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Ecological change on California's Channel Islands from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene

June 1, 2014

Historical ecology is becoming an important focus in conservation biology and offers a promising tool to help guide ecosystem management. Here, we integrate data from multiple disciplines to illuminate the past, present, and future of biodiversity on California's Channel Islands, an archipelago that has undergone a wide range of land-use and ecological changes. Our analysis spans approximately 20,000 years, from before human occupation and through Native American hunter–gatherers, commercial ranchers and fishers, the US military, and other land managers. We demonstrate how long-term, interdisciplinary research provides insight into conservation decisions, such as setting ecosystem restoration goals, preserving rare and endemic taxa, and reducing the impacts of climate change on natural and cultural resources. We illustrate the importance of historical perspectives for understanding modern patterns and ecological change and present an approach that can be applied generally in conservation management planning.

Citation Information

Publication Year 2014
Title Ecological change on California's Channel Islands from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene
DOI 10.1093/biosci/biu094
Authors Torben C. Rick, T. Scott Sillett, Cameron K. Ghalambor, Courtney A. Hofman, Katherine Ralls, R. Scott Anderson, Christina L. Boser, Todd J. Braje, Daniel R. Cayan, R. Terry Chesser, Paul W. Collins, Jon M. Erlandson, Kate R. Faulkner, Robert C. Fleischer, W. Chris Funk, Russell Galipeau, Ann Huston, Julie King, Lyndal L. Laughrin, Jesus Maldonado, Kathryn McEachern, Daniel R. Muhs, Seth D. Newsome, Leslie Reeder-Myers, Christopher Still, Scott A. Morrison
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title BioScience
Index ID 70133416
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Patuxent Wildlife Research Center