Carolina Wilmington, Wilmington, NC

The implications of non-equilibrium dynamics for (meta)ecosystem-based management
Tarik C. Gouhier, Marine Science Center, Northeastern Unviversity, Nahant, MA

Evolutionary rescue can maintain an oscillating community undergoing environmental change
Gregor F. Fussmann, Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Citizen Science From Sea To Sky: Investigating Ecological Responses To Global Environmental Change

Organizer
Emily A. Cornelius
University of Wisconsin
Forest and Wildlife Ecology

Co-organizer
Dara A. Satterfield
University of Georgia
Odum School of Ecology

Moderator
Emily A. Cornelius
University of Wisconsin
Forest and Wildlife Ecology

Understanding ecological responses to rapid environmental change is a crucial area of research, particularly as human population growth, urbanization, climate change and other land use changes escalate. However, investigating ecological responses to environmental changes can require vast amounts of data collection, often over large geographic areas and multiple time points, which can be challenging when funding and time are scarce. More and more, researchers are involving the public to measure ecological responses at broad, regional or national scales. Collaborating with citizen scientists has enabled ecologists to obtain samples from diverse and distant areas and to discover novel patterns in a variety of ecosystems, from sea to sky. Citizen scientists can be excellent collaborators to collect data on environmental change in particular; as they have the access to human-altered habitats that are of interest to ecologists studying global change. Importantly, citizen science can also facilitate the development of a more ecologically informed public, which will be central to the conservation priorities that ecological studies are identifying. Thus, citizen science projects on ecological responses to environmental change have the potential to advance both ecological knowledge and conservation, by nurturing a community of citizens invested in the scientific enterprise and the preservation of species and ecological interactions. In coming years, the need for citizen science will likely rise due to tightening research budgets, and at the same time, the potential for citizen science efforts to inform ecological studies will increase as our world becomes more technologically connected. In light of these considerations, and the growing urgency to investigate consequences of global change, it is both timely and useful to pursue – the goals of this Organized Oral Session – which are to (a)feature how new citizen science data has revealed ecological patterns responding to environmental change, in a diversity of ecosystems and (b) discuss effective approaches to recruit, train, engage and retain volunteers, in order to advance the potential of citizen science efforts in the future. Further, this Organized Oral Session may assist in establishing a cross-disciplinary network, where those interested in including citizen science into their own projects (students or early career researchers) or those who are attempting to manage previously collected citizen science data can share ideas and experiences.

One-sentence Summary:
In the face of increasing global change, this session will examine how citizen science can be used as a tool in collecting large-scale and long-term data sets across varying disciplines, from sea to sky, in furthering our understanding of ecological responses to environmental change.

Using Citizen Science as an ecological research tool: Challenges and benefits
Benjamin Zuckerberg, Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

NEON’s Project Budburst: at the interface of global science and education
Sandra Henderson, Education and Public Engagement, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON, Inc.), Boulder, CO

Using citizen science data to investigate how environmental change is altering the migration dynamics of Monarch butterflies
Sonia Altizer, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Regional cross-disciplinary applications enabled by a nationally standardized infrastructure for phenology monitoring and science
Jake Weltzin, USA National Phenology Network Nat’l Coordinating Office, US Geological Survey, Tucson, AZ

Using citizen science to examine how birds respond to environmental change
Kate Plummer, British Trust for Ornithology, United Kingdom

Using Project FeederWatch as a case study for successful public involvement in scientific research
Rick Bonney, Laboratory of Ornithology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Climate Warming, Changing Disturbance Regimes, and Forest Resilience

Organizer
Jill F. Johnstone
University of Saskatchewan
Biology

Co-organizer
Monica G. Turner
University of Wisconsin
Department of Zoology

Moderator
Jill F. Johnstone
University of Saskatchewan
Biology

The frequency, severity, and extent of natural disturbances are changing profoundly as climate continues to warm, and these changes pose serious challenges to scientists, land managers, and society. How forest ecosystems will respond to novel disturbance regimes interacting with warmer climate is poorly understood but incredibly important to anticipate. Observations of past forest change and predictions from ecological theory suggest that, against a backdrop of changing environmental conditions, disturbances can trigger rapid change in forest ecosystems. Novel disturbance regimes may disrupt forest ecosystems and the processes that maintain them, and initiate new pathways of change by affecting post-disturbance community assembly and succession. Furthermore, changes to one disturbance regime may alter the likelihood or severity of another (i.e., linked disturbances) or produce compound disturbances that alter ecosystem resilience (i.e., the capacity of the system to recover following disturbance). The combination of changing climate conditions, altered disturbance regimes, and sensitivity of successional pathways to initial conditions creates a strong potential for rapid and non-linear shifts in forest ecosystem states. The aim of this session is to explore the mechanisms, dynamics, and implications of disturbance-mediated changes in forest resilience across different forest ecosystems. Presentations will tackle questions such as: What is the role of climate change in altering disturbance regimes and post-disturbance ecosystem recovery? How do disturbances interact across forest landscapes? What are the key thresholds, non-linearities, or leverage points in forest system dynamics? Under what conditions do disturbances trigger state changes in forest ecosystems? Examples will be drawn from a range of forests with an emphasis on northern and temperate forests of North America. We aim to identify commonalities that may lead to a more explicit framework for anticipating and managing forest state changes likely to occur with continued climate warming. The set of presentations will begin with an overview of disturbance dynamics and climate change, followed by presentations that address complementary topics that explore the nature of changing disturbance regimes, altered successional trajectories, and mechanisms that may underpin qualitative changes in forest landscapes. The session will conclude with perspectives on how our understanding of forest responses to changing disturbance regimes should influence our strategies of forest management. As the evidence for changing disturbance regimes accumulates around the globe, it is timely and important for us to consider how we can best anticipate the potentially dramatic impacts on forest ecosystems.

One-sentence Summary:
This session addresses the role of interacting natural disturbances and climate change in driving rapid state changes in forest ecosystems.

Climate change and disturbance regimes: an overview
George L. W. Perry, School of Environment, University of Aukland, New Zealand

Testing theories of disturbance
Lee Frelich, Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, St. Paul, MN

Linked and compound disturbances: bark beetles and fire
Tania Schoennagel, Geography, University of Colorado-Boulder, Boulder, CO

Linked and compound disturbances: forest disease and fire
Margaret Metz, Graduate Group in Ecology, University of Califorina Davis, Davis, CA and Ross K. Meentemeyer, Dept. of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, NC

Landscape patterns and disturbance legacies
Brian J. Harvey, Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Successional trajectories under changing climate and disturbance regimes
Monica G. Turner, Department of Zoology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Triggers, thresholds, and regime shifts in forest ecosystems
Craig D. Allen, U.S. Geological Survey, Jemez Mountains Field Station, Los Alamos, NM

Management of disturbance-prone forest landscapes
Jerry F. Franklin, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Communities Writ Small: Integrating Microbial Systems Into Community Ecology

Organizer
C.M. Tucker
University of Colorado, Boulder
Instaar

Co-organizers
Diana Nemergut
University of Colorado
INSTAAR

Brett A. Melbourne
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Colorado

Moderator
C.M. Tucker
University of Colorado, Boulder
Instaar

The goal of this session is to bring together researchers from across community ecology and microbial ecology whose work provides successful examples of how concepts and theory from community ecology are being explored and tested using microbial systems of species. Macro-organismal systems receive predominant experimental focus in community ecology, and yet ecological drivers (speciation, drift, selection, dispersal) are equally present in microbial systems, and microbial systems allow experimental manipulations over spatial and temporal scales (relative to body size and generation time) that are not easily achieved in larger systems. This provides a unique opportunity to explore community dynamics, to experiment with eco-evolutionary processes, and to follow evolutionary changes over rapid time scales. Speakers will discuss cutting edge work with microbes looking at the effects of historical contingency and species interactions on community assembly, the evolution of niches, the amount and implications of functional diversity in communities, and community responses to extreme environmental changes. Further, microbial communities are important to human and ecosystem health, and contain the most abundant and diverse organisms on the planet. They provide unique information on the range of forms natural and engineered ecological communities can take, and the relationship between community structure and function. Invited speakers will highlight the effects of disturbance intensity and frequency on microbial community structure and function, the assembly of the human microbiome, and the properties of engineered communities in water and waste treatment facilities.

One-sentence Summary:
This session will highlight the contribution that microbial community ecology can make to both traditional ecological questions and to understanding unique microbial systems.

Priority effects in nectar microbe communities.
Rachel L. Vannette, Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Evolution of niches with Pseudomonas fluorescens.
Lin Jiang, School of Biology, Georgia Institute of Technology

The implications of functional diversity in the soil microbe communities.
Matthew Wallenstein, Colorado State University, Denver, CO

Responses to extreme environmental change in a laboratory yeast system.
Graham Bell, Biology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Community assembly in the human microbiome.
Elizabeth Costello, Stanford University

Microbial communities in industrial and engineered habitats.
Tom Curtis, Newcastle University, United Kingdom

Nutrient controls on ecological succession of microbial communities
Joseph Knelman, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder

Measuring the niche space of microorganisms.
Jay T. Lennon, Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Drought and Tree Mortality: Linking Experimental Results and Observations With Predictive Models

Organizer
Melanie Zeppel
Macquarie University

Co-organizers
Henry D. Adams
Los Alamos National Laboratory
Earth and Environmental Sciences

William Anderegg
Stanford University
Department of Biology

Michael W. Jenkins
University of California, Santa Cruz
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Moderator
Michael W. Jenkins
University of California, Santa Cruz
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Session Description:
Recent advances in ecological and physiological research scaling from individual plant to ecosystems and across geographic ranges from coasts to mountains, deserts to the tropics have progressed our understanding of the complex process through which trees die from drought and temperature stress. Much comparative work in drought response across species and ecosystems has occurred in the past few years. Recent and forthcoming experiments, observational and modeling studies across plant functional types have begun to illuminate the interlinked changes in tree carbon status, water relations, and biotic agent damage with the goal of improving prediction of which species and regions are likely to die in future climates. Despite recent progress, major uncertainties remain both in how trees succumb to drought and biotic agent attack and in understanding cross-species and cross-biome differences necessary to inform modeling efforts. This session seeks to capture the forefront of this exciting research area by integrating cutting-edge physiological research on single species/ecosystems with cross-system comparisons and syntheses. This session is linked with and explicitly designed to be complementary with another ESA session on non-structural carbohydrates, which will touch on carbohydrates and tree stress but not focus on mortality directly. This session covers a mix of causes and consequences of drought-induced mortality, as well as modeling, experimental and observational studies. We have confirmations from a mix of early career scientists, and established professors providing overviews of recent drought-induced mortality research. We have included a wide-range of speakers from the Americas, Australia, and Europe who will provide insights into experiments and modeling across a broad range of ecosystems. Most speakers will be presenting innovative and currently unpublished research of interest to the broader field of ecology. Several speakers will present from across a number of systems, including cross-species comparisons and meta-analysis techniques. Others will provide results from the latest, in-depth research on the physiology of drought-induced tree mortality including the effects of increased atmospheric CO2, temperature, and drought. Additionally, several speakers will address recent work applying insights from recent mortality research into models that seek to predict forest loss with climate change.

One-sentence Summary:
This session integrates a global perspective of cutting edge research on drought-induced tree mortality from the latest experimental results and cross-species synthesis on the physiology of tree death, particularly the role of tree hydraulic function and carbohydrate status, to modeling future forest responses under a changing climate.

Dynamics of leaf water relations components in co-occurring iso- and anisohydric conifer species
Frederick C. Meinzer, Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Corvallis, OR

The evolution of drought tolerance in conifers
Tim Brodribb, School of Plant Science, University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia

Does inclusion of plant hydro-dynamics improve drought-response predictions of dynamic vegetation models?
Thomas Powell, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

Effects of precipitation and temperature manipulations on respiration, carbohydrate and mortality dynamics in a piñon-juniper woodland
Lee T. Dickman, Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM

Drought and hydraulic thresholds: predicting the mortality of woody plants of Patagonian forests and deserts
Sandra J. Bucci, Departamento de Biologia (UNPSJB), Comision Nacional de Investigaciones Cientificas y Tecnicas (CONICET), Comodoro Rivadavia, Argentina

Recovery from embolism and mortality of multiple species across a rainfall gradient, from rainforest to semi-arid saplings
Melanie Zeppel, Department of Biology, Centre for Climate Futures, Macquarie University, North Ryde NSW 2109, Australia

A multiple species synthesis of tree mortality physiology – how prevalent are hydraulic failure and carbohydrate depletion?
Henry D. Adams, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM

Carbon dynamics during drought-induced mortality – in search of the missing sink
Henrik Hartmann, Biological Processes, Max Planck Institute for Biogeochemistry, Jena, QC, Germany

Ecological Drought in California Forests: Linking Climate Science and Resource Management

Organizer
Mark W. Schwartz
University of California, Davis
Environmental Science & Policy

Co-organizer
Stephen T. Jackson
DOI Southwest Climate Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey

Debra Schlafmann
U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
California Landscape Conservation Cooperative
Sacramento State University

Moderator
Stephen T. Jackson
DOI Southwest Climate Science Center
U.S. Geological Survey

Ecological drought has long been a critical concern in the west. Climate projections for the next century uniformly indicate increasing growing-season water stress throughout California. California, like the rest of the arid and semi-arid west, has a long history of drought cycles with large impacts on forest disturbance, recruitment, and structure. The region is in transition to a new normal under climate change. From the Sierras to the sea, California forests are under the triple stresses of increased fire hazard through heavy fuel loads, increasing ignition pressure because of proximity to people, and increasing drought stress. Resource managers are faced with the difficult task of designing climate-smart adaptation strategies for forest management. Yet, there remains, and will remain, much uncertainty in climate model projections, limited capacity to downscale these models to capture topographic complexities of air drainages and local precipitation patterns, uncertain ecological responses to droughts, and complex ecological responses to multiple and often interacting drivers of forest change. The proposed session will progress systematically through a suite of topics. First, a climatologist with long experience in working with resource managers will discuss the state of the art and uncertainties in climate downscaling. This will be followed by a series of presentations by forest ecologists on various aspects and consequences of ecological drought. The session will end with perspectives on resource management, focusing on how researchers and managers can work closely together to develop information relevant to climate adaptation in forested lands.

