95th ESA Annual Meeting (August 1 -- 6, 2010)

SYMP 1 -1 - Introduction: Advice from theorists on managing ecosystems in a changing climate

Monday, August 2, 2010: 1:30 PM
Blrm A, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Alan Hastings, Dept. of Environmental Science and Policy, University of California, Davis, Davis, CA and K. Cuddington, Department of Biology, University of Waterloo, Waterloo, ON, Canada

Ecological theory has historically focused on long term behavior, and on understanding the dynamics of ecological systems.  Studies of fisheries stand out in contrast with an emphasis on shorter term dynamics and on choosing management options. However, even management of fisheries has often been focused on single species approaches, and relatively short term predictions.  


In the face of global change, management decisions need to be made that affect species and ecosystems at a range of spatial and temporal scales and take into account ecological complexity, human aspects including economic and political considerations, and environmental forcing and feedbacks.  This symposium will highlight a number of these different issues and focus on more specific questions as well.  We will introduce the symposium by giving an overview of how theory is required when making these kinds of decisions. We will emphasize the importance of taking into account complex dynamics and the role that theory must play in both guiding decisions and data gathering.  Examples will be given that include the idea of regime shifts in ecological systems.  We will also provide an overview of the topics to be covered in the symposium.