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The American Fisheries Society and the Human Dimensions Research Unit of Cornell University have been engaged by NCCWSC to lead 5-year reviews of the CSCs. The purpose of the CSC review and evaluation is to: 1. Evaluate the effectiveness of each CSC in meeting project goals. 2. Assess the level of scientific contribution and achievement at each CSC with respect to climate modeling, climate change impacts assessments, vulnerability and adaptation of fish, wildlife and their habitats, and collaborative development of adaptation strategies for regional stakeholders, and education and training of graduate and post‚Äźdoctoral fellows 3. Evaluate the competencies and efficiencies of each host university in managing...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/joc.3835/abstract): Climate models may be limited in their inferential use if they cannot be locally validated or do not account for spatial uncertainty. Much of the focus has gone into determining which interpolation method is best suited for creating gridded climate surfaces, which often a covariate such as elevation (Digital Elevation Model, DEM) is used to improve the interpolation accuracy. One key area where little research has addressed is in determining which covariate best improves the accuracy in the interpolation. In this study, a comprehensive evaluation was carried out in determining which covariates were most suitable for interpolating climatic...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ele.12772/full): The Green Wave Hypothesis posits that herbivore migration manifests in response to waves of spring green-up (i.e. green-wave surfing). Nonetheless, empirical support for the Green Wave Hypothesis is mixed, and a framework for understanding variation in surfing is lacking. In a population of migratory mule deer (Odocoileus hemionus), 31% surfed plant phenology in spring as well as a theoretically perfect surfer, and 98% surfed better than random. Green-wave surfing varied among individuals and was unrelated to age or energetic state. Instead, the greenscape, which we define as the order, rate and duration of green-up along migratory routes,...
Changes in temperature and seasonality resulting from climate change are heterogeneous, potentially altering important sources of natural selection acting on species phenology. Some species have apparently adapted to climate change but the ability of most species to adapt remains unknown. The life history strategies of migratory animals are dictated by seasonal factors, which makes these species particularly vulnerable to heterogeneous changes in climate and phenology. Here, we examine the phenology of migratory shorebirds, their habitats, and primary food resources, and we hypothesize how climate change may affect migrants through predicted changes in phenology. Daily abundance of shorebirds at stopover sites was...
Abstracts (from http://digitalcommons.unl.edu/ncfwrustaff/177/): Climate change has increased worldwide temperatures, affected seasonal patterns, and altered important sources of natural selection. To manage wildlife populations successfully, we must understand how patterns and processes of climate change alter trade-offs between sources of selection to predict how individuals may respond, populations may evolve, and management actions may ameliorate the costs of changing climates. Here we discuss how the migratory patterns of leapfrog and chain migration facilitate or constrain responses by migratory songbirds to spatial and temporal variation in climate change across western North America. Based on 52 years of...
Abstract (from http://rspb.royalsocietypublishing.org/content/279/1732/1366.long): Altered species interactions are difficult to predict and yet may drive the response of ecological communities to climate change. We show that declining snowpack strengthens the impacts of a generalist herbivore, elk ( Cervus elaphus), on a common tree species. Thick snowpack substantially reduces elk visitation to sites; aspen ( Populus tremuloides) shoots in these areas experience lower browsing rates, higher survival and enhanced recruitment. Aspen inside herbivore exclosures have greatly increased recruitment, particularly at sites with thick snowpack. We suggest that long-term decreases in snowpack could help explain a widespread...
Abstract (from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0022169414003990#): Water temperature is a fundamental property of river habitat and often a key aspect of river resource management, but measurements to characterize thermal regimes are not available for most streams and rivers. As such, we developed an artificial neural network (ANN) ensemble model to predict mean daily water temperature in 197,402 individual stream reaches during the warm season (May-October) throughout the native range of brook trout Salvelinus fontinalis in the eastern U.S. We compared four models with different groups of predictors to determine how well water temperature could be predicted by climatic, landform, and land cover...
Climate change is a global problem whose impacts are experienced at the local to regional scale. For this reason, the first step in assessing the impacts of climate change—on a species or an ecosystem, on water resources, or on an aspect of human society such as energy demand or agriculture—is often to develop projections of how temperature, precipitation, and other important aspects of climate might be expected to change in the future at the location of interest. Global climate models produce future climate projections that are usually too coarse to capture the local characteristics that determine climate at any given location: the proximity of that location to a large body of water, for example, which would moderate...
Historically, drought has been viewed in terms of its agricultural, hydrological, and socioeconomic impacts. How drought affects ecosystems - and the services they provide human communities - is often not discussed. In response, the U.S. Geological Survey's National Climate Adaptation Science Center (NCASC) initiated a national-scale effort that’s addressing this gap in drought research. A new concept – ecological drought – was defined as part of this effort. This geo-narrative explains the concept of ecological drought, and highlights the research and products that were initiated as part of this effort.
