Organized Oral Sessions

This is a complete list of the Organized Oral Sessions that have been accepted for 2015. You may only list one as your preferred session, so be sure to make sure it looks like a good match for your presentation. Since there are 92 sessions, the details are folded under each session title. Click a title to read a session description followed by a list of talks and the people involved in each session.

A Century of Structured Population Models in Ecology
Session description:
The understanding of population dynamics requires a link from the individual (which lives, dies, grows, develops, moves, and reproduces) to the population, whose changes in “distribution and abundance” are the basis of ecological and eco-evolutionary dynamics. The properties of the individual that are relevant to population dynamics change as the individual moves through its life cycle. For a century, population biologists have developed and applied increasingly sophisticated mathematical tools for analyzing structured populations (i.e., populations in which individuals are differentiated by their place in the life cycle). This session includes talks on some of the major frameworks (matrix population models, physiologically structured models, integral projections) applied to population dynamics. Along with historical perspectives and presentation of new developments in theory and methodology, the session will feature applications to conservation, evolution, climate change, invasive species, and fisheries.

Extending the reach of structured demographic models in ecology: sensitivity, heterogeneity, and stochasticity.
Hal Caswell, Biology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA

Division rates of a marine cyanobacterium from cell size distributions and a matrix population model
Kristen R. Hunter-Cevera, Biology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA

A generic approach to demographic, equilibrium, and evolutionary analysis of structured population models based on continuous-time, arbitrarily complex individual life histories
André M. de Roos, Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics, University of Amsterdam, Amsterdam, Netherlands

Age- versus size-structured populations: The ecological distinction and its importance for fisheries
Anieke Van Leeuwen, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Evolutionary demography of life history transitions: an integral projection model analysis
C. Jessica E. Metcalf, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton, Princeton, NJ

Use of structured population models for wildlife conservation and management
Madan K. Oli, Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Applying integral projection models to study consequences of climate change in size-structured populations
Yngvild Vindenes, University of Oslo, Oslo, Norway

Sex-structured invasion models
Allison K. Shaw, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota

Moderator(s)
Michael Neubert
Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution
Biology

Organizer(s)
Hal Caswell
University of Amsterdam
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics
Netherlands Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution

Co-organizer(s)
André M. de Roos
University of Amsterdam
Institute for Biodiversity and Ecosystem Dynamics


Advances in Modeling Wildlife Abundance
Session description:
Estimating population size has been a key issue of interest for decades in ecological studies. In conservation and management, some of the most pressing questions are related to how climate change and habitat fragmentation will impact populations. One major step in answering these questions is understanding the spatial and temporal dynamics of abundance, as well as, habitat associations, density dependence, and resource selection. Methods, such as capture-recapture, mark-resight, distance sampling, and aerial counts, are commonly used to estimate abundance for mammals, reptiles, birds, insects, trees, etc. New techniques such as genetic sampling and camera trapping, along with enhanced computing capabilities, have spurred a wave of advances in statistical models for abundance estimation. These extensions include explicitly incorporating spatial and temporal information, combining multiple data sources, investigating community structure, etc. These new approaches allow researchers to not only estimate abundance, but to address other ecological questions related to variation of abundance in space and time, survival/recruitment, animal movement, resource selection, and patterns in community composition. Modeling procedures that allow researchers to gain a better understanding of these processes are invaluable. For example, camera trapping now allows researchers to photo-capture animals that are cryptic or rare, such as jaguars. In some species, individuals can be identified in photo-captures and new spatial capture-recapture models can be utilized to estimate population size, variation in movement between sexes, resource selection, survival and recruitment. Similarly, with the use of new N-mixture models, repeated count data can be used to estimate population size and trends without having to identify individuals. In this session, we aim to provide an overview over a broad range of advances in models for estimating population size based on traditional methodologies like distance sampling, capture-recapture, and count based surveys, but incorporating new technologies and data sources to address questions broader than just abundance. The models are widely applicable across many taxa, time scales, and spatial extents in ecology.

Integrating spatial-capture recapture models into models of plague transmission in prairie dogs
Robin E. Russell, National Wildlife Health Center, United States Geological Survey, Madison, WI

A community distance sampling model for estimating seabird abundance and distribution
Rahel Sollmann, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC

Estimating abundance when landscape structure determines patterns of both space-use and density
Christopher Sutherland, Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Modeling density in stratified populations using hierarchical spatial capture-recapture
Sarah J. Converse, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, US Geological Survey, Laurel, MD

New approach for combining count and occupancy data to estimate demographic parameters
Elise Zipkin, Department of Zoology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Recent advances in spatial modelling of distance sampling surveys
David L. Miller, Centre for Research into Ecological and Environmental Modelling, University of St Andrews, St. Andrews, Scotland

Spatio-temporal N-mixture models for predicting metapopulation dynamics
Paige Howell, Warnell School of Forestry and Natural Resources, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Spatiotemporal models for aerial survey counts: an application to ice-associated seals in the Bering Sea
Paul Conn, National Marine Mammal Laboratory, NOAA, Seattle, WA

Moderator(s): Beth Gardner, North Carolina State University, Forestry and Environmental Resources

Organizer(s): Beth Gardner, North Carolina State University, Forestry and Environmental Resources

Co-organizer(s): Rahel Sollmann, North Carolina State University; J. Andrew Royle, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center


Agroecosystems and Processes of Global Change
Session description:
Agricultural systems are tasked with producing more food, fiber, and fuel for a growing population, supporting livelihoods and development, and decreasing environmental impacts. Agroecology informs pathways to address these coupled challenges by improving our understanding of global environmental change and its impacts, developing approaches to increase resilience and adapt to change, and revealing tradeoffs with varied management practices. Understanding the coupling between abiotic and biotic systems is critically important in a world with rapid environmental change, and this session will predominantly focus on connections between the physical environment and agroecosystems across the world. We bring together a diverse array of scholars working to understand these connections using a combination of field studies, models, and data synthesis. Primary topics include climate change and variability, agricultural water use in a changing climate, nutrient cycling in temperate and tropical agroecosystems, greenhouse gas emissions from global agriculture, and the tradeoffs between organic and conventional management practices.

Yield, biodiversity, nitrogen, and farmer livelihood impacts of organic agriculture
Verena Seufert, Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Nitrogen cycling changes after cropland intensification in the southeastern Brazilian Amazon
Christine S. O’Connell, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Managing climate variability with seasonal forecasts in tropical rice agroecosystems
Sharon Gourdji, International Center for Tropical Agriculture (CIAT), Cali, Colombia

Agroecosystem water use in the context of global change
Andy VanLoocke, Department of Agronomy, Iowa State University, Ames, IA

Climate feedbacks of changing forest and grassland areas across the northern hemisphere
Abby Swann, Department of Atmospheric Sciences and Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Greenhouse gas emissions from global agriculture
Kimberly M. Carlson, Insitute on the Environment, University of Minnesota, St Paul, MN

Factors affecting phosphorus loading to surface waters in the Yahara River watershed of southern Wisconsin: A focus on climate change and agricultural land management
Melissa M. Motew, Center for Sustainability and the Global Environment, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

Land use-driven changes in extreme temperatures: feedbacks on the productivity of US agroecosystems
Nathaniel Mueller, Center for the Environment, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Moderator(s)
Ethan E. Butler
Harvard University
Earth and Planetary Science

Organizer(s)
Nathaniel Mueller
Harvard University
Center for the Environment

Co-organizer(s)
Ethan E. Butler
Harvard University
Earth and Planetary Science


Allee effects: Theory and Applications
Session description:
Allee effects are a density-dependent phenomenon associated with cooperative behaviors, genetic change, and sexual reproduction. Quantifying the magnitude of Allee effects has been impeded by the difficulty of monitoring low density populations, but in recent years the widespread occurrence of Allee effect has become increasingly clear. Research has documented a diversity of mechanisms ranging from mate limitation to cooperative feeding to predator satiation. As evidence from multiple systems has accumulated, the focus has begun to change from documenting the presence of Allee effects to understanding the feedbacks and interactions with other ecological and evolutionary processes. The combined effects of these interactions are important for conserving small populations, as evident in the examples of the island fox and several fisheries, and for managing non-native species, such as invasive insects. The innovative research included in this session highlights two crucial, under-explored aspects of Allee effects, namely (1) the interaction of positive density dependence and population genetics, and (2) the role that Allee effects play in forecasting and managing pest outbreaks. The link between Allee effects and population genetics is predicted to be strong due to the role of small population sizes in ecological and evolutionary dynamics. This session will explore this link from several directions, particularly how selection weakens Allee effects and how population genetic processes can increase fitness costs in small populations. New work from a more applied viewpoint considers how Allee effects influence the dynamics of spreading pests. This session will also consider the links between these seemingly separate questions, for instance the role of selection for increased dispersal in accelerating spread in species invasions. The mix of theory and empirical results reported here shows that close interaction is fueling continued advances in the understanding of Allee effects. The current relevance of these areas is underscored by the independent pursuit of these topics in several groups. This session will provide a platform to share and synthesize this work.

Benefits and costs of avoiding Allee effects: will evolution make our passion obsolete?
Ludek Berec, Institute of Entomology, Biology Centre ASCR, Ceske Budejovice, Czech Republic

Allee effect in social species
Gloria M. Luque, Laboratoire d’Ecologie, Systématique et Evolution, Universte Paris-Sud, Paris, France

Mating-finding, demographic stochasticity, and the evolution of life history traits during range expansion
Brad Ochocki, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University, Houston, TX

Mate-finding Allee effects and their impact on invasion dynamics
Michael Neubert, Biology, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution, Woods Hole, MA

Sex and the single insect: the importance of mate-finding Allee effects
Patrick Tobin, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

One spot, two spot, red spot grew spots: how differential dispersal, phenology and the Allee effect predict pattern formation in mountain pine beetle impact
James A. Powell, Mathematics and Statistics/Biology, Utah State University, Logan, UT

Quantifying the interaction between ecological and genetic Allee effects
Meike Wittmann, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

The genetic Allee effect: a unified framework for the genetics and demography of small populations
Franck Courchamp, Ecologie, Systematique et Evolution, Universite Paris-Sud XI, Orsay, France

Moderator(s)
John M. Drake
University of Georgia
Odum School of Ecology

Organizer(s)
Andrew M. Kramer
University of Georgia
Odum School of Ecology

Co-organizer(s)
Ludek Berec
Biology Centre ASCR
Institute of Entomology
Department of Biosystematics and Ecology


Assessing Urban Agriculture: Ecosystem Services and Ecological Consequences
Session description:
Many cities have seen a rapid expansion of urban agriculture in recent years, between commercial farms, community and home gardens, and backyard animal husbandry. Previous research on urban agriculture has largely focused on social benefits, but there is a growing need to quantify environmental costs and benefits, particularly as many cities are revising policies related to urban agriculture. Speakers in this session will share findings of research focused on quantifying ecosystem services (e.g., provisioning of food, carbon sequestration, aesthetic and educational value) and environmental consequences (e.g., nutrient pollution, water demand, exposure to soil contaminants) related to urban agriculture. The goal for this session is to gather ecologists and environmental scientists interested in urban agriculture, define the state of the art, and identify research questions that need to be addressed to advance the sustainable growth of urban agriculture across the US. Ecological study of urban agriculture has been limited, but this session will highlight exciting opportunities for ecologists to contribute to this emerging field. Baltimore has been at the forefront of urban ecology, and this session will specifically explore the role of agriculture within the context of urban ecosystems.

Agroecosystem changes across urban to rural transects in Salt Lake City, UT and Chicago, IL
Christine A. Clay, Biology and Environmental Studies, Westminster College, Salt Lake City, UT

Hydroponic gardens as a mitigation strategy for nutrient pollution in urban lakes
Gaston Small, University of St. Thomas

Managing urban garden soils: Minimize soil contaminant transfer
Ganga Hettiarachchi, Kansas State University

Participatory breeding for urban food systems
Julie Dawson, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Soil remediation and the threat of recontamination in urban agroecosystems
Sam E. Wortman, Crop Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign, Urbana, IL

Urban agriculture in New York City: maps, measurements, and citizen science
Clare Sullivan, Agriculture and Food Security Center, The Earth Institute, Columbia University, Palisades, NY

Urban agrobiodiversity: A mixed methods, multiscalar study of food production sites in Chicago, IL
John R. Taylor, Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

Yield benefits and environmental costs of different compost sources on urban garden plots
Adam Kay, University of St. Thomas

Moderator(s)
Kristen Bastug
University of St. Thomas

Organizer(s)
Sam E. Wortman
University of Illinois at Urbana – Champaign
Crop Sciences
Plant Sciences Laboratory

Co-organizer(s)
Adam Kay
University of St. Thomas

Gaston Small
University of St. Thomas


Bees Across Urban Environments: Social and Ecological Forces
Session description:
Recent studies across the United States and Europe have shown that the populations of many pollinators, especially bees, are in decline. Declines of honeybees and North American native bees have been reported over the past decade (Grixti et al. 2009, Williams and Osborne 2009, Winfree et al. 2009). The status of native bees is not well understood, and according to some has already reached a crisis stage (Dixon 2009). The dire lack of data is perhaps best described by the National Academy of Sciences (2007) in a recent report on the status of pollinators “…the paucity of long-term data and the incomplete knowledge of even basic taxonomy and ecology make the definitive assessment of status exceedingly difficult.” The importance of pollinators to food security is such that this past summer the President of the United States established an executive strategy for the conservation of pollinators nationwide (Presidential Memorandum of June 20, 2014). As of 2010 more than 50% (~3.5 billion) of the World’s population live in cities. This proportion will grow to 65% by the middle of this century when the human population is expected to reach 9 billion (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). This increase in urban density, and total population, is placing tremendous stress on all types of ecosystem services. Paradoxically, a large proportion of these cities are shrinking in their core, e.g., Detroit, MI. In fact, worldwide more than 370 cities are considered shrinking (losing more than 1% of the population per year for more than 10 years; Hollander 2011), and of those 92 are in the United States. This shrinkage has had tremendous repercussions to social, political and economic processes, and has left a legacy of inequality and environmental injustice. Policies that address “smart shrinking” are lagging greatly behind the depopulation trends. This also lends itself to tremendous opportunities for understanding ecological processes in a new context (Haase 2013). Worldwide, city planners and decision makers, as well as local communities, are placing increased emphasis on growing food locally in order to maintain and enhance food security. Yet little is known about pollination services or pollinator diversity and abundance in urban environments, especially in cities with shrinking cores. Presenters in this session will address these, and other topics ranging from individual research studies, proposed model systems for urban bee studies, as well as meta-analysis and synthesis resulting from a working group at the National Social-Environmental Synthesis Center.

An analysis of bee communities in home gardens
Gail Langellotto, Horticulture, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Bee diversity across a range of socio-economic neighborhoods
Paige A. Muñiz, Biology, Saint Louis University, St. Louis, MO

Context dependency in pollinator-mediated plant-plant interactions along an urban-to-rural gradient
Gordon Fitch, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Abstract ID # 50773
Extending urban bee knowledge to audiences in Costa Rica: where to begin
Gordon Frankie, Entomology, UC Berkeley

Landscape drivers of phorid parasitism in bees
Hamutahl Cohen, Environmental Studies, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

The effect of urban landscapes on pollinators and yield in urban gardens in southeastern Michigan
Maria Carolina Simao, Natural Resources & Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

To mow or to mow less: How landscaping behaviors influence bee diversity and ecosystem services in residential yards
Susannah B. Lerman, Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts and USDA Forest Service, Amherst, MA

Trends in urban bee community structure in shrinking cities
Rebecca K. Tonietto, Plant Biology and Conservation, Northwestern University

Moderator(s): Gerardo R. Camilo, Saint Louis University, Biology

Organizer: Gerardo R. Camilo, Saint Louis University, Biology

Co-organizer(s): Rebecca K. Tonietto, Northwestern University, Plant Biology and Conservation; Paige A. Muñiz, Saint Louis University, Biology


Beyond the Spreadsheet: Data Integration and Informatics for the Next Century of Ecology
Session description:
Data have always been the foundation of ecological research, but how we collect, share, and use them is changing rapidly. It is now common for data for a single study to be collected by many individuals across multiple sites and for analyses to depend on previously published data from data repositories or the literature. At the same time, many of today’s most pressing ecological questions — such as how global climate change will affect species distributions and ecosystem processes or how to manage natural resources such as international fisheries or the Amazon rainforest — depend on integration of data from many sources. Unfortunately, our training as scientists does not always prepare us for how to generate, find, and use data in this new landscape. This session will bring together ecologists from a diverse set of academic and federal organizations who focus on integration and re-use of data — both big and small — to discuss opportunities and challenges in data integration. Talks will follow three main themes: 1) the current state of data integration and how to make it better, 2) tools for finding, managing, sharing, and visualizing ecological data, and 3) reports on research using integrated data. The goal of this session is to raise awareness of the importance of informatics in ecology, which we will do in two ways. First, we aim to demonstrate the utility of informatics to a broad range of researchers by offering talks that educate ESA members about the many options available for data integration, the larger visions and technologies under development by national informatics organizations, and research that leverages those resources. Second, we hope to distill an understanding that informatics is an innovative research discipline within ecology in its own right, not just a support service (although its role as a support service is substantial), by presenting new research on the development of informatics and data integration tools. No ecologist should be uncomfortable with phrases like “big data”, “bio-informatics”, or “data sharing” and we hope this session will help overcome lingering fears.

Towards Data Integration: Preparing and Sharing Biodiversity and Ecological Data for Science and Decision-making
Elizabeth Martin, Core Science Analytics, Synthesis, & Libraries (CSASL), United States Geological Survey (USGS), Gainesville, FL

Why reinvent the wheel? Scientific design with an eye for data integration
Christine Laney, Biological Sciences, NEON

Big Data Initiatives for Agroecosystems
Cynthia Parr, National Agricultural Library, UDSA

iPlant Data Commons for sharing, discovering, and analyzing environmental data
Ramona L. Walls, iPlant Collaborative, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

TraitBank – An Open Digital Repository for Organism Traits
Katja Schulz, Encyclopedia of Life, Smithsonian Institution

Semantics and provenance for ecological data
Matthew B. Jones, National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis, Santa Barbara, CA

Inventorying Life: How to know what’s there (and what’s not) using Map of Life tools
Rob Guralnick, University of Florida

Utilizing species data repositories to support conservation planning
Kaylene Keller, US Fish and Wildlife Service

Moderator(s): Annie Simpson , United States Geological Survey (USGS), Core Science Analytics, Synthesis, & Libraries (CSASL)

Organizer(s): Ramona L. Walls, University of Arizona, iPlant Collaborative; Christine Laney, NEON


Biodiversity of Temperate and Tropical Rivers in a Changing World: Research Frontiers and Future Challenges
Session description:
Will temperate and tropical rivers become more variable in their species assemblages over the next century? How will adaptive traits likely determine future distributions of freshwater species? Are there general considerations that will help to anticipate changes? Explaining how different locations have especially high species diversity has remained a major goal in ecology. Given the increasing concerns over the loss of native species in many freshwater ecosystems and the consequences for changes in ecosystem processes, this symposium will compare how emerging differences can influence distinct species distributions in temperate and tropical rivers. Unlike most marine and terrestrial ecosystems, the biodiversity of rivers does not follow a general latitudinal pattern of increase in species richness tropical ecosystems. Regional differences in the ages, hydrology, geology, and size of drainage basins can explain many of differences that occur among rivers. High climatic variability in many Neotropical and temperate ecosystems will continue to result in prolonged droughts and extreme floods. This high variability in hydrology can drive speciation and influence sustainability of these distinct species assemblages. Recent studies demonstrate that macro- and micro-scale differences in river channel connectivity have resulted in isolation during some periods and increased connectivity among habitats during other periods. Consequently, rates of speciation can vary within a single watershed. New concepts are being generated regarding how complex terrestrial and riverine species interactions are affected by changing land uses and invasive species. These novel ecosystems are characterized by new species interactions that will likely change how native species that co-existed in the last 100 years will shift in their distributions and functional relationships.

The future for tropical rivers: Perspectives from East Africa and the tropical Andes.
Elizabeth P. Anderson, School of Environment, Arts and Society, Florida International University, North Miami, FL

Relationship between deforestation, fish diversity and fishery production in the Amazon River
Kirk O. Winemiller, Wildlife and Fisheries Sciences, Texas A&M University, College Station, TX

Effects of amphibian species loss on tropical streams: Future impacts of Costa Rican climate change
Scott J. Connelly, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Contrasting patterns of diversity of microbial and invertebrate decomposers along altitudinal gradients in tropical and temperate streams
Andrea C. Encalada, Laboratorio de Ecología Acuática-Colegio de Ciencias Biológicas y Ambientales, Universidad San Francisco de Quito, Quito, Ecuador

Stoichiometric role of animals across elevation gradients in tropical and temperate environments
Carla L. Atkinson, Biological Sciences, Alabama University, Tuscaloosa, AL

Biodiversity and global urban stream homogenization
Alonso Ramirez, Institute for Tropical Ecosystem Studies, University of Puerto Rico, Rio Pidras, PR

Community organization and ecosystem response to anthropogenic impacts: Are subtropical, coastal rivers different?
Todd A. Crowl, Biology, Florida International University, North Miami, FL

Moderator(s): Alan P. Covich, University of Georgia, Odum School of Ecology

Organizer(s): Alan P. Covich, University of Georgia, Odum School of Ecology

Co-organizer(s): Andrea C. Encalada, Universidad San Francisco de Quito


Biomarkers in Trophic Ecology - Past, Present and Future perspectives
Session description:
Time-integrated assessments of species interactions, energy flows and overall food web dynamics are integral to most aspects of modern ecology. Whether examining the effects of invasive species, quantifying productivity shifts due to climate change, or identifying critical life history traits of threatened species, ecologists require reliable data going beyond that which can be directly gathered in the field. To this end, biomarkers are employed to characterize the longer-term activity of an organism or within an ecosystem. The application of biomarkers to trophic ecology has grown rapidly from fundamental work on bio–accumulation of mercury, to bulk stable isotope and fatty acid analysis, and most recently the combination of both of these techniques in compound specific stable isotope analysis. As such, a variety of tools are now in place, and are regularly used, to identify trophic links and energy pathways in almost every ecosystem on the planet. However, as most researchers specialize on a single method, many are unaware of the possibilities presented by alternate techniques. As the strongest results are those supported by a variety of methods, this scenario represents a stumbling block, hindering important developments in conservation biology and beyond. This session brings together a diverse panel of experts who will each present current research from their own area of expertise. The session aims to raise awareness of the potential for integration of multiple techniques fostering knowledge transfer and collaboration within the community. The session will be of interest to ecologists currently using biomarkers or examining the potential applications of biomarkers to their research. The topics covered are applicable to researchers of all fields but colleagues studying aquatic ecosystems are especially encouraged to attend. Twitter uses can follow developments in the session by using the hashtag #ESAbiomarkers

Stable isotopes and food chain length
David M. Post, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Trophic biomarker or metabolic differences: an exploration in nitrogen and hydrogen isotopes.
Noreen Tuross, Human Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

Use and abuse of mixing models (MixSIAR)
Brian Stock, Scripps Institute of Oceanography, University of California, San Diego, CA

Using stable isotope ratios and fatty acid profiles to determine how marine-derived nutrients affect productivity in Atlantic rivers
Kurt Samways, Biology Department, University of New Brunswick, Canada

Compound-specific stable isotope analysis in population and community ecology: theory, development, and a call for more laboratory experiments.
Kelton McMahon, Department of Ocean Sciences, University of California, Santa Cruz, CA

Hydrogen isotope trophic discrimination factors (and proportions of H derived from food versus water) for tilapia tissues (muscle and liver) from a controlled feeding experiment
Seth D. Newsome, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, NM

Determining long-term trophic level shifts using stable isotpes – the ‘baseline’ problem
Nicole Misarti, Water and Environmental Research Center, University of Alaska, Fairbanks

Change in isotopic signatures suggest food web shift off the western Antarctic Peninsula
Tracey L. Rogers, School of Biological, Earth and Environmental Sciences, University of New South Wales, Sydney, Australia

Moderator(s): Brian Hayden, University of New Brunswick, Biology

Organizer: Brian Hayden, University of New Brunswick, Biology

Co-organizer(s): Chris Harrod, University of Antofagasta; David Soto, University of New Brunswick, Environment Canada; Rick Cunjak, University of New Brunswick


Bridging Ecology and Community-Based Planning towards Earth Stewardship
Session description:
How can ecology and community-based planning inform one another? Urban ecologists, as they engage with the human-built environment, are trying to integrate social components into their research methods and existing ecological theories, which were developed around fundamental biogeophysical drivers. This integration is difficult because ecologists have limited exposure to the social factors that concern communities and limited familiarity with social science research methods. The complex nature of cities includes varied land uses, histories and management regimes, density patterns, household structures, lifestyles, repeated disturbances, heterogeneous vegetation, and changing climates. Cities are dynamic and are composed of many overlapping and contradictory meanings — physical, social, political, and economic, as well as aesthetic, intellectual, and experiential. For ecologists to work effectively in cities, they need to develop a range of tactics. They need to develop new applications of ecological knowledge and research methods so that they can help shape human environments and contribute environmental solutions to complex urban challenges. This symposium will explore ways of using grassroots planning to incorporate ecological science into planning and design in a way that supports community interests and broader outreach and education goals. It will bring together urban ecologists and leading designers, both concerned with the environmental outcomes of community-based planning. Case studies will exemplify ways in which ecologists and designers have already collaborated with communities to improve their quality of life by reconstructing ecosystem services and enhancing ecological functions such as biodiversity and nutrient cycling.

Care and stewardship: feedbacks between community behaviors and ecosystem services
Joan Iverson Nassauer, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Civic Ecology: Adaptation and Transformation from the Ground Up
Marianne Elizabeth Krasny, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Communities and science: educating students about urban ecology though place based learning
Alan Berkowitz, Head of Education, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Milbrook, NY

Engaging Process and Enabling Form
Laurie J. Lawson, Landscape Architecture, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

From Redlining to Greenlining: Addressing legacies of environmental justice through social-ecological regeneration
J. Morgan Grove, USDA Forest Service, Baltimore, MD

Participation & Visualization Approaches to Stakeholder Involvement in Sea Level Change & Stormwater Planning and Design: Issues, Examples & Initial Lessons Learned
Victoria Chanse, Plant Science and Landsacpe Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Moderator(s): Charles Nilon, University of Missouri, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences

Organizer(s): Alexander J. Felson, Yale University, School of Forestry and Environmental Science / School of Architecture

Co-organizer(s): Gillian Bowser, Colorado State University, Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory


Building Bridges – Using Unmanned Aerial Systems (UASs) Imagery to Link Ecological Observations
Session description:
When ESA was founded, observations of organisms and their environments were largely conducted at the scale of 1-m2 quadrats. These quadrats were pivotal to foundational ecological principles and many continue to serve an unmistakably important role in long-term ecology. One hundred years later, the observation lens of ecologists has expanded exponentially in size (i.e., spatial extent) and scope. Unmanned aerial systems (UASs) constitute new technology that has the potential to transform ecological research by creating a bridge between field and remotely sensed data within this expanded observation lens. Our ability to characterize field conditions and record organismal and ecosystem responses has grown tremendously to examine and monitor ecological phenomena at spatial and temporal scales previously not possible. From this expanded capacity to observe and interpret responses at multiple scales (e.g., leaf, plant community, and ecosystem levels) has emerged the importance of examining patterns at multiple levels of organization simultaneously. Technological and analytical innovations provide opportunities to study ecological processes at multiple hierarchical levels (i.e., scales) as well as explore the interactions within and across scales. Yet, challenges remain in linking the observations made at different scales in this hierarchical framework. Remotely sensed imagery from satellite (e.g., Landsat or MODIS) or aircraft (e.g., aerial photography) remains a valuable for supplementing field-based ecological studies but have limitations associated with the cost of acquiring imagery at a resolution (i.e., pixel size) and/or sampling frequency commensurate with the process being investigated. For these cases, imagery from UASs offers a highly valued resource. UASs are particularly well-suited to bridge gaps in the spatial and temporal realms associated with airborne remote sensing (e.g., aerial photography and satellite imagery) and can be operated inexpensively at low altitudes with different types of payloads to accommodate a range of sensors which will significantly enhance ecosystem modeling activities. This organized oral session is designed to showcase the benefits of using very high resolution imagery acquired using UASs for ecological research using a diverse set of illustrative examples. The session will serve as a primer for ecologists on the advantages as well as the limitations of UASs for conducting ecological research. Our examples showcase applications in the fields of phenology (in widely varying ecosystems responding to different abiotic drivers), conservation biology, public land management, and agricultural production. The talks will be of interest to a large swath of ESA members and accessible to a broad audience.

Mapping Pygmy Rabbit Habitat Quality with Unmanned Aerial Systems
Peter Olsoy, Washington State University

Unraveling the mystery of dryland plant phenology through time and space with multi-scale remote sensing
Dawn M. Browning, Jornada Experimental Range, USDA Agriculture Research Service, Las Cruces, NM

Bridging the organism and landscape scales of deciduous forest phenology using an unmanned aerial vehicle, PhenoCams, and remote sensing
Steve Klosterman, Harvard University

Stopping to see the flowers: mapping tropical forest canopy flowers using computer vision
Jonathan Dandois, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Peering into ecology’s blind spot: using unmanned systems to measure crop stress and productivity
Lyndon Estes, Princeton University

Conservation drones for environmental research and applications
Lian Pin Koh, University of Adelaide

Small-UAS remote sensing in a biodiversity hotspot: Overcoming adversity in the Western Amazon
Max Messinger, Wake Forest University

Protocols for vegetation and habitat monitoring with unmanned aerial vehicles: linking research to management on US public lands
Jason W. Karl, USDA ARS Jornada Experimental Range, Las Cruces, NM

Moderator(s)
Helene C. Muller-Landau
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institution

Organizer(s)
Dawn M. Browning
USDA Agriculture Research Service
Jornada Experimental Range

Co-organizer(s)
Jason W. Karl
USDA ARS Jornada Experimental Range

Jonathan Dandois
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Dawn M. Browning
USDA Agriculture Research Service
Jornada Experimental Range


Climate Change in Wildlands: Pioneering applications of Science to Management in the Rocky and Appalachian Mountains
Session description:
Climate change is already apparent and accelerating in many ecosystems, resulting in a cascade of ecological responses that challenge the ability of scientists and managers to understand and steward these rapidly changing systems. Challenges stem from the very nature of human-induced climate change. It is manifest over time periods that are long relative to scientific study and resource management horizons. It occurs across areas larger than the spatial domains of federal land jurisdictions, necessitating interagency collaboration. It is intertwined with natural climate variation, sometimes making directional effects difficult to elucidate. Wildland ecosystems in wilderness areas and national parks are by definition relatively natural. These “natural” systems are often considered to be more resilient to climate change than more human-altered systems The traits that distinguish wildlands, however, create additional challenges for integrated science and management. Scientific experimentation and management manipulations are limited by philosophical, logistical, and legal constraints. Difficulty of access limits data collection and the feasibility of active management. Moreover, U.S. wildlands are disproportionately located at the high, dry, and cold ends of biophysical gradients, such as mountain tops, where there may be fewer options for adaptation to changing conditions. Thus, our iconic wildland ecosystems such as Yellowstone or Great Smoky Mountains National Parks present particularly difficult challenges to ecologists and managers. This oral session reports on a unique collaboration among scientists and resource managers to address the challenges described above and to enhance knowledge on ecological response to climate change and serve decision support products to resource managers. Our goal is to demonstrate an effective approach for integrating science and management to cope with climate change in the wildland ecosystems of the Rocky Mountains and the Appalachians. Speakers will provide: • A guiding conceptual framework; • The latest theory and tools for climate scenario downscaling, ecological forecasting, species distribution modeling and vulnerability assessment; • The challenges of linking science to management in the context of socioeconomic systems; • Compelling examples of climate adaptation planning among federal agencies. Now in its 100th year, the ESA has championed the role of ecological knowledge in environmental decision making. This session will be of interest to ESA members that seek a better understanding of the long-term ecological impacts of climate change over large wildland ecosystems and how to best use science to inform decisions on the management of natural resource in the face of rapid climate change

Approaches for climate adaptation planning in wildlands
John Gross, National Park Service Climate Change Response Program, Fort Collins, CO

Modeling climate impacts on ecological processes
Forrest Melton, National Aeronautics and Space Administration

Vegetation vulnerability to climate change in the Rocky Mountains
Andrew Hansen, Department of Ecology, Montana State University – Bozeman, Bozeman, MT

Modeling Response of Appalachian Forests to Climate Change in Greater Park Ecosystems
Scott Goetz, Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA

Vegetation vulnerability to climate change in the Appalachians
Patrick Jantz, Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA

Adaptive capacity of socioecological systems under climate change
Dennis S. Ojima, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability and the Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Elements of success for climate adaptation planning: a USGS perspective
Jeffrey T Morisette, North Central Climate Science Cente, Fort Collins, CO

Elements of success for climate adaptation planning: an NPS perspective
William Monahan, Inventory & Monitoring Program, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO

Moderator(s)
David Roberts
Montana State University
Department of Ecology

Organizer(s)
Andrew Hansen
Montana State University – Bozeman
Department of Ecology

Co-organizer(s)
Jeffrey T Morisette
North Central Climate Science Cente

William Monahan
National Park Service
Inventory & Monitoring Program


Coastal plant range shifts: causes and consequences
Session description:
Coastal ecosystems are perched at the intersection of land and sea and are thus subject to a confluence of global change factors including sea level rise, elevated nitrogen inputs, increasing temperatures, and changes in precipitation. Due to the combined and individual impacts of each of these stressors, mangroves are encroaching into salt marshes around the world. As previously shown in tundra and arid grasslands, the movement of woody species into herbaceous landscapes represents a biome shift that can have far-reaching implications for ecosystems. The highest “velocity” of climate driven change is occurring in the coastal zone, and so these ongoing coastal biome shifts may serve as a harbinger of the fate of other terrestrial ecosystems. In this session, we will explore both drivers and outcomes of coastal plant range shifts. Presentations will highlight a variety of approaches for investigating the mechanisms driving range shifts, including genetic and molecular sampling, field surveys, remote sensing, and modeling. We will also explore the ecological interactions and ecosystem consequences that occur when mangroves encroach into marshes. Salt marshes and mangroves both provide critical ecosystem services such as carbon storage, food provisioning, water purification, and buffering of ecosystems against storm surges and sea level rise, but the provisioning of these ecosystem services may differ in magnitude and timing across habitat types. Understanding the shifting fates of these important coastal wetlands is an important challenge facing coastal managers.

