A team led by Curtice Griffin recently completed the NE CASC project, "Mechanisms for species responses to climate change: Are there biological thresholds?"
This work responds to the widespread impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems across the NE CASC region along with the accompanying need to better equip natural resource managers with information that will help them maintain ecological function and species persistence as climate change becomes more intense.
Leveraging the research that has already been supported by NE CASC and its partners, team members used the latest modeling techniques combined with robust field data to examine the impact of specific climate variables, land use change, and species interactions on the future distribution and abundance of species of conservation concern. The interdisciplinary group worked to understand the mechanisms that are driving these changes. Focal species included songbirds, boreal mammals, trees and southern pine beetles.
This project documented biological threshold responses related to climate change for species of conservation concern in the Northeastern and Midwestern U.S. Specifically, it found that thresholds, driven by climate change, are ubiquitous and, as detailed here, can affect the distribution and growth of populations of these species. It also concluded that these effects can inform our assessments of risk for these species as well as our management decisions.