8th to 12th January, 2015 - Bayreuth, Germany

PS1 Adaptation, Migration, Persistence, Extinction: New Insights from Past Climate Changes

Sunday, 08:30-11:30, Audimax


  • Francisco Rodríguez-Sánchez, Estación Biológica de Doñana, CSIC, Spain
  • David Nogués-Bravo, Centre for Macroecology, Evolution and Climate, Denmark
Climate change is one of the major threats to biodiversity at present. Species are expected to migrate, evolve, persist locally or go extinct in response to climate change, but after decades of research we are still struggling to predict which response(s) will be more likely across different taxa, whether species will be able to adapt or migrate at the required pace, or which taxa may be at higher risk of extinction. This puzzling situation is partly due to the inherent complexity and limited understanding of the processes involved, and to the scarcity of appropriate comparative data. However, climate has been changing incessantly along Earth’s history: how did species respond to past climate changes? How much migration, extinction, persistence and extinction occurred, and which factors (if any) could explain the outcome in retrospect? How do biotic interactions affect species responses? Looking backwards can be a fruitful way to increase our understanding and hopefully improve our predictive ability. This symposium will seek answers to these pressing questions by investigating biodiversity responses to past climate changes. In particular, this symposium has three main aims: (i) provide a synthesis of current knowledge about biodiversity responses to past climate changes; (ii) highlight current unknowns and propose ways to expand our knowledge, and (iii) discuss how this retrospective knowledge can be used rigorously to improve forecasts of climate change impacts for the next decades.

Confirmed speakers:

  • Steve Jackson, Southwest Climate Science Center, US Geological Survey, USA 
    "The Fossil Record and the Future:  Using the Past to Assess Climate-Change Vulnerability and Adaptation" 
  • Hélène Morlon, Biology, Ecole Normale Supérieure, France
    "Testing the effect of past climatic changes on biodiversity" 
  • Luisa Orsini, School of Biosciences, Environmental Genomics Group, University of Birmingham, UK
    "A revolutionary way to reconstruct evolutionary dynamics in nature over centuries" 
  • Damien Fordham, The Environment Institute, The University of Adelaide, Australia
    "Reassessing extinction risk from anthropogenic climate change using fossils and molecular log books" 

08:30Session Introduction PS1.0: Francisco Rodriguez-Sanchez: Introduction
08:40PS1.1: Steve Jackson: The fossil record and the future: Using the past to assess climate-change vulnerability and adaptation
09:05PS1.2: Hélène Morlon: Testing the effect of past climatic changes on biodiversity
09:30PS1.3: Luisa Orsini: A revolutionary way to reconstruct evolutionary dynamics in nature over centuries
09:55Coffee Break (Foyer Audimax)
10:25PS1.4: Damien Fordham: Reassessing extinction risk from anthropogenic climate change using fossils and molecular log books
10:50PS1.5: Roland Jansson et al.: Stability begets diversification: effects of climatic stability on the diversification of birds in the New World
11:05PS1.6: Erik J de Boer et al.: Ecosystem response to climate change in the tropical island of Mauritius, SW Indian Ocean
11:20Session Introduction PS1.7: David Nogués-Bravo: Conclusions

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