sChange - Debating the existence of local biodiversity loss and developing new projects to build consensus


PIs: Nico Eisenhauer; Forest Isbell

Several recent meta-analyses investigated whether and how biodiversity is changing over time in local communities worldwide. The conflicting results and interpretations from these studies have evoked a controversial discussion. We aim to bring together people and data from both sides of the discussion to clarify points of agreement and disagreement, and to identify data and analyses that could build consensus moving forward. Products of the workshop will include (1) a perspectives paper and (2) a proposal for subsequent workshops or working group meetings to pursue the identified quantitative syntheses.

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1st sDiv meeting: 10.-12.10.2014

Anne Bjorkman (iDiv); Helge Bruelheide (Martin-Luther-University of Halle-Wittenberg); Jon Chase (iDiv/MLU); Dylan Craven (iDiv); Maria Dornelas (University of St Andrews); Nico Eisenhauer (iDiv); Andrew Gonzalez (McGill University); Fangliang He (University of Alberta); Jessica Hines (iDiv); Forest Isbell (University of Georgia); Holly Keltner (Northern Illinois University); Brian McGill (University of Maine); Grace Murphy (Dalhousie University); Isla Myers-Smith (University of Edinburgh); Laetitia Navarro (iDiv); Mary O'Connor (University of British Columbia); Sarah Supp (University of Wisconsin-Madison); Marten Winter (iDiv); Christian Wirth (Leipzig University)


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sChange - Quantifying biodiversity change through time

This working group is a jointly funded project of sDiv and the Canadian Institute of Ecology and Evolution (CIEE/ICEE). At CIEE the working group runs under project number 2.2. "Understanding recent biodiversity change across spatial and temporal scales

2nd sDiv meeting:  22.-26.02.2016

PIs: Sarah Supp; Maria Dornelas

Despite substantial evidence of modern environmental degradation, recent data syntheses have sparked controversy over whether and how biodiversity has changed in recent decades. We will jointly advance theoretical and empirical tools for detecting and attributing biodiversity change given available data. Our theoretical synthesis will evaluate methods for estimating and comparing biodiversity across scales and advance conceptual and analytical tools for attributing changes to perturbations. We will identify challenges and solutions for relating modern biodiversity change to conservation and ecosystem function.

Maria Dornelas (University of St Andrews); Mary O’Connor (University of British Columbia); Andrew Gonzalez (McGill University); Amanda Bates (University of Southampton); Jarrett Byrnes (University of Massachusetts Boston); Robin Elahi (Stanford University); Holly Jones (Northern Illinois University); Brian McGill (University of Maine); Isla Myers-Smith (University of Edinburgh); Jonathan Chase (iDiv); Marten Winter (iDiv); Helge Bruelheide (MLU Halle); Anne Magurran (University of St Andrews); Laura Antao (University of St Andrews); Diana Bowler (Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre) ; Jes Hines (iDiv); Shane Blowes (Tel Aviv University); Conor Waldock (University of St Andrews); Anne Bjorkman (University of Edinburgh); Laetitia Navarro (iDiv); Juliano Sarmento Cabral (iDiv)

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writing retreat, St. Andrews, UK


Shane Blowes; Maria Dornelas; Anne Magurran; Isla Myers-Smith; Sarah Supp,

Remote Participants:
Brian McGill (University of Maine), Jon Chase (iDiv), Helge Bruelheide (MLU Halle/iDiv), Marten Winter (iDiv), Amanda Bates (University of Southampton), Diana Bowler (Senckenberg Biodiversity and Climate Research Centre), Mary O’Connor (University of British Columbia), Patrick Thompson (University of British Columbia).

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See here for a more personal story about the development of this study: Diana E. Bowler's blog post


Chase, J. M. et al. (2019) Species richness change across spatial scales. Oikos. doi:10.1111/oik.05968 See here

Blowes, Shane A. et al. (2919) The geography of biodiversity change in marine and terrestrial assemblages. Science. doi: 10.1126/science.aaw1620 See here

Bowler, Diana E. et al. (2020) Mapping human pressures on biodiversity across the planet uncovers anthropogenic threat complexes. People and Nature. doi: 10.1002/pan3.10071 See here

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