Are there places that buffer species from climate change? If so, where are they, and can species get there? California natural resource managers need to develop climate change adaptation strategies to address the responses of species to warming trends, shifting precipitation regimes, and changes in vegetation communities. Climate change refugia – areas that remain relatively stable as the climate changes – are important to consider in adaptation planning, but little was known about the nature and distribution of these places.
In the CA LCC-funded project “Determining Landscape Connectivity and Climate Change Refugia Across the Sierra Nevada”, researchers mapped the meadows of the Sierra Nevada and used data on the persistence, stability, and genetic diversity of mammal populations to characterize the ability of the meadows to offer refuge to biodiversity.
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