Early Registration Deadline
12 February 2010

Travel Award & Grant Recipients Notified
March 2010

Authors Notified
April 2010

Schedule Posted
January 2010

Bailey, R. C., Cape Breton University, Sydney, Canada, robert_bailey@cbu.ca

SIMULATING ECOSYSTEM HEALTH AND SICKNESS: THE ONLY WAY TO KNOW THE TRUTH IS TO MAKE IT UP.

When we assess freshwater ecosystems using benthic invertebrates, we choose sites in the ecosystem, and points within the sites, to characterize the invertebrate community. Judgement about the status of an ecosystem is based on either an absolute measure of health, or more commonly, comparison to a reference condition. Regardless of our sampling effort, we sample rather than census the community and its environment, and thus never know the true state of the ecosystems we assess. I will explore a variety of methods used to simulate (i) making a healthy ecosystem sick (degradation), (ii) making a sick ecosystem healthy (remediation), and (iii) maintaining a healthy ecosystem (conservation). I will then compare the ability of the techniques that have been used for decades to detect change in ecosystems, challenging them with data where we know the truth about the health of the ecosystem.

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Presentation is given by student: No