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Climate change influences apex predators in complex ways, due to their important trophic position, capacity for resource plasticity, and sensitivity to numerous anthropogenic stressors. Bald eagles, an ecologically and culturally significant apex predator, congregate seasonally in high densities on salmon spawning rivers across the Pacific Northwest. One of the largest eagle concentrations is in the Skagit River watershed, which connects the montane wilderness of North Cascades National Park to the Puget Sound. Using multiple long-term datasets, we evaluated the relationship between local bald eagle abundance, chum and coho salmon availability and phenology, and the number and timing of flood events in the Skagit...
In 1969, researchers developed the first global circulation model (Ruttiman 2006); however, it was not until 2014 that modelers first attempted a global ecosystem and biodiversity model that included human pressures (i.e., the Madingley Model) (Harfoot et al. 2014). Other large-scale models of biodiversity exist, such as GLOBIO (Alkemade et al. 2009), but to date there are no well accepted global biodiversity models similar to global circulation models that can help guide global biodiversity policy development and targets. The lack of global biodiversity models compared to the extensive array of general circulation models provides a unique opportunity for climate, ecosystem, and biodiversity modeling experts to...
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Climate change is already affecting and will continue to impact the supply and demand of ecosystem goods and serivces (EGS) that are important for human well-being. Therefore, it is important to monitor trends and identify gaps in how climate change is incorporated into the assessment and management of these services. Systematic literature reviews play an important role in this process. For example, Runting et al. (2017) quantitatively synthesized how journal-published literature considered climate impacts in EGS assessments. Characterizing studies in a similar manner, our work examines assessments published since the November 2014 publication period included in Runting et al. (2017). These comparisons may reveal...
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Modeling interactions between human and ecological systems is needed to identify pathways to meet multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Particularly important is the relationship between biodiversity, ecological processes, and ecosystem services. However, current models tend to ignore impacts of biodiversity on ecological processes. Existing models capture impacts of socio-economic activities on biodiversity or ecosystem services, but critically, links between biodiversity and ecosystem services are only weakly incorporated in most projections and hence in policy design. Knowledge of these relationships has improved, but is scattered across the literature, as are models addressing each component....
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Prairies were once widespread across North America, but are now one of the most endangered and least protected ecosystems in the world. Agriculture and residential development have reduced once extensive prairies into a patchwork of remnant prairies and “surrogate” grasslands (e.g., hayfields, planted pastures). Grassland ecosystems and many grassland-dependent birds are also particularly vulnerable to rapid shifts in climate and associated changes in drought and extreme weather. The Central Flyway is a vast bird migration route that comprises more than half of the continental U.S., and extends from Central America to Canada, and harbors the greatest diversity of grassland birds in North America. Throughout this...
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Climate change is already affecting ecosystems, and will likely trigger significant and permanent changes in both ecological and human communities. Such transformations are already occurring in the Arctic region of Alaska, where temperatures are warming at twice the global average and causing some ecosystems to transition to new states. Arctic warming has led to coastal erosion that has forced human communities to relocate and a loss of sea ice that has forced marine mammals, such as polar bears and walrus, to adapt to a more terrestrial mode of living. Meanwhile, in the Great Plains of the U.S., past interactions between land and water use during the Dust Bowl and recent high rates of depletion of the Ogallala...
At present, inland fisheries are not often a national or regional governance priority and as a result, inland capture fisheries are undervalued and largely overlooked. As such they are threatened in both developing and developed countries. Indeed, due to lack of reliable data, inland fisheries have never been part of any high profile global fisheries assessment and are notably absent from the Sustainable Development Goals. The general public and policy makers are largely ignorant of the plight of freshwater ecosystems and the fish they support, as well as the ecosystem services generated by inland fisheries. This ignorance is particularly salient given that the current emphasis on the food-water-energy nexus often...
The Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASC) Network has chosen the emerging climate science field of Ecological Drought as a research focus area. The U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI) falls within the domain of the Pacific Islands CASC. This workshop was an add-on to the eight Ecological Drought Workshops (each hosted by a different CASC), so that additional attention could be directed towards the topic of drought in island environments, and the unique challenges that drought poses to island communities.
Abstract (from ScienceDirect): We present the first high resolution (1:20,000) river centerlines shapefiles from 50 large rivers across the world. Rivers were selected based on the criteria of having more than 1000 km length and which have been reported to have a significant contribution to global fishery production. Since large rivers often span multiple countries, the degree of changes (i.e., anthropogenic or climate derived) varies from region to region. These high-resolution layers were developed to enable researchers to delineate accurate river length, from headwaters regions to their delta and assess or visualize the ongoing changes more accurately in these river systems. Further, these polylines could be...
Water resource managers face the complex challenge of balancing water allocation between human and environmental needs. Declining water availability in many regions globally is driven by over- allocation and usage by municipal and agricultural users and climate-driven changes in rainfall. At the same time, environmental flows in rivers and streams that sustain fish and other aquatic life are decreasing for the same reasons. Because freshwater species’ populations are declining rapidly, it is increasingly important to balance between human and environmental water needs. However, there are significant barriers and socio-political issues that prevent water from being allocated to conserve freshwater ecosystems. This...
