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Climate change influences apex predators in complex ways, due to their important trophic position, capacity for resource plasticity, and sensitivity to numerous anthropogenic stressors. Bald eagles, an ecologically and culturally significant apex predator, congregate seasonally in high densities on salmon spawning rivers across the Pacific Northwest. One of the largest eagle concentrations is in the Skagit River watershed, which connects the montane wilderness of North Cascades National Park to the Puget Sound. Using multiple long-term datasets, we evaluated the relationship between local bald eagle abundance, chum and coho salmon availability and phenology, and the number and timing of flood events in the Skagit...
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Sport fisheries of lakes are embedded in complex system of ecological and social interactions. The multiple drivers that affect lake sport fisheries, along with the complex interactions within lakes, make it difficult to forecast changes in sport fisheries and plan adaptive responses to build resilience of these important resources. Resilience involves managing with an eye toward critical thresholds for behavior of ecosystems. Project researchers are working to develop quantitative tools for assessment of thresholds in sport fisheries that can be used by management agencies to evaluate potential impacts of climate change mediated through species and habitat interactions. Several outputs of the project will be adaptable...
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Streamflow in the Colorado River is heavily influenced by high-elevation snowpack. Warming temperatures in spring can reduce snow-fed flows, with serious implications for the water supplies that support communities and wildlife. While it is already well-known that precipitation has a significant influence on river flow, recent observations suggest that temperature and the amount of water in soil may also influence streamflow. In the face of a changing climate, it is important that resource managers understand how factors such as changing temperatures and precipitation will affect this vital water source. To address this need, researchers are examining records of streamflow, temperature, soil moisture, and precipitation...
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The 2017 fire season in California was highly unusual with its late seasonal timing, the areal extent it burned, and its devastation to communities. These fires were associated with extreme winds and were potentially also influenced by unusually dry conditions during several years leading up to the 2017 events. This fire season brought additional attention and emphasized the vital need for managers in the western U.S. to have access to scientific information on when and where to expect dangerous fire events. Understanding the multiple factors that cause extreme wildfire events is critical to short and long-term forecasting and planning. Seasonal climate measures such as temperature and precipitation are commonly...
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In the northern Gulf of Mexico, mangrove forests have been expanding their northern range limits in parts of Texas, Louisiana, and north Florida since 1989. In response to warming winter temperatures, mangroves, which are dominant in warmer climates, are expected to continue migrating northward at the expense of salt marshes, which fare better in cooler climates. The ecological implications and timing of mangrove expansion is not well understood, and coastal wetland managers need information and tools that will enable them to identify and forecast the ecological impacts of this shift from salt marsh to mangrove-dominated coastal ecosystems. To address this need, researchers will host workshops and leverage existing...
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Changing climate conditions such as increasing droughts, floods, and wildfires, hotter temperatures, declining snowpacks, and changes in the timing of seasonal events are already having an impact on wildlife and their habitats. In order to make forward-looking management decisions that consider ongoing and future projected changes in climate, managers require access to climate information that can be easily integrated into the planning process. Co-production, a process whereby scientists work closely with managers to identify and fill knowledge gaps, is an effective means of ensuring that science results will be directly useful to managers. Through a multi-phase project, researchers are implementing co-production...
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Climate change is causing an increase in the amount of forested area burned by wildfires in the western U.S. The warm, dry post-fire conditions of the region may limit tree regeneration in some areas, potentially causing a shift to non-forest vegetation. Managers are increasingly challenged by the combined impacts of greater wildfire activity, the significant uncertainty about whether forests will recover, and limited resources for reforestation efforts. Simultaneously, there has been an increased focus on post-fire reforestation efforts as tree planting has become a popular climate change mitigation strategy across the nation. Therefore, with increased interest and need, it is crucial to identify where varying...
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The distribution and abundance of cheatgrass, an invasive annual grass native to Eurasia, has increased substantially across the Intermountain West, including the Great Basin. Cheatgrass is highly flammable, and as it has expanded, the extent and frequency of fire in the Great Basin has increased by as much as 200%. These changes in fire regimes are associated with loss of the native sagebrush, grasses, and herbaceous flowering plants that provide habitat for many native animals, including Greater Sage-Grouse. Changes in vegetation and fire management have been suggested with the intent of conserving Greater Sage-Grouse. However, the potential responses of other sensitive-status birds to these changes in management...
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Grasslands in the northern Great Plains are important ecosystems that support local economies, tribal communities, livestock grazing, diverse plant and animal communities, and large-scale migrations of big game ungulates, grassland birds, and waterfowl. Climate change and variability impact how people and animals live on and interact with grasslands, and can bring more frequent droughts, fires, or new plant species that make managing these landscapes challenging. Understanding how climate change and variability will impact grassland ecosystems and their management in the 21st century first requires a synthesis of what is known across all of these scales and a gap analysis to identify key areas of focus for future...
