Sustainable Pathways: Learning From the Past and Shaping the Future
In anticipation of the 100th Annual Meeting in 2015, the 98th Annual Ecological Society of America Meeting will look to the past as guidance in understanding and predicting future trends in ecosystem dynamics and services. With the backdrop of the beautiful city of Minneapolis, this meeting will capture the long influence of the ESA on ecology, and will set the stage for events leading to the centennial meeting. Long-term data, from fossil and pollen records, environmental proxies and observations that date in some cases from the early 1900s, provide the historical context and an important baseline for future trajectories. However, the future of Planet Earth is far from certain or predictable based on its past. Global drivers are changing in slope, magnitude, and direction, novel organisms are being introduced or developed, no-analog communities are forming, and humans continue to modify and interact with their environment. Historic legacies provide the template for these complex interactions. Developing and maintaining sustainable trajectories in the midst of these certain, yet highly unpredictable, changes that affect and interact with ecological systems is a critical challenge for ecologists, and provide the theme of the 98th meeting.