NRES Departmental Seminar by Dr. Lars Brudvig, Michigan State University
Title: Confronting Contingency in the Restoration of Biodiversity
Ecological restoration – intentional modifications to ecosystems that have been altered by human activities – is widely regarded as a central option for promoting biodiversity in human modified landscapes. To achieve this promise, the field of restoration ecology must advance the science underpinning predictable restoration outcomes at landscape scales – the scales at which biodiversity conservation occurs. By constructing and evaluating a conceptual model for biodiversity restoration, I illustrate areas of research focus, as well as marked knowledge gaps. I then draw on examples from my research, spanning Midwestern prairies and savannas to Southeastern longleaf pine ecosystems, to investigate aspects of the restoration model. This includes evaluation of many of the weak linkages in the restoration model, which may place contingencies on restoration outcomes, such as historical legacies and landscape-scale processes. It is my hope that by strengthening the conceptual underpinnings of restoration ecology, we can move beyond a current focus on location-specific case studies and seemingly idiosyncratic outcomes, to the predictable promotion of biodiversity at landscape scales.
Speaker's website: http://brudviglab.plantbiology.msu.edu/?page_id=4
Dr. Brudvig is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Plant Biology at Michigan State University. His research seeks to answer the question: “How do we restore degraded landscapes?” He and members of his lab approach this question through research at the interface of restoration ecology, landscape ecology, and plant community ecology, working in a variety of ecosystems including Midwestern prairies and oak savannas and Southeastern longleaf pine woodlands. Prior to joining the faculty at MSU in 2010, he completed a B.A. at Carleton College, a Ph.D. at Iowa State University, and a postdoc with The Corridor Project – a multi-university/US Forest Service collaborative habitat fragmentation experiment with landscape corridors at the Savannah River Site in South Carolina. At MSU, he teaches courses in introductory biology and restoration ecology.
If you wish to meet with this speaker, please contact hosts Tyler Refsland, firstname.lastname@example.org, and Jennifer Fraterrigo, email@example.com.