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Biogeography, Changing Climates and Niche Evolution

David Wake, Elizabeth Hadly and David Ackerly

December 11-13, 2008
Irvine, CA

Meeting Overview:
The meeting examined what lies ahead in evolutionary studies of the nature of niches of organisms in space and time one century after Joseph Grinnell laid out a vision for studying the distributions of organisms in a changing world. The two day meeting addressed the questions of how we can use new tools and methodologies, newly generated robust phylogenies, rapidly growing databases in biodiversity informatics, evidence of the impact of changing environments, and evolving perspectives on niches to predict future patterns of distribution and even evolution from the perspectives of ecology, paleontology, phylogenetics, and biodiversity informatics dealing with microbes, plants and animals and organized under four major topics:

  1. Organisms, Geography, Climate and Evolution: Homage to Joseph Grinnell
  2. The Distribution of Organisms and their Niches
  3. Niche Evolution and Changing Environments
  4. Climate Change and its Prospects

Video Available

Distinctive Voices public lecture
 Back to Life: How Monterey Bay was Restored to Health
Steve Palumbi, Stanford University

Session 1: Organisms, Geography, Climate and Evolution: Homage to Joseph Grinnell
Opening Remarks and Session Chair, David Wake

The Grinnellian niche: species distribution in space and time
Craig Moritz, University of California at Berkeley

 Grinnell's niche concept and its impact
Jorge Soberon, University of Kansas

Hutchinson's duality: the once and future niche
Robert Colwell, University of Connecticut & Thiago Rangel, University of Connecticut

 Niches, body sizes, and the disassembly of island mammal faunas
James Brown, University of New Mexico

Session 2: The Distribution of Organisms and Their Niches
Session Chair, Elizabeth Hadly

 Niches, landscapes, and global change
John A. Wiens, PRBO conservation Science

 Steps towards a conceptual framework for understanding niche conservatism and evolution: theoretical explorations
Robert Holt, University of Florida

 Biophysical ecology of the niche through space and time: mechanistic species distribution modeling
Warren Porter, University of Wisconsin, Madison

 Niche Evolution, coexistence and the assembly of regional biota
David Ackerly, University of California at Berkeley

Keynote Speaker
 The Future of Our Oceans
Steven Palumbi, Stanford University

Session 3: Niche Evolution and Changing Environments
Session Chair, David Ackerly

 Niche conservation above the species-level
Elizabeth Hadly, Stanford University

 Environmental texture through time and its ecological consequences
Stephen T. Jackson, University of Wyoming

 Species facing range limits
Amy Angert, Colorado State University

 Retrospective niche modeling, historical stability and phylogenetic reconstruction
David Vieites, University of California at Berkeley

Session 4: Climate Change and its Prospects
Session Chair, Elizabeth Hadly

 Variation in niches through space and time: a community perspective
Catherine Graham, State University of New York at Stony Brook

 Forecasting biodiversity and ecosystem changes
Niklaus E. Zimmerman, Swiss Federal Research Institute WSL

 Biotic response to recent rapid climate change
W. E. Bradshaw, University of Oregon

 Niche breadth and sensitivity to climate change
Steve Williams, James Cook University, Townsville, Australia

Closing Remarks, David Wake, University of California, Berkeley


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