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USGS - science for a changing world

Multi-scale conservation planning under climate change: using local and ecoregional models to inform landscape conservation design


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Natural resource management requires decision making in the face of uncertain future conditions. Climate change has been identified by our partnership as a high-priority threat to grasslands and all of our priority habitats, affecting water availability, species composition, species interactions, phenology, and other factors. Climate change is understood to be a factor in nearly all natural resource issues, but managers find it difficult to plan for climate change because of high levels of uncertainty. Multiple Global Climate Models (GCMs), CO2 emission scenarios, downscaling methods, and combinations of these compound our uncertainty. Natural resource managers need a simple way to evaluate climate-driven changes based on a tangible [...]



The Great Plains LCC partnered with the Playa Lakes Joint Venture (PLJV) in 2014 to initiate a grasslands-based Landscape Conservation Design (LCD) within a pilot region of the Great Plains LCC Geography (Figure 1). The purpose of the LCD is to improve the size and connectivity of grasslands at the scale of the pilot region by informing local land management decisions – providing information to land managers to help them to understand the landscape-scale impacts of local decisions about where to restore, enhance, protect, and develop lands.


  • Great Plains Landscape Conservation Cooperative
  • LC MAP - Landscape Conservation Management and Analysis Portal



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