Project

Plants and animals undergo certain recurring life-cycle events, such as migrations between summer and winter habitats or the annual blooming of plants. Known as phenology, the timing of these events is very sensitive to changes in climate (and changes in one species’ phenology can impact entire food webs and ecosystems). Shifts in phenology have been described as a “fingerprint” of the temporal and spatial responses of wildlife to climate change impacts. Thus, phenology provides one of the strongest indicators of the adaptive capacity of organisms or the ability of organisms to cope with future environmental conditions. In this study, researchers explored how the timing and occurrence of a number of highly migratory marine animals is changing due to a series of climatic and ecological shifts

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Gulf of Maine - Credit: Michelle Staudinger, USGS
Project

A large portion of the U.S. population lives in coastal areas along the Atlantic and Gulf coasts and the Caribbean; however, our coasts are also home to many fish, wildlife, and plant species that are important for recreation, tourism, local economies, biodiversity, and healthy coastal ecosystems. Coastal habitats also provide protective ecosystem services to human communities, which are increasingly at risk to storms and sea level rise under future climate change. Understanding how climate change will impact natural and human communities is a crucial part of decision making and management related to the protection of our coasts

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Threshold Table for Coastal Species and Habitats
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