Landscape connectivity is vital not only spatially, but also temporally; as ecosystems change, it is important to be aware of past, present, and future variables that may impact ecosystem function and biodiversity. As climate and environments continue to change, choosing appropriate restoration targets is becoming more challenging. By considering the paleoecological and paleoenvironmental record for a given region, restoration practitioners are not only able to bear witness to that region’s dynamic history, but also potentially identify multiple, alternative natural ecosystem states. Indeed, one of the asserted deliverables of conservation paleobiology, a field that applies paleontological data and methods to present-day conservation, is to inform restoration targets. Consideration of future change is equally important and paleoecological and paleoclimatological data are essential for informing models that can help us understand how climate change is affecting species and ecosystems at different temporal scales. In this symposium, representatives from paleoecology and restoration ecology will share their perspectives on temporal connectivity and how consideration of an ecosystem’s past, present and future can positively impact restoration and conservation. Some speakers will approach this topic theoretically while others will consider it from a more practical and applied standpoint. Our goal is to build a stronger relationship between the subdisciplines and, through these presentations and the ensuing discussion, we hope to stimulate new ideas and to identify data and/or products that would be useful to share across subdisciplines.
Presenting Author: Jenny L. McGuire – Interdisciplinary Graduate Program in Quantitative Biosciences, Georgia Institute of Technology
Presenting Author: Jens-Christian Svenning – Department of Biology, Section for Ecoinformatics and Biodiversity, Aarhus University
Presenting Author: G. Lynn Wingard – Florence Bascom Geoscience Center, United States Geological Survey
Presenting Author: David Moreno Mateos – Landscape Architecture, Harvard University