Drought Refugia: Remote Sensing Approaches and Management Applications
This webinar was recorded on June 12, 2017 as part of the Climate Change Science and Management Webinar Series, held in partnership by the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and the USFWS National Conservation Training Center. Webinar Summary: During droughts, localized areas of the landscape (drought refugia) retain surface water and soil moisture needed to sustain wildlife and vegetation. Remote sensing from satellite imagery offers powerful tools to identify refugia and study their responses to changing weather patterns over time. This talk will present two recent applications of remote-sensing analysis related to drought refugia research in southern Oregon. In one study, hydrologic resilience of springs was inferred using remote sensing of groundwater-dependent vegetation in a semi-arid sage steppe ecosystem. In another, refugia from drought and mountain pine beetle were identified in lodgepole pine and whitebark pine forest. Efforts are currently underway to scale up identification of drought refugia to the Pacific Northwest region. This talk will also discuss the integration of natural resource management priorities with refugia research to provide managers with new information to support ecological monitoring, restoration, and conservation.