Aeroecology: Transcending Boundaries Among Ecology, Meteorology, and Physics

Saturday, February 19, 2011: 3:00 PM-4:30 PM
102B (Washington Convention Center )
Birds, bats, and flying insects depend on aerial habitats for critical aspects of their life history, such as foraging, migration, and dispersal. In marine biology, the importance of interactions between aqueous habitats and marine organisms has long been recognized. In contrast, the ecological significance of the aerosphere for aerial organisms has received little attention. Aeroecology is a new discipline whose unifying concept is a focus on the aerosphere and the myriad organisms that inhabit and depend on this aerial environment for their existence. Volant animals contribute to the ecological integrity of multiple ecosystems that span geopolitical boundaries linked by migration or dispersal through the aerosphere. Investigating behavior and movements of animals in the aerosphere presents formidable challenges, requiring creative integration of novel technological advances for data acquisition and analysis. In this symposium, we bring together a diverse group of physicists, meteorologists, radar scientists, and ecologists to address major challenges and advances in aeroecological research. Through its transdisciplinary approach and emphases on biotic-abiotic interactions at multiple spatial and temporal scales, aeroecology promises to advance understanding of the effects of climate change and anthropogenic alteration of diverse landscapes on biodiversity, global health, and ecological integrity.
Winifred F. Frick, University of California
Phillip B. Chilson, University of Oklahoma
Thomas H. Kunz, Boston University
Jeffrey F. Kelly, University of Oklahoma
and Kenneth W. Howard, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Severe Storms Laboratory
Thomas H. Kunz, Boston University
Aeroecology as an Emerging Scientific Discipline
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