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

SYMP 14 - A Celebration and Exploration of Joseph H. Connell’s Conceptual and Empirical Influence, Inspiration, and Legacy in Ecological Research and Education

Wednesday, August 4, 2010: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Blrm A, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Kyle Harms
Kyle Harms
Our symposium honors Eminent Ecologist Joseph H. Connell. Connell helped usher in a new era in ecological research with the experiments he published nearly 50 yr ago (in Ecology & Ecological Monographs) demonstrating the roles of competition and predation as mechanisms structuring communities. Throughout his career, Connell has sought synthetic explanations for ecological phenomena, while establishing and maintaining the longest-running, individual-based field observations of tree and coral communities. Connell’s observations, insights, syntheses, and example have motivated education and research in population and community ecology for over six decades, especially in the broad areas of: species interactions (principally antagonistic and competitive interactions, including his caution against too readily invoking the “Ghost of Competition Past”); recruitment dynamics; mechanisms of coexistence (including density-, distance-, and frequency-dependent recruitment, e.g., the Janzen-Connell Hypothesis); and disturbance-related dynamics (including his own articulation of the Intermediate Disturbance Hypothesis and the dynamics of succession). Our symposium celebrates and examines Connell’s influence on the conceptual development and future of the key topics in ecological education & research that formed the core of his career. In the spirit of a festschrift, participants have been selected from among Connell’s former students, former post-docs, and collaborators. We shall begin our symposium with an introduction by the symposium organizer, who will provide an overview of Connell’s conceptual insights and empirical contributions. Speakers who follow represent a range of favored research organisms and ecosystems, with an emphasis on coastal marine and tropical forest communities, in keeping with Connell’s breadth of interests. Collectively, speakers will: highlight research and new insights that have been inspired by Connell’s ideas, suggestions, and example; explore, synthesize, and critique Connell’s conceptual and empirical contributions; assess emerging frontiers that have been inspired by Connell’s legacy; and examine the contributions of long-term research endeavors to ecological understanding and environmental education. We shall conclude our symposium with a panel summary, in which speakers, along with Connell himself, examine the consensuses and contradictions that arise in the symposium. Panel members will be encouraged to explore the potential for mechanistic, process-based insights into spatial or temporal patterns in one community type (e.g., coral reef) to explain patterns in others (e.g., rocky intertidal, arid shrubland). This concluding session will also provide the audience opportunities to guide the discussion in novel directions through questions to panel members and the panel as a whole.
ESA Education Section
2:10 PM
Connell's settlement versus post-settlement question: Density-dependent processes in abalone populations
Robert W. Day, University of Melbourne; Sylvain Huchette, SCEA France Haliotis; Cameron Dixon, SARDI Aquatic Sciences; Patrick Gilmour, University of Melbourne; Luke McAvaney, University of Melbourne
2:25 PM
Connell's legacy on species-interactions studies
David A. Spiller, University of California, Davis
2:40 PM
Connell's influence on ecological theory
William W. Murdoch, University of California, Santa Barbara; Roger M. Nisbet, University of California, Santa Barbara; Cheryl J. Briggs, University of California, Santa Barbara
2:55 PM
The legacy of Connell's long-term time-series data
Stephen C. Schroeter, University of California, Santa Barbara; Joseph H. Connell, University of California, Santa Barbara; Susan Swarbrick, University of California, Santa Barbara
3:10 PM
3:25 PM
A Connell legacy of paradigm shifts in community ecology: what are the most important determinants of local biodiversity?
W. J. Platt, Louisiana State University; Kyle Harms, Louisiana State University
3:40 PM
Connell's long-term forest dynamics legacy in Far North Queensland
Peter T. Green, La Trobe University; Kyle Harms, Louisiana State University; Joseph H. Connell, University of California, Santa Barbara
3:55 PM
Connell's other rainforest legacy: Seedling community responses to 13 years of terrestrial vertebrate exclusion
Tad C. Theimer, Northern Arizona University; Catherine Gehring, Northern Arizona University; Peter T. Green, La Trobe University; Joseph H. Connell, University of California, Santa Barbara
4:10 PM
Gaps in our understanding of tree diversity in a tropical secondary forest
Joseph B. Yavitt, Cornell University; S. Joseph Wright, Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute; Dennis H. Knight, University of Wyoming; Gerald E. Lang, West Virginia University
4:25 PM
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