Precocious reproduction in invading mangroves
Emily Dangremond, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

An ecosystem-scale perspective on faunal responses to mangrove expansion
Anna R. Armitage, Department of Marine Biology, Texas A&M University at Galveston, Galveston, TX

The effects of macroclimatic drivers on wetland structure and function across the northern Gulf Coast
Chris Gabler, University of Houston

Impacts of climate change on mangroves in the Southeastern US
Michael J. Osland, U.S. Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, LA

Mangroves move upslope: extreme events allow landward migration of mangroves
Mark Hester, Biology, University of Louisiana, Lafayette

Abiotic drivers of bi-coastal mangrove range shifts
Kyle C Cavanaugh, University of California, Los Angeles

Implications of mangrove range shifts for ecosystem carbon storage
Samantha K. Chapman, Biology, Villanova University, Villanova, PA

Mangrove range shifts impact ecological interactions
Ilka C. Feller, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD

Moderator(s)
J. Adam Langley
Villanova University
Biology

Organizer(s)
Samantha K. Chapman
Villanova University
Biology

Co-organizer(s)
Ilka C. Feller
Smithsonian Environmental Research Center

Kyle C Cavanaugh
University of California, Los Angeles


Coastal Wetlands in a Changing World: Drivers of Carbon Storage and Loss
Session description:
Coastal ecosystems are under extreme direct and indirect pressure from various global environmental change drivers. Resilience to rapid changes along coastlines depends largely on net ecosystem exchange of carbon (C), which is affected by global and local anthropogenic ecosystem alteration. Coastal forests and marshes are characterized by high net ecosystem production, making these ecosystems a global conservation priority for C storage. Coastal wetland ecosystems store a disproportionate amount of C, up to 50 times more than terrestrial forests per unit area, considering they account for less than 1% of earth’s land area. However, anthropogenic-mediated disturbances can drastically change natural C balances. The objective of this oral session is to bring together research from across multiple coastal wetland ecosystems to characterize the factors that most contribute to changes in C fluxes (storage and losses). We will address how changes in C storage and losses are driven by variation in 1) nutrient loading, 2) vegetation regime shifts, 3) sea level rise and its associated biogeochemical changes, and 4) freshwater availability. Understanding how the magnitude and variance in these drivers influence ecosystem-level C processes is critical given imminent sea level rise.

Alterations to tidal marsh biogeochemical cycling and greenhouse gas exchange in response to sea-level rise and salinity intrusion
Nathaniel Weston, Villanova University

Anticipatory Restoration of Coastal Communities in the Face of Climate Change
Loretta L. Battaglia, Plant Biology & Center for Ecology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL

How tidal freshwater forested wetlands respond to salinization to affect carbon balance and soil surface elevation
Ken Krauss, U.S. Geological Survey

The effects of projected sea-level rise on Everglades coastal ecosystems: Evaluating the potential for and mechanisms of peat collapse
Tiffany G. Troxler, Department of Biological Sciences, Florida International University, Miami, FL

Novel biogeochemical regimes in sentinel coastal wetland ecosystems: saltwater intrusion meets fertilizer legacies
Marcelo Ardón, East Carolina University

Patterns of soil carbon in mangrove forests: drivers of spatial and temporal variation
Karen L. McKee, National Wetlands Research Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Lafayette, LA

Effects of saltwater intrusion on the fate of wetland soil carbon: Preservation vs. sequestration
Scott C. Neubauer, Virginia Commonwealth University

Vegetation regime shift in coastal wetlands affects trapping of wrack subsidies from subtidal habitats
Steven C. Pennings, Biology and Biochemistry, University of Houston, Houston, TX

Moderator(s)
Sean P. Charles
Florida International University

Organizer(s)
Benjamin J. Wilson
Florida International University
Biological Sciences

Co-organizer(s)
Sean P. Charles
Florida International University

John S. Kominoski
Florida International University

Shelby M. Servais
Florida International University

Nicholas Schulte
Florida International University

Viviana Mazzei
Florida International University


Collaborative ecological research networks: sociology, successes, and future opportunities
Session description:
Collaborative ecological research networks generate data across many locations that allow novel insights into the generality and site- or regional-scale contingencies of ecological phenomena and processes. This approach has led to significant new understanding of marine, terrestrial, and freshwater ecosystems, and provides a way to overcome the limitations of other approaches such as local-scale studies and meta-analysis for understanding general ecological rules. In the past few years, there has been a very rapid increase in the use of collaborative research networks to quantify global ecological responses. Networks are forging new ground by piloting paradigm shifts in the etiquette of collaborative research, while also tackling new methodological and statistical challenges arising from the multivariate biological phenomena nested in their design. Through their unique global experimental set up, networks are allowing novel tests of ecological theory and generating novel insights into the role of global generalities and regional contingencies in ecological responses, that otherwise wouldn’t be possible. In this symposium we bring together perspectives on the sociology, practice, and opportunities that arise from the collaborative network approach. We will begin with an assessment of how collaborative networks work to broaden the frontiers of ecological inference and change the social landscape of collaboration. Then, speakers working in a diversity of ecosystems will present novel ecological insights that have arisen because of tackling questions with a collaborative network approach. We will end with a talk about the analytical opportunities that emerge from a multi-site collaborative approach. In sum, this symposium will provide examples of a powerful approach for addressing ecological questions and pressing environmental issues, place these into a sociological framework, and point the way forward for future synthetic opportunities that are possible with collaborative research networks.

Hot spots and hot moments of scientific collaboration
John Parker, Arizona State University

Plant community responses to global change: Lessons from the Long Term Ecological Research program and the Nutrient Network
Elsa Cleland, Ecology, Behavior & Evolution Section, University of California – San Diego

From buckets to the biosphere: Linking environment, biodiversity, and ecosystem processes across scales via the Zostera Experimental Network
J. Emmett Duffy, Tennenbaum Marine Observatory Network, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC

Are invasive plants different? Findings from the global garlic mustard field survey
Ruth Hufbauer, Bioagricultural Sciences and Pest Management, Colorado State University, CO

The Global Lake Ecological Observatory Network (GLEON) Experiment: Socio-ecological advances and surprises
Kathleen C. Weathers, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Millbrook, NY

Integrating distributed experimental and observational data into a holistic picture of ecosystems
Claus Beier, Norwegian Institute of Water Research, Norway

Opportunities for General, Synthetic Understanding that Emerge from Collaborative Scientific Networks
James B. Grace, U.S. Geological Survey, National Wetlands Research Center, Lafayette, LA

Networking into the future
Richard Inouye, School of Graduate Studies, Utah State University, UT

Moderator(s): Habacuc Flores-Moreno, University of Minnesota, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

Organizer(s): Habacuc Flores-Moreno, University of Minnesota, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

Co-organizer(s): Elizabeth T. Borer, University of Minnesota, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior; Eric M. Lind, University of Minnesota, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior


Community and ecosystem effects of rapid evolution
Session description:
Ecological and evolutionary processes have been often thought to operate under different timescales. While ecological processes could occur within one or a few generations of organisms, evolutionary processes were often believed to require many generations to operate over greater timescales. Nevertheless, many recent studies have shown that evolution may happen rapidly, and thus, provide instantaneous feedback to ongoing ecological processes. For example, in a community with one predator and one prey species, the predator-prey interactions would drive the evolution of prey resistance and predator attacking abilities; in return, this evolution would alter the predator-prey cycles in this community. These findings have prompted the interests of both ecologists and evolutionary biologists in exploring the reciprocal influences of ecological and evolutionary dynamics. Since then, the interaction between ecological and evolutionary processes, mostly at the population level with the main focus on the feedback of intraspecific genetic variation and population dynamics, has received much attention from ecologists from theoretical, observational, and experimental perspectives. However, studies and syntheses focusing on the eco-evolutionary feedback at the community and ecosystem levels are scarce, presumably due to the unclear connection between community and ecosystem properties and intraspecific variation. This session aims to present research on the interactions of ecological and evolutionary processes at the community and ecosystem levels. The session invites speakers using a wide range of approaches in both micro- and macroorganism study systems to investigate the eco-evolutionary dynamics at the community and ecosystem levels. The presentations in this session will cover cutting-edge research on how interspecific interactions, invasions, community assembly, and ecosystem functioning influence and respond to rapid evolution.

Theory about how the amount of genetic variation in populations alters the ecological dynamics of predator-prey communities
Michael Cortez, Department of Mathematics and Statistics, Utah State University

Using system biology to investigate eco-evolutionary feedbacks in microbial communities
William Harcombe, College of Biological Sciences, University of Minnesota

Darwin’s finches and plant assemblages: Evaluating the effect of predation on community structure
Sofia Carvajal Endara, Department of, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Eco-evolutionary dynamics during experimental range expansion
Emanuel Fronhofer, Department of Aquatic Ecology, Eawag: Swiss Federal Institute of Aquatic Science and Technology

Rapid (co)evolution and the establishment of introduced species
Emily Jones, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University

The impact of evolution on the ecology of species interactions
Martin Turcotte, Institut fur Integrative Biologie, ETH Zurich

Microbe evolutionary responses to climate change affect plant ecological responses
Casey P. terHorst, Department of Biology, California State University, Northridge, Northridge, CA

Changing climates and evolving ecosystems: Linking assembly, evolution and trophic interactions
Colin Kremer, Yale University

Moderator(s): Qixin He, University of Michigan, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Organizer(s): Jiaqi Tan, Georgia Institute of Technology, School of Biology

Co-organizer(s): Qixin He, University of Michigan, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Conservation Genetics of Bee Pollinators
Session description:
This session will showcase the latest advances that molecular biologists have made in the ecology, evolution, and conservation genetics of native bees. While new technologies like NGS and fine-scale GIS, coupled with advances in computer hardware and software, have dramatically improved our understanding of pollinator population genetics, current methods and models of understanding gene-flow and dispersal vary widely and could benefit dramatically from a synthesis and a forum for discussing future challenges and priorities. The proposed symposium would include research that spans the growing field of pollinator conservation genetics, drawing inspiration from a wide range of disciplines, including pollination ecology, landscape ecology, population genetics, and genomics. The overarching goal of the symposium will be to highlight research at the interface between population genetics and pollinator ecology in order to improve understanding of bee population dynamics and evolution, and to inform conservation and management practices. Specifically, we have chosen to focus on the conservation of native bees because they are the most important and effective pollinators and have gained massive public interest in the past decade. The study of native bees is important not only in natural areas, but also in urbanizing and agricultural regions, where multiple stakeholders are invested in enhancing native bee-mediated pollination services. By incorporating molecular research into pollination and landscape ecology, the research highlighted in this symposium takes a critical step in advancing pollinator and pollination-service conservation. As global population and food demands continue to increase, causing even more habitat loss and fragmentation, it will be essential to conserve and restore pollinator populations in natural, agricultural, and urban areas, not only for the purpose of conserving biodiversity, but also for ensuring food security and food diversity. This symposium will reveal insights into the role of evolutionary histories and ecological traits in the challenges confronting native bee pollinators and their critical role in our ecosystem.

A global meta-analysis of native bee gene flow and isolation by distance
Margarita Lopez-Uribe, Entomology, North Carolina State University

Assessing stingless bee susceptibility to habitat degradation: A synthesis of isolation by distance and resistance
Rodolfo Jaffe Ribbi, Biology, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Bee Doctor: Next-generation approaches for diagnosing, monitoring and reversing declining bee health
Amro Zayed, Biology, York University, Canada

Comparative phylogeography of European bees with different level of diet specialization and range size
Denis Michez, Laboratory of Zoology, University of Mons, Mons, Belgium

Exploring some of the myths surrounding bees: low genetic diversity and high frequencies of diploid males
Robert Paxton, Zoology, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg

Genetic effects of commercially-managed bumble bees on natural populations
Sevan Suni, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University

Joint population structure in bumble bee pathogens and their hosts
Nathaniel Pope, Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin

Population genetics of divergence and admixture in bumble bees across complex landscapes
Jeffrey Lozier, Biological Sciences, University of Alabama

Moderator(s): Shalene Jha, University of Texas Austin, Integrative Biology

Organizer: Shalene Jha, University of Texas Austin, Integrative Biology

Co-organizer(s): Margarita Lopez-Uribe, North Carolina State University, Entomology; Antonella Soro, Martin-Luther-University Halle-Wittenberg, Zoology


Contributions of Urban Agriculture to the Urban Ecosystem
Session description:
Urban agricultural (UA) systems appear in many forms – from community farms and rooftop gardens to edible landscaping and urban orchards. They can be productive features of cities and provide important environmental services. As highly managed plant communities, UA can also exhibit high levels of biodiversity, often exceeding that of other green space areas within the city. Additionally, it is likely that variation in vegetation cover, diversity, and structure influence not only the biodiversity in UA, but also the quantity and quality of ecosystem services supported by such systems. The biodiversity and ecosystem services (B&ES) of UA can have potentially large societal and environmental benefits for cities, such as enhanced food security, air quality, and water regulation. Although UA is an important part of the urban ecosystem, it is often neglected in discussions of urban green space and land management. This session aims to synthesize B&ES knowledge on urban agriculture to showcase some of the exciting advances ecologists have made in biodiversity conservation, ecosystem function, and ecosystem services within UA systems. The speakers will address many important aspects of current B&ES research on UA systems, highlighting the depth and breadth of biodiversity seen within such systems (including vegetation, arthropod, and mammal ecology) as well as the various ecosystem services provided by such systems. Recognition that urban agriculture provides services to the city beyond urban food provision is essential to discuss and synthesize in order to improve management of urban green spaces.

The agroecology of urban farming: ecological services, resilience and food sovereignty
Miguel Altieri, ESPM, Univeristy of California Berkeley, CA

Urban soils and vacant land for urban agriculture
Josh Beniston, New Mexico State University

Conversion of vacant land to urban farms influences spider predator and prey assemblages
Mary M. Gardiner, Entomology, The Ohio State University OARDC (Wooster), Wooster, OH

Stability in urban agriculture: theoretical and spatial ecology
Theresa Wei Ying Ong, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Urban bee diversity and pollination services
Kimberly M. Ballare, Integrative Biology, University of Texas, Austin, TX

Occupancy of invaders: Native and introduced bees as winners and losers of urbanization
J. Scott MacIvor, Department of Biology, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada

Urban agriculture as multifunctional green spaces
Sarah Taylor Lovell, Crop Sciences, University of Illinois, Urbana, IL

Future directions for urban agriculture research
Brenda B. Lin, Land and Water Flagship, CSIRO, Aspendale, Australia

Moderator(s): Stacy M. Philpott, U. of California, Santa Cruz, Department of Environmental Studies

Organizer(s): Brenda B. Lin, CSIRO

Co-organizer(s): Stacy M. Philpott, U. of California, Santa Cruz, Department of Environmental Studies; Shalene Jha, University of Texas, Austin, Integrative Biology


Creative approaches for addressing ecological uncertainty in Earth system models
Session description:
The terrestrial biosphere components of the Earth System Models (ESMs) that make projections of future climate change are becoming increasingly complex, incorporating a wide variety of biological and ecological processes. These processes have been shown to exhibit a significant influence on simulations of biosphere-atmosphere feedbacks across multiple scales. In addition, a large portion of the uncertainty associated with ESMs has been attributed to terrestrial biosphere processes. This uncertainty stems in part from a lack of representation of important processes as well as a poor understanding of modeled processes at relevant scales. Addressing this uncertainty and ultimately improving model functioning is not a simple task and requires a firm understanding of both fundamental biology as well as model structure and functioning. However, with the formation of research networks such as INTERFACE and FORECAST in the United States and CLIMMANI and TERRABITES in Europe, an increasingly large body of research is now being devoted to gaining a theoretical and empirical understanding of biological and ecological processes at scales relevant for models. In addition, many modeling efforts are underway that are designed to determine processes most in need of improvement as well as incorporate and evaluate new formulations developed by the experimental community. This session will serve to highlight work being done by the empirical and modeling communities to help merge these fields for the purpose of improving the reliability of ESM simulations. The primary objectives of this session will be twofold: (1) to highlight past approaches that have led to significant improvements to representation of terrestrial processes in large-scale models and the challenges that led to these improvements, and (2) to discuss deficiencies in model representations of terrestrial processes as well as ways researchers are and will be addressing these issues in the future. The first talk of the session will serve to introduce the session and provide a historical context. The talks to follow will highlight creative approaches to address the issue of incorporating biological and ecological processes into models. These talks will come from speakers working at the interface of empirical- and model-driven research and will address a range of ecological processes acting at multiple spatial and temporal scales.

Connecting mathematical ecosystems, real-world ecosystems, and climate science
Gordon Bonan, Terrestrial Sciences Section, NCAR, Boulder, CO

Building evidence-based models: bridging the gap between experimental data and vegetation models
Belinda Medlyn, Macquarie University

Representing life, below ground, in the Earth system
Cory C. Cleveland, Department of Ecosystem and Conservation Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, MT

Merging theory, models, and long-term observations to improve understanding of the terrestrial carbon cycle
Trevor Keenan, Macquarie University

Interactions of future climate, carbon dioxide, and ozone change crop and forest productivity and water use
Danica Lombardozzi, TSS, NCAR

The PEcAn project: Community platform for ecological forecasting
Michael Dietze, Earth and Environment, Boston University, Boston, MA

Using conceptual theory and observations to evaluate mechanisms of N limitation in Earth system models
R. Quinn Thomas, Virginia Tech University

Species variation in mortality, not in productivity, affects forest carbon storage across North America
Mark Vanderwel, University of Regina

Moderator(s): Nicholas G. Smith, Purdue University, Biological Sciences

Organizer(s): Nicholas G. Smith, Purdue University, Biological Sciences

Co-organizer(s): Jeffrey S. Dukes, Purdue University, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources


Cross-Scale Perspectives: Integrating Long-Term and High-Frequency Data into our Understanding of Communities and Ecosystems
Session description:
The goal of this session is to illustrate how both high-frequency and long-term observations are modifying our understanding of the complex interactions between organisms and their physical environment. With recent advances in sensor technology, we are now able to collect high-frequency physical, chemical, and biological data on the minute to sub-hourly scale for extended periods. Simultaneously, many studies in terrestrial, freshwater, and marine ecosystems have now amassed 6+ years of data that highlight variability on inter-annual to decadal time scales. Together, these high-frequency and long-term data streams are contributing new knowledge to our understanding of the coupling between organisms and abiotic factors such as temperature, light, nutrients, and oxygen. We will bring together ecologists from a diversity of study systems to explore how high-frequency and/or long-term data have deepened our understanding of community and ecosystem ecology against the backdrop of anthropogenic change. While many of these projects have emerged from Long-Term Ecological Research (LTER) sites, Long-Term Research in Environmental Biology (LTREB) projects, and sensor networks (e.g., the Global Lakes Ecological Observatory Network, GLEON), we invite presentations from all ecologists who have harnessed “big data” approaches to study changes in populations, communities, and/or ecosystems over time. Talks will cover a diversity of ecosystem types (terrestrial, marine, and freshwater) and include speakers at a variety of career stages and institutions.

Measuring the impacts of climate variability on desert plant communities with in situ sensor networks
Scott L. Collins, Department of Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Global environmental change and the nature of plant community and ecosystem responses: insights from long-term terrestrial experiments
Kimberly La Pierre, Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Long-term data reveals a regime shift in watershed nitrogen export
Jackson R. Webster, Biological Sciences, Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Temporal variation in nutrient supply by fish and watersheds at daily to decadal time scales, and its importance in sustaining primary production
Tanner Williamson, Miami University, Miami, OH

Hourly to seasonal lake metabolism and its consequences for long-term organic carbon cycling in GLEON lakes
Paul C. Hanson, Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

A legacy of decades of agricultural runoff elucidated by high-frequency measurements of nutrient release from reservoir sediments
Alexandra Gerling, Biological Sciences, Virginia Tech

Leveraging high-frequency water temperature measurements to predict seasonal cyanobacterial blooms in an oligotrophic lake
Kathryn L. Cottingham, Dartmouth, Hanover, NH

From colony to coastline — using large-scale mapping to track benthic change on coral reefs
Stuart Sandin, Scripps Institution of Oceanography

Moderator(s): Cayelan C. Carey, Virginia Tech, Biological Sciences

Organizer(s): Cayelan C. Carey, Virginia Tech, Biological Sciences

Co-organizer(s): Kathryn L. Cottingham, Dartmouth


Danse Macabre: The Role of Migrations and Mortality in Shaping Our Planet
Session description:
Animals can play an important role in the distribution of resources across, or concentration within, ecosystems. When animals die, or are killed and partially consumed, their carcasses can provide a significant source of energy and materials (e.g., nutrients) that can have strong effects on the surrounding ecosystem. Numerous carcass inputs often accompany animal migrations associated with reproductive events or shifts in life history stage, and these mass inputs can alter ecosystem function at large spatial and temporal scales. Moreover, even single carcass inputs, particularly when those carcasses are relatively large, can form biogeochemical hotspots and lead to alterations in the diversity and abundance of species that influence an ecosystem for years to decades. These high quality resources can have disproportionately large effects on trophic structure and secondary production even if they occur in low quantities because they are preferentially selected for by animals. Animals that engage in migrations of large scale and/or magnitude are among the most endangered on the planet, and as numbers decline and migration pathways are diminished or disappear, there are also losses of pulsed carcass inputs that have historically accompanied these phenomena. In order to understand the ecological costs of these losses (and reciprocally, to characterize the benefits of their conservation or restoration), we must first understand the role they can play in shaping food web structure and ecosystem processes in systems where they still occur. This session will bring together scientists working on animal migrations and carcass inputs that occur across a range of terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems, to develop a conceptual understanding of the commonalities across animal carcass inputs, their relationship to migration events, and their consequences for communities and ecosystem processes.

Ecological consequences of migration and mortality of anadromous fishes
Colden V. Baxter, Stream Ecology Center, Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID

Conservation of migratory pathways
Scott Bergen, Wildlife Research, Idaho Fish and Game

Mammalian predators, ungulate caracasses, and ecological heterogeneity
Joseph K. Bump, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI

Benefiting from a migratory prey: spatio-temporal patterns in allochthonous subsidization of an arctic predator
Marie-Andrée Giroux, Department of Biology, Chemistry and Geography, Université du Québec à Rimouski

Insect carcasses link aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems: lessons from the subarctic
Claudio Gratton, Department of Entomology, University of Wisconsin – Madison, Madison, WI

Holding on, gone forever, and back from the dead: persistence, loss, and resurgence of fish migrations
Peter B. McIntyre, Center for Limnology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Whale carcasses influence community and ecosystem processes at large spatial and temporal scales
Joe Roman, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics, University of Vermont, Burlington, VT

Mass drowning events during the Serengeti-Mara wildebeest migration form substantial aquatic-terrestrial linkages
Amanda L. Subalusky, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Moderator(s)
David M. Post
Yale University
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Organizer(s)
Amanda L. Subalusky
Yale University
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Co-organizer(s)
Joseph K. Bump
Michigan Technological University
School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science

Colden V. Baxter
Idaho State University
Stream Ecology Center, Department of Biological Sciences


Dead Roots: the Dark Side of the Carbon Cycle
Session description:
Soil is the largest reservoir of terrestrial organic carbon and as such represents a major carbon sink. Contributors to soil carbon include decomposition byproducts of litter, microbes, fungi and animals. Despite likely being a major contributor to soil carbon, a largely unexplored source is dead roots buried in the soil. In this sense, the reference of root decomposition as the ‘dark side’ of the carbon cycle is two-fold: the roots are in the dark, given that they decompose below ground, and ecologists are also ‘in the dark’ with our lack of knowledge of this important process. 50% of primary production in many ecosystems is belowground and as such roots represent both a major source of soil carbon and a potential carbon sink. Although there has been much study on species variation in and environmental effects on leaf litter decomposition, root decomposition may not be parallel to these patterns. Environmental controls over decomposition may be different for roots than for leaves because of the vastly different environment in which this litter decomposes. Roots grow in direct contact with the soil where they die, unlike leaf litter, which experiences ultraviolet radiation and rapid temperature and moisture fluctuations. As most of our information on environmental effects on litter turnover comes from leaf decomposition studies, the effects of global change on root carbon turnover are greatly unknown. This session aims to present our current understanding of root decomposition and identify knowledge gaps. The presentations will offer how root decomposition and soil carbon are linked and present findings from studies that test the effect of different environmental factors and root traits on decomposition. Presenters will include novel methods to study root decomposition and identify key factors that affect root carbon turnover. This session is appealing to ecosystem ecologists, biogeochemists, and microbial ecologists alike.

Root decomposition and their mediation of soil C decomposition under warming and elevated CO2
Yolima Carrillo, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Why is the C in forest roots so old, and what does that mean for interpreting the dynamics of forest soil organic matter?
Susan Trumbore, Institute of Geophysics and Planetary Physics, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA

What controls fine root C turnover and stabilization in temperate ecosystems?
Emily Solly, Biogeochemistry, Max Planck Institute, Germany

Controls on root turnover during summer drought
Eric Slessarev, EEMB, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

Fine root morphology as a driver of root and soil organic carbon decay rates.
Marie-Anne de Graaff, Department of Biological Sciences, Boise State University, Boise, ID

3D-laser ablation: insight into anatomical changes in decomposing fine roots.
Marc Goebel, Natural Resources, Cornell University, NY

Microbial metabolism regulates organic matter formation from root exudates.
A. Stuart Grandy, Natural Resources, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Microbial community shift and activity during the decomposition of dead grass roots under different wetting regimes.
Caryl Ann Becerra, Department of Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

Moderator: Jennie R. McLaren, University of Texas at El Paso

Organizer: Caryl Ann Becerra, University of California, Santa Barbara

Co-organizer(s): Jennie R. McLaren, University of Texas at El Paso


Demographic buffering beyond the comfort zone: species’ responses to anthropogenic disturbances
Session description:
Many species across the animal and plant kingdom have evolved traits and life-history strategies to adapt to frequent natural disturbances. Humans, managing a large part of the world´s natural areas, have altered the frequency and severity of such disturbance regimes and introduced novel disturbances. Such changes may affect demographic processes (e.g. survival, growth, reproduction) of disturbance-adapted species, resulting in changed population dynamics and structure and vulnerability to local extinction. Synthesizing information on how humans change population dynamics of such species, either through direct alterations (e.g. fire suppression, dam-controlled flooding, deforestation) or through climate change (droughts, hurricanes, frosts), is crucial as the anthropogenic footprint will likely increase in the future. Theoretical models, supported by empirical studies, predict that species living in frequently disturbed habitats are more flexible to adapt to changes in disturbances than those in more stable environments. Recent studies, however, suggest that some these disturbance-adapted species, long believed to profit from novel disturbance regimes, may indeed be at the risk of extinction. The discrepancies between theory and current empirical studies may be partly explained by (a) an incomplete knowledge of the life cycle of disturbance-adapted species and (b) the multiple and complex ways in which humans change disturbance regimes. This session will aim to address the question “What are the life-history peculiarities of disturbed-adapted species that allow them to buffer against anthropogenic effects, and under what circumstances are these strategies not successful? Speakers will offer novel perspectives to this timely question by drawing from various disturbance types (fires, droughts, hurricanes, deforestation and frost) and taxonomic groups (plants and insects).

Age-dependent response of Plantago to a stressful environment
Deborah A. Roach, Biology, University of Virginia, Charlottesville, VA

Demographic differences between road and scrub populations of Florida scrub plants
Pedro Quintana-Ascencio, Biology, University of Central Florida, Orlando, FL

Demography in disturbed tropical forests (prelimnary title)
Emilio M. Bruna III, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Early-life performance scale-up to the population level to promote demographic success of a Neotropical savanna herbivore near roads
Ernane H. M. Vieira-Neto, Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

Estimating demographic drivers of transient population dynamics in a changing environment: towards a holistic understanding
David N. Koons, Department of Wildland Resources, Utah State University, Logan, UT

Hurricanes, seed-predators and elasticities: Global patterns with local consequences
Carol Horvitz, University of Miami

Interactive effects of herbivores, habitat and fire on the population dynamics of a rare plant endemic to the Florida scrub
Matthew R. Tye, Department of Plant Ecology and Evolution, Uppsala University, Uppsala, Sweden

Population viability models for an endangered endemic subtropical butterfly: effects of fire and hurricanes on population dynamics and risk of extinction
Robert M. McElderry, Department of Biology, University of Miami, Miami, FL

Moderator(s)
Maria Paniw
University of Cadiz
Biology Department
Campus Rio San Pedro

Organizer(s)
Maria Paniw
University of Cadiz
Biology Department
Campus Rio San Pedro

Co-organizer(s)
Roberto Salguero-Gomez
The University of Queensland
Centre for Excellence in Environmental Decisions


Demography Gone Wild: Applications of Integral Projection Models in Functional Ecology, Life History Theory, Community Ecology and Conservation Biology
Session description:
Population models provide insights on ecological and evolutionary processes ranging from the probability of local extinction to species coexistence, or to the evolution of senescence, to mention a few. In the past few decades, structured population models have provided an important link between theory and empirical demographic data. With advances in computing power and software development, population modeling has evolved rapidly and new approaches such as Integral Projection Models (IPMs) have emerged. IPMs are next-generation demographic models that offer a very powerful and flexible framework founded upon the simplicity and statistical strengths of function-fitting techniques. The proposed OOS will bring together novel IPM-based approaches by senior and early-career leaders in the field to target questions regarding life history evolution (demographic heterogeneity, demography of dioecious systems, complex life histories, costs of reproduction), applied ecology (human-driven demographic impacts, population viability analyses, cost-effective management of invasive species), multi-species interactions (species co-existence) and macroecology (environmental niches and spatial demography). The novelty of the approaches comprised in this OOS will motivate ecologists to realize the great potential that this tool has beyond the classical demographic questions to which it has been applied so far.

Population viability of a disturbance-dependent plant species in natural and human-induced environments
Maria Paniw, Biology Department, University of Cadiz, Puerto Real, Spain

Using structured population models to understand multispecies communities
Stephen P. Ellner, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Demographic experimental biogeography: using demographic models to make the most of short-term experiments
Jeffrey Diez, University of California Riverside, Riverside

Surviving in a co-sexual world: A cost-benefit analysis of dioecy in tropical trees
Marjolein Bruijning, Radboud University Nijmegen, Nijmegen, Netherlands

Demographic distribution models for western North American trees
Cory Merow, Quantitative Ecology Group, Smithsonian Environmental Research Center, Edgewater, MD

Integral projection models for stage-structured populations with individual heterogeneity
Perry de Valpine, Environmental Science, Policy, and Management, University of California – Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Predicting evolutionary trajectories of demographic rates in wild populations
Richard P. Shefferson, Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Heterogeneity in harvest intensity and plant population response to non-timber forest products harvesting
Orou Gaoue, University of Hawaii at Manoa, Manoa

Moderator: Eelke Jongejans, Radboud University Nijmegen, Institute for Water and Wetland Research

Organizer: Roberto Salguero-Gomez, The University of Queensland, Centre for Excellence in Environmental Decisions

Co-organizer(s): Norma L. Fowler, University of Texas at Austin; Tom E. X. Miller, Rice University


Disrupted Nitrogen Cycling in the Tropics: Tracking the Effects of Global Change Impacts on N Biogeochemistry from Soil to Stream
Session description:
Global change impacts to the nitrogen cycle include those precipitated by land-use change, subsequent land management practices, increased levels of N deposition, and changes to global or regional climate. Those disruptions often affect multiple connected pools and fluxes of N, meaning disruptions to the nitrogen cycle can have cascading effects on how N moves around the ecosystem, with multiple ecological implications. Moreover, how global change impacts N in the tropics is poorly understood, where there exist both open questions about how the N cycle operates as well as many novel global change impacts. In this session, experts will discuss impacts on the N cycle in tropical ecosystems stemming from various global change pressures, with a particular focus on either tracing N cycle impacts within ecosystems (e.g., measuring changes to the N cycle from soils to streams and beyond) or modeling N impacts at larger scales (e.g., strategies to integrate impacts by scaling from field measurements to modeling frameworks). Given that global change impacts on nitrogen rarely, if ever, affect a limited set of variables, how can scientists use integrative strategies to sufficiently characterize and monitor tropical disruptions of the nitrogen cycle? In particular, this session has three objectives: 1) to review trends in the major global change impacts affecting the N cycle across the tropics, 2) to investigate changes to the N cycle in diverse tropical ecosystems, and 3) to provide examples of various whole-ecosystem and scaling approaches for estimating N cycle effects. Speakers will discuss primary research conducted across the pan-tropics from a mix of perspectives – included are talks appealing to ecosystem ecologists, soil scientists, land change scientists, microbial ecologists, and ecohydrologists given by researchers from early-career to established scientists. This session will provide an overview of how the N cycle is changing and what empirical, modeling, or integrative frameworks can be used to synthesize ecosystem-wide impacts, making it useful for scientists operating at diverse scales and in systems across the tropics.

