The field of climate adaptation is still getting established, and guidelines and examples for how to manage for climate change on-the-ground are still rare. The concept of climate change refugia, areas buffered from climate change that enable persistence of valued resources, is being discussed as a potential adaptation option in the face of anthropogenic climate change. This project seeks to provide practical guidance for how to operationalize this concept and to work with stakeholders to help prioritize actions to conserve climate change refugia. In addition, I use the tools of ecological and climate modeling and historical field data to test predictions of climate change refugia in the Sierra Nevada of California.
Many resource managers and conservation organizations are looking to help their ecosystems, habitats and species adapt to climate change. Climate change refugia can allow species to persist in the face of warming and changing precipitation regimes. Managers are eager to learn how to implement these ideas. Preliminary results of mapped meadow refugia and connectivity in the Sierra Nevada match with wildlife population persistence and genetic diversity data.
Tools and Products
- Maher, S. P., T. L. Morelli, M. Hershey, A. L. Flint, L. E. Flint, C. Moritz, and S. R. Beissinger. 2017. Erosion of refugia in the Sierra Nevada meadows network with climate change. Ecosphere 8(4):e01673. 10.1002/ecs2.167
- Morelli, T.L., Maher, S., Lim, M.C.W., Kastely, C., Eastman, L.P., A. Flint, L. Flint, S.R. Beissinger, & C. Moritz. 2017. Climate Change Refugia and Habitat Connectivity Promote Species Persistence. Climate Change Responses. 4(1) DOI 10.1186/s40665-017-0036-5
- Morelli TL, Daly C, Dobrowski SZ, Dulen DM, Ebersole JL, Jackson ST, et al. (2016) Managing Climate Change Refugia for Climate Adaptation. PLoS ONE 11(8): e0159909. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0159909
- Morelli, T.L., The Wildlife Society Conference Annual Meeting. Oct 2, 2019
- Morelli, T.L., Climate change refugia for the conservation of fish and wildlife workshop," Incorporating Climate Change Refugia Into Climate Adaptation in the Acadia National Park Region" Acadia National Park. July 22, 2019.
- Morelli, T.L., Refugia Research Coalition special issue planning workshop. October 16-19 2018.
- Morelli, T.L., Stony Brook University Department of Ecology and Evolution Seminar. March 3, 2018.
- Morelli, T.L., "Climate Change Refugia Conservation Cycle", Boreal refugia meeting in Edmonton, Canada, presentation. Feb 28-29, 2018.
- Morelli, T.L., "Translational Ecology: Doing Science that Matters", Indiana University seminar presentation. Feb 22, 2018.
- Morelli, T.L., "A regional-scale approach for connecting refugia science to natural & cultural resource management", Ecological Society of America, Portland, OR. August 2017.
- Morelli, T.L., "Managing Climate Change Refugia for Biodiversity Conservation", NAF, St Paul, MN. May 2017.
- Morelli, T.L., "Conserving Climate Change Refugia as a Climate Adaptation Strategy" George Wright Symposium presentation, Norfolk VA. April 6, 2017.
- Morelli, T.L., “Conserving Climate Change Refugia as a Climate Adaptation Strategy”, by request from the National Park Service, at the George Wright Symposium in Norfolk, VA. April 2017.
- Morelli, T.L., Climate change refugia work, Annual meeting of the NEAFWA SWAP leaders, Hadley, MA, March 2017. Great interest from states as well as the North Atlantic LCC.
- Morelli, T.L., "The Northeast Climate Science Center: Improving the Way Climate Science Informs Resource Management" 76th Annual Midwest Fish and Wildlife Conference, Lincoln NE. Feb 7, 2017.
- Morelli, T.L., "Climate-Influenced Species Range Shifts: Where Are We Headed?" Organized session at the American Geophysical Union Fall Meeting, San Francisco. Dec 2016.
- Morelli, T.L., "Co-production of knowledge: managers and scientists working together for effective conservation in the face of climate change", Organized session for the Natural Areas Conference, Davis, CA. October 2016.
- Morelli, T.L., "Managing Climate Change Refugia for Biodiversity Conservation" workshop at the International Union for the Conservation of Nature World Conservation Congress in Honolulu, Hawaii. July 2016.
- Morelli, T.L., Presentation and organized session on climate change refugia, AGU December 2015
- Morelli, T.L., ESA, Baltimore. August 2015.
- Report: "Climate Change Refugia." USDA Forest Service Climate Change Resource Center. 2018
- Resource: The Refugia Research Coalition Portal for the Northwest and Northeast
- Undark, Climate Refugia: Safe Havens for Vulnerable Species, January 7, 2019.
- Nature, Help to shape policy with your science August 28, 2018
- Science Daily Coldwater streams may provide refuge against changing climate July 24, 2018
- Mountain Views, Mapping Climate Change Refugia in the Sierra Nevada, page 7 (guest editorial, page 2), December, 2018.
- NE CSC News Announcing the Northeast Refugia Research Coalition, July 21, 2017
- New England Public Radio Conservationists Try To Thwart Cliamte Change By Planting in Cold Spots June 21, 2017
- NE CSC Regional Science Meeting Refugia Session Output List May 17, 2017
- NE CSC News New Publication: Mapping Meadows of Climate “Refugia” in the Sierra Nevada May 8, 2017
- Wildlife Conservation Society Magazine Steps to managing climate change refugia for wildlife August 24, 2016
- New England Public Radio Researchers At UMass Look For The Places That Climate Change Forgot, August 23, 2016
- Gazette UMass researchers looking for places safe from climate change August 15, 2016
- Lab Manager Managing Climate Change Refugia to Protect Wildlife August 11, 2016
- Phys.Org Managing climate change refugia to protect wildlife August 10, 2016
- Science Daily Managing Climate Change Refugia to Protect Wildlife August 10, 2016
- Terra Daily Managing climate change refugia to protect wildlife August 10, 2016
- NE CSC News New Publication: Managing Climate Change Refugia to Protect Wildlife August 10, 2016
- UMass Press Release Managing Climate Change Refugia to Protect Wildlife August 10, 2016
- Morelli, T.L., "Climate Project Screening Tool" US Forest Service Region 5 Invited Webinar, Feb 15, 2017.
- Morelli, T.L., "How to Prioritize Key Areas for Conservation Efforts in a Changing Climate: A Look at “Climate Refugia” NCCWSC Seminar, December 8, 2015.