2019 Themes

1. Detection, attribution & prediction of changes in species distributions
2. Understanding ecological and evolutionary mechanisms facilitating or hindering range shifts
3. Impacts of climate change on community structure and patterns of taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity
4. The paleo-ecological perspective: reconstructing species distributions over multiple millennia
5. Conservation paradigms & management strategies for a shifting future
6. Governance, legal and ethical issues for shifting species and changing ecosystems
7. Cultural, social and economic dimensions of changes in species distributions
8. Indigenous knowledge and species on the move
9. Implications of species on the move for human and animal health
10. Changes in species distribution and climate feedbacks (e.g. greening of the Arctic)
11. The impacts of species on the move for global strategies and policies (SDGs, Biodiversity & Climate Change)
12. Ecological impacts of species redistributions on recipient ecosystem function and resilience.
13. Interactions between multiple stressors and range shifts
14. Protected Areas Planning for Species on the Move: Lessons from the tropics and marine opportunities

When submitting an abstract through the Presentation Portal please identify the stream your submission best fits:

1. Detection, attribution & prediction of changes in species distributions

Species the world over have shifted their ranges in response to global climate change, yet the bulk of the range shifts are yet to come. Here we draw together key advances in our ability to detect range shifts, attribute them to drivers, and ultimately to test and hone our predictive tools. We aim particularly to showcase work on new monitoring tools for contemporary range shift detection, advances in disentangling ecological and evolutionary complexity, and key related advances in predictive tools.

Theme Chairs:

Jenn Sunday
Email: sunday@zoology.ubc.ca 

Morgan Tingley
Assistant Professor
Ecology and Evolutionary Biology
University of Connecticut
Storrs, United States
Email: morgan.tingley@uconn.edu

2. Understanding ecological and evolutionary mechanisms facilitating or hindering range shifts

Rapid increases in observed climate change effects on species, such as range shifts, have been accompanied by an expansion in the variety of mechanisms reported to underlie such effects. These mechanisms operate at multiple levels, from genes and individuals to subpopulations and species, driving an urgent need for cross-field collaborations in evolutionary biology, ecophysiology, population biology and ecology. Understanding the mechanisms that facilitate or hinder range shifts underpins our ability to reduce species’ vulnerability to climate change. Therefore, we focus on understanding how these mechanisms operate, and how this knowledge can be used for effective species conservation under climate change.

Theme Chairs:

Susana Clusella-Trullas
Dept. of Botany and Zoology & Centre for Invasion Biology
Stellenbosch University
Stellenbosch, South Africa
Email: sct333@sun.ac.za

Wendy Foden
Climate Change Specialist Group
Species Survival Commission
International Union for Conservation of Nature
Gland, Switzerland
Email: fodenw@gmail.com

3. Impacts of climate change on community structure and patterns of taxonomic, functional and phylogenetic diversity

Climate change is causing responses at the species level, e.g. changes in the genomic architecture of species, species‘ abundances, their geographical distributions and also their interactions with other species. In turn, these responses result in changes of emerging diversity patterns, such as the structure of ecological communities as well as the spatial and temporal variation in taxonomic, functional and evolutionary diversity. In other words, species assemblages are responding to a changing climate – with their structure, their richness, their trait spaces, and their evolutionary (e.g. genetic) characteristics. This will likely continue in the future, with evolutionary and ecological outcomes which are often unprecedented in history.

Theme Chairs:

Sophie von der Heyde
Associate Professor | Marine Genomics and Conservation
Department of Botany and Zoology
University of Stellenbosch
South Africa
Email: svdh@sun.ac.za

Christian Hof
Biodiversity and Global Change Lab
Terrestrial Ecology Research Group
Technical University of Munich
Freising, Germany
Email: christian.hof@tum.de 

4. The paleo-ecological perspective: reconstructing species distributions over multiple millennia

Approaches at the intersection between paleoecology, paleoclimatology and evolutionary biogeography are revealing the processes and mechanisms that regulated the severity of past climate and environmental change on biodiversity.  We will examine how changes in the Earth’s climate during the Quaternary have affected biodiversity dynamics, driving range shifts and extinctions as well as diversification, providing, in many cases, “real-world” foundations for better anticipating what the future may bring.

