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The global mean surface temperature increased 0.85°C during the period 1880 – 2012. Some climate models predict an additional warming of up 2 to 4 ◦ C over the next 100 years for the primary breeding grounds for North American ducks. Such an increase has been predicted to reduce mid - continent breeding duck populations by >70%. Managing continental duck populations in the face of climate change requires understanding how waterfowl have responded to historical spatio - temporal climatic variation. However, such responses to climate may be obscured by how ducks respond to variation in land cover. We estimated effects of climate on settlement patterns of breeding ducks in the Prairie - Parkland Region (PPR), boreal...
The responses of individual species to environmental changes can be manifested at multiple levels that range from individual-level (i.e., behavioral responses) to population-level (i.e., demographic) impacts. Major environmental changes that ultimately result in population level impacts are often first detected as individual-level responses. For example, herbivores respond to limited forage availability during drought periods by increasing the duration of foraging periods and expanding home range areas to compensate for the reduction in forage. However, if the individual-level responses are not sufficient to compensate for reduced forage availability, reduced survival and reproductive rates may result. We studied...
Severe droughts cause widespread tree mortality and decreased growth in forests across the globe. Forest managers are seeking strategies to increase forest resistance (minimizing negative impacts during the drought) and resilience (maximizing recovery rates following drought). Limited experimental evidence suggests that forests with particular structural characteristics have greater capacity to resist change and or recover ecosystem function in the face of drought. However, the applicability of these results to practical forest conservation and management remains unclear. This project utilized an existing network of eight long-term, operational-scale, forest management experiments from Arizona to Maine to examine...
America’s remaining grassland in the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) is at risk of being lost to crop production. When crop prices are high, like the historically high corn prices that the U.S. experienced between 2008 and 2014, the risk of grassland conversion is even higher. Changing climate will add uncertainties to any efforts toward conservation of grassland in the PPR. Grassland conversion to cropland in the region would imperil nesting waterfowl among other species and further impair water quality in the Mississippi watershed. In this project, we sought to contribute to the understanding of land conversion in the PPR with the aim to better target the use of public and private funds allocated toward incentivizing...
Recent extreme floods on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers have motivated expansion of floodplain conservation lands. Within Missouri there are more than 85,000 acres of public conservation lands in large-river floodplains. Floodplain lands are highly dynamic and challenging to manage, particularly as future climatic conditions may be highly variable. These lands have the potential to provide valuable ecosystem services like provision of habitat, nutrient processing, carbon sequestration, and flood-water storage that produce economic values in terms of recreational spending, improved water quality, and decreased flood hazards. However, floodplain managers may need tools to help them understand nonstationary conditions...
The USGS National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC) is currently engaged in an Ecological Drought initiative, focused on understanding the impacts of drought on natural ecosystems across the country. This project supported the Ecological Drought initiative by creating an Intermountain West Drought Social Science Synthesis Working Group. The goal of this working group was to investigate human dimensions of ecological drought across the intermountain west from a comparative, regional perspective. Throughout the Intermountain West, there has been significant investment in understanding how social factors influence manager and citizen experiences of drought in particular locations. Yet there is still a gap in...
The Marshall Islands Climate and Migration Project studies the multicausal nature of Marshallese migration, as well as its effects on migrants themselves and on home communities (van der Geest et al., 2019). It does so through people-centred research, seeking the views of Marshallese migrants and their relatives in the Marshall Islands. The research has a special focus on how impacts of climate change affect ecosystem services, livelihoods and migration decisions. This policy brief highlights key findings of the migration component of the research. It presents data and findings on migration patterns, drivers and impacts. It ends with a discussion of the results, with a focus on the tension between being prepared...
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In many places around the world, spring events, like warming temperatures, are coming earlier and fall events are coming later than they have in the past. These changes have implications for the phenology, or the timing of natural life events (e.g. the timing of plant flowering in Spring or leaves falling in Autumn), of many plant species. However, not all species and regions are changing at the same rate, which can lead to mismatches (e.g. between the emergence of plants and pollinators in early spring). Many interactions in nature depend on timing and, as such, phenology affects nearly all aspects of the environment, including the abundance, distribution, and diversity of organisms, ecosystem services, food webs,...
We conducted a workshop for tribes in the north central region who are in some stage of climate adaptation planning or implementation. This was a partnership between Colorado State University, the Confederated Salish and Kootenai Tribes, and ITEP (Institute for Tribal Environmental Professionals) Climate Change Program. We built upon ITEPs climate adaptation training and tailored it to the specific needs of tribes in the region. We originally planned to develop the next iteration (“2.0”) of ITEP training to help tribes who need support with their plans and implementing their plans. However, upon surveying the tribes in the region, we quickly learned that there was a wide range of development along a spectrum from...
