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Conservation Research Institute


CCI Conservation Seminar, WEDNESDAY 18th January 2023

Prof David Ackerly, University of California, Berkeley

Title: Plant diversity, climate change, and conservation: The view from California

California hosts a diverse flora, with approximately 50% of taxa endemic to the floristic region, assembled from a mix of temperate and subtropical lineages. The Mediterranean-type climate, together with topographic and edaphic diversity, generate strong regional gradients, with vegetation spanning the range from hot deserts to cool, temperate rain forests. In this talk, I will share three vignettes at the intersection of biodiversity, climate change, and conservation: the use of phylogenetic diversity metrics, together with spatial maps of protected status and human impact, to identify conservation priorities; the importance of topographic heterogeneity for local species distributions, implications for sensitivity to climate change, and the contrasting focus that emerges from species-based vs. place-based conservation; and the development and implementation of California's 30x30 strategy. A key theme for discussion is the ways in which climate change may require a re-evaluation of the goals and strategies guiding biodiversity conservation.

Drinks will follow in the DAB Common Room.

David Ackerly (Rausser College of Natural Resources, University of California Berkeley) is the Dean of the College of Natural Resources and has a joint appointment in the departments of Integrative Biology and Environmental Science, Policy, and Management at the University of California Berkeley. Current research in his lab examines drought tolerance of native tree species, potential impacts of climate change on plant communities, and post-fire forest dynamics at sites that burned in the 2017 and 2019 northern California wildfires. His research is used to inform strategies of biodiversity conservation in the face of climate change, with a focus on California parks and open space.

There is no need to register if you are coming in person - just turn up.

Online participants need to sign up using the Eventbrite link below to access a Zoom link:

Wednesday, 18 January, 2023 - 16:00 to 17:00
Event location: 
Main Seminar Room, David Attenborough Building