Agriculture in Brazil’s Mata Atlantica: ecosystem changes to the N cycle
Luiz A. Martinelli, Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture (CENA), University of Sao Paulo, Brazil

Fertilization and Beyond: what we know and need to know about N deposition in the tropics
Daniela Cusack, Geography, University of California – Los Angeles, Los Angeles, CA

Low rates of tropical N fixation suggest greater human impact on the tropical nitrogen cycle
Benjamin Sullivan, University of Nevada, Reno

Assessing the effects of soybean–maize cropping on soil N biogeochemistry in the Brazilian Amazon using the DNDC model
Ciniro Costa Jr., Woods Hole Research Center

One size does not fit all: multi-scale heterogeneity in the lowland tropical N cycle
Alan Townsend, Duke University

Nitrogen Management Challenges in South America: land-water interactions
Mercedes MMC Bustamante, Universidade de Brasilia, Brasilia, Brazil

Nitrogen deposition and its fate in tropical forests of Sourthern China
Xiankai Lu, South China Botanical Garden, Chinese Academy of Science, Guangzhou, China

Streamward N flows: tracking the fate of nitrogen fertilizers in intensively cropped watersheds in southeastern Amazonia
Marcia N. Macedo, Woods Hole Research Center, Falmouth, MA

Moderator(s)
Christine S. O’Connell
University of Minnesota
Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

Organizer(s)
Christine S. O’Connell
University of Minnesota
Ecology, Evolution and Behavior

Co-organizer(s)
Gillian Galford
University of Vermont
The Gund Institute for Ecological Economics

Marcia N. Macedo
Woods Hole Research Center


Drought Effects on Embolism Formation, Resilience, and Recovery: Linking Experimental Results and Synthesizing Observations
Session description:
Emerging advances in ecological research have progressed our understanding of the complex process through which woody plants succumb to drought and temperature stress. Recent and ongoing experiments have begun to illuminate the interactions among water relations, carbon status and biotic agent damage with a goal of improving predictions of which species and regions are likely to experience woody plant death and dieback in future climates. Despite this progress, however, major uncertainties remain both in how trees succumb to drought and in understanding cross-species and cross-biome differences. This session seeks to capture the forefront of this exciting research area by integrating cutting-edge physiological research on single species and specific ecosystems with cross-system comparisons and syntheses. Drought induced embolism and the subsequent recovery is a new and rapidly expanding area of research. Although the mechanisms of refilling embolism under positive pressure, and via new growth over seasons, is well understood, the mechanisms involved in embolism refilling in different tissues, species and biomes remain unresolved. Other aspects of embolism refilling, such as the timeframes under which different types of embolism refilling can occur, are also hotly debated, with causative mechanisms needing further elucidation. Further, species differ in their resilience to high levels of embolism, and different species likely exhibit different embolism thresholds. This session provides a mix of novel research and syntheses on a highly debated and currently unresolved field of research. We have six confirmed speakers focusing on different ecosystems, so we can introduce a robust and diverse understanding of embolism recovery and mortality avoidance based upon water relations, life history traits, and microclimatic conditions across several plant functional types. Additionally, speakers working in regions including Europe, California chapparal, the tropics, southwestern U.S. coniferous forests and the southern hemisphere will provide insights into research across a broad range of ecosystems. We have confirmations from a mix of energetic ‘rising star’ early career scientists, and established professors providing overviews of recent embolism research.

California chaparral species differential mortality during the 2014 historic drought is related to life history and hydraulic traits
Martin Venturas, California State University, Bakersfield, CA

Can xylem embolism be reversed under tension in plants?
John S. Sperry, Biology, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Carbohydrates, water fluxes and embolism recovery overnight during multi-year drought- and heat-stress
Melanie J.B. Zeppel, Department of Biology, Centre for Climate Futures, Macquarie University, North Ryde NSW 2109, Australia

Drivers of embolism recovery: A synthesis of current research and unresolved questions
Andrea Nardini, Dipartimento di Scienze della Vita, Università di Trieste, Trieste, Italy

Drought response syndromes, microclimates and vulnerability of a woodland community in severe drought
Blair C. McLaughlin, Integrative Biology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Plasticity in cavitation resistance: Interactions between fire, drought, site, and season
Anna L. Jacobsen, Department of Biology, California State University, Bakersfield, Bakersfield, CA

The interrelated roles of non-structural carbohydrates and xylem embolism in the physiology of drought mortality across multiple tree species
Henry D. Adams, Earth and Environmental Sciences, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM

The role of hydraulic failure and avoidance thereof in drought-induced mortality
Nate G. McDowell, Earth and Environmental Sciences Division, Los Alamos National Laboratory, Los Alamos, NM

Moderator(s)
James D. Lewis
Fordham University
Louis Calder Center and Department of Biological Sciences

Organizer(s)
James D. Lewis
Fordham University
Louis Calder Center and Department of Biological Sciences

Co-organizer(s)
Melanie J.B. Zeppel
Macquarie University
Department of Biology, Centre for Climate Futures

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

Anna L. Jacobsen
California State University, Bakersfield
Department of Biology


Dynamics, Conservation Status, and Future of the Eastern Deciduous Forest Biome: A Symposium in Honor of E. Lucy Braun
Session description:
Dr. E. Lucy Braun became the first woman president of the Ecological Society of America in 1950 and it would be another 36 years before another woman, Dr. Jean H Langenheim, would be elected president. It was also in 1950 that Dr. Braun published the book establishing her as one of the most prominent ecologists of her generation. Deciduous Forests of Eastern North America was grand in scope and rich in detail. It seems particularly appropriate to honor Dr. Braun’s legacy during ESA’s centennial celebration. Eastern deciduous forests have undergone dramatic changes since Dr. Braun conducted her pioneering fieldwork throughout the 1930’s and 1940’s. These dramatic changes include the introduction of pests that have decimated populations of several foundation tree species including American beech, eastern hemlock, and ash. At the same time, disturbance regimes that once characterized these forests have been dramatically altered, particularly the frequency of fire, and whitetail deer are now so abundant that their browsing has created depauperate forest understories over vast regions. Alteration of these biotic linkages and disturbance regimes has led to changes both subtle and dramatic across much of the landscape. Overlain on all of this is global climate change, which is likely to disrupt numerous ecological interactions. We argue that to understand how climate change is going to impact future forests, we must understand the processes that shape our forests now and have shaped them in the past. To that end, we have assembled a suite of speakers that will address these issues from research that spans a wide geographic area. Speakers will address the legacy of E. Lucy Braun and the impact of fire and fire suppression on oak dominated forests in the west, the degree to which hurricanes and rising sea levels break apart formerly tight biotic linkages in coastal forests in the south, and the degree to which wind disturbances mediate carbon cycles throughout the eastern deciduous forest. Speakers will also explore the degree to which biotic interactions will moderate or exacerbate the impact of climate change, and rigorously evaluate whether altered browsing and disturbance regimes create novel successional pathways at the geographic center of the eastern forest. Finally, this symposium will address whether salvage logging large areas of wind-disturbed forests poses a risk to biodiversity in the face of climate change and altered browsing regimes.

The forgotten forests: the scope and impact of E. Lucy Braun’s opus
Rose-Marie Muzika, Forestry, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Reframing old growth concepts in the Eastern Deciduous Forest
Kerry Woods, Bennington College, Bennington, VT

The forest between the trees: the herbaceous layer of Lucy’s Forest
Frank S. Gilliam, Department of Biological Sciences, Marshall University, Huntington, WV

Hurricane disturbances accelerate region-wide disassembly of coastal bottomland forests in the face of sea level rise
Loretta L. Battaglia, Plant Biology & Center for Ecology, Southern Illinois University, Carbondale, IL

On the causes and consequences of changes in the dynamics and disturbance regimes across the eastern deciduous forest
Walter P. Carson, Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Wind disturbances mediate carbon cycling throughout the eastern deciduous forest
Chris J. Peterson, Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Will biotic interactions shape tree species response to global change?
Inés Ibáñez, School of Natural Resources and Environment, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Evaluating salvage logging and forest recovery at multiple sites within the eastern deciduous forest
Alejandro A. Royo, Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Irvine, PA

Moderator(s)
Aaron M. Ellison
Harvard University
Harvard Forest

Organizer(s)
Rose-Marie Muzika
University of Missouri

Co-organizer(s)
Loretta L. Battaglia
Southern Illinois University
Plant Biology & Center for Ecology

Walter P. Carson
University of Pittsburgh
Biological Sciences

Inés Ibáñez
University of Michigan
School of Natural Resources and Environment

Chris J. Peterson
University of Georgia
Plant Biology

Alejandro A. Royo
USDA Forest Service
Northern Research Station

John W. Wenzel
Powdermill Nature Reserve, Carnegie Museum of Natural History


Ecological Acoustics: Conceptual and Technological Advances in Ecology Through Sound
Session description:
The natural world is alive with sounds, and increasingly, the spatial and temporal patterns of these sounds are being used to measure fundamental ecological processes from organismal to landscape scales. Recent developments in the technology for recording , visualizing and analyzing sounds are rapidly changing our understanding of how ecosystems function. Increasingly, maps of animal acoustic occurrence or geographic spread of anthropogenic noise are being used to inform explicit conservation and management efforts. Despite the growth and development within this field, there is still not a coherent understanding of what researchers in the field are doing, and there are divisions across taxon and ecosystems. Investigators and students focusing on a particular system may not be aware of major technological or conceptual advances made in other bioacoustics areas. More challenging still is that even though the discipline of bioacoustics addresses fundamental questions in ecology, it is still not adopted as a central approach or set of concepts in ecology. This session will include speakers with expertise that spans the field of current bioacoustics research , representing a range of questions, approaches, taxa, and ecosystems all using sound as the basis for understanding ecological function. As part of this session, we will bring together both new and established individuals in the field of ecological acoustics to highlight the wide range of valuable contributions acoustics can make to the field of Ecology.

Integrating soundscape ecology and disturbance ecology into an acoustic ecosystem assessment framework
Bryan Pijanowski, Purdue University

Acoustic monitoring in National Parks
Kurt Fristrup, Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, National Park Service, Fort Collins, CO

Advances in our understanding of the direct and indirect effects of anthropogenic noise on ecological systems
Clinton Francis, Biological Sciences, Cal Poly State University, San Luis Obispo, CA

An experimental investigation into the effects of traffic noise on birds: The Phantom Road project
Jesse Barber, Department of Biology, Boise State University, Boise, ID

Impacts of anthropogenic noise on acoustic communication and phenology of the dawn chorus
David A. Luther, Biology Department, George Mason University, Fairfax, VA

Ecological insights from marine acoustic monitoring: integrating individual behavior, population ecology, and conservation efforts in the North Atlantic right whale
Susan E Parks, Department of Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Evaluating acoustic monitoring of breeding wedge-tailed shearwaters and black noddies on North West Island, Australia as a low cost and repeatable long term monitoring method
Matthew McKown, Conservation Metrics

Evaluating an underwater passive acoustic network in Everglades National Park to understand the effects of upstream ecological restoration
Megan F. McKenna, Natural Sounds and Night Skies Division, National Park Service

Moderator(s)
Aaron N. Rice
Cornell University
Bioacoustics Research Program

Organizer(s)
Susan E. Parks
Syracuse University
Department of Biology

Co-organizer(s)
David A. Luther
George Mason University
Biology Department

Aaron N. Rice
Cornell University
Bioacoustics Research Program


Ecological Controls over Soil Organic Carbon Cycling: An Emerging Frontier in Ecology
Session description:
While the scientific community has long recognized that there are biological, mineral, and chemical controls over soil carbon cycling, an emerging area of interdisciplinary research examines the interactions between these fundamental controls. This work is providing novel, ecosystem-level insights into how carbon is cycling and being stabilized in soils. Indeed, focusing solely on biology, mineralogy, or chemistry cannot provide the holistic perspective necessary to address critical uncertainties in soil carbon cycling, particularly in the context of global change. Accordingly, new integrated approaches offer exciting opportunities to bring an ecological perspective to a globally-relevant topic. Our organized oral session will highlight some of the most inspiring recent advances in soil ecology and will provide a range of perspectives that, together, create a coherent understanding of the complex controls that regulate ecosystem carbon cycling belowground. Soil carbon cycling is vital to considerations of climate change, soil fertility, and ecosystem function, yet our understanding of the processes that regulate soil carbon cycling and storage remains disconnected. In part this is because important controls reside in different scientific fields (e.g., microbiology, geology, physical chemistry). Thus, synthetic efforts such as organized sessions at national meetings provide an essential venue for joining ideas. We propose to gather global experts that, when joined, offer an inclusive view of the complex ecosystem controls regulating the status and fate of soil carbon pools. Such an understanding of the connections between biotic and abiotic soil processes is a significant challenge in ecosystem and global change ecology, with implications ranging from answering fundamental ecological questions to determining new solutions for ecosystem management. The speakers for our proposed session, all of whom have already accepted our invitation, will focus on different aspects of integrating microbial, mineral, and chemical controls over soil carbon dynamics. Our organized oral session features a multi-disciplinary lineup with speakers that span different career stages, but all of whom are helping to forge new paths in our understanding of the global carbon cycle. This session is particularly relevant to considerations of ecological science at the frontier, as it represents an emerging understanding of a fundamental ecological topic, and thus is well-aligned with the theme of next year’s ESA meeting.

Carbon storage and weathering in soils across a high elevation climate gradient on Mauna Kea, Hawai’i
Marc Kramer, Soil and Water Science, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

changes in net primary production can alter mineral stabilization of soil carbon : evidence from Panamanian litter manipulations
Sarah Hslterman, Geography, UCLA, Los Angeles, CA

How biotic and abiotic controls on soil organic matter cycling determine the response to climate change
Margaret Torn, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Landscape history affects interpretations of belowground carbon dynamics
Erika Marín-Spiotta, Geography, University of Wisconsin, Madison, Madison, WI

Mineralogical and substrate controls on microbial-derived soil carbon accumulation and stability
Cynthia Kallenbach, Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Putting the geology back in biogeochemistry: Interactions of carbon cycling and soil development
Corey Lawrence, US Geological Survey, Menlo Park, CA

The (mineral) matrix reconsidered – master control or product of carbon cycling?
Markus Kleber, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

The interplay of ecology, mineralogy and history in controlling soil organic carbon storage across climatic gradients?
Oliver Chadwick, Geography, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

Moderator(s)
Sasha C. Reed
U.S. Geological Survey
Southwest Biological Science Center

Organizer(s)
A. Stuart Grandy
University of New Hampshire
Natural Resources

Co-organizer(s)
Daniela Cusack
University of California – Los Angeles
Geography

Sasha C. Reed
U.S. Geological Survey
Southwest Biological Science Center


Ecologists and Faith & Justice Communities: A Journey from Antagonism to Earth Stewardship Partnerships for the Next Century
Session description:
World-wide religious attention to ecological concerns has grown substantially over the past 50 years. Diverse religious communities have developed statements and educational programs on critical issues including biodiversity, environmental justice (EJ), climate change, sustainability, land, food and water. This session reflects on the extraordinary opportunities and challenges as religions become potential major partners with ecologists for Earth Stewardship. Pioneers and world leaders in ecology-religion studies will explore a range of visions for the future drawing from diverse religious and cultural traditions and perspectives of ecologists, social scientists and religious scholars. Speakers will also identify historic barriers, by retrospectively exploring consequences of past tensions (such as Dickson White’s 1890s notion of the “warfare of science with theology” or Lynn White’s 1960s indictment of Biblical traditions as the source of “our ecologic crisis”), while tracing important milestones in the evolution of religious perspectives on ecology and the integration of environmental concerns into their moral teachings, social policies and justice actions. An important present symbol of the turning point moment in religion-ecology relations is Pope Francis’ encyclical letter on the environment, to be released in early 2015. It will be the most prominent religious environmental statement to date among hundreds that already exist — from the world’s largest single religious denomination, and with a high level of authority for that tradition. It is likely to catalyze attention to a diverse range of religious environmental thinking and action for decades to come. This session aims to inform and prepare ecologists for various ways they can understand and engage with religious partners. Speakers from religious traditions will critically examine religious values that are changing the way people relate to ecosystems, how their tradition is addressing environmental issues, and opportunities for ecologists to engage. Additionally, speakers from ecology and social science traditions will assess challenges and opportunities and propose approaches for improving collaboration towards Earth Stewardship goals. This session builds on the work of the EJ Section over the past decade in outreach to and partnership with diverse faith and justice communities, and is intended to set vision and priorities for related EJ Section work in the coming century, including ESAs work to develop a speakers bureau and training resources for scientist outreach in faith communities. It complements a second proposed organized oral session that focuses on practice and engagement examples of ecology-religion work, and the key challenges and opportunities highlighted by cases from across traditions.

Ecology, Environmentalism and Religion: A Nexus in Flux
David M. Lodge, Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

Global Perspectives on the Vital Relationship Between Ecology and Religion
Mary Evelyn Tucker, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Pope Francis’ Environmental Encyclical, Catholic Environmental Social Teaching, and Implications for Ecologists
Leanne M. Jablonski, University of Dayton, Marianist Environmental Education Center, Dayton, OH

Skeptical Scientists Approaching Religion on Common Ground of Earth Stewardship
George Middendorf, Department of Biology, Howard University, Washington, DC

Evangelical Environmental Views in Dialogue with Science and Other Faiths
Calvin B. DeWitt, University of Wisconsin

Social Science Perspectives on Ecology and Religion: Implications for Environmental Justice and Ecology
Kerry Ard, School of Environment and Natural Resources, Ohio State University

Episcopal and global Anglican perspectives on contextual environmental and ecological challenges
Katharine Jefferts Schori, The Episcopal Church

Cautious Yet Hopeful Lessons from Science/Conservation Collaboration with Faith Communities
Carl Safina, The Safina Center

Moderator(s)
F. Stuart Chapin III
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Institute of Arctic Biology

Organizer(s)
Gregory E. Hitzhusen
The Ohio State University
School of Environment and Natural Resources

Co-organizer(s)
Leanne M. Jablonski
Marianist Environmental Education Center
University of Dayton

F. Stuart Chapin III
University of Alaska Fairbanks
Institute of Arctic Biology


Ecologists and Faith & Justice Communities: Evaluating Opportunities and Challenges for Outreach and Partnership for the Next 100 Years
Session description:
Communities of faith and those impacted by environmental injustice are increasingly engaging earth stewardship issues including climate change, environmental quality and human rights to food and water. Environmental Justice (EJ) communities have complex needs for ecological information, and seek science partnerships to gain reliable background information, techniques and data on which to base their policies and programs. Faith communities have increasingly articulated the justice and moral dimensions of earth stewardship issues. Both justice and faith groups are reaching out for sound science to inform their work in relevant, helpful ways for their communities. Given the vast numbers of people these faith and justice communities represent, forming mutually-beneficial partnerships of ecologists with these communities is advantageous to achieve earth stewardship. Historically, ecologists have been trained neither in skills for building community partnerships nor in the importance of choosing research questions and sites that address community needs. Because our disciplines are often institutionally siloed, community-engagement work has often not been recognized or rewarded as appropriate for ecologists. Scientific engagement with faith communities was avoided, misunderstood, or ignored, thus leaving many community leaders and important segments of the general public outside of collaborative circles with ecologists and ecological knowledge. Ecologists now recognize the need to be more effective in outreach and to develop partnership with communities for our science to be relevant. This will require establishing relationships with communities that through mutual understanding, help frame and contextualize our research questions. For faith communities, such an approach represents a shifting from the past antagonism between science and religion to an interaction in which religion can be seen as relevant in addressing ecological problems. This session features cases and best practices from faith and justice communities that illustrate challenges and successes, barriers and opportunities. By including exemplary leaders representing diverse religious traditions and justice organizations, and ecologist bridge-builders, this session builds on ESA EJ Section community-based events at past meetings and the Scientists Speakers Bureau for Outreach. It is part of a set of proposals for ESA 2015 centenary featuring presentations, dialogue and field trips between local justice-impacted communities and ecologists. Together we are developing an action plan for the EJ Section and all of ESA to more effectively partner in outreach, research and policy to achieve earth stewardship

The American Religious Environmental Landscape: Opportunities and Challenges for Ecologists
Cassandra Carmichael, National Religious Partnership for the Environment (NRPE), Washington, DC

Indigenous Perspective on Ecology and Justice, and Implications for Ecologists
Gail J. Woodside, Department of Fisheries and Wildlife, College of Agricultural Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Loving the Least of These: Lessons from the climate change report of the National Association of Evangelicals
Dorothy Boorse, Biology, Gordon College

Growing Catholic Engagement and Voice in Climate Change, Environmental Justice and Policy – from St. Francis to Pope Francis to People and Planet
Dan Misleh, Catholic Climate Covenant, Washington, DC

From Longing to Belonging: Combining Mindfulness Practice and Ecological Understanding in Prison Rehabilitation
Melissa K. Benham, Department of Environmental Studies, San Jose State University, San Jose, CA

Ecological Equity and Spatial Assimilation: A justice paradigm for 2nd Centennial Ecologists.
Kellen Marshall, Department of Biological Science M/C 066, University of Illinois at Chicago, Chicago, IL

Lessons for Ecologists from the NAACP’s Climate Justice Initiative
Jacqui Patterson, Director, NAACP, Baltimore, MD

Coalition for Achieving the Human Right to Water for All in California: Lessons Learned and Vision for the Future
Vicente Lara, Environmental Justice Coalition for Water, Sacramento, CA

Moderator(s): Leanne M. Jablonski, Marianist Environmental Education Center, University of Dayton

Organizer(s): Leanne M. Jablonski, Marianist Environmental Education Center, University of Dayton

Co-organizer(s): Gregory E. Hitzhusen, The Ohio State University, School of Environment and Natural Resources; Kellen Marshall, University of Illinois at Chicago


Ecology in the Critical Zone
Session description:
The critical zone is the Earth’s heterogeneous thin outer veneer extending from the top of the canopy to the base of weathered bedrock and sustains life through its provision of critical zone services such as climate regulation and water purification. Ecological processes are integral to critical zone processes, yet little integration of the field of ecology has taken place in critical zone science and observatories. The goal of this symposium is to bridge the gap between critical zone science and ecology and attract more ecologists to the critical zone observatories and critical zone science by highlighting key insights provided by ecologists in the critical zone and gaps in critical zone science that could be filled by ecologists– thus the need for them in this frontier.

Linking Critical Zone Currencies to States of River Ecosystems
Mary E. Power, Department of Integrative Biology, University of California Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Plant physiological ecology in the critical zone
Todd E. Dawson, Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Exploring relationship between microbial ecology, soil organic matter chemistry and stability along deep tropical soil profiles
Maddie Stone, Department of Earth & Environmental Science, University of Pennsylvania

Ecohydrology in the critical zone: vegetation response to spatial and temporal variability in available water
Paul Brooks, University of Utah

Nutrient controls on the critical zone structure and function
Stephen C. Hart, Life & Environmental Sciences and Sierra Nevada Research Institute, University of California, Merced, CA

Aeolian deposit microbial communities differ along an elevation gradient in the Southern Sierra CZO
Emma Aronson, Plant Pathology and Microbiology, UC Riverside, CA

Moderator(s)
Kathleen A. Lohse
Idaho State University

Organizer(s)
Kathleen A. Lohse
Idaho State University

Co-organizer(s)
Whendee Silver
University of California
Environmental Science, Policy, and Management


Effects of climate warming on aboveground-belowground feedbacks in terrestrial ecosystems
Session description:
Interest in understanding the mechanisms controlling ecosystem function in terrestrial ecosystems has grown significantly in recent years, as these ecosystems have been increasingly recognized as a major, yet vulnerable sink for both carbon and nitrogen. Climate projections indicate that mean annual temperatures will warm throughout the globe over the next century. Increased temperatures are expected to affect many biological, geological, chemical, and meteorological processes that control ecosystem function. However, the impact of these changes on different components of terrestrial ecosystems will vary in intensity, timing, quantity and form. Therefore, these changes in climate will likely alter feedbacks between belowground and aboveground processes, which together will alter carbon exchange and nitrogen retention within terrestrial ecosystems. Although past sessions have focused on warming experiments (see “Looking Back and Looking Forward: Results and Advice from the World’s Forest Warming Experiments” from the 2014 ESA meeting), several recent studies have evaluated the effects of warmer temperatures on feedbacks between belowground and aboveground ecosystem functions that could add to our understanding of these key processes. Here we propose to lead an organized oral session at the 2015 Ecological Society of America meeting to bring together ecosystem-scale experiments and modeling efforts across a wide geographic range of ecosystem types. Our session will include two types of talks. The first set will showcase experimental efforts among many ecosystem types and the second set will focus on modeling studies. Together, these talks will show how empirical work and modeling efforts can inform each other to transform our thinking about the impacts of climate change on carbon exchange and nutrient retention. Through these topics, we will address questions about the effects of climate change on the biology and chemistry of terrestrial ecosystems.

Decoupling of aboveground and belowground responses to warming in a grass dominated temperate old field
Hugh A. L. Henry, Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

Effects of Climate Warming on Ecosystem Processes
John Harte, Energy and Resources Group, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Interactions between temperature, plants and soils in terrestrial ecosystems
Casper Chrisiansen, Queen’s University

Effects of warming on aboveground ecosystem feedbacks
Martijn Slot, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama

Effects of warmer temperatures on feedbacks between below- and aboveground ecosystem carbon losses
Jianwu Tang, Ecosystems Center, Marine Biological Laboratory, Woods Hole, MA

Effects of warming on soil microbial communities and feedbacks to nitrogen and carbon fluxes in a mixed temperate forest ecosystem
Serita D. Frey, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Marsh ecosystem carbon and nitrogen fluxes in a warmer world
Joanna Carey, Marine Biological Lab, MA

Projected climate change and belowground-aboveground ecosystem interactions
Jeffrey S. Dukes, Department of Forestry and Natural Resources, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Moderator(s)
Rebecca Sanders-DeMott
Boston University
Department of Biology

Organizer(s)
Pamela H. Templer
Boston University
Department of Biology


Effects of Disturbance on Consumer Mediated Habitat Linkages
Session description:
One pervasive consequence of increasing disturbance regimes is the simplification of foodwebs. Such simplifications are having profound effects, not only within disturbed ecosystems, but others that maybe connected to the disturbed system via consumer mediated habitat linkages. Consumer mediated habitat linkages can be defined as the transport of biomass to spatially distinct foodwebs through movements of heterotrophic species. These linkages can emerge from the movement of biomass from one ecosystem to the next via consumer ontogenic, seasonal, and reproductive migrations, and also more frequent consumer movements between foraging and refuge habitats. These trophic linkages across disparate foodwebs can govern processes at every ecological scale, substantially contributing to the stability, resistance capacity and resiliency of many natural systems. However, disturbance such as eutrophication, species invasions, overfishing, and other climate disturbances can alter these linkages, driving cascading changes to recipient ecosystems. Yet, how disturbance functions to alter these consumer mediated habitat linkages remains understudied. In this organized special session, we will present a series of cases studies showing how disturbance may either strengthen or weaken consumer mediated connectivity between spatially separated food webs. Speakers will also be encouraged to discuss how changes in these consumer mediated habitat linkages may alter key traits of ecosystem function. With disturbance regimes predicted to become more frequent, it is important that we identify how these perturbations change important consumer mediated habitat linkages, in order to understand future effects on recipient ecosystems that rely on these trophic subsidies.

Multiple effects of hurricane-induced marine subsides on coastal food webs
David A. Spiller, Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Introduced predators and pathogens sever linkages between mountain lakes and surrounding watersheds
Jonah Piovia-Scott, Department of Biology, University of California, Riverside, Riverside, CA

Trade-Offs Between Habitat-Specific Residence and Local Dispersal Creates Heterogeneity in Consumer Mediated Linkages in a Disturbed Seascape.
Martha E. Mather, Biology, Kansas State University

Of olives and carp: Interactive effects of two invaders on linked stream-riparian food webs
Kaleb Heinrich, Department of Biological Sciences, Idaho State University

Effects of disturbance on hippopotamus mediated aquatic-terrestrial nutrient transport
Douglas McCauley, Ecology, Evolution, and Marine Biology, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

Disrupting subsidies to multiple trophic levels shifts top-down and bottom-up control of food webs through time
Amanda Klemmer, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury

Eutrophication induced tipping points in salt marsh secondary production.
James Nelson, Ecosystems Center, Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory

Experimental evidence that hemlock decline changes the role of detrital subsidies in freshwater food webs
Hamish Greig, School of Biology and Ecology, University of Maine, Orono, ME

Moderator(s)
Jennifer S. Rehage
Florida International University
Environmental Studies

Organizer(s)
Ross E. Boucek
Florida International University
Biology

Co-organizer(s)
Jennifer S. Rehage
Florida International University
Environmental Studies

Linda A. Deegan
Marine Biological Laboratory
Ecosystems Center

Martha E. Mather
Kansas State University
Biology

Jimmy Nelson
Woods Hole Marine Biological Laboratory
Ecosystems Center


ESA Vice Presidents’ Centennial Session: Frontiers in Science, Education, Management, and Policy to Address Pressing Environmental Issues
Session description:
In celebration of ESA’s Centennial, ESA’s Vice Presidents for Education and Human Resources, Public Affairs, and Science bring together leaders at the intersections between science, education, management, and policy. Too often, we divide ecological topics into these constituent parts and address each part in isolation. But the most pressing environmental, social, and educational challenges require more integrated approaches. Seven of the speakers will focus on pressing environmental challenges and opportunities such as: climate change, biodiversity loss, land use/cover change, nutrient limitations and pollutants, human health, loss of ecosystem services, and restoring and managing for resilience. Talks will synthesize past accomplishments and future challenges in advancing ecological science and its integration with management, policy and education- providing insights into successful approaches for addressing environmental challenges. One key challenge is that our current research, educational, management and policy institutions don’t always reward or support integration across these activities. The 8th speaker will review successful pathways for the institutional changes to promote successful environmental problem solving. Finally, one of the ESA Vice Presidents will summarize results of a survey of ESA members and our stakeholders (educators, policy makers, ecosystem managers) to highlight future directions to maximize ecology’s role in advancing science and its outreach and applications.

Climate change
James F. Reynolds, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC

Land use/ land cover change
Ruth S. DeFries, Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University, New York, NY

Loss of biodiversity
Mark W. Schwartz, Environmental Science & Policy, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Nutrient limitations and pollutants
Sharon J. Hall, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Linking human health and ecosystems
Sonia Altizer, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Loss of ecosystem services
Claire Kremen, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Restoration and management for resilience
Katharine Suding, University of Colorado

Pathways to institutional changes to improve links between science, management, policy and education
Elizabeth McNie, NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory

Opportunities and challenges in integrating ecological science into policy and management
Valerie T. Eviner, Plant Sciences, University of California Davis, Davis, CA

Moderator(s): Scott L. Collins, University of New Mexico, Department of Biology

Organizer(s): Julie A. Reynolds, Duke University, Biology Department

Co-organizer(s): Sharon K. Collinge, University of Colorado, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, and Environmental Studies Program; Scott L. Collins, University of New Mexico, Department of Biology; Valerie T. Eviner, University of California Davis, Plant Sciences


Evolutionary Responses to Directional Climate Change
Session description:
Faced with rapid, directional climate change, species adapted to a particular zone have to acclimate physiologically, migrate, evolve, or go locally extinct. Although range shifts are an important component of species response to changing climate, adaptive responses may be of equal importance. Locally adapted populations or ecotypes have been identified for many species and may constitute a reserve of genetic variation that will help species persist in the face of rapid climate change. However, genetic specialization is a double-edged sword, as reduced genetic variation within populations may limit in situ adaptive potential. This session will examine the potential and realized consequences of climate change for populations of plants and animals. As the climate changes, many locally adapted populations are likely to experience reduced fitness. For example, one potential consequence of local adaptation is adaptational lag, in which populations under selection due to a changing climate fail to adapt because of insufficient variation within the population or low gene flow from better-adapted populations. Another consequence may be reduced or enhanced gene flow, depending on the presence or absence of pollinators and dispersal agents. This session will present case studies that illustrate evolutionary responses of a diverse group of organisms, including herbaceous species, insects, fish, and birds. The studies encompass a similar variety of ecosystems, including Arctic tundra, eastern deciduous forest, grasslands, montane ecosystems and the ocean.

