Monday, June 4, 2012

Intecol 9 Arriving, pre-conference trip and day 1


After 12 hours on the plane I had reached Orlando, and was ready for the 1 hour line at the US Custom and Border control. Clearly there has been a change, because compared to previous times, the staff were very welcoming, and not the “How dare you stand in line and create so much work for me”-attitude that has been the previous experience. Someone clearly told them that they are the face of the nation, and they listened.

The following day was the pre-conference trip, and I was heading to Wekiwa springs for canoeing on the spring run. Alligators, turtles, Leather-fern, alligator lily and a splashing otter were seen, although I never saw the alligator, but I take the other peoples word for it. After the pre-conference trip I put up my colleagues poster that I am presenting in his absence. It is at board 166 and has attracted some attention at least.



Today was the first day of the Intecol 9 conference, and 1400 people are attending from what I have heard. It started with welcoming speeches by among others the Florida Senator Bob Graham, who got a spontaneous applaud from the 1400 scientists when he said that cutting funding for the environment is not the way out of the economic crisis. He also commented on the denial of climate change and evolution that has been heard from other politicians. He said that “I will give them the benefit of the doubt, and assume that they are not so stupid that they don´t know that it is a fact, but that they deny it for political convenience. “

When the parallel presentations started it was a constant running from room to room, if one wanted to hear the presentations that sounded interesting. This is dependent on that everybody in all rooms follow the time limit, and most of the time it worked very well. Information I picked up the first day.

Qianxin Lin showed how Juncus is much more sensitive to oil exposure than Spartina is, and this was demonstrated both by monitoring the effect of the Deep-water Horizon oil spill, and experimental testing of oil exposure of the two plants at various concentrations of oil.

Micaleila Desotelle spoke about a major oil-sand spill from a pipeline that transports tar-sand oil. It occurred in Michigan right after the Deep-water Horizon oil spill, and therefore got limited media coverage. Birds, turtles, mammals and vegetation were affected.

Sylvie de Blois presented information on how climate models can predict very accurately the current distribution of wetland species in Quebec, but not the distribution of abundance. The models show that species will shift their range 2 degrees (300 km) north somewhere between 2071 and 2100.

Among the posters there was one comment on a poster by Cimon-Morin et al. that I found interesting. The poster presented information regarding how to use ecosystem services for wetland conservation planning in remote areas. They conclude that the economic value of ecosystem services decrease the further away a site is from populated areas, but at the same time the regulating functions (e.g. high biodiversity) increases, which raises the question of the value of evaluating ecosystem services in this way.

There were plenty of more that was presented, but these are my highlights of day 1. 
On Thursday 11:20 is my presentation about using Functional Diversity analysis to analyze environmental constraints in restoration.

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