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Wednesday, April 11 • 4:45pm - 5:00pm
SYMPOSIA-16: Experimental Landscape Ecology

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AUTHORS: G. Darrel Jenerette*, University of California Riverside

ABSTRACT: The history, current practice, and future needs of landscape ecological research strongly support an expanded role of experimental approaches that complements the rich observational and modeling strengths of the field. Throughout the history of landscape ecology, researchers have used diverse experimental approaches that feature controlled manipulations to answer a broad range of questions. In many cases experiments can provide powerful information on relationships between spatial pattern and ecological functioning. Here I provide an overview of how experiments are used, explore case studies that highlight success with landscape ecological experiments, and suggest new directions for future experiments. In a recent literature survey fifteen different types of landscape ecological experiments were identified. Among these types they included research that identify landscape structure, evaluate how landscape structure influences ecological processes, and evaluate causes of landscape pattern formation. Approaches for conducting landscape experiments vary along multiple axes that represent continuums that reflect constraints from scalability to real landscapes, statistical treatment, and resources for implementation. The next generation of experiments are benefitting from explicit uses of scaling theories and harnessing extensive cyberinfrastructure. Future opportunities for landscape ecologists include expanded collaborations among distributed experiments, better representations of microbial-scale experiments, and direct evaluations of landscape interactions with global changes. Notably, the recent expansion of macrosystem research is providing increased need and opportunities for new landscape experimental designs.

Wednesday April 11, 2018 4:45pm - 5:00pm CDT
Grant Park Parlor