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Species vary in the extent to which they track different aspects of climate change such as temperature and precipitation , 39 , 40 , 41 which has the potential to cause restructuring of communities across many ecosystems. This variation is increasingly being considered in research efforts in order to improve predictions of species range shifts.
Climate-driven changes in ecosystems derive from the interacting effects of species- and population-level responses, as well as the direct impacts of environmental drivers. Since NCA3, there have been advances in our understanding of several fundamental ecosystem properties and characteristics, including: primary production, which defines the overall capacity of an ecosystem to support life; invasive species; and emergent properties and species interactions. Particular ecosystems that are experiencing specific climate change impacts, such as ocean acidification Ch.
Changing primary productivity: Almost all life on Earth relies on photosynthetic organisms. Diverse observations suggest that global terrestrial primary production has increased over the latter 20th and early 21st centuries. For example, heat waves, drought, insect outbreaks, and forest fires in some U. The separation between surface and deeper ocean layers has grown more pronounced over the past century as surface waters have warmed. Direct evidence for declines in primary productivity, however, remains mixed.
Invasive species: Climate change is aiding the spread of invasive species nonnative organisms whose introduction to a particular ecosystem causes or is likely to cause economic or environmental harm. Invasive species have been recognized as a major driver of biodiversity loss. Changing species interactions and emergent properties: Emergent properties of ecosystems refer to changes in the characteristics, function, or composition of natural communities.
This includes changes in the strength and intensity of interactions among species, altered combinations of community members known as assemblages , novel species interactions, and hybrid or novel ecosystems. For example, in Alaska, brown bears have recently altered their preference for salmon to earlier-ripening berries, changing both salmon mortality rates and the transfer of oceanic nutrients to terrestrial habitats. Declining diversity in life histories as a result of climate change is also expected to result in more uniform, less varied population structures, in turn resulting in increased competition and potentially contributing to local extinctions and reduced community resilience.
Increasing evidence since NCA3 demonstrates that climate change continues to affect the availability and delivery of ecosystem services, including changes to provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services. Humans, biodiversity, and ecosystem processes interact with each other dynamically at different temporal and spatial scales.
In addition, these climate-related impacts interact with other non-climate stressors, such as pollution, overharvesting, and habitat loss, to produce compounding impacts on ecosystem services. The adaptive capacity of human communities to deal with these changes will partly determine the magnitude of the resulting impacts to ecosystem services. For example, the shifting range of fish stocks Ch. For example, in areas experiencing longer growing seasons Ch. Moreover, different human communities and segments of society will be more vulnerable than others based on their ability to adapt; jurisdictional borders, for instance, may limit human migration in response to climate change.
Oyster reefs exemplify the myriad ways in which ecosystem components support ecosystem services, including water quality regulation, nutrient and carbon sequestration, habitat formation, and shoreline protection. These services are reduced when oyster reefs are impacted by climate change through, for example, sea level rise , and ocean acidification. All regions and ecosystems of the United States are experiencing the impacts of climate change. However, impacts will vary by region and ecosystem: not all areas will experience the same types of impacts, nor will they experience them to the same degree Ch.
Regional variation in climate impacts are covered in detail in other sectoral and regional chapters of the Fourth National Climate Assessment. However, in Figure 7. Click on a region for examples of impacts to biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services. View static image. Generalists species that use a wide range of resources are better able to adapt to or withstand climate-driven changes, 90 while specialists species that depend on just a few resources , small or isolated populations, and species at the edge of their ranges have limited abilities to adjust to unfavorable or new environmental conditions.
Changes in individual characteristics are one of the most immediate mechanisms an organism has to cope with environmental change, and species have demonstrated both plastic and evolutionary responses to recent climate change. While individual animals have exhibited some ability to adjust the rate of molting, they have limited capacity to adjust the timing of color change. In studies spanning observational periods of up to years, terrestrial animal communities have shifted ranges an average of 3.
Birds in North America have shifted their ranges in the last 60 years, primarily northward. Shifts in phenology have been well documented in terrestrial, marine, and freshwater systems. The many components of climate change for example, rising temperatures, altered precipitation, ocean acidification, and sea level rise can have interacting and potentially opposing effects on species and populations, which further complicates their responses to climate change.
Compounding stressors can result in species lagging behind temperature change and occupying nonoptimal conditions. The rate and magnitude of climate impacts can exceed the abilities of even the most adaptable species and potentially lead to tipping points, which result in abrupt system changes and local extinctions. Compounded climate stress arises when populations with limited capacity to adapt also experience high exposure to climate change, posing substantial risks to certain ecosystems and the services they provide to society.
Bull trout in the Northwest, for example, show the least genetic diversity in the same regions where summer temperature and winter streamflows are projected to be the highest due to climate change Figure 7. Identifying the most vulnerable species and understanding what makes them relatively more at risk than other species are, therefore, important considerations for prioritizing and implementing effective management actions.
Climate change impacts also occur at the ecosystem scale, changing fundamental ecosystem characteristics, properties, and related ecosystem services; altering important trophic relationships; and affecting how species and populations interact with each other. Because primary producers are the base of the food web, climate impacts to primary production can have significant effects that radiate throughout the entire ecosystem.
While climate models project continued increases in global terrestrial primary production over the next century, , these projections are uncertain due to a limited understanding of the impacts of continued CO 2 increases on terrestrial ecosystem dynamics; , , the potential effects of nutrient limitation; the impacts of fire and insect outbreaks; and an incomplete understanding of the impacts of changing climate extremes.
This trend is supported by satellite-based observations of the primary productivity—ice cover relationship over the last 10—15 years. Varying phenological responses to climate change can also impact the food web and result in altered species interactions and resource mismatch. For example, a majority of migratory songbirds in North America have advanced their phenology in response to climate change, but for several species, such as the yellow-billed cuckoo and the blue-winged warbler, these changes have been outpaced by advancing vegetation in their breeding grounds and stopover sites.
In addition to changes in productivity and phenology, novel species interactions as a result of climate change can cause dramatic and surprising changes. For example, range expansions of tropical herbivorous fishes have changed previously kelp-dominated systems into kelp-free sites. Climate change impacts to ecosystem properties are difficult to assess and predict because they arise from multiple and complex interactions across different levels of food webs, habitats, and spatial scales. Modeling and experimental studies are some of the few ways to assess complicated ecological interactions, especially in marine systems where direct observations of plants, fish, and animals are difficult.
It is also unclear how the restructuring of ecosystems will manifest in terms of the functioning and delivery of ecosystem services. In some locations, purple marsh crabs are benefiting from lower abundances of blue crabs and other predators, in part due to overfishing; this results in population explosions of purple marsh crabs that damage marsh habitats through herbivory plant eating and burrowing activities. Climate change is affecting the availability and delivery of ecosystem services to society through altered provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services.
A reduced supply of critical provisioning services food, fiber, and shelter has clear consequences for the U. By the middle of this century, early onset of spring could occur one out of every three years; however, if the date of last freeze does not change at the same rate, large-scale plant damage and agricultural losses, , , as well as changes to natural resource markets, are possible. Some species have moved out of historical boundaries and seasonal areas and into places that have no policy, management plan, or regulations in place to address their presence and related human use.
Furthermore, unique life histories and genetic resources will likely be lost altogether as range shifts and the spread of invasive species interact with ecological complexity. Examples include loss of genetic diversity and the evolution of traits that increase rates of dispersal. Climate change can affect important regulating services such as the capture and storage of carbon, which can help reduce greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere and thereby contribute to climate change mitigation.
Disease regulation is also an important ecosystem service that can be impacted by climate change. Pests and diseases are expected to expand or shift their ranges as the climate warms, and the evolution of immune responses will be important for both human and animal health Ch. Some cultural ecosystem services are also at risk from climate change.
Great Plains, KM 3. For example, demand for biking, beachgoing, and other recreational activities has been projected to increase as winters become milder. Finally, climate change is impacting supporting services, which are the services that make all other ecosystem services possible. Climate change impacts include alterations in primary production and nutrient cycling. Climate change is affecting valued resources and ecosystem services in complex ways, as well as challenging existing management practices.
While natural resource management has traditionally focused on maintaining or restoring historical conditions, these goals and strategies may no longer be realistic or effective as the climate changes. Systems that are already degraded or stressed from non-climate stressors have lower adaptive capacity and resilience Ch. However, these actions will be most effective when they consider future conditions in addition to historical targets. Limiting the spread of invasive species can also help maintain biodiversity, ecosystem function, and resilience.
Federal Government recommended specific management actions for the early detection and eradication of invasive species. Understanding and reestablishing habitat connectivity across terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems are other key components in helping ecosystems adapt to changing environmental conditions. Developing policies to analyze and manage the potential consequences of assisted migration would not guarantee successful outcomes, but is likely to minimize unintended consequences.
Climate change impacts have been incorporated into national and regional management plans that seek to mitigate harmful impacts and to address future management challenges, while also accounting for other non-climate stressors. Federal agencies with responsibilities for natural resource management are increasingly considering climate change impacts in their management plans, and many have formulated climate-smart adaptation plans for future resource management such as the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration [NOAA], National Park Service [NPS], and U.
In addition, federal agencies have been challenged to develop policies and approaches that consider ecosystem services and related climate impacts within existing planning and decision frameworks. USFWS has been acquiring and restoring ecosystems to increase biological carbon sequestration since the s. At the local and regional levels, efforts to restore ecosystems, increase habitat connectivity, and protect ecosystem services are gaining momentum through collaborations among state and tribal entities, educational institutions, nongovernmental organizations, and partnerships.
Significant work remains, however, before climate change is comprehensively addressed in natural resource management at local and national scales. Improved projections of climate impacts at local and regional scales would likely improve ecosystem management, as would predictive models to inform effective adaptation strategies. Topics for the chapter were selected to improve the consistency of coverage of the report and to standardize the assessment process for ecosystems and biodiversity.
Chapter leads went through the detailed technical input for the Third National Climate Assessment and pulled out key issues that they felt should be updated in the Fourth National Climate Assessment. The chapter leads then came up with an author team with expertise in these selected topics. To ensure that both terrestrial and marine issues were adequately covered, most sections have at least one author with expertise in terrestrial ecosystems and one with expertise in marine ecosystems.
Monthly author calls were held beginning in December , with frequency increasing to every other week as the initial chapter draft deadline approached. During these calls, the team came up with a work plan and fleshed out the scope and content of the chapter. After the outline for the chapter was created, authors reviewed the scientific literature, as well as the technical input that was submitted through the public call.
After writing the State of the Sector section, authors pulled out the main findings to craft the Key Messages. Climate change continues to impact species and populations in significant and observable ways high confidence. Terrestrial, freshwater, and marine organisms are responding to climate change by altering individual characteristics, the timing of biological events, and their geographic ranges likely, high confidence.
Local and global extinctions may occur when climate change outpaces the capacity of species to adapt likely, high confidence. Changes in individual characteristics: Beneficial effects of adaptive capacity depend on adequate genetic diversity within the existing population and sufficient population sizes. In addition, successful adaptive responses require relatively slow or gradual environmental change in relation to the speed of individual or population-level responses.
These shifts have been linked to climate velocity—the rate and direction of change in temperature patterns. Changes in phenology: In marine and freshwater systems, the transition from winter to spring temperatures is occurring earlier in the year, as evidenced by satellite measures of sea surface temperature dating back to Extinction risks: The rate and magnitude of climate impacts can exceed the abilities of even the most adaptable species, potentially leading to tipping points and abrupt system changes. In the face of rapid environmental change, species with limited adaptive capacity may experience local extinctions or even global extinctions.
