Arthur M. Shapiro: Ecological Communities and the March of Time

Arthur M. Shapiro, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor, Department of Evolution and Ecology, College of Biological Sciences, UC Davis

Ecological communities as we know them are similar to freeze-frames from a long movie. Associations among species are very dynamic on millennial scales, as demonstrated by the evidence since deglaciation 15,000 years ago. Coevolution of species occurs locally in geographic mosaics and can be extremely dynamic as well. Frederic Clements, the father of American community ecology, had a holistic vision. He saw communities as super-organisms. He was wrong. 

This program is part of “The Science of Conservation and Biodiversity in the 21st Century.” This series of lectures will present a new way of looking at public policy issues in conservation. The things we’ve assumed as facts often are not. Traditional approaches are losing ground as science illuminates new pathways for framing and achieving conservation goals.