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

SS 18- - Managing for thresholds changes in terrestrial systems

Tuesday, August 3, 2010: 8:30 PM
303-304, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Katharine N. Suding, Environmental Science, Policy & Management, University of California at Berkeley, Berkeley, CA
The recognition that a system can appear resilient to changes in the environment, only to reach a critical threshold of rapid and unexpected change, is spurring work to apply threshold models in conservation and restoration. Work to date indicates these concepts are highly applicable: climate change alongside other human impacts can widen the range of habitats where threshold dynamics occur and shift systems to new states that are difficult to reverse. However, in many management settings, threshold concepts are being adopted without evaluation of evidence and uncertainty. I will discuss how threshold models can be incorporated in management decision-making, emphasizing relatively-short timescales and the shifting baseline of climate change.