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Mapping Climate Change Resistant Vernal Pools in the Northeastern U.S.

Mapping Vernal Pool Refugia Across the Northeastern U.S.
Principal Investigator
Jennifer Cartwright


Start Date
End Date
Release Date


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 West Virginia to Maine, [...]

Child Items (3)


Principal Investigator :
Jennifer Cartwright, Evan H Grant
Funding Agency :
Northeast CSC
CMS Group :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) Program
Cooperator/Partner :
Toni L Morelli

Attached Files

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“Vernal pool - Credit: Joanna Gilkeson, USFWS”
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“Chamberlain Pond, Georgia - Vernal Pool - Credit: Alan Cressler”
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“Vernal Pool - Spotted Salamander Eggs - Credit: Alan Cressler”
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This project will combine existing and additional hydrological and climate data in order to study vernal pools, which are small, seasonal wetlands that provide critical habitat for sensitive species such as spotted salamanders and wood frogs. In particular, this project seeks to identify watershed characteristics that can be used to predict ecologically important features of vernal pool hydrology, such as spring inundation level and spring-to-summer change in inundation. This study will provide information to natural resource managers to aid in conservation of vernal pools and the amphibian species that depend on them for seasonal habitat.

Project Extension

typeTechnical Summary
valueVernal pools (VPs) are small, ephemeral wetlands that provide critically important seasonal habitat for amphibian species of conservation concern. The Northeast Refugia Research Coalition (RRC), coordinated by the DOI Northeast Climate Science Center, recently identified VPs as a priority ecosystem for the mapping and application of climate change refugia management, a key strategy for climate adaptation. This project will provide a preliminary assessment of vernal pool climate resistance by (1) modeling key aspects of VP hydrology (inundated area in spring, spring-to-summer change in inundation) based on climate and landscape drivers, and (2) relating VP hydrology to amphibian occupancy and prevalence of disease (ranavirus).

Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC 31705aad-2697-4094-9c65-034691182201
StampID NCCWSC NE17-CJ1283

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