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Folders: ROOT > ScienceBase Catalog > LC MAP - Landscape Conservation Management and Analysis Portal > Pacific Islands Climate Change Cooperative > FY 2011 Science Research Projects ( Show all descendants )

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One of the greatest ecological, social and economic issues of the day is the problem of climate change. Increasing levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) in the atmosphere are increasing global temperatures. Much of the CO2 dissolves in the ocean, creating more acidic conditions and leading to a process known as ocean acidification (OA). Higher temperatures and increased levels of CO2 operating independently are known to be detrimental to corals, but little is known about their effect when operating in unison. Irradiance has a great influence on coral calcification rates and can interact with higher temperature and increased OA to an unknown extent. Therefore, experiments were performed in continuous flow mesocosms under...
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We analyzed the chemical composition of wood produced by Māmane, a tropical tree growing in Hawai’i, in order to reconstruct changes in climate over the Hawaiian Islands. Specifically, we measured changes in the relative abundance of carbon and oxygen isotopes taken up by the trees during photosynthesis at high elevation sites on Mauna Kea. We found that these isotopes reflect the climatic conditions (precipitation and temperature) under which the trees lived, allowing us to reconstruct relative changes in climate extending back ~130 years. Our results indicate decadal-scale changes in precipitation that correlate well with large-scale atmospheric and ocean circulation patterns that dominate much of the Pacific....
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In the tropics, ample freshwater is the primary resource supporting thriving human and ecological communities. In the Pacific Islands, many watersheds are threatened by climate change, urban encroachment, and invasion by water-demanding exotic plant species like strawberry guava (SG). To maintain an adequate freshwater supply, adaptive management strategies are needed to address these concerns while confronting operational barriers to implementation. We developed a prototype watershed decision support tool (WDST) that incorporated: (i) distributed hydrology modeling to quantify effects of climate change and SG invasion on freshwater yield; (ii) a decision support tool that linked potential changes in yield with...
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Islands exhibit the planet’s most unique flora and fauna, but biodiversity on islands is also vulnerable to the impending forces of global change. The Micronesian high island of Pohnpei exemplifies the diversity of oceanic islands, as it is home to the world lowest montane-cloud forest, vast mangrove forests, and 6 endemic bird species. We conducted a survey to assess the status of Pohnpei’s current bird population. We estimated detection rates across elevation zones, habitat-specific occupancy rates for 13 species, and habitat specific densities for 10 species. We coupled results with data from previous surveys to assess the potential impacts of vegetation change on Pohnpei avifauna during the last three decades....
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In Hawaiʽi and elsewhere, research efforts have focused on two main approaches to determine the potential impacts of climate change on individual species: estimating species vulnerabilities and projecting responses of species to expected changes. We integrated these approaches by defining vulnerability as the inability of species to exhibit any of the responses necessary for persistence under climate change (i.e., tolerate projected changes, endure in microrefugia, or migrate to new climate-compatible areas, but excluding evolutionary adaptation). To operationalize this response-based definition of species vulnerability within a landscape-based analysis, we used current and future climate envelopes for each species...
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Expansion of deadly, mosquito-borne bird diseases such as avian malaria into Hawaiʽi’s high elevation forests as a result of global warming is one of the most significant threats facing the state’s rare native forest birds. Few practical options for control of disease-carrying mosquitoes over large landscapes are available, however. The best hope for remaining species of native birds may be the development of tolerance or resistance to this introduced disease. Therefore, understanding how tolerance and resistance evolve and developing ways to speed this process may be good proactive strategies for addressing impacts of climate change. We evaluated ways to rapidly measure a bird’s natural immunity with the hope that...
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Pelagic seabirds (albatrosses and petrels) find food by relying on distinct oceanographic features like transition zones, upwelling, and large eddies. These oceanographic features change intensity, distribution, and duration during El Niño/La Niña events resulting in poor breeding performance in seabirds. Climate models predict that these perturbations will last longer, be more variable, and in some cases, cause major shifts in oceanographic regimes. We analyzed our decade-­‐long dataset of tracked Laysan and black-­‐footed albatrosses (N = 192 individual trips) the breed in the Northwest Hawaiian Islands to investigate the mechanistic role that oceanography plays in affecting the foraging distributions and its...
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This study focused on sensitivity of high-elevation ecosystems in Hawai‘i to climate change. These Hawaiian ecosystems are becoming warmer and drier, and are relevant because they house many rare species, represent the last remaining stretches of uninvaded landscapes, and include wao akua – the small-statured cloud forests of great cultural significance that are the ‘realm of the gods’. Rapid climate change here presents a disproportionately high climate change impact risk. We provided models that relate current, past, and future distribution of plant species from 6000 – 7500’ feet in elevation on Haleakalā, to mean climate, extreme drought events, and soil properties. We constructed 24 models of current vegetation...


    map background search result map search result map Reconstructing past Hawaiian precipitation using stable carbon isotope analysis of Māmane trees Immunological Markers for Tolerance to Avian Malaria: Tools for Identifying Disease-Tolerant Individuals for Translocations and Captive Propagation A Tool for Understanding Climate Change and Invasive Species Impacts on Watersheds Future Distribution of Cloud Forests and Associated Species in Hawaii Synergistic Impacts of Global Warming and Ocean Acidification on Coral Reefs Effects of Landscape Change on Island Birds Responses of Hawaiian Albatrosses to Environmental Change A landscape-based assessment of climate change vulnerability for native Hawaiian plants Effects of Landscape Change on Island Birds Reconstructing past Hawaiian precipitation using stable carbon isotope analysis of Māmane trees Immunological Markers for Tolerance to Avian Malaria: Tools for Identifying Disease-Tolerant Individuals for Translocations and Captive Propagation A Tool for Understanding Climate Change and Invasive Species Impacts on Watersheds Future Distribution of Cloud Forests and Associated Species in Hawaii Synergistic Impacts of Global Warming and Ocean Acidification on Coral Reefs A landscape-based assessment of climate change vulnerability for native Hawaiian plants Responses of Hawaiian Albatrosses to Environmental Change