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Abstract Detail

4D Botany of the Anthropogenic Environment

Savo, Valentina [1], Lepofsky, Dana [2], Benner, Jordan [1], Kohfeld, Karen [1], Bailey, Joseph [1], Lertzman, Ken [1].

Interlinked relationships among plants, subsistence-oriented communities and climate change.

In the Anthropocene, human impacts on the environment have been extensive. In terms of plant biodiversity, land use change, pollution, biotic exchanges and climate change are among the most important drivers of change. Many human communities have close relationships with their surrounding environments and have developed systems of management and stewardship that promote biodiversity and cultural diversity. Many of these communities have paced their subsistence activities to the rhythms of the seasons and to cycles of resource availability and abundance. Consequently, community members are often both keen observers of changes in these cycles and are profoundly affected by them. Here, we present the results of a global review of observations made by these subsistence-oriented people about changes in their biological worlds. This study covered peer-reviewed and gray literature (~1000 sources) and included observations of climate change and its impacts on plants and animals. A total of 2899 observations were collated from many localities around the world. The most frequent observations were about decreases in crop production or quality, especially as a consequence of altered rainfall patterns, more extreme droughts, and an increased persistence of pests due to warmer temperatures. People observed that both crops and wild plants can now thrive at higher altitudes in mountainous areas, while the range of mountaintop species has shrunk. At high latitudes, several communities have observed the northward advancement of the treeline and the appearance of new species. People also report phenological alterations of wild and cultivated plants, with potentially adverse consequences for humans and animals. Although the current declines in biodiversity have multiple causes, in several localities local communities have detected that climate change is having a role in local extirpations. These declines reflect a loss of genetic diversity and ecosystem complexity, but also a loss of human sustenance, medicines, and cultural diversity more broadly.

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1 - Simon Fraser University, School of Resource and Environmental Management, Burnaby, BC, Canada
2 - Simon Fraser University, Department of Archaeology, Burnaby, BC, Canada

climate change

Presentation Type: Symposium Presentation
Session: SY1, 4D Botany of the Anthropogenic Environment
Location: Sundance 3/Omni Hotel
Date: Monday, June 26th, 2017
Time: 10:00 AM
Number: SY1005
Abstract ID:290
Candidate for Awards:None

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