Tuesday, August 7, 2007: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
A1&8, San Jose McEnery Convention Center
SYMP 7 - Environmental change, extinction risk, and the maintenance of biodiversity through time
Understanding the mechanisms responsible for the generation of biodiversity and its maintenance is critical in developing effective strategies for conservation and ecological restoration. Geohistorical records allow ecologists to test for the generality of processes responsible for the maintenance of biodiversity over a range of natural environmental variation. Further, such records provide necessary baselines, prior to the onset of anthropogenic influences, with which to compare recent ecological patterns and processes. However, widespread misconceptions exist regarding the quality of geohistorical records and their application to ecological questions. Paleobiology has made great strides in understanding and accounting for biases in the fossil record, opening new avenues for application of modern ecological theory, in a scale-informed context, to paleoecological and evolutionary problems. This symposium will first present a synopsis of the ecological fidelity and acuity of geohistorical records in both marine and terrestrial settings. Building upon this foundation, speakers will address paleoecological research at multiple levels of organization from community to global scale biodiversity dynamics, focusing on the following two themes: 1) community restructuring in response to past environmental shifts, and 2) factors influencing extinction risk at community and macroecological scales. The research presented will apply theory and methods from diverse areas of ecology including niche theory, food web dynamics and metabolic scaling to provide insights into the ecological processes structuring biodiversity over longer temporal scales from the near to distant past.
Organizer:Paul G. Harnik, University of Chicago
Co-organizer:S. Kathleen Lyons, Old Dominion University
Moderator:Paul G. Harnik, University of Chicago
1:30 PMIntroductory remarks: Environmental change, extinction risk, and the maintenance of biodiversity through time
Paul G. Harnik, University of Chicago, S. Kathleen Lyons, Old Dominion University
1:35 PMEcological fidelity and temporal acuity of marine molluscan death assemblages as time capsules of biodiversity
Susan M. Kidwell, University of Chicago
1:55 PMPerspectives in community dynamics from geo-historical records of terrestrial mammals
Anna K. Behrensmeyer, Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Catherine E. Badgley, University of Michigan
2:15 PMThe relationship between environmental variables and mammalian body size distributions over space and time
S. Kathleen Lyons, Old Dominion University
2:35 PMUsing abundance distributions to analyze mass extinctions: Rapid diversity decrease among late Triassic plants coincident with climactic change
Peter J. Wagner, Field Museum of Natural History, Jennifer C. McElwain, University College Dublin
2:55 PMThe evolution and emergence of paleocommunity resistance to secondary extinctions: Species and community level processes
Peter D. Roopnarine, California Academy of Sciences, Kenneth D. Angielczyk, California Academy of Sciences, Steve C. Wang, Swarthmore College
3:15 PMBreak
3:25 PMMultiple paths to extinction: Testing ecological predictors of extinction risk using the marine bivalve fossil record
Paul G. Harnik, University of Chicago
3:45 PMInvasions and extinction risk in island avifaunas
Tim M. Blackburn, University of Birmingham, Phill Cassey, University of Birmingham, Richard P. Duncan, Lincoln University
4:05 PMDynamics of the latitudinal diversity gradient: Fossil record of “normal” and contrarian bivalve clades
David Jablonski, University of Chicago, Andrew Z. Krug, University of Chicago, Kaustuv Roy, University of California San Diego, James W. Valentine, University of California
4:25 PMMetabolic theory and biodiversity at multiple scales of ecological organization
James H. Brown, University of New Mexico
4:45 PMPanel discussion: Environmental change, extinction risk, and the maintenance of biodiversity through time
S. Kathleen Lyons, Old Dominion University, Paul G. Harnik, University of Chicago

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