Project

Expanding our knowledge of winter limnology is critical for managing lakes , reservoirs, and all freshwater resources in a future with shorter winters and less lake ice. In temperate latitudes, we have largely ignored winter as a season that impacts ecological processes, and it is unclear what ramifications the loss of lake ice will have on lake ecosystems. This project will combine long-term observational datasets, high-frequency buoy data, and an experimental approach to understanding the role of light availability in under-ice productivity

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We worked with stakeholders to develop a series of climate change adaptation management strategies for forests in the Central Hardwoods and Gulf Coastal Plains and Ozarks region. Strategies focused on resistance, resilience, or transition of forests under climate change and vary the types of silvicultural practices considered and where and how much each practice occurs. We implemented strategies in a forest landscape-modeling framework and demonstrated the consequences of these alternative strategies on forest composition and structure in the region. The goal was to provide a large-scale perspective on the potential of forest adaptation strategies to address impacts of climate change on forests

Project

Climate change and the extreme weather associated with it can be a major challenge to landowners and land managers interested in the protection, restoration, recovery, and management of wetlands and wildlife habitats. The Midwest is not only experiencing an increase in average temperatures and precipitation, but also an increase in the frequency of extreme events, such as heat, floods, and drought. Forecasting the potential impacts of the changes over the next 25 to 50 years will be important for decision makers and landowners seeking to minimize the impacts to infrastructure and to the habitats themselves and prepare for the future. By providing maps of watersheds and protected areas at greatest risk of increased flooding, sedimentation and eutrophication, now and in the future, decision makers, landowners and land managers can consider options for modifying resource allocation, management strategies and/or changing infrastructure to provide protection for trust resources

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Black River Delta, WI, Public Domain - Credit
Project

The forests of the Northeastern United States are home to some of the greatest diversity of nesting songbirds in the country. Climate change, shifts in natural disturbance regimes, and invasive species pose threats to forest habitats and bird species in the northeastern United States and represent major challenges to natural resource managers.   Although broad adaptation approaches have been suggested for sustaining forested habitats under global change, it is unclear how effective the implementation of these strategies at local and regional scales will be for maintaining habitat conditions for a broad suite of forest-dependent bird species over time. Moreover, given the diversity in forest stakeholders across the Northeast region, it is unclear if the adaptation science needs for these stakeholders are fully captured by existing adaptation recommendations

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Adirondacks, NY - Credit: Alan Cressler
Project

Both lynx and marten occupancy is negatively impacted by competition from bobcats (lynx) and fisher and red fox (martens).Causes of vulnerability and resistance and reslilience strageies for wildlife and fisheries management.  Phase I: Determining causes of vulnerability- Completed The NE CASC has as part of its mission to conduct stakeholder-driven research to understand climate impacts on freshwater resources and land-use change as well as ecosystem vulnerability and species response to climate variability and change.  In the face of increasing temperatures, shifting precipitation patterns, and large uncertainty, natural resource managers need to assess vulnerability of species in order to develop adaptation options and conservation strategies. This research evaluated how shifting climate is directly and indirectly affecting mammal populations in the northeasten U.S

Project

The Brook Floater (Alasmidonta varicosa) is a stream-dwelling freshwater mussel native to the Atlantic Slope of the United States and Canada that has experienced large population declines over the last 50 years and is at high risk of extinction. This project will focus on strategies for achieving conservation for Brook Floater through multiple objectives: We will develop standardized surveys that will be conducted throughout partnering states to estimate abundances and predict occupancy of Brook Floater. We will develop species distribution models from the results of surveys from partnering states to inform future surveys and understand the habitat needs of Brook Floater.   We will develop propagation methods and build capacity for Brook Floater propagation throughout the range to aid in for population restoration. We will use structured decision making to focus monitoring design at the state and regional scale

Project

The monarch butterfly is in trouble - monarch butterfly habitat has declined throughout most of the United States. Population levels have also exhibited a long-term downward trend with empirical evidence suggesting that loss of habitat is a major factor amongst other threats in driving declines . Preliminary research results from the Monarch Conservation Science Partnership indicates that stabilizing monarch populations will require a "conservation strategy across all land types" - including urban areas. In an effort to connect people with nature in urban areas, the research aimed to answer how best to conserve monarchs in urban areas along the monarchs' central flyway that connects it's over wintering sites in central Mexico to the landscapes of the Midwest

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

Current and future hydrologic variability is a major driver underlying large-scale management and modification of inland waters and river systems. In a climate-altered future, identifying and implementing management actions that mitigate anticipated flow regime extremes will be an important component of climate adaptation strategies. These concerns will be particularly focused on extreme flows (floods and droughts) that have ecological, social, and economic importance, and whose impacts are inversely proportion to their frequency. Climate warming is expected to increase the frequency of extreme precipitation. It is critical for natural resources conservation that responses to these risks incorporate ‘green’ infrastructure which potentially benefit both ecosystems and human infrastructure

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Slow the Flow _schematic2.jpg
Project

Climate change-driven shifts in distribution and abundance are documented in many species. However, in order to better predict species responses, managers are seeking to understand the mechanisms that are driving these changes, including any thresholds that might soon be crossed. We leveraged the research that has already been supported by the Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (NE CASC) and its partners and 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. Moreover, we documented biological thresholds related to climate variability and change for critical species in the Northeastern and Midwestern U.S. Our objectives were to identify the primary drivers (e.g

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