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This ScienceBase space provides an array of USGS Series publications, journal articles, and other published references for the Gap Analysis Project (GAP). Information on GAP-related publications can also be found at: https://www.usgs.gov/core-science-systems/science-analytics-and-synthesis/gap/publications
Abstract (from PNAS): Recent decades have seen droughts across multiple US river basins that are unprecedented over the last century and potentially longer. Understanding the drivers of drought in a long-term context requires extending instrumental data with paleoclimatic data. Here, a network of new millennial-length streamflow reconstructions and a regional temperature reconstruction from tree rings place 20th and early 21st century drought severity in the Upper Missouri River basin into a long-term context. Across the headwaters of the United States’ largest river basin, we estimated region-wide, decadal-scale drought severity during the “turn-of-the-century drought” ca. 2000 to 2010 was potentially unprecedented...
Climate change is affecting species and ecosystems across the Northeast and Midwest U.S. Natural resource managers looking to maintain ecological function and species persistence have requested information to improve resource management in the face of climate change. Leveraging the research that has already been supported by the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center and its partners, this project used the latest modeling techniques combined with robust field data to examine the impact of specific climate variables, land use change, and species interactions on the future distribution and abundance of species of conservation concern. An interdisciplinary team worked to understand the mechanisms that are driving...
Abstract (from ScienceDirect ) Ecosystem accounts, as formalized by the System of Environmental-Economic Accounting Experimental Ecosystem Accounts (SEEA EEA), have been compiled in a number of countries, yet there have been few attempts to develop them for the U.S. We explore the potential for U.S. ecosystem accounting by compiling ecosystem extent, condition, and ecosystem services supply and use accounts for a 10-state region in the Southeast. The pilot accounts address air quality, water quality, biodiversity, carbon storage, recreation, and pollination for selected years from 2001 to 2015. Results illustrate how information from ecosystem accounts can contribute to policy and decision making. Using an example...
Abstract (from Nature Climate Change): In coming decades, warmer winters are likely to ease range constraints on many cold-limited forest insects1,2,3,4,5. Recent unprecedented expansion of the southern pine beetle (SPB, Dendroctonus frontalis) into New Jersey, New York and Connecticut in concert with warming annual temperature minima highlights the risk that this insect pest poses to the pine forests of the northern United States and Canada under continued climate change6. Here we present projections of northward expansion in SPB-suitable climates using a statistical bioclimatic range modelling approach and current-generation general circulation model output under Representative Concentration Pathways 4.5 and 8.5....
Abstract (from ZSL): The use of remote cameras is widespread in wildlife ecology, yet few examples exist of their utility for collecting environmental data. We used a novel camera trap method to evaluate the accuracy of gridded snow data in a mountainous region of the northeastern US. We were specifically interested in assessing (1) how snow depth observations from remote cameras compare with gridded climate data, (2) the sources of error associated with the gridded data and (3) the influence of spatial sampling on bias. We compared daily observations recorded by remote cameras with Snow Data Assimilation System (SNODAS ) gridded predictions using data from three winters (2014–2016). Snow depth observations were...
Climate change may facilitate the expansion of non-native invasive species (NIS) in aquatic and terrestrial systems. However, empirical evidence remains scarce and poorly synthesized at scales necessary for effective management. We conducted a literature synthesis to assess the state of research on the observed and predicted effects of climate change on a suite of 398 aquatic and terrestrial NIS now present in or a major threat to aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems of the Pacific Northwest (PNW), USA and British Columbia. Surprisingly, very few studies (n = 15) have investigated the observed effects of climate change on the distribution, abundance, spread, or impact of the focal NIS, with only five studies focusing...
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This report updates and revises the 2010 “ Status of Fish Habitats in the United States” that summarized initial results of a comprehensive national assessment of aquatic habitats at an unprecedented scale and level of detail. This 2015 report provides even greater detail and improves our knowledge of the condition of fish habitat in the United States. The 2010 inland streams assessment characterized fish habitat condition using stream fish data from more than 26,000 stream reaches, while the 2015 assessment was based on fish data from more than 39,000 stream reaches nationally. To increase accuracy, the 2015 inland stream assessment incorporated 12 additional human disturbance variables into the fish analysis when...
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Springer Link): Species-specific models of landscape capability (LC) can inform landscape conservation design. Landscape capability is “the ability of the landscape to provide the environment […] and the local resources […] needed for survival and reproduction […] in sufficient quantity, quality and accessibility to meet the life history requirements of individuals and local populations.” Landscape capability incorporates species’ life histories, ecologies, and distributions to model habitat for current and future landscapes and climates as a proactive strategy for conservation planning. We tested the ability of a set of LC models to explain variation in point occupancy and abundance for seven bird...
Abstract (from Springer Link): Conservation planning is increasingly using “coarse filters” based on the idea of conserving “nature’s stage”. One such approach is based on ecosystems and the concept of ecological integrity, although myriad ways exist to measure ecological integrity. To describe our ecosystem-based index of ecological integrity (IEI) and its derivative index of ecological impact (ecoImpact), and illustrate their applications for conservation assessment and planning in the northeastern United States. We characterized the biophysical setting of the landscape at the 30 m cell resolution using a parsimonious suite of settings variables. Based on these settings variables and mapped ecosystems, we computed...
Abstract (from Dendrochronologia): In the United States’ (US) Northern Rockies, synoptic pressure systems and atmospheric circulation drive interannual variation in seasonal temperature and precipitation. The radial growth of high-elevation trees in this semi-arid region captures this temperature and precipitation variability and provides long time series to contextualize instrumental-era variability in synoptic-scale climate patterns. Such variability in climate patterns can trigger extreme climate events, such as droughts, floods, and forest fires, which have a damaging impact on human and natural systems. We developed 11 tree-ring width (TRW) chronologies from multiple species and sites to investigate the seasonal...
Abstract (from Ecological Society of America): Predicting vegetation responses to increased future drought is challenging, owing to the complex interaction of multiple factors influencing both plant drought resistance and local climatic conditions, each of which may be subject to spatial and temporal heterogeneity. We conducted a detailed study of potential mechanisms underlying an elevational gradient in mortality that has characterized recent population declines of a threatened alpine plant, the Haleakalā silversword (Argyroxiphium sandwicense subsp. macrocephalum). We used a pair of greenhouse experiments staged at high and low elevations to test the influences of plasticity (to contrasting soil water availability...
One of the biggest challenges facing resource managers today is not knowing exactly when, where, or how climate change effects will unfold. To help federal land managers address this need, the North Central Climate Adaptation Science Center (NC CASC) has been working with the National Park Service (NPS) to pioneer an approach for incorporating climate science and scenario planning into NPS planning processes, in particular Resource Stewardship Strategies (RSS). These strategies serve as a long-range planning tool for a national park unit to achieve its desired natural and cultural resource conditions, and are used to guide a park’s full spectrum of resource-specific management plans and day-to-day management activities....
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from Nature Climate Change): Understanding global change processes that threaten species viability is critical for assessing vulnerability and deciding on appropriate conservation actions1. Here we combine individual-based2 and metapopulation models to estimate the effects of climate change on annual breeding productivity and population viability up to 2100 of a common forest songbird, the Acadian flycatcher (Empidonax virescens), across the Central Hardwoods ecoregion, a 39.5-million-hectare area of temperate and broadleaf forests in the USA. Our approach integrates local-scale, individual breeding productivity, estimated from empirically derived demographic parameters that vary with landscape and climatic...
Abstract (from Nature.com): Globally, our knowledge on lake fisheries is still limited despite their importance to food security and livelihoods. Here we show that fish catches can respond either positively or negatively to climate and land-use changes, by analyzing time-series data (1970–2014) for 31 lakes across five continents. We find that effects of a climate or land-use driver (e.g., air temperature) on lake environment could be relatively consistent in directions, but consequential changes in a lake-environmental factor (e.g., water temperature) could result in either increases or decreases in fish catch in a given lake. A subsequent correlation analysis indicates that reductions in fish catch was less likely...
Abstract (from DigitalCommons@University of Nebraska - Lincoln): Native American peoples of the Northern and Central Plains have long endured harsh climate conditions, such as floods and droughts, and they possess valuable traditional knowledges that have enhanced their resilience to these extreme events. However, in recent times, limited capacity to adapt to a rapidly changing climate combined with a lack of resources have increased tribes’ vulnerability to climate extremes and their associated impacts. In response, a number of projects have been developed to assist tribes with their self-identified climate- and drought-related needs, particularly in the context of on-reservation decision-making. In this case study,...
This document is a companion to the Resource Stewardship Strategy Development Guide, developed in 2019. This document provides a guide to more thoroughly address climate change in resource stewardship strategies through scenario planning. Scenario planning enables stakeholders to identify key climate sensitivities in resources and management concerns, examine a range of relevant and plausible future conditions, and explore management options that can be appropriate and effective across a range of potential futures. The intent of this guidance is to provide a repeatable methodology that the National Park Service can use to better incorporate scenarios and climate science into resource stewardship strategies.
Categories: Publication; Types: Citation
Abstract (from British Ecological Society): A central theme of range‐limit theory (RLT) posits that abiotic factors form high‐latitude/altitude limits, whereas biotic interactions create lower limits. This hypothesis, often credited to Charles Darwin, is a pattern widely assumed to occur in nature. However, abiotic factors can impose constraints on both limits and there is scant evidence to support the latter prediction. Deviations from these predictions may arise from correlations between abiotic factors and biotic interactions, as a lack of data to evaluate the hypothesis, or be an artifact of scale. Combining two tenets of ecology—niche theory and predator–prey theory—provides an opportunity to understand how...
Abstract (from Science Direct): Urban development is a principal driver of landscape change affecting the integrity of ecological systems and the capacity of the landscape to support species. We developed an urban growth model (SPRAWL), evaluated it with hindcasting, and used it to simulate urban growth across the northeastern United States between 2010 and 2080 under four alternative scenarios. In the model, urban growth is constrained by demand for new development for each time step at the subregional scale. Demand is subsequently allocated to local application panes (5 km on a side within 15 km window) using a unique landscape context matching algorithm, such that the more historical development that occurred...
Abstract (from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/26990459): There is intense interest in basic and applied ecology about the effect of global change on current and future species distributions. Projections based on widely used static modeling methods implicitly assume that species are in equilibrium with the environment and that detection during surveys is perfect. We used multiseason correlated detection occupancy models, which avoid these assumptions, to relate climate data to distributional shifts of Louisiana Waterthrush in the North American Breeding Bird Survey (BBS) data. We summarized these shifts with indices of range size and position and compared them to the same indices obtained using more basic modeling...


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