In a series of lectures we will introduce a number of fundamental concepts and discuss their relevance and applications to conservation:
- macro-ecological patterns (species richness, endemism, community structure) and the factors that drive these patterns (productivity, seasonality, …)
- main biogeographical principles and theories driving species richness and community structure
- principles of systematic conservation planning (scoring systems versus complementarity-based approaches) with demonstration of appropriate software
- responses of communities to climate change, and the use of environmental niche modelling as a tool to predict changes
In addition to the lectures, students will make an assignment in which they will use an existing dataset for a given taxon on a set of islands or nature reserves to analyse species richness and community structure and identify priorities for conservation.