Theme sessions - by popular demand:
Five sessions were identified from your responses (n = 39 suggested themes) to our call for theme sessions (email sent to >200 temperate reefers, 17 July 2007). We have accommodated all suggestions under the following:
This session is available to those presenting material that is unrelated to the 5 symposia (below).
1. Multiple stressors of coastal systems
This session focuses on the compounding effects of multiple stressors. This theme was most popular and responses centred on how stressors combine (additive v. synergistic interactions) across scales (e.g. local-to-climate variation).
2. Science informing management
There was a sense of gravity in emails about "applying ecological theory to marine conservation in practice". Ecologists are increasingly working closely with managers (e.g. regional councils or boards, managers) to produce outcomes. The question is what we can actually manage and how? Karina J. Nielsen (Sonoma State University) and Anne Salomon (UCSB) are organising this session.
3. Large scale ecology, including phylogeography and biogeography
A surprisingly large amount of feedback centred on broader-scale phenomena; suggestions ranged from themes on upwelling to global ecology. Some were explicitly interested in the link between phylogeography and biogeography and what matches and mismatches reveal about the organization of communities. There was concern that we have not resolved the issue of scale - a controversial topic of ITRS 2006. This session would accomodate all those wishing to present broader scale issues.
4. A quest for science in ecology
In recognition of Tony Underwood's contributions to marine ecology, this session will assess two issues facing ecology. First is the interaction between culture and the science of ecology. Culture is playing an increasing role in ecology - in not only what is funded and published, but also in how it is interpreted. The second centres on the challenges facing experimental ecology. How do we experimentally address pressing ecological issues in society (e.g. climate change & urbanization) that necessarily involve the study of large spatial scales and functional aspects of biodiversity. This session has been largely filled by speakers including; Lisandro Benedetti-Cecchi, Peter Fairweather, Mike Foster, Peter Petraitis, David Schiel, Greg Skilleter and Tony Underwood.
5. Fundamental ecology
This session addresses fundamental issues of ecology. We are all aware of past and current fads in ecology, and an important counter force includes the freedom to speak (and publish) fad-free science. This session provides that opportunity. Respondents have flagged the need to cover basic issues such as 'the role of variability' and the 'roles of facilitators and disturbances'. This session also promotes the development of novel concepts, recognising that truly unique ideas are often prematurely suppressed.