Rethinking ecosystem restoration in a changing environment
Dr. Christy Tyler
Associate Professor, Thomas H. Gosnell School of Life Sciences
Director, Graduate Programs in Environmental Science
Rochester Institute of Technology
The functioning of natural ecosystems is controlled by complex interactions between living and non-living components of the ecosystem. These interactions can be very difficult to replicate when trying to restore, or create anew, an ecosystem on land previously used for another purpose. Contemporary ecosystem restoration is further complicated by our changing environment: the species of plants and animals in our region has changed, nutrients are more plentiful, the weather is more extreme, and the overall climate is changing. Successful projects thus require an understanding of legacy conditions, shifting environmental constraints, and a toolkit of restoration techniques that promote the development of a healthy ecosystem. In this talk, I’ll describe my experiences with wetland restoration and how our changing environment has forced us to rethink the process of restoration and our expectations of what’s possible.
For more on her work, check out the website for the Tyler Aquatic Ecology Lab.
On May 22, we will close the 2017-8 season with a talk by Dr. Andrew Robinson, Associate Head of RIT's School of Physics and Astronomy, and former Program director of the Astrophysical Sciences and Technology.