Climate Change

Chiricahua Mountains AZ
Larry Jones, USDA Forest Service
The Coronado National Forest in southeastern Arizona encompasses portions of 12 mountain ranges called the Sky Island Archipelago, including the Chiricahua Mountains, shown here. GSD biologists conducted an assessment of vulnerability of species to climate change that included animal species that occur in the Chiricahua Mountains.

Climate is one of the most fundamental drivers affecting ecosystem processes. Rapid climate change documented over the last few decades and predicted changes in the future make it imperative to understand its widespread impacts. GSD scientists are studying climate change in the following ways: evaluating the effect of historic climatic change on biotic communities, monitoring contemporary changes to ecosystems, evaluating the risk of potential future climate change to species and populations, investigating how climate interacts with disturbances and invasive species, and developing approaches to mitigate potential impacts to threatened communities and species.