Dr. Tom Parker will speak to us on Saturday, January 26 at 3 pm on “Potential Impact of Climate Change on California Vegetation”. Since Humans are the principal drivers of climate change & most of us heed the latest warnings of “12 yrs till irreversibility”, established at the Climate Conference in Poland this month, Tom’s ideas have a heightened relevancy.
Dr. Parker’s talk will focus on two very different ecosystems: chaparral and tidal wetlands, to provide examples of climate change impact. Though the specific processes are quite different for each case, they are ultimately rooted in the same source, the warming of the planet by increasing CO2 concentration. For chaparral, the issue is a trend toward a reduced rainy season with greater potential for drying soils, plants and wildfire. For tidal wetlands, sea level rise is occurring at increasing rates, although wetlands should be able to keep up for a few decades. Other issues include how climate change will impact the state’s overall hydrology, leading to lower rates of freshwater flow into the Delta, especially in the summer.
Dr. Parker, a professor of biology at SFSU, is an evolutionary ecologist focused on the role of plants in ecological communities, especially the chaparral, as in SPVP and on tidal wetlands. Tom has published more than one professional article in conjunction with Mike Vasey.