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Increasing the Resilience and Resistance of Climate-Vulnerable Species and Ecosystems

Forest and Coldwater Refugia
Principal Investigator
Keith Nislow


Start Date
End Date
Release Date


The northeastern U.S. is highly exposed to climate change; in fact, the rate of change is higher than most places on earth (Karmalkar and Bradley 2017). The forests of the Northeast CASC region, and the wildlife that inhabit them, are highly vulnerable to the effects of climate change. In particular, the boreal forests, a biome that reaches from Alaska to the Northeast, and the northern hardwoods, including sugar maple and paper birch, are expected to be intolerant of climate warming. Likewise, many of the birds, mammals, amphibians, fish, and insects that inhabit these forest ecosystems are at their southern range edges here and are considered sensitive to climate change. Furthermore, local species’ adaptive capacity is limited by [...]

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Principal Investigator :
Keith Nislow
Funding Agency :
Northeast CASC
CMS Group :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASC) Program
Co-Investigator :
Toni Lyn Morelli

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“Moosehorn NWR, FWS - Credit”
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The Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center has as part of its mission to conduct stakeholder-driven research to understand climate Impacts on freshwater resources and land-use change as well as ecosystem vulnerability and species response to climate variability and change. This project supports collaborations between the NE CASC and the Northern Research Station of the U.S. Forest Service to increase the resilience and resistance of climate-vulnerable species and ecosystems. The project will reveal how mammal distributions are shifting in northern forest landscapes and investigate how climate change adaptation strategies, including conserving climate change refugia, could benefit forests, wildlife, and northeastern economies.

Project Extension

typeTechnical Summary
valueSpecific activities are detailed below: • Co-funding of a joint USGS/NRS and NE CSC project aimed at: a. Documenting changes in mammal distribution in northern forest landscapes associated with climate variation to help fill a critical data gap and help to inform regional models. b. Investigating and comparing climate change adaptation strategies in order to improve management of climate-vulnerable forests and their dependent wildlife in the face of climate change. c. Conserving climate change refugia, areas buffered from climate change that enable persistence of species of conservation concern or economic benefit. • Collaborative efforts to build links and strengthen partnerships between the NE CSC and USFS programs and initiatives including USFS/Northern Institute of Applied Climate Science (NIACS), USFS Experimental Forests, and USFS National Forest System units within the NE CSC domain.
projectStatusIn Progress

Budget Extension

typeAward Type
valueInteragency Agreement
typeAward Number

Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
RegistrationUUID NCCWSC 14c73d17-2211-48d2-88a7-2c12121598d8
StampID NCCWSC NE18-CH1510

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