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Beyond the single species climate envelope: A multifaceted approach to mapping climate change vulnerability

Posted date: October 04, 2016
Publication Year: 
2016
Authors: Balzotti, Christopher S.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; McCarthy, Clinton
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Ecosphere. 7(9): e01444.

Abstract

Federal land management agencies and conservation organizations have begun incorporating climate change vulnerability assessments (CCVAs) as an important component in the management and conservation of landscapes. It is often a challenge to translate that knowledge into management plans and actions, even when research infers species risk. Predictive maps can improve current CCVAs and assist in quantifying and visualizing species climate change vulnerability across large areas. We assessed the climate change risk for Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; sage-grouse) habitat at two spatial scales in Utah and Nevada. At the local scale, multiple species climate envelopes were evaluated with additional stressors (fire, conifer encroachment, invasive grass, and human impact) to create risk maps for mesic (Strawberry) and xeric (Sheeprock) sage-grouse landscapes in Utah. Both landscapes were predicted to be at risk, but Sheeprock was found to be at higher risk due to future climate change implications coupled with additional habitat-degrading stressors. By using models, we are able to integrate complex interactions, and visualize the distribution of risk across broad spatial scales, providing land managers and researchers a valuable tool for CCVA and action plans.

Citation

Balzotti, Christopher S.; Kitchen, Stanley G.; McCarthy, Clinton. 2016. Beyond the single species climate envelope: A multifaceted approach to mapping climate change vulnerability. Ecosphere. 7(9): e01444.