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The aim of this project is to facilitate expansion of current data management protocols to accommodate social science data for the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) and its regional Climate Science Centers (CSCs). To address this expansion, we (1) identified the best practices and approaches from practitioners/experts through interviews with current curators of social science data, (2) explored the approaches of existing tools and services to determine if they are capable of meeting the needs of the NCCWSC, and (3) conducted a survey of the specific user community, with a focus on social science researchers funded by the NCCWSC and managers of the data within the program. The dataset...
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Natural resource decision makers are challenged to adapt management to a changing climate while balancing short-term management goals with long-term changes in aquatic systems. Adaptation will require developing resilient ecosystems and resilient management systems. Decision makers already have tools to develop or ensure resilient aquatic systems and fisheries such as managing harvest and riparian zones. Because fisheries management often interacts with multiple stakeholders, adaptation strategies involving fisheries managers and other partners focused on land use, policy, and human systems, coupled with long-term monitoring, are necessary for resilient systems. We show how agencies and organizations are adapting...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Fisheries
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Social scientists funded through the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) and the Climate Science Centers (CSCs) have an obligation to provide access to their climate science related research data. We suspect, as with other data types, that tools for creating and editing social science metadata specific to the climate science domain and linking the metadata to the actual data either do not exist or are non-intuitive for scientists. Through our research we sought to verify whether any definitive metadata tool for social scientists working in the climate science domain exists. We also sought to determine whether a commonly agreed upon social science metadata standard exists. We suspect that...
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Understanding how climatic variation influences ecological and evolutionary processes is crucial for informed conservation decision-making. Nevertheless, few studies have measured how climatic variation influences genetic diversity within populations or how genetic diversity is distributed across space relative to future climatic stress. Here, we tested whether patterns of genetic diversity (allelic richness) were related to climatic variation and habitat features in 130 bull trout (Salvelinus confluentus) populations from 24 watersheds (i.e., ~4–7th order river subbasins) across the Columbia River Basin, USA. We then determined whether bull trout genetic diversity was related to climate vulnerability at the watershed...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Global Change Biology
Changes in the Earth’s climate are expected to impact freshwater habitats around the world by altering water temperatures, water levels, and streamflow. These changes will have consequences for inland fish – those found within lakes, rivers, streams, canals, reservoirs, and other landlocked waters – which are important for food, commerce, and recreation around the world. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2011, 33.1 million people fished and spent $41.8 billion in the United States alone. Yet to date, little comprehensive research has been conducted to investigate the effects of climate change on inland fisheries at a large scale. The aim of this project was to summarize the current state of knowledge,...
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Vegetation green-up signals the timing of available nutritious plants and shrubs providing high-quality forage for ungulates. In this study, we characterized spatial and temporal patterns of spring phenology and explored how they were related to preceding temperature and moisture conditions. We tested correlations between late winter weather and indicators of the onset and the length of the spring growing period with 250-m resolution time-series satellite data (2001 – 2013) for Wyoming, USA. In western Wyoming mountains, drier and warmer conditions during late winter were associated with earlier spring green-up onset of growth in forests, shrubs, and grasses. In the northeast mountains, onset of spring correlated...
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Hamilton and Miller (2016) provide an interesting and provocative discussion of how hybridization and introgression can promote evolutionary potential in the face of climate change. They argue that hybridization—mating between individuals from genetically distinct populations—can alleviate inbreeding depression and promote adaptive introgression and evolutionary rescue. We agree that deliberate intraspecific hybridization (mating between individuals of the same species) is an underused management tool for increasing fitness in inbred populations (i.e., genetic rescue; Frankham 2015; Whiteley et al. 2015). The potential risks and benefits of assisted gene flow have been discussed in the literature, and an emerging...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Conservation Biology
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Pacific salmon migration timing can drive population productivity, ecosystem dynamics, and human harvest. Nevertheless, little is known about long-term variation in salmon migration timing for multiple species across broad regions. We used long-term data for five Pacific salmon species throughout rapidly warming southeast Alaska to describe long-term changes in salmon migration timing, interannual phenological synchrony, relationships between climatic variation and migratory timing, and to test whether long-term changes in migration timing are related to glaciation in headwater streams. Temporal changes in the median date of salmon migration timing varied widely across species. Most sockeye populations are migrating...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Global Change Biology
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Evolutionary and ecological consequences of hybridization between native and invasive species are notoriously complicated because patterns of selection acting on non-native alleles can vary throughout the genome and across environments. Rapid advances in genomics now make it feasible to assess locus-specific and genome-wide patterns of natural selection acting on invasive introgression within and among natural populations occupying diverse environments. We quantified genome-wide patterns of admixture across multiple independent hybrid zones of native westslope cutthroat trout and invasive rainbow trout, the world's most widely introduced fish, by genotyping 339 individuals from 21 populations using 9380 species-diagnostic...
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Understanding how environmental variation influences population genetic structure is important for conservation management because it can reveal how human stressors influence population connectivity, genetic diversity and persistence. We used riverscape genetics modelling to assess whether climatic and habitat variables were related to neutral and adaptive patterns of genetic differentiation (population-specific and pairwise FST) within five metapopulations (79 populations, 4583 individuals) of steelhead trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss) in the Columbia River Basin, USA. Using 151 putatively neutral and 29 candidate adaptive SNP loci, we found that climate-related variables (winter precipitation, summer maximum temperature,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Molecular Ecology
On July 4th, the first Independence Day fireworks will shoot into the sky reflecting off the nearby lake or river, making that familiar pop! pop! sound throughout the night. With all the exciting pyrotechnics, it’s easy to overlook the fish living just under the water’s surface. Freshwater fish may seem impervious to the outside world under their protective layer of water, but climate change is already having major impacts on fish both around the world and right here in our backyards and communities. With 2014 being Earth’s warmest year on record since 1880, climate change is an ever-present threat to freshwater environments. Changes in temperatures and precipitation levels are already having major impacts on fish...
‚ÄčA scenario planning exercise focused on climate change, land use, and moose in the Northeast U.S. is being undertaken by the Wildlife Conservation Society, North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative, Northeast Climate Science Center (U.S. Geological Survey), and the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science. Phase 1 of the scenario planning process involves the identification of key features and drivers within the focus system. This newsletter summarizes the scientific state of knowledge and associated uncertainties from a workshop held at the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife headquarters in Westborough, MA on 4–5 February 2015.


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