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Large Scale Biodiversity, Environmental Gradients and Ecosystem Sustainability. Report on workshop outputs from Marine and Terrestrial & Freshwater community perspectives (15th and 16th December 2008)

Williamson, Phil; Turner, Sarah Lea; Kempton, Pamela; Badcock, Nichola. 2009 Large Scale Biodiversity, Environmental Gradients and Ecosystem Sustainability. Report on workshop outputs from Marine and Terrestrial & Freshwater community perspectives (15th and 16th December 2008). Swindon, UK, NERC, 20pp. (UNSPECIFIED)

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Abstract/Summary

This document outlines the objectives, background and outcomes of two workshops held at the Defra Innovation Centre, Reading on 15-16 December 2008. These workshops were held to help develop the ‘ecosystem sustainability’ priority action of the 2008 Biodiversity Theme Action Plan, to inform our understanding of biodiversity functions and processes across scales and systems. Introductory and background material are given in Section 1 and Annexes 1-4, with reports from the marine workshop in Section 2 and from the terrestrial and freshwater workshop in Section 3. Both workshops identified priority questions; assessed different approaches for addressing these questions; and commented on issues, concerns and opportunities that a large-scale study of ecosystem sustainability could offer. The main outcomes of the two workshops were as follows. i) All research communities (marine, terrestrial and freshwater) recognised that a large-scale, long term and collaborative biodiversity initiative would provide unique and exciting opportunities to advance scientific knowledge of ecosystem services and sustainability. ii) No single priority research question was identified. However, both workshops emphasised the need to increase fundamental understanding of ecosystem sensitivity to change (tipping points, non-linearities and resilience) and ecosystem functioning across different scales, in order to improve management advice in a broader socio-economic context. These issues are closely linked. iii) Focussing research effort on a single site was not favoured. Instead, both workshops preferred a nested, multi-site study that could cover a relatively wide geographic range and would include process-based experimental studies. iv) Resource constraints, gaps in the national skills base and community cohesion were identified as issues requiring further consideration if viability and success of the programme is to be assured. v) All research communities recognised the need for a clear, well-defined and appropriately funded work plan with defined aims and the establishment of a strong governance structure to ensure community cohesion and delivery of interdisciplinary science of societal value.

Item Type: Publication - Report (UNSPECIFIED)
Programmes: CEH Topics & Objectives 2009 onwards > Biodiversity
Other/Admin
CEH Sections: Hails
Funders/Sponsors: NERC
NORA Subject Terms: Management
Marine Sciences
Economics
Agriculture and Soil Science
Ecology and Environment
Data and Information
Date made live: 27 May 2009 11:06
URI: http://nora.nerc.ac.uk/id/eprint/6339

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