Abstract (from Nature Sustainability): Inland fish provide food for billions and livelihoods for millions of people worldwide and are integral to effective freshwater ecosystem function, yet the recognition of these services is notably absent in development discussions and policies, such as the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). How might the SDGs be enhanced if inland fishery services were integrated into policies and development schemes? Here, we examine the relationships between inland fish, sustainable fisheries, and functioning freshwater systems and the targets of the SDGs. Our goal is to highlight synergies across the SDGs, particularly No Poverty (SDG 1), Zero Hunger (SDG 2), Clean Water...
In order for the field of science to uphold principles of transparency, openness, and reproducibility, policies and practices that incentivize the open sharing of data will be needed (Nosek et al.,2015). A shift to a more open science paradigm will require changes on the parts of government agencies, academicinstitutions, funding agencies/organizations, journals, and the researchers themselves. For example, journals are now beginning to require that data be shared in order for manuscripts to be published in accordance with guidelines created by the Transparency and Openness Promotion (TOP) Committee (Nosek et al.,2015). Major biophysical and social science journals are among the signatories to the TOP guidelines,...
Abstract: Toxic blooms of golden alga (GA, Prymnesium parvum) in Texas typically occur in winter or early spring. In North America, they were first reported in Texas in the 1980s, and a marked range expansion occurred in 2001. Although there is concern about the influence of climate change on the future distribution of GA, factors responsible for past dispersals remain uncertain. To better understand the factors that influence toxic bloom dispersal in reservoirs, this study characterized reservoir water quality associated with toxic GA blooms since 2001, and examined trends in water quality during a 20-year period bracketing the 2001 expansion. Archived data were analyzed for six impacted and six nonimpacted reservoirs...
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/ele.12568/abstract): Anthropogenic climate change has created myriad stressors that threaten to cause local extinctions if wild populations fail to adapt to novel conditions. We studied individual and population-level fitness costs of a climate change-induced stressor: camouflage mismatch in seasonally colour molting species confronting decreasing snow cover duration. Based on field measurements of radiocollared snowshoe hares, we found strong selection on coat colour molt phenology, such that animals mismatched with the colour of their background experienced weekly survival decreases up to 7%. In the absence of adaptive response, we show that these mortality...
Abstract (from MDPI): Intermittent and ephemeral streams represent more than half of the length of the global river network. Dryland freshwater ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changes in human-related water uses as well as shifts in terrestrial climates. Yet, the description and quantification of patterns of flow permanence in these systems is challenging mostly due to difficulties in instrumentation. Here, we took advantage of existing stream temperature datasets in dryland streams in the northwest Great Basin desert, USA, to extract critical information on climate-sensitive patterns of flow permanence. We used a signal detection technique, Hidden Markov Models (HMMs), to extract information from daily...
Abstract (from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s11160-017-9477-y): To date, there are few comprehensive assessments of how climate change affects inland finfish, fisheries, and aquaculture at a global scale, but one is necessary to identify research needs and commonalities across regions and to help guide decision making and funding priorities. Broadly, the consequences of climate change on inland fishes will impact global food security, the livelihoods of people who depend on inland capture and recreational fisheries. However, understanding how climate change will affect inland fishes and fisheries has lagged behind marine assessments. Building from a North American inland fisheries assessment, we convened...
Abstract: Greenhouse gas-induced climate change will have notable effects on the Great Lakes region, in the atmosphere, land surfaces, and lakes themselves. Simulations of these effects were carried out using the Coupled Hydrosphere-Atmosphere Research Model (CHARM), driven by output from the Canadian General Circulation Model version 3 (CRCM3) for past and future time periods. This results in increased downward longwave radiation and near-surface air temperature. The air temperature increases during summer have strong spatial minima directly over the lakes that are limited to the lowest model layer and seem to be associated with frequent fog depicted by CHARM. Precipitation is also generally increased, with the...
Abstract (from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10980-015-0205-5): Context The Florida Everglades has diminished in size and its existing wetland hydrology has been altered. The endangered snail kite (Rostrhamus sociabilis) has nearly abandoned the Everglades, and its prey, the apple snail (Pomacea paludosa), has declined. Objective We developed a population model (EverSnail) to understand apple snail response to inter- and intra-annual fluctuations in water depths over the Everglades landscape. EverSnail was developed as a tool to understand how apple snails respond to different hydrologic scenarios. Methods EverSnail is an age- and size-structured, spatially-explicit landscape model of P. paludosa...