EFFECTS (Exploring Future Flora, Environments, and Climates Through Simulations)
The EFFECTS Project investigates species and ecosystem responses to climate change over multiple temporal and spatial scales and evaluates the potential implications of these responses for conservation and natural resource management activities. We use a variety of physically-based numerical process models to study the mechanisms and dynamics of ecosystem processes and to simulate changes in the distributions and characteristics of species, ecosystems, and related environmental variables. This research is designed to improve our understanding of the effects of climate change across taxonomic (biome to species) and spatial (global to landscape) scales. An important component of this work is to determine how species and ecosystems have responded to historic and paleoclimate changes and to use these past responses to inform our understanding of how species and ecosystems may respond to potential future climate change. Results from this research are used to provide conservation and natural resource managers with information to use in developing management responses to climate change.
Why is this research important?
Conservation and natural resource managers are interested in the effects of potential future climate changes on the species and ecosystems they manage. This project provides information to assist managers in developing adaptive management responses to climate change, including providing information on how species and ecosystems have responded to past climate changes. The project’s paleoclimate simulations also are used in data-model comparison and model evaluation efforts to improve model simulations of climate change effects. This research contributes to USGS Climate and Land Use Change R&D Program Priority Themes of "Data-Model Integration" and "Impacts of Climate and Land-Use Change on Terrestrial and Marine Systems."