Climate change is having dramatic impacts on the distribution and population connectivity of wildlife species the western United States. Impacts include large range shifts, reorganization of animal communities, and potentially regional extinction.
This project is combining vast sampling of species occurrence and genetic characteristics with sophisticated spatial modeling of gene flow, connectivity, and adaptive variation. The project has provided several important tools and applications to managers, including the development of sophisticated tools for the prediction of population connectivity (e.g., Unicor). These tools can be applied to produce spatially explicit, fine-scale, broad-extent, quantitative predictions of changes in species distribution, and population connectivity for several wildlife species of conservation concern across the full extent of the western United States.
These products have enabled the identification of which populations of which species might:
This research will benefit society by providing detailed and specific predictions of the effects of climate change on wildlife across a vast area of the United States, and it can inform development of optimized adaptation strategies to mitigate the negative effects of climate change on forest ecosystems.