Biodiversity of Beringia: past, present and future

Date/time: December 3, 15:00-16:30

Room: Gofoten

Session organizers: David Payer, US Fish and Wildlife Service and Eric Hoberg, US Department of Agriculture

We will explore current and potential future effects of climate change on the biodiversity of Beringia by examining how Beringian biodiversity responded to glacial cycles during the Pleistocene epoch. The focus will be on terrestrial biodiversity of the region. Scientific presentations will focus on:

  1. reconstructing biotic responses to Pleistocene glaciations based on fossil and genetic evidence;
  2. current biodiversity of Beringia, with particular reference to the role of climate change during the late Quaternary in structuring that biodiversity; and/or
  3. future prospects for Beringian biodiversity, given predicted climate changes.

The latter will include consideration of how well past changes serve as a model for potential future changes, given the unique cumulative stressors present in the Anthropocene, e.g., human habitation, overharvest, industrial development, contaminants, altered food webs and invasive species. This session will therefore include cross-cutting issues that also address the Congress theme of understanding cumulative effects and managing impacts.

Scenario Planning session

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