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Wednesday, April 11 • 10:15am - 10:30am
CLIMATE CHANGE EFFECTS AND ADAPTATION: Connectivity to Address Climate-induced Range Shifts: Emerging Approaches and Future Challenges

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AUTHORS: Caitlin Littlefield*, School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington; Meade Krosby, Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington; Julia Michalak, Joshua Lawler – School of Environmental and Forest Sciences, University of Washington

ABSTRACT: Under climate change, many species have already and will continue to respond by contracting and expanding range boundaries to track suitable climatic conditions. However, the rapid pace of climatic changes, coupled with habitat loss and fragmentation, challenges species’ abilities to track suitable climatic conditions and draws into question the effectiveness of this critical adaptive response. For this reason, enhancing landscape connectivity is the most frequently cited climate adaptation strategy for biodiversity conservation. And yet, most connectivity planning, even if done in the name of climate change, does not directly take climate change into account. In response, a wide range of approaches for explicitly addressing these challenges posed by climate change has emerged in recent years. These approaches vary in their complexity and reflect a diversity of analytical tactics and assumptions, which we review and critique here. These efforts can be classified into approaches that make use of: 1) projected future ranges, 2) climate trajectories and analogs, 3) environmental gradients, and 4) enduring features. In examining each of these types of approaches, we ask: Where and how does an approach define important areas for biodiversity in the future? How are important movement routes identified? How does the approach address uncertainties associated with model inputs and climate-induced range shifts? We then identify and explore conceptual and analytical frontiers in climate connectivity research. In so doing, we hope to stimulate further innovation that enhances our ability to identify and conserve important movement routes for species responding to climatic change.

Wednesday April 11, 2018 10:15am - 10:30am CDT
LaSalle 1 (7th Floor)