Shrubland Resilience and Recovery After Disturbance
Monday, August 11, 2014: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
306, Sacramento Convention Center
Jan L. Beyers
California is dominated by impressive shrublands called chaparral. Like other shrublands around the globe, they grow along seaside cliffs and become elfin woodlands on mountain tops. Shrublands are typically understated biomes that receive little attention for their significant contributions to biodiversity and environmental services. Many shrublands are renowned for their hardiness and resilience. They function as important components of ecosystem structure for such services as carbon sequestration, soil stabilization and wildlife habitat. Repeated disturbances combined with climatic changes are causing shrublands to be lost and sometimes replaced by invasive species. Chronic anthropogenic perturbation coupled with global climate change may tilt the balance of shrubland persistence toward imperiled status as has happened with the tall grass prairie and old growth forests.
This sessions’ objective brings together information on the state of shrublands from around the world to learn how to better protect, maintain and restore them. Information voids include where and when our shrublands are at risk and how to refine parameters for recognizing the tipping points when natural regeneration can no longer be sustained. Furthermore, development of protocol on how to re-establish shrublands once lost is critical. Understanding the global to physiological criteria needed for survival of these generally resilient ecosystems will contribute to conservation efforts of other ecosystems and species at risk.
Experts from different continents will address shrubland threats, plant survival traits and what is being done to identify and ameliorate shrubland decline and loss. Speakers will address shrubland concerns on multiple levels. Global change threats to shrubland resilience will approach shrubland persistence with regard to large-scale changes. Perspective at the landscape level will show how the resilience of sclerophyllous shrublands depend on fire intervals, habitat and rainfall. A closer look at physiological resilience of shrubs to drought, wildfire, and freezing will delve into plant level strategies that improve survival under environmental stresses. Restoration efforts made in shrub community evolution in soil bioengineering projects will demonstrate how to approach shrubland recovery for improving multiple ecosystem services. Similarities and differences found amongst the worlds’ shrublands should lead to greater understanding of and hence solutions for sustaining these magnificent biomes.