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

TitleEcological change on California's Channel Islands from the Pleistocene to the Anthropocene
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsRick T.C, Sillett T.S, Ghalambor C.K, Hofman C.A, Ralls K., Anderson R.S, Boser C.L, Braje T.J, Cayan DR, Chesser R.T, Collins P.W, Erlandson J.M, Faulkner K.R, Fleischer R., Funk W.C, Galipeau R., Huston A., King J., Laughrin L., Maldonado J., McEachern K., Muhs D.R, Newsome S.D, Reeder-Myers L., Still C., Morrison S.A
Date Published2014/08
Type of ArticleArticle
ISBN Number0006-3568
Accession NumberWOS:000339988000006
Keywordsarchaeology; climate-change scenarios; coastal california; conservation; ecosystems; environmental-change; historical ecology; island; novel ecosystems; Restoration; rosa; santa-cruz island; sea-level rise; southern california

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.

Short TitleBioscience
Student Publication: