“Out of the mist and into the mayhem: the biology of redwoods in the changing world.”
Redwoods have inhabited Earth for well over 100 million years and have experienced a great deal of climatic change during their long history. Coast redwood in particular was once much more widespread but as global climate changed, its ecological range contracted to a narrow band along the California coast defined by cool temperatures, ample winter rainfall and summers with fog. Today these climatic conditions are changing and rapidly. Moreover, the changes now being thrust upon coast redwoods are much more than just climatic changes; expanding urbanization, land-use change and the introduction of novel pests, pathogens and competitors all factor into challenging redwoods in ways they have never seen in their past. In my talk I will highlight biological and climate research that has and is providing insights into how coast redwoods are responding to current climate and how they have responded to past climate change. Armed with this knowledge, I will then tackle the thorny issue of what we think the future holds for redwoods in our rapidly changing world.
About the Speaker:
Todd Dawson is a professor of plant ecology and physiology in the Departments of Integrative Biology and Environmental Science, Policy & Management at UC Berkeley. He has been studying redwoods since he was an undergraduate and is actively involved in applying what he and his research group are learning to their preservation, conservation and management.
The East Bay Science Café is an informal forum for discussing interesting and relevant scientific issues. The goal is to encourage public engagement with science by inviting members of the scientific community to present topics for a casual evening of conversation. Cafés may vary in length and format depending upon the speaker and the topic. Audience questions are encouraged both during and after! The East Bay Science Café is brought to you by the University of California Berkeley Natural History Museums and Science@Cal!