One-sentence Summary:
Research summarizing the linkage from climatic and ecological projections of increased drought, driving tree stress, mortality and increased fire, to climate smart resource management

Limits to downscaling climate models for ecological interpretation.
Dan Cayan, Scripps Institute of Oceanographic Institute, U.S. Geological Survey, La Jolla, CA

Translating climate surfaces to ecological outcomes
Solomon Dobrowski, College of Forestry and Conservation, University of Montana, Missoula, MT

Translating physiological drought into tree stress and forest response
Christina L. Tague, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of Calfornia, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

Are recent increases in forest mortality a drought symptom?
Phillip J. Van Mantgem, Redwood Field Station, United States Geological Survey, Arcata, CA

What do changing climate suggest about future fire frequency in California
Mark W. Schwartz, Environmental Science & Policy, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Coupling stress and fire to predict forest change
Dominique M. Bachelet, Conservation Biology Institute and Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Translating ecological drought into resource management: giant sequoias
Koren Nydick, Sequoia & Kings Canyon National Parks, National Park Service

Hydrological Vulnerability of Meadows in the Sierra Nevada
Matthew L. Brooks, Western Ecological Research Center, United States Geologic Service, Oakhurst, CA

Ecological Genomics as an Emerging Field: Opportunities for Non-model Organisms

Organizer
Melis Akman
UC Davis
Plant Sciences

Co-organizer
Andrew M. Latimer
University of California Davis
Plant Sciences

Moderator
Andrew M. Latimer
University of California Davis
Plant Sciences

Since the introduction of molecular tools to the field of ecology some three decades ago, genetic approaches have been widely used to address questions related to kinship, migration, dispersal, population biology, local adaptation and phylogeographic patterns. With the recent advances in sequencing technologies, this research has developed into a new and promising sub discipline called ecological genomics. This field uses next-generation sequencing to explore the relationships between genotypic and phenotypic variation and between this variation and fitness in varying environments. Most recently, population level studies have become possible for both model and non-model organisms. We are increasingly able to dissect genetic basis of adaptations to various conditions and test how the genetic variation changes and shapes phenotypes as a result of ecological and evolutionary processes. Accordingly, this session will be devoted to recent studies in ecological genomics field using ecologically interesting non-model organisms from oceans to mountains. Michael Pfrender will talk about organismal responses to changing environments by linking short-term responses to long-term adaptations in Daphnia. Next, Andrew Whitehead will address questions related to genomic responses to variable environments across physiological and evolutionary timescales in killifish. Michael Herman will talk about the genetic architecture underlying nematode responses to grassland soil bacteria and its effects on fitness. The next four speakers address genetic variation across environmental and geographic gradients. Sean Ryan will explore how the population genomics of a butterfly hybrid zone has changed over a 30 years period of recent warming. Rowan Barrett will describe a manipulative experiment with deer mice that directly estimates how selection impacts the genome as populations adapt to new environments. Melis Akman will present a study on genetic basis of local adaptations in South African sugar bush. Loretta Johnson will give a talk entitled “Genetic differentiation, transcriptome variation, and local adaptation of an ecologically dominant prairie grass, big bluestem, occurring along the climate gradient in Midwest U.S. grasslands”. Finally, Andy Jones will present a talk about unearthing below ground tropical tree community diversity and assembly through DNA metabarcoding tools. To summarize, with a broad range of well-established scientists working on various organisms, this session will cover how genomes of various organisms, populations and communities change with environmental variation, and how these changes are reflected in organisms’ trait variation.

One-sentence Summary:
This session will emphasize ecological genomics as an important and emerging field for non-model organisms to understand how genomes of organisms, populations and communities vary across environments and how this variation shapes phenotypes and affects ecological and evolutionary processes.

Organismal response to changing environments: Linking short-term response to long-term adaptation
Michael Pfrender, University of Notre Dame

Genomic responses to variable environments across physiological and evolutionary timescales in killifish
Andrew Whitehead, UC Davis, Davis, CA

The genetic architecture underlying nematode responses to grassland soil bacteria and its effects on fitness
Michael A. Herman, Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Evaluating the efficacy of the RADseq method for use with historic specimen to elucidate the effects of climate change on the population genomics of a butterfly hybrid zone
Sean F. Ryan, Biology, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

Experimental genomics of adaptation to new environments
Rowan Barrett, Dept. of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Genetic differentiation, transcriptome variation, and local adaptation of an ecologically dominant prairie grass Andropogon gerardii (big bluestem) occurring along the climate gradient in Midwest U.S. grasslands
Loretta Johnson, Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Genetic basis of local adaptations in South African Protea repens
Melis Akman, Plant Sciences, UC Davis, Davis, CA

Unearthing below ground tropical tree community diversity and assembly through DNA metabarcoding
F. Andrew Jones, Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Ecosystem and Community Effects of Native and Invasive Diseases

Organizer
Noam Ross
UC Davis
Environmental Science and Policy

Co-organizer
Richard C. Cobb
University of Califorina Davis
Department of Plant Pathology

Moderator
Noam Ross
UC Davis
Environmental Science and Policy

Disease structures many ecological communities and ecosystem processes, and invasive diseases can transform ecological communities. Many emerging and invasive diseases have escaped detection, control and eradication efforts and spread over large areas, leaving modified systems in their wake. In the past decade, such diseases have included Sudden Oak Death in Pacific Coast forests, White Nose Syndrome in eastern bat populations, and chytridiomycosis in amphibian communities worldwide. In other systems, native endemic diseases are a crucial component in maintaining biodiversity and ecosystem services. This session aims to synthesize research on the cascading effects of both native and invasive diseases on other ecological processes such as behavior, species competition, trophic interactions, and nutrient cycling. It also aims to understand how these effects compare across systems and especially between outbreaks of invasive disease and endemic diseases. Speakers will present recent research including empirical work on secondary and tertiary effects of disease that occur at the community- and ecosystem-scale and models that link disease to other ecosystem processes. The talks will include research on a diverse set of systems with both plant and animal diseases.

One-sentence Summary:
This session aims to synthesize research on effects of both native and invasive diseases on ecological processes such as behavior, species competition, trophic interactions, and nutrient cycling, and to explore potential management approaches in systems where such effects play a prominent role.

Epidemiological models are needed to understand and minimize disease impacts to ecosystem processes
Richard C. Cobb, Department of Plant Pathology, University of Califorina Davis, Davis, CA

Causes and consequences of virus diversity in California grasslands
Erin A. Mordecai, Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Changes in community composition of bats driven by the fungal disease white-nose syndrome
Kate E. Langwig, Center for Ecology and Conservation Biology, Dept. of Biology, Boston University, Boston, MA

The ecology and impact of chytridiomycosis
Cherie Briggs, Department of Integrative Biology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Long-term consequences of catastrophic amphibian declines on the stability of invertebrate and diatom communities in a Neotropical stream
Thomas Barnum, University of Georgia

Ecology and impacts of infectious disease on native birds: California avian communities.
Dr. Holly Ernest, Population Health and Reproduction, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Ecosystem Resilience And Lessons Learnt From Climate Change Vulnerability Assessments

Organizer
Dominique Bachelet
Conservation Biology Institute

Moderator
Tosha Comendant
Conservation Biology Institute

Climate change is projected to jeopardize ecosystems function worldwide. Managing ecosystems for future resilience requires collaboration, innovation and communication. Scientists have responded to the need for addressing climate change and assessing vulnerability and adaptive response by providing an assortment of information sources – everything from guidebooks to data repositories to carbon calculators and modeling tools. However, the abundance of information and the uncertainty around both climate change projections and impacts has not been provided with practical guidance to managers who have little funding and limited time to digest and incorporate available material into planning and implementation documents. Conversely, there is little commonly available or widespread guidance for scientists to develop climate change-related tools for the management community, with many tools not considering management needs and priorities. We propose to galvanize experts, innovators, and learning network members to present results and lessons learnt while working with land managers to design effective management strategies and address climate change challenges. We have organized the session such that first managers from federal agencies will tell us how they have approached the federal mandate to evaluate both short-term and long-term climate change risks and vulnerabilities to the agencies’ missions, ultimately to develop, prioritize, and implement actions. During the second part of this session, we will hear from a variety of tools developers addressing the needs delineated in the first part of the session. Lastly we will hear about three concrete examples of tools that were developed to answer specific questions related to renewable energy development, species listing to ESA, and federal land exposure to climate change.

One-sentence Summary:
We present a variety of lessons learnt from making climate change science actionable through creating datasets, developing tools, or holding workshops to share data, tools and general knowledge: what works and what does not work so well when scientists try to help land managers better prepare for climate change impacts.

Preparing for climate change at Wind Cave National Park: lessons learnt from both scenario planning and modeling
Amy J. Symstad, Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center, USGS, Hot Springs, SD

Lessons learnt from a series of climate change workshops in Washington state
Jessica Halofsky, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Developing a climate stress index to better manage wildlife in a changing climate
Linda Joyce, USDA Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station, Fort Collins, CO

Creating decision support tools for developing conservation strategies for the West Coast fisher
Wayne Spencer, Conservation Biology Institute, San Diego, CA

Improving use and development of climate change tools for managers
Christopher W. Swanston, Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science, US Forest Service, Houghton, MI

Willamette 2100: bringing tools to bear
John P. Bolte, Oregon State University

Strengthening the foundation of conservation: building the Protected Areas Database, the LCC conservation atlases and delivering CSC climate change projections
Kai Henifin, Conservation Biology Institute, Corvallis, OR

Logic models (EEMS) developed for conservation planning
Tim Sheehan, Conservation Biology Institute, Corvallis, OR

Enhancing Urban Sustainability: Social and Ecological Dimensions

Organizer
Jennifer M. Fraterrigo
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

Co-organizer
Bethany B. Cutts
University of Illinois
Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences

Moderator
Jennifer M. Fraterrigo
University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign
Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences
Session Description:
Despite their relatively small footprint on the earth, urban ecosystems exert a large influence on the global terrestrial biosphere and forecasts of urban expansion over the next two decades suggest that the impact of urbanization on natural resources will intensify. Urban land cover is expected to increase by 1.2 million km2, almost tripling global urban land area circa 2000, and potentially leading to a major loss in terrestrial C storage and increased demand for water and other natural resources. Given the current and projected expansion of urban ecosystems, there is a pressing need to enhance urban sustainability through the implementation of policies that mitigate urban resource demand. Municipal governments have also signaled an enhanced level of readiness to implement strategies that can increase urban sustainability. For example, new initiatives target reduced greenhouse gas emissions and increased carbon sequestration in residential landscapes through the planting of woody and perennial species, mulching of grass clippings, and regulation of fertilization rates. However, there are several potential social and ecological barriers to the design, adoption and implementation of such sustainability initiatives. Incompatibilities may exist between the desired change and household-, neighborhood- and municipal-level influences currently in place, leading to social resistance that may slow or block the adoption of new initiatives aimed at enhancing urban sustainability. Trade-offs among ecosystem services may reduce the mitigating effects of new policies. Social and ecological factors may also interact to influence the outcome of proposed changes. Although there is increasing recognition of these challenges, the social and ecological dimensions of urban sustainability remain poorly understood and there is a need for more communication between social scientists and ecologists to develop integrated frameworks for improving urban sustainability. We will organize a session that focuses on the social and ecological dimensions of urban ecosystems that influence sustainability. The objectives of the organized session will be to share on-going research in urban ecology and sustainability science to (1) inform approaches for quantifying the influence of social and ecological processes on natural resource demand in urban ecosystems, (2) expand understanding of the trade-offs among carbon storage and other essential urban ecosystem services, and (3) identify profitable directions for future research.

One-sentence Summary:
The objectives of this session are to share research in urban ecology and sustainability science to (1) inform approaches for quantifying the influence of social and ecological processes on natural resource demand, (2) expand understanding of the trade-offs among urban ecosystem services, and (3) identify profitable directions for future research.

The social dimensions of urban sustainability
Bethany B. Cutts, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

The political ecology of urban homogenization
Laura Ogden, Florida International University

Advancing ecological theory for hybrid ecosystems
Diane E. Pataki, Department of Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

talk title TBD
Kirsten Schwarz, Department of Biological Sciences, SC 152, Northern Kentucky University, Highland Heights, KY

The storage and dynamics of urban soil carbon
Richard V. Pouyat, National Program Leader Bioclimatology, United States Forest Service, Arlington, VA

Quantifying foreclosure effects on land cover using remotely sensed data
Jonathan Greenberg, Geography and Geographic Information Science, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

Modeling social and ecological processes and carbon outcomes in exurban landscapes
Daniel G. Brown, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

talk title TBD
Jonathan K. London, Department of Human and Community Development, Center for Regional Change, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Environmental Conservation on Private Lands – Planning, Implementation, Benefits and Motives of Conservation Measures in the Unprotected Landscape Matrix

Organizer
Michael Drescher
University of Waterloo
School of Planning

Co-organizer
Zachary S. M. Bogdon
University of Waterloo
School of Planning

Moderator
Zachary S. M. Bogdon
University of Waterloo
School of Planning

Governments worldwide are working toward goals for conservation of biodiversity and other environmental values, directing much of their efforts at expanding protected area networks. However, the conservation goals in many jurisdictions appear increasingly out of reach. Part of the problem is that protected areas cover only a small part of the land and tend to be isolated from each other by unprotected areas, which often are used for agriculture, forestry or residential purposes with mostly reduced provision of environmental values. The fragmentation of protected areas disrupts flows of organisms, energy and matter, exposes these areas to various negative effects decreasing their habitat value, and limits their ability to provide ecosystem goods and services. Though varying by geography, private lands can cover the majority of the land in a jurisdiction. Consequently, it is increasingly recognized that the landscape matrix of private lands can play a critical role in successful environmental conservation. These private lands can serve as corridors connecting protected areas or can provide a multi-purpose landscape matrix that generates ecosystem goods and services and supports embedded protected areas. However, many questions remain regarding the planning and implementation of private land conservation. One set of questions revolves around landowner engagement in environmental conservation. Compliance-based policies were used frequently in the past and while some policies were successful in conservation planning, others led to mixed results. Consequently, alternative strategies have emerged, for instance the ones increasingly used by land trusts, such as the purchase of private land or the acquisition of conservation easements that ensure conservation of the land in perpetuity. Other novel strategies rely on voluntary conservation by private landowners, whose main motivators for conservation efforts are based on rational choice or socio-psychological approaches. For example, rational choice decisions are targeted by governmental tax-incentive programs that reduce property taxes in exchange for conservation efforts; social-psychological drivers include the affective dimension of landowners’ relationships with their lands and can be encouraged by (non)-governmental recognition programs. We will explore the benefits of private land conservation in support of protected areas and for the provision of environmental goods and services. Further, we will investigate tools, socio-cultural values and motives for landowner engagement in private land conservation and discuss resolutions to land use conflicts.

One-sentence Summary:
Based on interdisciplinary insights from ecology, socio-psychology, policy and legal studies, and drawing on research from Canada, Australia and the USA, this session investigates conservation planning and implementation on private lands, benefits of private land conservation for environmental goods and services, and tools, socio-cultural values and motives for landowner engagement.

The impact of private land conservation on fire risk in the wildland-urban-interface
Van A. Butsic, Department of Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Planning for long, wide conservation corridors on private lands: Reflecting on 12 years of Oak Ridges Moraine (Ontario, Canada) Conservation Act and Plan implementation
Colin Khan, School of Environmental Studies, Queen’s University, Kingston, ON, Canada

Fairness and the Endangered Species Act: a policy analysis of conservation on private lands
Andrea Olive, Geography and Program in Planning, University of f Toronto – Mississauga, Mississauga, ON, Canada

Grassroots conservation actions by private landholders on small parcels in the urban/rural divide of Australia and beyond
Shelby G. Laird, School of Environmental Sciences, Charles Stuart University, Albury, Australia

An investigation of socio-psychological determinants of private landowner participation in voluntary conservation programs
G. Keith Warriner, Department of Sociology and Legal Studies, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Keeping Danby Danby: Notes from the field on some psycho-social dimensions of private land conservation
Jacob C. Brenner, Department of Environmental Studies and Sciences, Ithaca College, Ithaca, NY

’It’s like the sweetest sunshine you’ve ever tasted’: understanding the affective dimension of private land conservation
Michael Drescher, School of Planning, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

The intersection of socio-cultural values with biodiversity on private lands located within Southeast Queensland
Angela Wardell-Johnson, Faculty of Arts and Business, University of the Sunshine Coast, Sippy Downs, Australia

Experimental Forests and Ranges as a Research Network

Organizer
Jens T. Stevens
University of California
Graduate Group in Ecology
Department of Plant Sciences

Co-organizers
Peter A. Stine
USDA Forest Service
Sierra Nevada Research Center

Salli Dymond
University of Minnesota
Forest Resources

Moderator
Jens T. Stevens
University of California
Graduate Group in Ecology
Department of Plant Sciences

The USDA Forest Service currently manages 80 Experimental Forests and Ranges (EFR’s) in the United States and Puerto Rico. These EFR’s are broadly distributed across almost every forested ecoregion in the country, and represent a priceless research and monitoring asset for the scientific community to address critical questions in forest ecology at a continental scale. EFR’s are among the few places within the 193 million acres of the National Forest System that are designated to support long-term and large-scale manipulative experiments. Because of this emphasis on experimentation, EFR’s have been effectively used as showcases in which to demonstrate the practical application of ecological research to forest managers and to the public. Given the increasing interest in and need for coordinated continental-scale research across different ecosystems, EFR’s represent an underutilized resource to address fundamental questions in ecological science and management. The aims of this Organized Oral Session are threefold: 1) To increase awareness of the breadth of ecosystems represented by the EFR network, 2) To highlight current research across a broad range of ecological sub-disciplines that utilizes the EFR network, and 3) To inspire new ideas and dialog about potential research and monitoring opportunities across the EFR network. This session will open with an introduction to the EFR network that identifies strengths, challenges, and opportunities for collaborative research across this diverse collection of research sites. Subsequent speakers will present a broad spectrum of current ecological research, showcasing EFR research from across the country. The unifying theme is that each speaker will discuss new scientific research being conducted at the landscape-scale, which takes advantage of the EFR network to utilize long-term datasets, large-scale experimental manipulations, or collaborations between multiple sites. These speakers will address a range of research findings produced by the network, including: the implementation of a “Smart Forest” environmental sensor network to deliver a full gamut of real-time, digital environmental data to support research and provide fine-scale data on changes to environmental conditions; silvicultural and forest management strategies to improve forest resilience to wildfire and other disturbances; landscape-scale research on soil biota, biogeochemistry, and hydrology; forest responses to climate variability; and utilization of long-term data to describe vegetation responses to different climate and management regimes. The session will be followed by a discussion of how the extensive EFR network can be used to address emerging questions in ecology, especially research involving ecosystem dynamics across large spatial and temporal scales.

