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There is growing evidence that headwater stream ecosystems are especially vulnerable to changing climate and land use, but managers are challenged by the need to address these threats at a landscape scale, often through coordination with multiple management agencies and landowners. This project sought to provide an example of cooperative landscape decision-making by addressing the conservation of headwater stream ecosystems in the face of climate change at the watershed scale. Predictive models were built for critical resources to examine the effects of the potential alternative actions on the objectives, taking account of climate effects and examining whether there are key uncertainties that impede decision making....
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Small lakes are important to local economies as sources of water supply and places of recreation. Commonly, lakes are considered more desirable for recreation if they are free of the thick weedy vegetation, often comprised of invasive species, that grows around the lake edge. This vegetation makes it difficult to launch boats and swim. In order to reduce this vegetation, a common technique in the Northeast and Midwest U.S. is a ‘winter drawdown’ . In a winter drawdown, the lake level is artificially lowered (via controls in a dam) during the winter to expose shoreline vegetation to freezing conditions, thereby killing them and preserving recreational value of the lake. However, this practice can impact both water...
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The Department of the Interior and the U.S. Geological Survey have made it a priority to train the next generation of scientists and resource managers. The Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) and consortium institutions are working to contribute to this initiative by building and supporting a network of students across the country who are interested in the climate sciences and climate adaptation. The purpose of this project was to support the development of a national early career communication platform to facilitate and increase information sharing and networking across the CASCs and consortium institutions. This was accomplished by working with the Early Career Climate Forum (ECCF), a CASC-supported science...
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Appropriate ecological indicators of climate change can be used to measure concurrent changes in ecological systems, inform management decisions, and potentially to project the consequences of climate change. However, many of the available indicators for North American birds do not account for imperfect observation. We proposed to use correlated-detection occupancy models to develop indicators from the North American Breeding Bird Survey data. The indicators were used to test hypotheses regarding changes in range and distribution of breeding birds. The results will support the Northeast Climate Science Center’s Science Agenda, including the science priority: researching ecological vulnerability and species response...
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Society makes substantial investments in federal, Tribal, state, and private programs to supplement populations of valued species such as stocking fish, planting trees, rebuilding oyster reefs, and restoring prairies. These important efforts require long-term commitment, but climate change is making environmental conditions less predictable and more challenging to navigate. Selection of species for population supplementation is often based on performance prior to release, and one or a few species may then be used for decades even as the environment is changing. When these species are propagated in large numbers, they can become the dominant population as well as genetically overtake any local adaptations. Therefore,...
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Invasive species establish outside of their native range, spread, and negatively impact ecosystems and economies. As temperatures rise, many invasive plants can spread into regions that were previously too cold for their survival. For example, kudzu, ‘the vine that ate the south’, was previously limited to mid-Atlantic states, but has recently started spreading in New Jersey and is expected to become invasive farther north. While scientists know of many of the invasive species expanding into the northeastern U.S., they do not know where those species are likely to become abundant and how they will impact vulnerable native ecosystems due to climate change. There are also currently no strategies to manage emerging...
This resource is a series of reports describing the observed and projected changes in climate for states in the Northeast United States. States covered in this report include: Connecticut, Deleware, Massachusetts, Maryland-District of Columbia, Maine, New Hampshire, Jew Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Virginia, Vermont, and West Virginia. This information can be incorporated into state wildlife action plans (SWAPs).
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A large portion of the U.S. population lives in coastal areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and the Caribbean; however, our coasts are also home to many fish, wildlife, and plant species that are important for recreation, tourism, local economies, biodiversity, and healthy coastal ecosystems. Coastal habitats also provide protective ecosystem services to human communities, which are increasingly at risk to storms and sea level rise under future climate change. Understanding how climate change will impact natural and human communities is a crucial part of decision making and management related to the protection of our coasts. In a collaborative project between the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative...
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Indigenous Nations are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change, due in part to their reliance on healthy ecosystems to provide culturally significant plants that are used for traditional foods, medicines, and materials. Further, many Indigenous communities have an under-resourced capacity for climate adaptation, resulting in significant environmental justice impacts that range from health disparities to heightened disaster risks. There is growing recognition across the globe of the important role of traditional ecological knowledge (TEK) in climate change resilience and the innovative solutions that lie at the intersection of Indigenous and western knowledge. However, Indigenous knowledge has...
