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This project links climate, hydrological, and ecological changes over the next 30 years in a Great Basin watershed. In recent years, climate variability on annual and decadal time scales has been recognized as greater than commonly perceived with increasing impacts on ecosystems and available water resources. Changes in vegetation distribution, composition and productivity resulting from climate change affect plant water use, which in turn can alter stream flow, groundwater and eventually available water resources. To better understand these links, project researchers implemented two computer-based numeric models in the Cleve Creek watershed in the Schell Creek Range, east of Ely, Nevada. The application of the...
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Species that inhabit the arid Southwest are adapted to living in hot, dry environments. Yet the increasing frequency and severity of drought in the region may create conditions that even these hardy species can’t survive. This project examined the impacts of drought in the southwestern U.S. on four of the region’s iconic species: desert bighorn sheep, American pronghorn, scaled quail, and Rio Grande cutthroat trout. Grasping the impacts of drought on fish and wildlife is critical for management planning in the Southwest, as climate models project warmer, drier conditions for the region in the future. Species are known to respond to environmental changes such as drought in different ways. Often, before changes...
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This scenario planning decision support tool for the Kankakee River basin as a first case study/proof-of concept. Hydrology models, both surface water and groundwater, and ecology of the Kankakee River watershed will be combined to evaluate the effects of habitat restoration on water suppy ecosystem services, agricultural irrigation demands, urbanization, and waterfowl habitat, and sportsman and recreational user interests. Various scenarios for restoration identified with peer input were tested for the watershed. Each scenario results in different individual and aggregate values for ground water recharge, surface water storage, waterfowl habitat, sportsman and recreational use, and agricultural capacity. Some...
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This project highlights the potential for LCCs to facilitate collaboration among conservation practitioners and research scientists to plan for the future. A team of UMass scientists is developing a landscape change, assessment and design model to assess ecosystems and their capacity to sustain populations of wildlife in the northeastern U.S. in the face of urban growth, climate change, and other stressors. The project plays a major role in developing the science and data for two collaborative landscape planning and design efforts: 1) the pilot Landscape Conservation Design for the Connecticut River Watershed, and 2) Nature’s Network, which expands and elaborates on the data to extend to throughout New England and...
Categories: Data, Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: 2010, 2011, 2012, 2013, 2014, All tags...
This project uses bottom-up modeling at a parcel scale to measure the effects of sea-level rise (SLR) on coastal ecosystems and tidal salt marshes. At selected tidal marshes, the project team will measure several parameters that will be incorporated into ArcGIS models creating comparable datasets across the Pacific coast tidal gradient with a focus on 2-4 sites in the California LCC (e.g. San Diego, San Francisco Bay Refuges). The ultimate goal is to provide science support tools for local adaptation planning from the bottom-up that may be implemented under a structured decision-making framework.Science Delivery Phase (2013): The objectives are to: (1) Disseminate site-specific baseline data and modeling results,...
Categories: Data, Project; Tags: 2011, 2013, Applications and Tools, CA, CA-Northern, All tags...
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Conservation planning aims to optimize outcomes for select species or ecosystems by directing resources toward high-return sites. The possibility that local benefits might be increased by directing resources beyond the focal area is rarely considered. We present a case study of restoring river connectivity for migratory fish of the Great Lakes Basin by removing dams and road crossings within municipal jurisdictions versus their broader watersheds. We found that greater river connectivity could often be achieved by considering both intra-jurisdictional and extra-jurisdictional barriers. Focusing on jurisdictional barriers alone generally forfeited <20 (median = 0%) of habitat gains for those who value solely habitat...
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As a major threat to global biodiversity, climate change will alter where and how we manage conservation lands (e.g., parks, refuges, wildlife management areas, natural areas). As a new challenge with high uncertainty, many conservation practitioners have yet to consider how to minimize their greenhouse gas contributions (i.e., mitigation), or reduce the vulnerability of natural systems to climate change (i.e., adaptation). This is particularly true for conservation land managers; because they are often pressed for time and resources, few have initiated long-term climate change planning and amended management activities. Furthermore, where available, climate change guidance is often coarse-level, vague, and beyond...
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Researchers assessed how an expansion of forest reserves and climate-adaptive management may improve ecological connectivity and resilience under different climate scenarios. Resilience is measured as the capacity for these systems to maintain extant forest communities and aboveground live biomass. Forest landscape change was simulated via a spatially explicit forest ecosystem model, LANDIS-II. Simulations covered areas in northern Minnesota and northern lower Michigan that represent northern Great Lakes forest types. Restoring and maintaining ecological connectivity is one of the primary climate change adaptation strategies available to land managers, in addition to silvicultural practices. This study is...
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As a major threat to global biodiversity, climate change will alter where and how we manage conservation lands (e.g., parks, refuges, wildlife management areas, natural areas). As a new challenge with high uncertainty, many conservation practitioners have yet to consider how to minimize their greenhouse gas contributions (i.e., mitigation), or reduce the vulnerability of natural systems to climatechange (i.e., adaptation). This is particularly true for conservation land managers; because they are often pressed for time and resources, few have initiated long-term climate change planning and amended management activities. Furthermore, where available, climate change guidance is often coarse-level, vague, and beyond...
Strategic conservation planning for broad, multi-species landscapes benefits from a data-driven approach that emphasizes persistence of all priority species’ populations and utilized landscapes, while simultaneously accounting for human uses. We propose to initiate a strategic conservation area assessment for the GPLCC. We will focus on Great Plains fishes for this initial project, though additional priority taxa can later be easily incorporated into this proposed framework. We will start with compilation and/or creation of spatial habitat utilization information (including construction of range-wide species distribution models) for GPLCC priority fishes. We will then utilize the open source software Zonation to...