One-sentence Summary:
This session highlights current research in forested ecosystems within the USDA Forest Service Experimental Forest and Range (EFR) network, with a focus on utilizing the network to conduct landscape-scale research using long-term data, experimental manipulations and cross-site studies to improve our understanding of continental-scale forest ecology.

An Introduction to the USDA Experimental Forest and Range Network
Peter A. Stine, Sierra Nevada Research Center, USDA Forest Service, Davis, CA

Environmental Sensor Applications at Experimental Forests: The Smart Forest Network
John L. Campbell, United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service, Durham, NH

Silviculture in Southern Pinelands: The Role of Experimental Forests
Don C. Bragg, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Monticello, AR

Forest Management for Wilfire Resilience in Western Experimental Forests
Theresa B. Jain, Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Moscow, ID

Forest Soil Biogeochemistry: Contributions of Experimental Forests
Mary Beth Adams, Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Parsons, WV

Hydrologic Processes in Northern Forests
Randall K. Kolka, Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Grand Rapids, MN

Tropical Forest Responses to Climate Change: Evidence from the Luquillo Experimental Forest
Grizelle González, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, USDA Forest Service, San Juan, PR

Long-term vegetation monitoring in experimental forests
Todd M. Wilson, Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Olympia, WA

From Bacteria To The Biosphere: Nitrogen Isotope Applications Across Systems And Scales


Organizer
Alison R. Marklein
University of California – Davis
Land, Air, Water Resources

Co-organizer
Benjamin Z. Houlton
University of California, Davis
Land, Air and Water Resources

Moderator
Alison R. Marklein
University of California – Davis
Land, Air, Water Resources

The ratio of heavy to light nitrogen isotopes can be used to examine the N cycle, across scale ranging from bacteria to the global ecological system. The fact that the 15N:14N ratio changes based on rates of biological activity can be used to infer biological processes that are otherwise difficult to measure. We propose a session to address the past, present and future applications of nitrogen isotopes in ecological research. The proposed session will begin with an overview of nitrogen isotopes, will be followed by talks focusing on specific ecosystems, and then focusing on different time periods. Speakers discuss research in terrestrial, oceanic, and land/aquatic interfaces, paleo reconstruction using nitrogen isotopes, and modeling applications.

One-sentence Summary:
This session focuses on the use of nitrogen isotopes to better understand ecological processes in a diversity of ecosystems, focusing on aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems; a range of climatic and topographic conditions; paleo reconstructions and future predictions; use experimental and modeling methodology; and range from local to global scales.

Using nitrogen isotopes to constrain our understanding of the biosphere
Benjamin Z. Houlton, Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Nitrogen isotopes in tropical ecosystems
Luiz A. Martinelli, University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Temperate forest patterns, gradients in 15N/14N, and N fixation effects
Steven S. Perakis, Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center, US Geological Survey, Corvallis, OR

Nitrogen Isotopes and Oceanic Processes
Curtis A. Deutsch, Atmospheric and Oceanic Sciences, University of California, Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Inferring salmon population dynamics and fishing impacts at multiple scales using sediment nitrogen isotopes
Gordon W. Holtgrieve, School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Paleobiogeochemical applications of nitrogen isotopes and terrestrial vs. lacustrine paleorecords
Kendra K. McLauchlan, Geography, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Chlorophyll degredation products in soil – potential for a new terrestrial paleo N proxy
Sara K. Enders, Land, Air and Water Resources, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Climate Controls on Nitrogen Isotopes
Ronald Amundson, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

From Mountains to the Saline Lakes of the Great Basin: Ecosystems at Risk

Organizer
Dave Herbst
University of California Santa Barbara
Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory

Co-organizer
Susan Mortenson
Otis Bay Ecological Consulting

Moderator
Graham Chisholm
Great Basin Bird Observatory

Terminal salt lakes are the end points of many river drainages of the intermountain west in the U.S. Diversion of flow to meet agricultural and municipal and industrial uses have reduced flows and resulted in declining lake levels and rising salinity. As these Great Basin rivers and their saline lakes have lost water, the structure, function and productivity of riparian and aquatic biological communities have become increasingly altered from their natural state. Native fish and bird populations have become threatened or extirpated. The potential for collapse of these native ecosystems has repeatedly raised public concern in a number of lake basins (e.g., Walker, Pyramid, Abert, Mono, Owens, and the Great Salt Lake). Restoration efforts have included securing more water to these rivers and lakes, changing the pattern of regulated river flows, managing sediment movement, and restoring river channel habitats. Knowledge of the structure and function of these ecological systems and focused conservation efforts have been critical to preventing ecosystem collapse for some of these terminal lake basins, yet there remains more to be done. The goal of this special session would be to bring together years of studies documenting changes encompassing the geographic extent of the Great Basin, different river basins, and levels of biological organization. How the stressors of depleted flows, rising salinity, and climate change interact to alter biogeochemical cycling, productivity and composition of algal-microbial and invertebrate communities, riparian forests and wetlands, and the food webs of fish and water birds that use these iconic habitats of the desert would be featured in this session. The connection of river and lake ecosystems would be a focus as well as the reciprocal relationship between research and restoration practices.

One-sentence Summary:
Terminal salt lakes and their tributary rivers have suffered loss and diversion of flows for over a century though in recent years concerted conservation efforts have improved conditions in some watersheds and pointed the direction toward long-term investments to sustain these highly productive ecosystems.

Less Water and More Salt: Limitations on abundance and diversity and altered food webs in saline lakes of the western Great Basin
Dave Herbst, Sierra Nevada Aquatic Research Laboratory, University of California Santa Barbara, Mammoth Lakes, CA

Fishery Recovery in Terminal Lakes and Rivers of the Great Basin
Lisa Heki, Lahontan National Fish Hatchery Complex, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Reno, NV

Changes in aquatic bird communities of terminal lakes in the western Great Basin in relation to water availability
Elisabeth Ammon, Great Basin Bird Observatory

Managing Flows for Ecosystem Benefits: the Pyramid Lake and Truckee River Case Study
Chad R. Gourley, Otis Bay Ecological Consulting, Verdi, CA

The influence of diking and diking modifications on flow and salinity in Utah’s Great Salt Lake
Sarah Null, Watershed Sciences, Utah State University

Science and advocacy at Mono Lake: Protection, restoration, adaptive management, and the path to recovery
Geoffrey McQuilkin, Mono Lake Committee

Implementing Collaborative Adaptive Management From Multiple Perspectives: Scientists, Agencies, And Public Stakeholders

Organizer
Peter Hopkinson
University of California Berkeley
Environmental Science Policy and Management

Co-organizers
Peter Hopkinson
University of California Berkeley
Environmental Science Policy and Management

John J. Battles
University of California, Berkeley
Environmental Science, Policy, and Management

Moderator
John J. Battles
University of California, Berkeley
Environmental Science, Policy, and Management

Adaptive management has been a buzzword in natural resources management for many years and has become official policy for some land management agencies. Actually implementing large-scale adaptive management projects has lagged behind. Despite the promise of reliable and site-specific knowledge with which to inform management decisions, concerns about the necessary time, money, expertise, and political will have stymied wide-spread application of the adaptive management process. Incorporating full public participation into the adaptive management process, although sometimes an essential element for success, increases the complexity and unfamiliarity of the process for many potential collaborators. The goal of this Organized Oral Session is to encourage the implementation of large collaborative adaptive management (CAM) projects, drawing on the multiple perspectives and lessons learned from the relatively few examples of such projects. California’s Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project (http://snamp.cnr.berkeley.edu/) is one example of a multi-year, large-scale collaboration between scientists from several universities, staff from multiple state and federal agencies, and diverse public stakeholders. For seven years, SNAMP has been investigating the effects of forest fuel treatments on fire behavior, water quality and quantity, forest health, and two wildlife species of concern, while simultaneously facilitating and studying a collaborative adaptive management (CAM) process. Speakers representing all participants will present their perspectives on what works and what requires further improvement in the CAM process, on methods of overcoming obstacles to success for CAM projects, and on the benefits of CAM projects in terms of more informed land management decisions and stronger working relationships between agencies, stakeholders, and scientists. We hope that by the end of the session, participants will have gained a clearer understanding of the value of the CAM process and a toolkit of strategies and practices for successful implementation of CAM projects.

One-sentence Summary:
The goal of this Organized Oral Session is to encourage the implementation of large collaborative adaptive management (CAM) projects, drawing on the multiple perspectives and lessons learned from the relatively few examples of such projects.

The evolution of adaptive management on Forest Service lands in the Pacific Northwest
Bernard Bormann, USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station

Lessons learned from actual implementations of landscape fuel treatment projects: modeled fire behavior impacts and implications for future forest landscape planning
Danny Fry1, Scott Stephens2 and Brandon Collins1, (1)Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA, (2)Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Collaborative adaptive management in the Sierra Nevada Adaptive Management Project: perspectives of sponsoring agencies
Patricia Flebbe, USDA Forest Service Region 5

Implementing adaptive management with multiple stakeholders – working with scientists, agencies, and public stakeholders
Susan Kocher, University of California Cooperative Extension and Lynn Huntsinger, University of California Berkeley

Closing the Adaptive Management Loop: Theory versus Practice
Susan Britting, Sierra Forest Legacy

Forest fuel reduction, spotted owls, and adaptive management of forests in the Sierra Nevada: where are we?
M. Zachariah Peery, Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, WI

Verifying the water impacts of vegetation management in heterogeneous, mixed-conifer Sierra Nevada forests
Roger Bales, University of California, Sierra Nevada Research Institute, Merced, CA

Integrating competing public interests and ecological trade-offs: a challenge for adaptive management
Peter Hopkinson, Environmental Science Policy and Management, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Indigenous Culture, Language, and Ecology

Organizer
Tarik C. Gouhier
Northeastern Unviversity
Marine Science Center

Co-organizers
Emily Klein
University of New Hampshire

Flora Cordoleani
UC Davis

Pradeep Pillai
Northeastern Unviversity
Marine Science Center

Moderator
Emily Klein
University of New Hampshire

The aim of this symposium is to explore new territory in an emerging field regarding the role of indigenous language as a carrier of ecological and cultural knowledge. Encoded in indigenous languages are the world views and traditional knowledge systems of indigenous peoples gained by extended histories of interactions with the natural world. Language carries many layers of meaning and intricate understandings of natural processes and landscapes. For example, names of plants, animals and places not only provide a description of the biodiversity of their regions but also contain key biological information such as interrelationships, biogeography, phenology and practical uses. Indigenous culture and language also incorporate knowledge about human relationships and rules of engagement with nature which are crucial to promoting long-term sustainability of the land. This symposium will provide an opportunity to create a shared framework for integrating biological and linguistic conservation goals. This interdisciplinary dialogue is critical to understanding how humans interact with ecosystems and achieving conservation of species and their ecosystems.

One-sentence Summary:
This symposium explores new territory in an emerging field regarding the role of indigenous language as a carrier of ecological and cultural knowledge in order to promote transdisciplinary information-sharing which can lead to an advancement of scientific knowledge and biological conservation goals.

Great Lakes ethno-ecology from the lens of Anishinaabemowin
Scott M. Herron, Biology, Ferris State University, Big Rapids, MI

Ecological and Cultural Edges as Sources of Diversity for Social-Ecological Resilience
Nancy Turner, School of Environmental Studies for Ethnobotany, University of Victoria, Victoria, BC, Canada

Cartographic translations of situated knowledge
Margaret Pearce, Department of Geography, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

Language Patterns Illuminate Cultural Uses of Flora and Fauna
Priscilla Wehi, Centre for Sustainability, University of Otago, Dunedin 9054, New Zealand

Fire, Floodplains and Fish: Traditional Resource Management  as a dialectic and dynamic communication system between native fish and indigenous cultures on the Cosumnes River, CA
Emilie Zelazo, California State University, Sacramento, Sacramento, CA

American Indian Resilience on the Edges of Climate Change
Enrique Salmon, Department of Ethnic Studies, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA

Using Indigenous Social-Ecological Concepts to Inform Future Sustainability and Wellbeing: Examples from Southeast Alaska
Thomas Thornton, Environmental Change Institute, School of Geography, University of Oxford, Oxford OX1 3QY

Design Ethnobiology:  Creative engagements with materials to sustain natural resource harvest in a changing world
Iain Davidson-Hunt, Natural Resources Institute, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, MB

Organizer
Teresa L. Newberry
Tohono O’odham Community College

Moderator
Ronald L. Trosper
University of Arizona
American Indian Studies

Innovations for Endangered Species Recovery

Organizer
Daniel M. Evans
American Association for the Advancement of Science
Science and Technology Policy Fellow

Co-organizer
Terence Houston
Ecological Society of America
Public Affairs Office

Moderator
Sharon K. Collinge
University of Colorado
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Environmental Studies Program

The Endangered Species Act of 1973 (ESA) established a broad mandate to “recover” species at risk of extinction – to increase their abundance and conserve their habitats so that “the measures provided pursuant to this Act are no longer necessary.” Yet after 40 years of legal protection, recovery planning, and conservation management, the prospects for most endangered species in the United States are still quite dim. The ESA has prevented the extinction of many species. But there are now >1,400 plants and animals on the U.S. endangered species list; fewer than 10% of these species are known to be increasing in abundance; and the number of species that warrant listing is likely an order of magnitude greater than the number listed. Moreover, the ecological stressors pushing species to extinction are so pervasive and persistent in the United States that a large majority of endangered species will continue to need legal protection and active conservation management for the foreseeable future. When the ESA was passed in 1973, ecologists generally understood nature as a dynamic equilibrium. Most conservation efforts focused on individual species and employed traditional tools of game management – controlling harvest, prohibiting commerce, and creating reserves. These strategies were designed to reduce human threats so that at-risk species could rebound to stable populations. We now realize that ecosystems are rapidly changing, and our traditional management approaches are inadequate. In addition, while the U.S. population and economy continue to grow, government funding for endangered species has been insufficient for decades and will likely remain so. In this OOS, we will present and discuss innovative strategies to confront these challenges. Talks will synthesize existing research and present new research and methods for recovering endangered species.

One-sentence Summary:
Presenters in this OOS will synthesize existing research and present new research and methods for recovering endangered species in the United States. The talks will focus specifically on innovations to overcome ecological and social barriers to species recovery.

