Ecological change on California's channel Islands from the pleistocene to the anthropocene

Torben C. Rick, T. Scott Sillett, Cameron K. Ghalambor, Courtney A. Hofman, Katherine Ralls, R. Scott Anderson, Christina L. Boser, Todd J. Braje, Daniel R. Cayan, R. Terry Chesser, Paul W. Collins, Jon M. Erlandson, Kate R. Faulkner, Robert Fleischer, W. Chris Funk, Russell Galipeau, Ann Huston, Julie King, Lyndal Laughrin, Jesus MaldonadoKathryn McEachern, Daniel R. Muhs, Seth D. Newsome, Leslie Reeder-Myers, Christopher Still, Scott A. Morrison

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

26 Scopus citations

Abstract

Historical ecology is becoming an important focus in conservation biology and offers a promising tool to help guide ecosystem management. Here, we integrate data from multiple disciplines to illuminate the past, present, and future of biodiversity on California's Channel Islands, an archipelago that has undergone a wide range of land-use and ecological changes. Our analysis spans approximately 20,000 years, from before human occupation and through Native American hunter-gatherers, commercial ranchers and fishers, the US military, and other land managers. We demonstrate how long-term, interdisciplinary research provides insight into conservation decisions, such as setting ecosystem restoration goals, preserving rare and endemic taxa, and reducing the impacts of climate change on natural and cultural resources. We illustrate the importance of historical perspectives for understanding modern patterns and ecological change and present an approach that can be applied generally in conservation management planning.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)680-692
Number of pages13
JournalBioScience
Volume64
Issue number8
DOIs
StatePublished - Aug 2014

Keywords

  • Conservation
  • Historical ecology
  • Novel ecosystems
  • Restoration

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Agricultural and Biological Sciences(all)

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    Rick, T. C., Sillett, T. S., Ghalambor, C. K., Hofman, C. A., Ralls, K., Anderson, R. S., Boser, C. L., Braje, T. J., Cayan, D. R., Chesser, R. T., Collins, P. W., Erlandson, J. M., Faulkner, K. R., Fleischer, R., Funk, W. C., Galipeau, R., Huston, A., King, J., Laughrin, L., ... Morrison, S. A. (2014). Ecological change on California's channel Islands from the pleistocene to the anthropocene. BioScience, 64(8), 680-692. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biu094