Humans are having an increasing impact on the planet, and global change (including invasive species, climate change, habitat fragmentation and degradation) is creating ecosystems with novel combinations of species and novel functions. This talk will address the questions: What exactly is a novel ecosystem or no-analog ecosystem and what implications do novel ecosystems have for management, especially restoration of degraded landscapes? To what extent are novel ecosystems actually new, and how might alternative stable states models of succession be a useful way to help manage novel ecosystems?
Priority effects, whereby the species that establish first in a habitat can significantly affect further assembly, often lead to alternative stable states, and these can be actively used in ecological restoration (for example in grasslands) to send a plant community along a desired trajectory. Novel ecosystems are a serious challenge but also form an opportunity for setting priorities in the management and restoration of ecosystems that are “stuck” in undesirable states.
- Vortrag zum Abschluss des Habilitationsverfahrens an der Universität Bayreuth -
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