Islands in Space and Time: Population and Community Ecology of Temporary Aquatic Habitat
Wednesday, August 13, 2014: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
204, Sacramento Convention Center
Jamie M. Kneitel, California State University, Sacramento
Michael T. Bogan, University of California, Berkeley;
Kate S. Boersma, University of San Diego; and
Sharon K. Collinge, University of Colorado
Kate S. Boersma, University of San Diego
Temporary (or seasonal) aquatic habitat is ubiquitous, but is most common in arid and Mediterranean climates. Historically, most research in aquatic ecosystems has focused on permanent waters, but seasonal aquatic habitat is proving to be an important source of biodiversity and endemic species on local and global scales. Research over the past several decades has greatly advanced our understanding of these systems, but it is unclear whether the same principles that structure communities in permanent waters can really be employed for seasonal habitat. Species that occupy these temporary ecosystems persist through dramatic habitat fluctuations by having an array of dispersal and dormancy traits. But the limits of these adaptations are being tested; temporary aquatic habitats are in decline worldwide because of human activities. With increasing concerns about water quality, availability, and management, these “islands in space and time” provide a unique opportunity to test questions of both theoretical and applied importance. This session will address the latest research on population structure and dynamics, metacommunity ecology, community assembly, and food web structure in temporary aquatic ecosystems. We seek to bring together a group of researchers with different approaches and strengths to advance the conceptual and empirical foundation of understanding temporary aquatic habitat. Several applied issues will be addressed, including species and ecosystem management, disease ecology, and restoration. The session will address a broad range of spatial and temporal scales and will include a variety of systems, including vernal pools, streams, and rock pools.
This session will emphasize recent work bridging theoretical and applied questions in temporary aquatic habitats. Our goals are to: (1) advance our understanding of these systems by including researchers that use different levels of ecological inquiry, taxonomic groups, and theoretical approaches; (2) attempt to synthesize these varied approaches to create a more unified conceptual framework for temporary aquatic habitat.