In 2012, the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC) began development of its process to select natural resource indicators and targets as specific landscape scale measures of success for natural resources. An indicator was defined by the SALCC as a metric designed to inform easily and quickly about the conditions of a system, where as a target is a numeric goal established for an indicator. Recommendations were made to the SALCC steering committee in March to recommend indicators for aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. Recommendations were based on input from 235 experts in marine, freshwater and terrestrial resources in the SALCC geography and adjacent LCCs. Indicator recommendations were considered...
The South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (SALCC) project area supports a wide variety of critical estuarine and marine habitats. However, the existing maps of these resources were created at different scales and are housed in a variety of locations. This can be challenging for users and limits their utility for a regional approach to analysis. Looking across boundaries is important to understanding relative value when making habitat conservation decisions. With this project, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) proposes to: (1) develop a suite of regional natural resource maps for the South Atlantic; (2) create a report describing data source, analytical methods and mapping results that includes a summary of...
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Reserve design is a process that must address many ecological, social, and political factors to successfully identify parcels of land in need of protection to sustain wildlife populations and other natural resources. Making land acquisition choices for a large, terrestrial protected area is difficult because it occurs over a long timeframe and may involve consideration of future conditions such as climate and urbanization changes. Decision makers need to consider factors including: order of parcel purchasing given budget constraints, future uncertainty, potential future landscape-scale changes from urbanization, and climate. In central Florida, two new refuges and the expansion of a third refuge are in various stages...
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Spruce-fir forests and associated bird species are recognized as some of the most vulnerable ecosystems and species to the impacts of climate change. This work capitalized on a rich suite of long-term data from these ecosystems to document recent trends in these forests and their associated bird species and developed tools for predicting their future abundance under climate change. Findings from this work indicate declining trends in the abundance of spruce-fir obligate birds, including Bicknell’s Thrush, across the Lake States and New England. In contrast, montane spruce-fir forests in the White and Green Mountains of New England exhibited patterns of increasing abundance, potentially due to their recovery from...
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The eulachon is a small fish that is both highly nutritious and culturally significant to the Chilkat and Chilkoot peoples of the Tlingit Nation in Southeast Alaska, for whom it is a traditional food. Tribal members are increasingly concerned about how climate change might stress the health and abundance of eulachon populations, which are already perceived as being low. In order to successfully manage these fisheries in light of climate change, tribal communities need information about how euchalon are vulnerable and which management strategies will help the species adapt. For this project, researchers used climate projections, monitoring data, and traditional ecological knowledge to assess the climate change vulnerability...
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Estimating species abundance is important for land managers, especially for monitoringconservation efforts. The two main survey methods for estimating avian abundance are point counts and transects. Previous comparisons of these two methods have either been limited to a single species or have not included detection probability. During the 2012 breeding season, we compared and assessed the efficiency (precision for amount of effort) of point count time of detection (PCTD) and dependent double-observer transect (TRMO) methods based on detection probabilities and abundance estimates of five species of songbirds that use a range of habitats in a prairie system in Montana dominated by sagebrush and grassland vegetation....


map background search result map search result map Developing a Portfolio of Mitigation and Adaption Options for Land Managers in the Upper Great Lakes Scenarios for forest reserve expansion and adaptive management under alternative climate change scenarios in the northern Great Lakes Understanding and Projecting Changes in Climate, Hydrology, and Ecology in the Great Basin for the Next 30 Years Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Spruce-Fir Forest Ecosystems and Associated Priority Bird Populations Informing the Identification of High-Priority Lands for the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge Considering Future Climate and Urbanization Identifying Climate Vulnerabilities and Prioritizing Adaptation Strategies for Eulachon Populations in Southeast Alaska The Impacts of Drought on Fish and Wildlife in the Southwestern U.S. Assessment of South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative Aquatic Indicators Development of regional estuarine and marine natural resource maps for the South Atlantic Designing Sustainable Landscapes in the Northeast Region Publication: Local-Scale Benefits of River Connectivity Restoration Planning Beyond Jurisdictional Boundaries Report: Management Options for Conservation Lands in an Era of Climate Change Report: Assessment of Waterfowl Habitat Restoration as an Adaptive Mechanism for Water Sustainability in the Grand Kankakee River Watershed Comparison of removal-based methods for estimating abundance of five species of prairie songbirds Understanding and Projecting Changes in Climate, Hydrology, and Ecology in the Great Basin for the Next 30 Years Identifying Climate Vulnerabilities and Prioritizing Adaptation Strategies for Eulachon Populations in Southeast Alaska Informing the Identification of High-Priority Lands for the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge Considering Future Climate and Urbanization Report: Assessment of Waterfowl Habitat Restoration as an Adaptive Mechanism for Water Sustainability in the Grand Kankakee River Watershed Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Spruce-Fir Forest Ecosystems and Associated Priority Bird Populations Scenarios for forest reserve expansion and adaptive management under alternative climate change scenarios in the northern Great Lakes Developing a Portfolio of Mitigation and Adaption Options for Land Managers in the Upper Great Lakes Report: Management Options for Conservation Lands in an Era of Climate Change Assessment of South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative Aquatic Indicators Development of regional estuarine and marine natural resource maps for the South Atlantic Designing Sustainable Landscapes in the Northeast Region Comparison of removal-based methods for estimating abundance of five species of prairie songbirds Publication: Local-Scale Benefits of River Connectivity Restoration Planning Beyond Jurisdictional Boundaries The Impacts of Drought on Fish and Wildlife in the Southwestern U.S.