Ecology and Biodiversity


Indicators of human and ecological wellbeing

Paul Sutton1, James Hopeward2, Xuantong Wang3, Uma Baysal1, Sharolyn Anderson4

1University of Denver, Denver, CO, USA. 2University of South Australia Library, Mawson Lakes, Australia. 3Texas Tech University, Lubbock, TX, USA. 4Australian National University, Canberra, Australia


The University of Denver is embarking upon developing a People's Observatory for the Public Good which will consist of a flagship report and forum on a suite of spatially explicit indicators of human and ecological wellbeing. This report will complement and be juxtaposed with CU Boulder's Leeds Business School's annual assessment of business and economic trends and issues in Colorado by (1) developing a consensus set of measurable indicators of human and ecological wellbeing; (2) preparing an annual/biennial report of trends and related issues; and (3) convening an annual/biennial forum for the release of these findings and an opportunity for discussion concerning their significance. This symposium will present progress on the Denver end and share ideas with others who are developing approaches to monitoring, tracking, and evaluating a variety of indicators of sustainability and wellbeing.


Big data guided design science information system development for sustainability manifested management and accounting

Shastri Nimmagadda1, Torsten Reiners1, Neel Mani2

1Curtin University, Perth, Australia. 2CAIR, DSV, Haridwar, India


Big Data continues to emerge and reshape many domain applications by resolving the complexity of systems through integrated research framework development. The complexity arises from diverse domains, systems, and associated data sources characterized in spatial-temporal dimensions. Data heterogeneity and multidimensionality are additional challenges to data organization and integration. For example, systems or groups of systems can complicate the articulations of the environmental ecosystem and their representation in Big Data scales and magnitudes. To explore the connections between domains and coexistent systems, we build Information Systems (IS) artefacts and attribute models compatible with the environmental ecosystem and sustainable multidimensional repository development process. A Design Science Information System framework is articulated to interconnect multiple ecosystems and examine the total environmental ecosystem, its metadata management and analytics.


On ecological modelling of multidimensional attributes of embedded ecosystems

Shastri Nimmagadda1, Torsten Reiners1, Christine Namugenyi2

1Curtin University, Perth, Australia. 2Monash, Johannesburg, South Africa


Global warming and climate changes are major threats to human ecosystem and its coexistent ecological systems. Increasing urbanization, population explosion, rapid deforestation, terrestrial ecosystem loss and land reclamation can intensely alter ecologies on the planet. Extreme farming habitats, excessive mining of natural resources, increasing manufacturing and industrial production, transportation are the result of the altered ecologies, stirring acute famine and extreme weather events. Critical understanding of climate changes, measures needed for corrective actions are analysed before seeking technology remedies. Cause of aggravation of human activities, including damage of ecological patterns and production systems are examined with a three-tiered technology development plan with mitigation, adaptation and implementation actions. Ecological modelling and sustainability analytics are additional methods, exploring new mapping and modelling schemes supported by ecological data science.


Facilitating biodiversity research and conservation at landscape scale using multi-techniques

Xuehua Liu1, Sheng Li2, Min Chen3

1Tsinghua University, Beijing, China. 2Peking University, Beijing, China. 3East China Normal University, Shanghai, China


During the past two decades, the advances in survey techniques and analytical tools, such as camera-trapping, satellite tracking, DNA meta-barcoding, near-ground remote sensing, species distribution models etc., have greatly promoted the research and conservation of biodiversity. It is obvious that multi-discipline has played the important role on this. With the power of interdisciplinary synthesis, these studies and practices in this symposium provide us valuable insights into the complex human-nature coupling system at larger landscape scale. In this symposium, we will gather presentations of studies with focusing on using multi-techniques to determine the patterns, dynamics and drivers of biological diversity or threatened taxon at landscape scale, and the further implications in the management and conservation of populations, habitats or ecosystems. Both ecological studies and conservation practices are encouraged. Through presenters’ exchange, a research network will be formed. 


Invasions of bamboos and its consequences

Maihe Li1, Xiaogai Ge2, Ziwu Guo2

1Swiss Federal Institute for Forest, Snow and Landscape Research WSL, Birmensdorf, Switzerland. 2Research Institute of Subtropical Forestry, CAF, Hangzhou, China


There are more than 1600 known bamboo species covering over 30 million hectares of land area across a broad range of environmental gradients from tropical to warm temperate ecosystems in Africa, Asia, Central- and South America. In some areas however, bamboos have invaded and is invading into native forests. For example, as a native species, moso bamboo (Phyllostachys edulis) is rapidly encroaching on adjacent native forests in southern China. As an exotic species, moso bamboo (introduced from China in 1736) has widely invaded into various native forests in Japan. The consequence of such bamboo invasions may include reduced biodiversity by monopolizing resources, altered ecosystem services by changing the species composition and forest structure, and thus decreased human welfare. Therefore, this session invites forest researchers, managers, and policy-makers to discuss the following topics:

  • Long-term trends and challenges of bamboo invasions – from regional to global scale
  • Effects on biogeochemistry and ecosystem functioning
  • Potential ecological risks and their effects on biodiversity, ecosystem services, and human welfare
  • Effective control of bamboo invasions and sustainable management of bamboos

 We welcome contributions addressing, but not necessarily be limited to, these points.

We hope to see you in Gold Coast, Australia, in June 2023.


