New Publication Features Climate Science Centers and Adaptation Strategies

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

As the climate warms and other global changes progress, species move outside their historical ranges, new ecological communities form and ecosystems transition to new states. To cope, conservation organizations will need to adapt.

A new paper published in Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment ( examines if the way that conservation organizations are configured positions them to adapt effectively. The paper was produced by a team of authors from universities, conservation nonprofits and relevant federal agencies. The authors discuss the work of Climate Science Centers and Landscape Conservation Cooperatives specifically. They also highlight examples of on-the-ground adaptation efforts led by land trusts within the NE region. While numerous changes to conservation actions (eg facilitated ecological transitions, managed relocations, or increased corridor development) have been recommended, this new paper goes further and argues that some institutional restructuring within conservation organizations may also be required.  The paper provides resources to help conservation organizations assess their capacity to adapt. It also raises new hypotheses about how the configuration of different organizations enables them to protect particular conservation targets and manage for particular biophysical changes that require coordinated management actions over different spatial and temporal scales.

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Armsworth P.R., Larson E.R., Jackson S.T., Sax D.F., Simonin P., Blossey B., Green N., Klein M.L., Lester L., Ricketts T.H., Runge M.C., Shaw M.R. 2015. Are conservation organizations configured for effective adaptation to global change? Frontiers in Ecology and the Environment, in press. doi: 10.1890/130352