IAS Fellow's Public Lecture - How Does Time Since, and Magnitude of, Change Affect Plant Communities in Fragmented Landscapes?
Long, sometimes several millennia, of low intensive grassland management has created some of the highest patch-scale plant diversity today, e.g. semi-natural grasslands. Thus current patterns of species diversity can be seen as a reflection of past cumulative landscape management that sometimes no longer exists. Today these habitats are threatened by abandonment and habitat fragmentation, i.e. habitat loss and increased isolation of habitats. Although time and succession is central for the development of any ecosystem, how time (i.e. landscape history) as a cumulative process has shaped vegetation patterns in fragmented landscapes have received less attention, compared to the effect of spatial patterns. How species, communities and biodiversity respond with time to changing patterns, habitat loss and fragmentation is one of the most important theoretical and conservation issues in ecology today. By using internationally unique historical datasets together with rigorous landscape history it is now possible to conduct empirical observations and experiments, to test concepts such as community extinction debt for example.
This lecture is free and open to all.
Details about Professor Sara Cousins
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