Effects of climate change on California tiger salamanders in the Central Valley

California’s Central Valley supports over 20 endemic, special-status species associated with vernal pools and seasonal wetlands, yet loss of 90% of the original extent of these habitats has resulted in highly-fragmented, remnant pools of varying habitat quality. Managers need science support to inform conservation priorities and possible enhancement of remaining pools, particularly since projected increases in temperature and decreases in precipitation may dry ponds to an extent that reduces or precludes their habitat value.

Tidal Marsh Bird Population and Habitat Assessment

This project assesses the potential effects of climate change on tidal marsh habitats and bird populations, identifies priority sites for tidal marsh conservation and restoration, and developes a web-based mapping tool for managers to interactively display and query results in the San Francisco Bay. Management actions that are robust or that fail under the climate change scenarios can be identified through the mapping tool.

The Environmental Change Network

This project will develop a foundation for monitoring environmental change by identifying where and what to monitor in order to evaluate climate-change impacts. Initial focus was on landbirds, however a framework will be developed that recommends standardized monitoring for other taxa and environmental attributes. Ultimately, this project will answer the question "How do we monitor the ecological consequences of climate change?"

Vulnerability Analysis and Monitoring Program for Detecting Changes in San Francisco Bay Tidal Marsh Bird Populations

This project designs a monitoring program and protocol to detect the effects of climate change on tidal marsh bird population abundance and distribution. It is a companion to the project “Tidal Marsh Bird Population and Habitat Assessment for San Francisco Bay under Future Climate Change Conditions” and will build on its products, enabling evaluation of the long-term viability of four tidal-marsh bird species threatened by impacts of climate change: Clapper Rail, Black Rail, Common Yellowthroat, and Song Sparrow.

Climate-Driven Geomorphic Alteration of Intertidal Foraging Habitats for Migratory Birds in the San Francisco Bay Estuary

The study answers the management question, “How will climate change and sea-level rise affect the intertidal shoal habitats critical for the health of migratory birds in the San Fransicso Bay Estuary?” This project provides the first science addressing this pivotal question and informs conservation and restoration of migratory bird habitat, including the on-going South Bay Salt Ponds Restoration Project.

Impacts of Climate Change on Ecology and Habitats of Waterbirds in the Central Valley

This project will develop landscape change scenarios based upon water availability and precipitation and temperature patterns projected from downscaled models and investigate impacts of these changes on habitats and ecology of waterfowl, shorebirds, and other waterbirds in the Central Valley. The goal of this work is to work with the Central Valley Joint Venture to adapt the scenario modeling project results and modeling tool so they can be used to incorporate climate, urbanization, and water supply management impacts on waterbird habitats into its conservation planning.

Determining Landscape Connectivity and Climate Change Refugia Across the Sierra Nevada

In this project, scientists identified climate change refugia and connectivity between meadows across the Sierra Nevada and used data on persistence, stability, and genetic diversity of mammal populations to validate these hypotheses. Incorporating landscape features such as availability of water, topography, and roads, the project team developed a method to map well-connected meadows and examine the potential changes to the nature of those connections.

Maximizing evolutionary potential under climate change in southern California protected areas

The project transfers a previously developed prioritization framework that combines intraspecific genetic and morphological variation with traditionally used indices of biodiversity, and test its general utility for conservation prioritization. This project will integrate existing data on intraspecific variation of multiple species in the Santa Monica Mountains National Recreational Area with climate data and space-borne measurements of the environment to identify areas with high intraspecific variation.

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