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2022 Conference – Ecological Lessons from Pollinator Habitat – Wednesday, February 23

Presentation Descriptions

9:00-10:00am EST

Landscape Corridors for Nature and for People
Nick Haddad, Michigan State University

Habitat loss and fragmentation are the greatest causes of biodiversity loss. One approach to avert such losses is to reconnect landscapes with habitat corridors. Corridors are meant to serve as superhighways for plants and animals. But do they work? Surprisingly, they work for a wide variety of plants and animals, as different as swallowtail butterflies and grasses. In so doing, they stabilize food webs by increasing interactions between species, for example increasing pollination, seed dispersal by animals, and food availability to predators. Corridors increase biodiversity, with benefits accruing over decades. Backed by this evidence, many conservation organizations prioritize efforts to reconnect habitat. Corridor conservation does not benefit only biodiversity; people create corridors with direct benefit to people in mind. For example, we protect riparian buffers to increase water quality and urban greenways to provide ready access. Because corridors are conserved eagerly for different reasons, corridors present the most viable path to meet the goals of the 30×30 initiative and other regional or national conservation goals.

10:15-11:15am EST

Corridor Ecology: Linking Landscapes for Biodiversity Conservation and Climate Change Adaptation
Dr. Annika Keeley, Delta Stewardship Council

Building on the preceding presentation, Dr. Keeley will review selected chapters of the second edition of the 2019 book Corridor Ecology that captures advances in the field since 2006. She will give an overview of corridor design objectives, including topics such as corridor dimensions, sensitivity to human activity, and topography and microclimate for climate-wise connectivity. With an extensive human footprint in many landscapes prioritizing action in light of climate change is important for effective conservation. To address this need Dr. Keeley will provide information on corridor mapping and modeling methods applied to improve local and regional planning without going into technical details. After corridor planning, action needs to follow. Using case studies of conservation efforts directed at maintaining and restoring connectivity in North America and around the world, considerations for implementing a corridor project will be illustrated.

12:45-1:45pm EST

Promoting Pollinators through Landscape Architecture:
Six Key Strategies to Improve Habitat Value and Landscape Performance
Anthony Fettes, University of New Mexico

Pollinators contribute to an estimated 1/3 of global food production providing a vital ecosystem service in addition to maintaining the health and productivity of ecological communities everywhere. With the decline of pollinator species largely attributed to land-use changes and landscape-related issues, this session explores how landscape architects can benefit local pollinators and enhance habitat at multiple scales.

2:00-3:00pm EST

Urban Pollinator Corridors:
Creating Native Habitat to Support Pollinators and Other Wild Life
Heather McCargo, Wild Seed Project

Portland is the largest urban area in Maine and many of the region’s native plants and the fauna that depend on them have been replaced with buildings, paving, and exotic plant species. Creating a vision for restoring native habitat was the goal of the Portland Pollinator Vision Plan, a joint project between Wild Seed Project and the Conway School of Landscape Design. Engaging citizens, grassroots organizations, and public officials to take the bold steps needed when most people can’t even imagine what a habitat corridor would look like requires lots of education and the ability to inspire the multiple actions needed to create connected plantings stretching across the landscape from the healthy wild habitats and farmland of rural areas into the heavily developed city and suburbs.

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