The Endangered Species Act: A flexible statute that permits innovation
Dale D. Goble, College of Law, University of Idaho

Improving the use of multi-species habitat conservation plans
Curtis H. Flather, Rocky Mountain Research Station, USDA, Forest Service, Fort Collins, CO

Evaluating landscape-level extinction risk: New tools for setting science-based recovery targets
Maile C. Neel, Plant Science & Landscape Architecture and Entomology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Designating critical habitat to increase species’ resilience to climate change
Daniel M. Evans, Science and Technology Policy Fellow, American Association for the Advancement of Science, Washington, DC

Prioritizing endangered species recovery spending: Making our conservation values explicit
Tim Male, Defenders of Wildlife

Maximizing conservation incentives for private landowners
Rebecca Epanchin-Niell, Resources for the Future, Washington, DC

Using adaptive management to recover species in rapidly changing ecosystems
Deborah Crouse, Endangered Species Program, US Fish and Wildlife Service, Arlington, VA

Developing conservation management agreements to delist conservation-reliant species
J. Michael Scott, Idaho Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit, Department of Fish and Wildlife Resources, University of Idaho, Moscow, ID

Islands In Space And Time: Population And Community Ecology Of Temporary Aquatic Habitat

Organizer
Jamie M. Kneitel
California State University, Sacramento
Department of Biological Sciences

Co-organizers
Michael T. Bogan
University of California, Berkeley
Environmental Science, Policy & Management

Kate S. Boersma
Oregon State University
Zoology

Sharon K. Collinge
University of Colorado
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Environmental Studies Program

Moderator
Kate S. Boersma
Oregon State University
Zoology

Temporary (or seasonal) aquatic habitat is ubiquitous, but is most common in arid and Mediterranean climates. Historically, most research in aquatic ecosystems has focused on permanent waters, but seasonal aquatic habitat is proving to be an important source of biodiversity and endemic species on local and global scales. Research over the past several decades has greatly advanced our understanding of these systems, but it is unclear whether the same principles that structure communities in permanent waters can really be employed for seasonal habitat. Species that occupy these temporary ecosystems persist through dramatic habitat fluctuations by having an array of dispersal and dormancy traits. But the limits of these adaptations are being tested; temporary aquatic habitats are in decline worldwide because of human activities. With increasing concerns about water quality, availability, and management, these “islands in space and time” provide a unique opportunity to test questions of both theoretical and applied importance. This session will address the latest research on population structure and dynamics, metacommunity ecology, community assembly, and food web structure in temporary aquatic ecosystems. We seek to bring together a group of researchers with different approaches and strengths to advance the conceptual and empirical foundation of understanding temporary aquatic habitat. Several applied issues will be addressed, including species and ecosystem management, disease ecology, and restoration. The session will address a broad range of spatial and temporal scales and will include a variety of systems, including vernal pools, streams, and rock pools. This session will emphasize recent work bridging theoretical and applied questions in temporary aquatic habitats. Our goals are to: (1) advance our understanding of these systems by including researchers that use different levels of ecological inquiry, taxonomic groups, and theoretical approaches; (2) attempt to synthesize these varied approaches to create a more unified conceptual framework for temporary aquatic habitat.

One-sentence Summary:
This session will highlight the population and community ecology of temporary aquatic habitats using a variety of perspectives and taxonomic groups to ultimately advance and synthesize our understanding of these unique ecosystems.

Hydroperiod and species assemblage variation influence multiple metrics of temporary pond food web structure
Tiffany A. Schriever, Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, SD

Macroinvertebrate community assembly following rewetting in a short flow duration intermittent stream
Michael T. Bogan, Environmental Science, Policy & Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

The effects of spatiotemporal heterogeneity in California vernal pool metacommunities
Jamie M. Kneitel, Department of Biological Sciences, California State University, Sacramento, Sacramento, CA

Invasive plants alter the environment for their own success: impacts of litter deposition in restored vernal pools
Akasha M. Faist, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Long term trajectories of plant communities in restored California vernal pools
Sharon K. Collinge, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Environmental Studies Program, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Disturbance in temporary pools: consequences for community and mosquito dynamics
Leon Blaustein, Kadas Green Roofs Ecology Center, Institute of Evolution and Department of Evolutionary and Environmental Biology, University of Haifa, Haifa, Israel
 
Disturbance regime alters the impact of dispersal on alpha and beta diversity in a temporary rock pool metacommunity
Bram Vanschoenwinkel, Biology – KULeuven, Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Leuven, Belgium

The threats of landscape homogenization to ephemeral pool communities and species integrity
Marie A. Simovich, Biology, University of San Diego, San Diego, CA and Andrew Bohonak, Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA

Looking Back And Looking Forward: Results And Advice From The World’s Forest Warming Experiments

Organizer
Molly A. Cavaleri
Michigan Technological University
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Co-organizers
Sasha C. Reed
USGS

Tana E. Wood
USDA Forest Service
International Institute of Tropical Forestry

Moderator
Molly A. Cavaleri
Michigan Technological University
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Research suggests that multiple aspects of forest structure and function will respond significantly to a changing climate and, because forests play critical roles in Earth’s biogeochemical cycles, such responses have important implications at the global-scale. Large-scale climate experiments are providing exciting insight into forest responses to warming and, although responses may be dependent upon site characteristics, we argue there are currently enough warming experiments with robust results to warrant a synthetic examination of the data. Here we propose a session that focuses on synthesizing our current understanding of forest responses to global warming in temperate and boreal ecosystems. In addition to integrating results into a larger understanding, we have asked speakers to work toward the goal of identifying and applying lessons from these existing warming experiments to the challenges presented by forthcoming attempts to experimentally warm tropical forests. Currently, there is considerable scientific momentum behind the initiation of large-scale climate manipulations in tropical ecosystems and these efforts could greatly benefit from insight and lessons gathered from analogous work at higher-latitudes. Thus, we have assembled talks that offer contemporary results and that will also focus on lessons learned, gaps in understanding, and recommendations for future warming experiments. The talks span a variety of experimental approaches and a diversity of forest types and speakers will consider multiple forest responses, including the temperature sensitivity of heterotrophic respiration and tree growth, tree mortality responses to seemingly subtle temperature changes, and how interactions between climate and nutrient cycles could regulate above- and belowground responses to warming. We hope to use the data and insight provided by this collection of speakers to highlight new research directions that build upon the work presented, as well as underscore novel avenues of investigation. Together these talks provide a comprehensive exploration of how forests are currently responding to temperature increases, they offer data to improve predictions of forest responses to future warming, and they highlight key mechanisms controlling the observed responses. We feel confident this session will provide an improved understanding of how and why increasing temperatures will affect a variety of forests, and that the talks will offer invaluable scientific direction for the next generation of warming experiments. The session will prove rewarding for scientists, decision makers, and land managers alike.

One-sentence Summary:
Talks in this session will provide a comprehensive exploration of forest warming experiments across many biomes, including syntheses of key results, considerations for climate feedback implications, discussions of lessons learned, and a focus on future research directions.

Acclimation of understory plant physiology to increased temperature in a Northern Hardwood Forest
Rebecca A. Montgomery, Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Canopy warming of a Japanese Oak Forest
Onno Muller, Institute of Bio-Und Geosciences

Advancing understanding of ecosystem responses to climate change with forest warming experiments
Pamela H. Templer, Department of Biology, Boston University, Boston, MA

Root acclimation to increased temperature in a Northern Hardwood Forest
Andrew J. Burton, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI

The spruce and peatland responses under climatic and environmental change experiment
Richard Norby, Environmental Science Division, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Digging deeper: Controls and response of decomposition in the full soil profile
Margaret S. Torn, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA

Temperature response of soil microbial efficiency in temperate forests
Serita D. Frey, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Next generation of warming experiments in tropical forests
Tana E. Wood, International Institute of Tropical Forestry, USDA Forest Service, Rio Piedras, PR

Mapping with the National Vegetation Classification: Purpose, Value, and Method

Organizer
Todd Keeler-Wolf
California Department of Fish and Wildlife
Biogeographic Data Branch

Co-organizer
Julie Evens
California Native Plant Society
Vegetation Program

Moderator
Julie Evens
California Native Plant Society
Vegetation Program

The National Vegetation Classification has been implemented as the standard for all Federal and many State Agencies. Classification of vegetation takes place on the ground through analysis of field plots. Vegetation maps combine the heuristic definitions of the classification with visually and geographically distinct representations. The value of quantitatively defined and accurate vegetation maps has increased immensely as value and decisions about land use increases. The first talk will report on a recent survey of users of vegetation map products in California. The presentation discusses responses to surveys conducted on a variety of users with local to regional geographic focus and also provides an economic evaluation of the roles of such mapping. The next talks explore methods of vegetation mapping and their evolution over time since the first maps were completed 15 years ago. These talks will cover the technical and methodological breakthroughs and remaining constraints on expressing vegetation through digital geographic products. Following this, a series of talks will explore some of the specific uses of vegetation maps including evaluating habitat connectivity, niche definition of certain species, and as management and monitoring tools. The closing talk will summarize the state of the art and the likely progress of uses of vegetation mapping and its integration with landscape analysis and conservation, This OOS provides the opportunity to learn from an array of presenters who discuss the value, purpose, and successes of mapping from users and producers of these products. Its outcome will be a clearer picture of how specific analyses and techniques can be assisted by NVC-based mapping, and how these and other techniques may be improved for future uses.

One-sentence Summary:
This session explores the multiple purposes and values of vegetation mapping based upon the defensible and flexible National Vegetation Classification system.

The heuristic and economic values associated with vegetation mapping in California using the national vegetation classification
Danielle Bram, Center for Geographical Studies , California State University, Northridge and Shawna Dark, Department of Geography, California State University, Northridge

Developing an understanding of how to map using the current National Vegetation Classification, recent improvements and suggestions for better representation and accuracy
John Menke, Aerial Information Systems

Integrating image segmentation and LIDAR for high resolution accurate vegetation mapping of Sonoma County, California
Mark Tukman, Tukman Geospatial LLC and Kass Green, Kass Green & Associates

Depicting floristic patterns in grasslands and fens
Jennifer Buck-Diaz, Vegetation Program, California Native Plant Society

Improving the efficiency and usefulness of vegetation maps using a standard approach
Charles Convis, ESRI Conservation Program

Refining spatially explicit habitat models for vertebrate distribution studies using the National Vegetation Classification
Melanie Gogol-Prokurat, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

The use of vegetation mapping to understand seasonal and gender specific habitat use in Ovenbirds in deciduous forests
John R. Faaborg, Biological Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Envisioning the future: uses of vegetation mapping as a tool for spatially explicit habitat modeling and conservation planning
Janet Franklin, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Modeling Microbial Processes: From The Earth Down Or The Microbe Up?

Organizer
Xiaofeng Xu
Oak Ridge National Laboratory
Environmental Science Division and Climate Change Science Institute

Co-organizer
Joshua P. Schimel
University of California, Santa Barbara
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology

Moderator
Wyatt Hartman
Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory
DOE Joint Genome Institute

Parallel advances in developing ecosystem biogeochemical process models and characterizing soil microbial community structure suggest the potential to incorporate microbial population dynamics and physiological processes into large-scale Earth system models. However, this emerging effort faces the challenge: which processes to represent and how? From a top down modeling perspective, identifying the critical processes and then developing approaches to model them, we may lack understanding of the driving mechanisms and the data to develop parameterizations. An alternative approach is more bottom-up, working from the community data to develop relationships and develop models that explain them—but these data sets may be more complex than current ecosystem models can accommodate. For ecosystem modelers to explicitly incorporate microbial mechanisms into Earth system models, and so better simulate and predict biogeochemistry-climate feedbacks, we need to bridge the gaps between these top-down and bottom-up, model- vs. data-driven approaches to microbial dynamics and element cycling. This organized special session will invite experts to discuss current issues in the field of modeling microbial processes to predict global climate change dynamics and feedbacks. The objectives of this session are 1) to enhance communication between microbial data scientists and ecosystem modelers; 2) to review the status of microbial data for improving ecosystem models; 3) to promote designing laboratory and field experiments to test and parameterize models of microbial processes, and 4) to identify opportunities for data-model integration to better simulate and predict biogeochemical feedbacks in the earth-climate system. Speakers will identify critical knowledge gaps and present case studies illustrating both data-guided model development, and model-driven experiments to determine appropriate mechanisms and improve data synthesis. Case study presentations will be contextualized by opening and closing talks emphasizing the overall progress and gaps in the field, and opportunities for future collaboration to improve synthesis of modeling and data-driven process studies. The significance of data-model integration as a mechanism to advance understanding of microbial processes, including carbon and nutrient cycling, and trace gas fluxes will be emphasized. Progress in these areas and the data-model integration process will be of interest to many members of ESA including microbiologists, ecosystem ecologists, ecosystem modelers, and data scientists.

One-sentence Summary:
Speakers in this session will explore the challenges and opportunities in integrating current knowledge and data on microbial metabolic processes into large scale ecosystem biogeochemical models. Presentations will include examples of data-guided model development, model-driven experimental design, and development of data-model integration strategies for advancing our knowledge in the field.

What does data tell us about microbial model structure
Yiqi Luo, Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Exoenzymes: are they the secret to capturing non-equilibrium in microbe-SOM system?
Joshua P. Schimel, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

Theoretical modeling C- and N- acquiring exoenzyme activities to balance microbial demands during decomposition
Daryl L. Moorhead, Environmental Sciences, University of Toledo, Toledo, OH

Genome informed trait-based models for improved prediction of microbial dynamics and biogeochemical rates
Eoin Brodie, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA

Integrating microbial eco-physiological responses to drought and nutrient limitation into ecosystem models
Stefano Manzoni, Department of Crop Production Ecology, Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences, Sweden

Representing microbial processes in large-scale biogeochemistry model: challenges with microbial turnove
Xiaofeng Xu, Environmental Science Division and Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Reconciling soil biogeochemistry models with ecological theory
Will R. Wieder, TSS / CGD, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO

Observational and experimental constraints on global scale microbial models to improve climate prediction
Peter E. Thornton, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Novel Approaches for Process-Based Species Distribution Models

Organizer
Margaret E. K. Evans
University of Arizona
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Co-organizer
Sydne Record
Harvard University
Harvard Forest

Brian J. Enquist
University of Arizona
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Moderator
Sean McMahon
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Quantitative Ecology Group
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Species distribution or niche models are now one of the most widely-used tools in large-scale ecology, conservation biology, and biogeography. Indeed, predicting species’ current and future geographic distributions is a central challenge in ecology, particularly in the light of climate and other global change factors. One of the most pressing issues is how to integrate ecological and physiological mechanisms into niche or distribution models. Many ecologists have called for the development of a better suite of process-based models to improve our understanding of species’ current range dynamics, and forecast their future distributions. Process-based range models look beyond correlations between species’ presence and environmental variables, towards dynamic influences on species’ geographic distributions. Such models should, in principle, have better predictive ability. Our goal is to gather together speakers tackling the challenge of process-based range modeling from a diversity of modeling frameworks and incorporating a diversity of processes. The processes under consideration include physiology, phenology, demography, dispersal, allometry, species interactions, and community dynamics. The organization of the session will follow this same hierarchy – beginning with models based on physiology, and ending with community-level models. We are targeting speakers who will be able to contribute case studies – novel modeling frameworks applied to real data – rather than theoretical or conceptual advancements. In addition to the particular models and organisms they will speak about, we will ask the speakers to address some of the key challenges posed by process-based range modeling, including i) the integration of different sources of data to gain better inference on important processes and parameters, ii) addressing sampling bias and spatial autocorrelation, iii) scaling from field sampling units (plots, etc.) to entire geographic ranges, and iv) validating model predictions.

One-sentence Summary:
The speakers in this session will offer case studies of how to build process-based models of species’ geographic ranges – including a diversity of processes, modeling frameworks, and organisms – based on real data.

