Symposium > Symposium sessions

The symposium will be organized in 4 sessions :

Session 1 : Populations and ecosystems

Keynote speaker: Dr. David Civitello
Conveners: TBD

Climate change is likely to affect the spatial distribution of a number of species. In the framework of niche theory, species distribution models have been developing using correlative and static approaches based on the primary effect of abiotic factors. On the other hand, models of trophic networks have shown that biotic interactions are key drivers of the response of species or trophic groups to environmental changes. However, in spite of the increasing number of applications of DEB theory, only a few examples illustrate the possibility to assess population changes at the ecosystem scale. Upscaling from individuals to populations and ecosystems poses a number of challenges that we would like to address and discuss in this session, e.g., how individual variability (including adaptation through natural selection) and environmental variability affect population response; how to represent the interactions between multiple species; how connectivity, habitat and biotic interactions shape species distribution in a changing environment.

Session 2: Theoretical and methodological developments and new applications

Keynote: Pr. Tânia Sousa
Conveners: TBD

Since 1979 DEB theory has been continuously developed and tested in a multitude of applications. This session invites contributions addressing theoretical and methodological developments as well as new applications of DEB theory. It encompasses extensions of the theory in any direction, including species-specific modules, general theoretical developments, expanding the theory to higher levels of organization or focusing on developing modules for specific features, developing new methodologies for estimating parameters and assessing uncertainties. We welcome contributions with new applications ranging from aquaculture to oceanography, from conservation to land ecosystems and from small to global feature level.

Session 3: Effects of anthropogenic and environmental stressors

 Keynote: Dr. David Spurgeon
Conveners: TBD

Sub-optimal conditions, and therefore ‘stress’, is an inescapable part of organism’s lives. Nature will challenge organisms with stressors such as resource limitation, disease or parasitic infections. However, human activities have introduced additional stress, for example in the form of emissions of new chemical compounds (e.g., pesticides and industrial chemicals) and the redistribution of naturally-occurring ones (e.g., oil compounds and heavy metals). Mechanistically understanding the actions of stressors (and their interactions) on the life history of organisms is a scientific challenge, but also has considerable practical application in efficiently managing human environmental impacts. DEB theory provides an excellent basis for the development of essential mechanistic models, and indeed has a long track record in the interpretation and prediction of stressor effects.

In this session, we invite contributions that deal with the action (or combined action) of stressors on individuals in a DEB context. This can be an application of DEB modelling to a specific case, but also presentation of novel model concepts (e.g., more realistically link exposure to effects), critical analyses of model performance, regulatory developments, or software development to support application. Although the session focus will be on the life history of individuals, scale transfer of stressor effects from lower levels to higher levels of organization will also be welcomed.

Session 4: Traits, evolution, and biodiversity

Keynote: Pr. Chris Barnes
Conveners: TBD

Even the simplest living organism is an extremely complex dynamic system which hampers applying a straightforward physical approach to understand its metabolic, physiological, ecological, social, or evolutionary behaviour. Still, biological systems can be compared through an evolutionary perspective: different organisms (of different species) have traits in common as well as differences that gradually developed during evolution. This session welcomes contributions that apply DEB theory to exploit this feature and push biology beyond the limitations imposed by descriptions and exploit the power of explanation.

Morevover, the role of biodiversity in ecosystem structure and functioning is central for conservation and environmental quality management, as well as biospherics and earth system studies. Biodiversity is not only about the number of species present, but also the number and nature of the different characteristics and functions which make up a community or an ecosystem, sometimes referred to as traits. Scientists and managers are turning towards such approaches to measure the health and vitality of ecosystems. This session further welcomes DEB contributions developed and applied in the context of apprehending biodiversity loss.

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