THE FUNCTIONAL ROLE OF NON-CHARISMATIC BIODIVERSITY IN THE FACE OF A CHANGING WORLD
ID: 613 / 166
Proposed Symposium Title: THE FUNCTIONAL ROLE OF NON-CHARISMATIC BIODIVERSITY IN THE FACE OF A CHANGING WORLD
Abstract: Global change and biodiversity loss are crucial challenges that society and researchers must face in the 21st century. Biodiversity is a powerful link between environmental change and ecosystem functioning. As such, there is ample evidence showing that biodiversity tracks environmental change and supports ecosystem functioning and the benefits that nature provides to people. However, studies exploring the functional role of biodiversity have focused on charismatic, well-known organisms, including plants and vertebrates, paying less attention to the remaining fraction of biodiversity. This bias reduces our ability to understand the impact of global change drivers, and consequently our ability to mitigate their effects. Recent progress has advanced our understanding of the functional role of non-charismatic organisms, including benthic, biocrust, biofilm, lichen, bryophyte, planktonic and soil organisms, among others. These studies revealed that non-charismatic organisms play key functional roles in ecosystems, and that global change can alter their contribution to ecosystem functioning and services. However, there is a need to synthesize evidence across ecosystems to improve their management and conservation. In this special session, we will welcome studies exploring the functional role of non-charismatic biodiversity and their responses to global change for terrestrial, freshwater and marine ecosystems. Specifically, we will cover studies exploring how the functional, phylogenetic and taxonomic diversity of non-charismatic organisms respond to global change drivers and influence ecosystem functions and services.
Speaker 1: Name: Zulema Varela
Institutional Affiliation: CRETUS, Ecology Section, Facultade Bioloxía, Universidade de Santiago de Compostela, 15782 Santiago de Compostela, Spain
Tentative Talk Title: "Mosses and lichens: more than meets the eye"
Speaker 2: Name: Sergio Muriel
Institutional Affiliation: Biodiversity and Conservation Area, Rey Juan Carlos University, C/Tulipán s/n, 28933 Móstoles, Madrid, Spain
Tentative Talk Title: "Interspecific and intraspecific variability in functional traits of lichen communities from gypsum soils across a latitudinal gradient in the Iberian Peninsula"
Speaker 3: Name: Rebeca Arias-Real
Institutional Affiliation: Centre of Molecular and Environmental Biology (CBMA), Department of Biology, University of Minho, Campus of Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal.
Institute of Science and Innovation for Bio-Sustainability (IB-S), University of Minho, Campus of Gualtar, 4710-057 Braga, Portugal.
Department of Evolutionary Biology, Ecology and Environmental Sciences, Av. Diagonal, 643 08028 Barcelona, Spain
Tentative Talk Title: "Are ephemeral streams early-stage soils or fluvial ecosystems? The role of biocrusts to maintain their functioning"
Topics (Up to three): Global Change Ecology
Topic 2: Mycology and Lichenology
Topic 3: Bryology
Justification: This symposium will be of interest to a wide audience because it is a multidisciplinary proposal related to at least 10 of the proposed topics. We will welcome studies exploring how the functional, phylogenetic and taxonomic diversity of non-charismatic organisms respond to global change drivers and influence ecosystem functions and services. Some of the main topics directly related to this symposium are global change ecology, conservation biology, bryology, mycology and lichenology, phycology, etc. Furthermore, we have ensured potential speaker diversity, including females, males, predoctoral and postdoctoral researchers, and researchers from different universities and research centers.