Theme Chairs:

A/Prof Damien Fordham
The Environment Institute & School of Biological Sciences
The University of Adelaide
Email: damien.fordham@adelaide.edu.au

Marion Bamford
Email: Marion.Bamford@wits.ac.za 

5. Conservation paradigms & management strategies for a shifting future

Species on the move mean ecosystems torn apart and reassembling.  Such changes have led to proposals of a paradigm shift in conservation science and management from preserving existing biodiversity as is to “managing for change”, which can alter both management approaches and goals.  For example, representing species and ecosystems in protected areas is a mainstay of modern conservation, but are protected areas fixed in space an effective conservation tool given responses to climate change?  We will examine how and when traditional conservation tools are still appropriate, what additional tools are needed and how species on the move, and the associated ecosystem changes, affect conservation goals.

Theme Chairs:

Lee Hannah
Senior Scientist, Climate Change Biology
The Moore Center for Science Conservation International
Arlington, Virginia, USA
Email: lhannah@conservation.org 

Marissa L. Baskett
Associate Professor
Department of Environmental Science and Policy
University of California, Davis
Email: mlbaskett@ucdavis.edu

Sub Theme: Interventions for species on the move
Presentations related to interventions or adaptation options that aid or retard the movement of species. Examples include creation or removal of habitat corridors, supplemental movement, and anticipatory translocations. Topics could span (i) theoretical studies examining intervention options for species on the move, (ii) policy or governance consideration for proposed or actual interventions, and (iii) case studies that demonstrate attempts to speed up movement of desirable species, or slow the movement or loss of species from a region.

Sub Theme Chairs:

Alistair Hobday
CSIRO

Juan Diego
Gaitanespitia

6. Governance, legal and ethical issues for shifting species and changing ecosystems

The way we respond to shifting species’ ranges will be influenced by ethical, political and legal factors, as well as economic and cultural ones. New management interventions will almost certainly impinge upon existing legal rights and obligations, so difficult trade-offs may be necessary. These trade-offs may concern societal decisions over whether to intervene at all and choices between competing land uses, cultural values, and legal or policy instrument. We welcome contributions from  natural and social scientists that can help resolve these trade-offs, minimise conflict, and enhance conservation outcomes for species on the move.

This theme also considers ways in which science and scientists influence policy, and the various aspects of ‘science-to-policy’ pathways and interfaces. If there is enough interest in this theme, we may curate a ‘science-to-policy’ section and panel discussion at the end of the session.

Theme Chairs:

Richard Caddell
Email: CaddellR@cardiff.ac.uk

Jan McDonald
Email: jan.mcdonald@utas.edu.au

7. Cultural, social and economic dimensions of changes in species distributions

The impacts of species range shifts and changing ecosystems often extend beyond environmental domains to human cultural, social and economic dimensions. Changing distributions of species that are ecosystem engineers, form habitats for other species, or underpin food production systems can have significant social or economic impacts. Shifts in the ranges of agricultural species, effected by humans and driven by a combination of market factors and changing climatic suitability, are also likely to have large impacts in both the human and environmental domains.  The implications of such shifts are often most serious in highly climate sensitive environments, those affected by poverty, or with subsistence agro-based livelihoods. Moreover, the culture of many people and places is intimately tied to both the climate and the local ecology. Cultural, social and economic dimensions are of critical importance in understanding both the impacts and drivers of shifting species distributions, and in developing appropriate adaptation responses.