Abstract: Macrophyte removal by lakefront property owners occurs on glacial lakes throughout the range of Largemouth Bass Micropterus salmoides, yet little information exists on how it affects recruitment of these fish populations. We hypothesized that with greater prey availability in macrophytes, age‐0 Largemouth Bass consumption and growth would increase. To test this hypothesis, we conducted an in‐lake experiment with age‐0 Largemouth Bass in twelve 9.29‐m2 littoral mesocosms in glacial Chancellor Lake, Michigan, during summer and fall 2014. We removed macrophytes from mesocosm substrates to produce low‐coverage, high‐coverage, and vegetation edge treatments and determined treatment effects on consumption and...
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Recreational fishing dominates inland fisheries in the United States. In 2016 alone, more than 30.1 million Americans identified as freshwater anglers and spent nearly $30 billion on freshwater fishing trips. While recreational freshwater fishing can be catch-and-release, a large portion is consumptive. In fact, evidence suggests that recreational fisheries yield more than ten times that of commercial fisheries in inland waters. Currently, the only harvest from U.S. inland waters that is reported to the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) is commercial harvest from the Great Lakes. Given the importance of recreational fishing, using such a figure to summarize national inland fisheries production...
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As temperature and precipitation patterns change, different species in different areas will be affected in different ways. Some places may serve as refuges for wildlife—places where animals can remain or to which they can easily move to escape the worst impacts of climate change. This project will establish a Refugia Research Coalition to leverage recently funded Northwest CASC research projects on the topic of ecological refugia. The goal of this collaborative effort will be to synthesize our understanding of ecological refugia in the Pacific Northwest and how best to use refugia-related research products as tools for adaptive management planning in the region. Ecological refugia will be an important means of protecting...
The United Nations’ (UN) 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development defines the formidable challenge of integrating historically separate economic, social, and environmental goals into a unified ‘plan of action for people, planet, and prosperity.’ We highlight the substantial contribution inland fisheries can make towards preventing increased poverty and, in some cases, alleviating poverty (i.e. addressing Sustainable Development Goal [SDG] 1: No Poverty) as an opportunity to inform the next set of development agendas and their associated budgets and priorities. Overlooking the contribution of inland fisheries to poverty prevention and alleviation may undermine the capacity to successfully meet the development goals,...
Summary of the impacts of drought on water resources in the US Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI).
Summary of the impacts of drought on ecosystems in the US Affiliated Pacific Islands (USAPI).
Abstract: Population persistence across broad spatial scales (e.g., watersheds) can depend on asynchronous dynamics among populations at finer scales (e.g., streams or habitats). We applied a von Bertalanffy growth model and closed N‐mixture abundance model in a hierarchical Bayesian framework to examine effects of fine‐scale variability in temperature and density dependence on growth and abundance as well as within‐ versus among‐stream variability in growth and abundance of Rio Grande Cutthroat Trout Oncorhynchus clarkii virginalis (RGCT) in northern New Mexico streams. An accumulation of degree‐days positively influenced instantaneous growth rates and, to a lesser extent, negatively affected asymptotic body length....
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Ungulates, or hoofed mammals such as elk, deer, and moose, occupy a diversity of habitats across North America, from Canada’s high arctic to the deserts of Mexico. Ungulates play an important ecological role, helping to regulate processes such as nutrient cycling in forests and grasslands, through their grazing activities. They are also economically and culturally important, providing recreational and subsistence hunting opportunities and non-consumptive, aesthetic values. Yet throughout their range, ungulates face numerous anthropogenic and environmental threats that have the potential to impact populations and their ability to move across the landscape. Of these threats, an improved understanding of the effects...
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Drought is a complex environmental hazard that impacts both ecological and social systems. Accounting for the role of human attitudes, institutions, and societal values in drought planning is important to help identify how various drought durations and severity may differentially affect social resilience to adequately respond to and manage drought impacts. While there have been successful past efforts to understand how individuals, communities, institutions, and agencies plan for and respond to drought, these studies have relied on extensive multi-year case studies in specific locations. In contrast, this project seeks to determine how social science insights and methods can best contribute to ecological drought...


map background search result map search result map Improving National Estimates of Inland Recreational Harvest Using State Angler Survey Data Developing and Testing a Rapid Assessment Method for Understanding Key Social Factors of Ecological Drought Preparedness Establishing a Refugia Research Coalition (RRC) for Collaborative Refugia-Related Research and Management in the Pacific Northwest Adaptation Strategies in the Face of Climate-Driven Ecological Transformation: Case Studies from Arctic Alaska and the U.S. Great Plains Strategies for Reducing the Vulnerability of Grassland Birds to Climate Change within the Central Flyway The Missing Link: Incorporating the Role of Biological Diversity into Projections of Ecosystem Services A Synthesis of Recent Links Between Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Supply and Demand Understanding the Effects of Climate Variability and Change on Ungulates in North America Establishing a Refugia Research Coalition (RRC) for Collaborative Refugia-Related Research and Management in the Pacific Northwest Strategies for Reducing the Vulnerability of Grassland Birds to Climate Change within the Central Flyway Adaptation Strategies in the Face of Climate-Driven Ecological Transformation: Case Studies from Arctic Alaska and the U.S. Great Plains Understanding the Effects of Climate Variability and Change on Ungulates in North America Improving National Estimates of Inland Recreational Harvest Using State Angler Survey Data Developing and Testing a Rapid Assessment Method for Understanding Key Social Factors of Ecological Drought Preparedness The Missing Link: Incorporating the Role of Biological Diversity into Projections of Ecosystem Services A Synthesis of Recent Links Between Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Supply and Demand