Does including physiology enhance process-based predictions of climate change responses?
Lauren B. Buckley1, Joel G. Kingsolver1 and Cesar R. Nufio2, (1)Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC, (2)Museum and Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Mechanistic modeling of plant invasion: ragweed (Ambrosia artemesifolia) in Europe
Daniel Chapman, Natural Environmental Research Council, Centre for Ecology & Hydrology, Midlothian, United Kingdom and James M. Bullock, Wallingford, Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, Wallingford, OXON, United Kingdom

Process-based estimation of niches and range dynamics of South African Proteaceae from demographic data and range-wide abundance variation
Jörn Pagel and Frank M. Schurr, Institut des Sciences de l’Évolution, University of Montpellier II, Montpellier, France

Range modeling of western North American trees using integral projection models (IPMs)
Margaret E. K. Evans, Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, Cory Merow, Quantitative Ecology Group, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD, Sean McMahon, Quantitative Ecology Group, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Edgewater, MD, Sydne Record, Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham, MA, Andrew Gray, USDA Forest Service Pacific Northwest Research Station, Noah D. Charney, Department of Biology, University of Massachusetts Amherst, Amherst, MA and Brian J. Enquist, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Dynamic demography-based models of forest distributions: fitting pattern vs. process
Mark C. Vanderwel, Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Dynamic species distribution models for global change: the challenge of disturbances
Josep M. Serra-Diaz, Universitat Autonoma de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain, Janet Franklin, School of Geographical Sciences and Urban Planning, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ, Alexandra Syphard, San Diego State University and Conservation Biology Institute, San Diego, CA and Robert M. Scheller, Environmental Sciences and Management, Portland State University, Portland, OR
 
Modeling species density for conservation through integrating occupancy and telemetry data
Morgan W. Tingley, Woodrow Wilson School, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ and Chad Hanson, The John Muir Project, Earth Island Institute

Should species distribution models include biotic interactions? Empirical evidence from the breeding bird survey
Sydne Record, Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham, MA, Jonathan Belmaker, Division of Biological Sciences, University of California, San Diego, San Diego, CA, Phoebe L. Zarnetske, Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT, Lydia Beaudrot, Graduate Group in Ecology, University of California-Davis, Davis, CA and Angela L. Strecker, Environmental Science & Management, Portland State University, Portland, OR

Nurturing Ideas and Scientists in Ecology

Organizer
Lars O. Hedin
Princeton University
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Co-organizers
Hal Mooney
Stanford University

Pamela Matson
Stanford University
School of Earth Sciences and Woods Institute for Environment

Moderator
Harold Mooney
Stanford University

This session is designed to reflect upon, and to celebrate, the impact that William (Bill) Robertson IV and the A.W. Mellon Foundation has had on Ecology as a vibrant and evolving scientific discipline. Rather than focussing on Bill directly, we propose to focus on what Bill and the Foundation cared about in their way of supporting our field of science over more than three decades: how best to nurture ideas and the ecologists that develop them.

One-sentence Summary:
This session is designed to reflect upon, and to celebrate, the impacts that William (Bill) Robertson IV and the A.W. Mellon Foundation have had on Ecology as a vibrant and evolving scientific discipline.

Role of ecological ideas for understanding sustainability
Jane Lubchenco, Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Bringing theory to real-world ecosystems.
Simon Levin, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Linking ideas of biogeochemistry and biodiversity
Lars O. Hedin, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Ideas of water and nutrients in African savannas.
Edmund C. February, Department of Botany, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

Fungi and belowground processes
Kathleen Treseder, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California Irvine, Irvine, CA

Seeing both forests and trees: how technology can change ideas.
Gregory P. Asner, Dept of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution, Stanford, CA

Resolving the perspectives of physiology and ecosystems.
Todd Dawson, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Conservation and biodiversity
Erika Zavaleta, Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

Partnering With Community Colleges In Encouraging Future Ecologists

Organizer
Carmen R. Cid
Quinebaug Valley Community College
Office of the President

Co-organizer
Carolyn L. Thomas
Ferrum College
Natural Science and Mathematics

Moderator
Carmen R. Cid
Quinebaug Valley Community College
Office of the President

In collaboration with the ESA Education section, we propose an organized oral session that highlights different aspects of the roles that ecologists can play in partnering with community colleges to improve local understanding of ecological principles and enhance the diversity of cultural perspectives in students studying ecology. The purpose of this session is to provide a successful blueprint for ESA members in their regions to expand their educational improvement of regional environmental literacy and diversify the student population pursuing careers in ecology. This oral session will showcase various ways in which the ESA membership and national environmental organizations are engaging community college students, educators and the regional public in hands-on study, teaching and learning of ecology. The session starts with an overview of the typical community college environmental curriculum, designed to enhance service-learning opportunities and provide case studies of their community environmental literacy projects. Presenters then provide examples of the type of professional development programs that are addressing the needs of community college faculty in updating their teaching of current and emerging ecological issues of concern, such as climate change, sustainability and environmental justice. Current ESA members who are former community college students now in graduate ecology programs or current community college administrators will provide guidance on best practices for engaging students from underrepresented groups in the study of ecology, through community college partnerships. Community college programs showcased will provide the current national picture in ecology education for the states of VT, CT, VA, MN and CA as well as national partnerships for improving ecology education outreach for environmental topics of major societal concern.

One-sentence Summary:
Community colleges partner closely with community organizations and policy makers, and engage diverse student populations in curriculum that puts theory to practice. This session showcases how partnering with community colleges can lead to effective strategic plans to tackle serious community environmental issues and increase the regional diversity of ecology practitioners.

Current ecology curriculum in community college programs
Jeanie Williams, Community College of Vermont, Montpelier, VT

The community college’s impact on creating a regional culture of environmental stewardship and sustainability: A case study – safe pasage for Coyote Valley?
Patricia Cornely, Kirsch Center for Environmental Studies, DeAnza Community College, Cupertino, CA

Professional development programs in ecology targeted to community college faculty
Jeffrey R. Corney, Cedar Creek Ecosystem Science Reserve, University of Minnesota, East Bethel, MN

Ecology education partnerships in the San Diego, CA region to increase local environmental literacy
Kathy S. Williams, Biology, San Diego State University, San Diego, CA

Engaging community college faculty and students in regional watercourse and wetland conservation
Carolyn L. Thomas, Natural Science and Mathematics, Ferrum College, Ferrum, VA

Partnering with community colleges to improve national understanding of climate change
David Blockstein, National Council for Science and Environment, Washington, DC

The role of community colleges in providing a bridge for underrepresented students into ecological careers
Rafael Valentin, Ecology, Evolution and Natural Resources, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

The role of community college administrators in enhancing diversity of ecologists, environmental literacy and conservation in their local communities
Carmen R. Cid, Office of the President, Quinebaug Valley Community College, Danielson, CT

Phenology, Ontogeny And The Timing Of Species Interactions: Building A Temporally-Explicit Framework

Organizer
Louie H. Yang
University of California, Davis
Entomology

Co-organizer
Volker H.W. Rudolf
Rice University
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Moderator
Nicholas L. Rasmussen
Rice University
Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

While ecologists since before the age of Elton (1927) have recognized that species interactions are constantly changing in time, ecologists of the past half-century have generally emphasized other aspects of community complexity (such as spatial population structure and food web structure) ahead of temporal complexity. This is changing, as ecologists place greater emphasis on non-equilibrium dynamics, seasonal and ontogenetic trajectories, windows of opportunity, event-driven dynamics, phenological shifts, and stage-structured species interactions. In the broad view, we are moving towards the development of a “temporally explicit ecology” – an effort to look beyond static models of communities to understand how real species interactions are coordinated in time, and the implications of disrupting this coordination. In many ways, the reality of climate change has made understanding coordinated temporal dynamics in species interactions more urgent. Understanding the complex effects of climate change will require a deeper understanding of the temporal dimension in community dynamics – a temporally explicit ecology. This session aims to bring together ecologists that are working in diverse areas that share a temporally explicit view of ecology. These speakers represent several levels of biological organization from the individual to the landscape scale, and work with a wide range of species interactions, including predator-prey, plant-pollinator, plant-herbivore, and plant-detritus interactions. These speakers also represent a range of approaches, including long-term observational studies, mechanistic experimental studies, and the development of mathematical theory. Finally, this session includes speakers spanning the range from early career faculty to senior scientists. The speakers in this session will address several important aspects of temporally explicit ecology. The overall sequence of speakers will progress from a general, conceptual introduction to develop the concept of temporally explicit ecology with concrete examples at the level of individuals, populations and communities. This session is organized so that each talk establishes a motivation and foundation for the next. Throughout, the speakers will emphasize general themes and commonalities, and each speaker will be encouraged to integrate their work into a bigger conceptual picture.

One-sentence Summary:
This session will attempt to unify a growing and diverse body of temporally explicit research in ecology under a common conceptual umbrella, including work with non-equilibrium dynamics, seasonal and ontogenetic trajectories, windows of opportunity, event-driven dynamics, year and priority effects, phenological shifts, and stage-structured species interactions.

Introduction to the symposium, describing how a temporally explicit view may help resolve some long-standing questions in ecology
Louie H. Yang, Entomology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

A temporally explicit view of plant-herbivore interactions focused on identifying general ontogenetic patterns in plant defense strategies and their implications for ecology.
Kasey E. Barton, Botany, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Honolulu, HI

The nature of species interactions shifts dramatically between time periods
Truman P. Young, Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

A synthesis of the factors which determine interannual variation in the timing of life-history events, including general patterns for when, where and why we should expect strong effects on species interactions.
David W. Inouye, Department of Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Predicting the effects of phenological shifts on plant-pollinator interactions and networks
Nicole E. Rafferty, University of Arizona

Intraspecific variation in plant reproductive schedules: Individual flowering times, population-level flowering curves, and pollination success
Amy Iler, Biology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

A mechanistic look at how variation in the timing of species interactions affects the seasonal dynamics of species interactions and community assembly.
Volker H.W. Rudolf, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Rice University, Houston, TX

Understanding the role of intermediate time scales on the stability of classical food web modules
Gabriel Gellner, University of California, Davis

Probing the Microbial World of Flowers: Impacts on Plants and Animals

Organizer
Scott H. McArt
Cornell University

Co-organizer
Lynn S. Adler
University of Massachusetts
Biology

Moderator
Matthew Boyer
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Flowers are major hubs of plant-animal interactions across the terrestrial world. Flowers also provide a microclimate highly conducive to microbes, which can influence plant and animal health and fitness. In plants, floral microbes range from mutualistic to pathogenic; such microbes are common in the wild and can be economically devastating in agricultural systems. For pollinators, flower-transmitted microbes also range from beneficial to pathogenic, yet we are just beginning to understand the importance of microbe transmission on pollinator health. Given recent concerns about pollinator declines caused in part by pathogens, knowledge of microbial transmission dynamics is crucial to understanding this pressing topic. This organized oral session will explore numerous ways in which flower-associated microbes are affected by floral traits and microbial community interactions, transmitted by and among pollinators, ultimately impacting plant and animal fitness. The session will be split evenly between plant-centric and animal-centric talks. A major goal of this session is to show that questions are often complementary between plant-centric and animal-centric researchers, and that approaches used in one discipline can be applied to the other discipline. Plant-centric talks will address processes of microbial community assembly in flowers, antimicrobial floral traits, microbial manipulation of floral traits, and microbe impacts on plant and animal fitness. Animal-centric talks will address the prevalence of flower-transmitted bacteria, viruses, and parasites, floral traits influencing transmission of beneficial and pathogenic microbes, and the influence of gut microbiota on modifying pollinator health upon exposure to flower-transmitted microbes.

One-sentence Summary:
This session will explore the genetics, community ecology, and chemical ecology of how flower-associated microbes (both pathogenic and mutualistic) affect both plant and pollinator health and fitness.

Role of floral secondary compounds for pathogen transmission and establishment in pollinators
Lynn S. Adler, Biology, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Nectar production and protein-based antimicrobial defense
Clay Carter, University of Minnesota Duluth

Flower-transmitted pollinator RNA viruses
Diana Cox-Foster, Penn Sate University

Nectar microbial community assembly and plant-pollinator mutualism
Tadashi Fukami, Biology, Standord University, Standford, CA

Pollinator gut microbiota and flower-transmitted parasites
Hauke Koch, University of Texas at Austin

Chemical ecology of a pollinator-vectored plant pathogen
Scott H. McArt, Entomology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Influence of nectar yeasts on plant and pollinator fitness
Robert N. Schaeffer, Biological Sciences, Dartmouth College, Hanover, NH

talk title TBD
Kirk Anderson, USDA-ARS

Quantifying the Role of Species in Restoration of Ecological Processes and Conservation Decision-Making

Organizer
Valerie E. Peters
Miami University
Department of Zoology

Co-organizer
Michael Minnick
Miami University
Department of Zoology

Kaitlin Campbell
Miami University
Department of Zoology

Moderator
Thomas O. Crist
Miami University
Institute for the Environment and Sustainability

As the global biodiversity loss crisis continues, strategies to make rapid assessments for conservation planning are urgently needed. This includes planning for both (1) where and what size/configuration protected areas should be, especially for developing nations and (2) how to best restore and protect biodiversity and ecological function in agricultural or human-dominated landscapes. The most common approach of rapid assessment is to select one focal taxon or a subset of organisms for which ecological knowledge can be used to assign relevant weighting scores to species, for example, based on functional traits, commonness, tolerance to ecological conditions, range size, or a combination of these. These scores can then be used as surrogates for more sample-intensive measures of habitat quality such as total biodiversity, net primary productivity, or plant structural diversity. This allows researchers to advise well-informed and quick decisions regarding protection and management actions to meet the goals set forth by the Convention of Biological Diversity to halt global biodiversity loss and restore ecosystem functions. Due to the broad taxonomic nature of this proposed session, it will be structured to flow from the soil to the sky. The session will begin with a study of whether ecological tolerance scores for plants (i.e. the coefficient of conservatism scores used to calculate floristic quality indices) are good predictors of habitat quality for beneficial insects. Next the session will shift focus to ants and their roles as biological indicators in Ohio’s Conservation Reserve Program and their significance for conservation assessment programs in Madagascar. Then the session will highlight work that aims to quantify species’ roles in two ecological processes: biological control and pollination. Appropriate management of agricultural and human-dominated lands for the ecosystem services resulting from these processes requires quantification of species or guild-specific contributions. The first two talks in this part of the session will focus on the functional traits of native bees and how these can be used to manage for pollination services in fragmented landscapes and restored areas on private lands. The last talk in this part of the session will describe how DNA analyses of gut contents can be used to determine which predators make the greatest contribution to biological control in corn fields. The final two topics of the session will focus on the role of insectivorous birds for ecosystem function and the use of multiple bird risk factors to prioritize conservation areas in Colombia.

One-sentence Summary:
This session brings together participants from a range of research backgrounds, organisms, and ecosystems, unified by their interest in developing ways to quantify species’ roles using ecologically-relevant knowledge of the species to allow for rapid but well-informed conservation decision-making.