Theme Chair:

Lyndon Estes
Email: LEstes@clarku.edu

8. Indigenous knowledge and species on the move

This theme of the Species on the Move 2019 will explore traditional wisdom and Indigenous – Local Knowledge (ILK) systems that are assessing and forming relationships to the changes in species and homelands of the Indigenous and traditional communities as a result of climate change.
Unlike usual sessions with structured presentations we organise this theme as a Traditional Wisdom Circle – all participants will sit in a circle all time and they can see and interact with each other as a part of this circle.
Presentations can be had using power point or oral narration, but they will be limited in time and should be designed with the Traditional Wisdom Circle format in mind.
We expect the theme to include voices from the ‘heavily hit’ Indigenous and traditional homelands of the Arctic and Boreal zone where new species arrive at record speeds altering the structures of ecosystems and seasonal cycles as well as from those areas where climate-driven biodiversity change comes on top of land use and degradation that has already caused significant disturbances to local communities.
We welcome non-orthodox, unique and cutting edge suggestions and openings for example they could be a dream diary of a reindeer herder on climate change and weather, a song that addresses the new arriving animals to form relationships with them, a guardianship between the community and a species that will be removed or alter their locations meaning profound questions to be asked in customary and Indigenous law and reality, women that fight to preserve the last intact forests and face the climate-impacts on top of everything, super highways that are planned to wreck the last rainforest and what to do about that and so on. We are open to the marginalised, left out and drowned voices that deserve more time, space and audiences under climate-driven flux of our new realities. We encourage people to come as well with answers – community-led restoration and conservation to maintain safe havens, training of Future Elders on land to have them be the leaders in 2100s when everything changes and so on.
We wish this Traditional Wisdom Circle to be relevant for the Indigenous and local peoples first while scientists and other partners are welcome to listen and take part too.

Theme Chairs:

Tero Mustonen
Email: tero@lumi.fi

Chels Marshall
Email: h20critter@gmail.com 

9. Implications of species on the move for human and animal health

In the era of the Anthropocene, ecosystems are changing fast leading to rapid changes in fauna and flora. This is having implications for the geographical spread and temporal seasonal changes of microorganisms that can cause disease in humans and animals and may also have implications for their pathogenicity. In the last decades the world has experienced a rise in emerging infectious diseases of which the majority are zoonotic. Many are also vector-borne infections, that are particular climate sensitive, and thus likely to change markedly in incidence and prevalence in the near future. We will examine the impact of current and future climatic changes on infectious disease dynamics in people, wildlife, and livestock across the globe, and discuss what actions that should be taken.

Theme Chairs:

Birgitta Evengård
MD, PhD, Professor, DIV Infection and Immunology
Dept Clinical Microbiology
Umeå University
Umeå, Sweden
Email: birgitta.evengard@umu.se

Anna-Sofie Steensgaard
Email: asstensgaard@snm.ku.dk

10. Changes in species distribution and climate feedbacks (e.g. greening of the Arctic)

There is a growing amount of evidence that species on the move influence not only biological and human systems but also global climate feedbacks. Species range shifts alter albedo, carbon storage and sequestration, and greenhouse gases release. The magnitude and direction – and in some cases the net effect – of these feedbacks are not well documented and exist as a collection of examples rather than well quantified flux estimates and parameters ready for inclusion in earth-system models. This session invites contributions discussing emerging evidence of complex links between redistribution of organisms, and physical and biogeochemical processes potentially influencing climate feedbacks directly or indirectly in both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. We welcome contributions addressing challenges and uncertainties associated with parameterizing these processes in climate models.

Theme Chair:

Katya Popova
Marine Systems Modelling
National Oceanography Centre
University of Southampton Waterfront Campus
Southampton United Kingdom
Email: e.popova@noc.ac.uk

11. The impacts of species on the move for global strategies and policies (SDGs, Biodiversity & Climate Change)

Despite mounting evidence for the pervasive and substantial impacts of a climate-driven redistribution of Earth’s species, current global goals, policies, and international agreements fail to account for these effects. With the predicted intensification of species movements and their diverse societal and environmental impacts, awareness of species “on the move” should be incorporated into large-scale and global assessments as standard practice. This will raise hope that future targets—whether they be global sustainability goals, plans for regional biodiversity maintenance, or local fishing or forestry harvest strategies—can be achievable and that society is prepared for a world of universal ecological change.

