Thresholds and Ecosystem Restoration

November 19, 2019

Coastal and Marine Sciences Institute & Delta Science Program Symposium

UC Davis Student Community Center - Multipurpose Room

Register here

Poster abstract submission here

Thresholds and Ecosystem Restoration

Among the goals of habitat restoration are the recovery of a particular set of ecological functions and services. Trying to understand and predict the trajectory and pace of recovery raises important questions for resource managers. Answers to these questions are important for restoration decision-making and the development of monitoring and assessment plans.
The traditional view of ecosystems is that they predictably return to their pre-disturbance state or trajectory following disturbance or alteration. Recently, an increasing number of studies indicate that some ecosystems may experience multiple ‘alternative states’ and possibly ‘stable equilibria’ where change from one state to another may be discontinuous, abrupt, and have multiple trajectories. How can scientific understanding of ecosystem multiple states more effectively inform restoration and management, and vice versa?
Addressing these questions requires scientists to understand challenges that managers confront in making decisions about ecosystem restoration. They also require managers to understand the methods available to diagnose ecosystem changes and associated uncertainties. To achieve this exchange, this one-day symposium will bring together scientists and managers considering multiple stable states in a wide variety of ecosystems. The central goals of the symposium are to (1) inform scientists about decision-making processes and real-world challenges in ecosystem management and restoration, (2) inform managers of the latest decision support tools emerging from science on ecosystem multiple stable states, and (3) promote dialogue and collaboration among scientists and managers working on the Delta-estuary-marine ecosystem continuum.

Tentative schedule

7:30-8:30 registration/breakfast/set up posters etc. 

8:30-8:45 opening remarks from DSP and CMSI

8:45-9:15 Science, Management, Restoration, Monitoring, and Policy  

Alan Hastings, UC Davis

Morning Session 1. Management Perspective

9:15-10:35 Management perspectives on MSS across systems 

Jim Cloern, US Geological Survey

Fred Sklar, South Florida Water Management District

Laura Rogers-Bennett, California Department of Fish and Wildlife

Ted Sommer, CA Dept of Water Resources

10:35 – 10:55 Morning Break

Morning Session 2. State of the Art in Science 

10:55 -12:15 Scientific advancements and key unknowns relevant to MSS

Albert Ruhi, UC Berkeley

Deb Peters, USDA-ARS-Jornada Experimental Range

Anne Salomon, Simon Fraser University

Jim Morris, University of South Carolina

12:15-1:45 Lunch & poster session*

Afternoon Session 1. Case studies

1:45- 3:05  Examples of threshold-based restoration: what has worked and what hasn’t?

April Robinson, The San Francisco Estuary Institute

Kathy Boyer, SFSU

John Bourgeois/Dave Halsing, ESA/CA Coastal Conservancy

Jameal Samhouri, NOAA Northwest Fisheries Science Center

3:05 – 3:25 Afternoon Break

Afternoon Session 2. Identifying path forward 

3:25 – 4:00 What are key management and policy unknowns and what is path forward for science to better cope with the problems

Katie Suding, University of Colorado, Boulder

4:00 – 4:30 Panel Discussion with audience questions (Moderator: Ted Grosholz)

Poster submissions will open at the same time as registration.