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Recreational angling in the U.S. represents a large group of people that catch and harvest fish for a variety of reasons, including for relaxation, adventure, social motivations, and consumption. Collectively, recreational anglers can exert pressures on both economies and fishery resources. Fish removals by anglers represent an important source of mortality data when trying to understand fish populations, and this information is even more important when the fishery is dominated by recreational and subsistence fishing. Currently, the magnitude of recreational angling is measured at local scales (for example, at a specific lake or stream) and the process to collect information from anglers varies widely by state...
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Climate change is already affecting and will continue to impact the supply and demand of ecosystem goods and serivces (EGS) that are important for human well-being. Therefore, it is important to monitor trends and identify gaps in how climate change is incorporated into the assessment and management of these services. Systematic literature reviews play an important role in this process. For example, Runting et al. (2017) quantitatively synthesized how journal-published literature considered climate impacts in EGS assessments. Characterizing studies in a similar manner, our work examines assessments published since the November 2014 publication period included in Runting et al. (2017). These comparisons may reveal...
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Tribal resource managers in the southwest U.S. are facing a host of challenges related to environmental change, including increasing temperatures, longer periods of drought, and invasive species. These threats are exacerbating the existing challenges of managing complex ecosystems. In a rapidly changing environment, resource managers need powerful tools and the most complete information to make the most effective decisions possible. Traditional Ecological Knowledge has enabled Indigenous peoples to adaptively manage and thrive in diverse environments for thousands of years, yet it is generally underutilized and undervalued, particularly in the context of western scientific approaches. Traditional Ecological...
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Small lakes are important to local economies as sources of water supply and places of recreation. Commonly, lakes are considered more desirable for recreation if they are free of the thick weedy vegetation, often comprised of invasive species, that grows around the lake edge. This vegetation makes it difficult to launch boats and swim. In order to reduce this vegetation, a common technique in the Northeast and Midwest U.S. is a ‘winter drawdown’ . In a winter drawdown, the lake level is artificially lowered (via controls in a dam) during the winter to expose shoreline vegetation to freezing conditions, thereby killing them and preserving recreational value of the lake. However, this practice can impact both water...
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In Alaska, recent research has identified particular areas of the state where both a lack of soil moisture and warming temperatures increase the likelihood of wildfire. While this is an important finding, this previous research did not take into account the important role that melting snow, ice, and frozen ground (permafrost) play in replenshing soil moisture in the spring and summer months. This project will address this gap in the characterization of fire risk using the newly developed monthly water balance model (MWBM). The MWBM takes into account rain, snow, snowmelt, glacier ice melt, and the permafrost layer to better calculate soil moisture replenishment and the amount of moisture that is lost to the atmosphere...
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Throughout Alaska, land managers and rural communities are faced with developing climate adaptation strategies to prepare for changes in landscapes, ecosystems and terrestrial habitats and their associated resources and services. One of the greatest challenges for land use managers and stakeholders in Alaska is the discovery and accessibility of relevant scientific information and data. The effective dissemination and communication of science relies on improving access for stakeholders to discover research, management plans, and data within their geographic area of interest. To respond to this need, the Northwest Boreal Landscape Conservation Cooperative (NWBLCC) has launched the Northwest Boreal Science and Management...
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Changes in stream temperature can have significant impacts on water quality and the health and survival of aquatic fish and wildlife. Water managers, planners, and decision makers are in need of scientific data to help them prepare for and adapt to changes and conserve important resources. Scientists are tasked with ensuring that this data is produced in useful formats and is accessible to these stakeholders. In October 2015, project researchers hosted and facilitated a 1.5 day workshop, “Data Storage, Dissemination and Harvesting”, that brought together over 50 stakeholders from state and federal agencies, tribal governments, universities, and non-profit organizations interested in monitoring stream temperature...
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As a low-lying coastal nation, the Republic of the Marshall Islands is at the forefront of exposure to climate change impacts. The Republic of the Marshall Islands has a strong dependence on natural resources and biodiversity not only for food and income but also for culture and livelihood. However, these resources are threatened by rising sea levels and associated coastal hazards (storm surges, saltwater intrusion, erosion, etc.). High-quality data for atoll ‘ridge to reef’ (land and ocean) areas are needed to provide remote communities with the tools and strategies to make adaptation efforts before disasters occur. Although the Republic of the Marshall Islands’ National Strategic Plans recognize the need to...
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Landscape-scale conservation of threatened and endangered species is often challenged by multiple, sometimes conflicting, land uses. In Hawaiʻi, efforts to conserve native forests have come into conflict with objectives to sustain non-native game mammals, such as feral pigs, goats, and deer, for subsistence and sport hunting. Maintaining stable or increasing game populations represents one of the greatest obstacles to the recovery of Hawaii’s 425 threatened and endangered plant species. Many endemic Hawaiian species have declined and become endangered as a result of herbivorous non-native game mammals. Meanwhile, other environmental changes, including the spread of invasive grasses and changing precipitation patterns...
