Sunday, August 2, 2009: 8:00 AM-4:30 PM
Pecos, Albuquerque Convention Center
The interior Western U.S. represents a huge area, dominated by semiarid to arid landscapes. Much of this land is publically owned and is critical for wildlife habitat, recreation, and other resources. However, urbanization, frequent fires, and increasing pressure from invasive species are interacting to cause an unsustainable cycle of environmental degradation of plant communities. Restoration efforts that emphasize native germplasm adapted to local environments may be the best approach to ensure long-term sustainability. Yet in pursuing this approach, land managers are faced with rapid climate change, making sustainable restoration a moving target. This workshop will explore how scientists and land managers can blend new approaches to restoration with climate change. More specifically, topics will examine ways in which the pattern and amplitude of temperature and precipitation are expected to change and which ecosystems are most threatened? What are the prospects for plant migration and the genetic mechanisms involved in adaptation? How will climate change affect the spread of exotic invasives? What is the current situation for germplasm conservation of key native species and what are approaches to safeguard against loss of biodiversity? What is the role of plant molecular ecology in understanding climate change effects? Will insect and disease pests be enhanced and key pollinating insects limited? And what are the practical problems associated with restoration of landscapes now and into the future? Participants are expected to be ecologists, geneticists, and land managers wishing to gain perspective on approaches to restoration in the face of climate change on Western lands.