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This report provides an overview of the state of the science for climate impacts and adaptation options across the NEAFWA region and for Regional Species of Greatest Conservation Need (RSGCN) and associated habitats.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Climate change impacts ecosystems variably in space and time. Landscape features may confer resistance against environmental stressors, whose intensity and frequency also depend on local weather patterns. Characterizing spatio-temporal variation in population responses to these stressors improves our understanding of what constitutes climate change refugia. We developed a Bayesian hierarchical framework that allowed us to differentiate population responses to seasonal weather patterns depending on their “sensitive” or “resilient” states. The framework inferred these sensitivity states based on latent trajectories delineating dynamic state probabilities. The latent trajectories are composed of linear initial conditions,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
The potential responses of animal species to climate change often are assessed by correlating species occurrence or density with long-term average temperature or precipitation. These approaches overlook the effects on species’ distributions and abundances of climate extremes and the indirect effects of climate. We developed an approach for projecting responses of wildlife to future climate that explicitly accounted for the direct effects of climate extremes and the indirect effects of climate via changes in the timing and magnitude of primary productivity (henceforth phenology). We used historical climate data and remotely sensed data on phenology to develop predictive models of climate-phenology relations in desert...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
The riparian vegetation within the San Carlos Apache Reservation (hereafter Reservation), within the Upper Gila River watershed extending from southwestern New Mexico into southeastern Arizona, provides immense ecological and cultural value to the people of the San Carlos Apache Tribe (hereafter referred to as the Tribe/Tribal) but has experienced substantial changes and stresses over the past century because of fluctuations in climate and a series of human-induced and natural disturbances. This research addresses these challenges by analyzing the riparian vegetation within the Upper Gila River watershed using aerial and satellite imagery, and by documenting the direct relationship to fluctuations in climate conditions....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
The Great Basin is an arid province located in the interior western United States. The region encompasses millions of hectares and quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) forests comprise a minor portion of the total area. However, montane aspen forests play a disproportionately large role in providing ecosystem services in the region, including water retention, biodiversity, wildlife habitat, livestock forage, and recreational uses. With warming temperatures, increasing evaporative demand, and heightened precipitation variability, the future of aspen has become a critical concern. Using dendroecological approaches, we assessed growth patterns of 20 aspen stands across three geographically isolated “sky island”...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Global climate change is predicted to increase air and stream temperatures and alter thermal habitat suitability for growth and survival of coldwater fishes, including brook charr (Salvelinus fontinalis), brown trout (Salmo trutta), and rainbow trout (Oncorhynchus mykiss). In a changing climate, accurate stream temperature modeling is increasingly important for sustainable salmonid management throughout the world. However, finite resource availability (e.g. funding, personnel) drives a tradeoff between thermal model accuracy and efficiency (i.e. cost-effective applicability at management-relevant spatial extents). Using different projected climate change scenarios, we compared the accuracy and efficiency of stream-specific...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
The hydrological effects of climate change are documented in many regions; however, climate-driven impacts to the source and transport of river nutrients remain poorly understood. Understanding the factors controlling nutrient dynamics across river systems is critical to preserve ecosystem function yet challenging given the complexity of landscape and climate interactions. Here, we harness a large regional dataset of nitrate (NO3–) yield, concentration, and isotopic composition (δ15N and δ18O) to evaluate the strength of hydroclimate and landscape variables in controlling the seasonal source and transport of NO3–. We show that hydroclimate strongly influenced the seasonality of river NO3–, producing distinct, source-dependent...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Invasive plants formed via hybridization, especially those that modify the structure and function of their ecosystems, are of particular concern given the potential for hybrid vigor. In the U.S. Pacific Northwest, two invasive, dune-building beachgrasses, Ammophila arenaria (European beachgrass) and A. breviligulata (American beachgrass), have hybridized and formed a new beachgrass taxa (Ammophila arenaria × A. breviligulata), but little is known about its distribution, spread, and ecological consequences. Here, we report on surveys of the hybrid beachgrass conducted across a 250-km range from Moclips, Washington to Pacific City, Oregon, in 2021 and 2022. We detected nearly 300 hybrid individuals, or an average...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Projected changes to spring phenological indicators (such as first leaf and first bloom) are of importance to assessing the impacts of climate change on ecosystems and species. The risk of false springs (when a killing freeze occurs after plants of interest bloom), which can cause ecological and economic damage, is also projected to change across much of the United States. Given the coarse nature of global climate models, downscaled climate projections have commonly been used to assess local changes in spring phenological indices. Few studies that examine the influence of the sources of uncertainty sources in the downscaling approach on projections of phenological changes. This study examines the influence of sources...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
The response of the global water cycle to changes in global surface temperature remains an outstanding question in future climate projections and in past climate reconstructions. The stable hydrogen and oxygen isotope compositions of precipitation (δprecip), meteoric water (δMW) and seawater (δSW) integrate processes from microphysical to global scales and thus are uniquely positioned to track global hydroclimate variations. Here we evaluate global hydroclimate during the past 2,000 years using a globally distributed compilation of proxies for δprecip, δMW and δSW. We show that global mean surface temperature exerted a coherent influence on global δprecip and δMW throughout the past two millennia, driven by global...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Many previous studies have measured elementary-aged students’ connection to nature (CTN), but few have explicitly considered how the use of different terminology (e.g. ‘nature’ versus ‘the outdoors’) can influence those connections. We utilized a quasi-experimental design to test for differences in affective and self-reported connections to nature among diverse groups of fourth and fifth grade students from two elementary schools in Wake County, North Carolina. We used Mann–Whitney U tests to compare these outcomes between two versions of a survey, one using the word ‘nature’ (n = 112) and one using the word ‘outdoors’ (n = 113), for (1) the whole sample (n = 225) (2) between boys and girls, and (3) between students...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation