Informing Landscape Conservation through Climate Science
Working together, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives and Climate Science Centers across the country are providing scientific information, tools and support for natural resource managers to conserve large, connected areas that sustain fish, wildlife, habitat and people.
These non-regulatory conservation partnerships were established to help respond to environmental stressors that transcend state lines and are beyond the organizational ability of any one agency. By connecting science with on-the-ground management, scientists and staff work with resource managers to develop tools and knowledge that supports decisions to improve natural systems faced with a range of landscape-scale stressors magnified by a changing climate.
While Climate Science Centers seek to understand climate-related ecosystem vulnerabilities and adaptation issues, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) address a broader suite of conservation challenges specific to their regions, including climate and land use change. This collaboration aims to ensure strong communications between scientists and managers across the landscape. The Upper Midwest and Great Lakes LCC and Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers LCC are working alongside the Northeast Climate Science Center to generate the best science for natural resource managers. Learn about two partnership projects that are advancing science in the Midwest:
Stream Temperature Mapping in the Great Lakes Basin and Northeast
Climate change has the potential to impact both sport and non-game aquatic resources across the Great Lakes basin, thus impacting both ecological diversity and economic contributions of recreational and commercial angling opportunities. In partnership with the Northeast Climate Science Center, the Upper Midwest and Great Lakes LCC and North Atlantic LCC are building a coordinated, multi-agency framework to map and store continuous stream temperature locations and data for Great Lakes, Mid Atlantic and New England states. The NorEaST portal will provide access to the best available data and tools on freshwater stream temperatures so that natural resource managers from federal, state and non-governmental agencies and organizations will have a better understanding of temperature change impacts on the distribution of aquatic species. Through the NorEaST project, additional stream temperature data have been acquired to develop and inform stream temperature models and fish predictive models for an Upper Midwest and Great Lakes LCC supported project on fish vulnerability to climate change in the Great Lakes basin. Learn more.
Fitting the Climate Lens to Grassland Bird Conservation
The Northeast Climate Science Center and Eastern Tallgrass Prairie and Big Rivers LCC are working together to support a University of Wisconsin-led project to measure, understand and predict how grassland birds will be affected by future changes in our climate. A team of managers and scientists are developing a unique assessment tool identifying which species and regions are most vulnerable. By fitting the “climate lens” to grassland bird management, this science will provide a clearer picture of prairie and grassland bird conservation in an uncertain future. Learn more.
For more information on climate change and landscape level research visit:
By Ashley Spratt