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Riparian Forest Buffer - CPS 391

An area predominantly trees and/or shrubs located adjacent to and up-gradient from watercourses or water bodies.

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Fact Sheet: Tennessee River Basin Network

Fact Sheet: Tennessee River Basin Network

The Tennessee River winds its way for roughly 650 miles through Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, and back into Tennessee, before reaching Kentucky where it empties into the Ohio River. In total the Basin encompasses over 40,000 square miles, covering five major physiographic provinces: the Blue Ridge, the Valley and Ridge, the Appalachian Plateau, the Interior Low Plateaus, and the Coastal Plain. The extent of the Basin’s reach vast diversity of geography and geology in the region help to explain why the area harbors one of the most biologically diverse freshwater ecosystems in the world.

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Fact Sheet: Habitat - Forest/Woodlands

Fact Sheet: Habitat - Forest/Woodlands

Forest/Woodland habitats describe large areas primarily dominated by trees, with moderate ground coverage, such as grasses and shrubs. Density, tree height, and land use may all vary, though woodland is typically used to describe lower density forests. A forest may have an open canopy, but a woodland must have an open canopy with enough sunlight to reach the ground and limited shade.

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Fact Sheet: Habitat - Forested Stream and/or Seepage

Fact Sheet: Habitat - Forested Stream and/or Seepage

Forested stream environments are typically found in the buffer zones between forested land and stream banks, often known as riparian zones. Stream headwaters and seepage areas occur where ground water percolates to the surface through muck, mossy rock, and nettles. It can also be found under rocks, among gravel, or cobble where water has begun to percolate in areas near open water. Breeding grounds are commonly found beneath mosses growing on rocks, on logs, or soil surfaces in these types of seepage areas.

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Fact Sheet: Habitat - Meadows and Marshlands

Fact Sheet: Habitat - Meadows and Marshlands

Meadows are open grasslands where grass and other non-woody plants are the primary vegetation. With no tree coverage, meadows are typically open, sunny areas that attract flora and fauna that require both ample space and sunlight. These conditions allow for the growth of many wildflowers and are typically important ecosystems for pollinating insects. Marshlands are like meadows in that they typically have no tree coverage and host primarily grasses and woody plants. However, a defining characteristic of marshlands is their wetland features.

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Fact Sheet: Habitat - Open Woodlands

Fact Sheet: Habitat - Open Woodlands

Used generally to describe low density forests, open woodland ecosystems contain widely spaced trees whose crowns do not touch, causing for an open canopy, insignificant midstory canopy layer, sparse understory and where groundcover is the most obvious feature of the landscape dominated by diverse flora (grasses, forbes, sedges). Open Woodlands provide habitat for a diverse mix of wildlife species, several of which are of conservation concern, such as Red Headed Woodpecker, Prairie Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Northern Bobwhite and Eastern Red Bat.

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Fact Sheet: Landscape Dynamics Assessment Tool (LanDAT)

Fact Sheet: Landscape Dynamics Assessment Tool (LanDAT)

LanDAT delivers monitoring information in a way that helps users interpret landscape-change and resilience

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Fact Sheet: NatureScape FAQ

Fact Sheet: NatureScape FAQ

Frequently asked questions about NatureScape

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Fact Sheet: NatureScape

Fact Sheet: NatureScape

Landscape Conservation Design and On-Line Conservation Planning Tool

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Fact Sheet: Assessing Vulnerability of Species and Habitats to Large-scale Impacts

Fact Sheet: Assessing Vulnerability of Species and Habitats to Large-scale Impacts

New vulnerability assessments for 41 species and 3 habitats in the Appalachians.

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Fact Sheet: The Web Portal

Fact Sheet: The Web Portal

APPLCC WEB PORTAL OVERVIEW: Empowering Partners to Deliver Conservation and Connect Landscapes

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Fact Sheet: Science Investments

Fact Sheet: Science Investments

Our work and achievements in 2016 and 2017 built upon the collaborative scientific foundation established in our earlier years, while continuing towards a vision of maintaining a landscape that supports the special biological and cultural resources of the Appalachians.  It’s helpful to reflect on the systematic advances made by our regional partnership in terms of its actions, decisions, and our investments—both in terms of the science but also in terms of strengthening the partnership through investment in shared resources.

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Fact Sheet: Ecosystem Benefits and Risks

Fact Sheet: Ecosystem Benefits and Risks

Fact Sheet: Ecosystem Benefits and Risks

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Fact Sheet: Assessing Future Energy

Fact Sheet: Assessing Future Energy

Assessing Future Energy Development Across the Appalachian Region

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Landscape Dynamics Assessment Tool (LanDAT) Fact Sheet

Landscape Dynamics Assessment Tool (LanDAT) LanDAT delivers monitoring information in a way that helps users interpret landscape-change and resilience

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NatureScape Fact Sheet

Landscape Conservation Design and On-Line Conservation Planning Tool

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CCVA Fact Sheets: Forested Stream and / or Seepage

Forested Stream and/or Seepage Forested stream environments are typically found in the buffer zones between forested land and stream banks, often known as riparian zones. Stream headwaters and seepage areas occur where ground water percolates to the surface through muck, mossy rock, and nettles. It can also be found under rocks, among gravel, or cobble where water has begun to percolate in areas near open water. Breeding grounds are commonly found beneath mosses growing on rocks, on logs, or soil surfaces in these types of seepage areas. Predicted climate change will largely impact changes in temperature and moisture availability in forested stream and/or seepage systems, likely having a cascading effect on a species habitat and increasing stress to many of these species. The Appalachian LCC funded NatureServe to conduct vulnerability assessments on a suite of plants, animals, and habitats within the Appalachians. These assessments can be used as an early warning system to alert resource managers about changing conditions.

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CCVA Fact Sheet: Open Woodlands

Open Woodlands Used generally to describe low density forests, open woodland ecosystems contain widely spaced trees whose crowns do not touch, causing for an open canopy, insignificant midstory canopy layer, sparse understory and where groundcover is the most obvious feature of the landscape dominated by diverse flora (grasses, forbes, sedges). Open Woodlands provide habitat for a diverse mix of wildlife species, several of which are of conservation concern, such as Red Headed Woodpecker, Prairie Warbler, Kentucky Warbler, Northern Bobwhite and Eastern Red Bat. Predicted climate change will largely impact changes in temperature and moisture availability in open woodlands systems, likely having a cascading effect on a species habitat and increasing stress to many of these species. The Appalachian LCC funded NatureServe to conduct vulnerability assessments on a suite of plants, animals, and habitats within the Appalachians. These assessments can be used as an early warning system to alert resource managers about changing conditions.

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CCVA Fact Sheet: Forest and Woodlands

Forest/Woodland habitats describe large areas primarily dominated by trees, with moderate ground coverage, such as grasses and shrubs. Density, tree height, and land use may all vary, though woodland is typically used to describe lower density forests. A forest may have an open canopy, but a woodland must have an open canopy with enough sunlight to reach the ground and limited shade. Predicted climate change will largely impact changes in temperature and moisture availability in forest/ woodlands systems, likely having a cascading effect on a species habitat and increasing stress to many of these species. The Appalachian LCC funded NatureServe to conduct vulnerability assessments on a suite of plants, animals, and habitats within the Appalachians. These assessments can be used as an early warning system to alert resource managers about changing conditions.

