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Folders: ROOT > ScienceBase Catalog > National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers > National CASC > FY 2019 Projects ( Show all descendants )

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Modeling interactions between human and ecological systems is needed to identify pathways to meet multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Particularly important is the relationship between biodiversity, ecological processes, and ecosystem services. However, current models tend to ignore impacts of biodiversity on ecological processes. Existing models capture impacts of socio-economic activities on biodiversity or ecosystem services, but critically, links between biodiversity and ecosystem services are only weakly incorporated in most projections and hence in policy design. Knowledge of these relationships has improved, but is scattered across the literature, as are models addressing each component....
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Prairies were once widespread across North America, but are now one of the most endangered and least protected ecosystems in the world. Agriculture and residential development have reduced once extensive prairies into a patchwork of remnant prairies and “surrogate” grasslands (e.g., hayfields, planted pastures). Grassland ecosystems and many grassland-dependent birds are also particularly vulnerable to rapid shifts in climate and associated changes in drought and extreme weather. The Central Flyway is a vast bird migration route that comprises more than half of the continental U.S., and extends from Central America to Canada, and harbors the greatest diversity of grassland birds in North America. Throughout this...
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Climate change is already affecting ecosystems, and will likely trigger significant and permanent changes in both ecological and human communities. Such transformations are already occurring in the Arctic region of Alaska, where temperatures are warming at twice the global average and causing some ecosystems to transition to new states. Arctic warming has led to coastal erosion that has forced human communities to relocate and a loss of sea ice that has forced marine mammals, such as polar bears and walrus, to adapt to a more terrestrial mode of living. Meanwhile, in the Great Plains of the U.S., past interactions between land and water use during the Dust Bowl and recent high rates of depletion of the Ogallala...
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Ungulates, or hoofed mammals such as elk, deer, and moose, occupy a diversity of habitats across North America, from Canada’s high arctic to the deserts of Mexico. Ungulates play an important ecological role, helping to regulate processes such as nutrient cycling in forests and grasslands, through their grazing activities. They are also economically and culturally important, providing recreational and subsistence hunting opportunities and non-consumptive, aesthetic values. Yet throughout their range, ungulates face numerous anthropogenic and environmental threats that have the potential to impact populations and their ability to move across the landscape. Of these threats, an improved understanding of the effects...
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Species across North America are being impacted by changing climate conditions. Plants and animals can respond to these changes in a variety of ways, including by shifting their geographic distributions. Determining whether or not observed biological changes, such as range shifts, are indeed the result of climate change is a key challenge facing natural resource managers and requires clarifying which areas have experienced detectable and significant changes in climate variables (such as monthly mean temperature or extreme precipitation). The objective of this study is to identify areas across North America that have (or have not) experienced detectable changes in ecologically-relevant climate variables. The overall...
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The impacts of climate change are widespread and accelerating. As natural resource managers are tasked with maintaining and protecting species and ecosystems, options for minimizing the impacts of climate change are needed. One option for climate adaptation focuses on resistance, which seeks to preserve, as much as possible, the historical structure, composition, and function of an ecosystem in the face of changing climate conditions. One of the primary resistance strategies is to identify and conserve what are known as climate change refugia. These refugia represent areas that remain relatively buffered from contemporary climate change over time and therefore enable the persistence of valued physical, ecological,...
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Moose are an important game species in Montana, Idaho and Wyoming but hunter opportunities have been reduced in many areas over the last two decades as populations have declined at this southern limit of the species’ geographic range. In the Jackson, Wyoming area moose populations have declined by an estimated 80% since the early 1990s. Rising temperatures, pathogens, and parasites represent some of the hypothesized mechanisms behind the declines. Specifically, concerns have increased about the abundance of winter ticks (Dermacentor albipictus), a widespread parasite associated with moose that increases in abundance with shorter winters and longer growing seasons. The winter tick has been associated with drastic...
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Drought events have cost the U.S. nearly $245 billion since 1980, with costs ranging from $2 to $44 billion in any given year. However, these socio-economic losses are not the only impacts of drought. Ecosystems, fish, wildlife, and plants also suffer, and these types of drought impacts are becoming more commonplace. Further, ecosystems that recover from drought are now doing so under different climate conditions than they have experienced in the past few centuries. As temperature and precipitation patterns change, “transformational drought”, or drought events that can permanently and irreversibly alter ecosystems – such as forests converting to grasslands – are a growing threat. This type of drought has cascading...


    map background search result map search result map Understanding Changing Climate Variables to Clarify Species’ Exposure and Responses to Changing Environments across North America Adaptation Strategies in the Face of Climate-Driven Ecological Transformation: Case Studies from Arctic Alaska and the U.S. Great Plains State of the Science Synthesis on Transformational Drought: Understanding Drought’s Potential to Transform Ecosystems Across the Country Strategies for Reducing the Vulnerability of Grassland Birds to Climate Change within the Central Flyway Developing A National Framework for Incorporating Climate Change Refugia into Conservation and Adaptation Planning The Missing Link: Incorporating the Role of Biological Diversity into Projections of Ecosystem Services Moose and Winter Ticks in Western Wyoming Understanding the Effects of Climate Variability and Change on Ungulates in North America Moose and Winter Ticks in Western Wyoming Strategies for Reducing the Vulnerability of Grassland Birds to Climate Change within the Central Flyway Adaptation Strategies in the Face of Climate-Driven Ecological Transformation: Case Studies from Arctic Alaska and the U.S. Great Plains Understanding the Effects of Climate Variability and Change on Ungulates in North America Understanding Changing Climate Variables to Clarify Species’ Exposure and Responses to Changing Environments across North America State of the Science Synthesis on Transformational Drought: Understanding Drought’s Potential to Transform Ecosystems Across the Country Developing A National Framework for Incorporating Climate Change Refugia into Conservation and Adaptation Planning The Missing Link: Incorporating the Role of Biological Diversity into Projections of Ecosystem Services