This session will focus on the emerging discipline of Conservation Paleobiology that uses the data from the fossil record and sedimentary archives to inform biodiversity conservation and ecosystem management. Even though humans have altered ecosystems for millennia, direct ecological observations rarely encompass more than the last few decades. At the same time, the accelerating pace of global climate change requires better understanding of the long-term resilience and adaptive capacities of ecosystems facing multiple stressors. The youngest fossil record can offer high-resolution insights into ecosystem change on timescales well beyond the limits of ecological monitoring, enabling the reconstruction of ecological baselines and natural range of variability. Additionally, the pre-Quaternary geologic record provides a series of natural experiments allowing assessment of biotic responses to major environmental perturbations, strengthening the theoretical foundations of conservation science.
We invite presentations offering both the near-time and deep-time perspective on ecological and evolutionary processes operating during times of rapid environmental changes, ranging from the Anthropocene biodiversity crisis to Phanerozoic mass extinction events. We also welcome contributions highlighting potential biases affecting the fossil record by linking stratigraphic, taphonomic and ecological patterns. We hope to stimulate discussion on novel opportunities and limitations of using different types of geohistorical data to address some of the most urgent questions in Conservation Biology.
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