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Assessing the impact of flow alteration on aquatic ecosystems has been identified as a critical area of research nationally and in the Southeast U.S. This project aimed to address the Ecohydrology Priority Science Need of the SE CSC FY2012 Annual Science Work Plan by developing an inventory and evaluation of current efforts and knowledge gaps in hydrological modeling for flow-­â€ecology science in global change impact studies across the Southeast. To accomplish this goal, we completed a thorough synthesis and evaluation of hydrologic modeling efforts in the Southeast region (including all states of the Southeastern Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (SEAFWA) including Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Georgia, Kentucky,...
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Coastal wetlands and the many beneficial services they provide (e.g., purifying water, buffering storm surge, providing habitat) are changing and disappearing as a result of sea-level rise brought about by climate change. Scientists have developed a wealth of information and resources to predict and aid decision-making related to sea-level rise. However, while some of these resources are easily accessible by coastal managers, many others require more expert knowledge to understand or utilize. The goal of this project was to collate science and models pertaining to the effects of sea-level on coastal wetlands into a format that would be accessible and useful to resource managers. Researchers conducted training sessions...
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The Climate Adaptation Science Centers (CASCs) partner with natural and cultural resource managers, tribes and indigenous communities, and university researchers to provide science that helps fish, wildlife, ecosystems, and the communities they support adapt to climate change. The CASCs provide managers and stakeholders with information and decision-making tools to respond to the effects of climate change. While each CASC works to address specific research priorities within their respective region, CASCs also collaborate across boundaries to address issues within shared ecosystems, watersheds, and landscapes.
Detecting change in ecosystems requires observations of living and non-living components over time. Many different organizations make observations that are relevant to understanding global change processes, but the data are often not easily discoverable by other interested scientists and managers. This project pulls into a centralized location information about many of these observational networks. This phase of the project enhanced a pilot publicly available web-based portal that provides a means to discover, search, and connect to many types of environmental and biological data collected in the southeastern United States that are relevant to characterizing potential effects of climate and land use change on land,...
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In the Southeast, where rapid human development is increasingly dividing natural areas, habitat fragmentation and loss threaten the health and even genetic viability of wildlife populations, and interrupt migration routes. Climate change is projected to exacerbate fragmentation by further disrupting landscapes. To make matters worse, it is also expected to shift the range of many species, forcing animals capable of adapting by moving to expand into new areas to find more suitable temperatures and adequate food supplies – a challenge made difficult, if not impossible, by disconnected landscapes. Maintaining connectivity between habitats is a key strategy for conserving wildlife populations into the future, and sound...
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Climate change is likely to have many effects on natural ecosystems in the Southeast U.S. While there is information available to conservation managers and ecologists from the global climate models (GCMs), this information is at too coarse a resolution for use in vulnerability assessments and decision making. To better assess how climate change could affect multiple sectors, including ecosystems, climatologists have created several downscaled climate projections that contain information from GCMs translated to regional or local scales. There are a number of techniques that can be used to create downscaled climate projections, and the number of available downscaled climate projections present challenges to users...
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Detecting change in ecosystems requires observations of living and non-living components over time. Many different organizations make observations that are relevant to understanding global change processes, but the data are often not easily discoverable by other interested scientists and managers. This project aimed to pull into a centralized location information about many of these observational networks. In this phase of the project, a publicly available web-based portal was developed that provides a means to discover, search, and connect to many types of environmental and biological data collected in the southeastern United States that are relevant to characterizing potential effects of climate and land use change...
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The southeastern U.S. contains a unique diversity of ecosystems that provide important benefits, including habitat for rare wildlife and plants, improved water quality, and recreation opportunities. Understanding how climate change will affect these ecosystems is vital for knowing how best to protect them and the services they supply. The goal of this project was to assess the climate change vulnerability of 12 key ecosystems in the southeastern U.S. and Caribbean, ranging from Caribbean coastal mangrove to Nashville Basin limestone glade and woodland. Scientists used the existing scientific literature and geospatial analysis to determine each ecosystem’s sensitivity to changes in climate, its exposure level to...
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Coastal wetlands purify water, protect coastal communities from storms, sequester (store) carbon, and provide habitat for fish and wildlife. They are also vulnerable to climate change. In particular, changes in winter climate (warmer temperatures and fewer freeze events) may transform coastal wetlands in the northern Gulf of Mexico, as mangrove forests are expected to expand their range and replace salt marshes. The objective of this research was to evaluate the ecological implications of mangrove forest migration and salt marsh displacement. As part of this project, researchers identified important thresholds for ecosystem changes and highlighted coastal areas in the southeastern U.S. (e.g., Texas, Louisiana,...
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We routinely encounter uncertainty when we make decisions – from picking a new morning coffee to choosing where to live. Even decisions that are supported by science contain some level of remaining uncertainty. In the context of conservation and wildlife management, the potential for uncertainty to influence decisions is perhaps most obvious when we think about predicting how actions (or non-actions) will have lasting impacts into the future. Our abilities to precisely predict future climatic and ecological conditions and determine the exact consequences of our actions are, and will remain, limited. Conservation practitioners and land and wildlife managers must navigate these challenges to make science-informed...


    map background search result map search result map Understanding Habitat Connectivity to Inform Conservation Decisions Ecological Implications of Mangrove Forest Migration in the Southeastern U.S. Assessing Climate-Sensitive Ecosystems in the Southeastern U.S. Evaluating Downscaled Climate Models for Projecting Future Changes in the Southeast A Handbook for Resource Managers to Understand and Utilize Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Wetland Models Turning Uncertainty into Useful Information for Conservation Decisions Development of the Global Change Monitoring Portal: A Tool for Providing Resource Managers with Global Change Monitoring Data Across the Southeast 2018 CASC Regions Ecological Implications of Mangrove Forest Migration in the Southeastern U.S. Evaluating Downscaled Climate Models for Projecting Future Changes in the Southeast A Handbook for Resource Managers to Understand and Utilize Sea-Level Rise and Coastal Wetland Models Understanding Habitat Connectivity to Inform Conservation Decisions Turning Uncertainty into Useful Information for Conservation Decisions Development of the Global Change Monitoring Portal: A Tool for Providing Resource Managers with Global Change Monitoring Data Across the Southeast Assessing Climate-Sensitive Ecosystems in the Southeastern U.S. 2018 CASC Regions