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Abstract (from Wiley Online Library): Annual distributions of waterfowl during the nonbreeding period can influence ecological, cultural, and economic relationships. We used previously developed Weather Severity Indices (WSI) that explained migration by dabbling ducks in eastern North America and weather data from the North American Regional Reanalysis to develop an open-access internet-based tool (i.e., WSI web app) to visualize and query WSI data. We used data generated by the WSI web app to determine whether the weather known to elicit southerly migration by dabbling ducks had changed, from October to April 1979 to 2013. We detected that the amount of area in the Mississippi and Atlantic Flyways with weather...
Floodplains pose challenges to managers of conservation lands because of constantly changing interactions with their rivers. Although scientific knowledge and understanding of the dynamics and drivers of river-floodplain systems can provide guidance to floodplain managers, the scientific process often occurs in isolation from management. Further, communication barriers between scientists and managers can be obstacles to appropriate application of scientific knowledge. With the coproduction of science in mind, our objectives were the following: (1) to document management priorities of floodplain conservation lands, and (2) identify science needs required to better manage the identified management priorities under...
We present a case-study evaluation of gillnet catches of Walleye Sander vitreus to assess potential effects of large-scale changes in Oneida Lake, New York, including disruption of trophic interactions by double-crested cormorants Phalacrocorax auritus and invasive dreissenid mussels. We used the empirical long-term gillnet time series and a negative binomial linear mixed model to partition variability into spatial and coherent temporal variance components, and we propose that variance partitioning can help quantify spatiotemporal variability and examine if variance structure differs before and after large-scale perturbation. Here, we found that average catch and total variability of catches decreased following...
The impacts of climate change and forest pests and diseases are making it harder for natural resource managers to sustain important forest habitat for wildlife species and, more generally, sustain the benefits that we all derive from forest ecosystems. The natural resource management and research communities have a general understanding of what broad climate adaptation strategies may to best to navigate these mounting challenges. But what we don’t yet fully understand is how effective implementation of these broad strategies actually is, in particular forest types and in particular places. Plus, the research community needs to better understand what knowledge and tools managers need to resolve remaining uncertainties...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Although scientists have identified many ways to reduce the negative effects of climate change on wildlife, this information is not readily available to natural resource managers. For successful wildlife adaptation to climate change, natural resource managers should have current, peerreviewed information to guide their decisions. We conducted a review of over 1300 publications for recommendations to manage wildlife in the face of climate change. We then summarized the findings as the wildlife adaptation menu, a tool to inform planning and decision-making in an accessible format.
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
Abstract (from ESA Journals): Climate change is a well-documented driver and threat multiplier of infectious disease in wildlife populations. However, wildlife disease management and climate-change adaptation have largely operated in isolation. To improve conservation outcomes, we consider the role of climate adaptation in initiating or exacerbating the transmission and spread of wildlife disease and the deleterious effects thereof, as illustrated through several case studies. We offer insights into best practices for disease-smart adaptation, including a checklist of key factors for assessing disease risks early in the climate adaptation process. By assessing risk, incorporating uncertainty, planning for change,...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Wiley): The brown-headed nuthatch (Sitta pusilla) was likely extirpated from Missouri in the early 1900s as a result of habitat loss through extensive logging. Conservation partners including the Missouri Department of Conservation, United States Forest Service, University of Missouri, and others, relocated 102 brown-headed nuthatches from Ouachita National Forest in Arkansas to Mark Twain National Forest in Missouri in 2020 and 2021 to establish a local population. We tracked 50 individuals for 24 ± 11 (median ± SD) days after release using radio telemetry and monitored movements in relation to sex and whether a bird was captured alone or as part of a group. We examined 25-day survival using a spatial...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Winter drawdown (WD) is a common lake management tool for multiple purposes such as flood control, aquatic vegetation reduction, and lake infrastructure maintenance. To minimize adverse impacts to a lake’s ecosystem, regulatory agencies may provide managers with general guidelines for drawdown and refill timing, drawdown magnitude, and outflow limitations. However, there is significant uncertainty associated with the potential to meet management targets due to variability in lake characteristics and hydrometeorology of each lake’s basin, making the use of modeling tools a necessity. In this context, we developed a hydrological modeling framework for lake water level drawdown management (HMF-Lake) and evaluated it...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
With leadership and coordination provided by the Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers Landscape Conservation Cooperative, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs), which collectively span the geographic extent of the Mississippi River Basin (MRB), have identified high nutrient runoff (a major contributor to Gulf of Mexico hypoxia), and declines in wildlife populations (especially grassland and riparian bird species), as major conservation challenges requiring collaborative action. This project focused on development and application of spatial decision support systems (DSSs), coupled with surveys of agricultural producers, to assist the LCC community and partner resource management...
