Biodiversity and the Maintenance and Restoration of Ecosystem Services


Wednesday, September 18, 2013 - 7:00pm to Thursday, September 19, 2013 - 6:45pm




Unitarian Church Annex, 2nd Floor, 208 E. Buffalo St.


Tom Whitlow


At the global scale, biodiversity is central to maintaining ecosystem function and human well-being. In degraded areas, heavily impacted by human activity, the discussion of biodiversity must be re-framed. Often these sites support no vascular plants and the only organisms present occur in the biofilm on built structures (i.e. the thin layer of micro-organisms on a building plus whatever they secrete). How do we conceptualize restoring ecosystem function to such sites? Which species support the greatest measure of services valued by humans? Using case studies from my research and class projects, I will illustrate the challenges of answering these questions.