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Aim Climate change is expected to result in the tropicalization of coastal wetlands in the northern Gulf of Mexico, as warming winters allow tropical mangrove forests to expand their distribution poleward at the expense of temperate salt marshes. Data limitations near mangrove range limits have hindered understanding of the effects of winter temperature extremes on mangrove distribution and structure. Here, we investigated the influence of extreme freeze events on the abundance, height and coverage of black mangroves (Avicennia germinans ) near their northern range limit in Louisiana. Location Coastal Louisiana, USA. Methods We quantified the relationships between the frequency of extreme freeze events and A. germinans...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Ecology and Society): Coastal ecosystems in the eastern U.S. have been severely altered by human development, and climate change and other stressors are now further degrading the capacity of those ecological and social systems to remain resilient in the face of such disturbances. We sought to identify potential ways in which local conservation interests in the Lowcountry of South Carolina (USA) could participate in a social process of adaptation planning, and how that process might ultimately be broadened to engage a more diverse set of partners. We engaged participants through a combination of informal meetings, workshops, and other collaborative interactions to explore how the conservation community...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Frontiers in Communication): The efficacy of science communication can be influenced by the cultural values and cognitions of target audiences, yet message framing rarely accounts for these cognitive factors. To explore the effects of message framing tailored to specific audiences, we investigated relationships between one form of cultural cognition—political ideology—and perceptions about the zoonotic origins of the COVID-19 pandemic using a nationally representative Qualtrics XM panel (n = 1,554) during August 2020. First, we examined differences in attitudes towards science (in general) and COVID-19 (specifically) based on political ideology. We found that, compared to conservatives and moderates,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers): Agricultural best management practices (BMPs) reduce nonpoint-source pollution from cropland. Goals for BMP adoption and expected pollutant load reductions are often specified in water quality management plans to protect and restore waterbodies; however, estimates of the needed load reductions and pollutant removal performance of BMPs are generally based on historic climate. Increasing air temperatures and changes in precipitation patterns and intensity are anticipated throughout the U.S. over the 21st century. The effects of such changes on agricultural pollutant loads have been addressed by several studies, but how these changes will affect...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Despite its successes, the U.S. Endangered Species Act (ESA) has proven challenging to implement due to funding limitations, workload backlog, and other problems. As threats to species survival intensify and as more species come under threat, the need for the ESA and similar conservation laws and policies in other countries to function efficiently has grown. Attempts by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) to streamline ESA decisions include multispecies recovery plans and habitat conservation plans. We address species status assessment (SSA), a USFWS process to inform ESA decisions from listing to recovery, within the context of multispecies and ecosystem planning. Although existing SSAs have a single-species...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Landscape and Urban Planning): Cultural resources in coastal parks and recreation areas are vulnerable to climate change. The US National Park Service (NPS) is facing the challenge of insufficient budget allocations for both maintenance and climate adaptation of historic structures. Research on adaptation planning for cultural resources has predominately focused on vulnerability assessments of heritage sites; however, few studies integrate multiple factors (e.g., vulnerability, cultural significance, use potential, and costs) that managers should consider when making tradeoff decisions about which cultural resources to prioritize for adaptation. Moreover, heritage sites typically include multiple...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Tourism Management): Substantial climate change impacts threaten the persistence of cultural resources globally. The need exists for conceptualizing decision support tools that focus on quantifying and optimizing the managerial priorities to leverage historic preservation and adaptation actions that enhance the continuity of heritage values and sites. Informed by the Structured Decision Making (SDM) approach, this study advances the singular objective Optimal Preservation (OptiPres) Model, a decision support tool for climate adaptation planning of historic buildings by considering three tourism management objectives: (a) maximize accumulated resource value, (b) maximize cost-efficiency, and (c) minimize...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Prioritizing climate adaptation actions is often made difficult by stakeholders and decision-makers having multiple objectives, some of which may be competing. Transparent, transferable, and objective methods are needed to assess and weight different objectives for complex decisions with multiple interests. In this study, the Analytic Hierarchy Process (AHP) was used to examine priorities in managing cultural resources in the face of climate change at Cape Lookout National Seashore on the Atlantic coast of the southeastern United States. In this process, we conducted facilitated discussion sessions with the selected stakeholder representatives to elicit a comprehensive list of management objectives. Objectives were...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Springer): Climate change is altering species’ range limits and transforming ecosystems. For example, warming temperatures are leading to the range expansion of tropical, cold-sensitive species at the expense of their cold-tolerant counterparts. In some temperate and subtropical coastal wetlands, warming winters are enabling mangrove forest encroachment into salt marsh, which is a major regime shift that has significant ecological and societal ramifications. Here, we synthesized existing data and expert knowledge to assess the distribution of mangroves near rapidly changing range limits in the southeastern USA. We used expert elicitation to identify data limitations and highlight knowledge gaps for...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Summary (from NESP Methods Brief Series): This methods brief focuses on water purification by natural land cover, which removes nonpoint-source pollutants from runoff water before they reach waterways. This analysis maps natural land cover within the likely flowpaths of water from agricultural areas to waterways. Regional priority areas for the restoration of additional natural land cover in the flowpaths and for the conservation of existing natural land cover in the flowpaths are identified based on the amount of agricultural land and the proportion of flowpaths that are made up of purifying natural land cover. Spatial datasets for these priority areas and associated metrics are available on ScienceBase.