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Folders: ROOT > ScienceBase Catalog > Northern Prairie Wildlife Research Center > Climate Change ( Show all descendants )

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Our research focuses on the abiotic and biotic factors that regulate greenhouse gas fluxes of PPR wetlands and uplands to reduce the uncertainties associated with temporal and spatial variability that characterizes these wetland systems. Our studies range from plot-level experiments in wetland catchments situated in grasslands and agricultural fields, to regional- and national-scale modeling to predict changes in soil processes associated with climate and land use. We use a combination of commercial and custom-made sampling devices to facilitate the collection of temporally-intensive data. The ability to extrapolate plot-level fluxes and to assess potential effects of climate and land-use change on wetland ecosystems...
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Waterbirds breeding at wetlands in North Dakota forage mostly on aquatic invertebrates. Historically, productivity and abundance of aquatic invertebrates primarily was driven by inter-annual hydrological dynamics (i.e., wet-dry cycles). Wetland drying allows for nutrient cycling and a subsequent pulse of productivity when wet conditions return. However, abundance and quality of wetlands in North Dakota has declined due to landscape modifications, primarily agriculture. Consolidation drainage, a practice of draining less permanent wetlands into larger more permanent ones, is common in North Dakota and it increases connectivity and stabilizes water levels among remaining wetlands. For the effective management and...
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Human-driven climate change presents natural resource managers with great uncertainties. Planning and executing effective management in the face of these uncertainties requires approaches nimble enough to address a broad range of interacting factors yet scientifically rigorous enough to support decisions and actions when faced with public scrutiny. Complex interactions among management practices and climate further stymie managers trying to plan for the future. Wind Cave National Park epitomizes this complexity hydrologically with its karst geology, sinking streams, and cave lakes, and ecologically with its prairie-forest ecotonal vegetation, large ungulate herds, and prescribed and wild fires. This project partnered...
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Maintaining the native prairie lands of the Northern Great Plains (NGP), which provide an important habitat for declining grassland species, requires anticipating the effects of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and climate change on the region’s vegetation. Specifically, climate change threatens NGP grasslands by increasing the potential encroachment of native woody species into areas where they were previously only present in minor numbers. This project uses a dynamic vegetation model to simulate vegetation type (grassland, shrubland, woodland, and forest) for the NGP for a range of projected future climates and relevant management scenarios. Comparing results of these simulations will...
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In this project researchers are assessing the links between climate, groundwater storage, spring flow, and ecosystem response in two contrasting major U.S. karst systems: the Edwards and Madison aquifers. Karst aquifers are uniquely suited for investigating effects of climate variability at timescales of human interest because they are highly dynamic; further, many provide habitat for rare and endangered species. The principal objective of this project is to determine how interrelations between karst hydrology and ecosystems will be affected by climate change. Current relations between recharge (impulse) and storage and spring flow (response) are quantified through signal-processing models that use existing...
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Climate change is expressed in both regional climatic shifts (e.g., temperature and precipitation changes) and local resource impacts. Resource management in a changing climate is challenging because future climate change and resource responses cannot be precisely predicted. Scenario planning is a tool to assess the range of plausible future conditions. However, selecting, acquiring, synthesizing, and scaling climate information for scenario planning requires significant time and skills. This project has three goals: 1) synthesize climate data into 3-5 distinctly different but plausible climate summaries for the northern Great Plains region; 2) craft summaries of these climate futures that are relevant to local...
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Many investigations into the effects of land management on wetland systems and their plant communities rely on contemporary data and relatively short periods of change. Historical data on wetland vegetation and water chemistry collected by Robert Stewart Sr. and Harold Kantrud in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) offer a unique opportunity to evaluate wetland changes after 50 years. They surveyed 136 wetlands in 3 areas (Mt. Moriah, Cottonwood Lake, and Crystal Springs) in Stutsman County, North Dakota during 1961–1966. Those data served as the foundation for the Stewart and Kantrud (1971) wetland classification system for glaciated prairie region. Since the 1960s, the PPR has experienced substantial intensification...
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This research effort is focused on developing integrated, process-based, systems models for prairie pothole wetlands to facilitate forecasts of how climate and land-use change will influence wetland processes, biota, and the delivery of multiple ecosystem services. Models will focus on predicting changes in hydrology, water chemistry, plant communities, invertebrates, amphibians, waterfowl, other wetland birds, and ecosystem services resulting from changing climatic and land-use conditions. We will utilize the extensive biotic and abiotic datasets available for the Missouri Coteau Wetland Ecosystem Observatory to parameterize, calibrate, and validate models. This research effort will allow us to address important...
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Recent wetland simulation modeling efforts suggest that global climate change may result in increased drying of prairie pothole wetlands as increased evaporation rates associated with warmer temperatures outpace potential increases in precipitation. Potential effects include reduced water depths and volumes, and shorter hydroperiods with seasonal wetlands being most vulnerable. However, precipitation and temperature alone are insufficient to explain annual variations in water conditions of prairie pothole wetlands and tremendous spatial and temporal variability across the regions hampers efforts to discern climate change effects. Given the great importance of prairie pothole wetlands to FWS trust resources (primarily...
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Through a resampling of 178 prairie lakes and wetlands originally sampled in the late 1960s and early 1970s, we are exploring changes in water chemical composition that have occurred in response to shifting climate patterns and the affects of these changes on fish and wildlife communities.
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The Plains and Prairie Potholes Landscape Conservation Cooperative (PPPLCC) is a partnership of Federal and State Agencies, NGOs and others that is tasked with facilitating the flow of information from scientists to managers. The goal of the partnership is to ensure that scientific information can be directly useful to managers, and to prioritize this information so that scientists can better understand where to focus their efforts. Among the many charges of LCCs is translating landscape scale stressors, such as climate change, into information that can be used by land managers. However, in order to understand how climate information would be best used, LCC partners need to understand whether climate information...
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    map background search result map search result map Interaction of climate variability and landscape modification on trophic structure and amphipod populations in prairie wetlands: Implications for waterbird habitat conservation Interaction of climate variability and landscape modification on trophic structure and amphipod populations in prairie wetlands: Implications for waterbird habitat conservation