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Toni L Morelli

This website provides an application for exploring modeling results from a U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) project titled Mapping Climate Change Resistant Vernal Pools in the Northeastern U.S. The purpose of this project was to improve understanding of the factors that control inundation patterns in vernal pools of the northeastern United States, so as to identify pools that might function as hydrologic refugia under climate change.
Climate change is affecting species and ecosystems across the Northeast and Midwest U.S. Natural resource managers looking to maintain ecological function and species persistence have requested information to improve resource management in the face of climate change. Leveraging the research that has already been supported by the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center and its partners, this project used the latest modeling techniques combined with robust field data to examine the impact of specific climate variables, land use change, and species interactions on the future distribution and abundance of species of conservation concern. An interdisciplinary team worked to understand the mechanisms that are driving...
Abstract (from Biological Invasions): Effective natural resource management and policy is contingent on information generated by research. Conversely, the applicability of research depends on whether it is responsive to the needs and constraints of resource managers and policy makers. However, many scientific fields including invasion ecology suffer from a disconnect between research and practice. Despite strong socio-political imperatives, evidenced by extensive funding dedicated to addressing invasive species, the pairing of invasion ecology with stakeholder needs to support effective management and policy is lacking. As a potential solution, we propose translational invasion ecology (TIE). As an extension of...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
On November 8, 2019, the first meeting of the Southwest Climate Change Refugia Research Coalition was held in Yosemite Valley, Yosemite National Park, under funding from the Southwest and Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (CASCs). The objective of this workshop was to bring together natural resource managers and researchers to move forward on climate change adaptation and begin to build a climate change refugia conservation strategy for the Sierra Nevada. Goals were to identify opportunities to apply existing data and modeling results to ongoing local conservation efforts in order to optimize limited resources.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
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Vernal pools are small, seasonal wetlands that provide critically important seasonal habitat for many amphibian species of conservation concern. Natural resource managers and scientists in the Northeast, as well as the Northeast Refugia Research Coalition, coordinated by the Northeast CSC, recently identified vernal pools as a priority ecosystem to study, and recent revisions to State Wildlife Action Plans highlighted climate change and disease as primary threats to key vernal pool ecosystems. Mapping out the hydrology of vernal pools across the Northeast is an important step in informing land management and conservation decision-making. Project researchers modeled the hydrology of roughly 450 vernal pools from...
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