MEA-2005-coverThe 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) highlighted critical gaps in our knowledge of biodiversity, for example our understanding of:

1. responses of ecosystems to changes in the availability of nutrients and carbon dioxide.

2. non-linear changes and structural and dynamic characteristics of ecosystems that lead to thresholds and irreversible biodiversity changes.

3. the nature of interactions among drivers of changes in biodiversity at regional scales.

The MEA argues that such information is essential in order to design intervention procedures that maximize positive impacts on biodiversity.

This theme will focus on the compilation of long-term ecological records at a range of spatial and temporal scales in order to complement the use of existing shorter-term observational records identified by the DIVERSITAS program.

Specifically, it will aim to synthesize long-term records that can provide information on: drivers of biodiversity change; determination of baselines and natural ecosystem variability; biodiversity thresholds and resilience; migrations, invasions and extinctions; conservation of cultural landscapes; and wilderness conservation.

The theme will also address the need to improve our recognition of biological remains in natural archives and the need for fundamental work on representativity and congruence to improve interpretation of fossil records.


 and Shonil Bhagwat (University of Oxford, UK)


Elizabeth Jeffers (University of Oxford, UK)

Endorsed/affiliated group

> IHOPE (Integrated History of People on Earth

Group: biodiversity

Journal articles

Seddon AWR, Mackay AW, Baker AG, Birks HJB et al.,
Looking forward through the past: identification of 50 priority research questions in palaeoecology,
Journal of Ecology,
Vol. 102,
Issue 1,