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Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass, productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000–2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region...
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For management agencies, there is a growing need to understand (1) how climate change affects and will continue to affect wildlife populations of conservation concern, and (2) how the negative Upper Midwest Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative Request for Funding 2013 demographic effects of climate change can be mitigated through management strategies. Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA) integrates available data and scientific understanding in a transparent process, details assumptions and uncertainties, and ultimately projects population-level responses of target species to future climate change. Climate change is already influencing distributions and abundances of species throughout North...
Full life-cycle vulnerability assessments are identifying the effects of climate change on nongame migratory birds that are of conservation concern and breed in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. Full life-cycle analyses are critical, as current efforts likely underestimate the vulnerability of migratory land birds due to a focus on assessing only one component of the annual cycle. The approach provides a framework for integrating exposure to climate changes, sensitivity to these changes, and the potential for adaptation in both winter and summer seasons, and accounts for carry-over effects from one season to another. The results of this work will inform regional management by highlighting both local and...
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Within the time frame of the longevity of tree species, climate change will change faster than the ability of natural tree migration. Migration lags may result in reduced productivity and reduced diversity in forests under current management and climate change. We evaluated the efficacy of planting climate-suitable tree species (CSP), those tree species with current or historic distributions immediately south of a focal landscape, to maintain or increase aboveground biomass, productivity, and species and functional diversity. We modeled forest change with the LANDIS-II forest simulation model for 100 years (2000–2100) at a 2-ha cell resolution and five-year time steps within two landscapes in the Great Lakes region...
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Comprehensive wetland inventories are an essential tool for wetland management, but developing and maintaining an inventory is expensive and technically challenging. Funding for these efforts has also been problematic. Here we describe a large-area application of a semi-automated processused to update a wetland inventory for east-central Minnesota. The original inventory for this area was the product of a laborintensive, manual photo-interpretation process. The present application incorporated high resolution, multi-spectral imagery from multiple seasons; high resolution elevation data derived from lidar; satellite radar imagery; and other GIS data. Map production combined image segmentation and random forest classification...
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Completion of the National Wildlife Inventory has been identified as a top science priority for the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes-LCC (UMGL). Some areas of Minnesota and Wisconsin still have not been mapped to NWI standards. Completion of NWI is integral to developing geospatial models based on landscape-level land use. Completion of NWI will also aid in monitoring of wetlands to assess effects of climate change. Funding for this project has been leveraged with several other larger projects to improve digital wetland mapping infrastructure for Michigan, Minnesota and Wisconsin. This project is targeting a portions of Wisconsin, at least six counties, for digital conversion and updating of Wetland Inventory maps....
Conservation planning aims to optimize outcomes for select species or ecosystems by directing resources toward high-return sites. The possibility that local benefits might be increased by directing resources beyond the focal area is rarely considered. We present a case study of restoring river connectivity for migratory fish of the Great Lakes Basin by removing dams and road crossings within municipal jurisdictions versus their broader watersheds. We found that greater river connectivity could often be achieved by considering both intra-jurisdictional and extra-jurisdictional barriers. Focusing on jurisdictional barriers alone generally forfeited <20 (median = 0%) of habitat gains for those who value solely habitat...
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As a major threat to global biodiversity, climate change will alter where and how we manage conservation lands (e.g., parks, refuges, wildlife management areas, natural areas). As a new challenge with high uncertainty, many conservation practitioners have yet to consider how to minimize their greenhouse gas contributions (i.e., mitigation), or reduce the vulnerability of natural systems to climatechange (i.e., adaptation). This is particularly true for conservation land managers; because they are often pressed for time and resources, few have initiated long-term climate change planning and amended management activities. Furthermore, where available, climate change guidance is often coarse-level, vague, and beyond...
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As a major threat to global biodiversity, climate change will alter where and how we manage conservation lands (e.g., parks, refuges, wildlife management areas, natural areas). As a new challenge with high uncertainty, many conservation practitioners have yet to consider how to minimize their greenhouse gas contributions (i.e., mitigation), or reduce the vulnerability of natural systems to climate change (i.e., adaptation). This is particularly true for conservation land managers; because they are often pressed for time and resources, few have initiated long-term climate change planning and amended management activities. Furthermore, where available, climate change guidance is often coarse-level, vague, and beyond...
