We are analyzing spatial factors of land cover transition in Puerto Rico and conducting state and transition simulation modeling of vegetation dynamics.
The North Atlantic Region of the United States and Canada boasts diverse habitats, from coasts to mountains, that support endemic and rare plant species. However, recent conservation actions and prioritization efforts in this region have neglected to include plants. We have conducted a conservation assessment for vascular plants that occur in the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Using the best scientific data, we have developed a list of vascular plant species of concern for the region. We have refined the list with the input of Natural Heritage and other regional botanists and experts. For each species, we have determined regional conservation responsibility, developed regional ranks, updated...
Conserving Important Habitat for Amphibians and other Wildlife: Compilation of Vernal Pool Mapping Efforts across the North Atlantic Region
Vernal or seasonal pools are small, temporary bodies of water that can serve as critical habitat for frogs, salamanders, reptiles, invertebrates, and other species. The first step in developing effective conservation strategies for vernal pools and associated wildlife species is to know where on the landscape these small wetlands exist. Although several several states and organizations in the Northeast region have initiated coordinated vernal pool mapping projects, this information has never been assembled in one place.Currently, the Vernal Pool Data Cooperative (VPDC) consists of over 60,000 vernal pool locations submitted by cooperators representing ten states and two Canadian provinces from Virginia to Quebec’s...
Update of the Eastern Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Land Cover Database to 2011 Using a LS2SRC Classification Approach
Concurrent with the geographic expansion of the Southeast GAP land cover mapping will be a change detection effort that will provide updated land cover for portions of the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks geography previously mapped based on 2001 imagery.
This project assessed the potential effects of climate change on tidal marsh habitats and bird populations, identified priority sites for tidal marsh conservation and restoration, and developed a web-based mapping tool for managers to interactively display and query results. Project results can be found at PRBO’s San Francisco Bay Sea-Level Rise Website
Vulnerability Analysis and Monitoring Program for Detecting Changes in San Francisco Bay Tidal Marsh Bird Populations
This project designed a monitoring program and protocol to detect the effects of climate change on tidal marsh bird population abundance and distribution. It is a companion to “Tidal Marsh Bird Population and Habitat Assessment for San Francisco Bay under Future Climate Change Conditions” and will build on its products, enabling evaluation of the long-term viability of four tidal-marsh bird species threatened by impacts of climate change: Clapper Rail, Black Rail, Common Yellowthroat, and Song Sparrow (three endemic subspecies: San Pablo, Suisun, and Alameda). Information is available through the California Avian Data Center. See also: http://data.prbo.org/apps/sfbslr/index.php?page=lcc-page
This project will use a Bayesian statistical framework to predict coastal erosion and inundation under a range of sea level rise scenarios. The Bayesian framework will also develop visualization products that will help natural resource managers anticipate sea level rise and adapt to the projected changes. Lastly, the frameworks will asses the potential impacts of sea level rise on coastal ecosystems and related wildlife resources.
Habitat loss and fragmentation are widely recognized as among the most important threats to global biodiversity. New analytical approaches are providing improved ability to predict the effects of landscape change on population connectivity at vast spatial extents. This paper presents an analysis of population connectivity for three species of conservation concern [swift fox (Vulpes velox); lesser prairie-chicken (Tympanuchus pallidicinctus); massasuaga (Sistrurus catenatus)] across the American Great Plains region. We used factorial least-cost path and resistant kernel analyses to predict effects of landscape conditions on corridor network connectivity. Our predictions of population connectivity provide testable...
This project maps glade complexes from aerial imagery at fine-scale resolution and ground truths the classified data. Phase I covers the Missouri Ozarks.
Decision support for climate change adaptation and fire management strategies for at risk species in southern California
This project integrates fire risk models, species distribution models (SDMs) and population models with scenarios of future climate and land cover to project how the effects of climate-induced changes to species distributions and land use change will impact threatened species in fire-prone ecosystems. This project also identifies and prioritizes potential management responses to climate change (e.g. assisted colonization, fire management, land protection, dispersal corridors). Anticipated products include: 1) maps (digital and hard copy) of habitat suitability under current and future climate change, current and future projected urban growth and combinations of climate change and future projected urban growth, under...
In response to the threats of land use and changing environmental conditions, the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) and the Northeast Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (NEAFWA) coordinated a team of partners from 13 states, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, nongovernmental organizations, and universities, who worked for more than a year to develop a regional conservation design that provides a foundation for unified conservation action from Maine to Virginia.Drawing on the data and models generated by projects supported over the years by the North Atlantic LCC, and building on smaller-scale conservation designs in the region, Nature’s Network is an overarching design that represents...
Changes in Forested Landscapes of Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Under Alternative Climate and Urban Growth Scenarios
This project will determine the effects of climate change, urbanization, succession, disturbance, and management on forest landscape change in the Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks (GCPO) region for the period 2000-2100. The effects will be analyzed at 90-270 m resolution for the entire region under 4 climate scenarios, 3 forest management scenarios, and 2 urban growth scenarios.
This project will support the hiring of a detail position to work with the Geomatics Coordinator to complete current assessments of terrestrial systems focusing on landscape endpoints as described in the GCPO LCC’s Integrated Science Agenda, then begin the process of applying species endpoints to these landscapes through a Landscape Conservation Design process for the entire GCPO geography. This rapid ecological assessment will seek to answer the following questions: (1) How much habitat is in a desired ecological state, as defined by the Integrated Science Agenda? (2) How much more habitat is needed? (3) Where is habitat that is in the desired ecological state? (4) Where are opportunities to manage improved or...
Given the rapid environmental change experienced and expected across the Appalachians, it will be crucial to understand the vulnerabilities of valued ecosystem services to drivers of large-scale change that may threaten their sustainability. The Appalachian LCC has partnered with the US Forest Service Eastern Forest Environmental Threat Assessment Center to assess ecosystem services, and vulnerabilities to environmental risk factors, throughout the Appalachians. Synthesizing current knowledge of the diverse benefits that people derive from functioning Appalachian ecosystems will help managers, scientists, industries, and the public to establish a common language for linking the environmental and economic values...
Climate-Driven Alteration of Intertidal Habitats for Migratory Birds in the San Francisco Bay Estuary
This project evaluates the effects of global climate change and sea level rise on estuarine intertidal habitat in the San Francisco Bay and the Pacific Flyway migratory waterbirds that rely on this habitat. Phase 2 of this project is a continuation of work to evaluate the effects of global climate change and sea level rise (SLR) on intertidal shoals in the San Francisco Bay Estuary and the migratory waterbirds that rely on this critically important resource in the Pacific Flyway. The primary objectives are to: 1) use downscaled global climate change models to translate SLR and climate scenarios into habitat quantity predictions through Delft3D and Dflow-FM (unstructured grid) geomorphic modeling; 2) model the response...
Anabat surveys of bats are being coordinated across National Wildlife Refuges in the Southeast as part of a larger effort to monitor trends in abundance and distribution of bats
The main goal of this project is to ensure that the 2011-13 climate change update to the Baylands Ecosystem Habitat Goals Report (Baylands Goals) and other key, ongoing conservation activities in the San Francisco Bay region use the latest information about the current and future status of San Francisco Bay tidal marsh ecosystems, particularly in the context of sea-level rise. The main product of the project is the improved Sea Level Rise (SLR) Tool, specifically upgraded to inform the Baylands Goals Report update. The tool will continue to be available online at www.prbo.org/sfbayslr. All data layers going into the tool are and will continue to be downloadable from the site.
Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks Landscape Conservation Cooperative Black Bear Habitat Assessment and Associated Landscape Endpoints
This project will improve the existing Louisiana and Ozarks black bear models by incorporating more accurate, up-to-date landcover data, detailed agricultural data, and urbanization data. The models will then be coupled to create a seamless final landscape scale model of black bear habitat that identifies areas of importance for bears and specific forest management endpoints needed to maintain or create quality bear habitat.
Influence of Landscape and Stand-Scale Factors on Priority Wildlife Species in Open Pine Stand Types
The objectives of this study are to quantify occupancy rates for species endpoints in the open pine broadly defined habitat type.
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...