Changes in individual characteristics: Species and populations everywhere have evolved in response to reigning climate conditions, demonstrating that evolution will be necessary to survive climate change. Nonetheless, there is very limited evidence for evolutionary responses to recent climate change. As reviewed by Crozier and Hutchings , 10 only two case studies document evolutionary responses to contemporary climate change in fish, as opposed to plasticity without evolution or preexisting adaptation to local conditions, and both cases involved the timing of annual migration.
Changes in range: Although the evidence for shifting ranges of many terrestrial and aquatic species is compelling, individual species are responding differently to the magnitude and direction of change they are experiencing related to their life history, complex mosaics of microclimate patterns, and climate velocity. There is high confidence that species and populations continue to be impacted by climate change in significant and observable ways.
There is high confidence that terrestrial, freshwater, and marine organisms are likely responding to climate change by altering individual characteristics, the timing of biological events, and their geographic ranges. There is high confidence that local and global extinctions are likely to occur when climate change outpaces the capacity of species to adapt. Climate change is altering ecosystem productivity, exacerbating the spread of invasive species, and changing how species interact with each other and with their environment high confidence.
These changes are reconfiguring ecosystems in unprecedented ways likely, high confidence. Primary productivity: Diverse observations suggest that global terrestrial primary production has increased over the latter 20th and early 21st centuries, 48 , 49 , 50 , 51 and climate models project continued increases in global terrestrial primary production over the next century.
Projections also suggest that changes in productivity will not be equal across trophic levels: changes in primary productivity are likely to be amplified at higher levels of the food web; , , for example, small changes in marine primary productivity are likely to result in even larger changes to the biomass of fisheries catch. Changes in phenology: Synchronized timing of seasonal events across trophic levels ensures access to key seasonal food sources, 25 , particularly in the spring, and is especially important for migratory species dependent on resources with limited availability and for predator—prey relationships.
Secondary consumers may be less phenologically responsive to climate change than other trophic groups, causing a trophic mismatch that can negatively impact reproductive success and overall population levels by increasing vulnerability to starvation and predation. Invasive species: Changes in habitat and environmental conditions can increase the viability of introduced species and their ability to establish.
Such species are, or could become, invasive, as this advantage might allow them to outcompete and decimate native species and the ecosystem services provided by the native species. Some of these communities are economically vulnerable for example, due to low population density, low median income, or reduced tax revenues and therefore have limited resources and ability to actively manage invasive species. Species interactions and emergent properties: Human-caused stressors such as land-use change and development can also lead to novel environmental conditions and ecological communities that are further degraded by climate impacts Ch.
Changes in community composition vary relative to invasion rates of new species, local extinction, and recruitment and growth rates of resident species, as well as other unknown factors. The interplay of physical drivers resulting in range shifts and the ways in which interactions of species in new assemblages shape final outcomes affecting ecosystem dynamics is uncertain, although there is more certainty in how ecosystem services will change locally. There is still high uncertainty in the rate and magnitude at which community turnover will occur in many systems; still, there is widespread agreement of high turnover and major changes in age and size structure with future climate impacts and interactions with other disturbance regimes.
Climate-induced warming is predicted to increase overlaps between some species that would normally be separated in time. For example, tree host species could experience earlier bud burst, thus overlapping with the larval stage of insect pests; this increase in synchrony between normally disparate species can lead to major pest outbreaks that alter community composition, productivity, ecological functioning, and ecosystem services.
In the case of the bark beetle, for example, forests that have experienced drought are more vulnerable to damage from beetle attacks. Abrupt and surprising changes or the disruption of trophic interactions have the potential for negative and irreversible impacts on food webs and ecosystem productivity that supports important provisioning services including fisheries and forest harvests for food and fiber. Abrupt changes in climate have been observed over geological timescales and have resulted in mass extinctions, decreased overall biodiversity, and ecological communities largely composed of generalists.
Primary productivity: There is still high uncertainty in how climate change will impact primary productivity for both terrestrial and marine ecosystems. For terrestrial systems, this uncertainty arises from an incomplete understanding of the impacts of continued carbon dioxide increases on plant growth; , , underrepresented nutrient limitation effects; effects of fire and insect outbreaks; and an incomplete understanding of the impacts of changing climate extremes , on primary production. Direct evidence for declines in marine primary production is limited.
The suggestion that phytoplankton pigment has declined in many ocean regions, 55 indicating a decline in primary production, was found to be inconsistent with primary production time series 59 and potentially sensitive to analysis methodology. Phenology: Models of phenology, particularly those leveraging advanced statistical modeling techniques that account for multiple drivers in phenological forecasts, enable extrapolation across space and time, given the availability of gridded climatological and satellite data.
Experimental manipulation of ecological communities may be insufficient to determine sensitivities; for example, E. Wolkovich et al. The majority of terrestrial plant phenological research to date has focused on patterns and variability in the onset of spring, with far fewer studies focused on autumn. Invasive species: There is some uncertainty in knowing how much a nonnative species will impact an environment, if and when it is introduced, although there are methods available for estimating this risk.
New technologies, such as genetic engineering, environmental DNA, and improved detection via satellites and drones, offer promise in the fight against invasive species. Species interactions and emergent properties: Climate change impacts to ecosystem properties are difficult to assess and predict, because they arise from interactions among multiple components of each system, and each system is likely to respond differently.
One generalization that can be made arises from fossil records, which show climate-driven mass extinctions of specialists followed by novel communities dominated by generalists. New and more sophisticated models that can account for multispecies interactions, community composition and structure, dispersal, and evolutionary effects are still needed to assess and make robust predictions about system responses and transitions.
High uncertainty remains for many species and ecosystems due to a general lack of basic research on baseline conditions of biotic interactions; community composition, structure, and function; and adaptive capacity; as well as the interactive, synergistic, and antagonistic effects of multiple climate and non-climate stressors. There is high confidence that climate-induced changes are occurring within and across ecosystems in ways that alter ecosystem productivity and how species interact with each other and their environment. There is high confidence that such changes can likely create mismatches in resources, facilitate the spread of invasive species, and reconfigure ecosystems in unprecedented ways.
The resources and services that people depend on for their livelihoods, sustenance, protection, and well-being are jeopardized by the impacts of climate change on ecosystems likely, high confidence. Fundamental changes in agricultural and fisheries production, the supply of clean water, protection from extreme events, and culturally valuable resources are occurring likely, high confidence. Similar to the Third National Climate Assessment, results of this review conclude that climate change continues to affect the availability and delivery of ecosystem services to society through altered agricultural and fisheries production, protection from storms and flooding in coastal zones, a sustainable harvest, pollination services, the spread of invasive species, carbon storage, clean water supplies, the timing and intensity of wildfire, the spread of vector-borne diseases, and recreation.
Provisioning services: Regional changes in critical provisioning services food, fiber, and shelter have been observed as range shifts occur. These result in spatial patterns of winners and losers for human communities dependent on these resources. For example, as the distribution of harvestable tree species changes over time in response to climate change, timber production will shift in ways that create disconnects between resource availability and ownership rights. Additionally, changes in physical characteristics in response to climate change can impact ecosystem services.
In the ocean, the combination of warmer water and less dissolved oxygen can be expected to promote earlier maturation, smaller adult body size, shorter generation times, and more boom—bust population cycles for large numbers of fish species. Altered phenology can also impact ecosystem services. Based on standardized indices of the timing of spring onset, 21 saw the earliest spring recorded since across the United States.
Potential asynchronies may impact some pollination services, although other pollinator—plant relationships are expected to be robust in the face of shifting phenology. Regulating services: Average carbon storage in the contiguous United States is projected to increase by 0. Increases in overall carbon storage are projected for the Northwest, and decreases are projected for the Northeast and Midwest.
Cultural services: Climate change is expected to impact recreation and tourism in the United States, as well as cultural resources for Indigenous peoples Ch. Supporting services: Climate change is impacting supporting services, which are the services that make all other ecosystem services possible.
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One of the major challenges to understanding changes in ecosystem services due to climate change arises from matching the scale of the ecosystem change to the scale at which humans are impacted. Local conditions may vary greatly from changes expected at larger geographic scales. This uncertainty can work in both directions: local estimates of changes in ecosystems services can be overestimated when local impacts of climate change are less than regional-scale impacts.
However, estimates of local impacts on ecosystem services can be under estimated when local impacts of climate change exceed regional projections. Another major source of uncertainty is related to the emergent properties of ecosystems related to climate change. Since observation of human impacts of these emergent ecosystem properties is lacking, it is difficult to predict how humans will be impacted and how they might adapt. There is high confidence that the resources and services that people depend on for livelihoods, sustenance, protection, and well-being are likely jeopardized by the impacts of climate change on ecosystems.
There is high confidence that fundamental changes in agricultural and fisheries production, the supply of clean water, protection from extreme events, and culturally valuable resources are likely occurring. Traditional natural resource management strategies are increasingly challenged by the impacts of climate change high confidence. Significant challenges remain to comprehensively incorporate climate adaptation planning into mainstream natural resource management, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of implemented actions high confidence. Climate change is increasingly being recognized as a threat to biodiversity and ecosystems.
For example, a recently developed threat classification system for biodiversity has been adopted by the International Union for Conservation of Nature, which stands in contrast to previous frameworks that did not include climate change as a threat. Ecosystem-based management strategies, where decisions are made at the ecosystem level, and programs that consider climate change impacts along with other human-caused stressors are becoming more established and seek to optimize benefits among diverse societal goals. The U. Fish and Wildlife Service Service is no longer providing dedicated staff and funding to support the governance and operations of the 22 LCCs, consistent with its FY and FY budget requests.
The Service will continue to support cooperative landscape conservation efforts as an equal partner, working with states and other partners on priority conservation and management issues. Federal and state agencies with responsibilities for natural resources have begun to implement proactive and climate-smart management approaches.
In addition, federal agencies are developing policies and approaches that consider ecosystem services and related climate impacts within existing planning and decision frameworks. By framing management strategies and actions within an ecosystem services context, communication about the range of benefits derived from biodiversity and natural ecosystems can be improved, and managers, policymakers, and the public can better envision decisions that support climate adaptation.
Restoration efforts can also help conserve important ecosystem services Ch. An example of an effective, collaborative effort to manage climate impacts took place in Puerto Rico during a recent drought. In order to better manage the impacts of the drought on the environment, people, and water resources, Puerto Rico developed a special task force composed of government officials, federal partners, and members of academia to evaluate the progression, trends, and effects of drought in the territory.
Weekly reports from the task force provided recommended actions for government officials and updated the public about the drought Ch. Caribbean, Box Changes in Individual characteristics: Maintaining habitat connectivity is important to ensure gene flow among populations and maintain genetic diversity, which provides the platform for evolutionary change. Additionally, assisted migration can be used to increase genetic diversity for less mobile species, which is important to facilitate evolutionary changes.
Changes in range: Climate-induced shifts in plant and animal populations can be most effectively addressed through landscape-scale and ecosystem-based conservation and management approaches. Increasing habitat connectivity for terrestrial, freshwater, and marine systems is a key climate adaptation action that will enable species to disperse and follow physiological niches as environmental conditions and habitats shift. Although a provision to analyze and manage the potential consequences of assisted migration would not guarantee successful outcomes, developing such policies is warranted toward minimizing unintended consequences.
In addition, climate change refugia—areas relatively buffered from climate change that enable persistence—have become a focus of conservation and connectivity efforts to maintain highly valued vulnerable ecosystems and species in place as long as possible. Changes in phenology: Direct management of climate-induced phenological shifts or mismatches is challenging, as managers have few if any direct measures of control on phenology. In Vermont grassland systems, for example, research on grassland bird nesting phenology identified the timing of haying as a critical stressor.
In response, the timing of haying has been modified to accommodate the nesting phenology of several declining species, including the bobolink, demonstrating the potential for phenological data to support a successful conservation program. Managing for phenological heterogeneity can also be an effective bet-hedging strategy to manage for a wide range of potential changes. Invasive species: Focusing efforts on the prevention, eradication, and control of invasive species and the implementation of early detection and rapid response EDRR can be considered an adaptation strategy to help maintain healthy ecosystems and preserve biodiversity such that natural systems are more resistant and resilient to climate change and extreme weather events.
