The Value of Comparative Approaches for Understanding Ecosystem Responses to Global Change
Wednesday, August 13, 2014: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
304/305, Sacramento Convention Center
Melinda D. Smith, Colorado State University
Alan K. Knapp, Colorado State University; and
Scott L. Collins, University of New Mexico
Alan K. Knapp, Colorado State University
Traditionally, ecological research has been dominated by site-based studies. However, the scale at which global changes are occurring demands research that moves beyond individual sites to that which is more comparative in nature. Comparative approaches are particularly important for understanding how and why ecosystems may differ in their sensitivity to global changes, such as land use change, climate change and eutrophication. Such understanding is critical for predicting how ecosystems may change in the future with increasing human pressures and forecast climate changes. The purpose of this organized oral session is to 1) bring together an international group of researchers employing a variety of comparative approaches, including between-ecosystem, inter-continental comparisons and network-level research, aimed at assessing the impacts of global change on ecosystem structure and function and 2) promote the value of comparative approaches to the next generation of ecologists.