SFI: ‘Disturbance Ecology Meets Macroecology…’ Nov. 23

Erica Newman, University of California, Berkeley
SFI News:
The Santa Fe Institute (SFI) holds seminar “Disturbance Ecology Meets Macroecology: A new method for cross-system comparisons of ecosystems in transition” for 12:15 p.m., Monday Nov. 23, at Collins Conference Room in Santa Fe. 
Abstract: Natural disturbances increase heterogeneity and diversity of ecosystems, while anthropogenic changes often decrease ecosystem complexity and diversity.
To a disturbance ecologist, factors such as the type, size, and seasonality of disturbances explain patterns on the landscape; however, macroecologists treat all perturbations and disturbances as the same, and generally avoid studying ecosystems in transition.
Here, I extend an information entropy-based theory of macroecology (the Maximum Entropy Theory of Ecology) to disrupted and disturbed ecosystems, and compare the macroecological responses of biological communities in transition including a primary succession landslide system, a fire-evolved conifer system, and a novel grazing regime in forb-dominated meadows.
This integration of macroecology into disturbance ecology allows for cross-system comparisons of natural disturbance and anthropogenic impacts.
This more advanced understanding of ecological perturbations and quantitative comparisons of their effects over multiple spatial scales can inform both species-level and landscape-scale conservation efforts.
SFI Host: Caitlin Stern
Click here to view the online event listing.