National Invasive Species Council Management Plan recognizes the stressors of land-use change and climate change and calls for an assessment of national EDRR capabilities. Better predictive models are necessary to create effective adaptation strategies, but they can be hampered by a lack of sufficient data to adequately incorporate important biological mechanisms and feedback loops that influence climate change responses.
Changes in individual characteristics: Although genetic diversity is important for evolution and potentially for increasing the fitness of individuals, it does not guarantee that a species will adapt to future environmental conditions. Failure to adapt may occur when a species or population lacks genetic variability in a particular trait that is under selection such as heat tolerance as a result of climate change, 7 despite having high overall genetic diversity.
Changes in Range: Although potential strategies for adaptation to range shifts can be readily identified, the lack of experience implementing these approaches to meet this issue results in uncertainty in the efficacy of different approaches. Another big uncertainty is the incomplete information on the ecology and responses of species and ecosystems to climate change. Changes in phenology: Phenological sensitivity may also be an important component of organismal adaptive capacity and thus species' vulnerability to climate change, although additional research is required before resource managers can utilize known relative vulnerabilities to prioritize management activities.
Invasive species: There is some uncertainty in the optimal management approach for a given species and location. Best practices for management actions are often context specific; one approach will not fit all scenarios. Management of climate change and invasive species needs to explore such variables as the biology of the target species, the time of year or day for maximizing effectiveness, the ecological and sociocultural context, legal and institutional frameworks, and budget constraints and timeliness. There is high confidence that traditional natural resource management strategies are increasingly challenged by the impacts of climate change.
There is high confidence that adaptation strategies that are flexible, consider the emerging and interactive impacts of climate and other stressors, and are coordinated across local and landscape scales are progressing from theory to application. There is high confidence that significant challenges remain to comprehensively incorporate climate adaptation planning into mainstream natural resource management, as well as to evaluate the effectiveness of implemented actions. National Topics cont. Key Message 1 Impacts on Species and Populations Climate change continues to impact species and populations in significant and observable ways.
Read More. Key Message 2 Impacts on Ecosystems Climate change is altering ecosystem productivity, exacerbating the spread of invasive species, and changing how species interact with each other and with their environment. Key Message 3 Ecosystem Services at Risk The resources and services that people depend on for their livelihoods, sustenance, protection, and well-being are jeopardized by the impacts of climate change on ecosystems. Key Message 4 Challenges for Natural Resource Management Traditional natural resource management strategies are increasingly challenged by the impacts of climate change.
Key Message 1. Climate and non-climate stressors interact synergistically on biological diversity, ecosystems, and the services they provide for human well-being. From Figure 7. Rubenstein , U. Geological Survey Sarah R. Weiskopf , U. Geological Survey Jeffrey Morisette , U. Staudinger , U. Weltzin , U. Recommended Citation. Related Links. Climate change impacts on ecosystems reduce their ability to improve water quality and regulate water flows. Climate change, combined with other stressors, is overwhelming the capacity of ecosystems to buffer the impacts from extreme events like fires, floods, and storms.
Landscapes and seascapes are changing rapidly, and species, including many iconic species, may disappear from regions where they have been prevalent or become extinct, altering some regions so much that their mix of plant and animal life will become almost unrecognizable. Timing of critical biological events, such as spring bud burst, emergence from overwintering, and the start of migrations, has shifted, leading to important impacts on species and habitats. Whole system management is often more effective than focusing on one species at a time, and can help reduce the harm to wildlife, natural assets, and human well-being that climate disruption might cause.
Table 7. Species and Populations There is increasing evidence that climate change is impacting biodiversity, and species and populations are responding in a variety of ways. Throughout the Pacific Northwest, a bull trout genetic diversity is lowest in the same areas where b climate exposure is highest; in this case, climate exposure is a combination of maximum temperature and winter flood risk.
Sub-regions within the broader Columbia River Basin shaded gray represent different watersheds used in the vulnerability analysis. Source: adapted from Kovach et al. Reds and yellows indicate negative values a trend toward earlier dates of first leaf or bloom ; blues denote positive values a trend toward later dates. Units are days per decade. Indices are derived from models driven by daily minimum and maximum temperature throughout the early portion of the growing season.
Source: adapted from Ault et al. Their range is projected to expand closer to a the U. Atlantic coastline as a result of climate change. The maps show projected range expansion of the invasive lionfish in the southeast United States by mid-century green and end of the century red , based on b the lower and c higher scenarios RCP4. The projected range shifts under a higher scenario RCP8.
Venomous lionfish are opportunistic, generalist predators that consume a wide variety of invertebrates and fishes and may compete with native predatory fishes. Expansion of their range has the potential to increase the number of stings of divers and fishers. Source: adapted from Grieve et al. Lionfish are an invasive species in the Atlantic, and their range is projected to expand closer to ….
Ecosystem Services Increasing evidence since NCA3 demonstrates that climate change continues to affect the availability and delivery of ecosystem services, including changes to provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services. Caribbean Region Click on a region for examples of impacts to biodiversity, ecosystems, and ecosystem services. Northwest Northwest. Grape growers in Oregon and Washington may benefit from warming temperatures as more frost-free days could provide premium growing sites for the next 50— years.
Reduced snowpack is predicted to result in a significant reduction in snow-based recreation opportunities. In the Northwest, under the RCP8. Climate-change vulnerability assessments of steelhead and bull trout found that both species had depleted adaptive capacity in regions most exposed to climate change. The Prairie Pothole Region provides important wetland habitat for the majority of waterfowl hatch in North America. Great Plains. Snowshoe hares in western Montana are experiencing camouflage mismatch in seasonal coat color white in winter, brown spring to fall due to decreasing snow cover duration.
The camouflage mismatch makes them more visible to predators and requires more effort and energy to survive.