Theme Chair:

Brett Scheffers
Email: brett.scheffers@ufl.edu 

12. Ecological impacts of species redistributions on recipient ecosystem function and resilience.

Climate driven species redistributions are a global phenomenon that represent both a response to and a driver of climate change impacts. Here we highlight the ecological impacts that range shifting species have on the function and resilience of recipient ecosystems. Range-shifting species may have diverse impacts on recipient species (e.g behaviour, fitness, growth, survival), community (e.g. richness, abundance, interaction networks) or ecosystem level processes (e.g. standing stocks and fluxes of biochemical elements, changes in sediment type, pollution). Here we aim to showcase how species redistribution impact recipient ecosystems and the environmental conditions and ecological context in which strong-to-weak and negative-to-positive impacts occur.

Theme Chairs:

Scott Bennett
Global Change Research Group
Institut Mediterrani d’Estudis Avançats (CSIC-UIB)
Esporles, Spain

Julia Santana
Global Change Research Group
Institut Mediterrani d’Estudis Avançats (CSIC-UIB)
Esporles, Spain

Adriana Vergés
Centre for Marine Bio-Innovation
University of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia

Núria Marbà
Global Change Research Group
Institut Mediterrani d’Estudis Avançats (CSIC-UIB)
Esporles, Spain

13. Interactions between multiple stressors and range shifts

Climate change is only one of a suite of stressors that species face. Natural ecosystems are being altered by other human-induced changes including deforestation, eutrophication, over-harvesting, the introduction of non-native species and various types of pollution. Species that might, in theory, be able to shift rapidly enough to keep up with climate velocity (the rate and direction that isotherms move across the landscape) may not be able to do so when facing the cumulative impacts of multiple stressors. The ability of species to shift their distributions is also often limited by various eco-physiological constraints, which could be compounded by local pressures that may either affect movement, or affect species survival if populations move into regions where human activities are more prevalent. Interactions between multiple ecosystem stressors are expected to jeopardize biological processes, functions and biodiversity, and have been recognised as a key issue for conservation and management.

This session will bring together researchers from a variety of disciplines to shine a spotlight on how interactions between stressors including climate change may impact species dynamics and distributions, and will explore tools for conservation and management given future environmental change. This session should be of interest to ecologists, fisheries scientists, economists, social scientists, conservation planners, and policy planners. We will leverage our international collaborative network; inviting speakers covering the interdisciplinary nature of climate change research from modeling of multiple-stressor interactions and management outcomes, to ecological assessments and policy making. By bringing together international experts, we will provide a platform for discussing global issues of multiple stressors.

Theme Chairs:

Dr. Viv Tulloch
The Global Wetlands Project
Griffith University, Australia.

Dr. Chris Brown
The Global Wetlands Project
Griffith University, Australia.

14. Protected Areas Planning for Species on the Move: Lessons from the tropics and marine opportunities

Biodiversity, and threats to biodiversity, will be changing in response to climate change, affecting the context of success for protected areas. Many species’ ranges will move to track suitable conditions with increasing likelihood that they will move outside of the protected areas in which they currently reside. As species shift, ecosystems will fragment, adjust and re-assemble affecting habitat coverage and spatial representation across protected areas – placing investments in protected areas and their successful application as a conservation instrument at risk by climate change. This session seeks to synthesize the conservation recommendations from Spatial Planning for Protected Areas in Response to Climate Change (SPARC). We are also interested in decision support platforms to provide policymakers with integrated research products and tools to make informed decision regarding protected areas planning and management. Many national and sub-national assessments of climate change and protected areas now exist, and presentations are invited to summarize these findings.

Theme Chair:

Lee Hannah
Email: lhannah@conservation.org

Species on the Move

An International Conference Series

The conference brings together scientists and natural resource managers working in the disciplines of global change, biogeography and evolution, and relevant in contexts of natural resource management, biodiversity management and conservation, and theoretical ecology.


Species responses to climate change is a rapidly evolving research field, however, much of our progress is being made in independent research areas: e.g. understanding the process vs responding to the implications, terrestrial vs marine ecosystems, global meta-analyses vs in depth species-specific approaches. This interdisciplinary conference develops connections between these parallel streams, and across temporal and spatial scales.

Conference Managers

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