We developed high-resolution climate projections for the mid- and late 21st century across the Great Lakes region, including the Midwest and Northeast United States and southern Canada. We applied a regional climate model that addresses future changes in Great Lakes’ water temperatures, ice cover, and evaporation, which critically impact lake-effect snowfall. This new dataset is highly valuable, given that most global climate models applied in the reports of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and National Climate Assessment either completely lack the Great Lakes or largely under-represent their coverage and impacts. After quantifying projected changes in weather severity based on air temperature and snow...
Abstract (from Ecological Society of America): Successful management of natural resources requires local action that adapts to largerā€scale environmental changes in order to maintain populations within the safe operating space (SOS) of acceptable conditions. Here, we identify the boundaries of the SOS for a managed freshwater fishery in the first empirical test of the SOS concept applied to management of harvested resources. Walleye (Sander vitreus) are popular sport fish with declining populations in many North American lakes, and understanding the causes of and responding to these changes is a high priority for fisheries management. We evaluated the role of changing water clarity and temperature in the decline...
Abstract (from https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s10980-017-0540-9): Context Quantitative models of forest dynamics have followed a progression toward methods with increased detail, complexity, and spatial extent. Objectives We highlight milestones in the development of forest dynamics models and identify future research and application opportunities. Methods We reviewed milestones in the evolution of forest dynamics models from the 1930s to the present with emphasis on forest growth and yield models and forest landscape models We combined past trends with emerging issues to identify future needs. Results Historically, capacity to model forest dynamics at tree, stand, and landscape scales was constrained...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation; Tags: Forests, Landscapes, Northeast CASC
Abstract (from http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S143383191400105X): Floodplain forests are extremely productive for agriculture and historical floodplain forests have been converted to prime agricultural land throughout the world, resulting in disruption of ecosystem functioning. Given that flooding may increase with climate change and reforestation will increase resiliency to climate change, we tested whether reforested floodplains also have great potential to store carbon and the effects of even modest increases in forested acreage on carbon storage. To calculate potential aboveground biomass in the Lower Mississippi River Alluvial Valley (LMAV) of the United States, we determined current and historical...
Abstract (from http://link.springer.com/article/10.1007%2Fs10980-015-0294-1): Context Tree species distribution and abundance are affected by forces operating at multiple scales. Niche and biophysical process models have been commonly used to predict climate change effects at regional scales, however, these models have limited capability to include site-scale population dynamics and landscape-scale disturbance and dispersal. We applied a landscape modeling approach that incorporated three levels of spatial hierarchy (pixel, landtype, and ecological subsection) to model regional-scale shifts in forest composition under climate change. Objective To determine (1) how importance value of individual species will...
The Northeast United States and Atlantic Canada share many of the same types of forests, wetlands, and natural communities, and from a wildlife perspective the region is one contiguous forest. However, resources are classified and mapped differently on the two sides of the border, creating challenges for habitat evaluation, species modeling, and predicting the effects of climate change. To remedy this, ecologists from The Nature Conservancy collaborated with a committee of scientists from various Canadian institutions to produce the first international map of terrestrial habitats for northeast North America. The project used extensive spatial data on geology, soils, landforms, wetlands, elevation and climate. Additionally,...
This study set out to answer the question: “What data and modeling frameworks are needed to provide scientists reliable, climate-informed, water temperature estimates for freshwater ecosystems that can assist watershed management decision making?” To accomplish this, researchers gathered existing stream temperature data, identified data gaps, deployed stream temperature monitoring devices, and developed and tested a stream temperature model that could be regionalized across the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC) domain. Polebitski and colleagues partnered with another NE CSC funded project team, NorEaST-Stream Temperature Web Portal Demonstration and Application, led by Jana Stewart (USGS Wisconsin Water...
There is growing evidence that headwater stream ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changing climate and land use, but their conservation is challenged by the need to address the threats at a landscape scale, often through coordination with multiple management agencies and landowners. This project seeks to fill a gap, providing an example of cooperative landscape decision-making to address the conservation of headwater stream ecosystems in the face of climate change.
Abstract (from AcademicOUP): The introduced emerald ash borer (EAB) represents the costliest invasive forest insect in US history, causing significant mortality of ash species across much of eastern North America as well as in Colorado and Oregon. Few surviving overstory ash trees exist in areas first invaded by EAB, such as the Lake States region; however, forests with healthy, mature ash remain in recently invaded regions, such as the northeastern United States. Given the importance of ash to cultural lifeways of Indigenous peoples and the ecology and economies of working forest lands, there is growing interest in applying protection measures to maintain ash in forested settings. We further develop our call for...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Headwater stream ecosystems are vulnerable to numerous threats associated with climate and land use change. In the northeastern US, many headwater stream species (e.g., brook trout and stream salamanders) are of special conservation concern and may be vulnerable to climate change influences, such as changes in stream temperature and streamflow. Federal land management agencies (e.g., US Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, USDA Forest Service, Bureau of Land Management and Department of Defense) are required to adopt policies that respond to climate change and may have longer-term institutional support to enforce such policies compared to state, local, non-governmental, or private land managers. However,...