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Assessing the Impact of Future Climate on Hawai‘i’s Aquatic Ecosystems

Assessing the Impact of Future Climate on Hawaii’s Aquatic Ecosystems; A NCCWSC Directed Funding 2016 Project
Principal Investigator
Yin-Phan Tsang

Dates

Start Date
2016-05-16
End Date
2021-11-30
Release Date
2016

Summary

The stream systems of Hawai‘i are unique and home to many rare species, including five native fish and five native shellfish. These native species have amphidromous life cycles, meaning that they spend part of their lives in the ocean and part in freshwater streams. Stream flow serves as a vital natural pathway, connecting saltwater and freshwater habitats so that these animals can migrate between them and carry out critical life stages (e.g., development, reproduction). Over the last 20 years, the amount of rainfall in Hawai‘i has decreased, and climate models predict that this trend will continue. It is uncertain how reduced rainfall will affect stream flow and, consequently, the native stream species that depend on it. This study [...]

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Waiulili_stream_falls_AlanCressler.jpg
“Waiulili stream falls - Credit: Alan Cressler”
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Project Extension

parts
typeTechnical Summary
valueFreshwater is a critical driver for island ecosystems. In Hawaii, though rainfall intensity has increased, total rainfall has been on the decline for the last two decades and, as a result, reduced stream flow. Climate models project continuous declines in rainfall with uneven spatial distribution. While studies have assessed the impact of changing climate on the vegetation in Hawaii, little is known on how climate change is affecting stream ecosystems, and little is known on how climate change impacts the downstream estuarine and coastal systems. Streams are an integral link between terrestrial, fluvial, and marine ecosystems. The changes of dynamic patterns of streamflow could result in the temporal and spatial difference in flow, nutrients, and sediments, and in turn affect the fluvial, estuarine, and coastal habitats. In particular, these habitats support the native aquatic species in Hawaii at different stages of their amphidromous life cycle. We propose to understand flow dynamic patterns through stream flow simulation; assess the impact of changes in climate on nine groups of native aquatic species; use tool to prioritize conservation effort for Hawaii aquatic ecosystems. This research proposal has arises explicitly from discussions with local stakeholder groups (e.g., the Hawaii Fish Habitat Partnership) about science needs for aquatic ecosystems to better manage in current conditions and prepare for projected changes. Intermediate results will be presented to stakeholders to determine the most useful format for final dissemination to user groups.
projectStatusIn Progress

Budget Extension

annualBudgets
year2016
totalFunds104928.0
year2017
totalFunds92947.0
year2018
totalFunds28195.0
parts
typeAward Type
valueCooperative Agreement
typeAward Number
valueG16AC00132
totalFunds226070.0

Waiulili stream falls - Credit: Alan Cressler
Waiulili stream falls - Credit: Alan Cressler

Map

Spatial Services

ScienceBase WMS

Communities

  • National CASC
  • National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers

Tags

Categories
Keyword
NCCWSC Science Themes
Water, Coasts and Ice
Community
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CMS Themes
CMS Topics
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Provenance

Additional Information

Identifiers

Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC be89582e-6234-4ee1-b9e6-f61fe82cf08d
StampID NCCWSC NCCWSC16-TY0597

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