The invasive Russian olive tree is expected to continue to expand its range and outcompete native vegetation like cottonwood and willow trees, Chokecherry, and buffalo berry important for subsistence, medicinal, and ceremonial purposes Ch. Midwest Midwest. Warming has reduced gene flow and survival of wolves on Isle Royale, which in turn has increased moose populations.
Human-assisted introduction of wolves was approved in to help balance the ecosystem. At the southern edge of its range in northern Indiana, the Karner blue butterfly recently declined to local extinction despite extensive long-term habitat restoration and species reintroduction. This suggests that recreating historical habitat might not be sufficient for future conservation in a changing climate.
The Chicago Region Trees Initiative is integrating climate change-related goals into a regional tree master plan and updating its recommended planting list to encourage climate-adapted species in urban ecosystems. Bottomland hardwood forests and associated wetlands are vulnerable to climate change. Northeast Northeast. A heat wave in caused an earlier and larger lobster catch in New England, overwhelming both the processing capacity and market demand. This resulted in a price collapse and reduced income for lobster fishermen.
In the Northeast, warmer spring and fall temperatures have advanced the nymph stage of tick development by three weeks, which is expected to increase transmission of Lyme disease. In Pennsylvania, 13 species of songbirds have advanced their breeding date from —, with most species advancing their breeding by 3 days per decade or more. Southwest Southwest. Forest area burned by wildfires from is estimated to be twice what it would have been in the absence of climate change. In Arizona and Colorado, the spring arrival of migratory broad-tailed hummingbirds has become desynchronized from the flowering of two primary nectar sources: while E.
This mismatch could negatively impact the reproductive success of the hummingbird, and prompt range shifts. Projected shifts of suitable Sierra Nevada mountaintop habitat for American pika Ochotona princeps increase the risk of their extirpation. As water temperatures increase along the Texas Gulf Coast, gray snapper are expanding northward while southern flounder, a popular sport fish, are becoming less abundant, impacting the recreational and commercial fishing industries.
Great Plains, Figure Southeast Southeast. In South Florida, warmer winter temperatures are expected to facilitate the northward movement of the Burmese python—a freeze-sensitive non-native species that has decimated mammal populations within Everglades National Park Ch.
In the Southeast, freeze-sensitive mangrove forests are expected to move northward and replace many salt marshes as winter temperatures warm. See Figure Rising sea levels are expected to have a tremendous effect on coastal ecosystems in the Southeast. Louisiana faces some of the highest land loss rates in the world. Between —, Louisiana lost 2, square miles of land area due in part to high rates of relative sea level rise. The rate of wetland loss was equivalent to losing an area the size of one football field every minutes. Alaska Alaskan.
As warmer temperatures make berries available earlier in the spring, Kodiak brown bears have switched from eating salmon to eating berries earlier in the season. This will reduce salmon mortality and alter energy flows between aquatic and terrestrial systems. Climate-driven changes to the timing of sea ice retreat is affecting phytoplankton blooms and zooplankton availability in the Bering Sea off of Alaska.
Zooplankton are an important food source for walleye Pollock, one of the largest fisheries in the United States. The Pollock are also an important food source for other commercial and protected species, thus changes to the food web could have significant economic impacts. Decreasing sea ice in the Arctic is expected to result in changes in the behavior, migration, distribution, and population dynamics of polar bears and walruses, which are dependent on sea ice during parts of their lives.
Enhanced sea ice melt, respiration of organic matter, upwelling, and glacial and riverine inputs contribute to making the high-latitude North Pacific and the western Arctic Ocean vulnerable to the effects of ocean acidification. This has been shown to affect the growth, survival, sensory abilities, and behavior of species of importance to Alaska, such as Tanner and Red king crab and Pink salmon Ch. Hawaii and U. The majority of Laysan albatross Phoebastria immutabilis , black-footed albatross P.
Under the higher scenario RCP8. Caribbean U. Between and , the mean nesting date of leatherback turtles in the U. Virgin Islands Sandy Point occurred earlier, at a rate of approximately 0. The shift in the nesting phenology may make the Atlantic populations of leatherback turtles more resilient to climate change. Source: adapted from Groffman et al. White snowshoe hares stand out in stark contrast against snowless backgrounds, leaving them more …. Units represent average percent change in yields under the higher scenario RCP8.
Warmer colors negative percent change indicate large projected declines in yields; cooler colors green indicate moderate projected increases in yields. Source: adapted from Hsiang et al. Process Description Topics for the chapter were selected to improve the consistency of coverage of the report and to standardize the assessment process for ecosystems and biodiversity. Description of evidence base Changes in individual characteristics: Beneficial effects of adaptive capacity depend on adequate genetic diversity within the existing population and sufficient population sizes.
Key Message 2: Impacts on Ecosystems Climate change is altering ecosystem productivity, exacerbating the spread of invasive species, and changing how species interact with each other and with their environment high confidence. Description of evidence base Primary productivity: Diverse observations suggest that global terrestrial primary production has increased over the latter 20th and early 21st centuries, 48 , 49 , 50 , 51 and climate models project continued increases in global terrestrial primary production over the next century.
Key Message 3: Ecosystem Services at Risk The resources and services that people depend on for their livelihoods, sustenance, protection, and well-being are jeopardized by the impacts of climate change on ecosystems likely, high confidence. Description of evidence base Similar to the Third National Climate Assessment, results of this review conclude that climate change continues to affect the availability and delivery of ecosystem services to society through altered agricultural and fisheries production, protection from storms and flooding in coastal zones, a sustainable harvest, pollination services, the spread of invasive species, carbon storage, clean water supplies, the timing and intensity of wildfire, the spread of vector-borne diseases, and recreation.
Description of confidence and likelihood There is high confidence that the resources and services that people depend on for livelihoods, sustenance, protection, and well-being are likely jeopardized by the impacts of climate change on ecosystems. Key Message 4: Challenges for Natural Resource Management Traditional natural resource management strategies are increasingly challenged by the impacts of climate change high confidence. Description of evidence base Climate change is increasingly being recognized as a threat to biodiversity and ecosystems.
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Major uncertainties Better predictive models are necessary to create effective adaptation strategies, but they can be hampered by a lack of sufficient data to adequately incorporate important biological mechanisms and feedback loops that influence climate change responses. Alexander, J. Diez, S. Hart, and J. Levine, When climate reshuffles competitors: A call for experimental macroecology.
Vavrus, P. Heglund, A. Pidgeon, W. Thogmartin, and V. Radeloff, Spring plant phenology and false springs in the conterminous US during the 21st century. Environmental Research Letters , 10 10 , Bertness, T. Coverdale, N. Herrmann, and C. Ecology , 93 6 , — Miller, G. Campbell, T. Rittenhouse, M. Benard, J. Richardson, M. The Science Programs Office, founded in as the Sustainable Biosphere Initiative SBI , promotes the continued development of ecological science and its integration into decision-making and education, linking the ecological research and management communities.
The Education and Diversity Programs Office works to increase diversity within ecology-related professions, to engage the public in a dialogue on ecological research and issues, and to improve the quality of ecology education at all levels. Skip to main content. Home About About.
Environment Canada Canadian Protected Areas Status Report European Communities. Terrestrial Ecosystem Monitoring. Web pages. Fisheries and Oceans Canada Accessed December Fisheries and Oceans Canada b. Identification of Ecologically and Biologically Significant Areas. March Gaudet, C. A framework for ecological risk assessment at contaminated sites in Canada: Review and recommendations. Scientific Series No. Higgs, Eric S. What is good ecological restoration? Conservation Biology. Higgs, E. Hobbs, Richard J. The ecological context: a landscape perspective. Perrow and Anthony J.
Davy eds. Handbook of Ecological Restoration. Volume 1. Principles of Restoration. Cambridge University Press. Hobbs, R. Harris Restoration Ecology , 9: Towards a conceptual framework for restoration ecology. Restoration Ecology 4 2 Holling, C. Resilience and stability of ecological systems. Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics. King, E. Identifying linkages among conceptual models of ecosystem degradation and restoration: towards an integrative framework. Restoration Ecology 14 3 : Lake, P. On the maturing of restoration: Linking ecological research and restoration.
Ecological Management and Restoration. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment. Martinez, D. December 6, Ontario Parks. Parks Canada Department of Canadian Heritage. Accessed November An approach to Aboriginal cultural landscapes. Historic Sites and Monuments Board of Canada. Parks Canada Agency Parks Canada Agency.
Volume I: Guiding Principles. Parks Canada Agency, Ottawa, Ontario. Parks Canada Agency a. Parks Canada Agency b. Aboriginal Affairs Secretariat, Parks Canada. Parks Canada Agency c. Research and Collection Permit System. Researcher's Guide. February Parks Research Forum of Ontario. Monitoring Ontario's Parks and Protected Areas.
January , , Peterborough, Ontario. Edited by: C. Lemieux, P. Zorn, T. Bellhouse, and J. Ramsar Convention on Wetlands. Principles and guidelines for wetland restoration. Schneider, E. Restoration education: integrating education within native plant restoration. Ecological Restoration: a means of conserving biodiversity and sustaining livelihoods. George D. Gann and David Lamb, editors.
Species at Risk Act. Stoddard, J. Larsen, C. Hawkins, R. Johnson, and R. Setting expectations for the ecological condition of streams: the concept of reference condition. Ecological Applications 16 4 : Sutherland, W. Pullin, P. M Dolman, and T. The need for evidence-based conservation. Trends in Ecology and Evolution 19 6 United Nations Environment Programme. World Conservation Monitoring Centre. A framework for assessing and reporting on ecological condition: Executive summary. EPA Superfund. Introduction to the Hazard Ranking System. National Park Service. National Park Service Inventory and Monitoring.
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Wallington, T. Hobbs, and S. Implications of current ecological thinking for biodiversity conservation: a review of the salient issues. Ecology and Society 10 1 Whisenant, S. Terrestrial systems. World Conservation Union. World Commission on Protected Areas. Alberta Native Plant Council. Canadian Heritage. Ecological Restoration of National Parks. Proceedings of a symposium at the fourth annual conference of the Society for Ecological Restoration. University of Waterloo, Waterloo, Ontario. Edited by N. Fisheries and Oceans Canada.
Harris, J. Aronson editors: Restoration Ecology. Blackwell Publishing. Lee, K. Appraising adaptive management. Conservation Ecology 3 2 Lemieux, C. Climate change, biodiversity conservation and protected area planning in Canada. Canadian Geographer 49 4 MacDonald, G. Fraser and P. Gray, editors, Adaptive management forum: linking management and science to achieve ecological sustainability. Proceedings of the Provincial Science Forum, October , Queen's Printer for Ontario. ISBN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Atlas of Canada. Protected Areas. Ontario Society for Ecological Restoration.
Parks Canada Guidelines for the management of archaeological resources. Perrow, M. Principles of Ecological Restoration. Rogers, K.
Bestbier Development of a protocol for the definition of the desired state of riverine systems in South Africa. Department of Environmental Affairs and Tourism, Pretoria. D, Kay, J. Complexity and Thermodynamics: Towards a New Ecology. Society for Ecological Restoration Community Stewardship: A guide to establishing your own group.
The Stewardship Series. Tuxill, J. Brown Conservation and Stewardship Publication No. Woodstock, Vermont: Conservation Study Institute.
Climate Change, Ecosystems, and Ecosystem Services
National Park Service a. NPS Management Policies. Chapter 4: Natural Resource Management. Aboriginal cultural landscape A place valued by an Aboriginal group or groups because of their long and complex relationship with that land. It expresses their unity with the natural and spiritual environment. It embodies their traditional knowledge of spirits, places, land uses, and ecology. Material remains of the association may be prominent, but will often be minimal or absent Parks Canada Alien species Species of plants, animals, and micro-organisms introduced by human actions outside their natural past or present distribution.