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Prairie ecosystems and the grassland birds that rely on them for habitat may be particularly vulnerable to rapid changes in climate. Extensive portions of prairie have already been lost due to agriculture and urbanization, and as a result grassland birds have declined more than any other bird group in the last four decades. Now, climate change could exacerbate existing threats to these birds as temperatures in certain prairie ecosystems are expected to rise and extreme weather events, such as drought, could become more common. The goal of this project was to develop a framework to identify demographic sensitivities and assess the vulnerability of grassland bird species to future climate change. To do so, the researchers...
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Climate change will have sweeping impacts across the Northeast, yet there are key gaps in our understanding about whether species will be able to adapt to this changing environment. Results from this project will illuminate local and region-wide changes in forest ecosystems by studying the red-backed salamander, a species that is a strong indicator of forest conditions. This study identified habitat and forest characteristics that improve the resiliency of forest dwelling amphibians and other wildlife to climate change. Further, by studying a foundational species in forest floor ecosystems, the scientists can use the information to make inferences about rare and declining species. The researchers studied multiple...
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Climate change is expected to alter stream temperature and flow regimes over the coming decades, and in turn influence distributions of aquatic species in those freshwater ecosystems. To better anticipate these changes, there is a need to compile both short- and long-term stream temperature data for managers to gain an understanding of baseline conditions, historic trends, and future projections. Unfortunately, many agencies lack sufficient resources to compile, conduct quality assurance and control, and make accessible stream temperature data collected through routine monitoring. Yet, pooled data from many sources, even if temporally and spatially inconsistent, can have great value both in the realm of stream temperature...
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As the climate continues to change, vulnerable wildlife species will need management strategies to help them adapt to these changes. One specific management strategy is based on the idea that in certain locations, climate conditions will remain suitable for species to continue to inhabit into the future. These locations are known as climate “refugia”. In contrast, other locations may become too hot, dry, or wet for species to continue to inhabit. When wildlife managers are considering protecting land for vulnerable species, it can be helpful for them to understand where these climate refugia are located, so that they can be prioritized for conservation. However, most tools used by resource managers to manage these...
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Controlling the spread and impacts of invasive species is becoming more challenging as climate conditions change. More relevant information is needed to guide timely and localized management actions for these species to preserve cultural resources and ecosystem integrity. Data products are most valuable when they are developed with input from the people who use them for invasive species management decisions. This project will invite decision makers, Tribal representatives, and natural resource managers to share the social and cultural values that influence their trust and use of data. These shared insights will be used by the project team to shape the format, delivery, and communication of a suite of map products...
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Coastal resource and infrastructure managers face rapidly mounting environmental challenges. Increases in sea levels, decaying or outdated infrastructure, compound flooding from ocean storm surges and river runoff, and temperature and moisture extremes are all increasing the vulnerability of natural habitats, public, private, and commercial infrastructure, and community health and functionality. To effectively address these management issues, quality scientific and socio-economic information is required. For some areas and resources, that information is available, but it does not provide an understanding of how whole systems will respond to climate change and is dispersed across various science and social disciplines....
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The NE CASC consortium convenes three workshops that explore high-priority adaptation research topics emerging from our stakeholder networks and current DOI priorities. Workshops provide a platform to foster a collaborative community of scientists and managers, invite sharing and discussion of partner needs, and cross-disciplinary development and application of NE CASC-supported research, information, and data products. Year 1: Biological Thresholds in the Context of Climate Change (proceedings) Year 2: Future of Aquatic Flows (proceedings) Year 3: Climate-Adaptive Population Supplementation (proceedings)
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The forests of the Northeastern United States are home to some of the greatest diversity of nesting songbirds in the country. Climate change, shifts in natural disturbance regimes, and invasive species pose threats to forest habitats and bird species in the northeastern United States and represent major challenges to natural resource managers. Although broad adaptation approaches have been suggested for sustaining forested habitats under global change, it is unclear how effective the implementation of these strategies at local and regional scales will be for maintaining habitat conditions for a broad suite of forest-dependent bird species over time. Moreover, given the diversity in forest stakeholders across the...
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There are significant investments by states and resource agencies in the northeast U.S. for invasive aquatic species monitoring and management. These investments in jurisdictional waters help maintain their use for drinking, industry, and recreation. It is essential to understand the risks from invasive species, because once established, species can be costly to society and difficult or impossible to control. Identifying which species are most likely to move into a new region and cause harmful impacts can aid in preventing introductions and establishment. This is especially important in response to climate change as habitats potentially become usable to previously range-restricted species. Currently, hundreds...
Abstract (from Proceeding of the National Academy of Sciences): Human-induced abiotic global environmental changes (GECs) and the spread of nonnative invasive species are rapidly altering ecosystems. Understanding the relative and interactive effects of invasion and GECs is critical for informing ecosystem adaptation and management, but this information has not been synthesized. We conducted a meta-analysis to investigate effects of invasions, GECs, and their combined influences on native ecosystems. We found 458 cases from 95 published studies that reported individual and combined effects of invasions and a GEC stressor, which was most commonly warming, drought, or nitrogen addition. We calculated standardized...
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map background search result map search result map NorEaST: A Tool to Understand the Responses of Fish to Changes in Stream Temperature Assessing the Vulnerability of Grassland Bird Populations to Climate Change Projecting the Future of Headwater Streams to Inform Management Decisions Avian Indicators of Climate Change Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey Supporting Early Career Climate Communications and Networking Understanding the Future of Red-Backed Salamanders as an Indicator of Future Forest Health Identifying Critical Thresholds and Tipping Points for Priority Coastal Species in a Changing Future Identifying and Evaluating Adaptation Science for Forest Habitats and Bird Communities in the Northeast Refugia are Important but are they Connected? Mapping Well-Connected Climate Refugia for Species of Conservation Concern in the Northeastern U.S. Identifying Vulnerable Ecosystems and Supporting Climate-Smart Strategies to Address Invasive Species Under Climate Change Rethinking Lake Management for Invasive Plants Under Future Climate: Sensitivity of Lake Ecosystems to Winter Water Level Drawdowns Capacity Workshops Science to Support Marsh Conservation and Management Decisions in the Northeastern United States Future Aquatic Invaders of the Northeast U.S.: How Climate Change, Human Vectors, and Natural History Could Bring Southern and Western Species North Climate-Adaptive Population Supplementation (CAPS) to Enhance Fishery and Forestry Outcomes Indigenous-led Restoration and Stewardship of Culturally Significant Plants for Climate Change Adaptation in the Northeast Developing Climate Calendars to Inform Invasive Species Management in the Northeast Climate-Adaptive Population Supplementation (CAPS) to Enhance Fishery and Forestry Outcomes Refugia are Important but are they Connected? Mapping Well-Connected Climate Refugia for Species of Conservation Concern in the Northeastern U.S. Science to Support Marsh Conservation and Management Decisions in the Northeastern United States Future Aquatic Invaders of the Northeast U.S.: How Climate Change, Human Vectors, and Natural History Could Bring Southern and Western Species North Identifying Vulnerable Ecosystems and Supporting Climate-Smart Strategies to Address Invasive Species Under Climate Change Capacity Workshops Indigenous-led Restoration and Stewardship of Culturally Significant Plants for Climate Change Adaptation in the Northeast Developing Climate Calendars to Inform Invasive Species Management in the Northeast Rethinking Lake Management for Invasive Plants Under Future Climate: Sensitivity of Lake Ecosystems to Winter Water Level Drawdowns Projecting the Future of Headwater Streams to Inform Management Decisions Understanding the Future of Red-Backed Salamanders as an Indicator of Future Forest Health Identifying and Evaluating Adaptation Science for Forest Habitats and Bird Communities in the Northeast NorEaST: A Tool to Understand the Responses of Fish to Changes in Stream Temperature Identifying Critical Thresholds and Tipping Points for Priority Coastal Species in a Changing Future Assessing the Vulnerability of Grassland Bird Populations to Climate Change Avian Indicators of Climate Change Based on the North American Breeding Bird Survey Supporting Early Career Climate Communications and Networking