Sunday, February 21, 2010: 8:30 AM-10:00 AM
Room 6D (San Diego Convention Center)Understanding the effects of climatic anomalies on coastal deserts and neighboring marine ecosystems is essential, as these habitats depend on pulses for their renewal and their productivity can change wildly from one year to the next. Oscillations in oceanic temperatures can strongly modify marine productivity, whereas ocean-modulated atmospheric anomalies impose similar cycles of drought and rain in deserts. Additionally, in oceans and deserts the abundance of life is not spread evenly but tends to clump at distinct locations where biological productivity concentrates: in deserts, the collection of water drives these aggregations; in the sea, it is normally nutrient upwelling, rocky reefs, and coastal lagoons that provide the nutrients that sustain large aggregations of life. One of the places where these phenomena are most visible and economically most important is the Gulf of California, where natural resource productivity is concentrated around oasis-like ecosystems. These “productivity hotspots” maintain a large amount of the region’s biological energy flow and sustain the bulk of regional life-supporting services. The symposium will analyze how oceanographic anomalies affect resource availability in these coastal and marine environments; how the spatial distribution of high-productivity ecosystems affects resource conservation, fisheries, and freshwater; and what the value is of the environmental services provided by high-productivity environments.
Exequiel Ezcurra, University of California
Philip Hastings, UCSD Scripps Institution of Oceanography
Saul Alvarez-Borrego, Ensenada Center for Scientific Research and Higher Education