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Summary (from NESP Methods Brief): This methods brief focuses on wild pollination, which is beneficial to the production of many pollinator-dependent crops. This analysis maps the supply of potential wild pollinator habitat and the demand for pollination from agriculture. Regional priority areas for conservation and restoration of wild pollinator habitat are identified based on several metrics derived from these supply and demand maps. Spatial datasets for these priority areas and associated metrics are available on ScienceBase.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Rural disaster recovery governance focuses on the actions that governments take to address the immediate economic, environmental, and infrastructure needs of communities, but does not consider the structural limitations of rural communities, or the transformational power of community leadership. Applying knowledge of community leadership, governance, and social capital in a rural community where social relationships and local-level leadership are central to external interactions provides space to understand the challenges, opportunities, and limitations of disaster recovery governance and leadership systems. To do this, we conduct a secondary thematic analysis of 30 interviews of 32 disaster recovery leaders in...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Environmental Modelling & Software): This study investigated whether a simple model could scale across watersheds and effectively predict runoff-driven nutrient loading as compared to a model with more complex process representation. A lumped model, the Spreadsheet Tool for Estimating Pollutant Load (STEPL), was adapted to use gridded data (STEPLgrid) and applied to 112 coastal watersheds across the Atlantic, Gulf, and Pacific coasts of the contiguous United States (U.S.) to estimate annual runoff-driven total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) loads. STEPLgrid outputs were compared to those of the SPAtially Referenced Regression on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) model. Relative to SPARROW, STEPLgrid...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Journal for Nature Conservation): As a zoonotic disease with unprecedented global impacts, COVID-19 may influence how people prioritize issues related to wildlife conservation. Using a nationally representative sample of US residents, we investigated: (1) how COVID-19 affected the relative importance of conservation issues among adults with different political ideologies, and (2) how the pandemic affected political polarization of conservation issues during the 2020 general election in the United States. Conservation issues such as endangered species and controlling zoonotic disease ranked low in importance among the 14 policy issues considered, even lower than environmental issues such as climate...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Executive Summary The National Park Service (NPS), in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), recognizes the need to quantify the sediment budget of the barrier islands within the Gulf Islands National Seashore (GINS) to understand the coastal processes affecting island resiliency. To achieve this goal, identifying and quantifying the physical parameters that drive long-term change is necessary to model the processes that are both generative and terminal in island evolution and capture island response to long-term human alteration and climatic patterns. For example, measuring change across periods of storminess is more effective at assessing island resiliency than measuring change resulting from...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Climate change impacts ecosystems variably in space and time. Landscape features may confer resistance against environmental stressors, whose intensity and frequency also depend on local weather patterns. Characterizing spatio-temporal variation in population responses to these stressors improves our understanding of what constitutes climate change refugia. We developed a Bayesian hierarchical framework that allowed us to differentiate population responses to seasonal weather patterns depending on their “sensitive” or “resilient” states. The framework inferred these sensitivity states based on latent trajectories delineating dynamic state probabilities. The latent trajectories are composed of linear initial conditions,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Environmental Entomology) An insect species’ geographic distribution is probably delimited in part by physiological tolerances of environmental temperatures. Gloomy scale (Melanaspis tenebricosa (Comstock)) is a native insect herbivore in eastern U.S. forests. In eastern U.S. cities, where temperatures are warmer than nearby natural areas, M. tenebricosa is a primary pest of red maple (Acer rubrum L.; Sapindales: Sapindaceae) With warming, M. tenebricosa may spread to new cities or become pestilent in forests. To better understand current and future M. tenebricosa distribution boundaries, we examined M. tenebricosa thermal tolerance under laboratory conditions. We selected five hot and five cold experimental...
Abstract (from MDPI ) Sleeper species are innocuous native or naturalized species that exhibit invasive characteristics and become pests in response to environmental change. Climate warming is expected to increase arthropod damage in forests, in part, by transforming innocuous herbivores into severe pests: awakening sleeper species. Urban areas are warmer than natural areas due to the urban heat island effect and so the trees and pests in cities already experience temperatures predicted to occur in 50–100 years. We posit that arthropod species that become pests of urban trees are those that benefit from warming and thus should be monitored as potential sleeper species in forests. We illustrate this with two case...
Abstract (from SpringerLink) Predation by natural enemies is important for regulating herbivore abundance and herbivory. Theory predicts that complex habitats support more natural enemies, which exert top-down control over arthropods and therefore can reduce herbivory. However, it is unclear if theory developed in other more natural systems similarly apply to predation by vertebrate and invertebrate natural enemies across urban habitats of varying complexity. We used plasticine caterpillar models to assess risk of predation by birds and insects, collected leaf-feeding arthropods, and measured herbivory in willow oak trees (Quercus phellos) in two seasons to determine how predation influenced herbivory across urban...
Abstract (from Ecosystems): Increases in temperature are expected to facilitate encroachment of tropical mangrove forests into temperate salt marshes, yet the effects on ecosystem services are understudied. Our work was conducted along a mangrove expansion front in Louisiana (USA), an area where coastal wetlands are in rapid decline due to compounding factors, including reduced sediment supply, rising sea level, and subsidence. Marsh and mangrove ecosystems are each known for their ability to adjust to sea-level rise and support numerous ecosystem services, but there are some differences in the societal benefits they provide. Here, we compare carbon and nitrogen stocks and relate these findings to the expected effects...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation