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Climate

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The response of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise: Understanding how macroscale drivers influence local processes and feedbacks

The purpose of this work is to advance our understanding of how coastal wetland responses to SLR within the conterminous United States are likely to vary as a function of local, regional, and macroscale drivers, including climate. Based on our interactions with managers and decision makers, as well as our knowledge of the current state of the science, we propose to (a) conduct a national synoptic...
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The response of coastal wetlands to sea-level rise: Understanding how macroscale drivers influence local processes and feedbacks

The purpose of this work is to advance our understanding of how coastal wetland responses to SLR within the conterminous United States are likely to vary as a function of local, regional, and macroscale drivers, including climate. Based on our interactions with managers and decision makers, as well as our knowledge of the current state of the science, we propose to (a) conduct a national synoptic...
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Virginia Coast Reserve Long Term Ecological Research VII

The highly protected Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR) is the largest undeveloped region along the Atlantic seaboard.The VCR is managed by the Nature Conservancy, and was designated a Man and the Biosphere Reserve in 1979, providing a unique environment for which to study coastal impacts of climate change on a variety of coastal ecosystems from barrier islands across back barrier lagoons, mudflats...
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Virginia Coast Reserve Long Term Ecological Research VII

The highly protected Virginia Coast Reserve (VCR) is the largest undeveloped region along the Atlantic seaboard.The VCR is managed by the Nature Conservancy, and was designated a Man and the Biosphere Reserve in 1979, providing a unique environment for which to study coastal impacts of climate change on a variety of coastal ecosystems from barrier islands across back barrier lagoons, mudflats...
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Seagrass Vulnerability to Environmental Conditions Under Changing Temperature Regimes

Seagrasses are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet. Water quality degradation and direct human disturbance have caused loss of nearly a third of the seagrass habitat worldwide. These threats are exacerbated by stresses associated with a changing global climate. Predicting how seagrass distribution, abundance, and species composition will change in response to increased temperature...
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Seagrass Vulnerability to Environmental Conditions Under Changing Temperature Regimes

Seagrasses are among the most productive ecosystems on the planet. Water quality degradation and direct human disturbance have caused loss of nearly a third of the seagrass habitat worldwide. These threats are exacerbated by stresses associated with a changing global climate. Predicting how seagrass distribution, abundance, and species composition will change in response to increased temperature...
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Spatio-Temporal Statistical Models for Forecasting Climate Change Effects on Bird Distribution

Ecological indicators of climate change are needed to measure concurrent changes in ecological systems, inform management decisions, and forecast the consequences of climate change. We seek to develop robust bird-based, climate-change indicators using North American Breeding Bird Survey data.
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Spatio-Temporal Statistical Models for Forecasting Climate Change Effects on Bird Distribution

Ecological indicators of climate change are needed to measure concurrent changes in ecological systems, inform management decisions, and forecast the consequences of climate change. We seek to develop robust bird-based, climate-change indicators using North American Breeding Bird Survey data.
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A hydrological framework to improve precision of Vital Signs metrics in the Appalachian highlands

Stream flow is a fundamental driver of ecological structure and function, but its influence on bioassessment measures is poorly understood. Although extreme flow conditions (e.g., floods and droughts) have long been known to play a central role in structuring stream communities, a mechanistic understanding of the linkages between flow variables, landscape and local physical characteristics, and...
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A hydrological framework to improve precision of Vital Signs metrics in the Appalachian highlands

Stream flow is a fundamental driver of ecological structure and function, but its influence on bioassessment measures is poorly understood. Although extreme flow conditions (e.g., floods and droughts) have long been known to play a central role in structuring stream communities, a mechanistic understanding of the linkages between flow variables, landscape and local physical characteristics, and...
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Effects of temperature and energy use on fish passage and spawning success of American shad

American Shad are the most numerous and economically important anadromous species on the east coast of the United States. Yet in many river systems their populations have experienced declines, primarily due to the impacts of dams and habitat loss.
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Effects of temperature and energy use on fish passage and spawning success of American shad

American Shad are the most numerous and economically important anadromous species on the east coast of the United States. Yet in many river systems their populations have experienced declines, primarily due to the impacts of dams and habitat loss.
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Climate change forecasts for eastern salmonids

Small streams in forests are likely to see dramatic shifts as global climate change influences air temperature and rain patterns. We have already seen warmer stream temperatures as air temperatures increase in summer in the Northeastern US. The intensity and duration of floods and droughts are also expected to magnify as future rain patterns shift. This project will evaluate how stream temperature...
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Climate change forecasts for eastern salmonids

Small streams in forests are likely to see dramatic shifts as global climate change influences air temperature and rain patterns. We have already seen warmer stream temperatures as air temperatures increase in summer in the Northeastern US. The intensity and duration of floods and droughts are also expected to magnify as future rain patterns shift. This project will evaluate how stream temperature...
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Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI): Understanding Amphibian Populations in the Northeastern United States

Currently, 90 amphibian species are recognized in the Northeast, including 59 species in the Order Caudata (salamanders) and 31 species in the Order Anura (frogs and toads). Almost half of the amphibians in the Northeast are salamanders within the family Plethodontidae. Amphibians are found in all physiographic regions of the Northeast, from sea level to the heights of the Appalachian, Adirondack...
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Amphibian Research and Monitoring Initiative (ARMI): Understanding Amphibian Populations in the Northeastern United States

Currently, 90 amphibian species are recognized in the Northeast, including 59 species in the Order Caudata (salamanders) and 31 species in the Order Anura (frogs and toads). Almost half of the amphibians in the Northeast are salamanders within the family Plethodontidae. Amphibians are found in all physiographic regions of the Northeast, from sea level to the heights of the Appalachian, Adirondack...
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Conservation of Rare Vegetation Communities of the Atlantic Coastal Barrier Islands

The Challenge: A synthesis of the role of disturbance, in all of its manifestations, on the establishment and development of the American Holly forest is required to guide future conservation measures. Because many forest fragments have already endured >30 years of chronic deer herbivory, a legitimate question of how much more impact by deer can be tolerated and still conserve the essential type...
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Conservation of Rare Vegetation Communities of the Atlantic Coastal Barrier Islands

The Challenge: A synthesis of the role of disturbance, in all of its manifestations, on the establishment and development of the American Holly forest is required to guide future conservation measures. Because many forest fragments have already endured >30 years of chronic deer herbivory, a legitimate question of how much more impact by deer can be tolerated and still conserve the essential type...
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Post-Hurricane Sandy Vegetation Recovery in the Presence of a Hyper-abundant Deer Population

The Challenge: The primary dune along barrier island beaches protects leeward vegetation from tidal fluctuation, salt spray and storm surge. However, storm surges like those experienced during Hurricane Sandy can obliterate the primary dune, transporting sand inland and burying existing vegetation. The dune rebuilds naturally as recovering vegetation traps wind-blown and waterborne sand. The rate...
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Post-Hurricane Sandy Vegetation Recovery in the Presence of a Hyper-abundant Deer Population

The Challenge: The primary dune along barrier island beaches protects leeward vegetation from tidal fluctuation, salt spray and storm surge. However, storm surges like those experienced during Hurricane Sandy can obliterate the primary dune, transporting sand inland and burying existing vegetation. The dune rebuilds naturally as recovering vegetation traps wind-blown and waterborne sand. The rate...
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Managing the Extinction Risk of the Shenandoah Salamander

The Shenandoah salamander is an endangered salamander that is at risk of extinction due to its small, high-elevation range, competition with the co-occurring red-backed salamander, and the predicted future climate in the Appalachian mountain range. We are working with multiple partners to understand the current status of the species, predict future extinction risk, and engage stakeholders in a...
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Managing the Extinction Risk of the Shenandoah Salamander

The Shenandoah salamander is an endangered salamander that is at risk of extinction due to its small, high-elevation range, competition with the co-occurring red-backed salamander, and the predicted future climate in the Appalachian mountain range. We are working with multiple partners to understand the current status of the species, predict future extinction risk, and engage stakeholders in a...
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Integrating Habitat and Harvest Management for Northern Pintails

The Challenge: Several blue-ribbon panels have challenged the waterfowl management world to recognize the linkages between the two primary management frameworks: harvest management under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and habitat management under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Because these two frameworks seek to manage the same populations, there needs to be better coordination, in...
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Integrating Habitat and Harvest Management for Northern Pintails

The Challenge: Several blue-ribbon panels have challenged the waterfowl management world to recognize the linkages between the two primary management frameworks: harvest management under the Migratory Bird Treaty Act, and habitat management under the North American Waterfowl Management Plan. Because these two frameworks seek to manage the same populations, there needs to be better coordination, in...
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