Can the floristic quality assessment index be used to predict grassland habitat quality for beneficial arthropods?
Valerie E. Peters, Department of Zoology, Miami University, Oxford, OH

Ants as regulators of biodiversity and potential roles in conservation decision making
Kaitlin U. Campbell, Department of Biology, Miami University, Oxford, OH

Ants as a tool for conservation assessment programs in Madagascar.
Brian L. Fisher, California Academy of Sciences, San Francisco, CA

Pollinator restoration on private lands.
Daniel P. Cariveau, Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Native bee pollination responses to fragmented agroecosystems.
Michael Minnick, Department of Biology, Miami University, Oxford, OH

Quantifying species contribution to biological control using qPCR.
Jonathan Lundgren, USDA-ARS, Brookings, SD

Ecosystem function of insectivorous birds in California vineyards.
Julie A. Jedlicka, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Using birds to prioritize conservation areas in the Colombian Andes at the local, regional and national level.
Natalia Ocampo-Penuela, Duke University

Rhizosphere Interactions: An Exploration of Patterns Across Systems

Organizer
Lesley W. Atwood
University of New Hampshire
Natural Resources and the Environment

Co-organizers
Cynthia Kallenbach
University of New Hampshire
Natural Resources

A. Stuart Grandy
University of New Hampshire
Natural Resources

Moderator
Cynthia Kallenbach
University of New Hampshire
Natural Resources

Session Description:
Rhizospheres are hubs for biotic interactions because of the direct linkage between primary producers and soil biota. Roots and root-derived inputs interact with a diverse range of soil organisms that mediate key biogeochemical dynamics through mineralization/ingestion, excretion and cessation, which cumulatively support large-scale ecosystem services. Rhizosphere community assemblages are extremely sensitive to environmental perturbations. Climate and land-use change alter root morphology, and the chemistry, quantity, and timing of root-derived inputs with consequences to rhizosphere organisms. However, the complex nature of the rhizosphere community makes predicting subsequent biogeochemical and community responses to shifts in the ecosystem challenging. This is especially true when scaling up in time and space, as some of these processes occur within very short time frames at the micron-scale. The goal of this Organized Oral Session is to integrate observations on soil biological interactions across ecosystems that are exposed to climate or land-use change to better identify unifying principles on rhizosphere community dynamics. There will be an emphasis on novel research that improves our theoretical understanding of root and soil biological interactions and predictive capabilities of rhizosphere responses to ecosystem disturbance. Presenters in this session will discuss how nitrogen deposition, carbon dioxide enrichment, soil warming, and agricultural management influence the dynamics between root growth and their nutrient and carbon allocation with the soil fauna and microbial community. The potential for feedbacks to soil carbon and nitrogen cycling, soil food web stability, and climate change in forest, grasslands, and managed ecosystems are highlighted.

One-sentence Summary:
Multi-trophic interactions occurring in the rhizosphere mediate small-scale biogeochemical processes that cumulatively support large-scale ecosystem services. The goal of this Organized Oral Session is to integrate observations on soil biological interactions across ecosystems that are exposed to climate or land-use change to better identify unifying principles on rhizosphere community dynamics.

Integratation of experimental and modeling results on root-water acquisition effects on soil food webs across ecosystems
Javier Espeleta, University of Washington

Responses of legume-rhizobium symbiosis to nitrogen deposition and the coadaptation of plants and microbes to drought
Jennifer A. Lau, Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners, MI

Responses of soil faunal and microbial communities to rhizosphere carbon inputs
Michael S. Strickland, Biological Sciences Department, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Responses of faunal food web composition and function to agricultural management.
Lesley W. Atwood, Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Functional and compositional responses of the microbial community to warming
Kristen deAngelis, University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Rhizosphere priming in AM vs ECM forests
Richard P. Phillips, Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Rhizosphere priming of soil organic matter decomposition in response to global change
Biao Zhu, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Effects of herbivores and mycorrhizae on N-fixers across soils and climate gradients
Nancy C. Johnson, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ

Riparian Ecology, Management, and Restoration in California’s Great Central Valley

Organizer
Andrew P. Rayburn
River Partners

Co-organizers
Hillary M. White
H. T. Harvey & Associates

Virginia Matzek
Santa Clara University
Environmental Studies & Sciences

Moderator
Jaymee Marty
Vollmar Natural Lands Consulting

This session will focus on multi-benefit research, management, and restoration of riparian habitat along the major rivers flowing through California’s Great Central Valley. Once composed of broad swaths of dense streamside forests, sprawling oak woodlands, and a network of ox-bow lakes, sloughs, and wetlands, riparian communities were formerly maintained by active river processes linked to the timing of snowmelt from the Sierra Nevada Mountains. Approximately 95% of historical riparian habitat has been lost or altered in the Central Valley, replaced in large part by arguably the most intensive agricultural production system on the planet. Active river processes have been critically altered by a sophisticated network of dams for water storage and delivery, levees for flood protection, and diversions for irrigation. The few remaining riparian corridors are mostly restricted to narrow bands of degraded vegetation, disconnected from river floodplains and choked with invasive species. Consequently, the provision of critical ecosystem services (e.g., flood protection and attenuation, habitat for terrestrial and aquatic wildlife, biodiversity support, water filtration, pollinator resources, and carbon storage) by riparian communities has been dramatically reduced, resulting in many negative impacts on both people and the land. Utilizing novel methods and perspectives, numerous local, regional, and national stakeholders are working in collaboration to reverse this wide-spread trend of habitat degradation and conversion in the Central Valley. Central to these efforts is a focus on projects that provide multiple, often simultaneous benefits in order to address diverse objectives and to maximize return on investment of limited conservation funding. This session will highlight efforts by academic researchers, agency and non-profit scientists, private-sector consultants, and various stakeholder groups to understand, enhance, and restore critical riparian communities along major rivers in the Central Valley. Such efforts include targeted ecological research, state-of-the-art restoration projects at local- and landscape-scales, novel strategies to protect and conserve threatened and endangered species, and state-wide efforts to formulate coherent water policy. Reflecting the general theme of multi-benefit projects, presentations will also address ecosystem service provision, agricultural production, floodplain dynamics, invasive species, and the role of riparian communities in buffering effects of climate change.

One-sentence Summary:
Encompassing presentations from academic researchers, non-profit and agency scientists, and private-sector consultants, this session will focus on multi-benefit research, management, and restoration of riparian habitat along the major rivers flowing through California’s Great Central Valley.

Design of multifunctional flood control channels to accommodate riparian forests: A case study in the Sacramento Valley, California
Steven E. Greco, Department of Environmental Design, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Carbon storage in restored riparian communities
Virginia Matzek, Environmental Studies & Sciences, Santa Clara University, Santa Clara, CA

Wildlife and state-wide water policy
Hillary M. White, H. T. Harvey & Associates, Sacramento, CA

Large-scale riparian restoration in working landscapes: the Dos Rios Ranch project in the San Joaquin Valley
Andrew P. Rayburn, River Partners, Modesto, CA

Effects of resource distribution patterns  on ecological processes, in the context of riparian ecosystems
Colleen A. Hatfield, Biology Department, California State University, Chico, CA

Successes, failures, and suggested future directions for ecosystem restoration of the middle Sacramento River, California
Gregory H. Golet, The Nature Conservancy, Chico, CA

Riparian vegetation structure and flood management
Stefan Lorenzato, California Department of Water Resources, Sacramento, CA

Large-scale, long-term bird response to river restoration in California’s Great Central Valley
Thomas Gardali, PRBO Conservation Science, Petaluma, CA

Restoration, Distribution, and Ecology of Tamarix, A Ubiquitous Exotic Species

Organizer
Anna A. Sher
University of Denver
Department of Biological Sciences

Co-organizer
Tom L. Dudley
University of California, Santa Barbara
Marine Science Institute

William S. Longland
USDA, Agricultural Research Service

Kenneth Lair
Natural Resource Conservation Service- USDA (former)
Hesperia CA

Moderator
Kenneth Lair
DBA Lair Restoration Consulting
Hesperia CA

Few plant species have been as successful throughout the American West as Tamarix (tamarisk, saltcedar), nor have any had as much combined scientific, public, and political attention. Several species of Tamarix have been brought from Eurasia since the 1800s, and the resultant hybrid swarm has been successful in many environments, from riparian zones to arid terraces to urban areas. The combined effects of climate change and rapid evolution of the species is likely to expand its range further in elevation and latitude. Tamarix grows in many places where native trees cannot, which has important consequences for animals that are able to exploit the new shrub. The successful introduction of Diorhabda spp, a defoliating beetle, may affect the behavior of the Southwestern willow flycatcher, which in some areas has transferred its former preference from native willows to the newly dominant Tamarix. Thus, controversy continues about the value of Tamarix in both ecological and anthropogenic terms, critically influencing both policy and management practices. Speakers will give presentations on range and distribution, urban ecology, interactions with animals including the biological control beetle, and the plant’s response to restoration activities.
Objectives:
1) Understand the role of exotic Tamarix in ecosystems at various trophic levels
2) Explore the current and future range of the species and its ecological consequence
3) Develop a consensus in priorities for both science and management
Importance and interest to ESA membership: This truly cosmopolitan tree provides an excellent focus for considering issues in species conservation, ecosystem management, and how species spread into novel environments. Tamarix is now the most common riparian tree in the west and in many places is a target for both conservation and restoration. Many millions of dollars are being spent on its removal, but often with little understanding about the consequences of these actions. Communication among many scientific disciplines is critical for understanding both the significance of Tamarix as a case study in exotic plant introductions, and how they might be managed in the future. This organized oral session is relevant to the fields of population ecology, invasive species science, ecological forecasting, landscape ecology, plant-animal interactions, conservation biology, urban ecology, and restoration ecology.

One-sentence Summary:
The fields of ecological forecasting, zoology, restoration, and plant ecology converge to elucidate the current research in one of the country’s most successful and controversial exotic species; the resulting synthesis has implications for management, environmental policy, and our understanding of the role of introduced species in ecosystems.

Current and projected distributions of Tamarix in North America
Catherine Jarnevitch, Fort Collins Science Center, United States Geological Survey, Fort Collins, CO

Novel flow regimes and novel plant communities: strategies of urban-adapted riparian plants
Juliet C. Stromberg, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Tamarix in its northern U.S. extent
Michelle Ohrtman, Plant Science Department, South Dakota State University, Brookings, SD

Tamarix removal in the context of restoration
Cameron H. Douglass, Environmental Science Program, Trinity College, Hartford, CT

Tamarisk biocontrol: a case study in rapid evolution and range expansion of an introduced species
Dan Bean, Department of Agriculture, Colorado department of Agriculture, Pallisade, CO

Vegetation response following two decades of Tamarix control in the Southwestern US
Eduardo González, Biological Sciences, University of Denver and Laboratoire d’Ecologie Fonctionnelle et Environnement EcoLab – CNRS, Denver, CO

Plant community shifts over time in riparian restoration sites with and without Tamarix biological control
Anna A. Sher, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Denver, Denver, CO

Tamarix as wildlife habitat
Heather L. Bateman, Department of Applied Sciences and Mathematics, Arizona State University Polytechnic, Mesa, AZ

Shrubland Resilience and Recovery After Disturbance

Organizer
Marcia Narog
USDA Forest Service

Co-organizer
Jan L. Beyers
Pacific Southwest Research Station
USDA Forest Service

Moderator
Marcia Narog
USDA Forest Service

California is dominated by impressive shrublands called chaparral. Like other shrublands around the globe, they grow along seaside cliffs and become elfin woodlands on mountain tops. Shrublands are typically understated biomes that receive little attention for their significant contributions to biodiversity and environmental services. Many shrublands are renowned for their hardiness and resilience. They function as important components of ecosystem structure for such services as carbon sequestration, soil stabilization and wildlife habitat. Repeated disturbances combined with climatic changes are causing shrublands to be lost and sometimes replaced by invasive species. Chronic anthropogenic perturbation coupled with global climate change may tilt the balance of shrubland persistence toward imperiled status as has happened with the tall grass prairie and old growth forests. This sessions’ objective brings together information on the state of shrublands from around the world to learn how to better protect, maintain and restore them. Information voids include where and when our shrublands are at risk and how to refine parameters for recognizing the tipping points when natural regeneration can no longer be sustained. Furthermore, development of protocol on how to re-establish shrublands once lost is critical. Understanding the global to physiological criteria needed for survival of these generally resilient ecosystems will contribute to conservation efforts of other ecosystems and species at risk. Experts from different continents will address shrubland threats, plant survival traits and what is being done to identify and ameliorate shrubland decline and loss. Speakers will address shrubland concerns on multiple levels. Global change threats to shrubland resilience will approach shrubland persistence with regard to large-scale changes. Perspective at the landscape level will show how the resilience of sclerophyllous shrublands depend on fire intervals, habitat and rainfall. A closer look at physiological resilience of shrubs to drought, wildfire, and freezing will delve into plant level strategies that improve survival under environmental stresses. Restoration efforts made in shrub community evolution in soil bioengineering projects will demonstrate how to approach shrubland recovery for improving multiple ecosystem services. Similarities and differences found amongst the worlds’ shrublands should lead to greater understanding of and hence solutions for sustaining these magnificent biomes.

One-sentence Summary:
Few appreciate shrublands contribution to global health and ecosystems services or its resilience to disturbance. This much maligned vegetation type faces multiple stresses from global warming to recurrent disturbances. Scientists from four continents will highlight shrubland threats as well as recovery efforts for conservation of these amazing plant communities.

Shrub community evolution in soil bioengineering projects at Vesuvius
Carlo Bifulco, Instituto Superior de Agronomica, Universidade de Lisboa, Lisboa, Portugal

Global change threats to shrubland resilience
Jon E. Keeley, Western Ecological Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Three Rivers, CA

Physiological resilience of chaparral to drought, wildfire and freezing.
Stephen D. Davis, Natural Science Department, Pepperdine University, Malibu, CA

talk title TBD
Ross A. Bradstock, Centre for Environmental Risk Management of Bushfires, University of Wollongong, Wollongong, Australia

talk title TBD
William J. Bond, Department of Botany, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

The Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN): Merging Teaching and Research Through Continental-Scale Collaborative Projects

Organizer
Laurel J. Anderson
Ohio Wesleyan University
Botany/Microbiology

Co-organizers
Bob Pohlad
Ferrum College

Kathleen LoGiudice
Union College

Moderator
Jose-Luis Machado
Swarthmore College
Department of Biology

Session Description:
The Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN) is a five-year project funded by the National Science Foundation Research Coordination Networks-Undergraduate Biology Education Program. Created by a team of faculty from 14 undergraduate institutions, EREN’s mission is to create and test models for collaborative ecological research that generate high-quality, publishable data involving undergraduate students and faculty across a continental-scale network of research sites. EREN works by inviting faculty in the network to propose research projects that are scientifically interesting, collaborative across sites and institutions, appropriate for undergraduate participation, and feasible for institutions with limited research resources. EREN facilitates online communication between these “Lead Scientists” and network members, who then volunteer to become collaborators on the project and engage their students in data collection and analysis. EREN also provides funding for annual meetings where project ideas, research protocols, pedagogical strategies, and project data are discussed. There are currently 215 members of EREN representing 160 different institutions, most of which are primarily undergraduate institutions. According to a 2012 survey of EREN members, 1,349 students have been involved with data collection or used data from an EREN project in courses, independent studies or summer research experiences. This oral session will showcase the scientific and pedagogical accomplishments of the EREN approach, and explore the diversity of ways that the EREN model has been applied by different EREN Lead Scientists. Our goal is to encourage other ecologists, at a wide range of institutions, to consider the benefits of collaborative, large-scale ecological research in both a scientific and pedagogical context, and yet to develop such projects with an awareness of the challenges inherent to this approach. As such, our talks will serve as diverse examples for other ecologists to build on and learn from. An introductory talk will introduce the EREN model and provide an overview and history of EREN as an organization. Each project-based talk will discuss (1) the scientific basis of the project and how it exemplifies the EREN model, (2) the number of faculty and student participants, (3) project findings to date, (4) progress on assessing how the project has affected student learning, (5) professional development opportunities the project has provided to PUI faculty, and (6) the best aspects of the project as well as challenges and lessons learned. A synthesis talk by the EREN Leadership Team will conclude the session.

One-sentence Summary:
The mission of the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN) is to create and test models for collaborative ecological research that generate high-quality, publishable data involving undergraduate students and faculty across a continental-scale network of research sites. This session will showcase the scientific and pedagogical accomplishments of the EREN approach.

