Quantitative forecasting of above- and below-ground climate change impacts at Wind Cave National Park
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...
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...