Fishing and climate adaptation in the sea
Malin L. Pinsky, Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Plastic and evolutionary responses of insects to climate variability and climate change
Joel G. Kingsolver, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, Chapel Hill, NC

The double-edged sword of Eriophorum vaginatum ecotypes: Locally adapted, but overspecialized?
James B. McGraw, Dept. of Biology, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

Decadal oscillations nested within long-term climate change drive evolution and plasticity in sockeye salmon
Lisa G. Crozier, NOAA Fisheries, Seattle, WA

Evolutionary responses to 17 years of simulated climate change in an intact limestone grassland ecosystem
Raj Whitlock, University of Liverpool, England

Ecotypic variation and local adaptation in a foundation grass Andropogon gerardii across the Great Plains’ climate gradient
Loretta Johnson, Kansas State University, KS

Hybrid zones: Windows on evolution and ecology in a changing climate
Scott A. Taylor, Cornell University, NY

Interactions between local adaptation and range shifts in climate change responses
Emily V. Moran, School of Natural Sciences, UC Merced, Merced, CA

Moderator(s)
Ned Fetcher
Wilkes University
Institute for Environmental Science and Sustainability

Organizer(s)
Ned Fetcher
Wilkes University
Institute for Environmental Science and Sustainability

Co-organizer(s)
James B. McGraw
West Virginia University
Dept. of Biology


External Influences on Ecological Theory: The Effects of Economic, Sociopolitical, Climatic, and Other Conditions
Session description:
The relatively short history of the field of Ecology is full of conflicting paradigms, paradigm shifts, and vigorous arguments among leading ecologists and “schools” of ecology. Although ecological hypotheses are developed and tested using the time-honored processes of the scientific method, multiple alternative, and sometimes conflicting, hypotheses are often proposed as explanations for a particular phenomenon or class of phenomena. Ecologists work on all of the major continents and all of the world’s oceans. Each region has its own unique geological, climatic, biogeographical, and in most cases, cultural history. Furthermore, ecologists typically work out of an academic institution or governmental agency in a specific country, with different institutions, agencies, and countries having different missions and political and social values, as well as differing funding structures and overall financial resources. Could these different and often contrasting cultural, economic, political, and environmental settings influence the hypotheses that are developed to address ecological phenomena? To what extent might conflicting hypotheses and clashing paradigms be the inevitable results of concepts that are developed, tested, and elaborated under contrasting external conditions? Speakers in this half-day session will present reviews and case studies that examine some of the well-known and less-well-known examples of how environmental conditions, defined broadly, have influenced the types of ecological questions that are asked and the types of hypotheses that have been developed, as well as the conflicts that alternative theoretical perspectives have generated. Examples include such topics as the socio/political context of ecological theory; the effect of contrasting geological histories and environmental drivers on the dominant concepts developed on different continents; and the political economy of biological conservation. Related examples could potentially be found in research done in eutrophic verus oligotrophic systems, in plants versus animals, at high latitudes versus low latitudes, or in different biomes. Speakers will explore the ways in which these contrasting approaches could potentially contribute to more inclusive and broadly applicable theories in ecology.

The emergence of ecology and the challenges of modernism
Aaron M. Ellison, Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham, MA

Socio/political context of ecological theory: an historical overview
John H. Vandermeer, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, MI

Comparisons and contrasts of Australian vs. North American approaches to ecology
Patricia A. Werner, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

Biology, chance, and environment: three contrasting perspectives on community structure and composition
Stephen T. Jackson, Southwest Climate Science Center, University or Arizona, Tucson, AZ

The political economy of biological conservation, 1960 -1990
Sahotra Sarkar, Department of Philosophy, and Department of Integrative Biology, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Land management and species evolution: biodiversity and conservation in anthropogenic landscapes
Ernst-Detlef Schulze, Max-Planck Institut für Biogeochemie, Jena, Germany

Valuation of ecological concepts by ecologists of differing backgrounds and career stages: analysis of survey results
William A. Reiners, Department of Botany, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

Evolution of the equilibrium concept: seeking balance in nature
Michael A. Huston, Department of Biology, Texas State University, San Marcos, TX

Moderator(s): Sharon Kingsland, Johns Hopkins University, Department of History of Science and Technology

Organizer(s): Michael A. Huston, Texas State University, Department of Biology


Extreme Disturbance Events Leading to Forest Ecosystem Change
Session description:
Extreme disturbance events (EDEs), perturbations to ecosystems that are rare with respect to historical patterns, are increasingly recognized as potent drivers of forest change, impacting tree species physiology, populations, and communities. For example, punctuated droughts have been associated with hydraulic failure in tree species, contributing to regional forest declines across the globe. Despite the importance in EDEs, most global change research focuses on responses to changes in mean conditions rather than individual events. As a result, attribution of tree mortality or recruitment dynamics to specific causes and predictions of future forest change are suspect, providing forest managers and policy-makers with uncertain and/or biased information upon which they must base decisions. To explore the diversity of EDEs and their effects on forest ecosystems, this organized oral session will highlight forest ecosystem responses to EDEs by examining recent and future change to ecological perturbations. This session will incorporate research from a diverse suite of forest ecosystems investigated with approaches from various ecological disciplines. The objectives of this session are (1) to characterize the impacts of EDEs on forest ecosystems across a variety of scales, from individual trees to ecosystems to regions, and (2) to present strategies for incorporating EDEs into global change predictions, and thus natural resource decision-making. To underscore the generality of the issue, this session includes a group of speakers presenting research from different ecosystems, examining different EDEs, and using different analytical methods while addressing the implications for predicting future forest change. Speakers will present results for forest responses to EDEs across North American forests and will explore a variety of EDEs, including the drought, insect outbreak, hurricanes, and wildfire. Forest, species, and tree responses to EDEs are examined using methodologies common to many ecological disciplines, including ecophysiology, ecosystem ecology, paleoecology, and population ecology. This session will help focus on the need for better representation of EDEs in ecological research.

Chasing the tail: the importance of extremes in a changing climate
Stephen T. Jackson, U.S. Geological Survey, DOI Southwest Climate Science Center, Tucson, AZ

Extreme-event climate envelopes, microclimatic change and potential cross-continental teleconnections
David D. Breshears, The University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Contrasting response of high and mid elevation Rocky Mountain conifer forests to a massive bark beetle outbreak, the role of plant hydraulics, spatial variability and successional pathways
Brent E. Ewers, Botany, Program in Ecology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

Tree mortality and climate extremes in the Pacific Northwestern US: summaries of current trends
Heather E. Lintz, College of Oceanic and Atmospheric Science, Oregon Climate Change Research Institute, Corvallis, OR

Using extreme events to inform forest disturbance patterns in the eastern US
Mathew Russell, University of Minnesota

Ecosystem responses to extreme events: hurricanes, drought, and fire
Rodrigo Vargas, University of Delaware

Evidence of synchronous extreme-disturbance in a rather stochastic system at regional to subcontinental scales
Neil Pederson, Harvard Forest

Broadscale disturbance and the use of near-term climatic predictability to plan treatments and engineer the products of succession
Julio L. Betancourt, US Geological Survey, Tucson, AZ

Moderator(s): David M. Bell, U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station

Organizer(s): David M. Bell, U.S. Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station

Co-organizer(s): John B. Bradford, US Geological Survey, Southwest Biological Science Center; Christopher W. Woodall, USDA Forest Service, Northern Research Station


From Drought to Deluge: Evolutionary Lessons for Natural Resource Management in an Increasingly Variable World
Session description:
What do annual plants in the Sonoran desert, seasonally migrating herds, Wall Street traders, and ranchers have in common? All are trying to make a living in highly variable, fluctuating environments. Yet despite the common challenges faced by these very different actors, and longstanding questions within each subdiscipline about strategies for coping with fluctuations, the research remains splintered. Biologists study life history evolution in variable environments; conservation biologists estimate the population-level impacts of environmental fluctuations; researchers working on social-ecological systems try to understand how traditional pastoralists and western ranchers respond to drought; climate scientists are trying to provide managers with improved mesoscale forecasting products. Thanks to recent advances in theory, the time is right to synthesize these typically distinct areas of research. The goal of our organized oral session is to highlight the common—and limited—strategies available for organisms and economic enterprises to deal with temporal variability. Our hope is that this synthesis will lead to novel insights about natural resource management in an increasingly variable world. Perhaps managers can apply evolution’s solutions? Our session will begin with a talk by Carlos Botero, who has developed theory showing that all strategies for coping with variability fall on a continuum from forecasting (i.e. adjusting investments based on information about the future environment) to bet-hedging (i.e. always making conservative investments to avoid catastrophic loss). The location of the strategy on this continuum depends on the organism’s ability to predict the future environment. The next talk will focus on the degree of predictability of the climate system. Rob Gillies, Utah’s state climatologist, will discuss challenges and recent improvements in meteorologists’ ability to predict weather and climate over a range of temporal scales. The rest of the presentations focus on organismal responses to varying environment. Osvaldo Sala will discuss the role of vegetation structure and composition in translating precipitation variability into variability in net primary production. Jennifer Gremer will discuss bet-hedging in desert annual plants. David Augustine will show how abiotic spatial heterogeneity can buffer consumers against temporal variability in precipitation. Randall Boone will focus on ungulate movement as a response to temporal variability in forage. The final two talks will focus on temporal variability’s impact on social-ecological systems. Lizzie King and then Maria Fernandez-Gimenez will discuss ways that pastoralists in different parts of the world respond to drought.

Evolutionary tipping points in the capacity to adapt to environmental change
Carlos Botero, North Carolina State University

Climate variability and predictability from seasonal to decadal time scales
Robert Gillies, Utah Climate Center, Utah State University, Logan, UT

Gambling in the desert: Bet hedging in Sonoran Desert winter annual plants
Jennifer R. Gremer, US Geological Survey, Colorado Plateau Research Station, Flagstaff, AZ

Contrasting plant-functional type responses to increased interannual precipitation variability
Laureano Gherardi, Arizona State University

Does spatial heterogeneity mitigate the effect of extreme temporal variability on large herbivores? A test at local spatial scales in a semi-arid grassland
David J. Augustine, Rangeland Resources Research Unit, USDA-ARS, Fort Collins, CO

Effects of fragmentation on large herbivores under variable climates
Randall Boone, Colorado State University

Novelty, uncertainty, and adaptability: risk perceptions and coping strategies of Kenyan pastoralists in a rapidly changing world
Elizabeth G. King, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Living with variability, coping with catastrophe: Comparing pastoralist strategies in the Pyrenees, Great Plains and Mongolia
Maria E. Fernandez-Gimenez, Dept of Forest and Rangeland Stewardship, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Moderator(s)
Peter B. Adler
Utah State University
Department of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center

Organizer(s)
Peter B. Adler
Utah State University
Department of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center

Co-organizer(s)
David J. Augustine
USDA-ARS
Rangeland Resources Research Unit


Functional Traits In Ecological Research: What Have We Learned and Where Are We Going?
Session description:
Traits underlie the functional diversity of communities and ecosystems, shaping an organism’s interactions with both its abiotic and biotic environment. The examination of functional traits involves research crossing multiple scales, from the genome to the biome, and multiple disciplines, from ecology to climatology. The last decade has seen an increased emphasis on connecting observed variation of functional traits with variation in environmental conditions. Many studies in community ecology in particular relate species functional traits to environmental conditions to explain observed patterns of community composition and species co-occurrence. Not only has this spurred on interesting ecological studies, but it has also stimulated the development of new analysis methods and techniques. Further, functional trait variation is increasingly studied in ways that help us understand the evolutionary processes yielding that variation. This integration is a major component of many projects funded through the National Science Foundation’s Dimensions of Biodiversity program. Given the increased emphasis on functional traits in recent years, now is an opportune time to examine examples demonstrating what we have learned, as well as to look at where we are going. In this organised oral session we will look at how analyses of functional trait diversity have helped to explain ecological patterns in multiple different biomes in different regions of the world, many of which are areas with high biodiversity and high levels of endemism. Collectively these studies investigate inter- and intra-specific competition, community assembly, local adaptation, and the evolutionary processes yielding functional trait diversity. This session also strives to present a view of what functional trait research can offer in the future. Several of the presentations include novel analysis methods that overcome long-standing challenges to the analysis of functional traits. These methods, in conjunction with insights from previous studies, will help the analysis of functional traits continue to be a valuable tool in ecological research.

Constructing community and population level models to filter trait response species assemblies to environmental features – novel methods for analysis of functional traits
George Helman, Duke University and Alan E. Gelfand, Duke University, Durham, NC

Evolutionary relationships of functional trait and environmental variation
Andrew M. Latimer, Plant Sciences, University of California Davis, Davis, CA

Functional traits in parallel evolutionary radiations and trait-environment associations in the Cape Floristic Region of South Africa
Nora Mitchell, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut

Increasing trait-matching with decreasing available resources: morphological specialization in hummingbird networks
Ben G. Weinstein, Ecology and Evoultion, Stony Brook University

Is trait-based ecology functional? A test from a climatically stable biodiversity hotspot
Jasper A. Slingsby, Fynbos Node, South African Environmental Observation Network

Leaf spectral reflectance as a functional trait to help explain trait by environment relationships
Hayley Kilroy Mollmann, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut

Linking functional traits and habitat suitability models for the trees of Puerto Rico: insights to assembly processes across regional environmental gradients
Robert Muscarella, Ecology, Evolution, and Environmental Biology, Columbia University

Using functional traits to understand community assembly in biodiversity hotspots
Matthew E. Aiello-Lammens, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT

Moderator(s)
John A. Silander Jr.
University of Connecticut
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Organizer(s)
Matthew E. Aiello-Lammens
University of Connecticut
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Co-organizer(s)
John A. Silander Jr.
University of Connecticut
Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Functional, Phylogenetic and Genetic Dimensions of Forest Diversity and Change
Session description:
Forests worldwide face multiple pressures because of shifts in temperature and precipitation, as well as deforestation and degradation due to land use change. Predicting how forest communities will be affected by future shifts in climate and land-use change remains a major challenge. The response of forests to climate change and land use will depend not only on species composition and diversity, but also on the functional diversity among species and the genetic variation within species. The talks in this session represent a major step towards a more mechanistic understanding of the drivers of tree species abundance, distribution, and demography across landscapes. Previous studies have focused on predicting how species distributions will be altered by global changes using niche based or climate-envelope models. However, current distributions may not reflect species’ environmental tolerances. A more mechanistic approach is needed that uses information on individual or population-level variation in responses to environmental variables. This process-based approach is rare because it relies on detailed demographic or physiological data, which is lacking for most species. For example, in areas that will experience more frequent or severe droughts, shifts in species composition and diversity within communities will depend on the variation both among- and within-species in drought tolerance. Thus, an understanding of phenotypic plasticity and intraspecific genetic variation will more accurately predict the resilience of species and communities to changing climate. Session talks incorporate multiple dimensions of diversity that are key to predicting the resilience of forest communities to global change. Specific questions the talks will address include: (i) What functional traits underlie species’ environmental tolerances and drive species’ distributions and dynamics? (ii) Does shared evolutionary history predict the distribution of functional traits among species and forest communities through space and time? (iii) How are species and functional diversity likely to shift under climate change? (iv) How much do functional traits and environmental tolerances vary among individuals within species, at both local and regional scales? And, to what extent is intraspecific functional variation due to phenotypic plasticity or genetic variation?

The phylogenetic distribution of functional diversity across a worldwide forest dynamics plot network.
Nathan Swenson, Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Pervasive intraspecific density-dependent rather than phylogenetic density-dependent recruitment enhances seedling diversity in a subtropical evergreen forest.
Yanjun Du, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Demographic diversity in tropical forests: functional trade-offs and consequences for current and future species distributions.
Sabrina E. Russo, School of Biological Sciences, University of Nebraska-Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

The cumulative effect of phylogenetic relatedness on the assembly of forest tree neighborhoods.
Lei Chen, Institute of Botany, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China

Role of mycorrhizal associations in structuring forest communities across environmental and climatic gradients.
Dan Johnson, Department of Botany, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

What determines phylogenetic and functional beta diversity in temperate forests?
Xugao Wang, Institute of Applied Ecology, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Shenyang, China

Comparative population genomics of tropical trees across a rainfall gradient in Central Panama and implications for species’ responses to climate change.
F. Andrew Jones, Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Interspecific variation in climate responses of tropical trees, and relationships with functional traits.
Helene Muller-Landau, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama City, Panama

Moderator(s)
Stuart J. Davies
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Center for Tropical Forest Science

Organizer(s)
Stuart J. Davies
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute
Center for Tropical Forest Science

Co-organizer(s)
Kristin I. Powell
Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute


Green roof biodiversity and the food web
Session description:
Green infrastructure represents a new frontier for ecological research in urban areas. Green roofs are prime examples, where interdisciplinary collaboration has resulted in a new template of urban green space where researchers can test ecological theory. To date, this research has focused on performance based benefits, including stormwater retention and energy savings. As these benefits are increasingly realized, a growing number of studies involving ecologists are examining the potential for green roofs to contribute to urban habitat enhancements and wildlife conservation. Although a multitude of organisms have been recorded using green roofs as habitat in some way, few studies have qualified the habitat value of green roofs, how green roof design, age, and maintenance affect habitat quality, and whether green roofs provide an ‘elevated’ platform for colonization of exotic or invasive species. Moreover, promoting green roofs as means of increasing urban habitat might contribute to negotiations to develop existing ground level habitat, which contains greater species diversity and abundance. As green roofs become commonplace in some cities, the potential to evaluate questions in community ecology and examine the role of green roofs as habitat at larger spatial scales can be carried out with more rigor, as most studies have been deployed on a single or a few roofs. This symposium will address the myths and knowledge gaps regarding green roofs as wildlife habitat, and it will elucidate in what ways green roofs might also pose consequences for new directions in urban biodiversity conservation and amelioration.

Green roof and biodiversity potential along the urban-rural gradient
Michael McKinney, University of Tennessee, Knoxville

Microbial communities in New York City green infrastructure
Krista L. McGuire, Biology, Barnard College, Columbia University, New York, NY

“Community dynamics and factors influencing arthropod diversity on green roofs”
Kelly Ksiazek, Plant Biology and Conservation, Northwestern University/Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

Green roofs and bee conservation: an example using citizen science
J. Scott MacIvor, Department of Biology, York University, Toronto, ON, Canada

“Pollen load composition and bee diversity on native-planted green roofs: A comparison with urban and natural environments”
Emily Walker, Department of Biology, St. Mary’s University

“Management of native grassland and agricultural green roofs.”
Jason M. Aloisio, Louis Calder Center – Biological Station and Department of Biological Sciences, Fordham University, Armonk

“The suitability of New York city rooftops for greening and agricultural use.”
Leigh J. Whittinghill, Earth Institute at Columbia University, Former Postdoctoral Fellow, NY

Fine-scale heterogeneity effects on green roof biodiversity
Amiel Vasl, Kadas Green Roof Ecology Center, University of Haifa

Moderator(s)
J. Scott MacIvor
York University
Department of Biology

Organizer(s)
Leigh J. Whittinghill
Former Postdoctoral Fellow
Earth Institute at Columbia University

Co-organizer(s)
Olyssa Starry
University of Maryland, College Park
Plant Science and Landscape Architecture

J. Scott MacIvor
York University
Department of Biology


Head in the Clouds: Advancing our understanding of how fog and dew affect plants in ecosystems around the world
Session description:
Water is an essential component to any ecosystem and for much of the terrestrial world, the majority of water needed for survival is supplied from rain and snow. However, recent advances across ecosystems suggest that many plants are relying on fog and dew as a critical water source. Only recently have scientists begun to understand that fog and dew contribute significantly to global hydrological cycles, climate, and plant water and carbon relations from tropical cloud forests to arid deserts. Research in the last twenty years has utilized new methods and creative approaches to examine how fog and dew affect ecosystems. Within many types of ecosystems, fog and dew alter the abiotic environment by providing an additional moisture resource, reducing the vapor pressure gradient from the leaf to the air, thereby ameliorating extreme sunlight, temperatures, and thus water loss. The relative contribution of this water subsidy can vary across seasons and ecosystems and in many instances serves as the primary water source for entire ecosystems. In an era when there is a growing concern as to how plant communities will respond to changes in precipitation, there is still much to learn about the influence of fog and condensation in ecology. The scientists in this session are conducting cutting-edge research that examine how species and communities interact with this ambient vapor, how important it is to the ecosystem, and what happens when fog or dew inputs are altered or taken out of the equation. This session brings together scientists working at multiple scales from water vapor nucleation at the leaf level to ecosystem modelling of fog patterns. Additionally, the speakers conduct their research in many different ecosystems providing a more holistic perspective on the relative influences of fog and dew. This session will provide new connections, conversations, insights, and ideas to our current state of knowledge about how fog and dew interact with organisms and their environment.

The value of wet leaves
Todd E. Dawson, Department of Integrative Biology, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Hydraulic activation: establishment of liquid water bridges across the stomata
Jurgen Burkhardt, Institute of Crop Science and Resource Conservation, University of Bonn

Radiative cooling and latent dew formation in plant canopies
Brent Helliker, Biology, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia, PA

Life in the Treetops: Drought Tolerance and Water Balance of Canopy Epiphytes in a Tropical Montane Cloud Forest
Sybil Gotsch, Franklin and Marshall College

Fog effects on carbon and water balance of tropical cloud forest trees
Rafael Oliveira, Departmento de Biologia Vegetal, Universidade Estadual de Campinas

Ecophysiological Cloud-Vegetation Linkages in Southern Appalachian Mountain Cloud Forests at Leaf to Ecosystem Scales
Keith Reinhardt, Biological Sciences, Idaho State University, Pocatello, ID

Using stable isotope tracers to determine the role of fog and cloud water in the hydrology of tropical and Mediterranean-type ecosystems
Martha Scholl, United States Geological Survey

Cloud and fog interactions with coastal forests in the California Channel Islands
Christopher J. Still, Department of Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Moderator: Nathan C. Emery, University of California Santa Barbara, Ecology Evolution and Marine Biology Department

Organizer: Nathan C. Emery, University of California Santa Barbara, Ecology Evolution and Marine Biology Department

Co-organizer(s): Z. Carter Berry, University of New Hampshire, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment


History and its Uses in the NSF Long-Term Ecological Research Network
Session description:
The NSF Long-Term Ecological Research Program (LTER) began in 1980 and now includes 26 sites. Its purpose is to assemble long-term data sets of ecological phenomena of all kinds. The concept of long-term research is inherently historical in that it deals with the past. The job of historians is to interpret the past, particularly the human past. In recent years historians and historical research have contributed to the LTER enterprise in several ways. Such historical work adds a humanistic dimension to LTER science and has also added significant long-term data, often much longer-term than the 30-odd years of the LTER. Such data affords valuable information for current science about change over time. This Organized Oral Session includes contributions from a number of different LTER sites and from scientists, social scientists, and historians. These contributions highlight the diversity of possible historical approaches to ecological research and the challenges and rewards offered by different kinds of historical data. They also highlight the many applications of such data to the larger LTER enterprise. We define history broadly to encompass prehistoric time as well as recent human activity, and the depth of human history varies broadly across LTER sites. While the Harvard Forest and, to a lesser extent, the Santa Barbara Coastal site can document hundreds of years of history, the first human presence in the McMurdo Dry Valleys of Antarctica only occurred in the early years of the twentieth century. Urban sites such as the Baltimore LTER afford rich historical material about human interactions with the natural world. In addition, the challenges involved in archiving a vast array of historical data, including manuscripts, printed documents, maps, and images, creates an ecology of its own that can also inform future research. In all these cases, communication across disciplines is central, and historical data provides new challenges for data management. Management of all kinds of data is increasingly central to science. Within the framework of the LTER system, historical data is especially important but also brings its own challenges of organization, access and interpretation across disciplines. As this session will show, innovative use of historical data is providing new questions and answers for ecological science. The centenary of ESA provides a perfect opportunity to examine the role history can play in current and future ecological research.

Baltimore’s urban forest: Understanding the past and planning for the future
Geoffrey Buckley, Department of Geography, Ohio University, Athens, OH

Ecological Histories: Contrasting Uses of History at two LTER sites
Anita Guerrini, Department of History, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Ecological Research in the McMurdo Dry Valleys, Antarctica during the 1960s
Adrian Howkins, History, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Evolution of Ideas and Team Science at the Coweeta LTER
Ted Gragson, Anthropology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

The History of the LTER Network
Gina Rumore, History of Science, Technology, and Medicine, University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN

The role of historical studies in long-term ecological research and conservation planning
David R. Foster, Harvard Forest, Harvard University, Petersham, MA

The Uses of History for Ecological Research: a Scientist’s Perspective
Diane McKnight, Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research, Univerisity of Colorado, Boulder, CO

Untangling the Tangled Bank: Preserving, Curating and Interpreting the Archival History of the H.J. Andrews Experimental Forest
Samuel Schmieding, Forest Ecosystems and Society, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Moderator(s): Frederick Swanson, Oregon State University, Forest Ecosystems and Society

Organizer(s); Anita Guerrini, Oregon State University, Department of History

Co-organizer(s): Adrian Howkins, Colorado State University, History


Human Ecology -- A Gathering of Perspectives: Portraits from the Past - Prospects for the Future
Session description:
Ecology, as an interdisciplinary science, has always wrestled with topics of complexity and comprehensiveness. One of the most challenging issues has occurred along the line between natural ecology and human ecology. For some, ecology should be the straightforward scientific study of nature; for others, humans are an inescapable part of the living world and must be included within the domain of ecology. These concerns date back to before ESA’s founding; indeed, they were a significant aspect of it. The aim of this session is to review this history, to gather selected perspectives of key individuals, and examine their relevance vis-a-vis ecology’s future. Presenters will give a ‘portrait’ of a historical person — reviewing his/her early life, educational background, professional contributions and broader influence. The ‘human ecological’ thinking of these individuals will be highlighted within the context of their lifetime, as well as in terms of its current and prospective significance. We begin with Ellen Swallow Richards, an MIT chemist/public health researcher, who visited Haeckel’s lab in Jena and – some say – was the first American to publicly use the word ‘ecology’, cf Boston Globe 1892. The next three portrayals are of ESA past-presidents who, in various ways, touched upon human-environmental issues. Victor Shelford, ESA’s first president, was an ecological scientist and an avid conservationist. Herein lay the perennial ‘is-ought’ complications of humans-in-nature — still present today. Paul Sears was likewise a serious scientist-conservationist, and also a forthright advocate for human ecology. Frank Golley, the most current of our selected ESA past-presidents, advanced landscape ecology and brought emphasis to environmental ethics and other human-oriented issues. The remaining portraits focus on significant contributors to the history of ecological thought, whose background and influence lay beyond ESA. Rachel Carson, through careful research and skillful writing, conveyed the basic concepts of ecology to everyday language. So did René Dubos — a leading scientist and a prolific author who developed a rich range of human ecological ideas. Ian McHarg brought ecology to regional planning through his pioneering program at the University of Pennsylvania and influential book Design With Nature. We end with Gregory Bateson, whose work on the ‘ecology of mind’ rendered a distinctive exploration of ecological epistemology and the deeper questions of mind-in-nature. Taken together, this gathering of perspectives provides a multi-faceted overview of the meaning(s) of human ecology from the past — in the present — and for the future.

Ellen Swallow Richards: Mother of American Ecology?
Robert Dyball, Fenner School of the Environment and Society, Australian National University, Canberra, Australia

A Legacy Preserved?: ESA Co-founder Victor Shelford and his Devotion to Saving Land for Science’s Sake
Kathleen Fichtell, History, West Virginia University, Morgantown, WV

Paul Sears: Cautious ‘Subversive’ Ecologist
Gene Cittadino, Individualized Studies, New York University, New York, NY

Frank Golley’s Perspective on the Need for Environmental Ethics in Tropical Rain Forest Research
Alan Covich, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Rachel Carson: Saint or Sinner?
Mark Lytle, Environmental and Urban Studies, Bard College, Annandale, NY

Rene Dubos – A Life of Wooing the Earth: Soil Microbes to Human Ecology
Carol Moberg, Rockefeller University, New York, NY

Ian McHarg – Designer with Nature
Frederick Steiner, Architecture, University of Texas – Austin, Austin, TX

Gregory Bateson’s Search for the ‘Patterns Which Connect’ Ecology and Mind Richard J. Borden, College of the Atlantic
Richard J. Borden, College of the Atlantic, Bar Harbor, ME

Moderator(s: V. Beth Olsen, University of Maryland, Marine, Estuarine, and Environmental Science

Organizer(s): Richard J. Borden, College of the Atlantic

Co-organizer(s): Robert Dyball, Australian National University, Fenner School of the Environment and Society


Hyperspectral remote sensing data supports 21rst century ecological research
Session description:
Spectroscopic, often called hyperspectral, remote sensing methods are advancing terrestrial ecological research by enabling the rapid, non-destructive, and ‘wall to wall’ mapping of key plant biochemical properties, physiological traits, metabolic function, and biodiversity. These types of data products directly support efforts to map and monitor ecosystem health, air quality, animal habitat, wildfire impacts, and the urban-wildland interface at very high spatial and spectral resolutions and through time. At scales ranging from individual leaves to entire regions, hyperspectral data provide unique insights into ecosystem structure and function, including plant community composition, the origins of biodiversity, point-source pollution, ecosystem health, and human impacts. Historically, the analysis of hyperspectral data has been limited to a small number of research groups with access to specific instrumentation. Data were thus only available for a few geographic locations, and over short time frames. In recent years, however, a significant increase in publicly available datasets has occured. These include the opening up of the Airborne Visible Infrared Imaging Spectrometer (AVIRIS) archive held by NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory, The G-LiGHT platform at NASA Goddard, free access to the Earth Observing 1 satellite (EO-1) which contains the Hyperion hyperspectral sensor, and, soon, the National Ecological Observatory Network’s (NEON) Airborne Observation Platform (AOP). Moreover, future satellite missions including the German Environmental Mapping and Analysis Program (EnMAP) and NASA’s next generation Hyperspectral Infrared Imager (HyspIRI) will further increase data availability. At the same time, instrumentation costs, size, and weights have steadily dropped in recent years enabling relatively low cost deployments of hyperspectral sensors from towers, balloons, and unmanned aerial systems (UASs). This session will present specific ways in which hyperspectral remote sensing data, collected using near-surface to space-borne platforms, have been used to support ecological research. It will highlight a breadth of applications that explore important and challenging ecological research questions across a range of spatial and temporal scales. Finally, it will facilitate a dynamic and engaging conversations between field ecologists, remote sensing scientists, and environmental practitioners about both current hyperspectral remote sensing applications and the future of these data to support ecology. With this session, we hope to broaden interest in new hyperspectral remote sensing applications as well as illustrate how far the field has come since its first use in ecology over three decades ago.

Examining plant functional types as characterized by leaf and canopy-level spectroscopy
Keely L. Roth, Department of Land, Air, & Water Resources, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

From point to pixel -using In Situ Measurements to Validate and Derive Higher Level NEON Hyperspectral data products
Leah A. Wasser, Data Products / Education and Public Engagement, NEON, Inc., Boulder, CO

Hyperspectral imagery for biodiversity mapping in a wildland-agriculture matrix
Kyla M. Dahlin, Climate & Global Dynamics, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO

Hyperspectral remote sensing for mapping species and community composition in diverse tropical forests
Claire A. Baldeck, Department of Global Ecology, Carnegie Institution for Science, Stanford, CA

Monitoring the life trajectory of leaves and their chemical/physiological properties by using hyperspectral remote sensing: case study in an evergreen tropical rainforests
Jin Wu, Dept. of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona

Mapping canopy chemistry using hyperspectral Imagery
Susan Ustin, Land, Air and Water Resources, UC Davis, Center for Spatial Technologies and Remote Sensing, Davis, CA

Relative influences of landscape-level drivers on insect-mediated forest ecosystem processes as measured from hyperspectral imagery
John Couture, Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Remote sensing of belowground variation in trembling aspen forests
Michael D. Madritch, Department of Biology, Appalachian State University, Boone, NC

Moderator(s)
Shawn P. Serbin
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Biological, Environmental & Climate Sciences

Organizer(s)
Shawn P. Serbin
Brookhaven National Laboratory
Biological, Environmental & Climate Sciences

Co-organizer(s)
Kyla M. Dahlin
National Center for Atmospheric Research
Climate & Global Dynamics

Keely L. Roth
University of California, Davis
Department of Land, Air, & Water Resources

Leah A. Wasser
NEON, Inc.
Data Products / Education and Public Engagement


Implications of positive interaction studies to the future of ecological research
Session description:
Ecology, the study of interactions, has developed dramatically as a scientific field over the last century. More recently, in the last 30 years, positive interactions have been increasingly more popular and used to explain intricate processes of ecological communities. Through a suite of mechanisms, two species can interact positively by reducing physical stress, competition, consumption or by increasing available resources and dispersal. Through these pathways, positive interactions can define an ecosystem through spatial structure, diversity, productivity and evolutionary trajectories. The goal of this session is to briefly highlight the current state of facilitation research and describe the future projections including available gaps in the literature. Positive interactions continue to be linked to core concepts in ecological theory including community assembly and evolutionary biology, particularly by increasing the phylogenetic diversity of communities. This can assist in maintaining global species richness by considering facilitation as a mechanism in sustaining genetic diversity. Moreover, facilitation is being use to explain emerging ecological fields, such as its use in restoring degraded landscapes through the utilization of nurse plants.

