Chapter 13: Integrating Conservation Planning with Projected Trends in Climate Change


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BOOK EXCERPT: Conservation organizations, federal agencies, and state legislators are all working on developing the ultimate list of climate change adaptation strategies - the magic cookbook that will help managers find the recipes to meet the climate change challenge from ocean bottom to mountaintop. Although the holy grail remains the reduction of global greenhouse gas emissions and the causes of environmental stress, it is now understood that we have already committed our planet to a degree of warming that will affect our environment and our societies, even if we could somehow stop all anthropogenic emissions tomorrow. Therefore, land managers are preparing for a future world that will include higher sea levels, warmer ocean temperatures, more acidic sea waters, more intense storms, warmer winter and nighttime temperatures, lower snowpacks, longer and drier summers, shortages in water resources, more frequent fires, more frequent pest outbreaks, new species assemblages, and expansion of exotic species. They will also face an increase in landscape fragmentation due to various human activities, as well as agricultural, industrial, and urban land-use pressure to produce more food, more energy, and more shelter for a growing and migrating world population. And of course, natural climate variability may exacerbate or mitigate the changes in climate driven by alterations in atmospheric chemistry and the reflectivity of our planet due to human activities...The impacts of climate change on ecosystem processes and species survival are difficult to predict because (1) the rate of climate change is uncertain and depends on human choices, (2) the timing and magnitude of extreme weather events that might completely transform landscapes are unpredictable, (3) the complexity of biotic interactions that might allow acclimation, adaptation, or mitigation are mostly unknown, and (4) physiological and ecological thresholds continue to be explored and should be monitored more extensively. Although technology has helped shape our environment to meet our needs, it might behoove us to revisit what has caused problems (pollution, invasives, system homogenization, and landscape fragmentation) in the past...Basic principles that have been used in the past to deal with various disturbances continue to apply. I have described a few in this chapter: promoting redundancy as insurance against localized disturbance, restoring heterogeneity to allow a wide range of responses to stress, focusing on function rather than composition to prevent the loss of valuable ecosystem services for our society, allowing movement on the landscape by creating working landscapes that include human land use, reducing avoidable stress that limits systems’ or species’ natural response to disturbance, and developing new expectations for future communities as climate and human activities result in new species assemblages.


Dr. Dominique Bachelet
Senior Climate Change Scientist
Conservation Biology Institute
Dept Biological and Ecological Engineering Oregon State University
Cell: (360) 870-5782
Mailing address: 2505 Vista Ave SE, Olympia WA 98501
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Batty, Michael. "Integrated Models and Grand Challenges" 2010

Yale Mapping Framework: integrating climate adaptation and landscape conservation planning INTERACTIVE MAPS & Apps on Climate Change (click to pan & zoom, 'view larger' to open window)


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Climate Wizard (View Application ) ClimateWizard enables technical and non-technical audiences alike to access leading climate change information and visualize the impacts anywhere on Earth.  The first generation of this web-based program allows the user to choose a state or country and both assess how climate has changed over time and to project what future changes are predicted to occur in a given area. ClimateWizard represents the first time ever the full range of climate history and impacts for a landscape have been brought together in a user-friendly format.


Koppen-Geiger Climate vs Mammals : Time-enabled world map of Köppen-Geiger climate classification, based on temperature and precipitation observations for the period 1951–2000 from the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) of the University of East Anglia and the Global Precipitation Climatology Centre (GPCC) at the German Weather Service. With overlay of selected large and small mammal population ranges from Natureserve


3-Scale & Time
4-Land Cover
5-Land Use
6-Focal Species
7-Habitats: Terrestrial
8-Habitats: Marine/Aq
9-Habitat Cores
11-Viability Analysis
13-Climate Change
14-Processes & Tools

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