Types: Report
The responses of individual species to environmental changes can be manifested at multiple levels that range from individual-level (i.e., behavioral responses) to population-level (i.e., demographic) impacts. Major environmental changes that ultimately result in population level impacts are often first detected as individual-level responses. For example, herbivores respond to limited forage availability during drought periods by increasing the duration of foraging periods and expanding home range areas to compensate for the reduction in forage. However, if the individual-level responses are not sufficient to compensate for reduced forage availability, reduced survival and reproductive rates may result. We studied...
The Colorado River Cutthroat Trout (CRCT) conservation team identified a need to further develop a long-term approach to updating and maintaining the CRCT GIS-based database that was created using the Inland Cutthroat Trout Protocol (ICP). The maintenance and upkeep of the database is critical to the annual and 5-year CRCT status reviews and prioritization of conservation actions. With concurrence from the Desert Fish Habitat Partnership, Western Native Trout Initiative (WNTI) used $18,000 in funds in the AFWA sub-grant to help fund the development of a web-based application for viewing and editing the data for CRCT as well as other cutthroat species (Greenback cutthroat trout and Rio Grande cutthroat trout)....
The North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (NC CASC) partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) and Conservation Science Partners, Inc. (CSP) to systematically identify information gaps that, if addressed, would support management decisions for key species, habitats, or other issues within the North Central region (Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, Kansas). In particular, we were interested in the intersection between 1) high-priority species or habitats that are 2) the subject of a planned decision, and for which 3) climate information would aid decision-making for state and federal agencies. In Spring of 2018, we interviewed state fish and wildlife managers...
Southwestern Colorado is already experiencing the effects of climate change in the form of larger and more severe wildfires, prolonged severe droughts, tree mortality from insect outbreaks, and earlier snowmelt. Climate scientists expect the region to experience more frequent summer heat waves, longer-lasting and more frequent droughts, and decreased river flow in the future (Lukas et al. 2014). These changes will ultimately impact local communities and challenge natural resource managers in allocating water and range for livestock grazing under unpredictable drought conditions, managing forests in the face of changing fire regimes, and managing threatened species under shifting ecological conditions. Considering...
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This report provides an assessment of climate change-related challenges, needs, and opportunities to advance landscape-scale conservation, climate change adaptation, and sustainable resource management in the North Pacific Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NPLCC) region. The NPLCC funded this report to inform NPLCC members, specifically the Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge (S-TEK) Subcommittee, as they assess priorities and develop their 2013-2016 Strategy for Science and Traditional Ecological Knowledge. The report identifies conservation delivery, applied science, and science and data provision opportunities the NPLCC could consider to support resource managers, conservation practitioners, and researchers...
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The Colorado River is a crucial water source for millions of people in the Southwest. Warming temperatures, clearly documented in climate records for the Colorado River basin, are having an impact on the amount of annual streamflow yielded from rain and snow. Recent work has revealed that warming temperatures have played an increasingly important role over the past decades, both exacerbating droughts and dampening the effects of wet winters on high stream flows. Understanding and anticipating how warming temperatures will influence future water supply in the Colorado River basin is increasingly important for resource management, particularly in light of recent drought conditions. The overarching goals of this...
The responses of individual species to environmental changes can be manifested at multiple levels that range from individual-level (i.e., behavioral responses) to population-level (i.e., demographic) impacts. Major environmental changes that ultimately result in population level impacts are often first detected as individual-level responses. For example, herbivores respond to limited forage availability during drought periods by increasing the duration of foraging periods and expanding home range areas to compensate for the reduction in forage. However, if the individual-level responses are not sufficient to compensate for reduced forage availability, reduced survival and reproductive rates may result. We studied...
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Changes in temperature and precipitation due to climate change (and associated droughts, wildfires, extreme storms etc.) threaten important water sources, forests, wildlife habitat, and ecosystems across the Southwest and throughout the entire U.S. These threats cross political and man-made boundaries and therefore need to be addressed at larger landscape-level and regional scales. “Landscape conservation design” is one method that can be used by land and resource managers to support large scale conservation and ensure that small scale and local actions contribute to a landscape level vision. The Desert Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) is working to develop a shared vision for conservation action in the...


map background search result map search result map Advancing Landscape-Scale Conservation in the NPLCC Synthesis Report Assessing Southwest Resources, Future Climate Scenarios, and Possible Adaptation Actions to Support Conservation Planning Anticipating Future Impacts of Temperature on Streamflow in the Colorado River Basin Understanding Changes to the Timing of Natural Events (Phenology) for Plants in the Water-Limited Southwest Advancing Landscape-Scale Conservation in the NPLCC Synthesis Report Anticipating Future Impacts of Temperature on Streamflow in the Colorado River Basin Understanding Changes to the Timing of Natural Events (Phenology) for Plants in the Water-Limited Southwest Assessing Southwest Resources, Future Climate Scenarios, and Possible Adaptation Actions to Support Conservation Planning