A keystone mutualism, spatial processes, and the resilience of a coastal ecosystem to drought
Christine Angelini, Department of Biology, University of Florida, Gainesville, FL

A niche-based approach to facilitation
Christian Schoeb, University of Zurich, Zurich, Switzerland

A role for below-ground biota in plant-plant facilitation
Cristina Armas, Estación Experimental de Zonas Áridas, Almeria, Spain

Evolutionary consequences of positive plant-plant interactions
Christian Smit, Centre for Ecological and Evolutionary Studies, University of Groningen, Groningen, Netherlands

Foundation Species Expansion of Realized Niches
Mark D. Bertness, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Brown University, Providence, RI

Indirect facilitation and the ubiquity of positive effects across communities
Eliot J. B. McIntire, Canadian Forestry Service, Victoria, BC, Canada

The future of gradient studies in examining plant-plant interactions for the next 100 years
Chris Lortie, Department of Biology, York University, Toronto, Canada

Moderator(s)
Alessandro Filazzola
York University
Department of Biology

Organizer(s)
Diego A. Sotomayor
York University
Department of Geography

Co-organizer(s)
Alessandro Filazzola
York University
Department of Biology


Intraspecific genetic adaptation in forest trees and its ecological implications under a changing climate
Session description:
More than 200 hundred years of genecology studies, including provenance and common garden tests, have demonstrated that many forest tree species have ample intra specific genetic variation which is often associated with climatic gradients. These have been largely interpreted as evidence of local adaptation to climate. Populations have different climate optima and their adaptation involves adjusting traits such as phenology, and cold and drought tolerance. In general, populations from colder climates have increased cold hardiness and shorter growing seasons than those inhabiting milder climates. Despite being adapted, populations of some species inhabit suboptimal climates as a result of a combination of lag in natural selection and biotic competition. The degree of suboptimal climate inhabited differs among populations and thus a given change in climate will affect populations differently. The fate of a species under a changing climate is commonly evaluated assuming species are relatively homogenous; this however can lead to biased projections due to intraspecific variation. In recent years, understanding and modeling intra-specific genetic and ecological variation to changes in climate has received increased attention in order to address the challenge of species’ shifting range boundaries. The focus of research has encompassed “rediscovering” historic provenance tests as experiments in climate change, the assessment of genetic variation and traits using molecular markers, and modeling with extensive field data via new computational methods. Ecological understanding and quantification of populations’ responses to changes in climate has the potential to integrate and synergize several fields dealing with tree species conservation and management. Projecting changes in species ranges and assemblages, and understanding changes in species recruitment, mortality, and inter-specific competition dynamics, will be aided by a better understanding of populations’ adaptive responses to changing climate. Elucidating the spread and the effects of other biotic pressures, such as pests and diseases, under a changing climate will require quantification of the interaction between intra specific differences in adaptation and pest or pathogen biology. Populations inhabiting the edge of the species range are often at the limit of their environmental tolerance, thus the vulnerability to a biotic stressor may be amplified. The purpose of this session is to engender collaboration in this rich, inter-disciplinary and crucial field by assembling recent research and modeling work that 1) elucidates populations’ responses to changes in climate, 2) evaluates the ecological implications of these differential responses, and 3) shows how this research can be utilized to aid forest adaptation.

Eco-evolutionary responses to environmental change
Mark Vellend, Département de biologie, Université de Sherbrooke, Sherbrooke, QC, Canada

Looking back to see ahead: Considering genetic divergence within tree species to anticipate responses to climate change
Kevin Potter, Department of Forestry and Environmental Resources, North Carolina State University, Research Triangle Park, NC

Differences in forest tree population responses to changes in climate: what have we learned from modeling provenance tests data
Laura P. Leites, Ecosystem Science and Management, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, PA

Geographic variation in adaptative traits in Douglas-fir and responses to climate change
Brad St. Clair, Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Corvallis, OR

Adaptation and plasticity in aboveground allometry in Pines
Natalia Vizcaíno Palomar, Department of Forest Ecology and Genetics, INIA – CIFOR, Madrid, Spain

Genetic variation in lodgepole pine and white spruce in Alberta: adaptation to climate and implications for assisted migration to address climate change
Laura Gray, Renewable Resources, University of Alberta, Edmonton, Canada

Assessing intraspecific variation via integrated ecological modelling and genetic analysis to assist tree species management
Anantha Prasad, Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Delaware, OH

Moderator(s): Ashley Hilderbrand, Penn State Univeristy, Ecosystem Science and Management

Organizer(s): Laura P. Leites, Pennsylvania State University, Ecosystem Science and Management

Co-organizer(s): Anantha Prasad, Northern Research Station, USDA Forest Service


Invasive vines: drivers of large-scale ecosystem shifts worldwide and consequences for restoration
Session description:
Large-scale shifts in plant functional groups have been widely documented in numerous water-limited biomes. In mesic to wet biomes similar large-scale shifts may be unfolding driven by the spread of native and non-native vines – herbaceous and shrubby climbing plants. Specifically, vines are blanketing post-agricultural landscapes and human-built environments over large areas in many regions around the world as illustrated in SE United States (Pueraria lobata ~3M ha), NE Australia (Cryptostegia grandiflora ~0.7M ha), and the island of St. Eustatius (Antigononus leptotus ~ 420 ha). In these and other regions vines are reaching epidemic proportions and future projections indicate that the problem may exacerbate with the continuous abandonment of agro-ecosystems and built environments, and changing climate. Vine-driven ecosystem shifts may be particularly complex given that vines access critical resources such as light by climbing structures that provide them with support. With their fast growth rates, vines can quickly shade and ultimately reduce host growth and survival and, in the case of non-living hosts, affect infrastructure and the built environment. Thus, a combination of vine and host traits determines the outcome of these interactions. To date few studies have investigated these interactions and the consequences of these interactions at scales commensurate with the extent of their current cover and spread potential. This session will offer an opportunity to synthesize the state of research on invasive vines globally. Towards this end we are bringing together a diverse group of speakers conducting research on invasive vines in different tropical and temperate habitats and using diverse approaches including compilation of plant trait databases, modeling, and remote sensing. Several questions drive this proposal: 1) Do invasive vines have unique traits that allow them to thrive? 2) Why some landscapes are more prone than others to invasion? 3) What are the external drivers facilitating ecosystem shifts mediated by vines? 4) What are the cumulative impacts of vines on the functioning of these landscapes? 5) What management options exist and what are the opportunities for restoration?

Predicted versus actual invasiveness of vines in Florida’s natural areas
Doria Gordon, The Nature Conservancy, Gainesville, FL

Interactive effects of abiotic environmental conditions and herbivory on an invasive annual vine
Judith Hough-Goldstein, Entomology and Wildlife Ecology, University of Delaware, Newark, DE

Urban forest fragments under climbing invasive species: Plant communities and outcomes of long-term management
Leah Johnson, Department of Plant Science and Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, College Parch, MD

History, Impact, and Management Options for Invasive Vines in the Mariana Archipelago
Dr. Nashelly Meneses, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, San Diego, CA

Integrating local pastoral knowledge, participatory mapping, and species distribution modeling for risk assessment of invasive rubber vine (Cryptostegia grandiflora) in Ethiopia’s Afar region
Matthew W. Luizza1, Tewodros Wakie1, Paul H. Evangelista2 and Catherine S. Jarnevich3, (1)Graduate Degree Program in Ecology, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, (2)Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO, (3)Fort Collins Science Center, U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins, CO

Invasive vines: From localized change to regional shifts in the mountains of Central Puerto Rico
Diana Delgado, Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, San Juan, PR, Rafael Arce-Nazario, Computer Science, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, San Juan, PR and Carla Restrepo, Biology, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, San Juan, PR

Invasive vines alter regional carbon budgets in a tropical mountain
Diana Pabon, Department of Biology, University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras, San Juan, PR

Global patterns in the functional traits of invasive, naturalized and native vines
Rachael Gallagher, Macquarie University, North Ryde, Australia

Moderator(s)
Carla Restrepo
University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras
Biology

Organizer(s)
Carla Restrepo
University of Puerto Rico-Rio Piedras
Biology

Co-organizer(s)
Catherine Jarnevich
U.S. Geological Survey
Fort Collins Science Center

Rachael Gallagher
Macquarie University


Microbial growth efficiency: Perspectives on the fate of metabolized organic carbon in a changing world
Session description:
Defining and measuring microbial growth efficiency (MGE; the proportion of carbon directed towards biosynthesis during microbial metabolism) is a difficult challenge faced by ecologists and ecological modelers alike. Our current understanding of this variable has been constructed from numerous approaches (e.g., thermodynamic, metabolic, ecological, mathematical) that have contributed valuable, yet largely unstandardized, information. Because efficiency estimates have the potential to tip the delicate balance between ecosystem-level sequestration and net production of carbon, in environments already facing intense climatic forcing due to enhanced CO2 concentrations, it is both timely and necessary that the ecological community strive for an integrated conceptual understanding and a coordinated methodological approach to quantifying MGE and its sensitivity to change. We suggest MGE to be an integrative measure of diverse microbial assemblages in a complex environment. As such, existing techniques (e.g., 13/14C uptake, radiorespirometry) produce approximations of MGE (i.e. ‘carbon use efficiency’) inherently limited by various methodological assumptions, such as the time frame of analysis and whether labeled substrate metabolism mimics utilization of native soil organic matter. Recognizing these limitations will help to explain the range of MGE estimates regularly published and may be critical to the development of more robust measures. The response of growth efficiency to changing environmental (e.g. temperature, nutrient availability, carbon substrate diversity), physiological (e.g. growth rate, acclimation) and community (e.g. r vs. K strategist) parameters is also of primary importance. The goal of this session is to review the current state of inquiry surrounding growth efficiency among a diverse audience of researchers actively using this measure to inform a variety of topics. Specifically, we will cover 1) new and traditional methods for estimating MGE and their inherent advantages/disadvantages for addressing specific questions, 2) existing terminology used in MGE research and efforts towards a universal, integrated conceptual framework, 3) the response of MGE to stressors expected to either directly or indirectly (e.g., through an influence on community or biogeochemical properties) affect efficiency, 4) the sensitivity to MGE of model projections for future scenarios of carbon cycling, and 5) future directions for examining MGE that provide direct and immediate insights towards mitigation of human-induced environmental change.

Unifying concepts for defining and quantifying measures of growth efficiency
Kevin M. Geyer, Natural Resources & the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Bacterial growth efficiency and the fate of terrestrial carbon resources in aquatic ecosystems
Mario E. Muscarella, Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Emerging techniques for estimating microbial growth rates in soils
Steve Blazewicz, Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, Livermore, CA

Distinguishing between high growth efficiency and C storage in response to substrate addition using position-specific 13C labeled glucose
Paul Dijkstra, Department of Biological Sciences, Northern Arizona University, Flagstaff, AZ

Ecological stoichiometry and the constraints on microbial community organization
Robert Sinsabaugh, Biology Department, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Assessing carbon use efficiency at multiple levels of system complexity
Emily Kyker-Snowman, Natural Resources & the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Implications of representing microbial physiology in soil C projections across scales
Will R. Wieder, TSS / CGD, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, CO

Moderator(s)
Serita D. Frey
University of New Hampshire
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

Organizer(s)
Kevin M. Geyer
University of New Hampshire
Natural Resources & the Environment

Co-organizer(s)
Serita D. Frey
University of New Hampshire
Department of Natural Resources and the Environment

A. Stuart Grandy
University of New Hampshire
Natural Resources


Models and Mechanisms of Fungal Disease
Session description:
Fungal diseases play critical roles in structuring natural communities, and can have devastating impacts on important ecological, economic, or cultural resources as well as human health. Emerging fungal and fungal-like pathogens such as white-nose syndrome (WNS) in bats, amphibian chytridiomycosis (Bd), and sudden oak death (SOD) share common patterns of rapid spread and mass mortality in hosts. These fungal pathogens may also share common physiological and epidemiological mechanisms that account for their dynamics and strong effects on host populations. These mechanisms include spore accumulation, host generality, and persistence in the environment. Recent advances in understanding fungal disease have emerged from observational, experimental and modeling studies of outbreaks of disease as well as study of native fungi and model fungal disease systems. In this session, we aim to synthesize these advances by highlighting both commonalities and unique, biologically driven, differences among systems. Talks in this session will feature new research on the mechanisms of disease spread, host mortality, and host-pathogen dynamics in fungal epidemics.

Combining models of transmission and pathogen growth to determine drivers of white-nose syndrome dynamics
Kate E. Langwig, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

Habitat, hosts, and fungus in the field: Regulators of Metschnikowia epidemics in natural zooplankton communities
Alex T. Strauss, Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Dispersal of fungal plant pathogens: ecology and models
Christopher C. Mundt, Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

Co-evolutionary dynamics of chytrid fungus and amphibian hosts
Cheryl J. Briggs, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution & Marine Biology, University of California, Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

Dispersal, colonization, and ecological interactions of mycorrhizal fungi
Kabir G. Peay, Department of Biology, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Comparative dynamics of spore-driven disease models
Noam Ross, Environmental Science and Policy, UC Davis, Davis, CA

Heterobasidion population genetics: competition and colonization of a re-emerging destructive forest pathogen
Matteo Garbelotto, Espm, U.C. Berkeley Forest Pathology and Mycology Laboratory, Berkeley, CA

Ecology of Coccidioides immitis: Challenges to detecting a fungal human pathogen in soil
Antje Lauer, Department of Biology, CSU Bakersfield, Bakerfield, CA

Moderator: Richard C. Cobb, University of Califorina Davis, Department of Plant Pathology

Organizer: Noam Ross, UC Davis, Environmental Science and Policy

Co-organizer(s): Cheryl J. Briggs, University of California, Santa Barbara, Dept. of Ecology, Evolution & Marine Biology; Richard C. Cobb, University of Califorina Davis, Department of Plant Pathology


Molecular Insights into Microbial Feedbacks to Climate
Session description:
Earth’s climate is warming, and this is exacerbated by both biophysical (e.g., albedo) and biogeochemical (e.g., carbon cycle) feedbacks. Microbes are key players in every biogeochemical cycle, regulating greenhouse gas fluxes between ecosystems and the atmosphere. Despite their pivotal role, we know little about how microbes respond to environmental change, and microbial dynamics are only beginning to be represented in ecosystem models. Advances in molecular biological methods combined with field experiments make it possible to identify the microbes that strongly influence the Earth’s biogeochemical cycles critical to climate. These insights are an important first step towards explicit models of relationships between microbes and climate system feedbacks. New genomic approaches hint at what the most abundant organisms are, though their ecological roles are still becoming clear. A better understanding of microbial dynamics is critical for projecting the rate and magnitude of climate change.
As we celebrate ESA’s centennial, we find ourselves at the frontier of climate change, with many projections pointing us towards worst case scenario emissions and nearing a theoretical point of no return in a matter of decades. At the same time, new technologies put us at the frontier of molecular insights, where we are able to sample the information-dense molecular pools with a depth that approaches the depth of diversity present in natural systems. There is a wealth of information in microbial communities in the form of DNA, RNA and proteins, but there are many caveats associated with the extraction, amplification, sequencing, statistical and bioinformatic analysis of natural microbial communities.
In this proposed session, we bring together investigators who are using molecular methods to disentangle the links between microbial communities and ecosystem feedbacks to climate. By bringing together researchers who are interested in these issues, we hope to highlight both the strengths to be drawn on as well as the problems to be solved, or avoided, when using molecular insights to extrapolate microbial feedbacks to climate.

The role of marine bacteria in the formation and flux of climate-relevant gases
Mary Ann Moran, university of Georgia

Metagenomic analysis of oxygen minimum zone viral communities
Elizabeth Dinsdale, San Diego State University

Soil microbial community responses to a decade of warming as revealed by comparative metagenomics
Kostas Konstantinidis, Georgia Institute of Technology

Tackling soil diversity with the assembly of large, complex metagenomes
Adina C. Howe, Iowa State University

Molecular insights into microbial feedbacks to climate in the SPRUCE experiment
Joel E. Kostka, Schools of Biology and Earth & Atmospheric Sciences, Georgia Institute of Technology, Atlanta, GA

Impact of fire on active layer and permafrost microbial communities and metagenomes in an upland Alaskan boreal forest
Neslihan Tas, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

Moderator(s)
Kristen M. DeAngelis
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Organizer(s)
Kristen M. DeAngelis
University of Massachusetts, Amherst

Co-organizer(s)
Kirsten S. Hofmockel
Iowa State University
Ecology, Evolution and Organismal Biology


Native Plant Materials Development Research: Synthesis, Cutting Edge and Use Implications
Session description:
Hundreds of thousands of terrestrial acres are disturbed annually via fire or development. Each year hundreds of thousands of pounds of seed are produced (or collected) and then applied to those areas for restoration or reclamation. Numerous ecological questions and research topics arise given this situation, including the direct evolutionary implications of plant materials research and development over time, as well as the indirect interspecific interactions and cumulative effects of those materials (typically seed) on the systems to which they are applied. This session gives insight into a variety of approaches and philosophies in past, current and future plant materials research & development and use. The massive scale of plant materials use across both public and private lands ensures that these presentations will be of interest to Applied, Evolutionary, Policy, Rangeland, Soil, Population and Agroecology ecologists, among others. We’ll hear a historical perspective to tie to the annual meeting theme, then proceed to current plant materials research, policy and action as per the US Forest Service. Quantified effects of directed selection on genetic diversity in commercially available cultivars will be presented by for grass species. The use by USGS of species distribution models in native plant materials development research will be introduced along with presentation of new results, followed by USFS research into geographic variation in adaptation and the development of population movement guidelines for restoration species. A next presentation will give an overview of the Logan ARS facility’s body of work plus present new results obtained using an empirical trait-based approach to develop ecologically appropriate native plant materials. A following speaker will then contrast agricultural vs. ecological perspectives on plant materials development, while producing new results of several research projects with BLM. Plant materials use effectiveness analyses using Utah Wilderness Restoration Initiative’s project database monitoring results will follow: “Using the past to inform future seed sourcing in the Colorado Plateau”. And we’ll hear results of a new ARS & BLM partnership: “Hitting moving restoration targets: using plant traits and geographic origin to predict population-level climate (high CO2 & temperature) responses”. These presentations alone and en masse will be of broad interest to ecologists concerned with stewardship of earth’s resources, and should include a breadth of perspectives and approaches to plant materials development, use, and effectiveness sufficient to stimulate dynamic discussions.

Native Plant Materials Development Research: Historical Perspective through Today
Vicky Erickson, Region 6, USDA Forest Service, Pendleton, OR

Effect of selection on genetic diversity in native grass species
Kevin Jensen, Forage & Range Research, Agricultural Research Service, Logan, UT

Species Distribution Model Utility in Plant Materials Development
Troy Wood, Colorado Plateau Research Station, U.S. Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ

Geographic variation in adaptation and population movement guidelines in restoration species in the western United States
Holly R. Prendeville, Pacific Northwest Research Station, USFS, Corvallis, OR and Brad St. Clair, Pacific Northwest Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Corvallis, OR

An empirical trait-based approach for the development of ecologically appropriate native plant materials
Thomas Jones, Forage & Range Research, Agricultural Research Service, Logan, UT

Restoring Native Plants: Contrasting Agricultural and Ecological Perspectives
Kristina Hufford, Ecosystem Science & Management, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

Using the past to inform future seed sourcing in the Colorado Plateau
Andrea Kramer, Conservation Science, Chicago Botanic Garden, Glencoe, IL

Hitting moving restoration targets: Using plant traits and geographic origin to predict population-level climate (CO2 & Temperature) responses
Dana Blumenthal, USDA-ARS, Rangeland Resources Research Unit, Cheyenne, WY

Moderator(s)
Adrienne Pilmanis
BLM

Organizer(s)
Adrienne Pilmanis
BLM


New perspectives for Ecology during the Anthropocene: new paradigms, technologies and collaborations
Session description:
We are living in the Anthropocene, an era where human activities have strong influences on Earth systems, and where anthropogenic biomes, fragmented landscapes, and the use of nature to provide services and good for humans is increasingly the norm.. The human population continues to increas, as do associated factors such as anthropogenic climate change and globalized dispersal of organisms. As a result we are now sailing into uncharted territory, where most terrestrial and aquatic systems are simultaneously embedded within a human-dominated landscape, and are being shaped directly or indirectly by human activities. In this new scenario, the influence human has shifted from a “minor disturbance” to a major force re-shaping almost every ecological pattern and process around the world. As human-dominated systems become the new norm, ecologists need to understand how populations, species, communities, and ecosystems will respond to these rapid and massive human-driven changes in the environment and ecological dynamics. Only by doing so will we be able to accurately forecast the future of biodiversity and ecosystem services and guide landscape and conservation management over the coming decades. The symposium will begin with a synthetic overview of how Anthropocene dynamics are imposing unintentional re-design of nature (Laura López Hoffman), generating new human-environment-species associations (Maria Dornelas) and driving the ongoing worldwide extinction crisis. We would then have a series of talks describing approaches by which ecology could quantify, understand and incorporate the effects of human activities on ecological systems. These talks would specifically focus on the use of new technologies (e.g., remote sensing; Erle Ellis), interdisciplinary perspectives (e.g., economist and anthropologists as partners to understand the relevance of the marketplace, environmental perceptions, and policy; Ida Kubiszewski), and unplanned global biodiversity experiments (e.g., exotic species and novel ecosystems; Ingrid Parker) as ways both to measure ecological changes in the Anthropocene and rethink ecological research strategies to understand the dynamics of novel, globally connected, and continuously changing ecosystems. The symposium will conclude with a talk summarizing the importance of framing policy and community engagement with the Anthropocene in mind and how ecological research should focus on understanding how anthropogenic ecosystems are formed, operate, and are expected to change under the current rates of biotic homogenization and major changes in land-use and climate (J-C Svenning).

Citizen-science data provides new insight into annual and seasonal variation in migration patterns
Sarah R. Supp, Geography, University of Wisconsin – Madison

Citizens, sensors, drones and networks: new methods for observing and interacting with ecological change in the Anthropocene
Erle Ellis, Department of Geography & Environmental Systems, University of Maryland, Baltimore County, Baltimore, MD

Conservation Planning in the Anthropocene: Reconciling Biodiversity Needs with Philanthropic Constraints
Eric R. Larson, Shedd Aquarium, Chicago, IL

Ecological dynamics across time and space: Novel ecosystems in the Anthropocene
Lauren M. Hallett, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Ecosystem services in the context of Anthropocene
Laura López Hoffman, School of Natural Resources and Udall Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson

Expert views on controversial options for biodiversity conservation in the Anthropocene
Shannon M. Hagerman, Faculty of Forestry, University of British Columbia

New human-environment-species associations in the context of Anthropocene
Jenny L. McCune, University of Guelph, Guelph, ON, Canada

Rethinking ecology for the Anthropocene
Jens-Christian Svenning, Department of Bioscience, Aarhus University, Aarhus C, Denmark

Moderator(s)
Alejandro Ordonez
Aarhus University
Department of Bioscience – Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity

Organizer(s)
Alejandro Ordonez
Aarhus University
Department of Bioscience – Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity

Co-organizer(s)
Jens-Christian Svenning
Aarhus University
Department of Bioscience


Paleoecological patterns, ecological processes, modeled scenarios: Crossing scales to understand an uncertain future
Session description:
Ecological models have become increasingly complex making it imperative to constrain them with long term ecological data. The fusion of modern data, long-term ecological records, and statistical modeling presents researchers with novel frameworks to improve our understanding of the past, the present and the future, but achieving these advances also presents significant challenges. Extending ecological data-model fusion across temporal scales requires that we accept the limitations of each data set. Modern datasets are often highly resolved spatially and taxonomically, but often lack the temporal extent to capture ‘slow’ processes such as succession. Historical datasets are often incomplete snapshots – a glimpse into past states of ecosystems – but were often collected for purposes other than scientific inquiry. Paleoecological datasets are able to capture processes that operate on long time-scales (succession, migration ,extinction) or occur infrequently (volcanic events, rapid climate change, and mega-droughts), but paleoecological datasets offer lower taxonomic resolution, higher temporal uncertainty, and uneven spatial coverage. Researchers are beginning to use long term datasets to help model future carbon dynamics and understand ecosystem changes under scenarios of global change in a more integrated fashion. Advances in computational and statistical theory present us with new methods to integrate long term ecological data into ecosystem models. These new methods are rapidly being taken up by the ecological community. Data assimilation methods and broader Bayesian approaches are commonly taught in both workshops and as part of the core curriculum for graduate students in ecology programs worldwide. These methods help us constrain uncertainties in modeled results, but themselves require an understanding of the uncertainties inherent in the ecological data. Thus these approaches often require intense collaboration between ecologists specializing in modelling and data collection, statisticians, and, increasingly, computer scientists. Combining paleoecological data with modern datasets presents challenges, but recent conceptual developments leave us poised to integrate paleoecological data into modern ecological analysis in a direct manner, by coupling paleoecological pattern to modern ecological process. Extending the temporal scale of our models and datasets leaves us poised on the edge of an exciting frontier; ecological change as both a temporal and disciplinary continuum, rather than discrete units, binned across sub-disciplinary boundaries defined by time. The 2015 ESA meeting sees the society on the cusp of its second century, the perfect opportunity to look forward with the past.

The time continuum and true long-term ecology
Valentí Rull, Institut Botànic de Barcelona, Barcelona, Spain

Towards Sustainability? Using long-term data to manage ecosystem services
Lindsey Gillson, Botany Department, University of Cape Town, Cape Town, South Africa

A tree-ring perspective on terrestrial carbon dynamics.
Valerie Trouet, Laboratory of Tree Ring Research, University of Arizona, Tuscon, AZ

Temporal scaling of biogeochemistry across millennia: integrating neo- and paleo-ecological approaches
Kendra K. McLauchlan, Geography, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS

From pollen to carbon: Tying vegetation change to land use and global change using Bayesian approaches
Simon J Goring, Geography, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Reconciling uncertainty in long term data and uncertainty in long-term projections from models
Jason McLachlan, Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame, Notre Dame, IN

Unprecedented burning, legacy effects, and implications for carbon losses for the boreal-forest biome
Feng Sheng Hu, Department of Plant Biology and Program in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

Assessment of modeled forest dynamics from 850 to present: improving future projections by modeling the past
Christy Rollinson, Department of Earth & Environment, Boston University, Boston, MA

Moderator(s)
John W. (Jack) Williams
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Geography

Organizer(s)
Simon J Goring
University of Wisconsin
Geography

Co-organizer(s)
John W. (Jack) Williams
University of Wisconsin, Madison
Geography

Andrea Dawson
University of California – Berkeley
Statistics

Michael Dietze
Boston University
Earth and Environment

Amy E. Hessl
West Virginia University
Geology and Geography


Parasites in trophic networks: complex life cycles, coinfection dynamics, and community structure
Session description:
The majority of trophic interactions in natural systems are parasitic interactions. The dynamical and structuring roles of parasites in ecosystems, both inside individual hosts and within entire ecological communities, have, however, remained elusive. Parasites often exhibit complex life cycles, inherently linking potentially independent components in ecosystems. Parasites also impact their host species through various mechanisms, including increasing host mortality, immunomodulation, causing host castration, and the competitive use of host resources. The first focus places parasites in the center of trophic network structures, while the second focus views parasites as integral actors in internal host dynamics. In both cases, parasites’ roles in trophic network dynamics and structure are of interest ecologically and evolutionarily. Parasites and parasite-host dynamics are at the heart of epidemiology and much of ecology. In this session, we place the ecological implications of parasite-host, within-host, and trophic interactions including parasites in the context of ecosystem dynamics and structure. This session connects the role of parasitism from the level of individual hosts (looking at within-host food webs and co-infection dynamics), to the level of population dynamics, up to the level of entire ecosystems (focusing on food webs including parasites). We explore current insights and future directions regarding how parasites contribute to the ecological and evolutionary dynamics of communities, be it the community of within-host immune cells and parasites, or communities at the level of ecosystems. Aside from promising an extremely interesting discussion on the role of parasites in ecology, this session offers a broad integration of our ecological view on parasites as players in extended networks.

Session Justification:
Host as ecosystem: networks of internal host-parasite interactions
Carrie A. Cizauskas, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Identifying mechanisms driving assembly of parasite communities within hosts
Patrick A. Clay, Department of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Rice University, Houston, TX and Volker H.W. Rudolf, Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, Rice University, Houston, TX

The contributions of infectious agents to diversity, energetics and food web structure across systems
John P. McLaughlin, Ecology, Evolution and Marine Biology, University of California at Santa Barbara, Santa Barbara, CA

The role of Daphnia parasites in host and parasite communities: what are the implications for aquatic trophic networks?
Ellen Decaestecker, Aquatic Biology, KU Leuven Kulak, Leuven, Belgium

Population dynamics of parasites with complex life cycles
Andy P. Dobson, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Empirical patterns in aquatic food webs with parasites
Kevin Lafferty, Marine Science Institute, University of California Santa Barbara

Moderator(s)
Anieke Van Leeuwen
Princeton University
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Organizer(s)
Anieke Van Leeuwen
Princeton University
Department of Ecology & Evolutionary Biology

Co-organizer(s)
Carrie A. Cizauskas
Princeton University
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Andy P. Dobson
Princeton University
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Plant-Soil Feedbacks and Plant Coexistence: Integrating Theoretical Models and Empirical Approaches
Session description:
Feedback between plants and soils are increasingly recognized as a key component of plant community assembly and diversity. Plant-soil feedbacks are often strongly negative, which could enhance coexistence between plant species and thus increase diversity. Across ecosystems, feedback can vary between plant functional groups and with abiotic conditions, such as soil nutrients and climate. At the local scale, feedback strengths are often correlated with natural relative abundances of co-occurring plant species in a community. While recent work suggests that plant-soil feedback could be a strong driver in plant species coexistence, a mechanistic understanding of this process across taxonomic and spatial scales is lacking. Evaluating the relative importance of plant-soil feedback compared to other community drivers in facilitating plant community coexistence and diversity is now one of the new frontiers of ecological research, largely aided by the rapid development of molecular tools to study microbial communities. However, the generality of the magnitude and drivers of plant-soil feedback across ecosystems is unknown. As with any emerging field, there is a diversity of empirical approaches and wide-ranging theoretical extensions that could benefit from integration. This session aims to bring together early-career and established scientists in the area to exchange cutting-edge results, spark new dialogue, and facilitate effective experimental design to test theory, as well as evidence-informed development of new theoretical directions. This session is organized to present perspectives linking a variety of mechanisms through which plant-soil feedbacks mediate plant species coexistence and community diversity. These perspectives first investigate basic coexistence criteria such as mutual invasibility and intra/interspecific competition and explore mechanisms driving these patterns. The session then extends this perspective to implications for above-belowground interactions, within and between species variation, and exotic plant invasions. Finally, the influence of climate on plant soil feedback is addressed. Overall, this session will link cutting edge empirical and theoretical research on both the biotic and abiotic drivers of plant-soil feedback with plant coexistence across ecosystems.

