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The Prairie Pothole Region spans parts of North and South Dakota, Minnesota, Montana, Iowa and south-central Canada and contains millions of wetlands that provide habitat for breeding and migrating birds. Because it is the continent’s most important breeding area for waterfowl, conservation and management largely focuses on protecting habitat for nesting ducks. However, other wetland-dependent birds also rely on this region, and it is important to understand the degree to which habitat conserved for ducks provides habitat for other species, and how the quality of this habitat will be affected by climate change. Project researchers tested whether waterfowl are effective representatives, or surrogates, for other wetland-dependent...
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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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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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    map background search result map search result map Understanding How Climate and Land Use Change Will Impact Wetland-Dependent Birds: Are Waterfowl Effective Surrogates for Other Species? Understanding How Climate and Land Use Change Will Impact Wetland-Dependent Birds: Are Waterfowl Effective Surrogates for Other Species?