USGS Friday's Findings—December 1, 2023
Adaptive capacity as a lens to inform conservation decision-making
Title: Adaptive capacity as a lens to inform decisions on conservation status, invasive species, & climate-adaptation actions
Speaker: Erik Beever, Research Ecologist, USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center
Date: December 1, 2023 from 2:00pm - 2:30pm ET
Climate-change vulnerability assessments of species, which typically evaluate the factors of exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity, inform adaptation planning and climate-smart conservation. Adaptive capacity (AC) is a species’ or population’s ability to cope with or adjust to changing climatic conditions, through processes like evolutionary adaptation, range shifts, and behavioral flexibility. The topic of adaptive capacity is typically ignored in most vulnerability assessments, or lumped with sensitivity; both of these approaches provide an inaccurate portrait of species’ and populations’ resilience. Evaluating and communicating species’ adaptive capacity is critical for accurate vulnerability assessments and can also be used to inform numerous near-term management actions and decisions, including: allocation of conservation attention and resources, species status assessments, selection of effective management options to avoid species listings, setting harvest limits, among others. To improve the operationalization of AC information, we initiated a collaborative partnership among the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, and state, university, and NGO partners. The ultimate goal of the project is to build a community of practice, while strengthening the use of AC information in natural-resource management and conservation. Dr. Beever will discuss the various ways that the approaches and the framework that the group developed are being implemented for particular species. These include a global review of the contexts in which animals have exhibited behavioral flexibility to cope with weather and climate, a comprehensive framework to evaluate the AC of any species or population, a tool to identify potential climate-adaptation actions that conservation practitioners (such as land and wildlife managers) might consider implementing, and practical considerations for grappling with and utilizing the evolutionary AC of species or populations in conservation decisions, among others.
Get Our News
These items are in the RSS feed format (Really Simple Syndication) based on categories such as topics, locations, and more. You can install and RSS reader browser extension, software, or use a third-party service to receive immediate news updates depending on the feed that you have added. If you click the feed links below, they may look strange because they are simply XML code. An RSS reader can easily read this code and push out a notification to you when something new is posted to our site.