Aarhus University Seal

Conference on Ecological Dynamics in a Novel Biosphere  

Earth is a living planet and its rich biosphere – the sum of all its biodiversity and ecosystems – makes it a wonderful place to live. More than that, humanity relies on a functional biosphere for its well-being and survival. Worryingly, future generations will face a novel biosphere where escalating human-driven global change are causing a global ecological transformation, with risks of severe extinctions and massive ecosystem breakdowns. Effective biosphere stewardship – maintaining Earth’s biodiversity and a functional biosphere – is urgently needed but must deal with inevitable, but barely understood ecological novelty. It is crucial that we address this knowledge gap, providing ground-breaking insights into emerging novel ecological conditions and how to steer these towards the most positive outcomes possible.  

To address this critical theme, we at will hold a three-day international conference at Center for Ecological Dynamics in a Novel Biosphere (ECONOVO) on September 17-19, 2024. The venue will be the Aarhus Institute of Advanced Studies (AIAS) at Aarhus University in Aarhus, Denmark. With this conference, we aim to improve on the much-needed basis for predicting the consequences of the accelerating global spread of novel ecosystems and improving their value for Earth’s biodiversity and biosphere functioning. 

During the conference we will take stock of:

  1. the historical emergence and current expansion of novel ecosystems with focus on the consequences for biodiversity,

  2. the role of restoration of ecological complexity - trophic complexity (aka trophic rewilding) and geodiversity - in supporting species diversity in novel ecosystems,

  3. the contribution of novel ecosystems to climate change mitigation and its links to biodiversity and ecological complexity, and

  4. biosphere-level consequences of global spread of novel ecosystems.  

Uniquely, the conference brings together scholars from across natural and human sciences with the common focus of sharing perspectives, insights, and methods beyond the state-of-the-art.