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

OOS 32 - Landscape and Ecoregional Approaches to Protecting Biodiversity in a Changing Climate

Wednesday, August 4, 2010: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
306-307, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Charles C. Chester
Jodi Hilty and Molly Cross
Charles C. Chester
Summary: In response to the threat of climate change to conservation of biodiversity, what particular adaptive (as opposed to mitigative) solutions have scientists and conservationists proposed? Surveying the literature, policy analysts have identified “landscape scale conservation” as one of the most widely cited policy prescription for the threat of climate change. This organized session examines a number of particular regions—or large landscapes/seascapes—where scientists and/or land managers have begun to grapple with the question of what a “landscape scale response to climate change” would look like in practice. Background: In addition to evolutionary adaptation, a principal manner in which biodiversity responds to climate change is by move across the landscape to more amenable areas. Today, the capacity of biodiversity to make such peregrinations is threatened by human artifacts--e.g., cities, suburbs, and extensively modified agricultural areas. Simply put, by blocking the ability of biodiversity to move, anthropogenic changes to the landscape effectively vitiate the possibility of movement in response to climate change. Consequently, scientists and conservationists argue that the current system of protected areas in most countries and transboundary regions is entirely inadequate to the long-term goal of biodiversity protection under the threat of climate change. Rather than a system of “postage stamp” parks, they argue, we have to protect large landscapes in order to pose a successful response to climate change. One might interpret such a prescription as little more than a “scaling up” of the traditional conservation tactic of habitat protection. In practice, however, only a few conservationists argue that a strict “national park” status for regional landscapes is practical or feasible. Nonetheless, conservation of some kind at the scale of large landscapes will be necessary in allowing biodiversity to respond to climate change. Overall, despite increasing evidence that biodiversity will require humanity to consider reframing conservation objectives to match the scale of large landscapes, little of today’s land management incorporates climate change considerations to facilitate persistence. We do not readily have many tools that can help with this monumental task, nor are there many examples of entities that have moved beyond climate paralysis and into actions or on-the-ground changes. In order to begin filling this gap, this organized session will examine regionally-focused case studies of specific regions where scientists and conservationists are working to protect large landscapes in response to climate change.
1:50 PM
Arctic Alaska: Are adaptation strategies possible in the far north?
Steve Zack, Wildlife Conservation Society; Joe Liebezeit, Wildlife Conservation Society
2:30 PM
Two countries one forest: Working across boundaries to ensure a resilient landscape
Stephen C. Trombulak, Middlebury College; Robert F. Baldwin, Clemson University
2:50 PM
From Paseo Pantera to the MBC: Balancing regional conservation, development, and climate change
Margaret Buck Holland, UW-Madison and Conservation International
3:10 PM
3:20 PM
Great eastern ranges: A large landscape plan that conserves biodiversity from the Alps to Atherton, Australia
Graeme L. Worboys, IUCN WCPA Mountain Protected Area and Connectivity Conservation Network; Ian Pulsford, New South Wales Department of Environment, Climate Change, and Water
3:40 PM
CANCELLED - Biodiversity of European freshwater ecosystems in a changing climate
Leopold Füreder, University of Innsbruck; Thomas Scheurer, ISCAR International Scientific Committee on Research in the Alps; Aurelia Ullrich, CIPRA International
4:00 PM
Ocean giants in a changing climate: Impacts and challenges facing marine species and their conservation
Howard C. Rosenbaum, Wildlife Conservation Society; Randall S. Wells, Chicago Zoological Society; Brian D. Smith, Wildlife Conservation Society; S. Elizabeth Alter, NRDC; Cynthia J. Lagueux, Wildlife Conservation Society; Cathi Campbell, Wildlife Conservation Society; Sarah Pacyna, Wildlife Conservation Society
See more of: Organized Oral Session