There's so much great research being done in the spruce-fir forests of the northeastern U.S., an ecosystem that is contributes disproportionately to the diversity of the region (think moose, snowshoe hare, martens, blackpoll warblers, etc.). Now recognizing that the whole is stronger than its parts, people who focus on birds, mammals, trees, etc. are coming together every year to share updates. This meeting serves as a place to share research, updates and build upon eachother’s work.
From this starting point, we are considering how this research can inform management and conservation. For example, we met with managers from New Hampshire and Vermont state agencies, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Forest Service, and private landowners to discuss how existing and potential maps and other decision tools could aid wildlife habitat conservation. We also recently met with Wildlife Conservation Society staff in the Adirondacks to discuss what climate and forest models might be helpful to New York moose management.
Next steps will be to continue working with stakeholders at the state and regional scale, as well as bringing in other researchers who are modeling this system. Ultimately, we hope to use the climate change refugia conservation cycle (Morelli 2017) to create a climate change refugia management strategy for spruce-fir specialists in the northeastern U.S., considering existing mapping efforts and local expertise.
Thursday, August 9, 2018
1:30 PM - 5:00 PM
Abstract for the ESA’s oral session:
The concept of climate refugia has a long history in the field of paleontology, where areas of relatively stable climate have been seen as safe havens for species during past episodes of climate change. Recently, this concept has been updated to focus on its application to managing species and ecosystems in the face of anthropogenic climate change.
For refugia identification to be more realistic and relevant, many other components of climate change ecology must also be considered, including hydrologic changes, disturbances (e.g., fire, drought, pests/pathogens), population demographics and genetics, interspecies interactions, dispersal/migration patterns, and adaptive responses to changing environmental conditions. In this session, speakers will present the cutting edge in our ability to detect, understand, and manage climate change refugia.
Presenters will focus on novel statistical, climatological, and geographic tools, including new methods for modeling habitat suitability and vulnerability to climate change, use of remote sensing data to map areas resistant to disturbance, and the integration of biophysical and ecological data. In addition, they will explore the application of the refugia concept to the management and conservation of key species in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems. As a whole, the session will provide information on a suite of emerging techniques and foster an advanced conversation about the role of climate change refugia in adapting our management of ecosystems as a response to changing environmental conditions.
OOS 35: "The Science of Resistance: Climate Change Refugia in the Face of Heat, Droughts, Floods, Fires, and Forest Pests"
Incorporating Climate Change Refugia into Climate Adaptation in the Acadia National Park Region
June 8, 2018
1. Bring together local natural resource managers to continue dialogue about climate change adaptation in the Acadia National Park region.
2. Derive a list of candidate species to pilot a regional climate change refugia management strategy for the Acadia National Park region.
This meeting kicked off a new research project organized under a research fellowship funded by The American Association for the Advancement of Science, Acadia National Park, and Schoodic Institute’s Second Century Stewardship Fellowship project. The goals of the project are to work with regional conservation partners to incorporate climate change refugia into regional management and climate change adaptation plans, and to link climate science and natural resource management more effectively through active stakeholder engagement and knowledge co-production. To this end, we met with stakeholders in Winter Harbor Maine on June 8, 2018 to discuss how climate change refugia can be used in local management, identify local and regional data sources for the project, and to derive a list of species for which climate change refugia modeling would be most fruitful. The meeting drew nearly 25 participants from multiple agencies, including local land trusts and conservation non-profits, Acadia National Park, Maine Department of Inland Fisheries and Wildlife, and the US Fish and Wildlife Service. After developing the climate change refugia maps for the focal species identified at this first meeting, we will continue to work with partners to
Refine and validate the model outputs
Interpret and understand the data products.
Identify ways to incorporate climate change refugia concepts into on the ground management and conservation actions.
Tuesday April 17, 2018
The coldwater streams expert workgroup, led by MassWildlife and affiliated with Mass ECAN (Ecosystem Climate Adaptation Network),moved forward with methods to identify coldwater streams most resistant to climate change. To this end, a workgroup meeting was held 12-1:30 pm et on Tuesday, April 17, 2018. It was a success with nearly 20 participants across multiple agencies.
Climate (current and future): Temperature, Rainfall, Snowpack
Topography: DEM, complexity
Forest aspects: biomass, structure, compositio n, forest loss
Landscape features: current and future landcover map, connectedness, ecological integrity
Ecological and species assessments: climate stressor index; Bicknells thrush, hare, moose, blackpoll warbler, and Blackburnian warbler landscape capability and climate refugia maps; Refugia Research Coalition (opportunity for refugia identification, mapping, and management strategies)
Occupancy and Abundance data: hares and carnivores
February 28 – March 1, 2018
Climate-change refugia in Boreal North America: what, where, and for how long?
1. To develop and formalize a boreal refugia framework and synthesis.
2. To initiate a multi-author review paper for publication in a peer-reviewed journal.
We hosted 30 boreal scientists for a facilitated workshop on climate-change refugia potential in the North American boreal forest region. The workshop was preceded by a one-hour phone conference with the group, as well as several planning meetings among the organizing committee. To make the workshop more productive, we developed a discussion paper and drafted a refugia framework that was circulated to participants in advance. Day one of the workshop began with presentations setting the conservation, management, and climate data contexts for refugia identification, and was followed by a presentation of the draft framework and workshop objectives. We then spent most of the day presenting and discussing the science behind various types of refugia, facilitated by a series of presentations mirroring the draft framework, and followed by a wrap-up discussion and brainstorming session. This first day helped to develop a common foundation among participants, and we began to agree upon some overarching principles, but it was clear at the end of the day that we had managed to pull apart the draft framework without agreeing on how to put it back together again. Even among the organizing committee, which debriefed for an hour following the workshop, there was no real consensus. We did, however, come up with a plan forward.
Funded by the CSC
October 13, 2017
Build connections between regional scientists and managers
Provide updates on year 1 activities and products
Learn about new refugia science and management opportunities
Determine future directions of the RRC
Desired Outcomes & Products:
New connections between regional scientists and managers in attendance
Recorded symposium of new climate refugia science & management
Co-developed plan for quantitative analysis & synthesis product
Co-developed strategies for providing best available science to regional managers
Plan for RRC in 2018
Funded by the CSC
November 26 2017
On Monday, November 21, 2016 scientists and managers met in Portland, OR to discuss the research and management of refugia in the Northwest region. This was the first meeting of the Refugia Research Coalition (RRC), started by the NW Climate Science Center and lead by Aaron Ramirez (NCEAS). The primary objectives of this inaugural meeting were to identify the regional management priorities that will guide the efforts of the RRC going forward and to establish important connections between regional managers and scientists. After hearing from both scientists and managers about the key refugia–related research and management topics in the region, the group proposed a list of management priorities for the RRC to focus on. That list was then refined and prioritized through active, facilitator-led discussions and exercises. By the end of the meeting the RRC had established the following as the top management priories in the region:
1. Protection and management of sage grouse and steppe habitat.
2. Protection and management of estuary and coastal ecosystems.
3. Protection and management of riparian and riverine systems.
4. Allocation and management of late successional forest reserves.
In addition, the group will focus on species of conservation need and interactions between aquatic and terrestrial systems within each of these management priority areas. Additional meetings of the RRC will explore specific research and management strategies related to refugia, with the goal of advancing the use of refugia to meet these identified management priorities.