Complementarity Considers Ecological Principles to Create Sustainable Pathways

Tuesday, August 6, 2013: 1:30 PM-3:30 PM
101E, Minneapolis Convention Center
Shelby Williams, University of Minnesota
Clarence L. Lehman, University of Minnesota
Shelby Williams, University of Minnesota
Ecological principles can be used to design a more sustainable future through “complementarity” in ecosystem services. For instance, corn fields inevitably emit nitrogen. With judicious landscape design, those fields can supply an otherwise unintended ecosystem service to neighboring grasslands, forests, and similar systems needing nitrogen. Those systems in turn can provide ecosystem services to an emerging bioenergy industry by complementing, rather than competing with, food production. Natural systems that have existed under evolutionary pressures for some time tend not to “leak” significantly. Instead, excess nitrogen and other nutrients become resources which other organisms can use. But our own ecosystems, from cities to corn fields, do not have such a long-term evolutionary advantage nor the advantage of ecologically informed composition. This EPA Ignite session will explore systems where detrimental or benign excesses occur---in space, waste, time---and how they can be taken advantage of in other systems. Importantly, this is a call to extend beyond conservation. Complementarity uses ecosystem properties honed on evolutionary timescales to carve a more sustainable path for anthropogenic systems. Through reflections of conceivable future directions, we want to help ecologists formulate visions that integrate ecosystem services---to help our society anticipate and meet the needs of a planet that is sustainable for ourselves and for the diverse ecosystems on which we depend.
 Decoupling our natural and artificial watersheds: An example of whole ecosystem complementarity
Clarence Lehman, University of Minnesota; Richard Barnes, University of Minnesota; David Mulla, University of Minnesota; Joel Nelson, University of Minnesota; Jacob Galzki, University of Minnesota; Habio Wan, University of Minnesota
 Darwinian agriculture
R. F. Denison, University of Minnesota
 Designing and valuing future farm landscapes
James O. Eckberg, University of Minnesota; Gregg A. Johnson, University of Minnesota; David Mulla, University of Minnesota; Donald Wyse, University of Minnesota
 Ecosystem complementarity through STRIPs
Lisa A. Schulte, Iowa State University; Matthew J. Helmers, Iowa State University; J. Gordon Arbuckle, Iowa State University; Pauline Drobney, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service; Mary A. Harris, Iowa State University; Randall K. Kolka, USDA Forest Service; Matt Liebman, Iowa State University; Matthew E. O'Neal, Iowa State University; John C. Tyndall, Iowa State University
 Environmental markets: Innovative conservation opportunities to manage human excess?
Ariana Sutton-Grier, University of Maryland and National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration
 Finding win-win in less than three days
Joseph Pignatello Reid, University of Minnesota - Twin Cities; Charlotte E. Riggs, University of Minnesota
See more of: Ignite ESA Sessions