WG4 – Historical Ecology

WG4 – Historical Ecology

Description of the WG4

 Marine historical ecology is an interdisciplinary research approach that draws upon historical sources to understand the dynamics and changes in marine ecosystems over decadal to centennial time scales, as well as the drivers of these changes (both social and ecological). This working group aims to understand and expand upon our state of knowledge of a) the distribution and functioning of MAF systems prior to the commencement of ecological monitoring, b) how these systems have responded to human impacts (direct and indirect) over time, and c) how human uses of and values associated with MAF systems have changed over time and what this means for their future conservation and management. This WG will thus have particularly close links with WGs 2, 5, 6 and 7.

Activity 1

Review of historical ecology on MAF. Tasks: a. Group members contacted and confirmed. b. Review on existing MAF Literature (scientific, government and popular literature) c. Organise and classify literature review results on existing knowledge of historical MAF distribution, structure and functioning. d. Writing and submission of manuscripts to publish according to COST requirements of High Impact Standards.

Activity 2

Historical Ecology Workshop. Tasks: a. Identify, contact and confirm workshop participants. b. Hold workshop. c. Identification of common protocols for historical archival data mining and interpretation. d. Build a publically available metadatabase, to encourage further analysis of the existing literature.

Activity 3

New Data. Tasks: a. Identify, contact and confirm collaboration with ecologists, historians and social scientists throughMAF-WORLD network, to move the state of knowledge forward, with particular emphasis on historical distributions, ecological functioning, and human uses and values associated with these systems over time. b. Identification of sources/potential locations of sources. c. Identification and initiation of research into previously unexamined collections (e.g., government institutions, museums, library collections). d. Analysis and peer reviewed paper.

Student research projects. Tasks: a. Advertise student projects to educate on the magnitude and major drivers of change in ocean ecosystems andengage them in cutting edge research. This will take the form of undergraduate and Masters-level research projects, each of which will focus upon change in a regional benthic ecosystem. b. Selection of students to use historical ecology research methodologies and techniques to develop an individual research project focused on mapping the historical distribution and human uses of a MAF system at the regional scale. c. Program of study/research will be available for selected students to participate in a training School or STSM (e.g., WG5) to conduct part of their project with an international colleague within the COST Action. d. Student network via STSM or/and training schools to develop the students’ networks and expose them to different institutions, data and ways of working.