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Folders: ROOT > ScienceBase Catalog > National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers > Northeast CASC > FY 2015 Projects ( Show all descendants )

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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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Water temperatures are warming in lakes and streams, resulting in the loss of many native fish. Given clear passage, coldwater stream fishes can take refuge upstream when larger streams become too warm. Likewise, many Midwestern lakes “thermally stratify” resulting in warmer waters on top of deeper, cooler waters. Many of these lakes are connected to threatened streams. To date, assessments of the effects of climate change on fish have mostly ignored lakes, and focused instead on streams. Because surface waters represent a network of habitats, an integrated assessment of stream and lake temperatures under climate change is necessary for decision-making. This work can be used to inform the preservation of lake/stream...
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Downscaling is the process of making a coarse-scale global climate model into a finer resolution in order to capture some of the localized detail that the coarse global models cannot resolve. There are two general approaches of downscaling: dynamical and statistical. Within those, many dynamical models have been developed by different institutions, and there are a number of statistical algorithms that have been developed over the years. Many past studies have evaluated the performance of these two broad approaches of downscaling with respect to climate variables (e.g., temperature, precipitation), but few have translated these evaluations to ecological metrics that managers use to make decisions in planning for...
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Climate change poses a variety of threats to biodiversity. Most efforts to assess the likely impacts of climate change on biodiversity try to rank species based on their vulnerability under changed environmental conditions. These efforts have generally not considered the ability of organisms to adjust their phenotype to the changing environment. Organisms can do this by one of two ways. First, they can adjust their phenotype via non-evolutionary pathways. Second, they can undergo adaptive evolutionary change. We used two interconnected approaches to evaluate thermal adaptation capacity in a cold-water fish species. 1) Using tagging data, we estimated thermal performance curves for wild fish. The curves indicate...
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Fish and Wildlife agencies across the United States are currently revising their State Wildlife Action Plans (SWAPs). These documents are important planning documents over 10 year timescales. SWAP Coordinators have been challenged to incorporate climate change impacts and species responses as part of their strategic approaches to managing vulnerable fish and wildlife resources. The Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center is assisting Northeast and Midwestern States meet this charge by developing a regional synthesis document that provides: 1) Regional and state-specific climate change projections for approximately twenty climate variables (e.g., air temperature, precipitation, evapotranspiration, soil moisture,...
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This project compiled, synthesized, and communicated tailored climate change information to NE CASC stakeholders, including Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCC), state and federal agencies, and tribal communities. Our mission is to make climate science actionable by getting to know our stakeholders and the decisions they face, and delivering climate information that is directly relevant to their decisions and priorities. The project team served as a resource to answer individual inquiries related to climate model projections in order to aid climate change adaptation. Additionally, the team contributed to the development of a synthesis document to help the Midwest and Northeast states prepare their threatened...
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All peoples have a right to make meaningful plans for their future. For many Tribes in the northeast region of the United States, trends in the environment such as shifting lake levels, patterns of precipitation and other seasonal cycles pose potential problems. This includes financial burdens on Tribal governments and stresses on Tribal cultural practices such as harvesting medicinal plants and food staples such as wild rice. Consistent with the U.S. federal trust responsibility to Tribes, the Northeast Climate Science Center (NE CSC) has key scientific resources for supporting Tribal adaptation planning in light of noted shifts in environmental trends. The primary activity of this project was for the College...
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Forests play a role in air quality by supplying the atmosphere with volatile organic compounds (VOCs), precursors to ozone and aerosols. Different tree types emit different VOCs, each with different capacity to form ozone and aerosols. Therefore, shifts in forest composition may impact ozone and aerosol yields. Climate change is one of the expected drivers of forest change. In particular, the current range boundaries of a variety of species are expected to shift northward. The impacts of these climate-induced shifts in forest composition on air quality, particularly VOC emissions and subsequent ozone and aerosol formation, is little understood. This project aimed to explore the relative contribution of shifts in...
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Maple syrup is produced from the sap of sugar maple trees collected in the late winter and early spring. Native American tribes have collected and boiled down sap for centuries, and the tapping of maple trees is a cultural touchstone for many people in the Northeast and Midwest. Overall demand for maple syrup has been rapidly rising as more people appreciate this natural sweetener. Yet because the tapping season is dependent on weather conditions, there is concern about the sustainability of maple sugaring as the region’s climate changes. The distribution of sugar maple could move north into Canada and the sap flow season may become shorter in the future. Not only could these changes affect producers and consumers...


    map background search result map search result map Supporting Cooperation Between Tribes and Climate Scientists in the Northeast Region Understanding the Future of Red-Backed Salamanders as an Indicator of Future Forest Health Can Wildlife Species Evolve in Response to a Changing Climate? Informing Species Vulnerability Assessments Climate Effects on the Culture and Ecology of Sugar Maple An Assessment of Midwestern Lake and Stream Temperatures under Climate Change Climate Assessments and Scenario Planning (CLASP) Air Quality Impacts of Climate-Induced Changes on Forest Composition Evaluation of Downscaled Climate Modeling Techniques for the Northeast U.S.: A Case Study of Maple Syrup Production Integrating Climate Change into the State Wildlife Action Plans An Assessment of Midwestern Lake and Stream Temperatures under Climate Change Air Quality Impacts of Climate-Induced Changes on Forest Composition Supporting Cooperation Between Tribes and Climate Scientists in the Northeast Region Understanding the Future of Red-Backed Salamanders as an Indicator of Future Forest Health Can Wildlife Species Evolve in Response to a Changing Climate? Informing Species Vulnerability Assessments Climate Assessments and Scenario Planning (CLASP) Evaluation of Downscaled Climate Modeling Techniques for the Northeast U.S.: A Case Study of Maple Syrup Production Integrating Climate Change into the State Wildlife Action Plans Climate Effects on the Culture and Ecology of Sugar Maple