Soil microbial dynamics and plant species coexistence: theory and test
James D. Bever, Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Potential drivers of mutual invasibility in Rumex congeners.
Jean H. Burns, Department of Biology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Plant-soil feedbacks and long-term coexistence dynamics in the field
Y. Anny Chung, Biology, University of New Mexico, Albuquerque, NM

Trophic dynamics modify plant-soil feedbacks: Old-field herbivory shifts mycorrhizae parasitism to mutualism
Thomas H. Pendergast IV, University of South Carolina

Ecological consequence of variation in intraspecific plant-soil feedbacks
Cameron Wagg, Institute of Evolutionary Biology and Environmental Studies, University of Zurich, Zürich, Switzerland

Ecosystem functioning of plant communities differing in phylogenetic relatedness: Testing the role of plant-soil feedbacks
Scott A. Mangan, Biology, Washington University in St. Louis

Is coexistence between M. vimineum and natives dependent on invasion history of the soil?
Chelsea E. Cunard, Plant Biology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Context-dependency in plant-soil feedbacks: Environment matters
Lauren M. Smith, Forestry & Environmental Studies, Yale University

Moderator: Stephanie N. Kivlin, University of Texas at Austin, Integrative Biology

Organizer: Y. Anny Chung, University of New Mexico, Biology

Co-organizer(s): Jean H. Burns, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Biology


Population Stabilization and Planetary Stewardship: Making Up For Lost Time
Session description:
Good stewardship of the planet requires guaranteeing the survival and health of remaining wildlife and natural ecosystems and repairing past damage to nature where possible, while improving people’s quality of life and standard of living. Such stewardship requires both a lowering of human numbers in all nations and a reduction in per capita rates of consumption and waste production especially in developed nations. Scientific and environmental communities have focused in recent decades very strongly on consumption and waste production issues at the local, regional and national scales. This is appropriate as those are the levels at which policy formation and political action is pragmatically possible. The issue of human population density and growth has in contrast been little discussed in ESA venues and then mostly as a global or third world problem. But as Garrett Hardin said in a 1989 essay, “We are not faced with a single global population problem but, rather, with about 180 separate national population problems.” The number of nations is now 196. Solving global overpopulation will require wise but different population policies in the majority of these nations soon. There is no international political body working on some “wise” global population policy to be imposed on individual nations. Development and implementation of population policies are not officially a part of ecologists’ or ESA’s “job description.” But ecologists have long been documenting the ecological damage done by expanding human populations. So we are at least as well qualified to discuss these matters as are those who in fact have long been driving population policies in most nations – the chambers of commerce, neoclassical and cornucopian economists, politicians, and religious factions. The talks in this symposium will discuss the obligations of scientists in these matters, population-environment relations and population policies in four developed nations, and one of the most successful programs for bringing about attitudinal changes toward family planning in developing countries. This symposium has been planned in conjunction with another that is being proposed: “Ecological Economics and Planetary Stewardship: Making Up for Lost Time.” They can be reviewed jointly or separately. Three former ESA presidents who had, with 37 other ESA members, encouraged adoption of these topics as the themes for the whole 2015 meeting also strongly endorse the offering of both of these “Making Up for Lost Time” symposia.

Population: The elephant in the room and the silence of the scientists
Paul R. Ehrlich, Biological Sciences, Stanford University, Stanford, CA

Big, cold and full: Population politics and the environment in Canada
Madeline Weld, Population Institute of Canada, Ottawa, ON, Canada and David W. Schindler, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Alberta, Edmondton, AB, Canada

Big, dry and full: Population politics and the environment in Australia
Jenny Goldie, Sustainable Population Australia, Canberra, Australia, Weston Creek ACT, Australia

Population policies and population-environment relations in Israel
Daniel Orenstein, Faculty of Architechture and Town Planning, Technion-Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel

Growing, Growing, Gone: Chesapeake Bay and the Myths of Endless Growth
Tom Horton, Salisbury University

1970-2050: The battle to keep Raleigh from bumping into Atlanta
Roy Beck, NumbersUSA, Washington, DC

Why wait for the demographic transition? Changing attitudes and empowering women via entertainment mass media
William Ryerson, Population Media Center, Shelburne, VT

What does a right to have kids really look like?
Carter Dillard, Animal Legal Defense Fund, Colati, CA

Moderator(s): William H. Schlesinger, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Organizer(s): Karin E. Limburg, SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, Environmental Forest Biology

Co-organizer(s)z: Jonathan J. Cole, Cary Institute for Ecosystem Studies


Predicting Range Shifts in Response to Ongoing Environmental Change Using Dynamic Modelling Approaches
Session description:
Ecologists are frequently interested in understanding what limits the current distributions of species and predicting changes in these geographic distributions in response to environmental change, especially species invasions, habitat modification and climate change. To date, the majority of studies have relied on techniques that link environmental covariates to the observed distribution of one or more species at a single time point (i.e., static species distribution models). Increasingly techniques are being developed to model the processes that determine species distributions – factors such as colonization, dispersal, local extinction, and local population growth rates based on occurrence or count data. These techniques are less dependent on equilibrium assumptions and better suited for predicting the speed at which ranges shift in response to changing environmental conditions. In this session we seek to provide an overview of dynamic species distribution models and their application to specific case studies. In particular, we will show how factors such as species interactions, disease dynamics, climate change, and habitat dynamics have been incorporated into these approaches and how these approaches can be used to directly inform management decisions. Talks will cover a wide-range of approaches, including simple discrete Markov-chain models of species occurrence (i.e., dynamic occupancy models) to integrated modeling approaches that combine both count and demographic data to model population dynamics. The symposium will serve as a general overview of options for researchers interested in applying these approaches.

Interspecific interactions and transient dynamics – implications for dynamic and “niche-based modelling”
Charles B. Yackulic, Southwest Biological Science Center, US Geological Survey, Flagstaff, AZ

On the need for dynamic modeling for prediction and conservation decision-making
James D. Nichols, USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center

Hosts, pathogens, and reservoirs: using occupancy models to make inference in disease systems
Brittany Mosher, Colorado State University

Predicting among species variation in amphibian responses to climate change from dynamic hierarchical occurrence models
David Miller, Department of Ecosystem Science and Management, Penn State University

Predicting within range variation in responses of wood frogs to annual variation in weather using integrated population models
Staci Amburgey, Inter-Departmental Graduate Program in Ecology, Penn State University

Integrated population models for predicting spatial and temporal dynamics at range margins
Richard Chandler, University of Georgia

Linking demography and distribution: Forecasting range shifts in eastern US forests
Corey Merow, Quantitative Ecology Group, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Edgewater, MD

Understanding spring and summer climate impacts on monarch butterflies across the Midwestern United States using integrated population models
Sarah Saunders, Michigan State University

Moderator(s)
Evan H. Campbell Grant
US Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, SO Conte Anadromous Fish Laboratory

Organizer(s)
Charles B. Yackulic
US Geological Survey
Southwest Biological Science Center

Co-organizer(s)
David Miller
Penn State University
Department of Ecosystem Science and Management

Evan H. Campbell Grant
US Geological Survey, Patuxent Wildlife Research Center, SO Conte Anadromous Fish Laboratory


Putting Agroecology to Work: From Science to Practice and Policy
Session description:
Agroecology integrates the relationships among ecosystems, our economy, and society to address the needs of people and the planet today and in the future. The scope of agroecological research continues to grow and evolve as scientists, farmers, ranchers, policy makers, and others identify solutions to environmental and agricultural challenges, but run up against social and economic barriers. As we move into the next centennial, science suggests that cutting-edge agroecological research will continue to be a critical source of solutions to problems related to climate change, ecosystem services, biodiversity conservation, population growth, and food security. For example, agroecological practices can help us to grow the food that we need in the face of a burgeoning population in conjunction with increasing drought, flooding, and temperature extremes. It is noteworthy that agroecological research has demonstrated great promise despite being significantly underfunded and maintaining a low profile; private investment unsurprisingly tends to go towards research leading to economic returns (seeds, chemicals, services) while institutions capable of conducting high risk research in the public interest have experienced significant budget cuts (typically government research programs and public agricultural research institutions). Considering both the constraints and potential, it is clear that the long-term success of agroecological solutions will rely heavily on the transfer of scientific research into practice via continued – and ideally enhanced – public support; engagement with farmers, ranchers, and land managers; and implementation of effective practices and policies. The objective of this session is to bring together a range of ecologists, policy advocates, and other stakeholders to share knowledge and ideas that can help to pave the way towards a sustainable future. The session will feature both established and early-career scientists working in urban and rural, and national and international environments. Compelling new research will highlight working models for collaborative and solutions-oriented agroecological research. Case studies will be used as a platform to discuss obstacles related to this genre of research, including available funding sources, cultural constraints, and existing policies that are prohibiting the expansion of agroecological practices. The session will be moderated to ensure that each talk speaks to both the challenges and opportunities in expanding agroecological research and practice.

How do yields from agroecological systems actually compare to conventional practices?
Lauren Ponisio, Environmental Sciences, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, CA and Claire Kremen, Environmental Science, Policy and Management, University of California, Berkeley, Berkeley, CA

Designing agroecological systems for resilience to climate change
Miguel Altieri, ESPM, Univeristy of California Berkeley, CA

The new “three-legged stool”: Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, and Food Justice
M. Jahi Chappell, Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy and Mindi Schneider, Agrarian, Food and Environmental Studies, International Institute of Social Studies, The Hague, Netherlands

Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, and Food Security: Lessons from Malawi
Rachel N. Bezner-Kerr, Development Sociology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY and Sieglinde Snapp, Plant, Soil, and Microbial Science – Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners, MI

Greening the African Green Revolution: Exploring agroecological transitions in East Africa
Katherine Tully, Plant Science & Landscape Architecture, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Can biochar reduce nitrogen pollution from poultry manure? Assessing biochar’s biogeochemical fate and policy opportunities in the Chesapeake Bay Watershed
Rebecca Ryals, Institute for the Study of the Environment and Society, Brown University, Providence, RI

Is agroecology on the USDA Radar? The Chesapeake Bay, a case study
Mari-Vaughn V. Johnson, Resource Assessment Division, USDA-NRCS, Temple, TX

Monarchs and Monocultures: Challenges of science and policy in the Corn Belt and beyond
Doug Gurian-Sherman, Center for Food Safety, Washington, DC

Moderator(s)
Ricardo Salvador
Union of Concerned Scientists

Organizer(s)
Marcia S. DeLonge
Union of Concerned Scientists
Food & Environment Program

Co-organizer(s)
Doug Gurian-Sherman
Center for Food Safety

Mari-Vaughn V. Johnson
USDA-NRCS
Resource Assessment Division

John E. Quinn
Furman University
Biology

Esteli Jimenez-Soto
University of California, Santa Cruz
Environmental Studies


Research Frontiers in Ecological Stoichiometry
Session description:
One of the core issues in ecology is to understand the underlying mechanisms that shape the structure and functioning of ecological systems from genes to ecosystems. Traditional approaches to understanding natural systems have relied on separate conceptual frameworks, such as evolutionary biology, community ecology or ecosystem ecology. Our ability to understand, predict, and mitigate the impacts of human activities on biodiversity and ecosystem functioning will depend in part on the integration of these approaches into a framework that builds from individuals to ecosystems. Ecological stoichiometry (ES), the study of the balance of energy and multiple chemical elements in living systems, has provided a framework for accomplishing integration across divergent areas of ecology. The premises of this conceptual framework are grounded in basic principles of biology, chemistry, and physics that govern the organization and functioning of all living systems. Three decades of ES have improved a mechanistic understanding of a variety of ecological processes including individual growth, population dynamics, trophic interactions, and the functioning of ecosystems. ES continues expanding its domain by applying its principles to emerging biological phenomena, including stoichiometric constraints on eco-evolutionary dynamics, macrophysiology, and coupled natural and human systems. Speakers in this Organized Oral Session will contribute perspectives to studying how stoichiometric constraints shape ecological and evolutionary processes acting on individual traits, which in turn affect community structure and ecosystem function. They will explore conceptual progresses and accomplishments, and discuss new directions in both theory and research for ES. The program of this Organized Oral Session combines the presentation of theoretical and empirical research on ecological stoichiometry, from small-scale experimental manipulations to larger-scale patterns and processes. This session takes an important step forward in our efforts to understand the role of elemental constraints on the diversity, structure and functioning of ecological systems in a changing world.

Nutritional indicators and ecological stoichiometry
Paul C. Frost, Biology, Trent University, Peterborough, ON, Canada

Bacterial homeostasis and the meaning of life
James B. Cotner, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Minnesota – Twin Cities, St. Paul, MN

Examining the evolution of sexual traits from an elemental perspective
Jared Goos, Department of Integrative Biology, Oklahoma State University, OK

Modeling the effects of co-occurring nutrient and contaminant stressors in aquatic systems
Angie Peace, NIMBioS, Knoxville, TN

Using soil enzymatic stoichiometry to understand ecosystem nutrient limitation
Jared L. DeForest, Ohio University, Athens, OH

Timescales of nutrient physiology and ecosystem stoichiometry
Jim Heffernan, Nicholas School of the Environment, Duke University, Durham, NC

Global patterns of invertebrate N and P content in relation to temperature and latitude
Angélica L. González, Biology, Rutgers University, New Jersey, PA

Consumer-driven nutrient cycling across environmental gradients
Amanda Rugenski, Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Moderator(s)
Jessica R. Corman
Arizona State University
School of Life Sciences

Organizer(s)
Angélica L. González
Rutgers University
Biology


Resilience to Climate Change using Traditional Ecological Knowledge and Western Science
Session description:
Indigenous cultures that persist have demonstrated their resilience to environmental changes over millennia. Lessons about resilience from indigenous peoples thus offer insight as we develop approaches for understanding and adapting to climate change. Indigenous resilience has often been associated with (a) a deep knowledge of, and respect for, ecological systems, (b) recognition of the relationship between ecological and human well-being, (c) flexibility in the use of natural resources, and (d) institutional mechanisms that are responsive to variability in ecological and human systems. In the present session, these attributes are explored as they relate to the four constituents of ancient cosmologies— air, earth, fire, and water—and integrated with western scientific knowledge systems. In whole, the session seeks to identify lessons about resilience for land management that can be learned from traditional ecological knowledge and scientific research.

Resilience as an integrating framework: indigenous mechanisms that foster ecological-social health in the face of environmental change
Brenda G. Bergman, School of Forest Resources and Environmental Science, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI

Climate change and indigenous traditional food ways
Enrique Salmon, Department of Ethnic Studies, California State University, East Bay, Hayward, CA

Traditional knowledge systems: wild harvesting of soil-based resources
Frank K. Lake, U.S. Forest Service, Pacific SW, Orleans, CA

Local knowledge improves national fire mapping: a case of the Confederated Salish and Kootenai tribes
Laurel James, University of Washington

Every precious drop: traditional management of wetlands, wadis, and water
Michelle L. Stevens, Environmental Studies, CSUS, Sacramento, CA

How principles of indigenous economics support resilience
Ronald L. Trosper, American Indian Studies, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Moderator(s): Susan Hummel, USDA Forest Service, PNW Research Station, Portland Forestry Sciences Lab

Organizer(s): Susan Hummel, USDA Forest Service, PNW Research Station, Portland Forestry Sciences Lab

Co-organizer(s): Michelle L. Stevens, CSUS, Environmental Studies

Rewetting Dry Soil: The Century’s Unifying Problem In Soil Microbial Ecology
Session description:
A pulse of carbon dioxide (CO2) is released when water is added to dry soils. These pulses may have profound ecological importance and can dominate the annual heterotrophic respiration of terrestrial ecosystems. This phenomenon was already observed about a century ago, and has been termed the ‘Birch effect’ after one of its first observers. Pulses of CO2 are often assumed to be microbial mediated. However, a century of work shows that the connection between the CO2 pulse released when rewetting a dry soil and the microbial decomposers require a more nuanced explanation. Here, we will consider the microbial dynamics and strategies to describe the ecosystem response to drying-rewetting events. The explosive dynamics of the rewetting pulse creates an excellent arena for elucidating the microbial mechanisms that can characterize ecosystem biogeochemistry and capture temporal dynamics driving ecosystem processes. In addition, the microbial dynamics and strategies during drying-rewetting will become more relevant as the climate continues to change, creating more frequent and extreme fluctuations in rainfall patterns. Our session will synthesize current knowledge on the causes for the respiration pulse upon rewetting a dry soil and highlight fruitful avenues for future research. The session starts with an introduction to define the current state-of-the-art understanding of the microbial control of the rewetting pulse. After this, a series of research frontier case studies will offer results and insights from soil ecology, microbial ecology and biogeochemistry. The last presentation will identify the knowns and unknowns in models to account for the microbial control of the respiration pulse upon rewetting. We hope to stimulate an ongoing discussion about how our continued efforts to address one of the most prominent drivers of soil microbes, soil moisture, can elucidate the links between their temporal dynamics and functioning and will lead soil microbial ecology into the new century.

Microbial control of biogeochemistry upon rewetting a dry soil: how a century of insights have refined our questions and fuelled our understanding
Mary Firestone, University of California, Berkeley, CA

Hypotheses that explain the pulse of biogeochemistry released by rewetting dry soil
Charles Warren, University of Sydney, Sydney, Australia

Physiological response of soil microbes to drying-rewetting
Mark Williams, Virginia Polytechnic and State University, Blacksburg, VA

Microbial growth dynamics underlying the respiration pulse when rewetting dry soil
Annelein Meisner, Microbial Ecology, Lund University, Lund, Sweden

Resuscitation of the rare biosphere contributes to the pulse of ecosystem activity upon rewetting
Zachary T. Aanderud, Plant and Wildlife Sciences, Brigham Young University, Provo, UT

Wet-up response of the microbial community shaped by soil dry-down patterns
Romain Barnard, INRA, Dijon Cedex, France

Soil microbial strategies to cope with drying and rewetting
Sarah E. Evans, Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners, MI

Scaling-up: Knowns and unknowns in models to capture microbial responses to drying and rewetting
Steven D. Allison, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology/Earth System Science, University of California, Irvine, CA

Moderator(s): Johannes Rousk, Lund University, Microbial Ecology

Organizer(s): Annelein Meisner, Lund University, Microbial Ecology

Co-organizer(s): Johannes Rousk, Lund University, Microbial Ecology


Road Ecology - Moving Forward
Session description:
The road network continues to expand, and traffic volumes continue to increase. Roads have been implicated in negative effects on ecosystem function and biodiversity, and these effects are only likely to increase. It is critical that researchers and managers understand the impacts of roads and how best to mitigate them. Early studies on the ways that roads and traffic impacted the natural world focused on animals: how many and what types were being killed, and how their dispersal was being limited. The work was largely focused on large mammals, driven by the economic costs of vehicle-wildlife collisions. Recent work still addresses these questions, but the scope and techniques used have dramatically expanded. Our objective with this session is to highlight some of these advances, and point to new ways forward in road ecology. Studies now address how roads impact the populations of all types of taxa, from insects to frogs to moose. The locations of “roadkill hotspots” and important habitat features associated with them are identified, and wildlife crossing structures are being installed in these locations. The crossing structures are monitored to evaluate their effectiveness at mitigation. Molecular techniques are expanding our ability to detect impacts on genetic diversity and gene flow. We are also looking beyond the pavement, with studies on how frogs and birds adjust their calls in response to road noise, and deal with the stress created by dealing with road noise. Some populations are even evolving in response to the new environment created by roads and road pollution. Roads can also act as dispersal corridors, sometime allowing invasive species to spread. We believe that this diverse collection of talks will help guide the continued expansion and increasing sophistication of road ecology. Researchers and managers alike should leave with new questions and new techniques to apply in their practices.

Examining patterns of animal-vehicle accidents in Alabama, USA
Xiongwen Chen, Biological and Environmental Sciences, Alabama A&M University, Normal, AL

Insights into the effects of roads on amphibians from citizen science
Bradley J. Cosentino, Biology, Hobart and William Smith College

Vertebrate road kills in a dry forest of Jalisco, Mexico: is the presence of a Biosphere Reserve important?
Jorge Vega, Estación de Biología Chamela, Instituto de Biología, UNAM, Chamela, Jalisco, Mexico

Why we need to incorporate animal behavior into road ecology: a case history with aquatic turtles
Tom A. Langen, Biology, Clarkson University, Potsdam, NY

Evaluating the Efficacy of Road Crossings
Scott Jackson, Landscape Ecology Program, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA

Promises and perils of molecular techniques to investigate the effects of roads on wildlife
Kevin W. Floyd, Environmental Science and Engineering, University of Texas at El Paso, El Paso, TX

Shifting gears in road ecology: why evolution matters
Steven P. Brady, Dartmouth College

If you build it, they will come: roads facilitate the spread and establishment of invasive plants
Emily Rauschert, Cleveland State University

Moderator(s)
Dane C. Ward
Drexel University
Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Sciences

Organizer(s)
Dane C. Ward
Drexel University
Biodiversity, Earth, and Environmental Sciences

Co-organizer(s)
Kevin W. Floyd
University of Texas at El Paso
Environmental Science and Engineering


Scaling Microbial Functions from Molecule to the Globe: Integrated Experiment-Model Approaches
Session description:
Soil carbon (C) is the largest organic C pool in terrestrial biosphere and soil responses to climate change represent a major portion of uncertainty in global carbon cycle. Microbial communities are the primary drivers of soil organic matter (SOM) decomposition and thus accounting for the response of soil microbial communities to environmental parameters in Earth system models hold promise for improving predictions of climate effects on soil decomposition, yet the regulatory mechanisms governing microbial processes remain a major gap in understanding soil responses to climate change. Field and laboratory experiments have been deployed across a wide range of ecosystems and advanced our mechanistic understanding of microbial regulation of soil decay. Extracellular enzymes produced by microbes are responsible for the degradation of complex organic C that is ultimately taken up by microbial biomass and released to the atmosphere as CO2. In contrast to the assumptions of conventional first-order decomposition models, SOM decomposition rates depend on not only the size of the soil C pool but also on the size and composition of the decomposer microbe pool. As climate changes, soil carbon stocks will likely depend on sequestration and loss pathways regulated by microbial physiology, and first-order models may have difficulty simulating climate responses over short time scales. Yet even with recent integration of microbial components in global models, nearly 50% of the spatial variation in global soil C stocks is still unexplained. Therefore, identifying accurate and simple models at microbial to large spatial scales is essential for improving global soil models. A data-model integration approach could help facilitate both experimental investigation and modeling representation of microbial processes to simulate soil-climate interactions and feedbacks. Our session invites papers that address this topic by employing field and laboratory experiments, modeling analysis, data synthesis and assimilation approaches at the molecular, community, ecosystem, regional to global scales.

Modeling microsite processes for gigatons of soil carbon
Eric A. Davidson, The Woods Hole Research Center, Massachusetts

Incorporating microbial function into models from the point scale to the global scale
Melanie A. Mayes, bEnvironmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Does including explicit microbial dynamics into soil carbon cycle models improve their performance?
Oleksandra Koval, Canadian Forest Service

Scaling up microbial mechanisms from molecule to global scale: Data guide models or models inspire experiments?
Xiaofeng Xu, University of Texas-El Paso

Soil Carbon and Nitrogen Mineralization with Flexible Soil and Microbial C:N Ratios
Gangsheng Wang, Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Boreal forest soil carbon losses do not appear balanced by inputs along a latitudinal gradient
Susan Ziegler, Earth Science, Memorial University, St. John’s, NF, Canada

Integrating data and experiments with new models to understand soil organic matter responses to changes in plant communities
A. Stuart Grandy, Natural Resources, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Feedback Responses of Soil Microbial Communities to Climate Warming
Jizhong Zhou, Department of Botany and Microbiology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Moderator: Jianwei Li, Tennessee State University, Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Organizer: Jianwei Li, Tennessee State University, Department of Agriculture and Environmental Sciences

Co-organizer(s): Steven D. Allison, University of California, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology/Earth System Science; Yiqi Luo, University of Oklahoma, Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology


Science at the Frontier of Understanding 'Natural Infrastructure': Societal Benefits of Healthy Coastal Ecosystems
Session description:
This session will focus on the many, varied benefits that healthy coastal ecosystems provide to people. This represents science at the frontier of the intersection of ecological and social science where multidisciplinary science is important for a full understanding of ecosystem services provided by coastal ecosystems. These services include climate mitigation benefits (carbon sequestration and storage), climate adaptation benefits (such as storm and erosion protection benefits), nutrient cycling, fishery support, and more. This session will discuss both the ecological functions and processes that provide these benefits to people, the valuation of these services, and some of the current or emerging opportunities to include these benefits in policy and decision making that could result in more coastal ecosystem conservation and help to make coastal communities more resilient in the face of climate change.

Valuation of ecosystem services provided by coastal habitats in the Gulf of Mexico: approach, application, and relevance
Cristina Carollo, Texas A&M University Corpus Christi

The Benefits of Healthy Coastal Habitats and their relationship to Fisheries
Peter Edwards, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, MD

Delectable and Beneficial: Interactions between oysters and nutrient dynamics
Ashley Smyth, Virginia Institute of Marine Science

Restoring oyster habitat: measuring ecosystem services and changing the management paradigm
Boze Hancock, Global Marine Team, The Nature Conservancy

Coastal protection by marshes and mangroves: when it works, when it doesn’t
Keryn Gedan, Biology Department, University of Maryland

Incorporating the coastal protection services provided by beaches and dunes into climate change adaptation planning
Peter Ruggiero, College of Earth, Ocean, and Atmospheric Sciences, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

“Blue Carbon” Benefits of Natural Infrastructure: One more reason to love the coast!
Ariana Sutton-Grier, Earth System Science Interdisciplinary Center, University of Maryland and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Silver Spring, MD

Policy Opportunities for Capitalizing on Natural Infrastructure Benefits for Coastal Conservation
Holly Bamford, National Ocean Service, National Oceanic and Atmospherica Administration, Silver Spring, MD

Moderator(s): Amber Moore, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Organizer(s): Ariana Sutton-Grier, University of Maryland and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration

Co-organizer(s): Amber Moore, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration


Seeds of Evolution: Using Resurrection Ecology and the Project Baseline Collection to Understand Responses to Anthropogenic and Natural Change
Session description:
In this session, we will discuss an experimental approach called “resurrection ecology” that provides a rare glimpse into temporal and spatial dimensions of evolution in the wild in response to natural and anthropogenic change. Evolutionary change can be directly observed if ancestors are recoverable or fortuitously available in storage such that they can be revived and compared side-by-side with their contemporary descendants in a common environment. This “resurrection approach” is a powerful way to study evolution and has been applied to propagules that have been recovered naturally (e.g. seeds preserved in frozen tundra soils, dormant eggs in lake sediments) and fortuitously stored by investigators (e.g. seed banks, bacteria). Here we present resurrections studies and introduce a new research seed bank, Project Baseline, that will greatly expand opportunities to conduct resurrection studies in the future. In this first section of this organized session, presenters will discuss the development of resurrection ecology and provide case studies of how this approach has been used to document evolution in action for flowering phenology, competitive ability against an invasive species, and adaptation to a novel environment. Presenters will describe how combining the resurrection approach with quantitative and molecular genetic techniques allows unambiguous documentation of evolutionary change, while also facilitating efforts to dissect underlying mechanisms. In the second section, will focus on current and future studies based on a new seed collection that will accessible to the scientific community, called Project Baseline. This collection provides a well-designed time capsule of seeds that will enable future investigators to document microevolution during a period of rapid environmental change. Project Baseline collections are particularly valuable because they span latitudinal, longitudinal, and elevation gradients for diverse species that occur in different habitats and differ in life history. Collections have also been made from multiple species at the same site to permit future studies of coevolutionary dynamics among community members. We expect that this resource will foster collaborations elucidating evolution in natural populations. The session is conclude with a fundamental problem with resurrection studies which is that surviving propagules are not likely to represent an unbiased sample of the ancestral gene pool. This problem can be minimized if propagules are systematically collected and stored using best practices rather than fortuitously recovered from nature. We will discuss the potential consequences of this issue as it pertains to wild-collected material and how we are studying these effects in the Project Baseline seed bank.

Using resurrection experiments to illuminate multiple dimensions of evolution
Steven J. Franks, Department of Biological Sciences, Fordham University, Bronx, NY

Evolution of wild cereals during 28 years of global warming in Israel
Fu Yong-bi, Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Government of Canada, Saskatoon,, SK, Canada

Evolution of zooplankton in response to the presence of an invasive species
W. Charles Kerfoot, Biological Sciences, Michigan Technological University, Houghton, MI

A resurrection experiment reveals rapid evolution in an experimentally introduced population of Brassica rapa
Michael R. Sekor, Department of Biological Sciences, Fordham University, Bronx, NY

Project Baseline: a new research seed bank for the scientific community that greatly expands opportunities to use the resurrection approach
Julie R. Etterson, Biology, University of Minnesota Duluth, Duluth, MN

Geographic variation as a proxy for climate change: forecasting evolutionary trajectories from population differentiation and genetic covariance
Susan Mazer, University of California-Santa Barbara

Monitoring viablity and genetic diversity in stored seeds
Christina Walters, ARS-PA-NCGRP, USDA, Ft. Collins, CO

The missing fraction
Arthur Weis, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Toronto, Toronto, ON, Canada

Moderator(s): Katharine J. Winkler, University of Minnesota, Biology

Organizer(s): Julie R. Etterson,University of Minnesota Duluth, Biology

Co-organizer(s): Steven J. Franks, Fordham University, Department of Biological Sciences; Susan Mazer, University of California-Santa Barbara


Shifting Dimensions: Temporal Ecology for the Next 100 Years and Beyond
Session description:
Thirty years ago a transformation in ecological thinking was underway, precipitated in part by questions of how anthropogenic habitat loss and fragmentation affected populations, communities, and ecosystems. Addressing these questions required ecologists to work at scales far larger than their traditional plot sizes, statistical methods and theories allowed, and required integrating perspectives and methods from other disciplines (e.g., geography and evolution) to build upon and develop a body of theories (e.g., island biogeography, metapopulation) and concepts (edge effects and corridors). The field of spatial ecology subsequently emerged from this as an integrative, multidisciplinary science adept at developing concepts and theory to address both basic and applied ecological challenges. Alongside the human modification of space and rise of spatial ecology, anthropogenic forces have also shifted the temporal dynamics of many systems. Large-scale human modification of the earth system has impacted the temporal dynamics of many populations and ecosystems via alteration of disturbance cycles (e.g., fire), introduction of exotic species, and even habitat modification itself. Such impacts are especially apparent with climate change, which—from arctic to temperate biomes— has fundamentally altered how organisms experience time. It has also spurred a new body of research and pressed ecology to revisit fundamental questions of how temporal dynamics structure ecological systems. With the increasing availability of long-term data, however, new challenges have arisen. These include creeping timescale issues: population dynamics that appear more complex when examined in longer time series, selection that weakens when integrated over longer periods, as well as shifts in trends, including responses that reverse over time. Yet a unified field of temporal ecology—with robust theory to explain these issues—has yet to emerge. Instead, within and across disciplines, vocabularies have diverged, often producing different terms for similar concepts, highlighting the need for a common interdisciplinary forum. We argue that there is a compelling current need to develop a unified framework for temporal ecology—one that builds on new data and methods and provides a new focus for predicting how shifting environments shape populations, species, communities and ecosystems. Here we offer a starting point by bringing together speakers who have specifically considered the temporal dimension from across the fields of community ecology, evolution, paleoecology, and climate science. Our focus is on important connections with spatial ecology (autocorrelation, scaling) and the unique aspects of time (events and nonstationarity) that could form the basis of a new framework for temporal ecology.

Decades of overfishing could disrupt an ancient mutualism between frugivorous fish and plants in Neotropical wetlands
Sandra Correa, Department of Genetics and Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Origin of C4 grasses over space and time
David Nelson, Center for Environmental Science Appalachian Laboratory, University of Maryland, Frostburg, MD

Space, time, seasonality, and the biological synchrony of marine and terrestrial ecosystems of western North America
Bryan Black, Marine Science Institute, University of Texas at Austin, Port Aransas, TX

Statistical Learning in Palaeoecology to Ecosystem Response to Environmental Change
Gavin Simpson, Biology, University of Regina, Regina, SK, Canada

You can’t go home again: The continuing story of densely forested regions in a non-stationary world
Bryan N. Shuman, Department of Geology and Geophysics, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY

How does routine temporal variation affect responses to climate change? (with co-author Ruth Gates)
Megan J. Donahue, Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, Kaneohe, HI

Evolution of phenotypic plasticity and ecological specialization in temporally varying environments
Nancy C. Emery, Department of Biological Sciences and Department of Botany and Plant Pathology, Purdue University, West Lafayette, IN

Linking space and time: Applications of geohistorical data to time-dependent ecological processes
Simon Brewer, Geography, University of Utah, Salt Lake City, UT

Moderator(s): Kendra K. McLauchlan, Kansas State University, Geography

Organizer(s): Neil Pederson, Harvard Forest

Co-organizer(s): Kendra K. McLauchlan , Kansas State University, Geography


Snapshot Ecology: Inferring Ecosystem Dynamics from a Single Point in Time or Space
Session description:
Understanding ecosystem dynamics, such as transitions between ecosystem states, often requires long time series, or observations over large spatial scales. The availability of this data rapidly becomes a limiting factor for ecologists as time-lengths get longer and/or the areas more remote. We aim to present a variety of approaches that can circumvent this problem, through the inference of ecological transitions through single snapshots in time. “Snapshot data” refers to a (set of) measurement(s) at one particular moment in time. The presented approaches have in common that temporal dynamics are inferred from data that is temporally limited by means of theoretical model frameworks that enable extrapolation to ecologically relevant time frames. Through this synergy between model development and empirical data collection, snapshot ecology provides a means to infer complex ecosystem behavior from limited measurements. With both computational power and the availability of “snapshot data” (e.g. Google Earth) rapidly increasing, there is considerable potential for future application of the approaches presented in this session.