Large-scale restoration of coastal ecosystems: barriers and enablers

Carles Ibanez1, Nuno Caiola1, Agustín Sánchez-Arcilla2

1Eurecat, Barcelona, Spain. 2Universitat Politècnica de Catalunya, Barcelona, Spain


A systemic restoration, which integrates Nature based Solutions at a sufficient scale, can provide climate-resilient ecosystem services to curb coastal ecosystem degradation. This can reduce coastal risks and contribute to decarbonise coastal protection, while increasing coastal blue carbon, therefore supporting climate mitigation efforts. New restoration approaches should be based on large-scale connectivity (river to coast and across nearshore areas) and enhanced accommodation space (facilitating natural dynamics), both enhancing resilience and biodiversity under increasing climatic and anthropic pressures. The symposium will provide a perspective on barriers and enablers for coastal restoration, considering interconnections between the technical, financial and governance dimensions of restoration. We shall analyse how restoration can contribute to coastal adaptation and climate mitigation, discussing how to fill the present implementation gap.


Sustainable productivity and conservation of wild animals on farms in the Pantanal and surroundings

Julio Cesar de Souza1, Carolina Fregonesi de Souza2

1Mato Grosso do Sul Federal University, Campo Grande, Brazil. 2Pampa Federal University, Uruguaiana, Brazil


A region with differentiated scenic beauties and rich biodiversity, allowing the privilege of contemplating these wonders. Its economic base is beef cattle, being practiced for hundreds of years. Governed by the water cycle, the wetland is renewed with each flood and depends on it for its continuity. There are several livestock production systems in this region, where beef cattle production is mainly concentrated. With such interactivity between production systems and wild fauna. Producing efficiently and sustainably is essential for nature conservation. Studies on the jaguar have contributed to and implemented scientific knowledge and the development of important technological alternatives to preserve biodiversity and propose innovative, sustainable, and efficient livestock production systems. The work consists of locating carcasses slaughtered by jaguars, tying them up to prevent the jaguar from dragging them out of focus of the trap cameras, which are installed for photographic records; a covering of branches and leaves is made over the carcass to prevent attacks by scavengers. When the female preys on cattle, her young learn from their mother to do the same. Studies involving the behavior of felines are relevant, as they allow greater knowledge of the species and its behavior. It is important to emphasize the opposition to hunting natural prey that serves as food for jaguars. This competition for food with humans reduces the availability of game, promoting greater predation of domestic animals. Protecting Biodiversity in productive areas are goals for achieving sustainability.


Nature-based coastal defence: Developing the knowledge needed for wider implementation

Rebecca Morris1, Elisabeth Strain2

1University of Melbourne, Melbourne, Australia. 2University of Tasmania, Hobart, Australia


Climate change and coastal urbanisation is driving an increased need for investment in coastal protection infrastructure. Engineered structures (e.g. seawalls and breakwaters) are expensive and non-adaptive (i.e. they need to be rebuild upgraded and maintained in response to changing climate). Nature-based coastal defence (i.e. the integration of natural habitats such as coastal vegetation and biogenic reefs; NBCD) has the potential to protect shorelines, provide co-benefits (e.g. biodiversity provision, blue carbon storage) and to adapt with future changes in climate. However, NBCD is still not widely implemented. This is because there is less certainty around what habitats are effective at providing sustainable coastal defence, where they can be used, and how they should be designed. In addition, we need to understand their cost-effectiveness, and the social license for different coastal adaptation measures. We welcome speakers on any ecological, engineering or socio-political aspect of NBCD, with the aim of building global partnerships in this area.


Plastic waste: From sources to solutions

Tanveer Adyel

Deakin University, Melbourne, Australia


Plastic pollution is a wicked environmental problem. Ubiquitous plastics (meso, micro and/or nano) in atmospheric, soil and water compartments with negative consequences are reported. Due to the growing science-based evidence, a consensus around the topic has shifted to the broad agreement among the public, policy and industry. This interdisciplinary symposium invites contributions covering the entire spectrum of plastic waste - from sources to solution initiatives. Advancements in accounting for plastic waste generation and source-sink estimations, and monitoring environmental and human health consequences will be presented. Moreover, possible interventions from science, engineering, policy, economic, human behaviour, and communication perspectives to tackle plastic problems will be considered. 


Valorizing Sargassum sp. in the global south: Turning the crisis into opportunities

Precious Agbeko D. Mattah

Africa Centre of Excellence in Coastal Resilience, University of Cape Coast, Cape Coast, Ghana


Marine systems worldwide are being invaded by macroalgae especially the Sargassum sp..  Exponential blooms and influx of the Sargassum sp. are recorded in the Atlantic Ocean annually.   This phenomenon is negatively impacting aquatic and coastal resources worldwide invariably affecting economic sectors such as ocean transport, fisheries and coastal tourism among others, particularly in the global south. The session brings together experts from academia, industry, civil society organizations, governments, regional and international bodies and interested parties to deliberate on this emerging menace of Sargassum sp. and its impact on national and regional economies, share experiences and ideas on its economic potential and options for valorizing this seaweed to enhance development in the global south.  Presentations in the symposia will include the overview of global sargassum invasion, quantification techniques, challenges and opportunities. The working group will seek to develop a roadmap for addressing this emerging problem towards reducing its impact on the developing economies within the global south.


Floating treatment wetlands: Past, present, and future

William Strosnider1, Sarah White2

1University of South Carolina, Columbia, USA. 2Clemson University, Clemson, USA


Floating treatment wetlands (FTWs) are a nature-based bioremediation approach for aquatic ecosystems that leverage the properties of natural floating wetland systems in an ecologically engineered context. These systems of rafts supporting emergent plants have proven, and yet further promising, water quality improvement and habitat creation applications. This symposium seeks to engage with 1) FTW evolution over the last three decades, 2) current designs and applications, and 3) future research needs and application potential.

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