Thursday, August 9, 2007: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
A1&8, San Jose McEnery Convention Center
SYMP 16 - The success of succession: The development of a fundamental ecological theory and its application in a changing world
The successional dynamics of plant communities is one of the deepest rooted topics of ecological study and has given ecology some of its first theoretical controversies. Despite this hallowed history, the study of successional dynamics is often dismissed as a descriptive science and successional systems as inferior study systems to pristine landscapes. It is our contention that successional studies continue to provide critical tests of ecological theory and data relevant to contemporary ecological issues. Since early successional work by Clements, there has been a clear linkage between the understanding of community dynamics and effective habitat management practices. The combined meeting between ESA and SERI provides a wonderful opportunity to reestablish this linkage and to fully integrate modern successional theory and perspectives into ecological restoration. As successional dynamics necessarily integrate simultaneously across a multitude of ecological scales and processes (from individual physiology through nutrient dynamics) it is an ideal framework to bring together researchers from a breadth of disciplines. The goal of this symposium is to present a cross-section of perspectives on community change, reaffirming the relevance of succession studies to contemporary ecology. Target communities for restoration span a range of successional stages. Therefore, it is important to know how to reverse or retard succession in some cases, while advancing it in others. For this reason, succession is fast becoming a unifying concept in ecological restoration and provides a unique opportunity to bridge the gap between pure and applied ecological science. The impetus behind this symposium is the 50th anniversary of the Buell-Small Succession Study, the longest continuous and ongoing study of post-agricultural succession. We wanted to take this opportunity to revisit the concepts and theories of succession, examining their past, present and future in ecology. In this symposium speakers will focus on the development and application of contemporary theoretical approaches rather than on individual empirical data sets. Where appropriate, speakers will directly discuss opportunities for improving restoration strategies through the application of a successional framework.
Organizer:Scott J. Meiners, Eastern Illinois University
Co-organizers:Steward T. A. Pickett, Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Mary L. Cadenasso, UC Davis
Moderator:Mary L. Cadenasso, UC Davis
8:00 AMWelcome and Introduction
Mary L. Cadenasso, UC Davis
8:05 AMEver since Clements: The development of successional theory and its implications for the next generation of conceptual frameworks
Steward T. A. Pickett, Institute of Ecosystem Studies, Mary L. Cadenasso, UC Davis
8:30 AMSuccession in the dynamics, management, and restoration of Central Texas plant communities
Norma Fowler, University of Texas, Austin, Mark T. Simmons, University of Texas, Austin
8:55 AMSoil and the structure and dynamics of grassland communities
Heather L. Reynolds, Indiana University, Karen A. Haubensak, Indiana University
9:20 AMOn a level field: The utility of studying exotic and native species in successional systems
Scott J. Meiners, Eastern Illinois University, Timothy A. Rye, Eastern Illinois University, Jeremy R. Klass, Eastern Illinois University
9:45 AMBreak
9:55 AMTesting general theory using successional systems
M. Henry. H. Stevens, Miami University
10:20 AMHow successional insights aid restoration in severely damaged habitats
Lawrence R. Walker, University of Nevada Las Vegas
10:45 AMOld field dynamics around the world: Similarities, differences, and lessons for succession and restoration
Viki A. Cramer, Murdoch University, Australia, Richard J. Hobbs, Murdoch University, Australia, Rachel J. Standish, Murdoch University, Australia
11:10 AMPanel Discussion
Mary L. Cadenasso, UC Davis

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See more of The ESA/SER Joint Meeting (August 5 -- August 10, 2007)