Characterizing sediment retention in crevasses splays in coastal and inland wetland environments on the Mississippi Delta: Implications for delta management in coastal Louisiana
Anjali Fernandes, Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Tulane University, New Orleans, LA

Ecohydrologic feedbacks in peatlands
Lisa Belyea, Queen Mary University of London, England

Fitting ecological process models to spatial patterns
Matteo Detto, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute

Geographical variation in the spatial synchrony of a forest-defoliating insect
Andrew J. Allstadt, Forest and Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin, Madison, WI

Inferences from spatial patterns in the fossil record
Thomas Olszweski, Texas A&M University

Making predictions for ecosystem dynamics
Ethan P. White, Biology, Utah State University, Logan, UT

Spatial patterning reflects invasion velocity for exotic plant species
Maarten Eppinga, Geosciences, Utrecht University

Quantifying ecological memory in plant and ecosystem processes
Kiona Ogle, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Moderator(s)
Danielle L Watts
University of California Berkeley
Geography

Organizer(s)
Danielle L Watts
University of California Berkeley
Geography

Co-organizer(s)
Laurel L. Larsen
UC Berkeley
Geography

Maarten Eppinga
Utrecht University
Geosciences


Soil's Role in Providing and Restoring Ecosystem Services
Session description:
Soils play a critical role in: determining the structure and function of ecosystems, providing ecosystem services critical for human well-being, and in regulating the resilience of these systems to environmental variations as well as human accelerated environmental changes. This symposium will highlight the theoretical advances that have occurred due to the integration of ecology and soil science, the practical applications of these advances in diverse management scenarios (e.g. urban, agriculture, conservation of natural systems), and the necessity of further advancing our understanding of soils in order to mitigate and adapt to a changing climate. By focusing on ecosystem services, the symposium will highlight the importance of soil ecology to human well-being, and highlight the critical scientific principles that need to be integrated into policy and management. This symposium has been developed by the Soil Science Society of America, ESA’s Soil Ecology Section, and ESA’s Science Committee, to celebrate the ESA Centennial, and the United Nation’s 2015 International Year of Soils. Some of the speakers will be sponsored by the Soil Science Society, providing the opportunity to hear perspectives from non-ecologists.

Soils: critical for the understanding of ecological interactions and ecosystem services
Josh Schimel, UC Santa Barbara

Soils as determinants of water quality and quantity
Jan W. Hopmans, Soil Science Society of America President

Soils as the basis for plant production
Lisa Tiemann, Michigan State U

Soils sustain biodiversity
Susan Andrews, National Soil Survey Center

Soils regulate and mitigate climate
Tom Sauer, National Laboratory for Agriculture and the Environment

Soil as the basis for land use decisions
Jeff Herrick, USDA ARS

The contributions of soils to human health
Eric Brevik, Dickinson State U

Influences of soils on culture and society: Celebrating 2015, the International Year of Soils
Melanie Szulczewski, University of Mary Washington

Moderator: David Lindbo, North Carolina State University

Organizer: Jan W. Hopmans, University of California, Davis

Co-organizer(s): Valerie T. Eviner, University of California Davis; Jennifer A. Schweitzer, University of Tennessee – Knoxville; David Lindbo, North Carolina State University


Solving complex problems in coupled natural and human systems: Socio-ecological research at the frontier of global change
Session description:
Anthropogenic influences on community structure and ecosystem function are well recognized; however, the interactions within coupled human and natural systems (CHANS) influencing the structural and functional characteristics of ecosystems are complex and are not well understood. The CHANS perspective emphasizes the novel and multifaceted social-ecological relationships and feedbacks that are revealed when environmental problems are simultaneously studied using biophysical and social-science perspectives. To promote global economic and ecological sustainability, policies that reflect the complexity of coupled human and natural systems must be developed, tested, and employed. The goal of this session is to bring together pairs of biophysical and social scientists who are actively involved in interdisciplinary research in CHANS to feature innovative approaches to address ecological problems throughout the globe. The session will feature talks from researchers studying ephemeral wetlands and forests in the northeastern United States, agroecosystems in Africa, Asia, and Australia, and watersheds in the United States and China. Researchers from a variety of social and biophysical sub-disciplines, including agroecology, community ecology, ecosystem ecology, landscape ecology, physiological ecology, environmental geography, and economics will present their work in a CHANS perspective. As part of their presentations, the speakers in this session will be asked to highlight how integrating biophysical and social science in their research has created unique opportunities to address ecological problems, integrate stakeholders into their research, and advance their understanding of CHANS. Moreover, we will ask each speaker to briefly outline effective strategies to create interdisciplinary teams to address environmental problems at the frontier of ecological research.

Conserving ecosystem function across heterogeneous and urbanizing landscapes: vernal pools as biogeochemical hotspots in northeastern forests
Krista A. Capps, Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology, University of Maine, Orono, ME

The effectiveness of voluntary policy to conserve small ecological features across heterogeneous and urbanizing landscapes: vernal pool conservation in Maine
Erik J. Nelson, Department of Economics, Bowdoin College, Brunswick, ME

An ecosystem services framework to sustain biodiversity in a watershed in conflict: consumer-provided services
Kiza Gates, University of Oklahoma, Oklahoma Biological Survey, Zoology Dept. & Ecology and Evolutionary Biology Graduate Program

An ecosystem service framework to sustain biodiversity in a watershed in conflict: bridging ecological, cultural and economic dimensions
Antonio Castro, Biology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

How to live with locusts: linking livestock markets and grazing practices with the nutritional ecology of grasses and locusts
Arianne Cease, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

The locust liability
Anne Byrne, Agricultural and Resource Economics, Colorado State University

Evaluating ecosystem service change in the Miyun watershed and its relationship to local livelihoods
Hua Zheng, Research Center for Eco-environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, China

Livelihood dependence and vulnerability to ecosystem service change in the Miyun watershed
Brian Robinson, Department of Geography, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Moderator(s): Carla Atkinson, Cornell University, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Organizer: Krista A. Capps, University of Maine, Wildlife, Fisheries, and Conservation Biology

Co-organizer(s): Arianne Cease, Arizona State University, School of Life Sciences


Student learning and understanding in ecology and evolution: Development and use of assessment tools to guide undergraduate education reform
Session description:
The Vision and Change report provides faculty and institutions with a set of core concepts and competencies for undergraduate students majoring in biology. This session will focus on efforts required to achieve the goals of Vision and Change including: 1) the development of consensus ecology and evolution learning outcomes for biology majors, 2) the creation of innovative assessment instruments to measure student progress toward these learning outcomes, and 3) the process of using data collected from these assessment to guide data-driven educational reform. By highlighting a breadth of research projects, this session will provide educators with learning outcomes and practical assessment instruments to measure student understanding. For the first effort, consensus on learning outcomes in ecology and evolution, speakers will describe how they determined which learning outcomes are central to the field. They also will discuss the importance of writing learning outcomes that include both content knowledge and competencies, such as experimental design. Finally, speakers will identify effective ways to solicit expert feedback on the importance and accuracy of the learning outcome statements. For the second effort, writing validated ecology and evolution assessments to measure student progress toward these learning outcomes, speakers will discuss how assessment questions are developed so they are aligned with the learning outcomes, and the importance of using both expert and student feedback to ensure the questions are both valid and reliable. The speakers will talk about a variety of formats to assess student learning including: multiple-choice and multiple true/false pre and post tests, open response questions where student answers are sorted by text analysis computer programs, and questions that ask students to draw or model their responses. The speakers will also elaborate on techniques used for writing questions at different educational scales including assessments developed for a single class session, an entire course, and across the undergraduate major. Special attention will be given to determining how to implement these assessments in large enrollment classes and across entire departments. Finally, speakers in this session will discuss how data collected from these assessments can be used to guide data-driven educational reform. Namely, how assessment results can provide a longitudinal measuring stick—a way for accreditation agencies, deans, department chairs, and faculty to understand how well novice undergraduate learners are being transformed into adaptive experts in ecology and evolution.

Leveraging STEM education innovation through assessment
Susan R. Singer, Undergraduate Education, National Science Foundation, Arlington, VA

Transform assessment by using scientific practices: modeling and arguments
Diane Ebert-May, Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Uncovering student ecology understanding using lexical analysis of written assessments
Luanna B. Prevost, Integrative Biology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Assessments that reveal students’ thinking about connections in evolution and ecology
Tammy M. Long, Department of Plant Biology, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Assessing student competencies in experimental design
Joel K. Abraham, Biological Science, California State University, Fullerton, Fullerton, CA

Strategies for assessing what biology majors know about nonadaptive evolution
Rebecca M. Price, School of Interdisciplinary Arts and Sciences, University of Washington

Student learning about tracing matter and energy in ecosystems
Jenny M. Dauer, Natural Resources, University of Nebraska – Lincoln, Lincoln, NE

Navigating from Vision to Change: the development of an ecology/evolution assessment that measures student learning across the major
Mindi M. Summers, Biology and Ecology, University of Maine, Orono, ME

Moderator(s): Michelle K. Smith, University of Maine, Biology and Ecology

Organizer(s): Mindi M. Summers, University of Maine, Biology and Ecology

Co-organizer(s): Michelle K. Smith, University of Maine, Biology and Ecology


Synergies for Food Production, Conservation and Rural Development in a Changing Climate
Session description:
The challenge of sustainably meeting growing global food demand is complicated by the need to foster economic development in regions of extreme rural poverty and the fact that sometimes the cheapest ways to increase agricultural production are to intensify input usage or clear forest for new cropland and pasture. While challenging, it is possible to integrate food production, ecology, and development efforts in a way that enables viable rural livelihoods without compromising natural resources and ecosystem services. Nevertheless, changing climatic conditions present both new challenges and potential opportunities for sustainable food production. Agriculture is both a contributor to the greenhouse gas emissions that are driving climate change and a potential victim to its impacts. Many strategies to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions may also help farmers adapt to likely impacts and also provide additional co-benefits for agro-ecosystems. As well, climate change may threaten the ways in which markets, socio-economic systems, trade, and social institutions operate, which can have feedback into the agro-ecological context. In this session we will explore a diversity of projects from around the world demonstrating the tradeoffs and synergies for food production, conservation and rural development in a changing climate. In many cases these are win-win opportunities where rural livelihoods can benefit from agro-ecological management practices or payment for ecosystem services that continues food production and increases rural livelihoods. Yet, there are also challenges in scaling-up adaptation and mitigation strategies in the context of national policy and market forces that prioritize ecological harmful practices and short-term production gains over long-term sustainability. We will describe empirically many examples of both success and challenges in this context and provide a series of lessons learned and recommendations for future research as the need for sustainable food production continues.

Adoption of climate change practices among developing world farmers
Meredith T. Niles, Sustainability Science Program, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Finding common ground: bringing together ecosystem services, agricultural productivity and smallholder livelihoods in landscape planning
Becky Chaplin-Kramer, The Natural Capital Project, Stanford University

From propaganda to panacea: Operationalizing climate-smart agriculture in sub-Saharan Africa
Todd Rosenstock, World Agroforestry Centre

Integrated Crop Pollination: investigating management approaches for resilience
Kelly Garbach, Institute of Environmental Sustainability, Loyola University Chicago, Chicago, IL

Lessons for Climate Change Adaptation from Traditional Cropping Systems in Hawaii
Noa Lincoln, University of Canterbury, University of Hawaii

Livelihood Resilience and Safeguarding Sustainable Food Production
Nick Cradock-Henry, LandCare Research, New Zealand

Livestock’s role in rural development – the case of Vietnam
Ermias Kebreab, Animal Science, UC Davis

Sustainability considerations for geographically restricted livelihoods
Erick De La Barrera, Universidad Nacional Autónoma de México

Moderator(s)
Rachael Garrett
Harvard University

Organizer(s)
Meredith T. Niles
Harvard University
Sustainability Science Program

Co-organizer(s)
Rachael Garrett
Harvard University


Terrestrial Carbon Cycle and Nonautonomous Systems
Session description:
Modern civilization of humanity is largely driven by uses of fossil fuel energy. However, fossil fuel burning releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, likely inducing global warming. The latter, in turn, poses a great threat to the human civilization. To sustain humanity into future generations, we have to improve our understanding of carbon cycles in biosphere, atmosphere, and lithosphere in the Earth system. Carbon cycle research has been primarily done by use of observations through various networks, field and laboratory experiments, and simulation models. Observations characterize regional and global patterns of carbon cycle components on the Earth. Experimental studies directly probe responses of ecosystems to global change. The modeling community has incorporated more and more processes into Earth system models. As a consequence, the Earth system models become increasingly complex and less tractable. Overall, the existing approaches have not led to well-constrained predictions of the terrestrial carbon cycle. It is essential to explore other approaches to study global carbon cycle. Recent research has examined several lines of empirical evidence to show that the terrestrial carbon cycle can be described as a nonautonomous system. That is, the carbon cycle can be expressed by a set of differential equations with their coefficients being modified by nonlinear response functions to external forcing. We have formed a working group, supported by NSF National Institute of Mathematical and Biological Synthesis (NIMBioS) over the past three years, to study the nonautonomous system of the terrestrial carbon cycle. The NIMBioS working group consists of seven mathematicians and seven ecologists. The group has explored a variety of carbon cycle issues using interdisciplinary approaches. The proposed organized oral session (OOS) will present eight talks, seven of which directly stem from research by the working group. To make this symposium broadly interesting to a wide audience, we will have one introductory talk on ecological and mathematical properties of the terrestrial carbon cycle and one introductory talk on nonautonomous systems with applications in ecology. One talk will review applications of the nonautonomous systems theory to different ecological applications. Then we will have two more ecology-oriented talks on mathematical behaviors of nonlinear microbial models and parameter space of carbon cycle models, respectively. Two math-oriented talks are on global attractors and convergences of the nonautonomous carbon cycle systems and residence times of transient pool-flux systems, respectively. One talk is to examine tropical forest dynamics under the nonautonomous systems framework

Terrestrial Carbon Cycle: Ecological and mathematical Properties
Yiqi Luo, Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology, University of Oklahoma, Norman, OK

Nonautonomous systems: mathematical properties and ecological applications
Martin Rasmussen, Mathematics, Imperial College London

General applications of nonautonomous system theory to ecological research
Jiang Jiang, National Institute for Mathematical and Biological Synthesis, University of Tennessee

Linear and nonlinear soil microbial models: their dynamics and implications
Yingping Wang, CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Victoria 3195, Australia

Global attractor and global convergence of the terrestrial carbon cycle
Ying Wang, Mathematics, University of Oklahoma Norman Campus

Model properties and parameter space of the terrestrial carbon cycle
Forrest Hoffman, ORNL

Residence time and turnover times in transient systems
Alan Hastings, Department of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Modeling analysis of tropic forest dynamics under the framework of nonautonomous system
Paul R. Moorcroft, Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Cambridge, MA

Moderator(s)
Kathe Todd-Brown
University of Oklahoma

Organizer(s)
Yiqi Luo
University of Oklahoma
Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology

Co-organizer(s)
Alan Hastings
University of California, Davis
Department of Environmental Science and Policy


The Community Ecology of Host-Symbiont Interactions: Breaking Boundaries and Crossing Scales
Session description:
Our proposed session focuses on understanding the community ecology of host and symbiont interactions across spatial scales. This session considers symbionts broadly to include parasitic, mutualist and commensal organisms that live in close association with a host organism. A major challenge in symbiont ecology has involved understanding the role of biodiversity in the outcome of species interactions at multiple levels of organization, including interactions among symbionts, between symbionts and their hosts, and between host individuals. Recent work in disease ecology has sought to understand how biodiversity can alter infection dynamics and disease outcomes, while microbial ecologists have worked to better understand microbial diversity amid the massive influx of data that has resulted from methodological advances such as culture-independent sampling and high-throughput sequencing. To date, these two fields have operated somewhat independently despite considerable overlap in research questions. Furthermore, each field independently has struggled to generate consensus, with disease ecologists being mired in a contentious debate about the effect of biodiversity on disease, and microbial community ecologists lamenting the lack of a clear theoretical framework to explain symbiotic diversity. The primary goal of this symposium is to facilitate discussion between disease ecologists and microbial community ecologists that have backgrounds in laboratory, field, and theoretical approaches to move toward a more synthetic and unified framework to explain host-host, host-symbiont, and symbiont-symbiont interactions. Specific objectives of the symposium include: 1) Identifying existing patterns in how biodiversity affects symbiont interactions at multiple scales. How does host diversity, non-host diversity, and symbiont diversity affect the outcome of species interactions? Is there a general framework that can be applied across systems? 2) Fostering communication and collaboration between ecologists working in distinct systems. We selected speakers from a diversity of backgrounds who work with plant pathogens, wildlife diseases, zoonotic vector-borne diseases, and microbial symbionts of humans and other species. We also chose speakers that employ both theoretical and empirical approaches, including observational field data, experiments at multiple scales, and mathematical modeling. 3) Identifying future research priorities in symbiont community ecology. What approaches are needed to identify broad-scale patterns? How can theory from community ecology be used as a framework to guide future data collection?

Theoretical and empirical insights into the inter-relationship between free-living and parasitic/symbiont biodiversity
Andy Dobson, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, Princeton University, Princeton, NJ

Antibiotic disturbance and the development of the human microbiome over the first two years of life
Elizabeth Costello, Stanford University

Empirical and theoretical challenges to reconciling divergent perspectives on the diversity-disease relationship
Maxwell B. Joseph, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado at Boulder

Diversity and interactions of foliar fungal parasites, from host organs to communities
Charles E. Mitchell, Department of Biology, University of North Carolina, Chapel Hill, NC

Cause vs. correlation in disease ecology: biodiversity as both a driver and a response to global change
A. Marm Kilpatrick, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Santa Cruz, Santa Cruz, CA

The cryptic role of biodiversity in the emergence of host–microbial mutualisms
Pradeep Pillai, Marine Science Center, Northeastern Unviversity, Nahant, MA

Regional-scale effects of nutrients and consumers on turnover in plant microbiomes
Elizabeth T. Borer, Ecology, Evolution, and Behavior, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Biodiversity and vector-borne diseases: frontiers and future research
Felicia Keesing, Program in Biology, Bard College, Annandale-On-Hudson, NY

Moderator: Daniel L. Preston, University of Colorado, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Organizer: Pieter T.J. Johnson, University of Colorado, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Co-organizer(s): Daniel L. Preston, University of Colorado, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Maxwell B. Joseph, University of Colorado at Boulder, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


The consequences of anthropogenic chemical pollution for community and ecosystem dynamics
Session description:
Ecotoxicology started as a sub-discipline of toxicology, aspiring to a crossover with ecological concepts and approaches. However, because of its origin, most of the early work focused on effects at the (sub-)organismal or population levels. In those days, studies examining effects on higher levels of biological organisation were exceptional. Since than, ecotoxicologists have increasingly adopted multi-species approaches, but almost exclusively with the objective of obtaining single toxicant concentrations below which community and ecosystem dynamics do not statistically differ from a control (‘threshold’ concentrations, to be used in a regulatory context for product registration). Chemical pollutants represent environmentally significant selection factors, often impacting on specific morphological, physiological and life-history traits that have important functional implications for population, community and ecosystem processes. The usefulness of chemical agents in approaching fundamental ecological questions has been demonstrated by recent contributions by the invited speakers. By grouping them into one session at the 100th ESA meeting, we want to meet the following objectives: (1) To initiate an interdisciplinary discussion between (a) chemical stress ecology, typically focusing on individual (physiology, fitness) and population (evolution) responses and traits, and (b) community and ecosystem ecology, typically not including chemical stressors (which act on both the physiology of the individuals and their ecological interactions); (2) To demonstrate to the ESA community how chemical pollutants represent environmental filters that can be used in setups of experimental studies or detected in field surveys, and could increase our understanding of community- and ecosystem-level processes and patterns. This will introduce a debate on how important are pollutants for contemporary ecosystem dynamics and adaptation to future environmental changes. The session starts with three overview talks, after which we plan a number of more specific talks. We will welcome additional contributions that are able to meet objectives (1-2) by presenting patterns of community or ecosystem response to toxic chemicals, as well as the mechanisms driving these responses. We aim for a mix of experimental, field, and theoretical contributions, and we are particularly interested in approaches with a design that is based on established ecological theory and concepts, with the aim of facilitating discussions with the ESA members. We do not aim for contributions asking questions that are specific to the field of ecotoxicology. Presentations can contain some elements of applied science, but these should not constitute the main topic of the talk.

Agrochemicals in aquatic communities: What we know and where we need to go
Rick A Relyea, Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute

Effects of agrochemical classes and mixtures on biodiversity and ecosystem function
Jason R. Rohr, Department of Integrative Biology, University of South Florida, Tampa, FL

Developing gene-to-ecosystem approaches to understanding pesticide impacts in natural ecosystems
Clare Gray, Imperial College London, UK, United Kingdom

Effects of intra and interspecific competition on the sensitivity of aquatic species to anthropogenic stress
Paul van den Brink, Environmental Risk Assessment, Alterra, Wageningen University and Research Center, Wageningen, Netherlands

Influence of mixtures of organic pollutants to phytoplankton gene expression of photosynthesis genes in the global oceans
Jordi Dachs, Spanish National Research Council, Spain

Chemical pollution at the basis of marine food webs: impact on ecosystem functioning
Christophe Mensens, Ghent University

Declines in insectivorous birds are associated with neonicotinoid pollutants
Caspar Hallmann, Radboud University Nijmegen

Micropollutants interfere with structure and functioning of natural phytoplankton communities in a changing environment
Francesco Pomati, Eawag-ETH Zurich, Switzerand

Moderator(s)
Frederik De Laender
University of Namur
Biology Department

Organizer(s)
Frederik De Laender
University of Namur
Biology Department

Co-organizer(s)
Francesco Pomati
Eawag-ETH Zurich, Switzerand


The Ecological Impacts of Drought as Revealed Through Experimental Approaches
Session description:
For most terrestrial ecosystems, climate change induced increases in the frequency and severity of drought are likely to have the greatest ecological impact. Drought, defined by the IPCC as a “prolonged absence or marked deficiency of precipitation” can cause rapid and widespread mortality of individuals, long-term changes in community structure and large-scale alterations in ecosystem functions. Our current understanding of the ecological impacts of drought, which is the knowledge base we must draw from to forecast future impacts, is based primarily on opportunistic studies and site-level experiments. Opportunistic studies are often conducted after a natural drought has occurred and tend to capture only those events that have large ecological impacts. Experiments allow for greater control and have been instrumental in revealing mechanisms of ecological response. The purpose of this organized oral session is to address our current understanding of the impacts of drought through experimentation. The session will bring together researchers from around the globe that employ a variety of experimental approaches to provide a state-of-the-knowledge of the ecological impacts of drought.

ANPP-precipitation relationships in multi-year drought experiments in natural ecosystems
Marc Estiarte, Global Ecology Unit, CREAF-CSIC, Bellaterra, Spain

Chronic and acute precipitation manipulations and associated long-term observations: their roles in characterizing drought effects on forest ecosystems
Paul J. Hanson, Environmental Sciences Division and Climate Change Science Institute, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Assessing the legacies of drought through experimentation
Osvaldo E. Sala, School of Life Sciences and School of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Resistance and mortality in tropical forest trees during experimental drought
Patrick Meir, School of Geosciences, University of Edinburgh, Edinburgh, Scotland

Impacts of rainfall extremes on a grassland ecosystem: a question of amount or frequency
Sally Power, Hawkesbury Institute for the Environment, University of Western Sydney, Penrith, Australia

Within and among species diversity as insurance against extreme drought in a coordinated distributed mesocosm experiment across Europe
Juergen Kreyling, Biogeography, University of Bayreuth, Bayreuth, Germany

What drought experiments tell us about the ecology and management of rangeland vegetation? Insights from a South Africa study
Anja Linstädter, Botanical Institute, University of Cologne, Cologne, Germany

Drought experiments in forest ecosystems: challenges and opportunities for standardization, cross-site comparison, and advancing climate change science
Heidi Asbjornsen, Department of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of New Hampshire, Durham, NH

Moderator(s)
Jeffrey S. Dukes
Purdue University
Department of Forestry and Natural Resources

Organizer(s)
Melinda D. Smith
Colorado State University
Graduate Degree Program in Ecology

Co-organizer(s)
Osvaldo E. Sala
Arizona State University
School of Life Sciences and School of Sustainability

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

Yiqi Luo
University of Oklahoma
Department of Microbiology and Plant Biology


The ecology of renewable energy development
Session description:
Utility-scale solar and wind energy facilities provide both physical and conceptual frontiers at which ecological, political, economic, and social values interface. Renewable energy facilities around the world are moving rapidly from the proposal and planning stages to construction and operation in an attempt to curb global change and fulfill increasing energy demands. To simultaneously advance energy and biological conservation goals, academic and agency scientists have responded with targeted studies to compare energy alternatives and impacts and provide necessary information for the adaptive management of special-status species. Critical challenges for land-use planning include identifying favorable areas for utility-scale renewables construction while meeting federal and state conservation standards, and managing direct and indirect effects of renewable energy development on special-status species. Research on renewable energy ecology is taking place across a wide range of geographic, earth science, and ecological sub-disciplines. We propose to bring together innovators and specialists working on renewable energy ecology in several disciplines to present results, challenges, and lessons learned at the local, regional, and global levels. This symposium will gather experts on several ecological aspects of the renewable energy boom to discuss development of regional planning tools, biological impacts and conservation methodology, and experimental approaches to the management of threatened plant and animal species in these landscapes. The session will begin by considering the process of energy siting, including strategies to maximize energy production while accommodating conservation priorities. Next, we will hear about the impacts of solar and wind energy infrastructure on ecological processes and examine the effect of these changes on plants and wildlife. Construction of renewable energy facilities imposes radical physical and biological change to the landscape over short spatial and temporal scales. They also create novel experimental systems in which diverse questions in ecology and conservation biology, such as the effects of disturbance and local climatic change, can be explored. Our session will conclude with discussion of a novel regional conservation tool and the lessons learned from its application in a development process.

Demographic effects of experimental shading and microtopography on desert annual plant communities
Karen Tanner, University of California, Santa Cruz

correlation of landscape and environmental variables with the annual fatalities at wind turbines
Julie Beston, USGS

Effects of soil biota disturbance on inorganic carbon dynamics in renewable energy developments
Amanda Swanson, University of California, Riverside

Rare desert plant demographic responses to direct and indirect effects of utility-scale solar energy
Kara A. Moore, Evolution and Ecology, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

Maximizing the potential of global hotspots of solar energy
Rebecca Hernandez, Stanford

Spatial tools to guide energy infrastructure siting, weigh mitigation options, and manage sensitive species
Rebecca Degagne, Conservation Biology Institute, Corvallis, OR

Indirect response of wind energy development on wildlife in the sagebrush steppe.
Jeffery Beck, Ecosystem Science and Management, University of Wyoming, WY

Climate change, conservation planning, and renewable energy development in the Mojave Desert
Jason Kreitler, US Geological Service, ID

Moderator(s)
Wendy Peterman
Conservation Biology Institute

Organizer(s)
Kara A. Moore
University of California, Davis
Evolution and Ecology

Co-organizer(s)
Rebecca Degagne
Conservation Biology Institute

Rebecca Hernandez
Stanford


The effects of eco-evolutionary feedbacks on communities, ecosystems, and responses to environmental change
Session description:
Ecologists are increasingly recognizing that genetic variation among individuals can have major effects on the properties and dynamics of communities and ecosystems. Understanding the effects of environmental change on communities and ecosystems will require consideration of genetic variation and evolution. However, little is known about how evolutionary responses to environment affect community dynamics on ecological time scales. Research on eco-evolutionary feedbacks in species interactions has not been well integrated into study of global change. Similarly, study of local adaptation to environment has not been well integrated with the study of species interactions. New theory and data are required to predict how adaptation to changing environments will affect biodiversity and ecosystem function. Technological advances will make genetic data ever cheaper to obtain, opening new windows into non-model species. This session will lay foundations for linking theoretical and empirical approaches for an emerging topic in evolutionary ecology. The diverse perspectives within our session will identify complementary research questions and future directions. This session will have broad appeal due to the importance of basic and applied questions, the inclusion of theoretical and empirical approaches, and the diverse study systems. The session will begin with an introductory theoretical perspective on eco-evolutionary feedbacks. Subsequent talks alternate between theoretical and empirical perspectives, so that each may in turn inform the other. The second speaker will discuss how local adaptation by zooplankton affects community assembly in natural settings. The third speaker will present theory for how multiple species comprising communities evolve in response to temporal environmental change. The fourth speaker will introduce emergent properties of communities, discussing empirical study of local thermal adaptation in invertebrates and how food webs may change under population mixing. The fifth speaker will introduce ecosystem function, presenting theory for how evolution in response to environmental change affects community structure and ecosystem function. The sixth speaker will present empirical findings on how herbivore adaptation to host plants drives variation in herbivore communities. The seventh speaker will present empirical work on plants and microbes, linking locally adapted genetic variation with changes in ecosystem function under climate change. The finally speaker will synthesize the theoretical and empirical findings of the session and discuss implications for global change and conservation.

Some roles for evolution in the community assembly process
Richard Gomulkiewicz, Biological Sciences/Mathematics, Washington State University, Pullman, WA

Quantifying interactions between ecological and evolutionary processes in natural landscapes
Jelena H. Pantel, Laboratory of Aquatic Ecology, Evolution and Conservation, KU Leuven – University of Leuven, 3000 Leuven, Belgium

Evolutionary rescue of communities under nonlinear environmental change
Gregor F. Fussmann, Department of Biology, McGill University, Montreal, QC, Canada

Does like replace like? Local adaptation and phenotypic plasticity in the macrophysiology of food chain interactions
Adam Rosenblatt, Yale University

Eco-evolutionary feedbacks: theoretical consequences for community dynamics and ecosystem function
Regis Ferriere, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

Evolution of an herbivore drives rapid change in an herbivore community
Timothy Farkas, University of Sheffield

Climate altered ecosystem level evolutionary feedbacks: implications for the linkage between genes and ecosystems
Joseph Bailey, University of Tennessee – Knoxville, Knoxville, TN

A synthesis of eco-evolutionary feedbacks and implications for global change
Jessica Hellmann, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Notre Dame

Moderator(s): Jesse Lasky, Columbia University

Organizer(s): Jesse Lasky, Columbia University


The Emergence, Rise, and Future of Urban Ecology in the United States
Session description:
Since the early 1900s, ecology has greatly expanded from ideas in plant communities through the emergence and acceptance of ecosystem and landscape ecology. Amongst the many fields of ecology that has arisen during the past century in the United States is urban ecology. From its early roots in thinking about cities as ecosystems and the environmental movement, the creation of Long-Term Ecological Research sites, to recent ideas of sustainability and resilience in urban systems, urban ecology has contributed much to our understanding of nature and how humans are part of it. Given the growing ecological and social importance of urban areas, coupled with the 100th anniversary of the Ecological Society of America, this organized oral session, hosted by the Urban Ecosystem Ecology Section of ESA, will highlight the study of urban ecology by examining its history in the United States, contribution to the field of ecology, and future contributions to both ecology as a discipline and the sustainability of our cities. This session will focus on the significant contributions that urban ecology has offered to ecological understanding in general, the evolution of interdisciplinary approaches to understanding the ecology of cities as an ecological system, and the importance of fostering relationships between scientists, municipalities, and citizens. The session begins with an examination of the historical roots of urban ecology in the United States and traces it through the rise of the urban Long-Term Ecological Research sites. Following this historical overview, talks then focus on contemporary urban ecology and distinct approaches to understanding ecological systems within and of the city: population and community ecology, soil ecology, ecosystem ecology, landscape ecology, and socio-ecological linkages. These talks will also highlight the importance of urban ecology in contributing to a greater understanding of ecological systems and theories. Finally, the last presentations explore emerging issues and their importance to address future problems facing our cities in the United States and globally. The symposium wraps up with a talk on how our knowledge of urban systems can be used to inform the ongoing development and management of sustainable cities.