The origins and evolution of the Ecological Research as Education Network (EREN): One path to developing a grass-roots ecological research network
Laurel J. Anderson, Botany/Microbiology, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH

Land use impacts on freshwater turtle populations: Insights from a national faculty/undergraduate student collaborative research project
David R. Bowne, Department of Biology, Elizabethtown College, Elizabethtown, PA

Decomposition of woody native and invasive species in aquatic and terrestrial habitats across a climate gradient
Tracy B. Gartner, Carthage College, Kenosha, WI and Carolyn L. Thomas, Natural Science and Mathematics, Ferrum College, Ferrum, VA

Evaluating the drivers of bird-window collisions in North America
Steven Hager, Augustana College and Bradley J. Cosentino, Biology, Hobart and William Smith College, Geneva, NY

EREN’s Permanent Forest Plot Project:  Utilizing a network of faculty and undergraduates to investigate forest dynamics and long-term data management best practices
Erin S. Lindquist, Department of Biological Sciences, Meredith College, Raleigh, NC, Karen Kuers, Department of Forestry and Geology, Sewanee: The University of the South, Sewanee, TN, Jerald J. Dosch, Biology Department, Macalester College, Saint Paul, MN and Kathleen L. Shea, Biology, St. Olaf College, Northfield, MN

Factors affecting the distribution of earthworms in North America: A collaborative project involving faculty at primarily undergraduate institutions and their students.
Timothy S. McCay, Biology and Environmental Studies, Colgate University, Hamilton, NY

Forested riparian zones affect the temperature regime in eleven streams distributed across North America: A collaborative research project.
Jeffrey A. Simmons, Science Dept., Mount St. Mary’s University, Emmitsburg, MD

The future of the Ecological Research as Education Network
Bob Pohlad, Division of Life Sciences, Ferrum College, Ferrum, VA and Laurel J. Anderson, Botany/Microbiology, Ohio Wesleyan University, Delaware, OH

The Fray Jorge Project (1989-2014): A 25-year Window on Species Interactions and Climate Change in a Semiarid South American Community

Organizer
Peter L. Meserve
Northern Illinois University
Biological Sciences

Co-organizers
Cristina Armas
Universidad Catolica de Chile; and Universidad de La Serena
Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity; and Departamento de Biologia

Julio R. Gutiérrez
Universidad de La Serena
Departamento de Biología

Moderator
Loren D. Hayes
University of Tennessee at Chattanooga
Department of Biological and Environmental Sciences

After 25 years of work at a semiarid site in north-central Chile, an organized oral session will review the accomplishments and findings, and highlight recent trends, particularly consequences of climate change. Perspectives on diverse aspects of the project will be presented by principal investigators, and outside speakers will contextualize the relevance of the project in general terms. Specific aspects to be covered include responses of major biotic components (i.e., plants, small mammals, vertebrate predators) in the focal community to manipulations, effects of on-going climate change on species interactions, and the role of extreme climatic events. The goal of the session is to emphasize the value of long-term experimental studies at large spatial scales involving multiple components. We will highlight insights obtained from such an approach as well as note some of the inherent difficulties working at such scales. We bring together investigators who have been involved from the project’s inception with those who have contributed to its evolution and refocusing of research objectives. Also, we will explore linkages of earlier results with those of more subtle biotic interactions and exotic-native plant species interactions in light of on-going climate change in the system. As the program reflects, people working with diverse organismal groups and those involved with more general aspects such as extreme climatic events and climate change on other continents are participating. As a study that has enjoyed considerable external support from U.S. and Chilean grant agencies, as well as high productivity in publications, reports, and training of students and technicians, the Fray Jorge project has been prominent in the promotion of international scientific collaboration. Clearly, after a quarter century of work, some of the project’s original objectives have changed as new insights have been gained. A session focusing on those findings and their ramifications will be particularly timely and enable redefinition of its goals into the near future. Presentations by ecologists involved with specific community component groups will offer a broad overview of the project’s accomplishments and provide a window as to their significance for understanding consequences of climate change in arid lands generally. Topics will cover aspects of population biology, plant ecology, plant-animal interactions, bioenergetics, climate change, and consequences of extreme climatic events. Session presentations will be of broad interest to ecologists and provide an overview of the project’s results and long-range ramifications.

One-sentence Summary:
This oral session will review major results and recent trends emanating from a 25-year long-term study in a semiarid community in South America currently undergoing climatic change, and involve outside ecologists to provide an international perspective.

Genesis, design, and evolution of a large scale field manipulation in north-central Chile.
Peter L. Meserve, Biological Sciences, Northern Illinois University, DeKalb, IL

Management and maintenance of a very large small mammal database in a 25 year live-trapping study.
W. Bryan Milstead, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Narragansett, RI

Functional ecological responses of the dominant shrubs to climate variability.
Cristina Armas, Institute of Ecology and Biodiversity; and Departamento de Biologia, Universidad Catolica de Chile; and Universidad de La Serena, Santiago; and La Serena, Chile

Ecological responses of the ephemeral plant community to field manipulations and climate change.
Aurora Gaxiola, IEB, Universidad de Chile, CASEB, P. Universidad Catolica de Chile, Santiago, Chile

The influence of rainfall on small mammal demography: differences among species and habitats of the thorn scrub in semiarid Chile
M. Andrea Previtali, Dept. de Ciencias Naturales, Universidad Nacional del Litoral, Santa Fe, Argentina

Energetic aspects of the small mammal assemblage in a semiarid community in north-central Chile.
Douglas A. Kelt, Department of Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis, CA

The importance of long-term studies in understanding effects of climate change on Australian aridland small mammal assemblages.
Christopher Dickman, School of Biological Sciences, University of Sydney, Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Understanding the effects of extreme climatic events on terrestrial ecosystems.
Milena Holmgren, Resource Ecology Group, University of Wageningen, Wageningen, Netherlands

The National Ecological Observatory (NEON): Opportunities And Models For Building Synergistic Partnerships With The Community To Advance Continental Scale Ecology

Organizer
Stephanie Parker
National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON, Inc.)

Co-organizer
Charlotte Roehm
National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON, Inc.)

Moderator
Michael D. SanClements
NEON

In an era of advancing continental scale ecology, this session highlights models and opportunities for the community to use NEON data, and the information, physical and support infrastructure to initiate and expand research at NEON sites and beyond. The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) is a NSF-funded Observatory with a mission to enable understanding and forecasting of the impacts of climate change, land-use change and invasive species on continental-scale ecology. NEON provides infrastructure and standardized methodologies to generate high quality and freely available data. The data and infrastructure leveraged by the scientific community, educators, decision makers and the public at large will enable investigations about the causes and consequences of ecological change at the continental scale. Further, the scientific community will have the opportunity to propose augmenting NEON measurements and experiments. NEON will provide consistent, long-term in situ and remote measurements at 60 terrestrial sites and 36 aquatic sites in 20 domains across the continent, Alaska, Hawaii and Puerto Rico. Beyond its 60 flux towers and 36 instrumented aquatic sites, NEON infrastructure will include three Aerial Observation Platforms (AOP) and ground based mobile deployment platforms that can be made available as targets of opportunity for use to support PI-driven research and to study the aftermath of major ecological events, such as hurricanes, floods and fires. Presentations in this session will discuss past, current and future models and outcomes of synergistic ecological activities between NEON and the community and will foster discussions regarding how the community can utilize NEON data and infrastructure to contribute further to addressing pressing scientific challenges in continental scale ecology.

One-sentence Summary:
This session will highlight models and opportunities for the user community to leverage NEON data and information, as well as physical and support infrastructure to initiate and expand research of ecological change at a continental scale.

Current State of NEON: Where are we and what challenges and opportunities lie ahead?
Scott Ollinger, NEON, Boulder, CO

Detecting coherent vegetation responses to climate through continental-scale stable isotope analysis.
Jason B. West, Texas AgriLife Research and Department of Ecosystem Science & Management, Texas A&M University System, Uvalde, TX

Observing long term changes in precipitation chemistry.
David A. Gay, Illinois State Water Survey, NADP Program Office, Champaign, IL

How to consistently inform NEON’s land surface model with tower-based eddy-covariance flux observations? A novel approach to spatio-temporal rectification.
Stefan Metzger, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON, Inc.), Boulder, CO

The NEON Phenocam network: Envisioning the future of near-surface remote sensing
Timothy Brown, TimeScience, Salt Lake City, UT

Ecological and biodiversity informatics
Rob Guralnick, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder, Boulder, CO

Engaging the General Public in NEON:  Citizen Science in Action.
Sandra Henderson, Education and Public Engagement, National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON, Inc.), Boulder, CO

Assignable Assets: Using NEON infrastructure to advance continental scale ecology
Lou Pitelka, NEON Inc., Boulder, CO

The Role Of The Skin Microbiome In Amphibian Health, From Ecology And Immunology To Conservation Applications

Organizer
Valerie McKenzie
University of Colorado
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Co-organizer
Reid N. Harris
James Madison University
Biology

Lisa K. Belden
Virginia Tech
Department of Biological Sciences

Moderator
Vance T. Vredenburg
San Francisco State University
Department of Biology

Session Description:
All species of plants and animals harbor bacteria and fungi that live symbiotically in and on them. How those communities of microbes are related to the health of their host organisms is largely undetermined and, in particular, there is a limited understanding of how symbiotic microbes may interact with the immune system and mediate the establishment of pathogenic organisms that can cause disease. Amphibian species vary in their ability to tolerate infection by a fungal skin pathogen (Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis, ‘Bd’) that is linked to amphibian declines at the global scale. A number of recent studies have demonstrated that certain bacteria that live on the skin of some amphibians can inhibit growth of Bd, and these discoveries have lead to a rapid expansion of scientists exploring the amphibian skin microbiome. We propose an organized oral session to bring these investigators together to share the recent trajectories of research in an effort to foster further collaborative relationships and accelerate efforts that may provide tools for amphibian conservation in the form of bioaugmentation or probiotics. In addition, we hope to interact with scientists working on similar topics in other systems and to attract new scientists to this emerging research area. Thus, we envision a session that encompasses ecological discoveries about the skin microbiome as well as areas of applied research. More specifically, topics will include: discoveries of symbiotic skin microbes that exhibit anti-Bd activity; studies that investigate the role of the amphibian immune system as well as microbially produced compounds that inhibit Bd; studies that compare the microbiome across species or different environments; experimental approaches to understand the response of skin microbial communities to exposure to a pathogen; experimental approaches to investigate the use of bioaugmentation in reducing amphibian mortality caused by disease; and a discussion about strategies to use common methodologies and sequence data sharing to facilitate comparison across studies. While the focus of our session is on the skin microbiome of amphibians, the concepts and tools being developed are relevant to many wildlife disease systems (e.g., white nose syndrome in bats) and human medicine (e.g., MRSA in humans). Our goal is to merge this area of research into broader realms of disease ecology and conservation applications.

One-sentence Summary:
We will explore and integrate several developing research fronts aimed at discovering how symbiotic microbes living on amphibians may confer tolerance to infectious disease and how such discoveries can yield conservation tools.

Microbial defense against fungal pathogens of amphibians: characteristics of an effective bioaugmentation strategy
Reid N. Harris, Biology, James Madison University

Structure-function relationships in the amphibian skin microbiome
Lisa K. Belden, Department of Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

A database of cultured amphibian skin bacteria informs microbial community function against chytridiomycosis
Douglas Woodhams, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder

Immune defenses in the skin against chytridiomycosis: how does the microbiome fit in?
Louise A. Rollins-Smith, Microbiology & Immunology, Vanderbilt University

The role of cutaneous bacteria in resistance of Australian tropical rainforest frogs to the amphibian chytrid fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis
Ross A. Alford, School of Marine and Tropical Biology, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

Cutaneous microbes living symbiotically on amphibians of the Amazonian rainforest.
Sandra Victoria Flechas, Universidad de los Andes, Bogota, Colombia

Linking culture-dependent and -independent characterizations of amphibian skin microbial communities: important insights into the use of probiotics in amphibian conservation.
Jenifer Banning Walke, Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Skin community responses to Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis: a time-series experimental approach
Valerie McKenzie, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado, Boulder, CO

The Value of Comparative Approaches for Understanding Ecosystem Responses to Global Change

Moderator
Alan K. Knapp
Colorado State University
Graduate Degree Program in Ecology

Organizer
Melinda D. Smith
Colorado State University
Department of Biology
Graduate Degree Program in Ecology

Co-organizers
Alan K. Knapp
Colorado State University
Graduate Degree Program in Ecology
Department of Biology

Scott L. Collins
University of New Mexico
Department of Biology

Traditionally, ecological research has been dominated by site-based studies. However, the scale at which global changes are occurring demands research that moves beyond individual sites to that which is more comparative in nature. Comparative approaches are particularly important for understanding how and why ecosystems may differ in their sensitivity to global changes, such as land use change, climate change and eutrophication. Such understanding is critical for predicting how ecosystems may change in the future with increasing human pressures and forecast climate changes. The purpose of this organized oral session is to 1) bring together an international group of researchers employing a variety of comparative approaches, including between-ecosystem, inter-continental comparisons and network-level research, aimed at assessing the impacts of global change on ecosystem structure and function and 2) promote the value of comparative approaches to the next generation of ecologists.

One-sentence Summary:
The scale at which global changes are occurring demands research that moves beyond that which is site-based to more comparative in nature. This organized oral session brings together an international group of researchers employing a variety of comparative approaches aimed at assessing the impacts of global change on ecosystems.

Emerging comparative approaches for understanding the ecosystem impacts of global change: challenges and future directions
Melinda D. Smith, Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO

Understanding an iconic landscape through comparative international long-term ecological research
Evelyn Gaiser, Department of Biology, Florida International University, Miami, FL

Differential Effects of Extreme Drought on Production and Respiration: a multi-site analysis
Zheng Shi, Microbiology and Plant Biology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Global change manipulations in drylands: understanding the mechanisms of future ecosystem functioning
Marcelo Sternberg, Department of Plant Sciences, Tel Aviv University, Tel Aviv, Israel

An inter-continental comparison of the effects alterations in grazing and fire on savanna grassland ecosystem function
Sally E. Koerner, Department of Biology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Insights from an European climate change network
Claus Beier, Norwegian Institute of Water Research, Norway

Generalizing responses through spatial replication: insights into global change in grassland ecosystems from the Nutrient Network
Eric M. Lind, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Using existing experiments to comparatively assess microbial responses to climate change across multiple ecosystems
Edward R. Brzostek, Geography, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Understanding Climate, Disturbance, And Forest Dynamics From Regional To Individual Tree Scales In The Sierra Nevada

Organizer
Matthew D. Hurteau
Pennsylvania State University
Ecosystem Science and Management

Co-organizer
Harold Zald
Oregon State University
Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society

Moderator
Matthew D. Hurteau
Pennsylvania State University
Ecosystem Science and Management

Changing climate and a legacy of past land-use interactively influence forest dynamics. Climatic influences on wildfire and forest productivity have the potential to alter forest distribution, composition, structure, and function at regional to individual tree spatial scales. Changes in disturbance regimes and forest productivity alter the biophysical and biogeochemical properties of forest systems, which in turn can feedback on climate. Understanding the relationship between climate, disturbance, and forest dynamics requires regional to individual tree scale investigation to capture both top-down and bottom-up effects. Furthermore, understanding these relations at multiple spatial scales is important to understand how current and future forest management will impact forest dynamics and climate feedbacks going forward. The goal of this session is to present research on the effects of climate and ecosystem processes on forest systems across multiple spatial scales. This session will include speakers who use a range of approaches (e.g. empirical studies, statistical and simulation modeling) to investigate how climate, disturbance, and management influence forest dynamics. This session will provide a venue for examining the range of approaches and questions asked as they pertain to forest systems. The anticipated structure of the session includes regional simulations of climate effects on fire probability, regional simulations of climate effects on forest productivity and its interaction with insects and fire, stand to regional scale effects of the interaction between fire and forest restoration efforts, stand-scale above and belowground carbon dynamics with fire, and climate effects on species-level productivity and regeneration. This session will be of interest to a broad range of ecologists working in forest systems, as the research topics covered are relevant to many forest types. Furthermore, many of the speakers will present cutting-edge work that is dealing with the scale disparity present when investigating both top-down and bottom-up controls on forest dynamics.

