EEB events: Thursday seminar: Using vertebrates on mountains to understand global biodiversity and climate change risks: Christy McCain, University of Colorado Boulder
Christy M. McCain, Assistant Professor and Curator of Vertebrates, University of Colorado Boulder
Lecture sponsored by the Theodore H. Hubbell fund
The need to document and to understand the mechanisms producing biodiversity patterns is becoming increasingly urgent because biodiversity is being lost at unprecedented rates due to global anthropogenic changes. I argue that elevational gradients hold enormous potential for understanding patterns and mechanisms of biodiversity. Mountains around the world in all types of climates are hotspots of biodiversity, including many rare, endangered, and endemic species. Using this replication on mountains and the variability in the important factors thought to be linked to biodiversity serve as a potential natural experiment that may aid in our search for a general explanation of biodiversity. Additionally, these montane replicates have enormous potential to understand historical and current effects of climate change on species distributions. In the past 100 years, researchers have conducted many montane mammal studies, and improved our GIS and analytical capabilities that we can now study global montane patterns. Using examples of field studies, meta-analyses, and climate change models, I will explore how montane distributions of vertebrates can be used to assess the relative strength of various factors thought to underlie biodiversity patterns, including climate, space, evolutionary history, and species interactions. And I will illustrate ways montane mammal distributions can be used to understand future global change effects in the five regions of the globe, including North American, Latin America, Africa, Europe, Mainland Asia and Austral-Asia.
Coffee and cookies will be served at 4 p.m.
Location: 1200 Chemistry