Key themes

Find out more about the key themes of the symposium.

Cheetah in a Thunderstorm, Uwe Skrzypczak

The conference will be split into a number of sessions led by our keynote speakers on the following themes.

Extreme weather events
Much attention in ecology has been given to the impacts of climate change at centennial timescales, but increases in the frequency and severity of extreme weather events may drive biodiversity loss at more immediate timescales (from seasons to decades). How does extreme weather impact species, habitats, and ecosystem function? How can ecological understanding help to predict and mitigate the impacts of extreme weather?

Shifting climates shaping ecology
Climate change will see winners and losers. Identifying which species succeed and which suffer depends on understanding the mechanisms tying population dynamics to climatic conditions. What are these mechanisms? How will these mechanisms shape future populations, communities, and ecosystems? Which species will win and which will lose?

Ecological understanding to improve climate prediction and adaptation
Atmosphere-biosphere interactions remain the largest source of uncertainty in climate projections at centennial timescales. How can ecological understanding help to reduce this uncertainty? What collaborations or experiments are needed to address gaps in our understanding of relationships between climate and ecology?

From research to operations
Climate science and weather forecasting routinely inform decision-making in the agricultural, humanitarian, and energy sectors, but how is climate science informing ecological planning? Are there examples of ecological forecasting influencing policy, practice, and public opinion? What are the challenges of, and opportunities for, translating ecological forecasts into decision-support tools and services? How can we achieve this?

Biodiversity change scenarios and targets
Even the best models of future conditions are uncertain. To deal with this, climate scientists use RCPs to describe a set of plausible future climate scenarios upon which thresholds and targets can be based. Can we develop comparable biodiversity scenarios? What should these scenarios consider and how should they be presented? What targets should policy be aiming for?