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CCVA Fact Sheet: Meadows and Marshlands

Meadows are open grasslands where grass and other non-woody plants are the primary vegetation. With no tree coverage, meadows are typically open, sunny areas that attract flora and fauna that require both ample space and sunlight. These conditions allow for the growth of many wildflowers and are typically important ecosystems for pollinating insects. Marshlands are like meadows in that they typically have no tree coverage and host primarily grasses and woody plants. However, a defining characteristic of marshlands is their wetland features. Predicted climate change will largely impact changes in temperature and moisture availability in meadows and marshlands systems, likely having a cascading effect on a species habitat and increasing stress to many of these species. The Appalachian LCC funded NatureServe to conduct vulnerability assessments on a suite of plants, animals, and habitats within the Appalachians. These assessments can be used as an early warning system to alert resource managers about changing conditions.

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LCC Network White Paper

Prepared by GW and EH (reviewed by many in the LCC community) for the national landscape practitioners meeting in Nov 2017 at NCTC.

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NatureScape Fact Sheet

General introduction to the Landscape Conservation Design (LCD2) of the Appalachian Region based on the research of Paul Leonard et al., Clemson Unviersity.

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AppLCC.Org Web Portal - Conservation Planning Tool

AppLCC's partner-support portal platform to (1) network partners, (2) deliver the scientific information, tools, maps and data, and (3) support broader dissemination via on-line learning courses.

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Classifi cation and Mapping of Cave and Karst Resources

funded research: AmU, USGS, FL State University

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Planning Team Discussion Materials

Appalachian Conservation Partners Meeting - Dec 2017

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Fact Sheet: Assessing Vulnerability of Species and Habitats

New vulnerability assessments for 41 species and 3 habitats in the Appalachians now available.

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Fact Sheet: Stream Classification

Developing consistent region-wide information to ensure enough water for people and wildlife.

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Fact Sheet: Cave and Karst Resources

Fact Sheet: Cave and Karst Resources

Addressing knowledge gaps to better protect unique landforms and their wealth of hidden biodiversity.

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Fact Sheet: Stream Impacts

Fact Sheet: Stream Impacts

Assessing current and future water withdrawal scenarios to inform decisions for achieving sustainable water ows that meet human demands and sustain healthy ecosystems.

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Wheeler NWR Partners Meeting

The Appalachian LCC, partnered with the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service of Wheeler National Wildlife Refuge, to provide an opportunity to introduce Alabama partners to the LCC and their recently developed decision-support products.

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SC Meeting, August 24-25, 2016

This meeting marked the LCCs transition from its 1st “development” phase (2012-2016) to a new “delivery” phase. We are soliciting partner input regarding how best to deliver the science to the partners. The Appalachian LCC is currently proposing to work through partner networks in focal areas to get the science integrated into on-the-ground conservation.

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Fact Sheet: Online Resources to Inform Natural Resource Management

Fact Sheet: Online Resources to Inform Natural Resource Management

Research from the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) and the U.S. Forest Service is integrating society’s value of ecosystems with future risks, to inform natural resource planning and management across the Appalachians and help decision makers, industry and the public adopt policies that protect and invest in these resources.

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Environmental Flow Analysis for the Marcellus Shale Region PDF

Environmental Flow Analysis for the Marcellus Shale Region PDF

A technical report submitted to the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative in completion of grant# 2012-03 - Final Report

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Identifying Species in Pennsylvania Potentially Vulnerable to Climate Change

This report provides the methods and results of 85 species vulnerability assessments in Pennsylvania.

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Identifying Species in Pennsylvania Potentially Vulnerable to Climate Change

This report provides the methods and results of 85 species vulnerability assessments in Pennsylvania.

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The cold-water climate shield: delineating refugia for preserving salmonid fishes through the 21st century

The distribution and future fate of ectothermic organisms in a warming world will be dictated by thermal-scapes across landscapes. That is particularly true for stream fishes and cold-water species like trout, salmon, and char that are already constrained to high elevations and latitudes. The extreme climates in those environments also preclude invasions by most non-native species, so identifying especially cold habitats capable of absorbing future climate change while still supporting native populations would highlight important refugia. By coupling crowd-sourced biological datasets with high-resolution stream temperature scenarios, we delineate network refugia across >250 000 stream km in the Northern Rocky Mountains for two native salmonids—bull trout (BT) and cutthroat trout (CT). Under both moderate and extreme climate change scenarios, refugia with high probabilities of trout population occupancy (>0.9) were predicted to exist (33–68 BT refugia; 917–1425 CT refugia). Most refugia are on public lands (>90%) where few currently have protected status in National Parks or Wilderness Areas (<15%). Forecasts of refuge locations could enable protection of key watersheds and provide a foundation for climate smart planning of conservation networks. Using cold water as a ‘climate shield’ is generalizable to other species and geographic areas because it has a strong physiological basis, relies on nationally available geospatial data, and mines existing biological datasets. Importantly, the approach creates a framework to integrate data contributed by many individuals and resource agencies, and a process that strengthens the collaborative and social networks needed to preserve many cold-water fish populations through the 21st century.

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CONSERVATION EASEMENTS AT THE CLIMATE CHANGE CROSSROADS

This article examines the conundrum that occurs when climate change leads to a landscape that conflicts with conservation easement terms. In facing the challenge of a disconnect between conservation easements and a changing world, there are two main tacks. First, conservationists can make conservation easements fit the changing landscape. Second, conservationists can change the landscape to fit the conservation easements. Both of these options present challenges and conflict with the essence of the conservation easement tool. A conservation easement that is too changeable endangers the perpetual protection that is the cornerstone of conservation easements. But, forcing the landscape to fit a conservation easement requires active management, something more often associated with fee-simple ownership. The solution to using conservation easements in a changing world lies somewhere between these two extremes, with the most important level of analysis being an assessment of when to use conservation easements.

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Planetary boundaries: Guiding human development on a changing planet

The planetary boundaries framework defines a safe operating space for humanity based on the intrinsic biophysical processes that regulate the stability of the Earth System. Here, we revise and update the planetary boundaries framework, with a focus on the underpinning biophysical science, based on targeted input from expert research communities and on more general scientific advances over the past 5 years. Several of the boundaries now have a two-tier approach, reflecting the importance of cross-scale interactions and the regional-level heterogeneity of the processes that underpin the boundaries. Two core boundaries—climate change and biosphere integrity—have been identified, each of which has the potential on its own to drive the Earth System into a new state should they be substantially and persistently transgressed.

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Ice melt, sea level rise and superstorms: evidence from paleoclimate data, climate modeling, and modern observations that 2C global warming is highly dangerous

There is evidence of ice melt, sea level rise to +5–9 m, and extreme storms in the prior interglacial period that was less than 1◦C warmer than today. Human-made climate forcing is stronger and more rapid than paleo forcings, but much can be learned by combining insights from paleoclimate, climate modeling, and on-going observations. We argue that ice sheets in contact with the ocean are vulnerable to non-linear disintegration in response to ocean warming, and we posit that ice sheet mass loss can be approximated by a doubling time up to sea level rise of at least several meters. Doubling times of 10, 20 or 40 years yield sea level rise of several meters in 50, 100 or 200 years. Paleoclimate data reveal that subsurface ocean warming causes ice shelf melt and ice sheet discharge. Our climate model exposes amplifying feedbacks in the Southern Ocean that slow Antarctic bottom water formation and increase ocean temperature near ice shelf grounding lines, while cooling the surface ocean and increasing sea ice cover and water column stability. Ocean surface cooling, in the North Atlantic as well as the Southern Ocean, increases tropospheric horizontal temperature gradients, eddy kinetic energy and baroclinicity, which drive more powerful storms. We focus attention on the Southern Ocean’s role in affecting atmospheric CO2 amount, which in turn is a tight control knob on global climate. The millennial (500–2000 year) time scale of deep ocean ventilation affects the time scale for natural CO2 change, thus the time scale for paleo global climate, ice sheet and sea level changes. This millennial carbon cycle time scale should not be misinterpreted as the ice sheet time scale for response to a rapid human-made climate forcing. Recent ice sheet melt rates have a doubling time near the lower end of the 10–40 year range. We conclude that 2 ◦C global warming above the preindustrial level, which would spur more ice shelf melt, is highly dangerous. Earth’s energy imbalance, which must be eliminated to stabilize climate, provides a crucial metric.

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National post-2020 greenhouse gas targets and diversity-aware leadership

Achieving the collective goal of limiting warming to below 2 ◦ C or 1.5 ◦ C compared to pre-industrial levels requires a transition towards a fully decarbonized world. Annual greenhouse gas emissions on such a path in 2025 or 2030 can be allocated to individual countries using a variety of allocation schemes. We reanalyse the IPCC literature allocation database and provide country-level details for three approaches. At this stage, however, it seems utopian to assume that the international community will agree on a single allocation scheme. Here, we investigate an approach that involves a major-economy country taking the lead. In a bottom-up manner, other countries then determine what they consider a fair comparable target, for example, either a ‘per-capita convergence’ or ‘equal cumulative per-capita’ approach. For example, we find that a 2030 target of 67% below 1990 for the EU28, a 2025 target of 54% below 2005 for the USA or a 2030 target of 32% below 2010 for China could secure a likely chance of meeting the 2◦C target in our illustrative default case. Comparing those targets to post-2020 mitigation targets reveals a large gap. No major emitter can at present claim to show the necessary leadership in the concerted effort of avoiding warming of 2 ◦ C in a diverse global context.

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From sink to source: Regional variation in U.S. forest carbon futures

The sequestration of atmospheric carbon (C) in forests has partially offset C emissions in the United States (US) and might reduce overall costs of achieving emission targets, especially while transportation and energy sectors are transitioning to lower-carbon technologies. Using detailed forest inventory data for the conterminous US, we estimate forests’ current net sequestration of atmospheric C to be 173 Tg yr−1, offsetting 9.7% of C emissions from transportation and energy sources. Accounting for multiple driving variables, we project a gradual decline in the forest C emission sink over the next 25 years (to 112Tg yr−1) with regional differences. Sequestration in eastern regions declines gradually while sequestration in the Rocky Mountain region declines rapidly and could become a source of atmospheric C due to disturbances such as fire and insect epidemics. C sequestration in the Pacific Coast region stabilizes as forests harvested in previous decades regrow. Scenarios simulating climate-induced productivity enhancement and afforestation policies increase sequestration rates, but would not fully offset declines from aging and forest disturbances. Separating C transfers associated with land use changes from sequestration clarifies forests’ role in reducing net emissions and demonstrates that retention of forest land is crucial for protecting or enhancing sink strength.

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Vulnerability of at-risk species to climate change in New York

This report provides the methods and results of climate change vulnerability assessments of 119 species in New York.

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Vulnerability of at-risk species to climate change in New York

This report provides the methods and results of climate change vulnerability assessments of 119 species in New York.

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Riparian Restoration Decision Support Tool Fact Sheet

Riparian Restoration Decision Support Tool Fact Sheet

An innovative web-based tool - funded by the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) and developed by researchers from the U.S. Forest Service and the University of Massachusetts - is allowing managers to rapidly identify high-priority riparian targets for restoration to make more resilient in preparation for changes in future climate. The Riparian Restoration Prioritization to Promote Climate Change Resilience (RPCCR) tool identifies vulnerable stream and riverbanks that lack tree cover and shade in coldwater stream habitats. By locating the best spots to plant trees in riparian zones, resource managers can provide shade that limits the amount of solar radiation heating the water and reduces the impacts from climate change. This well-established management strategy will benefit high-elevation, cold-water aquatic communities.

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Assessing Future Energy Development Fact Sheet

Assessing Future Energy Development Fact Sheet

Provides a general overview of the need for the Energy Assessment research, the major products and findings that came out of the project, and the relevance of the study, models, and tools to the resource management community.

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AppLCC Web Portal Redesign

New tab structure proposal.

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1.5°C or 2°C: a conduit’s view from the science-policy interface at COP20 in Lima, Peru

An average global 2°C warming compared to pre-industrial times is commonly understood as the most important target in climate policy negotiations. It is a temperature target indicative of a fiercely debated threshold between what some consider acceptable warming and warming that implies dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system and hence to be avoided. Although this 2°C target has been officially endorsed as scientifically sound and justified in the Copenhagen Report issued by the 15th Conference of the Parties (COP) of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2009, the large majority of countries (over two-thirds) that have signed and ratified the UNFCCC strongly object to this target as the core of the long-term goal of keeping temperatures below a certain danger level. Instead, they promote a 1.5°C target as a more adequate limit for dangerous interference. At COP16 in Cancun, parties to the convention recognized the need to consider strengthening the long-term global goal in the so-called 2013–2015 Review, given improved scientific knowledge, including the possible adoption of the 1.5°C target. In this perspective piece, I examine the discussions of a structured expert dialogue (SED) between selected Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) authors, myself included, and parties to the convention to assess the adequacy of the long-term goal. I pay particular attention to the uneven geographies and power differentials that lay behind the ongoing political debate regarding an adequate target for protecting ecosystems, food security, and sustainable development.

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Marxan User Manual

User manual for Marxan software.

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Conservation Strategy for Imperiled Aquatic Species in the UTRB

Conservation Strategy for Imperiled Aquatic Species in the UTRB

The Strategy provides guidance to Field Offices in reevaluating current ("status quo") conservation approaches in order to deliver the most cost effective approach toward the conservation and management of imperiled freshwater fish and mussel species in the Upper Tennessee River Basin.

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Awareness and Outreach

The information and tools from this research is intended to inform planning decisions that can effectively avoid, minimize, or offset impacts from energy development to important natural areas.

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Awareness and Outreach

The information and tools from this research is intended to inform planning decisions that can effectively avoid, minimize, or offset impacts from energy development to important natural areas.

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Fact Sheet: Assessing Future Energy Development Managers Guide

Provides a general overview of the need for the Energy Assessment research, the major products and findings that came out of the project, and the relevance of the study, models, and tools to the resource management community.

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AppLCC Winter Newsletter 2015

In this edition we describe how Steering Committee members and invited experts began developing a process for articulating the Appalachian LCC’s priority resources, highlight all the new deliverables from our funding research projects, and more.

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Shale Gas, Wind and Water: Assessing the Potential Cumulative Impacts of Energy Development on Ecosystem Services within the Marcellus Play

A Nature Conservancy study funded by the Robertson Foundation and published by the open-access Public Library of Science (PLoS) in January 2014, assessed potential impacts of future energy development on water resources in the Marcellus play region.

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Assessing Future Energy Development across the Appalachian LCC. Final Report

In this study funded by the Appalachian LCC, The Nature Conservancy assessed current and future energy development across the entire region. The research combined multiple layers of data on energy development trends and important natural resource and ecosystem services to give a comprehensive picture of what future energy development could look like in the Appalachians. It also shows where likely energy development areas will intersect with other significant values like intact forests, important streams, and vital ecological services such as drinking water supplies.

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When It Rains, It Pours Global Warming and the Increase in Extreme Precipitation from 1948 to 2011

Global warming is happening now and its effects are being felt in the United States and around the world. Among the expected consequences of global warming is an increase in the heaviest rain and snow storms, fueled by increased evaporation and the ability of a warmer atmosphere to hold more moisture. An analysis of more than 80 million daily precipitation records from across the contiguous United States reveals that intense rainstorms and snowstorms have already become more frequent and more severe. Extreme downpours are now happening 30 percent more often nationwide than in 1948. In other words, large rain or snowstorms that happened once every 12 months, on average, in the middle of the 20th century now happen every nine months. Moreover, the largest annual storms now produce 10 percent more precipitation, on average.

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The Wheel of Life Food, Climate, Human Rights, and the Economy

The links between climate change and industrial agriculture create a nexus of crises—food insecurity, natural resource depletion and degradation, as well as human rights violations and inequities. While it is widely recognized that greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions due to human activity are detrimental to the natural environment, it can be difficult to untangle the cascading effects on other sectors. To unravel some of the effects, this paper focuses on three interrelated issues: 1) What are the critical links between climate change and agriculture? 2) How is the nexus of agriculture and climate change affecting human societies particularly regarding food and water, livelihoods, migration, gender equality, and other basic survival and human rights? 3) What is the interplay between economic and finance systems, on the one hand, and food security, climate change, and fundamental human rights, on the other? In the process of drawing connections among these issues, the report will identify the commonality of drivers, or “push” factors, that lead to adverse impacts. A central theme throughout this report is that policies and practices must begin with the ecological imperative in order to ensure authentic security and stability on all fronts including food, water, livelihoods and jobs, climate, energy, and economic. In turn this engenders equity, social justice, and diverse cultures. This imperative, or ethos of nature, is a foundation that serves as a steady guide when reviewing mitigation and adaptation solutions to climate change. Infused within this theme is the sobering recognition that current consumption and production patterns are at odds with goals of reducing GHGs and attaining global food security. For instance, consumption and production levels, based on the global average, are 25 percent higher than the earth’s ecological capacity.1 As societies address the myriad ecological and social issues at the axis of global warming, a central task will be to re-align consumption and production trends in a manner that can fulfill economic and development requirements. This will require a major shift away from present economic growth paradigms based on massive resource extraction and toward creating prosperous and vital societies and economies that preserve the planet’s environmental capacity

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Financial Costs of Meeting Global Biodiversity Conservation Targets: Current Spending and Unmet Needs

World governments have committed to halting human-induced extinctions and safeguarding important sites for biodiversity by 2020, but the financial costs of meeting these targets are largely unknown. We estimate the cost of reducing the extinction risk of all globally threatened bird species (by ≥1 International Union for Conservation of Nature Red List category) to be U.S. $0.875 to $1.23 billion annually over the next decade, of which 12% is currently funded. Incorporating threatened nonavian species increases this total to U.S. $3.41 to $4.76 billion annually. We estimate that protecting and effectively managing all terrestrial sites of global avian conservation significance (11,731 Important Bird Areas) would cost U.S. $65.1 billion annually. Adding sites for other taxa increases this to U.S. $76.1 billion annually. Meeting these targets will require conservation funding to increase by at least an order of magnitude.

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The Last Glacial Maximum

We used 5704 14C, 10Be, and 3 He ages that span the interval from 10,000 to 50,000 years ago (10 to 50 ka) to constrain the timing of the Last Glacial Maximum (LGM) in terms of global ice-sheet and mountain-glacier extent. Growth of the ice sheets to their maximum positions occurred between 33.0 and 26.5 ka in response to climate forcing from decreases in northern summer insolation, tropical Pacific sea surface temperatures, and atmospheric CO2. Nearly all ice sheets were at their LGM positions from 26.5 ka to 19 to 20 ka, corresponding to minima in these forcings. The onset of Northern Hemisphere deglaciation 19 to 20 ka was induced by an increase in northern summer insolation, providing the source for an abrupt rise in sea level. The onset of deglaciation of the West Antarctic Ice Sheet occurred between 14 and 15 ka, consistent with evidence that this was the primary source for an abrupt rise in sea level ~14.5 ka.

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Phenology Feedbacks on Climate Change

A longer growing season as a result of climate change will in turn affect climate through biogeochemical and biophysical effects. SCIENCE VOL 324

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Accounting for Environmental Assets

A country can cut down its forests, erode its soils, pollute its aquifers and hunt its wildlife and fisheries to extinction, but its measured income is not affected as these assets disappear. Impoverishment is taken for progress

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Satellite-based global-ocean mass balance estimates of interannual variability and emerging trends in continental freshwater discharge

Freshwater discharge from the continents is a key component of Earth’s water cycle that sustains human life and ecosystem health. Surprisingly, owing to a number of socioeconomic and political obstacles, a comprehensive global river discharge observing system does not yet exist. Here we use 13 years (1994–2006) of satellite precipitation, evaporation, and sea level data in an ocean mass balance to estimate freshwater discharge into the global ocean. Results indicate that global freshwater discharge averaged 36,055 km3∕y for the study period while exhibiting significant interannual variability driven primarily by El Niño Southern Oscillation cycles. The method described here can ultimately be used to estimate long-term global discharge trends as the records of sea level rise and ocean temperature lengthen. For the relatively short 13-year period studied here, global discharge increased by 540 km3 ∕y2 , which was largely attributed to an increase of global- ocean evaporation (768 km3 ∕y2 ). Sustained growth of these flux rates into long-term trends would provide evidence for increasing intensity of the hydrologic cycle. climate ∣ global water cycle ∣ hydrology ∣ remote sensing ∣ observations

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The future of ice sheets and sea ice: Between reversible retreat and unstoppable loss

We discuss the existence of cryospheric “tipping points” in the Earth’s climate system. Such critical thresholds have been sug- gested to exist for the disappearance of Arctic sea ice and the retreat of ice sheets: Once these ice masses have shrunk below an anticipated critical extent, the ice–albedo feedback might lead to the irreversible and unstoppable loss of the remaining ice. We here give an overview of our current understanding of such thresh- old behavior. By using conceptual arguments, we review the recent findings that such a tipping point probably does not exist for the loss of Arctic summer sea ice. Hence, in a cooler climate, sea ice could recover rapidly from the loss it has experienced in recent years. In addition, we discuss why this recent rapid retreat of Arc- tic summer sea ice might largely be a consequence of a slow shift in ice-thickness distribution, which will lead to strongly increased year-to-year variability of the Arctic summer sea-ice extent. This variability will render seasonal forecasts of the Arctic summer sea- ice extent increasingly difficult. We also discuss why, in contrast to Arctic summer sea ice, a tipping point is more likely to exist for the loss of the Greenland ice sheet and the West Antarctic ice sheet. Greenland | West Antarctic | climate change | tipping point | Arctic

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A BURDEN BEYOND BEARING

The climate situation may be even worse than you think. In the first of three features, Richard Monastersky looks at evidence that keeping carbon dioxide beneath dangerous levels is tougher than previously thought.

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Earth system sensitivity inferred from Pliocene modelling and data

Here we use a coupled atmosphere–ocean general circulation model to simulate the climate of the mid-Pliocene warm period (about three million years ago), and analyse the forcings and feedbacks that contributed to the relatively warm temperatures. Furthermore, we compare our simulation with proxy records of mid-Pliocene sea surface temperature. Taking these lines of evidence together, we estimate that the response of the Earth system to elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations is 30–50% greater than the response based on those fast-adjusting components of the climate system that are used traditionally to estimate climate sensitivity. We conclude that targets for the long-term stabilization of atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations aimed at preventing a dangerous human interference with the climate system should take into account this higher sensitivity of the Earth system.

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Synthesis of Knowledge of Extreme Fire Behavior: Volume I for Fire Managers

The National Wildfire Coordinating Group definition of extreme fire behavior (EFB) indicates a level of fire behavior characteristics that ordinarily precludes methods of direct control action. One or more of the following is usually involved: high rate of spread, prolific crowning/spotting, presence of fire whirls, and strong convection column. Predictability is difficult because such fires often exercise some degree of influence on their environment and behave erratically, sometimes dangerously. Alternate terms include “blow up” and “fire storm.” Fire managers examining fires over the last 100 years have come to understand many of the factors necessary for EFB development. This work produced guidelines included in current firefighter training, which presents the current methods of predicting EFB by using the crown fire model, which is based on the environmental influences of weather, fuels, and topography. Current training does not include the full extent of scientific understanding. Material in current training programs is also not the most recent scientific knowledge. National Fire Plan funds have sponsored newer research related to wind profiles’ influence on fire behavior, plume growth, crown fires, fire dynamics in live fuels, and conditions associated with vortex development. Of significant concern is that characteristic features of EFB depend on condi- tions undetectable on the ground, relying fundamentally on invisible properties such as wind shear or atmospheric stability. Obviously no one completely understands all the factors contributing to EFB because of gaps in our knowledge. These gaps, as well as the limitations as to when various models or indices apply should be noted to avoid application where they are not appropriate or warranted. This synthesis will serve as a summary of existing extreme fire behavior knowledge for use by fire managers, firefighters, and fire researchers. The objective of this project is to synthesize existing EFB knowledge in a way that connects the weather, fuel, and topographic factors that contribute to development of EFB. This synthesis will focus on the state of the science, but will also consider how that science is currently presented to the fire management community, including incident commanders, fire behavior analysts, incident meteorologists, National Weather Service office forecasters, and firefighters. It will seek to clearly delineate the known, the unknown, and areas of research with the greatest potential impact on firefighter protection.

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Opposing plant community responses to warming with and without herbivores

If controls over primary productivity and plant community composition are mainly environmental, as opposed to biological, then global change may result in large-scale alterations in ecosystem structure and function. This view appears to be favored among investigations of plant biomass and community responses to experimental and observed warming. In far northern and arctic ecosystems, such studies predict increasing dominance of woody shrubs with future warming and emphasize the carbon (C)-sequestration potential and consequent atmospheric feedback potential of such responses. In contrast to previous studies, we incorporated natural herbivory by muskoxen and caribou into a 5-year experimental investigation of arctic plant community response to warming. In accordance with other studies, warming increased total community biomass by promoting growth of deciduous shrubs (dwarf birch and gray willow). However, mus- koxen and caribou reduced total community biomass response, and responses of birch and willow, to warming by 19%, 46%, and 11%, respectively. Furthermore, under warming alone, the plant community shifted after 5 years away from graminoid-dominated toward dwarf birch-dominated. In contrast, where herbivores grazed, plant community composition on warmed plots did not differ from that on ambient plots after 5 years. These results highlight the potentially important and overlooked influences of vertebrate herbivores on plant community response to warming and emphasize that conservation and management of large herbivores may be an important component of mitigating ecosystem response to climate change. arctic 􏱙 climate change 􏱙 global warming 􏱙 herbivory 􏱙 species interactions

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State of the Wild: PERSPECTIVE OF A CLIMATOLOGIST

“Animals are on the run. Plants are migrating too.”1 I wrote those words in 2006 to draw attention to the fact that climate change was already under way. People do not notice climate change because it is masked by day-to-day weather fluctuations, and we reside in comfortable homes. Animals and plants, on the other hand, can survive only within certain climatic conditions, which are now changing. The National Arbor Day Foundation had to redraw its maps for the zones in which tree species can survive, and animals are shifting to new habitats as well. Are these gradual changes in the wild consistent with dramatic scientific assessments of a crystallizing planetary emergency? Unfortunately, yes. Present examples only hint at the scale of the planetary emergency that climate studies reveal with increasing clarity.

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WATER, CLIMATE CHANGE, AND FORESTS Watershed Stewardship for a Changing Climate

Water from forested watersheds provides irreplaceable habitat for aquatic and riparian species and supports our homes, farms, industries, and energy production. Secure, high-quality water from forests is fundamental to our prosperity and our stewardship responsibility. Yet population pressures, land uses, and rapid climate change combine to seriously threaten these waters and the resilience of watersheds in most places. Forest land managers are expected to anticipate and respond to these threats and steward forested watersheds to ensure the sustained protection and provision of water and the services it provides. Effective, constructive watershed stewardship requires that we think, collaborate, and act. We think to understand the values at risk and how watersheds can remain resilient, and we support our thinking with knowledge sharing and planning. We collaborate to develop common understandings and goals for watersheds and a robust, durable capacity for response that includes all stakeholders and is guided by science. We act to secure and steward resilient watersheds that will continue to provide crucial habitats and water supplies in the coming century by implementing practices that protect, maintain, and restore watershed processes and services.

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Annual plants change in size over a century of observations

Abstract Studies have documented changes in animal body size over the last century, but very little is known about changes in plant sizes, even though reduced plant productivity is potentially responsible for declines in size of other organisms. Here, I ask whether warming trends in the Great Basin have affected plant size by measuring specimens preserved on herbarium sheets collected between 1893 and 2011. I asked how maximum and minimum temperatures, precipitation, and the Pacific Decadal Oscillation (PDO) in the year of collection affected plant height, leaf size, and flower number, and asked whether changes in climate resulted in decreasing sizes for seven annual forbs. Species had contrasting responses to climate factors, and would not necessarily be expected to respond in parallel to climatic shifts. There were generally positive relationships between plant size and increased minimum and maximum temperatures, which would have been predicted to lead to small increases in plant sizes over the observation period. While one species increased in size and flower number over the observation period, five of the seven species decreased in plant height, four of these decreased in leaf size, and one species also decreased in flower production. One species showed no change. The mechanisms behind these size changes are unknown, and the limited data available on these species (germination timing, area of occupancy, relative abundance) did not explain why some species shrank while others grew or did not change in size over time. These results show that multiple annual forbs are decreasing in size, but that even within the same functional group, species may have contrasting responses to similar environmental stimuli. Changes in plant size could have cascading effects on other members of these communities, and differential responses to directional change may change the composition of plant communities over time.

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Effects of Climatic Variability and Change on Forest Ecosystems: General Technical Report PNW-GTR-870 December 2012

This report is a scientific assessment of the current condition and likely future condition of forest resources in the United States relative to climatic variability and change. It serves as the U.S. Forest Service forest sector technical report for the National Climate Assessment and includes descriptions of key regional issues and examples of a risk-based framework for assessing climate-change effects. By the end of the 21st century, forest ecosystems in the United States will differ from those of today as a result of changing climate. Although increases in temperature, changes in precipitation, higher atmospheric concentrations of carbon dioxide (CO2), and higher nitrogen (N) deposition may change ecosystem structure and function, the most rapidly visible and most significant short-term effects on forest ecosystems will be caused by altered disturbance regimes. For example, wildfires, insect infestations, pulses of erosion and flooding, and drought-induced tree mortality are all expected to increase during the 21st century. These direct and indirect climate-change effects are likely to cause losses of ecosystem services in some areas, but may also improve and expand ecosystem services in others. Some areas may be particularly vulnerable because current infrastructure and resource production are based on past climate and steady-state conditions. The ability of communities with resource-based economies to adapt to climate change is linked to their direct exposure to these changes, as well as to the social and institutional structures present in each environment. Human communities that have diverse economies and are resilient to change today will also be prepared for future climatic stresses.

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Energy intensities, EROIs (energy returned on invested), and energy payback times of electricity generating power plants

The energy returned on investment, EROI, has been evaluated for typical power plants representing wind energy, photovoltaics, solar thermal, hydro, natural gas, biogas, coal and nuclear power. The strict exergy concept with no “primary energy weighting”, updated material databases, and updated technical pro- cedures make it possible to directly compare the overall efficiency of those power plants on a uniform mathematical and physical basis. Pump storage systems, needed for solar and wind energy, have been included in the EROI so that the efficiency can be compared with an “unbuffered” scenario. The results show that nuclear, hydro, coal, and natural gas power systems (in this order) are one order of magnitude more effective than photovoltaics and wind power

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EPA and the Army Corps’ Proposed Rule to Define “Waters of the United States”

Excerpt from summary : According to the agencies, the proposed rule would revise the existing regulatory definition of “waters of the United States” consistent with legal rulings—especially the Supreme Court cases—and science concerning the interconnectedness of tributaries, wetlands, and other waters to downstream waters and effects of these connections on the chemical, physical, and biological integrity of downstream waters. Waters that are “jurisdictional” are subject to the multiple regulatory requirements of the CWA: standards, discharge limitations, permits, and enforcement. Non-jurisdictional waters, in contrast, do not have the federal legal protection of those requirements. This report describes the March 25 proposed rule and includes a table comparing the existing regulatory language that defines “waters of the United States” with that in the proposal.

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Drought in the United States: Causes and Issues for Congress

Drought is a natural hazard with often significant societal, economic, and environmental consequences. Public policy issues related to drought range from how to identify and measure drought to how best to prepare for, mitigate, and respond to drought impacts, and who should bear associated costs. Severe drought in 2011 and 2012 fueled congressional interest in near-term issues, such as current (and recently expired) federal programs and their funding, and long-term issues, such as drought forecasting and various federal drought relief and mitigation actions. Continuing drought conditions throughout the country contribute to ongoing interest in federal drought policies and responses. As of April 2013, drought has persisted across approximately two-thirds of the United States and is threatening agricultural production and other sectors. More than 1,180 counties so far have been designated as disaster areas for the 2013 crop season, including 286 counties contiguous to primary drought counties. In comparison, in August 2012, more than 1,400 counties in 33 states had been designated as disaster counties by the U.S. Secretary of Agriculture. Most attention in the 112th Congress focused on the extension of expired disaster assistance programs in separate versions of a 2012 farm bill. Attention in the 113th Congress again is expected to focus on farm bill legislation; however, other bills addressing different aspects of drought policy and response have also been introduced. (For information regarding drought disaster assistance for agricultural producers, see CRS Report RS21212, Agricultural Disaster Assistance. For information on the 2012 bill, see CRS Report R42552, The 2012 Farm Bill: A Comparison of Senate-Passed S. 3240 and the House Agriculture Committee’s H.R. 6083 with Current Law.) Although agricultural losses typically dominate drought impacts, federal drought activities are not limited to agriculture. For example, the 2012 drought raised congressional interest in whether and to what extent other federal agencies have and are using authorities to address drought. Similarly, the President in August 2012 convened the White House Rural Council to assess executive branch agencies’ responses to the ongoing drought. The Administration shortly thereafter announced several new administrative actions to address the drought. While numerous federal programs address different aspects of drought, no comprehensive national drought policy exists. A 2000 National Drought Policy Commission noted the patchwork nature of drought programs, and that despite a major federal role in responding to drought, no single federal agency leads or coordinates drought programs—instead, the federal role is more of “crisis management.” Congress may opt to revisit the commission’s recommendations. Congress also may consider proposals to manage drought impacts, such as authorizing new assistance to develop or augment water supplies for localities, industries, and agriculture—or providing funding for such activities where authorities already exist. Congress also may address how the two major federal water management agencies, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers and the Bureau of Reclamation, plan for and respond to drought. This report describes the physical causes of drought, drought history in the United States, and policy challenges related to drought. It also provides examples of recurrent regional drought conditions. For information on federal agricultural disaster assistance and related legislation, see the CRS reports noted above.

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What Every Conservation Biologist Should Know about Human Population

EDITORIAL:CONCLUDING PARAGRAPH: As with population issues, conservation biologists should ensure that we, as individuals and a professional society, understand the current state of knowledge about consumption and encourage constructive dialogues on consumption and its effects on biodiversity. We are not the first to highlight the issue of consumption (Baltz 1999) in this journal. Although conservation biologists may debate whether U.S. consumption is excessive (Ehrlich & Goulder 2007), the answer is more clear to some. Two months after the 2011 Society for Conservation Biology meeting mentioned above, the first author was in India attending a presentation by Elinor Os- trom (2012), who won the Nobel Prize for her work on management of the commons. At the end of the presentation, a participant asked Dr. Ostrom how we can get the world to talk about consumption as the root cause of the world’s environmental problems. This is the question conservation biologists should ask more often.

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Global Warming: Why Business is Taking it So Seriously.

Consensus is growing among scientists, governments, and business that they must act fast to combat climate change. This has already sparked efforts to limit CO[SUB 2] emissions. Many companies are now preparing for a carbon-constrained world.

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Pervasive Externalities at the Population, Consumption, and Environment Nexus

Growing concerns that contemporary patterns of economic development are unsustainable have given rise to an extensive empirical literature on population growth, consumption increases, and our growing use of nature’s products and services. However, far less has been done to reach a theoretical understanding of the socio-ecological processes at work at the population- consumption-environment nexus. In this Research Article, we highlight the ubiquity of externalities (which are the unaccounted for consequences for others, including future people) of decisions made by each of us on reproduction, consumption, and the use of our natural environment. Externalities, of which the “tragedy of the commons” remains the most widely discussed illustration, are a cause of inefficiency in the allocation of resources across space, time, and contingencies; in many situations, externalities accentuate inequity as well. Here, we identify and classify externalities in consumption and reproductive decisions and use of the natural environment so as to construct a unified theoretical framework for the study of data drawn from the nexus. We show that externalities at the nexus are not self-correcting in the marketplace. We also show that fundamental nonlinearities, built into several categories of externalities, amplify the socio-ecological processes operating at the nexus. Eliminating the externalities would, therefore, require urgent collective action at both local and global levels.

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Vulnerability of terrestrial island vertebrates to projected sea-level rise

Sea-level rise (SLR) from global warming may have severe consequences for biodiversity; however, a baseline, broad- scale assessment of the potential consequences of SLR for island biodiversity is lacking. Here, we quantify area loss for over 12 900 islands and over 3000 terrestrial vertebrates in the Pacific and Southeast Asia under three different SLR scenarios (1 m, 3 m and 6 m). We used very fine-grained elevation information, which offered >100 times greater spatial detail than previous analyses and allowed us to evaluate thousands of hitherto not assessed small islands. Depending on the SLR scenario, we estimate that 15–62% of islands in our study region will be completely inundated and 19–24% will lose 50–99% of their area. Overall, we project that between 1% and 9% of the total island area in our study region may be lost. We find that Pacific species are 2–3 times more vulnerable than those in the Indomalayan or Australasian region and risk losing 4–22% of range area (1–6 m SLR). Species already listed as threatened by IUCN are particularly vulnerable compared with non-threatened species. Under a simple area loss–species loss proportion- ality assumption, we estimate that 37 island group endemic species in this region risk complete inundation of their current global distribution in the 1 m SLR scenario that is widely anticipated for this century (and 118 species under 3 m SLR). Our analysis provides a first, broad-scale estimate of the potential consequences of SLR for island biodiver- sity and our findings confirm that islands are extremely vulnerable to sea-level rise even within this century. Keywords: climate change, conservation, endemic species, island biogeography, range contractions, sea-level rise, threatened species, vertebrates

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Scientific reticence and sea level rise

I suggest that ‘scientific reticence’, in some cases, hinders communication with the public about dangers of global warming. If I am right, it is important that policy-makers recognize the potential influence of this phenomenon. Scientific reticence may be a consequence of the scientific method. Success in science depends on objective skepticism. Caution, if not reticence, has its merits. However, in a case such as ice sheet instability and sea level rise, there is a danger in excessive caution. We may rue reticence, if it serves to lock in future disasters.Barber (1961) describes a ‘resistance by scientists to scientific discovery’, with a scholarly discussion of several sources of cultural resistance.There are aspects of the phenomenon that Barber discusses in the ‘scientific reticence’ that I describe, but additional factors come into play in the case of global climate change and sea level rise.

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SC Meeting & Workshop Agenda

For Meeting on September 3-5, 2014 in Shepherdstown, WVA

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Land managers to gain tools to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions

Trees take in and store a lot of carbon dioxide, or CO2, a greenhouse gas. Being able to measure forestry and agricultural intake and emissions of CO2 is critical to developing a strategy for addressing climate change by reducing greenhouse gases.

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Fact Sheet: AppLCC Overview

Fact Sheet: AppLCC Overview

Today a range of monumental conservation challenges confronts the Appalachians. This includes the loss and fragmentation of natural habitats; disruptions in natural disturbance regimes; and expanding major land-use changes that are occurring on a grand scale. Climate change will further exacerbate these challenges. The magnitude of these landscape-level changes requires a shift from traditional local and single-species conservation approaches toward a more comprehensive scale to protect species, habitats, and ecosystems. The Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) serves as a catalyst for conservation collaboration by providing the tools, products, and data, resource managers and partners need to address the environmental threats that are beyond the scope of any one agency.

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Central Hardwoods Joint Venture Glade Conservation Assessment For the Interior Highlands and Interior Low Plateaus Of the Central Hardwoods Region

Central Hardwoods Joint Venture Glade Conservation Assessment For the Interior Highlands and Interior Low Plateaus Of the Central Hardwoods Region

The glade conservation assessment is a collaborative effort among 8 states to document the current status and distribution of 24 distinct glade ecosystems and their associated species of conservation concern within the Central Hardwoods Bird Conservation Region, as well as the Ouachita Mountains to the south.

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Fact Sheet: Riparian Restoration Decision Support Tool

Fact Sheet: Riparian Restoration Decision Support Tool

An innovative web-based tool - funded by the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC) and developed by researchers from the U.S. Forest Service and the University of Massachusetts - is allowing managers to rapidly identify high-priority riparian targets for restoration to make more resilient in preparation for changes in future climate. The Riparian Restoration Prioritization to Promote Climate Change Resilience (RPCCR) tool identifies vulnerable stream and riverbanks that lack tree cover and shade in coldwater stream habitats. By locating the best spots to plant trees in riparian zones, resource managers can provide shade that limits the amount of solar radiation heating the water and reduces the impacts from climate change. This well-established management strategy will benefit high-elevation, cold-water aquatic communities.

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Observed Changes in Phenology Across the United States - Northeast

Observed Changes in Phenology Across the United States - Northeast

Phenology — the seasonal timing of life cycle events in plants and animals such as flowering, hibernation, and migration — has been linked to shifts in the timing of allergy seasons, public visitation to National Parks, and cultural festivals. Change in phenology, recognized as a bio-indicator of climate change impacts, has also been linked to increased wildfire activity and pest outbreak, shifts in species distributions, spread of invasive species, and changes in carbon cycling in forests. Phenological information can and already is being used to identify species vulnerable to climate change, to generate computer models of carbon sequestration, to manage invasive species, to forecast seasonal allergens, and to track disease vectors, such as mosquitoes and ticks, in human population centers.

