Facilitating adaptive conservation in the face of climate change by integrating monitoring, modeling and management
Demographic models are potentially important tools in guiding population management. While complexity and uncertainty will always affect the precision with which any abstraction of a system may be able to predict extended ecological trajectories, the utility of quantitative demographic models stems from their abilities to (a) make explicit the current state of knowledge of a species/system, (b) capture information (and highlight information gaps) on demographic processes and parameters in a defined framework, and (c) explore the consequent population dynamics. By depicting the logical, numerical consequences of our assumptions, ignorance and biases, they serve as valuable tools to facilitate ongoing learning about a species/system, an important precursor to population management. In this talk I will present evidence for the utility of integrating modeling, monitoring, and management within a demographic framework to facilitate efficient and effective conservation of a slow-growing, arid-zone tree species in Australia, despite the challenges imposed by climate change.