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The Pacific Ocean is home to a number of low-lying, coastal national parks and wildlife refuges. These public lands are situated on coral reef-lined islands that are susceptible to inundation from sea-level rise and flooding during storms. Because of their low-lying nature and limited availability of space, ecosystems, cultural resources, and infrastructure on these islands are particularly vulnerable to flooding. Sea-level rise will further exacerbate the impact of storms on island parks and refuges by increasing wave-driven coastal flooding, with consequences for ecological and human communities alike. However, most assessments of future conditions at coastal national parks and refuges consider only permanent...
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Modeling interactions between human and ecological systems is needed to identify pathways to meet multiple United Nations Sustainable Development Goals. Particularly important is the relationship between biodiversity, ecological processes, and ecosystem services. However, current models tend to ignore impacts of biodiversity on ecological processes. Existing models capture impacts of socio-economic activities on biodiversity or ecosystem services, but critically, links between biodiversity and ecosystem services are only weakly incorporated in most projections and hence in policy design. Knowledge of these relationships has improved, but is scattered across the literature, as are models addressing each component....


map background search result map search result map Examining the Influence of Temperature and Precipitation on Colorado River Water Resources: Reconstructing the Past to Understand the Future Climate Change and Resilience of Sport Fisheries in Lakes Relations Among Cheatgrass, Fire, Climate, and Sensitive-Status Birds across the Great Basin Improving Characterizations of Future Wildfire Risk in Alaska Prioritizing Stream Temperature Data Collection to Meet Stakeholder Needs and Inform Regional Analyses Northwest Boreal Science and Management Research Tool Enabling Climate-Informed Planning and Decisions about Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region: Phase 2 Preventing Extreme Fire Events by Learning from History: The Effects of Wind, Temperature, and Drought Extremes on Fire Activity Managing Non-native Game Mammals to Reduce Future Conflicts with Native Plant Conservation in Hawai‘i Identifying the Ecological and Management Implications of Mangrove Migration in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Synthesis of Climate Impacts and Adaptation on Grassland Ecosystems in the Northern Great Plains The Impact of Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise on Future Flooding of Coastal Parks and Refuges in Hawaiʻi and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands The Missing Link: Incorporating the Role of Biological Diversity into Projections of Ecosystem Services A Synthesis of Recent Links Between Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Supply and Demand One from Many: Combining State Creel Data to Estimate Regional Harvest Exploring the Past to Plan for the Future: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Paleoperspectives to Inform Climate Change Adaptation Science to Inform Post-fire Conifer Regeneration and Reforestation Strategies Under Changing Climate Conditions Rethinking Lake Management for Invasive Plants Under Future Climate: Sensitivity of Lake Ecosystems to Winter Water Level Drawdowns Enhancing Stakeholder Capacity for Coastal Inundation Assessments in the Marshall Islands Climate Change and Resilience of Sport Fisheries in Lakes Examining the Influence of Temperature and Precipitation on Colorado River Water Resources: Reconstructing the Past to Understand the Future Enhancing Stakeholder Capacity for Coastal Inundation Assessments in the Marshall Islands Preventing Extreme Fire Events by Learning from History: The Effects of Wind, Temperature, and Drought Extremes on Fire Activity Relations Among Cheatgrass, Fire, Climate, and Sensitive-Status Birds across the Great Basin Exploring the Past to Plan for the Future: Integrating Indigenous Knowledge and Paleoperspectives to Inform Climate Change Adaptation Science to Inform Post-fire Conifer Regeneration and Reforestation Strategies Under Changing Climate Conditions One from Many: Combining State Creel Data to Estimate Regional Harvest Rethinking Lake Management for Invasive Plants Under Future Climate: Sensitivity of Lake Ecosystems to Winter Water Level Drawdowns Enabling Climate-Informed Planning and Decisions about Species of Conservation Concern in the North Central Region: Phase 2 Synthesis of Climate Impacts and Adaptation on Grassland Ecosystems in the Northern Great Plains Identifying the Ecological and Management Implications of Mangrove Migration in the Northern Gulf of Mexico Northwest Boreal Science and Management Research Tool Improving Characterizations of Future Wildfire Risk in Alaska Prioritizing Stream Temperature Data Collection to Meet Stakeholder Needs and Inform Regional Analyses The Impact of Climate Change and Sea-Level Rise on Future Flooding of Coastal Parks and Refuges in Hawaiʻi and the U.S. Affiliated Pacific Islands The Missing Link: Incorporating the Role of Biological Diversity into Projections of Ecosystem Services A Synthesis of Recent Links Between Climate Change and Ecosystem Services Supply and Demand