University of Cambridge > Talks.cam > Cambridge Conservation Seminars  > Biodiversity in a World of Human Dominance and Rapid Change – Anthropocene Challenges and Opportunities

Biodiversity in a World of Human Dominance and Rapid Change – Anthropocene Challenges and Opportunities

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Human activities increasingly dominate the Earth system, taking up space, using the land and the species, changing the atmosphere and the climate, and blending long isolated floras and faunas. A predominant consequence throughout history has been dramatic losses of species diversity and natural ecosystems. With increasing intensities in all these Anthropocene drivers looming in the future such losses are likely to continue. Still, the Anthropocene also brings new possibilities and not all changes need be losses. Here, I will first consider prehistoric and historical human-driven dynamics, their legacies and the novel Anthropocene opportunities in the context of two biological cases, megafaunas and forests. Rapid and strong climate change is likely to characterize the coming decades and centuries, and as the second part of my presentation I will discuss the likely impacts on biodiversity and ecosystems and what may be possible as adaptive responses by people and society to sustain biodiversity and ecosystem services. Finally, I provide some thoughts on the general conceptual and ethical challenges that biodiversity conservation and nature management in the Anthropocene entail, and how interdisciplinary perspectives may help address these.

This talk is part of the Cambridge Conservation Seminars series.

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