Members of the Biodiversity Theme first met in January 2012 in the UK. The theme ran until 2015. Highlights during that time included a participatory style meeting in December 2012 entitled Palaeo 50: The priority questions in palaeoecology and the paper which emerged from this meeting (link).


MEA-2005-coverThe 2005 Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MEA) highlighted critical gaps in our knowledge of biodiversity, for example our understanding of:

1. responses of ecosystems to changes in the availability of nutrients and carbon dioxide.

2. non-linear changes and structural and dynamic characteristics of ecosystems that lead to thresholds and irreversible biodiversity changes.

3. the nature of interactions among drivers of changes in biodiversity at regional scales.

The MEA argues that such information is essential in order to design intervention procedures that maximize positive impacts on biodiversity.


This theme aimed to focus on the compilation of long-term ecological records at a range of spatial and temporal scales in order to complement the use of existing shorter-term observational records identified by the DIVERSITAS program.

Specifically, to synthesize long-term records that can provide information on: drivers of biodiversity change; determination of baselines and natural ecosystem variability; biodiversity thresholds and resilience; migrations, invasions and extinctions; conservation of cultural landscapes; and wilderness conservation.

In addition, it addressed the need to improve our recognition of biological remains in natural archives and the need for fundamental work on representativity and congruence to improve interpretation of fossil records.