Project

The Climate Change Response Framework is an example of a collaborative, cross-boundary approach to create a set of tools, partnerships, and actions to support climate-informed conservation and land management. Historically, this effort has focused on the needs of forest managers and forestry professionals. In recent years, however, there has been increasing demand for science and tools to address climate change adaptation in wildlife management and conservation. Not only do wildlife and resource managers need the best available science, it must also be presented in a usable format with feasible options within the purview of an individual manager. The research team first completed a comprehensive review of peer-reviewed studies to summarize what wildlife-related management actions currently exist in climate change adaptation. They then developed and tested a “menu” of climate change adaptation actions that are suitable for wildlife management in terrestrial ecosystems

Project

Prairie ecosystems and the grassland birds that rely on them for habitat may be particularly vulnerable to rapid changes in climate. Extensive portions of prairie have already been lost due to agriculture and urbanization, and as a result grassland birds have declined more than any other bird group in the last four decades. Now, climate change could exacerbate existing threats to these birds as temperatures in certain prairie ecosystems are expected to rise and extreme weather events, such as drought, could become more common. The goal of this project was to develop a framework to identify demographic sensitivities and assess the vulnerability of grassland bird species to future climate change. To do so, the researchers developed a strong partnership among managers and researchers to understand how climate change might impact the conservation and management planning of grassland birds throughout the Northeast CASC region and identify potentially vulnerable species

Image
Grassland, Missiquoi National Wildlife Refuge, Vermont - Credit: FWS
Project

The timing and size of Great Lakes fish migrations determines their role in nutrient cycling. This project studies how climate is altering the timing of migrations across the Great Lakes, and also the role of these large migrations in fertilizing streams

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

Project

Many inland waters across the United States are experiencing warming water temperatures. The impacts of this warming on aquatic ecosystems are significant in many areas, causing problems for fisheries management, as many economically and ecologically important fish species are experiencing range shifts and population declines. Fisheries and natural resource managers need timely and usable data and tools in order to understand and predict changes to lakes and their biota.   A previous Northeast CASC-funded project modeled lake temperatures to help state agencies in the Midwest understand trends in walleye and largemouth bass populations and predict lake-specific fish populations under future climate scenarios

Image
Day Lake, Wisconsin - Credit: USFS
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

Image
Slow the Flow _schematic2.jpg
Project

Cold-water fish are disappearing from many midwestern lakes as they warm. This loss is due to a combination of de-oxygenation of the deep waters with heating of the surface waters. Together, these climate-driven changes squeeze the depth distribution of fish that require cold, well-oxygenated water, sometimes eliminating their habitat entirely. We will investigate where this combination of factors has likely caused extirpation of cold-water fishes, and where future warming is most likely to eliminate more populations. In addition to hydrodynamic modeling, we are partnering with genomics experts to assess selection on functional genes associated with surviving temperature or oxygen challenges. The goals of this project are to: Manage cold-water lake fishes. Manage fish species of special concern in the state. Guide pre-emptive efforts to prioritize sites for management interventions

Project

WICCI is a grassroots effort to consolidate information about climate change impacts in Wisconsin.  Its first report, released in 2010, has played a critical role in elevating climate change within dialogue about environmental management across the state, and serves as the go-to resource for agencies, NGOs, and the public.  We are now working to update that document, focusing on new research in aquatic and other ecosystems, as well as case studies of impacts on Wisconsin's ecosystem services. The goals of this project are in part to 1) Compile a synthesis of climate change impacts on people and natural resources of Wisconsin.  2) Provide public education about the seriousness of climate change impacts.  3) Establish accessible and credible reference for policy makers

Project

Climate change is shifting the hydrodynamics and temperature of both the Great Lakes and their tributary rivers.  Both hydrology and temperature may play potent roles in mediating the magnitude of watershed nutrient load and their fate upon reaching the lake.  Tributary hydrology reflects the source of water (groundwater vs. surface runoff) and seasonal timing of discharge, while tributary temperature determines the density difference between river and lake water.  Similarly, mixing patterns in these massive lakes strongly influence whether tributary loads remain near the shore or become diluted in the open water, while the thermal profile determines whether inflowing river water is trapped at the surface, sinks to the bottom, or stays at an intermediate depth.  These physical interactions are critical for understanding the ecological impact of tributary loads, and how it is mediated by climate change

Project

This project is developing an on-line platform to enable rapid sharing and cataloging of silviculture case studies documenting adaptive forest management approaches across MI, MN, Ontario, and WI.  The goal of this project is to create a clearinghouse of information for forest managers across the region to disseminate ideas on addressing emerging issues and tracking effectiveness of a given approach.  The Prescription Library will serve as the basis for regional continuing education offerings for natural resource professionals throughout Michigan, Minnesota, Ontario, and Wisconsin. The project initiated in late March 2014 and now shares 27 case studies in adaptive silviculture through the Prescription Library platform. These case studies cover Minnesota, Ontario, and Wisconsin and demonstrate a range of silvicultural approaches to address current and emerging issues related to the sustainable management of forests in the Great Lakes region

Subscribe to Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources