Wednesday, August 6, 2008: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
202 A, Midwest Airlines Center
OOS 15 - Theoretical Perspectives in Agroecology
The seminal paper by Richard Levins in 1973 (Science 181: 523-24) prodded scientists to bridge the gap between fundamental and applied agricultural research. Levins stated that “people working in basic science must be convinced that agriculturally relevant research is also of fundamental significance, [and] agricultural scientists must be convinced that theory is practical.” In the 35 years since Levins suggested these revolutionary ideas, many fundamental scientists continue to find new and innovative ways to use agricultural systems to support ecological theory. For example, With (2004) used percolation theory to assess the role of disturbance fragmentation in promoting invasion. On the other side, many applied scientists utilize ecological theory to support land management decisions. For example, Davis et al. (2006) prospectively analyzed the impact of releasing insects for the control of noxious weeds. As Levins emphasized, often these scientists are asked to choose between fundamental and applied questions, although both approaches are critical for problem-solving in agriculture. As agricultural systems (and the definition of agricultural land) changes rapidly, theory provides a method for determining the impacts. Scientists experienced in ecological theory are actively studying economically and biologically relevant problems in agroecosystems. Release of biocontrol agents, release of genetically-modified crops, and the explosion of invasive species represent "experiments" with pressing questions that theoretical and applied scientists are undertaking around the world. Theoretical agricultural scientists are the critical interface between land managers who need immediate answers, and scientific research that often takes years. The speakers exemplify recent collaborations between applied and fundamental researchers, as well as scientists proficient in both areas, and have contributed significantly to the ecological and agricultural policy, education, and outreach. Their research is helping to craft the agricultural policies of the future. They cover row-crop agriculture, pasture/grazing systems, and biomass crops, as well as insect-plant and plant-soil interactions, and large-scale policy changes, specifically the adoption of genetically-modified crops and farmland fragmentation effects on invasion.
Organizer:Peter B. McEvoy, Oregon State University
Co-organizer:Joseph Dauer, Oregon State University
Moderator:Peter B. McEvoy, Oregon State University
1:30 PMInteractions between soil organisms, organic-matter chemistry, and agricultural disturbances influence ecosystem processes
Stuart Grandy, Michigan State University
1:50 PMEcological solutions to agricultural problems: Redesigning cropping systems in the US Corn Belt
Matt Liebman, Iowa State University, Andrew H. Heggenstaller, Iowa State University, Brent J. Danielson, Iowa State University, Paula R. Westerman, Universitat de Lleida
2:10 PMHow will reduced soil moisture affect multi-crop yield advantages? A framework based on the ecological analysis of change in over-yield components
Luis E. García-Barrios, El Colegio de la Frontera Sur, Romeo Trujillo-Vasquez, El Clegio de la Frontera Sur
2:30 PMControlling a plant invader by targeted disruption of its life cycle
Joseph Dauer, Oregon State University, Peter B McEvoy, Oregon State University
2:50 PMIgnorance of the density-impact curve for invasive species means management is too much, too little, or too late
Hiroyuki Y. Yokomizo, CSIRO, Hugh P. Possingham, The University of Queensland, Matthew B. Thomas, Penn State University, Yvonne M. Buckley, University of Queensland
3:10 PMBreak
3:20 PMModels of the evolution of resistance in herbivores to transgenic crops
David A. Andow, University of Minnesota
3:40 PMParameter estimation in mathematical models for biomass crops
Fernando Miguez, University of Illinois
4:00 PMLinking theory and practice in ecological weed management
Adam S. Davis, University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign
4:20 PMConnectivity of the American agricultural landscape: Applying graph theory to assess the national risk of crop pest and disease spread
Karen A. Garrett, Kansas State University, Margaret L. Margosian, USDA APHIS, J. M. Shawn Hutchinson, Kansas State University, Kimberly A. With, Kansas State University
4:40 PMFunctional tradeoffs: Which services do legumes provide on smallholder farms?
Sieglinde Snapp, Michigan State University, George Kanyama-Phiri, University of Malawi, Boubacar Traore, IER Mali, Wezi Mhango, Michigan State University

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See more of The 93rd ESA Annual Meeting (August 3 -- August 8, 2008)