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Interdisciplinary Seminar: Charlie Deaton
November 7, 2016 @ 12:20 pm - 1:20 pm
Seminar Title: Bistability and resilience in coupled bio-geomorphic coastal systems
Abstract: Many coastal ecosystems, such as dunes, salt marshes, and seagrass beds, exist due to biological-geologic feedbacks that result in highly dynamic, continually evolving ecosystems. Because these ecosystems form due to positive feedback loops, they can exhibit bistability – the capability to exist in two stable states under exactly the same conditions. Bistable systems are important to consider because of the sudden shifts that occur once environmental thresholds are crossed, which can cause the rapid collapse of ecosystems. However, these systems also have the potential to exhibit high resilience – the ability to recover from disturbance – if environmental stressors return to favorable conditions. This interdisciplinary seminar will explore in detail the interactions that drive the existence of bistability in these systems and discuss their implications for managing coastal ecosystems and human communities in the face of global change.