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Researchers assessed how an expansion of forest reserves and climate-adaptive management may improve ecological connectivity and resilience under different climate scenarios. Resilience is measured as the capacity for these systems to maintain extant forest communities and aboveground live biomass. Forest landscape change was simulated via a spatially explicit forest ecosystem model, LANDIS-II. Simulations covered areas in northern Minnesota and northern lower Michigan that represent northern Great Lakes forest types. Restoring and maintaining ecological connectivity is one of the primary climate change adaptation strategies available to land managers, in addition to silvicultural practices. This study is...
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The concept of adaptive management provides a set of good business principles to guide strategic habitat conservation, but these principles are only useful if they are put into practice through a complimentary set of business operations. To that end, if conservation is going to be successful operating at landscape scales, the conservation community must start thinking and functioning like a conservation enterprise. Much more emphasis must be placed on developing and supporting business operations that facilitate the flow of information and other resources at landscape scales. Just like successful national and global businesses, we need to develop an information supply chain to support the communication, coordination,...
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Climate change is expected to alter the distributions and community composition of stream fishes in the Great Lakes region in the 21st century, in part as a result of altered hydrological systems (stream temperature, streamflow, and habitat). Resource managers need information and tools to understand where fish species and stream habitats are expected to change under future conditions. Fish sample collections and environmental variables from multiple sources across the United States Great Lakes Basin were integrated and used to develop empirical models to predict fish species occurrence under present-day climate conditions. Random Forests models were used to predict the probability of occurrence of 13 lotic fish...
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Natural resource agencies in the Upper Midwest are facing difficult decisions concerning how to effectively support climate change adaptation and prepare managers for current and future stressors. An initial aspect of this project resulted in completion of a report: Management Options for Conservation Lands in an Era of Climate Change, in which the authors examine the current literature on climate change adaptation objectives, strategies, and actions that are feasible to implement in ecosystems of the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes. Yet, there is limited understanding of the factors that constrain and promote climate change adaptation by local land managers. We utilized a mixed-methods approach, which included a...
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For management agencies, there is a growing need to understand (1) how climate change affects and will continue to affect wildlife populations of conservation concern, and (2) how the negative Upper Midwest Great Lakes Landscape Conservation Cooperative Request for Funding 2013 demographic effects of climate change can be mitigated through management strategies. Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment (CCVA) integrates available data and scientific understanding in a transparent process, details assumptions and uncertainties, and ultimately projects population-level responses of target species to future climate change. Climate change is already influencing distributions and abundances of species throughout North...
Full life-cycle vulnerability assessments are identifying the effects of climate change on nongame migratory birds that are of conservation concern and breed in the upper Midwest and Great Lakes region. Full life-cycle analyses are critical, as current efforts likely underestimate the vulnerability of migratory land birds due to a focus on assessing only one component of the annual cycle. The approach provides a framework for integrating exposure to climate changes, sensitivity to these changes, and the potential for adaptation in both winter and summer seasons, and accounts for carry-over effects from one season to another. The results of this work will inform regional management by highlighting both local and...
Ecological connectivity between the Great Lakes and their tributaries is widely impaired, and many agencies and organizations are currently investing in restoring these connections to enhance target fish and wildlife populations. To assist in targeting these investments, we have been developing spatial data on the location and attributes of barriers (dams and road-stream crossings) and fish breeding habitat throughout the Great Lakes basin to analyze the optimum strategy for enhancing connectivity and restoring fish migrations. The proposed work will result in guidance for barrier restoration at scales from individual watersheds to the entire basin, refine methodologies for spatial analysis of barriers, and provide...
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Climate change is expected to alter the distributions and community composition of stream fishes in the Great Lakes region in the 21st century, in part as a result of altered hydrological systems (stream temperature, streamflow, and habitat). Resource managers need information and tools to understand where fish species and stream habitats are expected to change under future conditions. Fish sample collections and environmental variables from multiple sources across the United States Great Lakes Basin were integrated and used to develop empirical models to predict fish species occurrence under present-day climate conditions. Random Forests models were used to predict the probability of occurrence of 13 lotic fish...
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Climate change is expected to drastically change the environmental conditions which forests depend. Lags in tree species movements will likely be outpaced by a more rapidly changing climate. This may result in species extirpation, a change in forest structure, and a decline in resistance and resilience (i.e., the ability to persist and recover from external perturbations, respectively). In the northern Great Lakes region of North America, an ecotone exists along the boreal-temperate transition zone where large changes in species composition exist across a climate gradient. Increasing temperatures are observed in the more southern landscapes. As climate change is expected to substantially affect mid-continental landscapes,...
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There is mounting concern that climate change will lead to the collapse of cyclic population dynamics, yet the influence of climate variability on population cycling remains poorly understood. We hypothesized that variability in survival and fecundity, driven by climate variability at different points in the life cycle, scales up from local populations to drive regional characteristics of population cycling and spatial synchronization.
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In total this project has developed digital wetland inventory and habitat data for ten counties within and around the Great Lakes watershed of Wisconsin. Digital data has now been completed for the following counties: Sawyer, Sauk, Barron, Polk, Langlade, Menominee, Price, Shawano, Taylor, and Winnebago.


map background search result map search result map Regional decision support tool for identifying vulnerabilities of riverine habitat and fishes to climate change Developing a Portfolio of Mitigation and Adaption Options for Land Managers in the Upper Great Lakes Moderization of National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) mapping Scenarios for forest reserve expansion and adaptive management under alternative climate change scenarios in the northern Great Lakes Report: Great Lakes Information Management and Delivery System Report: Regional decision support tool for identifying vulnerabilities of riverine habitat and fishes to climate change Report: Management Options for Conservation Lands in an Era of Climate Change Report: Barriers and Opportunities to Managing for Disturbance and Environmental Change in the Upper Midwest Report: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Species of Conservation Concern: Distributions and Demographics Across a Landscape Conservation Cooperative Publication: Climate variability drives population cycling and synchrony Report: A Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake Publication: A Semi-Automated, Multi-Source Data Fusion Update of aWetland Inventory for East-Central Minnesota Report: Digital Conversion of Updated Wisconsin Wetland Inventory Dissertation: Resistance and Resilience of Northern Great Lakes Forests to the Effects of Climate Change Publication: Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests Publication: Climate change effects on northern Great Lake (USA) forests: A case for preserving diversity Moderization of National Wetlands Inventory (NWI) mapping Publication: A Semi-Automated, Multi-Source Data Fusion Update of aWetland Inventory for East-Central Minnesota Report: Digital Conversion of Updated Wisconsin Wetland Inventory Scenarios for forest reserve expansion and adaptive management under alternative climate change scenarios in the northern Great Lakes Dissertation: Resistance and Resilience of Northern Great Lakes Forests to the Effects of Climate Change Publication: Measuring and managing resistance and resilience under climate change in northern Great Lake forests Publication: Climate change effects on northern Great Lake (USA) forests: A case for preserving diversity Developing a Portfolio of Mitigation and Adaption Options for Land Managers in the Upper Great Lakes Report: Management Options for Conservation Lands in an Era of Climate Change Report: Barriers and Opportunities to Managing for Disturbance and Environmental Change in the Upper Midwest Regional decision support tool for identifying vulnerabilities of riverine habitat and fishes to climate change Report: Regional decision support tool for identifying vulnerabilities of riverine habitat and fishes to climate change Report: Great Lakes Information Management and Delivery System Report: Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for Species of Conservation Concern: Distributions and Demographics Across a Landscape Conservation Cooperative Publication: Climate variability drives population cycling and synchrony Report: A Climate Change Vulnerability Assessment for the Eastern Massasauga Rattlesnake