Future climate and fire
Alisa R. Keyser, Sierra Nevada Research Institute, University of California Merced, Merced, CA and Anthony Westerling, University of California, Merced

Projected climate influence on forest dynamics
Shuang Liang, IGDP Ecology and Ecosystem Science and Management, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Climate variability, forest dynamics, and insect outbreaks
Louise Loudermilk, Environmental Sciences and Management, Portland State University, Portland, OR and Robert Scheller, Department of Environmental Sciences and Management, Portland State University, Portland, OR

Forest restoration and fire
Malcolm P. North, USFS Pacific Southwest Research Station, Davis, CA
Fire regimes and forest dynamics
Brandon Collins, Pacific Southwest Research Station, USDA US Forest Service, Davis, CA

Fire and forest carbon dynamics
Morgan L. Wiechmann, IGDP Ecology, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Individual tree growth responses to climate
Harold Zald, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Microenvironments and macroecology: climate and species distributions
Frank W. Davis, Bren School of Environmental Science and Management, University of California Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

Understanding the Structure and Function of Fire Maintain Ecosystems: Honoring the Research Influences of Dr. Robert Mitchell

Organizer
Gregory Starr
University of Alabama
Biological Sciences

Co-organizers
Doug P. Aubrey
Georgia Southern University
Department of Biology

Joseph J. O’Brien
USDA Forest Service
Southern Research Station

Jerry F. Franklin
University of Washington

Moderator
Christina L. Staudhammer
University of Alabama
Biological Sciences

Frequent low-intensity fires maintain the structure and function of ecosystems with an evolutionary history of chronic fires whereas fire suppression transforms the structure and modifies the function. Fires burn as much as 4 million km2 globally and release as much as 2-3 Pg of C annually, effecting ecosystem to global carbon dynamics. Fire also influences carbon dynamics by altering the structure of the above- and belowground allocation and investment of plant C due to changes in life form (woody trees and shrubs versus grasses). These structural ecosystem changes lead to functional alteration, such as reduction in C4 carbon fixation. While climate, particularly temperature and moisture, sets limits on the distribution and productivity of the world’s biomes, fire resets systems far from their physiognomic limits. Fire’s impact is fully expressed in humid grasslands and savannas; if fire is suppressed, vegetative structure moves from a C3/C4 savanna to closed canopy shrubland, causing a concomitant loss of biodiversity. Future suppression could extend the global area of closed canopy shrub/forest lands from 27% to 56% and have subsequent consequences on biodiversity. The influence that fire—or the lack of fire—exerts on ecosystem structure and function identifies it as a key management tool to conserve species and regulate ecosystem development. This is true especially of forest management where silviculture and fire are intimately linked through the interaction of spatial and temporal controls on litter production and resulting fire behavior. Understanding the influence of structure and function is a necessity for enhancing our ability to adaptively manage dynamic ecosystem that are maintained by fire. Dr. Robert Mitchell dedicated his life to contributing toward a better understanding and appreciation of the structure and function of ecosystems maintained by fire. The objective of this oral session is to bring together a series of researchers that focus their studies on understanding the structure and function of fire-maintained ecosystems with an emphasis on ecosystem carbon dynamics, resource allocation patterns, restoration leading to enhanced biodiversity, and ecological management practices. Included in this session are a small but representative sample of the numerous students and colleagues fortunate enough to have worked with Bob in his life-long commitment to science, management, policy, and mentoring. Understanding the complex linkages between these fields of ecological study becomes even more important with growing anthropogenic pressures across the globe that may hinder fire management activities and ultimately change the ecosystems that are maintained by fire.

One-sentence Summary:
This oral session will bring together researchers that focus their studies on understanding the structure and function of fire maintained ecosystems with an emphasis on ecosystem carbon dynamic, allocation patterns, restoration leading to enhanced biodiversity and ecological management practices and how their research was influences by Dr. Robert Mitchell.

The Longleaf Pine Paradigm
Wendell P. Cropper Jr., School of Forest Resources and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Inserting ecology into forestry practices: a Mitchell legacy
Jerry F. Franklin, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Carbohydrate Reserves in the Forest Carbon Cycle
Doug P. Aubrey, Department of Biology, Georgia Southern University, Statesboro, GA

Linking Structure and Function in Tree Roots
Dali Guo, Key Laboratory of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Synthesis Research Center of Chinese Ecosystem Research Network, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

The Perpetual Forest: Integrating basic and applied ecology.
L. Katherine Kirkman, Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center, Newton, GA

Water use and NPP of longleaf pine savannas
Robert O. Teskey, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

The cyclic role of fire in the movement of carbon through longleaf pine ecosystems
Gregory Starr, Biological Sciences, University of Alabama, Tuscaloosa

Regeneration dynamics in longleaf pine – challenging conventional tenets to improve management.
Steven B. Jack, Joseph W. Jones Ecological Research Center, Newton, GA

Understanding Woody Plant Encroachment as a Coupled Human and Natural System


Organizer
Michael G. Sorice
Virginia Tech
Department of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation

Co-organizers
Chris B. Zou
Oklahoma State University
Department of Natural Resources Ecology & Management

Michael G. Sorice
Virginia Tech
Department of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation

Bradford Wilcox
Texas A& M University
Department of Ecosystem Science and Management

Moderator
Chris B. Zou
Oklahoma State University
Department of Natural Resources Ecology & Management

After centuries existing as grasslands rangeland systems worldwide have been transforming into woodlands and shrublands. This phenomenon, known as woody plant encroachment (WPE), is especially prevalent in the Southern Great Plains of the United States where it is estimated to be 5 to 7 times greater than in other regions of the country. The rapid ecological transition is driven largely by human-related elimination of fire from the system—both because overgrazing has reduced fuel available for fire to propagate and because of active fire suppression the WPE has resulted in significant changes to primary production, trophic structure, biological diversity, and nutrient cycling of rangeland systems. Rangeland systems with high densities of WPE provide fewer ecosystem services including changes in hydrological regimes and forage for livestock. Further, the woody-plant dominated ecosystem state is highly resilient; it is extremely difficult and cost prohibitive to covert established woodlands back to grasslands. This, in turn, has significant social and economic implications and impacts on human well being and highlights the need to understand the social and ecological factors that facilitate or inhibit this widespread environmental change. A new understanding of WPE is needed that treats it as complex social-ecological system that encompasses the interactions of physical, ecological and social systems. This symposium explores the opportunities and challenges of addressing woody plant encroachment as a complex problem with both ecological and social dimensions.

One-sentence Summary:
Woody plant encroachment of grasslands is a complex phenomenon with enormous and far ranging consequences for both human and ecological systems. This symposium explores the opportunities and challenges of addressing woody plant encroachment as a complex problem with both ecological and social dimensions.

The importance of past and recent land use policy in woody plant expansion in Eastern Kansas
John M. Briggs, Division of Biology, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

Recoupling humans and fire to disrupt social-ecological feedbacks contributing to the loss of grasslands
Dirac Twidwell, Department of Agronomy and Horticulture, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

Global crowdsourcing of soil-specific woody plant encroachment patterns and management response
Jeffrey E. Herrick, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Las Cruces, NM

The trees come marching: The role of local ecological knowledge in understanding social-ecological change in the central Pyrenees of Spain
Maria Fernandez-Gimenez, Forest, Rangeland, and Watershed Stewardship, Colorado State University, Ft. Collins, CO

Farm management and land cover change in the Great Plains
Myron Gutmann, University of Michigan

Invader, encroacher, or does it even matter? How vegetation dynamics affects beliefs about unwanted conifers
Mark W. Brunson, Department of Environment and Society, Utah State University, Logan, UT

Motivating grassland restoration: Designing incentive programs that work
Michael G. Sorice, Department of Forest Resources & Environmental Conservation, Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, VA

Encroachment of Juniperus species as a socio-ecological problem on private rangelands
Samuel D. Fuhlendorf, Natural Resource Ecology and Management, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK

Ungulate Population Dynamics In Multi-Prey, Multi-Predator Systems

Organizer
Heiko U. Wittmer
Victoria University of Wellington
School of Biological Sciences

Moderator
Heiko U. Wittmer
Victoria University of Wellington
School of Biological Sciences

Much of our current theoretical understanding of predator-prey interactions is based on studies and mathematical models developed for single-prey, single-predator systems. However, ungulates, like most other species, are commonly part of complex multi-species communities. Predicting outcomes of species interactions in such systems is difficult but necessary to implement meaningful conservation and management strategies. In this session we attempt to summarize current knowledge of ungulate population dynamics in multi-species systems focusing on 3 different scenarios: A) one ungulate prey species, multiple predators; B) multiple ungulate prey species, one predator; and C) multiple ungulate prey species, multiple predators. Summaries of case studies as well as advances in modelling predator-prey interactions in multi-species systems will be used to develop a conceptual framework for understanding impacts of predators in complex ecological systems.

One-sentence Summary:
Current knowledge of ungulate population dynamics and modelling predator-prey interactions in multi-species systems focusing on 3 different scenarios will be presented: A) one ungulate prey species, multiple predators; B) multiple ungulate prey species, one predator; and C) multiple ungulate prey species, multiple predators.

Modelling predator-prey interactions
Dennis Murray, Biology, Trent University, Peterborough, ON, Canada

Population dynamics of black-tailed deer in Northern California
Lucile Marescot, Wildlife, Fish & Conservation Biology, University of California, Davis and Heiko U. Wittmer, School of Biological Sciences, Victoria University of Wellington, Wellington, New Zealand

Wolves, pumas and elk in Montana
Mark Hebblewhite, University of Montana

Caribou, moose and wolves in the boreal forest of Canada
Daniel Fortin, Département de biologie, Université Laval, Québec, QC, Canada

Caribou, moose and wolfves in British Columbia
Robert Serrouya, University of Alberta

Temporal and spatial perspectives on predation in African savannas
Norman Owen-Smith, University of Witwatersrand, South Africa

Ecological factors affecting the response of African ungulates to the risk of predation by stalkers and coursers
Scott Creel, Montana State University and Daniel Christianson, University of Arizona

Spatial food webs in the Serengeti with multiple prey and 2 predators.
John M. Fryxell, Department of Integrative Biology, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada

What And Who Have Been 'In' or 'Out' In The Ecological Society Of America Over The Last 100 Years: A View From The Human-Centered ESA Sections

Organizer
Juliana C. Mulroy
Denison University
Department of Biology

Co-organizer
Kathleen J. Fichtel
West Virginia University

Moderator
Robert H. Jones
West Virginia University
College of Arts and Sciences

The Ecological Society of America (ESA) was formed with the express intent of bringing those interested in ecology together, often in the field and exploring different ecosystems, to share common interests in a way not possible in other societies at the time. Membership was open to anyone interested in ecology, without regard to academic degrees, employment status, or specific interests in the general area of “environment.” Early members included not only many who were or became well-recognized ecologists and familiar names in ESA history, but also a dry goods merchant, a university English professor, a library cataloguer, lab and field technicians, and high school teachers. Among professional scientists, there were eugenicists, medical doctors, climatologists, geographers, and taxonomists as well as those we would immediately recognize as plant and animal ecologists. As ESA prepares for its Centennial, we explore the shifting directions and interests of the Society in the context of changes in science and society. We believe that in order to prepare a blueprint for the future, we need to have a better understanding of who we are and from where we have come. As ESA struggles with questions of ESA goals and even identity in the Anthropocene, we point out that concerns about and recognition of humans as a powerful force in the natural world have been part of internal debates since the society’s inception, although the society itself has not always taken a leadership role in addressing problems. Individual presentations in this session focus on demographics and interests of the initial cohort of ESA members, the waxing and waning of interest in human ecology over the years, development of ecology at institutions not considered as centers of the discipline such as historically black colleges or Appalachian universities, and changes in the roles of women within the society. As an example of a sub-discipline whose relationship with ESA has fluctuated strongly over the years, we examine entomology as represented within and outside of the Ecological Society of America; we conclude with an exploration of the history of restoration ecology.

One-sentence Summary:
As we prepare for ESA’s 2015 Centennial, we examine the history of ESA’s shifting center and peripheral interests over the last 100 years.

How a new society found its bearings: Membership demographics and interests during the Ecological Society of America’s early years
Juliana C. Mulroy, Department of Biology, Denison University, Granville, OH and Alison Anastasio, Ecology and Evolution, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Human ecology at ESA: An historical review
Robert A. Dyball, Fenner School of Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Ecology’s roots at historically black colleges
Charles H. Nilon, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO, George A. Middendorf, Biology Department, Howard University, Washington, DC and Muriel Poston, Pitzer College, CA

“Ecology was everywhere”: West Virginia University as an example of unacknowledged institutional contributions to ecology’s development
Kathleen J. Fichtel, West Virginia University and Robert H. Jones, College of Arts and Sciences, West Virginia University, WV

Diversity in ESA at 100: An historic assessment
Christopher Beck, Biology, Emory University, Atlanta, GA, George Middendorf, Department of Biology, Howard University, Washington, DC, Kate S. Boersma, Zoology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR and C. Susannah Tysor, Biological Sciences, University of British Columbia, Vancouver, BC, Canada

Different ways of knowing: ESA and its adaptation to multicultural complexities
Jesse Ford, Dept. Fisheries and Wildlife, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

The other “E”: Entomologists and entomology in (and out) of the Ecological Society of America
Terry A. Wheeler, Natural Resource Sciences, McGill University, Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, QC, Canada

With respect to the ESA, how ecological is ecological restoration? Where has ecological restoration been and where might it go?
Stuart K. Allison, Biology, Knox College, Galesburg, IL

Whether in Life or in Death: Fresh Perspectives on How Plants Affect Biogeochemical Cycling

Organizer
Amy T. Austin
University of Buenos Aires, IFEVA-CONICET
Faculty of Agronomy

Co-organizer
Amy E. Zanne
The George Washington University
Department of Biological Sciences

Moderator
Melinda D. Smith
Colorado State University
Department of Biology

Plant species have been shown to be important in many aspects of biogeochemical cycling, but at the ecosystem scale, plants are often still considered as a photosynthetic ‘green blob’ that assimilate carbon and sessile competitors for nutrients with other organisms. However, recent research has shown that there are many ways in which plant species actively modulate biogeochemical cycling that go beyond the well-studied effects of changes in chemical composition of senescent litter. New perspectives demonstrate that plant species modulate biogeochemical cycling through variation in functional attributes, phylogenetic relationships, stoichiometric flexibility and interactions with beneficial or pathogenic organisms while living and post-senescence in a wide range of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems. Moreover, the ways in which plants actively respond to a changing biotic and abiotic environment can have important consequences during the lifetime of the plants and in the ‘afterlife’ once these plant tissues have senesced. Finally, dynamic responses of plants to a variety of human impacts including land-use change, elevated CO2 and rising temperatures have opened a wide array of new interesting research avenues to evaluate the importance of plant identity on biogeochemical cycling at the ecosystem scale. This session will present research on some fresh perspectives which broaden our understanding of how plants and the sum of their interactions can modulate biogeochemical cycling.

One-sentence Summary:
New perspectives demonstrate that plant species modulate biogeochemical cycling through variation in functional attributes, phylogenetic relationships, stoichiometric flexibility and interactions with beneficial or pathogenic organisms while living and post-senescence in a wide range of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.

Litter decomposition and nitrogen enrichment
Sarah E. Hobbie, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Phytoplankton ecology and algal blooms
Elena Litchman, Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners, MI

Woody plant function and biogeochemistry
Amy Zanne, Biological Sciences, The George Washington University, Washington D. C., DC

Photodegradation and spatial heterogeneity in aridlands
Amy T. Austin, Faculty of Agronomy, University of Buenos Aires, IFEVA-CONICET, Buenos Aires, Argentina

Tree species effects on belowground biogeochemistry in diverse tropical rain forests
Sasha C. Reed, USGS, Moab, UT

Nitrogen deposition in temperate forests
Pamela Templer, Department of Biology, Boston University, Boston, MA

Plant genetic diversity and carbon and nutrient cycling
Aimee Classen, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, Knoxville, TN

Plant-herbivore interactions and ecological stoichiometry in grassland ecosystems
Elizabeth T. Borer, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN