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Sport fisheries of lakes are embedded in complex system of ecological and social interactions. The multiple drivers that affect lake sport fisheries, along with the complex interactions within lakes, make it difficult to forecast changes in sport fisheries and plan adaptive responses to build resilience of these important resources. Resilience involves managing with an eye toward critical thresholds for behavior of ecosystems. Project researchers are working to develop quantitative tools for assessment of thresholds in sport fisheries that can be used by management agencies to evaluate potential impacts of climate change mediated through species and habitat interactions. Several outputs of the project will be adaptable...
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Inland fish populations are a crucial resource to humans and communities around the world. Recreational fishing throughout the United States, for example, provides important revenue to local and state economies; globally, inland fisheries are a vital food source for billions of people. Warming temperatures and changing precipitation patterns, however, are already causing significant changes to fish communities worldwide. Since the mid-1980s, scientists have projected the effects of climate change on inland fish, and in more recent years, documentation of impacts has increased. However, the number of documented impacts of climate change on inland fish remains low. A comprehensive understanding of how climate change...
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The USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC), as part of the work of the Interagency Land Management Adaptation Group (ILMAG), initiated a project in 2013 to develop plans for a searchable, public registry on climate change vulnerability assessments. Member agencies from the USGCRP Adaptation Science Work Group, the Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (AFWA), and several NGO’s also contributed. Vulnerability assessments are important for identifying resources that are most likely to be affected by climate change and providing insights on why certain resources are vulnerable. Consequently, they provide valuable information for informing climate change adaptation planning. CRAVe allows...
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The Southeastern U.S. spans broad ranges of physiographic settings and contains a wide variety of aquatic systems that provide habitat for hundreds of endemic aquatic species that pose interesting challenges and opportunities for managers of aquatic resources, particularly in the face of climate change. For example, the Southeast contains the southernmost populations of the eastern brook trout and other cold-water dependent species. Climate change is predicted to increase temperatures in the South and is likely to have a substantial effect on extant populations of cold-water biota. Thus, aquatic managers are tasked with developing strategies for preserving cold-water dependent biota, such as eastern brook trout,...
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There are approximately 2,000 species of migratory birds worldwide, and over 300 of those can be found in North America. Changing climate conditions pose challenges for many migratory birds and their responses to these challenges can depend on their biology. To illustrate these impacts, a board game, called Migration Mismatch, was developed to help elementary school students understand these challenges. Migration Mismatch can help students build their understanding of biological processes and how species, birds in this case, interact with their environment. The game provides an interactive element to learning about adaptations of different bird species to environmental changes and provides a link to birds they may...
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Social scientists funded through the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) and the Climate Science Centers (CSCs) have an obligation to provide access to their climate science related research data. We suspect, as with other data types, that tools for creating and editing social science metadata specific to the climate science domain and linking the metadata to the actual data either do not exist or are non-intuitive for scientists. Through our research we sought to verify whether any definitive metadata tool for social scientists working in the climate science domain exists. We also sought to determine whether a commonly agreed upon social science metadata standard exists. We suspect that...
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Inland fishes provide important ecosystem services to communities worldwide and are especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change. Fish respond to climate change in diverse and nuanced ways, which creates challenges for practitioners of fish conservation, climate change adaptation, and management. Although climate change is known to affect fish globally, a comprehensive online, public database of how climate change has impacted inland fishes worldwide and adaptation or management practices that may address these impacts does not exist. We conducted an extensive, systematic primary literature review to identify peer-reviewed journal publications describing projected and documented examples of climate change...
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The Schitsu'umsh people (Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Idaho) have an intimate relationship with their landscape and a rich knowledge of how to interact with the environment in a way that benefits human, plant, and animal communities alike. Such knowledge and practices can provide valuable insight as to how tribal and non-tribal resource managers, communities, and governments can best respond to the effects of a changing climate. This project was a pilot effort to collect and translate indigenous knowledge and practices into shareable formats. Researchers developed documents, images, lesson plans, and innovative, interactive 3-D virtual reality simulations that effectively convey Schitsu’umsh knowledge and practices and...
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The USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) is currently engaged in an Ecological Drought initiative, focused on understanding the impacts of drought on natural ecosystems across the country. This project was designed to support the Ecological Drought initiative by creating a USGS EcoDrought Actionable Science Working Group. The goal of this working group was to identify science needs for drought-related decisions and to provide natural resource managers with practical strategies for adapting to and planning for drought. The working group engaged social scientists to garner advice on relevant social science research questions and data needs, as well as to identify any regulatory, institutional,...
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The eight Department of the Interior Climate Science Centers (CSCs), managed by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC), work closely with natural and cultural resource managers to gather needed scientific information about the impacts of climate change on fish, wildlife and ecosystems. Given the critical role of the CSC’s in engaging with partners to define climate science needs, conduct or fund science activities, and convey the results to partners, it is important to periodically evaluate the efficacy of the CSC program. 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...
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As resource managers, policy makers, and citizens grapple with the effects of climate change, the demand for more usable or “actionable” science has increased. One promising approach to developing scientific information that can be easily and readily applied to management and policy decisions is to have scientists and decision makers work together to produce information. This approach, often referred to as the “co-production of knowledge”, integrates the background, experience, and know-how of each group to develop the scientific information that will be most useful to society. This project will test an approach to knowledge co-production by introducing a trained social scientist to a co-produced drought-related...
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Changes in the Earth’s climate are expected to impact freshwater habitats around the world by altering water temperatures, water levels, and streamflow. These changes will have consequences for inland fish – those found within lakes, rivers, streams, canals, reservoirs, and other landlocked waters – which are important for food, commerce, and recreation around the world. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, in 2011, 33.1 million people fished and spent $41.8 billion in the United States alone. Yet to date, little comprehensive research has been conducted to investigate the effects of climate change on inland fisheries at a large scale. The aim of this project was to summarize the current state of...
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Natural resource managers face uncertainties of many kinds, with limited budgets and ever-evolving hierarchies of management priorities. Not least among those uncertainties are questions regarding future climate conditions. Technological advancements have enhanced our ability to understand and model climate, which has led to improved climate forecasting capabilities. However, climate projections are usually produced at a global scale, which makes them impractical for natural resource managers who are concerned with how climate will change in the specific location or region in which they operate. While there have been a growing number of techniques for increasing the resolution of these projections, resource managers...
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As global temperatures continue to rise, the frequency and severity of droughts in North America are expected to increase, leading to a wide range of social and ecological impacts. Identifying these impacts and the consequences for ecosystems and human communities are essential for effective drought management. Equally important is to improve the capacity of nature and people to prepare for and cope with drought by identifying management strategies that benefit both. An interdisciplinary working group within the Science for Nature and People Partnership (SNAPP) was established by the U.S. Geological Survey, The Wildlife Conservation Society, and The Nature Conservancy to synthesize our current understanding of...
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Severe droughts cause widespread tree mortality and decreased growth in forests across the globe—even in areas with cooler climates. Mitigating the negative effects of climate change, in particular increased drought frequency and severity, poses a major challenge to forest managers. Managers are searching for strategies that minimize the negative effects of drought on forests (i.e. increase their resistance to drought) and maximize the ability of forests to recover after a drought (i.e. improve their resilience). Evidence suggests that forests with certain combinations of tree species, sizes, and stem densities are better able to withstand and recover from drought. The goal of this study was to identify which...
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Climate change is expected to increase the intensity and frequency of drought in the U.S., leading to potentially harmful ecological impacts. The uncertain and relatively rapid changes to precipitation patterns pose a significant challenge to managers and decision-makers. In addition to having negative social and economic implications, long periods without rainfall can alter ecosystems, thereby threatening fish and wildlife species. The term “ecological drought” emphasizes the environmental consequences of future droughts. While it is known that ecological drought places multiple stresses on the environment, many of the specific impacts are not fully understood. To address this need, researchers are working to...
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Assessing the vulnerability of wildlife species to a changing climate is critical for understanding what adaptation actions need to be taken to minimize negative impacts. The ability of species to adapt to the impacts of climate change (i.e., their adaptive capacity) is an important factor to consider when assessing vulnerability. For example, organisms can possess traits that allow them to move to areas of favorable habitat or change their phenotypes (observable characteristics) in response to changing environmental conditions. Additionally, an organism’s traits can adapt to a changing external environment over multiple generations through evolutionary processes. Recent scientific evidence suggests that “evolutionary...
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Migratory birds are responding to changes in climate in complex and sometimes unpredictable ways. The timing of breeding and migration typically coincide with the periods of peak food availability; however, these peaks are shifting as temperatures and precipitation patterns change, resulting in a mismatch in the timing of key events. The degree to which this mismatch is impacting migratory birds varies among species and regions, creating a major source of uncertainty for managers. The goal of this project is to develop tools to support migratory bird management decision-making in the face of uncertain future climate and land use conditions. In order to identify and implement the most effective management strategies,...


    map background search result map search result map USGS-USFS Partnership to Help Managers Evaluate Conservation Strategies for Aquatic Ecosystems based on Future Climate Projections Climate Change and Resilience of Sport Fisheries in Lakes Development of the Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVe): A Searchable, Public Online Tool for Understanding Species and Habitat Vulnerability Collecting and Applying Schitsu’umsh Indigenous Knowledge and Practices to Climate Change Decision Making State of the Science on the Effects of Climate Change on North American Inland Fishes Supporting Social Scientists working with the CSCs in Data Sharing Efforts Informing and Evaluating Forest Management Strategies to Promote Drought Resistance Fish and Climate Change (FiCli) Database: Informing climate change adaptation and management actions for freshwater fishes Understanding the Ecological Impacts of Drought Across the U.S.: Regional Workshops and National Synthesis Can Evolution Help Wildlife Adapt to Climate Change? Exploring Evolutionary Adaptive Capacity (EVAC) and Bridging the Gap between Science and Management Ecological Drought: Assessing Vulnerability and Developing Solutions for People and Nature Global Analysis of Trends in Projected and Documented Effects of Climate Change on Inland Fish Assessing the Science, Partner Engagement, and Information Use for Natural Resources Management - Five-year Reviews of the Climate Science Centers Producing Usable Science: Testing the Effectiveness of Stakeholder Engagement in Climate Research Eco-drought Actionable Science Working Group Providing Natural Resource Managers with Guidance on the Application of Climate Information for Decision-Making Decision-Support for Migratory Bird Management in the Face of Uncertainty Migration Mismatch: Bird Migration and Phenological Mismatching Collecting and Applying Schitsu’umsh Indigenous Knowledge and Practices to Climate Change Decision Making Climate Change and Resilience of Sport Fisheries in Lakes USGS-USFS Partnership to Help Managers Evaluate Conservation Strategies for Aquatic Ecosystems based on Future Climate Projections Producing Usable Science: Testing the Effectiveness of Stakeholder Engagement in Climate Research Informing and Evaluating Forest Management Strategies to Promote Drought Resistance Can Evolution Help Wildlife Adapt to Climate Change? Exploring Evolutionary Adaptive Capacity (EVAC) and Bridging the Gap between Science and Management Migration Mismatch: Bird Migration and Phenological Mismatching Decision-Support for Migratory Bird Management in the Face of Uncertainty Development of the Climate Registry for the Assessment of Vulnerability (CRAVe): A Searchable, Public Online Tool for Understanding Species and Habitat Vulnerability Ecological Drought: Assessing Vulnerability and Developing Solutions for People and Nature State of the Science on the Effects of Climate Change on North American Inland Fishes Understanding the Ecological Impacts of Drought Across the U.S.: Regional Workshops and National Synthesis Supporting Social Scientists working with the CSCs in Data Sharing Efforts Eco-drought Actionable Science Working Group Providing Natural Resource Managers with Guidance on the Application of Climate Information for Decision-Making Assessing the Science, Partner Engagement, and Information Use for Natural Resources Management - Five-year Reviews of the Climate Science Centers Fish and Climate Change (FiCli) Database: Informing climate change adaptation and management actions for freshwater fishes Global Analysis of Trends in Projected and Documented Effects of Climate Change on Inland Fish