Introduced megafauna and the biological reality of nativeness

Biotic nativeness is a cornerstone concept in conservation biology and in many fields in ecology. The importance of biotic concept is premised on the notion that long term coevolutionary history is necessary for ecosystem functioning and for species coexistence. However, it remains unknown whether long-term, community-wide coevolution happens, and if it does, at what temporal scales. I will share results from a global meta-analysis of over 400 studies testing if and how biotic nativeness shapes the effects of large herbivores on the environment. I will then share work which explores how broadening our curiosity towards introduced organisms can shift macroecological understandings of biodiversity change, reveal overlooked ecological processes, and provide new opportunities to conserve a wild future.

Speaker biography
Erick Lundgren’s research primarily focuses on novel ecosystems, or communities composed of both introduced and native species. These systems provide opportunities to test how communities assemble and how to understand global patterns of biodiversity change. Novel ecosystems are emblematic of our changing world and present paradoxes that do not fit neatly into our understandings of how ecosystems work or of how biodiversity is changing. Erick’s research concerns these paradoxes and the ecological insights they reveal at both global and local scales. Most of his research focuses on introduced large herbivores. By studying introduced large herbivores, in particular feral equids, as wildlife, Erick has found remarkable ecological processes concealed by notions of ‘naturalness’. He is currently a postdoctoral researcher with Dr. Jens-Christian Svenning at Aarhus University in Denmark.

This talk is followed by refreshments, everyone is welcome.