Conservation paleobiology: Leveraging knowledge of the past to inform conservation and restoration

Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
By: , and 

Links

Abstract

Humans now play a major role in altering Earth and its biota. Finding ways to ameliorate human impacts on biodiversity and to sustain and restore the ecosystem services on which we depend is a grand scientific and societal challenge. Conservation paleobiology is an emerging discipline that uses geohistorical data to meet these challenges by developing and testing models of how biota respond to environmental stressors. Here we (a) describe how the discipline has already provided insights about biotic responses to key environmental stressors, (b) outline research aimed at disentangling the effects of multiple stressors, (c) provide examples of deliverables for managers and policy makers, and (d) identify methodological advances in geohistorical analysis that will foster the next major breakthroughs in conservation outcomes. We highlight cases for which exclusive reliance on observations of living biota may lead researchers to erroneous conclusions about the nature and magnitude of biotic change, vulnerability, and resilience.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Conservation paleobiology: Leveraging knowledge of the past to inform conservation and restoration
Series title Annual Review of Earth and Planetary Sciences
DOI 10.1146/annurev-earth-040610-133349
Volume 43
Year Published 2015
Language English
Publisher Annual Reviews Inc.
Publisher location Palo Alto, CA
Contributing office(s) Southwest Climate Science Center
First page 79
Last page 103
Google Analytic Metrics Metrics page
Additional metadata about this publication, not found in other parts of the page is in this table