Organized by Paul Licht, Professor Emeritus Integrative
"Stability or Collapse of Bird and Mammal Communities over the past Century in California’s Most Transformed Landscapes"
Steven R. Beissinger, Professor of Ecology & Conservation Biology, and Miller Research Professor (2020-2021)
Linking California’s highly variable climates, land-uses, and levels of change over the past century with historical resurveys – where biodiversity surveys from the past are resampled – provides important opportunities to understand the influence of 20th century environmental change on biodiversity. Professor Beissinger will report on a study to resurvey locations throughout California that CAL Professor Joseph Grinnell and colleagues in the Museum of Vertebrate Zoology originally surveyed for birds and mammals in the early 20th century. He will focus on changes to communities from recent research in California’s most transformed landscapes: (1) the Mojave Desert where climate change has made an extreme environment hotter and drier; and (2) Los Angeles and the Central Valley, where urbanization and agriculture have transformed land-use over the past century.