Project

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

Forests in the Eastern United States are in the early- and mid-successional stages recovering from historical land use. Succession, harvest, and climate are potentially important factors affecting forest composition and structure in the region. The goal of this project was to predict the distribution and abundance of dominant tree species across portions of the Eastern U.S. under alternative climate scenarios from present to the end of the century. We used the forest landscape change LANDIS PRO and hybrid empirical-physiological ecosystem model LINKAGES to model changes in forest biomass and species abundances and distribution in the North Atlantic region of the U.S. while accounting for climate change, succession, and harvest. Three climate scenarios were considered, defined by a general circulation model and emission scenario: PCM B1, CGCM A2, and GFDL A1FI

Project

We used a Bayesian hierarchical modeling framework to evaluate land cover and climate relationships with abundance of avian species with varying habitat requirements across the Midwestern U.S. based on North American Breeding Bird Survey data.  We then linked these models to landscape change and climate models to evaluate potential long-term impacts on birds and evaluate proposed conservation activities to mitigate negative impacts associated with climate change. This research predicted large scale patterns in bird abundance for conservation planning

Project

We are investigating the effects of climate on multiple aspects of bird demography, including nest success, per nest productivity, juvenile survival, adult survival, and species viability.  We are using a long term data set on bird nesting success and new and existing data on juvenile and adult survival to discover climate effects on productivity and we are developing modeling approaches to predict regional species viability. This work discovers direct and indirect effects of climate on bird demographics to infom vulnerability assessments and conservation planning. We are actively working with the Gulf Coast Plains and Ozarks LCC and the Central Hardwoods All Bird Joint Venture to ensure our results are useful for conservation planning in the region. Our results will be used to guide climate adaptation planning and management across the region

Project

USFWS Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) throughout the Mississippi River Basin (MRB) have identified high nutrient runoff, a major contributor to Gulf hypoxia, and declines in wildlife populations (especially grassland and riparian birds), as conservation challenges requiring collaborative action. This project developed a spatial decision support system (DSS) to address these issues. The DSS was designed to identify MRB watersheds where application of conservation practices can (1) reduce nutrient export to the Gulf hypoxia zone and (2) enhance conservation for grassland and riparian birds, based on (3) identifying landowners willing and capable of implementing these practices. The DSS identified appropriate conservation practices to be implemented, and quantified resulting benefits for both nutrient export and bird habitat. The DSS  also enabled analyses of whether landowner willingness to implement desired practices was affected by perceptions of climate extremes

Project

Recent extreme floods on the Mississippi and Missouri Rivers have motivated expansion of floodplain conservation lands. Within Missouri there are more than 85,000 acres of public conservation lands in large-river floodplains. Floodplain lands are highly dynamic and challenging to manage, particularly as future climatic conditions may be highly variable. These lands have the potential to provide valuable ecosystem services like provision of habitat, nutrient processing, carbon sequestration, and flood-water storage that produce economic values in terms of recreational spending, improved water quality, and decreased flood hazards. However, floodplain managers may need tools to help them understand nonstationary conditions on conservation lands. This project worked with floodplain managers to identify the information most needed to understand nonstationary conditions, and to develop tools they can apply to conservation lands to improve decision making

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Example floodplain inundation maps
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