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National Climate Assessement: Northeast

(Draft for public review) National Climate Assessment. Chapter 16. Northeast

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USGS: Effects of Climate Change and Land Use on Water Resources in the Upper Colorado River Basin

(see Section on: Science in Support of Management Decisions). Fact sheet presents models, projected flow, paleo-climate record, system changes, Land-Use Management and Effects on Water Supply, Fish Futures and Changing Riparian Habitat.

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FL: Addressing the Challenge of Climate Change in the Greater Everglades Landscape

“Addressing the Challenge of Climate Change in the Greater Everglades Landscape” is a research initiative funded by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (USFWS) and the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and carried out by a group of researchers at the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). The study investigates possible trajectories of future transformation in the Greater Everglades Landscape relative to four main drivers: climate change, shifts in planning approaches and regulations, population change, and variations in financial resources. Through a systematic exploration at the landscape-scale, this research identifies some of the major challenges to future conservation efforts and illustrates a planning method which can generate conservation strategies resilient to a variety of climatic and socioeconomic conditions.

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U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Identifies Critical Habitat for Diamond Darter

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Identifies Critical Habitat for Diamond Darter

The endangered diamond darter, a tiny fish that has faced serious threats to its home, depends on 123 miles of habitat for its survival, the Service today announced. Once found along the southern Appalachians from Ohio to Tennessee, this native darter has been restricted to one stream along the Elk River by years of changes from dams, water quality degradation and other threats.

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Publications & Outreach

A collection of reports, plans, and outreach products related to the activities of the Appalachian Landscape Conservation Cooperative (LCC).

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FWS Conservation Framework

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service Conservation Framework

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North Atlantic LCC

Communication Plan of the North Atlantic LCC

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National Fish, Wildlife, & Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy

The purpose of the National Fish, Wildlife and Plants Climate Adaptation Strategy is to inspire and enable natural resource administrators, elected officials, and other decision makers to take action to adapt to a changing climate. Adaptation actions are vital to sustaining the nation’s ecosystems and natural resources — as well as the human uses and values that the natural world provides.

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Maryland SHC Plan

The Chesapeake Bay Field Office is actively involved in conservation and restoration activities in the Chesapeake Bay watershed with most of these activities occurring in Maryland, Delaware, and the District of Columbia. However, our close proximity to the Environmental Protection Agency’s  (EPA)  Chesapeake  Bay  Program  involves  us  taking  a  lead  role  in  dealing  with   watershed wide issues. We have been actively engaged in the Environmental Protection Agency’s  (EPA)  Chesapeake  Bay  Program since its inception in 1983. Over the years we have provided leadership on fish passage, oysters, stream restoration, toxics, invasive species, wetlands, and SAV. Most recently, we are providing leadership on the Habitat Goal Implementation Team, and have provided substantial input to develop a renewed federal strategy for restoring the Chesapeake Bay as part of the Chesapeake Bay Executive Order that President Obama signed in May 2009. We will be responsible for implementing many of the actions identified in the Habitat and Living Resource 202(g) report.

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New York and Long Island Plan

The New York and Long Island Field Offices have developed a strategic plan for our future work. This plan provides the direction of our field offices’ work and allows us to clearly articulate to others what our goals are and why. Our plan was developed using the Strategic Habitat Conservation approach (SHC). The SHC approach is an adaptive management methodology with 4 identifiable phases – biological planning, conservation design, conservation implementation, and monitoring. You will see that our strategic plan reflects this process in its construction.

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Pennsylvania Ecological Services Plan

The Pennsylvania Ecological Services Field Office (PAFO) of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) has developed this Priority Planning Strategy to guide its work over the next three fiscal years. This Strategy will be shared with other conservation partners, both within the FWS (e.g. other field stations in Pennsylvania, as well as neighboring Field Offices), and outside of the FWS (state wildlife agencies, federal agencies, conservation organizations, and others). Based on conversations with partners at all levels, and depending upon changing resources, information, or rates of progress, the Strategy will be subject to ongoing review and revision.

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West Virginia Ecological Services Plan

With  the  mission  of  the  U.  S.  Fish  and  Wildlife  Service  in  mind  the  Service’s  West  Virginia   Field Office (WVFO), Elkins, West Virginia, has developed a multi-year comprehensive strategic priority plan for West Virginia to be  utilized  in  conjunction  with  the  Service’s   Washington  and  Region  5  offices’  guiding  parameters  articulated  under  the  Vision,  Conservation   Principles and Priorities below. The WVFO has incorporated these parameters into our strategic priority plan, weaving our activities not only into these national and regional parameters but also into the Strategic Habitat Conservation (SHC) framework.

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Virginia Ecological Services Plan

The 2010-2014 Strategic Plan's purpose is to work as one group, crossing and blurring program boundaries, to determine statewide resource priorities and a strategic approach to addressing these priorities in our daily actions, resulting in a more focused effort on specific Service priorities that will offer the largest conservation benefit.

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2011 Workshop Report - Conservation Priorities Science Needs

As prepared under the DJ Chase contract by Dr. Gwen White (182 pgs). This is the FULL Report that includes details on how the Workshop was organized, the final Science Needs Portolio (draft - compliation) generated by the various Thematic Work Groups, and the Workshop evaluations and recommendations.

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LCC Fact Sheet - Northeast Region

General LCC Fact Sheet prepared by the FWS Northeast Regional Office.

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General Fact Sheet -- LCCs and CSCs

Prepared by the National DOI Offices - a quick reference fact sheet on the relationship between LCCs and CSCs (DOI Climate Science Centers under the National Wildlife and Climate Change Center.)

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(ex) of AppLCC Communications Product -- 2010 Fact Sheet

This was the first Fact Sheet produced by the FWS Northeast Region Office under Acting LCC Coordinator, Sherry Morgan. (Coordinator name/contact updated in 2011)

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Riparian Restoration to Promote Climate Change Resilience in Eastern U.S. Streams

Riparian Restoration to Promote Climate Change Resilience in Eastern U.S. Streams

Provision of shade via riparian restoration is a well-established management adaptation strategy to mitigate against temperature increases in streams. Effective use of this strategy depends upon accurately identifying vulnerable, unforested riparian areas in priority coldwater stream habitats. An innovative riparian planting and restoration decision support tool is now available to the conservation community. This user-friendly tool allows managers and decision-makers to rapidly identify and prioritize areas along the banks of rivers, streams, and lakes for restoration, making these ecosystems more resilient to disturbance and future changes in climate.

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TheNatureConservancy-CC-Resilience FactSheet.pdf

Fact Sheet on Climate Change resilience.

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DOI Invited Nominations for NCCWSC & CSC Federal Advisory Committee

Intent to create a Federal Advisory Committee for the USGS National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center and DOI Climate Science Centers

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ISC Meeting & Workshop, July 11-13, 2012

The Interim Steering Committee met in Blacksburg, VA to develop the Cooperative’s key goals, formulate guiding principles, and define next steps for incorporation into the LCC's first Work Plan.

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ISC Meeting & Workshop, July 11-13, 2012

The Interim Steering Committee met in Blacksburg, VA to develop the Cooperative’s key goals, formulate guiding principles, and define next steps for incorporation into the LCC's first Work Plan.

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