Posted by: oikosasa | September 13, 2013

Dispersal at the heart of our thinking

Read Justin Travis’ and co-workers’ Forum paper “Dispersal and species’ responses to climate change” in Oikos Early View. Below is Justin’s background story to the paper:

Over the last decade or so there have been a series of meetings and workshops involving individuals interested in a broad range of issues related to causes and consequences of dispersal. These have involved people focused on a range of animal and plant systems, adopting field and lab based approaches and also including people developing models for theory and also for prediction. One of the group’s recent meetings took place immediately after the European Ecological Federation Congress in Avila held in 2011. Maria Delgado had organised a casa for us in a tiny village called Tabladillos, close to Segovia. Our objective was to collectively evaluate how dispersal is likely to be impacted by climate change and also how dispersal, and changes in dispersal, are likely to impact species’ responses to climate change.  After an excellent few days, full of interesting discussion, plenty of relaxing in the sun, BBQs and fine Spanish wine (see photo 2) we left with a first rough draft of a manuscript and a long list of allocated tasks.

Is the Oikos chief editor the only one working? Dries is busy handling manuscripts while James and Maria dream of seeds and eagle owls, respectively!

Is the Oikos chief editor the only one working? Dries is busy handling manuscripts while James and Maria dream of seeds and eagle owls, respectively!

Kamil’s photographic trickery captures the group enjoying an evening meal!

Kamil’s photographic trickery captures the group enjoying an evening meal!

The final result of this team effort (see photo 3) is now published by Oikos http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1600-0706.2013.00399.x/abstract and we hope it serves to emphasise just how important it is to increase our understanding of the eco-evolutionary dynamics of dispersal under climate change for understanding how species will fare over the coming decades.

The workshop participants with our canine mascot, Karhu!

The workshop participants with our canine mascot, Karhu!

We argue that it is particularly important that conservation actions are founded on a better understanding of dispersal. There is already a large body of knowledge on this key process that can inform current management plans but important knowledge gaps remain where future research is required. Finally, not wanting to miss an obvious chance for advertisement, the next meeting organised by the informal dispersal working group will be in Aberdeen in November. It will take the form of a conference and the objective of this meeting is to seek greater integration both between the fields of dispersal ecology and movement ecology and also between researchers working in terrestrial and marine systems (see http://www.abdn.ac.uk/events/mad-2013/ for details).

 

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