The Rise of Urban Ecology in the United States
Charles H. Nilon, Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences, University of Missouri, Columbia, MO

Patterns and Drivers of Biotic Population and Community Structure in Built Environments
Nancy E. McIntyre, Department of Biological Sciences, Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX

Urban Soil Ecology: Progress and Future Potential for Science and Sustainability
Loren B. Byrne, Department of Biology, Marine Biology and Environmental Science, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI

Integrated Approaches to Understanding Anthropogenic Driven Ecosystem Ecology
Nancy B. Grimm, School of Life Sciences, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Landscapes from an Urban Perspective
Wayne C. Zipperer, Southern Research Station, USDA Forest Service, Gainesville, FL

Socioecological Linkages in Cities and the Rise in Interdisciplinary Research
Paige S. Warren, Department of Environmental Conservation, University of Massachusetts, Amherst, MA and Ann Kinzig, Julie Ann Wrigley Global Institute of Sustainability, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

“Metropolis” – Visions of the Future in Urban Ecology
Glenn R. Guntenspergen, US Geological Survey, Laurel, MD

Using the Science of Urban Ecology to Inform Management and Planning
Christopher A Lepczyk, Auburn University and Myla F.J Aronson, Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources, Rutgers University, New Brunswick, NJ

Moderator(s)
Monica Palta
Arizona State University
School of Life Sciences

Organizer(s)
Myla F.J Aronson
Rutgers University
Department of Ecology, Evolution, and Natural Resources

Co-organizer(s)
Christopher A Lepczyk
Auburn University

Charles H. Nilon
University of Missouri
Fisheries and Wildlife Sciences

Richard V. Pouyat
United States Forest Service
National Program Leader Bioclimatology

Wayne C. Zipperer
USDA Forest Service
Southern Research Station


The ESA at 100: Historical Perspectives on Ecology and Ecological Management
Session description:
On December 28, 1915, a group of AAAS members voted to form a new society, the Ecological Society of America. One hundred years later, the ESA, an organization of 10,000 members, is celebrating its centennial meeting. This symposium brings together historians of science to discuss the emergence of the discipline of ecology and how ecology has come to shape environmental management in the United States and abroad. Topics will include the history of the ESA, tropical biology, ecological engineering, ecological history, paleoecology, and the rise of ecosystem theory. The goal of the symposium is to relate the inquiries of historians of science to those of practicing ecologists. Its overarching questions include: What can humanistic inquiry tell us about ecology? How do historians and ecologists conceive of causality? How have historians influenced the practices of ecologists, and conversely, how have ecologists influenced the practices of historians? What can the study of past ESA members tell us about ecology’s frontiers?

What can history tell us about the past, present, and future of ecology
Joel Hagen, Biology, Radford University, Radford, VA

Science versus activism: A century of shifting environmental landscapes in the ESA journey
Sara Tjossem, School of International and Public Affairs, Columbia University, New York, NY

G. Evelyn Hutchinson’s geochronometric laboratory and the construction of ecological history
Laura J. Martin, Department of Natural Resources, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY

Diversity and the tropics: Ecology in the 20th-century circum-Caribbean
Megan Raby, History, University of Texas at Austin

Coral reefs and the concept of fragility in the Age of Ecology
Alistair Sponsel, History, Vanderbilt University

Radioecology and the ecosphere
E. Jerry Jessee, History, University of Wisconsin Stevens Point

Historical self-defining systems: Previous frontiers in ecological engineering
Robert Gardner, Independent Scholar

Placing ecology: The historical relations between ecological research and field sites
Stephen Bocking, Environmental & Resource Studies Program, Trent University

Organizer: Laura J. Martin, Cornell University, Department of Natural Resources


The Impact of Ecologists in Higher Education Administration in Promoting Ecoliteracy, Ecological Research and Sustainability in the 21st Century
Session description:
Solving the current and continuously emerging environmental problems of the 21st century requires a diverse ecological workforce with educational and research training that is focused on critical issues, including energy conservation, food resource sustainability, climate change impacts, ecosystem services, disease ecology, and is responsive to the world’s developing environmental crises. Colleges and universities, public and private, have recognized the impact their educational, research and networking activities can have in proactive efforts to tackle these global environmental challenges. Colleges of all sizes, public and private, are signing the President’s Climate Challenge Commitment to improve energy conservation efforts and develop comprehensive “green campus” initiatives. Recently, 30 universities signed on to the Alliance for Resilient Campuses in Climate Adaptation, the latest national effort to increase networking capacity, and continue developing higher education institutions that are resilient and can take needed action to respond to climate change impacts on critical resources such as water, energy and transportation, as well as on health, recreation and land use. Colleges and universities are engaging their faculty, staff and students in partnerships with community businesses, faith organizations, social service agencies and civic groups to enhance their students’ overall ability to contribute expertise to tackling local and global environmental problems. However, at a time when global interest in environmental issues is growing, ensuring a growing job market for ecologists, inclusion of needed ecological principles in the curriculum is still been challenged. Ecologists need to continue to promote integrated, interdisciplinary initiatives that incorporate a sustainability focus in research, education and business partnerships to provide new ways to prepare the ecoliterate citizens needed. Many administrators in higher education are ecologists and are already playing an important role in promoting development of curricular and research programs, community and school partnerships and green campus initiatives that supply the ecological knowledge and skills, and real-world experiences needed for a robust ecological workforce. In this session we will assess how higher education is responding to world environmental education and research needs, showcase existing best practices nationally and make recommendations for needed expansion of efforts to meet the environmental problem-solving needs of the 21st century. Presidents, provosts, deans and directors of higher education institutions and initiatives will showcase current best practices and what needs to be done in the near future to develop the ecological expertise needed to meet the current needs, and to predict and prepare for impending environmental challenges of this century.

Curriculum reform for sustainability in the environmental century
Stephen Mulkey, Office of the President, Unity College, Unity, ME

Integrating human diversity into undergraduate ecology education for the 21st century
Muriel Poston, Office of Dean of Faculty, Pitzer College, Claremont, CA

Infusing sustainability principles and developing “green” community partnerships from the first year university experience onward
Leanne M. Jablonski, University of Dayton, Marianist Environmental Education Center, Dayton, OH

Developing a comprehensive university initiative for enhancing teaching and learning of 21st century ecological principles
Susan Beatty, Office of the Provost, Sage Colleges, Troy, NY

Community colleges’ central role in the high school to college environmental pipeline for a diverse ecology workforce
Carmen R. Cid, School of Arts and Sciences, Eastern Connecticut State University, Willimantic, CT

The regional impact of university institutes in promoting ecoliteracy and sustainability agenda
Kenneth M. Klemow, Biology, Wilkes University, Wilkes-Barre, PA

Ecological aquaculture is the only way to save the world’s last and most spectacular terrestrial ecosystems, preserves, and natural areas from complete destruction by agriculture
Barry Costa-Pierce, Marine Science Center, University of New England, Biddeford, ME

Facilitating ecological research to meet the environmental problem-solving needs of the 21st century
Robert Jones, Office of the Provost, Clemson University, Clemson, SC

Moderator(s): Ned Fetcher, Wilkes University, Institute for Environmental Science and Sustainability

Organizer(s): Carmen R. Cid, Eastern Connecticut State University, School of Arts and Sciences

Co-organizer(s): Stephen Mulkey, Unity College, Office of the President; Kenneth M. Klemow, Wilkes University, Biology


The Macroecology of Infectious Disease
Session description:
A critical issue facing modern science is identifying global-scale patterns and drivers of infectious diseases and their impacts on humans and natural ecosystems. Despite decades of research on pathogen ecology and emergence, many fundamental questions have only recently been addressed at very large spatial and taxonomic scales, such as what drives global patterns of pathogen diversity and endemism, are their generalizable predictors of cross-species transmission and zoonotic disease emergence, and how might anthropogenic disturbances such as habitat loss and climate change impact regional variation in disease outcomes? Macroecology, a synthetic approach to patterns and processes at large spatial, temporal and taxonomic scales, is rapidly unifying many disparate fields, including behavior, ecology, evolution, sustainability, social demographics, and economics. Our organized oral session will showcase how the perspectives and tools of macroecology can transform scientific understanding of infectious disease ecology. Integrating macroecology and infectious disease ecology has the potential to provide insights about scaling properties across all living taxa, novel methodological approaches for mapping pathogen diversity and risk, and, ultimately, a framework for more accurately predicting global patterns of infectious disease and emergence in the face of rapid environmental change.

Macro perspectives on disease and ecological change.
John L. Gittleman, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Global hotspots of zoonotic infection vs. zoonotic disease in wild mammals.
Barbara Han, Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies

Disease hotspots: linking temporal and spatial approaches to examine drivers of parasite prevalence and diversity
Sarah E. Haas, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Colorado Boulder, Boulder, CO

Parasite sharing in wild ungulates and their predators: the effects of phylogeny, range overlap, and trophic links
Patrick R. Stephens, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Linking host evolutionary history and parasite diversity.
Shan Huang, Department of Geophysical Science, University of Chicago, Chicago, IL

Using niche modeling to detect unobserved interactions in host-parasite networks.
Tad Dallas, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

The effects of globalization on parasite distributions: winners and losers in a worldwide arena.
James E. (Jeb) Byers, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

A macro ecological approach to zoonotic emerging pathogens: A key role of interspecies barriers, metacommunity theory and phylogenetic structure.
A. Alonso Aguirre, George Mason University

Moderator(s)
Sonia Altizer
University of Georgia
Odum School of Ecology

Organizer(s)
Patrick R. Stephens
University of Georgia
Odum School of Ecology

Co-organizer(s)
John L. Gittleman
University of Georgia
Odum School of Ecology

Sonia Altizer
University of Georgia
Odum School of Ecology


The role of biotic interactions in structuring species distributions: synthesizing across ecological disciplines and spatial scales in the face of climate change
Session description:
Over the last century, ecologists have faced the challenge of understanding the dynamic processes that structure species distributions. Different subfields of ecology have contributed substantially to this task, working at the scale of local communities to entire biogeographic regions. Despite studying relevant and interrelated processes, ecologists struggle to integrate this knowledge across disparate spatial scales and ecological disciplines. In the next 100 years, this synthesis becomes even more urgent given the urgent need to forecast the effects of global climate change on ecological systems. Currently, attempts to tackle this issue rely on a suite of niche models that correlate species’ environmental requirements with their large-scale geographic distributions (e.g. species distribution models, bioclimatic envelope models, habitat suitability models, etc.). However, these correlative models ignore important ecological knowledge about species interactions gained over decades of experiments and observational studies, the results of which show that biotic interactions can structure species distributions and contribute to species coexistence. This problematic deficiency has been noted and widely debated for the past decade. We argue that the discussion should shift from whether or not biotic interactions are relevant to species distributions, to at what scale do these patterns manifest and how do we integrate our understanding of processes acting at different spatial scales. The fundamental challenge to addressing the role of biotic interactions is that it requires bridging theoretical, process-based models of species interaction networks with spatially explicit, correlative models of species geographic distributions. Further, available information to build these models ranges from individual-based, biophysical effects of climate change, to global occurrence records. Thus, bridging the gap between these disciplines requires a synthesis of current methods, a conceptualization of how these methods can be integrated, and a discussion about emerging methods. We have invited speakers from a diversity of ecological disciplines to spark a discussion about the role of species interactions in species distributions from both a conceptual and applied perspective. We specifically ask speakers to address what they think are the most pressing challenges to incorporating biotic interactions into predictive species distribution models and to improving the accuracy of predictions about the effects of climate change on ecological communities.

Incorporating diffuse competition into species distribution models for plant species: a priority?
Peter B. Adler, Department of Wildland Resources and the Ecology Center, Utah State University, Logan, UT

Forecasting the forest and the trees: competition-climate interactions from individual to biodiversity
James S. Clark Duke University, Nicholas School of the Environment and Earth Sciences, Duke University, Durham, NC

Coexistence theory provides the key to integrating species interactions into predictions of species’ range limits
William Godsoe, School of Biological Sciences, University of Canterbury, Christchurch, New Zealand

Inferring species interactions from observational data across environmental gradients
David J. Harris, Population Biology, UC Davis, Davis, CA

How climate and competitive interactions affect coniferous tree species performance and distribution
Janneke Hille Ris Lambers, Department of Biology, University of Washington, Seattle, WA

Community-level model performance across large temporal scales and periods of climatic novelty
Kaitlin Clare Maguire, Life and Environmental Sciences, University of California Merced, Merced, CA

Projecting the likelihood of community disassembly under climate change: A geospatial food web module approach
Anne M. Trainor, School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Empirical evidence for the scale-dependence of biotic interactions
Phoebe Zarnetske, Forestry, Michigan State University, East Lansing, MI

Moderator(s)
Allison K. Barner
Oregon State University
Integrative Biology

Organizer(s)
Lindsey L. Thurman
Oregon State University
Fisheries and Wildlife

Co-organizer(s)
Allison K. Barner
Oregon State University
Integrative Biology


The role of long-term studies in advancing ecological understanding
Session description:
Long-term studies have provided critical insights into our understanding of the controls over the structure and function of ecological systems. These studies have often reversed conclusions based on short-term studies, elucidated previously unknown ecological interactions, and allowed for an understanding of lag effects, context-dependence, and longer-term ecological and evolutionary processes. They have revealed the impacts of human modifications of the environment, led to improved management under variable conditions, and are critical for predicting and managing future environmental changes. In celebration of ESA’s Centennial, this organized oral session will highlight the contributions of long-term research to ecological science, management, and policy. It will also highlight how addressing the most pressing environmental issues, now and in the future, relies on the scientific infrastructure that supports research on long-term ecological trends (e.g. field stations, historical collections, long-term monitoring, databases).

Curtis Prairie: World’s oldest restored prairie or newest restoration challenge?
Christopher Hirsch, University of Wisconsin

Effects of changing atmospheric deposition on the structure and function of the northern forest: long-term measurements, experiments, and future model projections at the Hubbard Brook Experimental Forest, NH
Charles T. Driscoll, Department of Civil and Environmental Engineering, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Long-term patterns linking hydrologic connectivity with land use changes and reserve management
Catherine M. Pringle, Odum School of Ecology, University of Georgia, Athens, GA

Shifts in grassland structure and function over decades of environmental variation and experimental manipulations
Alan Knapp, Colorado State, CO

Establishing empircal evidence of resilience and the causes of state changes using long-term vegetation monitoring
Sumanta Bagchi, Centre for Ecological Sciences, Indian Institute of Science, Bangalore, India

Thirty-five years of ecological change after the eruption of Mount St Helens
Virginia H. Dale, Oak Ridge National Laboratory, Oak Ridge, TN

Plant functional traits predict vegetation response to two decades of simulated climate change
Jason D. Fridley, Biology, Syracuse University, Syracuse, NY

Moderator(s): Brandon T. Bestelmeyer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Jornada Experimental Range

Organizer: Valerie T. Eviner, University of California Davis, Plant Sciences

Co-organizer(s): Brandon T. Bestelmeyer, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Jornada Experimental Range; Jana E. Compton, US EPA, NHEERL, Western Ecology Division


The soil frontier: understanding how belowground processes drive ecosystem responses to climate change
Session description:
Over the past 25 years, some of the most exciting frontiers in ecology have been related to soils, as methodological advances have facilitated breaking open “the soil black box” to document patterns of microbial diversity and function. Per unit area, soils harbor the greatest biological and functional diversity on earth, largely in fungi and bacteria. Microbial activities directly determine greenhouse gas emissions and sequestration, and also indirectly regulate ecosystem feedbacks by influencing plant responses to changing environmental conditions. Climate change is currently altering these functions, highlighting the pressing need for a better mechanistic understanding of the links between microbial communities and soil processes. We have only scratched the surface of how soil microbial communities influence ecosystem function, and new insights continue to arise due to the development of new techniques, greater global sampling efforts, and incorporation of microbes into experimental designs and models. In this session, speakers will highlight how historical and recent progress in this field has impacted current thinking, consider underappreciated ecological and evolutionary mechanisms, incorporate a cross-scale vision, and reflect on the challenges that must be met to advance this ecological frontier.

Linking soil microbes to ecosystem function – how does history inform the present and future?
Aimee Classen, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

The interplay of ecology and evolution in microbial responses to environmental change
Jennifer A. Lau, Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners, MI

Mycorrhizal control of tropical ecosystem responses to climate change
Bonnie G. Waring, Plant Biology, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

How do local scale climate change experiments inform our understanding of microbial links to ecosystem processes?
Sharon A. Billings, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas, Lawrence, KS

A global perspective on soil drivers of ecosystem function
Jennifer Pett-Ridge, Isotopic Signatures Group, Lawrence Livermore National Lab, Livermore, CA

Historical contingencies in microbial responses to climate change can constrain ecosystem responses
Christine V. Hawkes, Integrative Biology, University of Texas, Austin, TX

Advances in models used to scale from microbial processes to ecosystem function under global change
Kathe Todd-Brown, University of Oklahoma

New frontiers in soil – future challenges and knowledge gaps
Seeta Sistla, University of California Irvine

Moderator(s): Kathleen Treseder, University of California, Irvine, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Organizer(s): Christine V. Hawkes, University of Texas at Austin, Integrative Biology

Co-organizer(s): Aimee Classen, University of Tennessee, University of Copenhagen; Valerie T. Eviner, University of California Davis, Plant Sciences; Kathleen K. Treseder, University of California, Irvine, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology


Toward prediction in the restoration of biodiversity
Session description:
Restoration ecology holds great promise for promoting biodiversity in damaged ecosystems, yet achieving this promise has been hampered by a lack of predictable outcomes. In particular, seemingly similar restoration practices may result in substantial variation in community diversity or composition and we generally lack understanding of the processes that lead to this variation. This Organized Oral Session will explore the alignment of restoration ecology with contemporary community ecology theory, with the goal of advancing progress toward increasing the predictability of restoration outcomes. Restoration ecology has commonly adopted a retrospective, deterministic, species-based model, with the goal of re-creating specific historical ecosystem states defined by particular species compositions. Contemporary models of community assembly, however, emphasize the development of divergent species assemblages due to chance dispersal events, environmental and demographic stochasticity, priority effects, and ecosystem feedbacks. In spite of such divergence in community composition, community assembly may be predictable through the use of functional traits. To date, the extension of these potentially promising concepts to restoration remains poorly explored. To what extent can restoration outcomes become more predictable through stronger alignment with contemporary community ecology theory and broader consideration of relevant processes that may underpin variation in community assembly outcomes? Or, will the stochastic nature of community assembly fundamentally challenge our capacity to predictably restore particular species assemblages? This Organized Oral Session will explore these questions through work evaluating issues such as the roles of dispersal, environmental and demographic stochasticity, plant-soil feedbacks, and alternative states during restoration. Furthermore, talks will explore the utility of functional traits in explaining and predicting restoration outcomes. In sum, this session will provide the field of restoration ecology with an important advance through alignment with contemporary community ecology theory, seek better understanding of the processes and mechanisms that shape community assembly and predictability in restoration outcomes, and illustrate rich restoration ecology-based tests of emerging community ecology theory.

Every restoration is unique: testing year effect and site effects as determinants of initial restoration trajectories
Truman P. Young, Dept. of Plant Sciences, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA

The interplay of niche and neutral processes in biodiversity restoration
Jon Chase, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg

The application of coexistence theory to restoration
Loralee Larios, Division of Biological Sciences, University of Montana, Missoula, MT

Plant-soil feedbacks, soil microbial inoculations and restoration of native diversity
Jonathan Bauer, Indiana University

Interpreting trajectories of restored wetland plant communities
Jeffrey Matthews, Natural Resources and Environmental Sciences, University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, Urbana, IL

How dispersal shapes the assembly and restoration of post-agricultural plant communities
Nash Turley, Michigan State University

Adaptive traits and phenotypic integration are relevant to ecological restoration
Daniel C. Laughlin, Environmental Research Institute, University of Waikato, Hamilton, New Zealand

Functional traits as predictors of community assembly and ecosystem function in restored prairies
Chad Zirbel, Michigan State University

Moderator(s)
Lars A. Brudvig
Michigan State University
Plant Biology

Organizer(s)
Lars A. Brudvig
Michigan State University
Plant Biology


Trait-Based Ecology at the Micro-Scale
Session description:
Trait-based approaches at the microscale hold tremendous potential to contribute significant theoretical advances to the field of ecology over the next 100 years. Functional traits include physiological, morphological, and behavioral characteristics that influence the fitness of organisms under various environmental conditions. Accordingly, traits provide a mechanistic foundation for community ecology and can be useful for studying processes from evolutionary to ecosystem scales. A major challenge for trait-based ecological studies is that traits can be difficult and time consuming to measure. This is especially true at the microscale where it can be hard to identify important features and trait characterization is most straightforward in single-species cultures, which represent a small fraction of microbial diversity. Microbial trait characterization has been revolutionized by rapid advances in technology that have provided microbial ecologists with the unprecedented opportunity to make phenotypic inferences from uncultured organisms using single-cell and meta- ‘omics data. The combination of culture-based and ‘omics approaches enables trait-based ecology to be applied at scales ranging from local to global and to exceptionally diverse communities. This symposium will highlight the work of ecologists using trait-based approaches to improve our understanding of the microbial world. These insights lay the foundation for investigating how microbial diversity has evolved through time and the eco-evolutionary feedbacks that will continue to shape and maintain this diversity into the future. Applied at the microscale, trait-based approaches have the potential to transform our understanding of microbial communities and processes as well as contribute to the development of mechanistic, trait-based frameworks. Trait-based frameworks have great potential to advance ecology towards a more predictive science and may hold the key to linking biodiversity to ecosystem function.

Linking genomic traits and phenotypic traits in microbial ecology
Albert Barberan, University of Colorado

Trait based approaches to microbial dormancy
Jay T. Lennon, Department of Biology, Indiana University, Bloomington, IN

Viruses have traits, too
Jennifer B.H. Martiny, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA

Microbial community assembly on micro-scale marine particles
Otto X. Cordero, Environmental Systems Science, ETH Zurich

Microbial traits and trade-offs: implications for community structure and biogeochemistry
Elena Litchman, Kellogg Biological Station, Michigan State University, Hickory Corners, MI

Fungal traits that drive ecosystem dynamics
Kathleen K. Treseder, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology, University of California, Irvine, Irvine, CA

Enzyme production as a key mycorrhizal trait driving soil microbial community function
Colin Averill, Ecology, Evolution and Behavior, University of Texas at Austin, Austin, TX

Trait-based models as the nexus between environmental genomics and ecosystem biogeochemistry
Eoin L. Brodie, Earth Sciences Division, Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory, Berkeley, CA

Moderator(s)
Sara F. Paver
National Science Foundation
Division of Ocean Sciences

Organizer(s)
Ariane L. Peralta
East Carolina University
Department of Biology

Co-organizer(s)
Jay T. Lennon
Indiana University
Department of Biology

Sara F. Paver
National Science Foundation
Division of Ocean Sciences


Ungulate overabundance as a driver of above- and below-ground interactions and ecosystem processes
Session description:
Expanding human populations have caused a dramatic reduction and fragmentation of available habitat for many animals, including ungulates. This loss of habitat and lack of top level predators have led many of our natural areas to become overpopulated. This session will be to examine the extent to which overabundant wild and introduced ungulate species are affecting forested ecosystem to address the following questions: “What are the linkages between ungulates and above and below-ground processes in forest ecosystems worldwide?” and “Do ungulates have additive or synergistic interactions with invasive species? The session will be organized such that we will focus on population level effects and then scale up to community effects and end our session focusing in on how ungulates are affecting the forest ecosystem as a whole. This session will highlight exciting frontiers in ungulate research, expand our knowledge of their impacts in forest ecosystems and point to the importance of expanding our knowledge of the forest ecosystem as a whole.

“Invader disruption of a belowground mutualism drives carbon starvation and vital rate declines in a native forest perennial herb: greenhouse and field experiments
Alison N. Hale, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Pittsburgh, Pittsburgh, PA

Effects on overabundant deer in the lower Midwest on native biodiversity and interactions with invasive species
Keith Clay, Department of Biology, Indiana University

From mosses to birds: what biodiversity in forests with deer and no carnivores?
Jean-Louis Martin, Center for Evolutionary Functional Ecology

The importance of environmental factors in understory community assembly increases with white-tailed deer pressure and canopy gap size
Autumn E. Sabo, Forest & Wildlife Ecology, University of Wisconsin-Madison, Madison, WI

The role of native ungulates and invasive earthworms in shaping plant and soil communities in Northeast Ohio
Colin G. Cope, Department of Biology, Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH

Large ungulates, landscape dynamics, and forest succession in a changing climate
Lee E. Frelich, Department of Forest Resources, University of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN

Structural effects of overabundant deer in boreal forest ecosystems: a review of 20 years of research on Anticosti Island, Quebec, Canada
Julien Beguin, Laval University

Restoring biodiversity and ecosystem function following long-term ungulate impact
Andrew J. Tanentzap, Department of Plant Sciences, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, United Kingdom

Moderator: Susan Kalisz, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Biological Sciences

Organizer: Colin G. Cope, Case Western Reserve University, Department of Biology

Co-organizer(s): Susan Kalisz, University of Pittsburgh, Department of Biological Sciences


Urban Soil Biodiversity: A New Frontier in Ecological Science and Education
Session description:
Biodiversity as an ecological concept is difficult for people to personally experience due in part to the fact that the majority of humans now live in urban areas. Moreover, the role of extremely diverse soil biota is often overlooked in assessing soil ecosystem services. Indeed, for much of the terrestrial ecosystems of the world, soil community structure and function reflect both natural and human disturbance and stress. For example, logging, agriculture, urbanization, and human caused environmental change can dramatically alter the species composition of soil biota and thus how these soils function. However, not much is known about the structure and function of soil communities in response to human effects, and whether these effects are similar across regional and global scales. For example, are urban soil processes and communities more similar across global scales than the native soil ecosystems replaced by urban development? This organized oral session will highlight what we suggest is a relatively new frontier in the ecological sciences—urban soil ecology and the biodiversity of soils in urban landscapes, and how investigations of soil biodiversity and functioning in urban soils represent an excellent opportunity to educate the public on the importance of biological diversity and ecology in general. The first presentation will examine the importance of soil biodiversity from a global perspective to be followed by a history of research addressing the relationship of soil biodiversity and function. The next presentation will explore ways in which urban soil ecological systems can be incorporated into K-12 and undergraduate education instruction as well as urban community revitalization efforts. The next three talks will focus on the potential effects of urbanization on soil communities and their functioning from a local to global perspective and how research in urban soil ecology can advance our overall understanding of ecological systems in general. Finally, two case studies will be presented, one examining the connection between urban soil biodiversity and soil health and the other reports on two urban soil networks that assess large scale patterns of soil biodiversity but vary in their overall approach.

Global Soil Biodiversity: A New Frontier in Ecology
Tandra Fraser, Department of Biology and Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Soil Biodiversity: A Historical Perspective
Heikki Setala, Department of Environmental Sciences, University of Helsinki, Lahti, Finland

Soil Ecology and Environmental Literacy in Your Neighborhood
John C. Moore, Ecosystem Science and Sustainability, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

The Biogeography of Urban Soil Microbes
Stephanie Yarwood, Environmental Science and Technology, University of Maryland, College Park, MD

Patterns of urban soil fauna
Parwinder S. Grewal, Entomology and Plant Pathology Department, The University of Tennessee, Knoxville, TN

Ecosystem Functioning of Urban Soils: A Global Perspective
Richard V. Pouyat, National Program Leader Bioclimatology, United States Forest Service, Washington, DC

Belowground Functional Diversity and Resilience of Health Clinic Gardens in South Africa
Marie Du Toit, Environmental Science and Management, North-West University, Potchefstroom, South Africa

Urban Soil Ecological Networks—Lessons Learned from a Global Perspective
Johan Kotze, Helsinki, Finland

Moderator(s): Tara L. E. Trammell, University of Delawar, Department of Plant and Soil Sciences

Organizer(s): Katalin Szlavecz, Johns Hopkins University, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences

Co-organizer(s): Richard V. Pouyat, United States Forest Service, National Program Leader Bioclimatology; Stephanie Yarwood, University of Maryland, Environmental Science and Technology


Usable Science: Meeting the Needs of Decision Makers in a Changing World
Session description:
As funding and public support for science becomes more competitive, it is incumbent upon researchers, scientific institutions, government agencies and funding organizations to ensure that needs and interests of decision makers and the public are being met – that the information being produced is “usable” or “actionable.” Usable science is simply defined as science that meets the changing needs of decision makers. The USGS Advisory Committee on Climate Change and Natural Resources Science uses the term “actionable science,” to cover science that “provides data, analyses, projections, or tools that can support decisions regarding the management of the risks and impacts of climate change. It is ideally co-produced by scientists and decision makers and creates rigorous and accessible products to meet the needs of stakeholders.” Whether called usable or actionable, there is pressure on science funders and scientists to create science that can be used in decision making. The usability of science is a function of the context of its potential use and of the process of how the scientific knowledge was produced. The process of identifying usable science should start with a decision that needs to be made, rather than a research question. Then, repeated conversations between the producers and users of scientific knowledge are critical to creating usable science. This iteration is the result of actions of the scientists and decision makers who ‘own’ the task of building relationships and mechanisms that foster co-production of knowledge. Usable or actionable science is not new science, but rather a particular approach to science that informs decision-making and responds to societal capabilities and goals. Government programs like NOAA’s Regional Integrated Sciences and Assessment programs and the Department of Interior’s Climate Science Centers use a variety of formal and informal techniques to reconcile their scientific research efforts with the information demands of their various users. Nongovernmental organizations like the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable are bringing together scientists, natural resource managers, science funders, policy makers, and practitioners to develop research agendas that start with the challenges faced by the knowledge users to build research questions. The symposium will provide an introduction to the topic, followed by a series of speakers who will present case studies of usable science in government and non-governmental organizations highlighting the opportunities and challenges. We will then conclude with a wrap-up and panel discussion.

Actionable Science: A Short History
David Behar, Climate Program, San Francisco Public Utilities Commission

Making your Science Usable for Decision Makers
Ann Bartuska, USDA Research, Education and Economics, Washington DC, DC

Drought and ecosystems: the “usable science” of early warning
Claudia Nierenberg, National Integrated Drought Information System, NOAA

Crafting the Future of Usable Science for Sustainable Rangelands
Mark W. Brunson, Department of Environment and Society, Utah State University, Logan, UT

Ecology at work: using ecological systems thinking to support international development efforts of federal agencies
Alexis C. Erwin, Bureau for Africa, USAID

Promoting research partnerships to meet international development challenges
Daniel Evans, Global Development Lab, US Agency for International Development, Washington, DC

Beyond Basic vs. Applied: Practical Criteria for Assessing the Usability of Science
Dan Sarewitz, Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

USAID’s Biodiversity and Development Research Agenda: Opportunities for Policy-Relevant Research
Diane Russell, Forestry and Biodiversity Office, USAID

Moderator(s): Clifford Duke, Ecological Society of America, Science Programs

Organizer(s): Lori Hidinger, Arizona State University, Consortium for Science, Policy and Outcomes

Co-organizer(s): Clifford Duke, Ecological Society of America, Science Programs; Mahmud Farooque, Arizona State University, Consortium for Science, Policy & Outcomes


Weaving the Soil Biodiversity Food Web: Advancements in Understanding on a Global Scale
Session description:
The Earth’s soils are living, dynamic interfaces that are habitats for millions of microbial and animal species. Soil biota are a key natural resource since their actions support soil resource availability and the delivery of major ecosystem services, from nutrient cycling to food production. Despite the numerous ecosystem services provided by the life in soil, soil biodiversity has received little international policy attention in both managed and natural systems. The goal of this session is to facilitate a discussion of soil biodiversity and ecosystem services on a global-scale and the importance of synthesizing soil biodiversity datasets across global ecosystems. The advent of new technologies allowing sequencing of species in environmental samples has greatly increased the collection of data, but has posed new challenges in synthesizing this data, including morphological data, natural history and ranges of organisms and determining the link to ecosystem services. Changes to soil biodiversity and ecosystem functioning are occurring, especially in the context of land use and climate change. Presentations by international experts in soil ecology, soil biodiversity education, data synthesis, ecosystem functioning and global change will provide the basis for these discussions. Examples of large-scale soil biodiversity projects will be presented. The session will showcase examples of current collaborations contributing to the Global Soil Biodiversity Initiative (GSBI), an international scientific effort. The GSBI is developing a coherent platform for promoting the translation of expert knowledge on soil biodiversity into environmental policy and sustainable land management for the protection and enhancement of ecosystem services.

Global assessment of soil biodiversity
Diana H. Wall, Department of Biology and Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO

Soil biodiversity education
Loren B. Byrne, Department of Biology, Marine Biology and Environmental Science, Roger Williams University, Bristol, RI

Soil biodiversity and climate change
Zoë Lindo, Department of Biology, University of Western Ontario, London, ON, Canada

Soil biodiversity and land management
Andre Franco, Center for Nuclear Energy in Agriculture, University of São Paulo, Brazil

Large scale patterns of urban soil biodiversity
Katalin Szlavecz, Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, Johns Hopkins University, Baltimore, MD

The Terragenome Project
David D. Myrold, Department of Crop and Soil Science, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR

The Earth Microbiome Project: It is ludicrous and not feasible – yet they are doing it.
Dorota Porazinski, University of Colorado Boulder

A platform for soil biodiversity data synthesis
Kelly Ramirez, Netherlands Institute of Ecology (NIOO-KNAW), Netherlands

Moderator(s)
Tandra Fraser
Colorado State University
Department of Biology

Organizer(s)
Tandra Fraser
Colorado State University
Department of Biology

Co-organizer(s)
Diana H. Wall
Colorado State University
Department of Biology and Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory