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Folders: ROOT > ScienceBase Catalog > National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers > Midwest CASC > FY 2020 Projects ( Show all descendants )

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Moose are an economically and culturally important species in Minnesota. Like many species, however, moose are experiencing reductions in distribution and abundance across the Midwest as a result of climate change and habitat loss. Moose populations have declined by 60% since 2006, in part because of thermal heat stress in warming summers and increased frequency of contact with white-tailed deer that transmit fatal parasites. Forest managers are looking for actionable strategies to improve moose habitat in the near-term while also planning for future forest conditions in a warming climate. To address this need, this project brings together researchers and managers to examine how climate adaptive forest management...
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Global concern of an “insect apocalypse” is fueling demand for large-scale, long-term studies of insect population dynamics. Butterflies associated with open habitat, like prairies and grasslands, have long been identified as species of concern in the Midwest. The iconic monarch butterfly, which serves as a flagship for both migration and insect conservation, is one such species of conservation concern and is currently under consideration for federal listing under the Endangered Species Act. Recent analyses suggest that common, widespread species may also be declining. Yet robust evidence for general declines is patchy and the causes are difficult to discern. Understanding the relative importance of climate, land...
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Species Status Assessments provide vital information to US Fish and Wildlife for improving considerations for climate change impacts. In the constrained timeline of species listing decisions, it is not always feasible to conduct lengthy quantitative analyses so there is a need for better resources to provide input for rapid decision-making. In this project, the team will work with species status assessment teams to address direct and indirect effects of climate change on priority species chosen through conversations with US Fish and Wildlife regional offices. This project aims to provide an overview of the direct and indirect effects of climate change on species life cycle, survival, species interactions, and habitat...
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Manoomin, or wild rice, is an essential, sacred species for Native people throughout the Upper Great Lakes region, who have relied on the plant for food and ceremony for hundreds of years. Manoomin is also important to non-Native people, who also harvest it and benefit from the wildlife sustained by it. Manoomin is an indicator of ecosystem health—if manoomin is healthy so is the surrounding ecosystem. Unfortunately, this aquatic grass has declined across much of its range due to multiple human-caused stressors, including changes to water levels in the lakes and streams in which manoomin grows. Climate change will further disrupt water levels, most directly through changes in precipitation, but also through climate-driven...
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Under shifting temperatures and precipitation patterns, Midwestern states are increasingly at risk from non-native invasive plants that are changing the composition, structure, and function of native forests. Non-native invasive plants impact the resilience and sustainability of forest communities by outcompeting native tree seedlings and diverse flowering plants, and by altering ecologically important patterns of natural processes like fire, wind, drought, and flooding. Land managers facing this threat are having to not only consider current non-native invasive plants within their landscapes but also future impacts with the expansion of these plants northward and westward under a changing climate, especially as...
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Yellow perch and alewife are ecologically, economically, and culturally important fish species in Lake Michigan whose populations support recreational and commercial fisheries. However, both of these species’ populations have been in decline for over 20 years. This project seeks to understand the factors affecting variability in offspring survival of yellow perch and alewife in Lake Michigan in order to project survival under scenarios of future climate change. Like other fish species, yellow perch and alewives produce huge numbers of small offspring, but most die early in life. Small changes in survival at this early stage can have a strong impact on the number of fish that ultimately contribute to fisheries....
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Stream fish are in peril from a changing climate, particularly for species with restricted distributions or populations on the southern edge of their range. For these fish, the opportunity to escape warming temperatures is limited by the network of stream channels accessible to them. To deal with temperatures beyond their physical capacity, fishes must move, adapt, or die. However, little is known for many of these species about their preferred temperatures, critical temperature limits, or capacity to adapt to or tolerate increasing temperatures. Researchers will measure the preferred temperatures and tolerance of two stream fish that are vulnerable to climate change: the Ozark Shiner and the Blacknose Shiner. The...
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The Prairie Pothole Region is recognized as one of the most productive areas for waterfowl in North America and supports an estimated 50–80 % of the continent’s duck population. This important habitat is threatened by climate change and continued land-use change. The goal of this research is to establish a framework for assessing future impacts of climate and land-use change on Prairie Pothole wetland ecosystems in Minnesota and Iowa to better assist wetland managers in planning conservation actions. Historically, the southeast portion of the US Prairie Pothole Region in Minnesota and Iowa has faced some of the greatest challenges in wetland conservation. While advances have been made to restore these habitats,...
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Forests across the U.S. are experiencing unprecedented tree mortality caused by a variety of stressors, including invasive insects, disease, extreme weather, wildfires, and droughts. For example, the emerald ash borer, a nonnative insect, has killed tens of millions of trees in the Lake States region of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and Michigan alone in the past decade. Tree die offs alter the structure of forests, making them less-suitable habitat for many species, and decrease their ability to perform important ecosystem functions, such as carbon sequestration. Climate change further threatens already damaged forests, as shifting temperature and precipitation conditions alter species’ range limits. To prevent additional...
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Fisheries managers in Midwestern lakes and reservoirs are tasked with balancing multiple management objectives to help maintain healthy fish populations across a landscape of diverse lakes. As part of this, managers monitor fish growth and survival. Growth rates in particular are indicators of population health, and directly influence the effectiveness of regulations designed to protect spawning fish or to promote trophy fishing opportunities. Growth, combined with reproduction and survival, also determines the amount of fish biomass available for harvest, known as population production. Changing water temperatures can influence growth and production of managed fish species in multiple complex ways, increasing the...
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Cyanobacteria blooms are one of the most significant management challenges in the Great Lakes today. Recurring blooms of varying toxicity are commonly observed in four of the Great Lakes, and the fifth, Lake Superior, has experienced intermittent nearshore blooms since 2012. The recent advent of cyanobacterial blooms in Lake Superior is disconcerting, given the highly valued, pristine water quality of the large lake. It is possible that the ecological state of Lake Superior is shifting and that we are witnessing the beginnings of larger and longer lasting bloom events. As a public resource, the coastal water quality of Lake Superior has tremendous economic, public health, and environmental value, and therefore,...
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Aquatic invasive species threaten our lakes, streams, and wetlands. These species not only change the biology within the waterbody, but they can change the way we use those waterbodies and the resources they produce. Those changes may have large economic impacts, such as direct management costs and indirect costs to fisheries, tourism and commerce. These species can be small like zebra mussels or large like Asian carp, but one thing they have in common is being difficult to manage and to prevent further spread. To help inform control measures for aquatic invasive species, local, state, and federal natural resource management agencies have been working to develop risk assessments to understand the potential spread...
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Stocking, or raising fish in hatcheries and releasing them into a body of water, is routinely used to supplement or maintain fisheries when natural populations are low or nonexistent. Demand for stocking cool and coldwater fish species that support important fisheries will likely increase as a result of climate change, but fish available for stocking are a limited resource. Consequently, climate change will likely affect supply-and-demand tradeoffs associated with stocking fish in the future, where demand for fish is likely to exceed supply. Researchers will examine supply-and-demand tradeoffs using walleye, which represent an ideal species for this assessment because they are a native coolwater species supporting...
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Waterfowl are of substantial economic and cultural importance, with over 1 million hunters contributing approximately $700 million in total expenditures to local and regional economies annually. However, shifts or expansions in waterfowl distribution driven by the interacting effects of a warming climate, changes in habitat resources, and altered anthropogenic pressures will present challenges to effective management and conservation. Understanding historical changes in waterfowl distributions and the associated drivers of these changes would improve the ability of natural resource managers to anticipate future changes and develop more adaptive conservation and management approaches for potential shifts in waterfowl...


    map background search result map search result map Understanding and Forecasting Potential Recruitment of Lake Michigan Fishes Exploring the Potential for Adaptive Tree Plantings to Restore and Sustain Forest Habitats Across the Upper Lake States Can Climate Change Mitigation Through Forest Management Save the Moose in Minnesota? Climate, Storms, and the Drivers of Cyanobacteria Blooms in Lake Superior Quantifying the Impacts of Climate Change on Fish Growth and Production to Enable Sustainable Management of Diverse Inland Fisheries Modeling the Interaction of Forest Management and Climate Change on the Spread and Impact of Non-Native Invasive Plants Supply-and-Demand Dynamics Associated with Using Stocking to Maintain Walleye Fisheries in the Face of Climate Change Impacts of Climate Change on Vegetation, Ecohydrology, and Management of Manoomin (Wild Rice) Watersheds The Impact of Future Climate on Wetland Habitat in a Critical Migratory Waterfowl Corridor of the Prairie Pothole Region Linking Stream Fish Thermal Ecology and Adaptive Capacity to Inform Watershed-Based Management and Species Status Assessments Identifying Effects of Weather and Land Use on Autumn and Winter Waterfowl Distribution Dynamics in the 21st Century Scoping the Feasibility of Incorporating Climate Change into Risk Assessments of Aquatic Invasive Species in the Upper Midwest Evaluating the Role of Climate on Midwestern Butterfly Trajectories, Monarch Declines, and the Broader “Insect Apocalypse” Characterizing Climate Change Impacts on Species Ecology to Support Species Status Assessments Climate, Storms, and the Drivers of Cyanobacteria Blooms in Lake Superior Can Climate Change Mitigation Through Forest Management Save the Moose in Minnesota? Modeling the Interaction of Forest Management and Climate Change on the Spread and Impact of Non-Native Invasive Plants Impacts of Climate Change on Vegetation, Ecohydrology, and Management of Manoomin (Wild Rice) Watersheds Linking Stream Fish Thermal Ecology and Adaptive Capacity to Inform Watershed-Based Management and Species Status Assessments Exploring the Potential for Adaptive Tree Plantings to Restore and Sustain Forest Habitats Across the Upper Lake States Scoping the Feasibility of Incorporating Climate Change into Risk Assessments of Aquatic Invasive Species in the Upper Midwest Understanding and Forecasting Potential Recruitment of Lake Michigan Fishes Quantifying the Impacts of Climate Change on Fish Growth and Production to Enable Sustainable Management of Diverse Inland Fisheries Evaluating the Role of Climate on Midwestern Butterfly Trajectories, Monarch Declines, and the Broader “Insect Apocalypse” Supply-and-Demand Dynamics Associated with Using Stocking to Maintain Walleye Fisheries in the Face of Climate Change The Impact of Future Climate on Wetland Habitat in a Critical Migratory Waterfowl Corridor of the Prairie Pothole Region Identifying Effects of Weather and Land Use on Autumn and Winter Waterfowl Distribution Dynamics in the 21st Century Characterizing Climate Change Impacts on Species Ecology to Support Species Status Assessments