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Describing the social network that links the interconnected partners is the first step to leverage the network’s capacity to be greater than the sum of its parts.The Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative partners and a social network scientist are applying social network theory to create a system of nodes and edges of a Conservation Social Network. Dr. Patrick Bixler is working with partners to quantify the connections and flow of information. A short series of surveys that began in 2015 will measure the baseline dynamics of partner communication and establish a place from which to set benchmarks and future goals. The idea is to better leverage partner expertise and facilitate collaboration across...
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We propose to support the revision and implementation of the South Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative’s Conservation Blueprint by integrating its Ecosystem Indicators into a structured decision support system that makes explicit how the Indicators are interrelated and how these will respond to management and policy interventions aimed at improving the conservation status of the South Atlantic region. Our specific objectives are to (1) develop ecological production functions that predict theecological impacts of selected conservation actions relative to current conditions, and to propagate these impacts through other affected systems or functions; (2) codify protocols for updating and curating geospatial...
We will develop SMART-SLEUTH, an advanced spatially explicit modeling framework designed to augment the current SLEUTH model with sophisticated smart-growth capabilities. Based on the latest version of SLEUTH, we will create an open-source GIS-enabled software package that will implement SMART-SLEUTH with advanced modules and tools for evaluating, predicting, and visualizing smart growth scenarios and outcomes. In this software package, a more user friendly Graphic User Interface (GUI), a multi-level automatic calibration approach built on machine learning algorithms, and new spatial landscape metrics for quantifying land change patterns will provide enhanced support for complex model configuration, calibration,...
The Williston Basin, located in the NorthernGreat Plains, is experiencing rapid energy developmentwith North Dakota and Montana being the epicenter ofcurrent and projected development in the USA. Theaverage single-bore well pad is 5 acres with an estimated58,485 wells in North Dakota alone. This landscapeleveldisturbance may provide a pathway for the establishmentof non-native plants. To evaluate potentialinfluences of energy development on the presence andabundance of non-native species, vegetation surveyswere conducted at 30 oil well sites (14 ten-year-oldand 16 five-year-old wells) and 14 control sites in nativeprairie environments across the Williston Basin. Nonnativespecies richness and cover were recorded...
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The North Atlantic Region of the United States and Canada boasts diverse habitats, from coasts to mountains, that support endemic and rare plant species. However, recent conservation actions and prioritization efforts in this region have neglected to include plants. We have conducted a conservation assessment for vascular plants that occur in the North Atlantic Landscape Conservation Cooperative. Using the best scientific data, we have developed a list of vascular plant species of concern for the region. We have refined the list with the input of Natural Heritage and other regional botanists and experts. For each species, we have determined regional conservation responsibility, developed regional ranks, updated...
Native grasslands have been reduced to a fraction of their original extent, with estimated total loss prior to the 1990s of 70% for prairie grassland (Federal Provincial and Territorial Governments of Canada 2010). Conversion of native grassland to cropland and tame hayfields or pasture has been one of the leading drivers of native grassland loss in North America. Degradation of native grasslands also continues in some areas due to changes in natural disturbance regimes such as fire suppression and intensive prolonged cattle grazing, threats from invasive non-native species, fragmentation, intensification of agriculture, and economic development associated with population growth(Federal Provincial and Territorial...
Brief:Under this project a collaborative and integrated geodatabase of inventoried connectivity barriers within the South Central Lake Superior Basin (SCLSB) was developed to prioritize restoration for more than 2,000 inventoried stream crossings. SUMMARY:KBIC Natural Resources Department received funding through the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative to develop a collaborative and integrated geodatabase of inventoried connectivity barriers within the South Central Lake Superior Basin (SCLSB), to prioritize restoration for more than 2,000 inventoried stream crossings (see Figure 1). This project stemmed from KBIC’s participation in the Partnering for Watershed Restoration Group (PWR),...
Vernal or seasonal pools are small, temporary bodies of water that can serve as critical habitat for frogs, salamanders, reptiles, invertebrates, and other species. The first step in developing effective conservation strategies for vernal pools and associated wildlife species is to know where on the landscape these small wetlands exist. Although several several states and organizations in the Northeast region have initiated coordinated vernal pool mapping projects, this information has never been assembled in one place.Currently, the Vernal Pool Data Cooperative (VPDC) consists of over 60,000 vernal pool locations submitted by cooperators representing ten states and two Canadian provinces from Virginia to Quebec’s...
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Aging infrastructure is creating a pressing national need to align priorities between civil engineering and other interests. Restoring ecological connectivity of river networks that are fragmented by dams and road crossings has become a prominent objective for environmental managers across the country. A mature decision-support framework and newly available data on the condition of dams throughout the Lake Michigan basin offer unique opportunities to test for potential cost-efficiency gains from sharing the costs of removing decrepit dams between environmental and engineering organizations. At sites where these interests align, genuine win-win scenarios could advance both ecological connectivity and infrastructure...
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Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass, productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000–2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region...
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For management agencies, there is a growing need to understand (1) how climate change affects and will continue to affect wildlife populations of conservation concern, and (2) how the negative Upper Midwest Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative Request for Funding 2013 demographic effects of climate change can be mitigated through management strategies. Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA) integrates available data and scientific understanding in a transparent process, details assumptions and uncertainties, and ultimately projects population-level responses of target species to future climate change. Climate change is already influencing distributions and abundances of species throughout North...
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The goals of this project were 1) to contrast existing mature riparian corridor forest habitats with habitats in areas subject to past and ongoing re-vegetation/restoration treatments and 2) to evaluate responses of select bird species to the differences between habitats now and in the future as the revegetated forests develop. We wanted to develop recommendations to improve future re-vegetation/restoration methodology to increase carrying capacity and mobility for borderlands populations of Gray Hawk, Red-crowned Parrot, Red-billed Pigeon, Rose-throated Becard, Neotropical migrant birds, and other high priority riparian taxa.
Full life-cycle vulnerability assessments are identifying the effects of climate change on nongame migratory birds that are of conservation concern and breed in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. Full life-cycle analyses are critical, as current efforts likely underestimate the vulnerability of migratory land birds due to a focus on assessing only one component of the annual cycle. The approach provides a framework for integrating exposure to climate changes, sensitivity to these changes, and the potential for adaptation in both winter and summer seasons, and accounts for carry-over effects from one season to another. The results of this work will inform regional management by highlighting both local and...
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All Conservation Design Elements identified through a multi-year conservation planning effort undertaken by the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC). These elements were identified by the program Marxan as meeting collective conservation targets. Datasets include a merged design of all five elements, individual element shapefiles, and a prioritization shapefile (Conservation Design elements outlined by the NatureScape Design that were then placed into a prioritization framework based on Margulis and Pressy 2000).
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The capacity of ecosystems to provide services such as carbon storage, clean water, and forest products is determined not only by variations in ecosystem properties across landscapes, but also by ecosystem dynamics over time. ForWarn is a system developed by the U.S. Forest Service to monitor vegetation change using satellite imagery for the continental United States. It provides near real-time change maps that are updated every eight days, and summaries of these data also provide long-term change maps from 2000 to the present.Based on the detection of change in vegetation productivity, the ForWarn system monitors the effects of disturbances such as wildfires, insects, diseases, drought, and other effects of weather,...
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WaSSI (Water Supply Stress Index) predicts how climate, land cover, and human population change may impact water availability and carbon sequestration at the watershed level (about the size of a county) across the lower 48 United States. WaSSI users can select and adjust temperature, precipitation, land cover, and water use factors to simulate change scenarios for any timeframe from 1961 through the year 2100.Simulation results are available as downloadable maps, graphs, and data files that users can apply to their unique information and project needs. WaSSI generates useful information for natural resource planners and managers who must make informed decisions about water supplies and related ecosystem services...
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Systematic conservation planning is well suited to address the many large-scale biodiversity conservation challenges facing the Appalachian region. However, broad, well-connected landscapes will be required to sustain many of the natural resources important to this area into the future. If these landscapes are to be resilient to impending change, it will likely require an orchestrated and collaborative effort reaching across jurisdictional and political boundaries. The first step in realizing this vision is prioritizing discrete places and actions that hold the greatest promise for the protection of biodiversity. Five conservation design elements covering many critical ecological processes and patterns across the...
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This shapefile represents The Nature Conservancy’s (TNC) “essential forests” and “key connectors” in the Central Appalachians Whole System. Essential Forests are built around groups of large forest patches, ecoregional portfolio roll-up sites, and areas with high local integrity and high flow density (from M. Anderson’s resiliency analysis). Key Connectors provide physical linkages among essential forests, have high flow density, and may also include large forest patches and matrix blocks. The polygons were originally delineated by TNC staff at a workshop near Petersburg, West Virginia, on March 9 and 10, 2011. The boundaries were hand-drawn on paper maps and then hand-digitized by A. Watland (TNC-VA) and T. Gagnolet...


map background search result map search result map Appalachian LCC Landscape Conservation Design Phase 1 Local Build-outs WASSI Future Change in Water Supply Stress Index 1991-2010 ForWarn Mean Summer National Difference Vegetation Index 2009-2013 Amount of inflow stored in upstream dams-rivers Models of ecological uplift from conservation activities in the SALCC Habitat use by birds in mature and revegetated habitats of the Lower Rio Grande valley of Texas and predicted responses to climate change Final Report Report: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Species of Conservation Concern: Distributions and Demographics Across a Landscape Conservation Cooperative Publication: Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests Optimization at the infrastructure-connectivity nexus: boosting cost-efficiency of restoration using dam condition data for Lake Michigan Prioritization and Conservation Status of Rare Plants in the North Atlantic Region NatureScape, Design Essential Forests and Key Connectors in the Central Appalachians Whole System Vegetation dynamics related to climate and land use in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands Habitat use by birds in mature and revegetated habitats of the Lower Rio Grande valley of Texas and predicted responses to climate change Final Report Vegetation dynamics related to climate and land use in Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands Optimization at the infrastructure-connectivity nexus: boosting cost-efficiency of restoration using dam condition data for Lake Michigan Essential Forests and Key Connectors in the Central Appalachians Whole System Publication: Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests Models of ecological uplift from conservation activities in the SALCC WASSI Future Change in Water Supply Stress Index 1991-2010 NatureScape, Design Appalachian LCC Landscape Conservation Design Phase 1 Local Build-outs Amount of inflow stored in upstream dams-rivers ForWarn Mean Summer National Difference Vegetation Index 2009-2013 Prioritization and Conservation Status of Rare Plants in the North Atlantic Region Report: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Species of Conservation Concern: Distributions and Demographics Across a Landscape Conservation Cooperative