EcolChange seminar – Lander Baeten about long-term changes of forest biodiversity

Seminar of the Centre of Excellence EcolChange + Seminar of Department of Botany and Doctoral School of Earth Sciences and Ecology

Lander Baeten is professor at the Department of Forest and Water Management, Ghent University, Belgium. He visits Department of Botany as opponent of PhD defence of Taavi Paal on May 10th at 10.15 in the Senate hall (Ülikooli 18).

Title of the talk: Plant biodiversity change in the Anthropocene – the value of multiple-site community resurvey data

Time: Thursday, 11. May 2017 at 16.15

Place: Tartu, Ülikooli street 17


Global biodiversity is in decline, but this crisis does not necessarily filter down to the local scale. Indeed, globally distributed data sets have shown that increases and decreases in plant diversity can be equally likely. But even if the net diversity change is zero, this does not imply communities don’t change over time. However, we often lack appropriate data to study the potentially dramatic shifts in composition, especially over decadal time scales. This is where ‘legacy data’ come in. Resurveys of historical vegetation records provide invaluable information to study biodiversity dynamics, especially if multiple data sets are combined to cover broad gradients in climate and other drivers of change. I will discuss the opportunities and challenges related to such data and illustrate this with the forestREplot initiative, a database of forest understorey resurvey studies.

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