Tuesday, August 8, 2017: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
Portland Blrm 253, Oregon Convention Center
Laura Pollock, CNRS
Matthew V. Talluto, CNRS; and
Karel Mokany, CSIRO
Wilfried Thuiller, CNRS
Global change and human activities are causing massive impacts to biodiversity in nearly every ecosystem. Accurate biodiversity projections are essential to help address this conservation crisis, which has driven the recent diversification of approaches to modeling biodiversity. This symposium will present a range of cutting-edge methods for modeling biodiversity, with a focus on bridging the gap between models focused on species (e.g., species distribution models, population models) and those focused on directly modeling aggregate measures of biodiversity (e.g., alpha- and beta-diversity models). Single-species models can produce extremely accurate results, yet it can be difficult to aggregate these models to account for broader diversity patterns without considering (at a minimum) species interactions. Recent advances in modeling multiple species simultaneously begins to address this problem, but comes with its own limitations and caveats. Directly modeling aggregate properties of diversity is appealing, however much information is lost by not considering information for individual species. Thus, the challenge moving forward will be to develop approaches that combine information from the population and species level with aggregate properties of diversity at the community level. The speakers for this symposium will present various aspects of this problem, ending with a general synthesis and discussion about approaches and challenges in further advancing biodiversity modeling.