PhD Oral Defense: The Effects of Landscape Structure and Biodiversity on Ecosystem Services
PhD Oral Defense of Matthew Mitchell, Department of Natural Resource Sciences
Ecosystem services, the benefits that people receive from ecosystems, depend on the movement of organisms and matter across landscapes, as well as the biodiversity and ecosystem functions that are present. Human activities around the world are rapidly and significantly changing ecosystems, landscapes, biodiversity, and, ultimately, ecosystem services. This is particularly true in agricultural systems, where human activities to maximize the ecosystem service of food production often lead to the decline of other important ecosystem services. While we understand that ecosystem services are critical to human well-being, our current knowledge of the provision of ecosystem services across landscapes contains a number of significant gaps that limit our ability to manage for services and human well-being. In particular, we don’t fully understand how changes in landscape structure – the composition and configuration of land use types – affect the provision of multiple ecosystem services. In this thesis, Mr. Mitchell explores the theoretical and empirical relationships between landscape structure, biodiversity, and ecosystem service provision.
Everyone in the McGill community is welcome to attend a PhD oral defense. Please join us in celebrating the accomplishments of our PhD candidates.