Amendment Any substance added to the soil or other substrate for the purpose of altering its properties to make it more suitable for plants or other organisms. Community structure The characteristic features or appearance of a community with respect to the density, horizontal stratification, and frequency distribution of species-populations, and the sizes and life forms of the organisms that comprise those communities.
Cover crop A native or non-native species seeded primarily for the purpose of protecting and improving soil and microsite conditions to enhance the establishment of the desired plant community. Cultivar A plant variety that has undergone genetic selection by plant breeders for agronomic traits, has been registered by a certifying agency, and is propagated under specific guidelines to maintain its genetic diversity.
Cultural [heritage] resource A human work, or a place that gives evidence of human activity or has spiritual or cultural meaning, and that has been determined to be of historic value. Cultural resources may include but are not limited to cultural landscapes and landscape features, archaeological sites, structures, engineering works, artifacts and associated records Parks Canada Cultural landscape Any geographical area that has been modified, influenced or given special cultural meaning by people.
Ecological integrity A condition that is determined to be characteristic of a park's natural region and likely to persist, including abiotic components and the composition and abundance of native species and biological components, rates of change and supporting processes. Ecological restoration The process of assisting the recovery of an ecosystem that has been degraded, damaged, or destroyed. Ecoregion An area characterized by distinctive regional ecological factors, including climate, physiography, vegetation, soil, water, and fauna Environment Canada and Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada Ecovar A name registered by Ducks Unlimited for plant varieties of native species developed with particular attention to characteristics that allow them to establish and reproduce in specific ecological regions as opposed to agronomic characteristics; ecovars are characterized by greater genetic diversity.
Goal A specified state of a specific element of the reference ecosystem or outcome. Guideline A specific recommendation that provides practical guidance for a particular aspect of an ecological restoration project. Heritage value The aesthetic, historic, scientific, cultural, social, or spiritual importance or significance for past, present, or future generations.
Hyperabundant populations Populations whose numbers clearly exceed the upper range of natural variability that is characteristic of the ecosystem, and where there is a demonstrated impact on ecological integrity. Invasive species Those harmful species whose introduction or spread threatens the environment, the economy, or society, including human health. Invasive species may be native or alien in origin. Landscape A mosaic of two or more ecosystems that exchange organisms, energy, water and nutrients.
Native species Organisms that occur naturally in a particular area instead of being introduced, directly or indirectly, by human activity. Objective An expression of a goal that is in the realm of sensible experience, independent of individual thought, and perceptible by all observers. A goal may have one or more objectives associated with it. Outcome A description of a time-bound end-point of an ecological restoration project that allows for the setting of performance measures and targets for evaluating progress toward that end-point.
In this context, an outcome is the desired end-point for direct restoration actions, after which natural systems should be able to independently achieve the desired reference conditions. Principle A statement of a value that leads to the setting of performance measures and targets, thereby guiding the choice among alternative courses of action. Reclamation The process of returning land to its former or other productive uses. It serves as a model for planning restoration work and later for evaluation. Regional ecosystem A geographic depiction of an ecosystem of a scale appropriate to understanding and management of ecosystem components.
Regional ecosystems frequently cross jurisdictional boundaries. Also called greater ecosystem or greater park ecosystem. Remediation The process of removal, reduction or neutralization of contaminants from a site to prevent or minimize any adverse effects on the environment now or in the future. Resilience The ability of an ecosystem to regain structural and functional attributes that have suffered harm from stress or disturbance.
Threshold A value of a performance measure that invokes a pre-described management response. A threshold may therefore be either a target, in which case the management response would be to declare a successful conclusion to at least that aspect of the restoration project, or it could be an intermediate value invoking a change of prescription or justifying a continuation of a prescription. The following lists refer to protected-areas legislation that should be consulted prior to initiating restoration projects in specific jurisdictions.
It is believed to be current at the time of writing December It does not include all legislation related to specific requirements e. It is also important to note that applicable cultural heritage legislation not listed here should also be consulted. The first list section AI. Legislation specific to Parks Canada's mandate is included in the second list section AI. Check to see if your region falls within the area covered by one of these agreements.
The proposed project may affect Aboriginal rights as set out in the agreements, for example in the areas of harvesting or wildlife management. Note: The above list contains agreements in force as of December More are in preparation. There will be chapters with respect to the environment, fisheries and forestry in each of these Agreements.
Several attributes may be identified from monitoring, research, and practical experience that are key to maintaining the characteristic composition, structure and function of an ecosystem i. For example, ecological integrity monitoring programs in national parks generally include biodiversity e. Examining resource management agencies within and outside Canada, one finds that this list hardly varies. These attributes of ecosystems are the basis for identifying performance measures and the ranges of acceptable or desirable targets for those measures.
Conceptual models that describe components, development stages, relationships among components and controlling factors and processes should also be developed e. Such models are valuable in connecting assessments of key attributes i. An understanding of these connections will assist in the planning of restoration activities and the selection of appropriate guidelines.
Additional guidance for understanding linkages between ecosystem attributes, desired future conditions and restoration activities is provided by the Society for Ecological Restoration International. Table AII. Selection of which degraded sites or resources to address with limited resources poses a challenge.
Schemes for prioritizing restoration activities may assist with management planning. Decisions to prioritize should be placed in the context of a protected area-wide or broader strategy for how individual restoration projects contribute to overall protected area management goals. Continued collaborative work among Canadian and international protected areas specialists and managers in developing prioritization schemes should facilitate effective management planning.
Some programs have developed numeric ranking schemes that assign values to various factors that influence priority for action. For example, the U. EPA Superfund Various categories of threat factors were assigned scores and a formula was developed to produce a score for each site. This ranking system exists for larger, long-term projects. The Superfund program "prioritizes" sites that pose the greatest imminent threat through an Emergency Response program, thus applying a tiered prioritization.
Restoration priorities can, and often are, integrated into conservation priorities. For example, the Alliance for Zero Extinction AZE 4 uses three higher-level criteria, all of which must be met, for a site to qualify as a priority Alliance for Zero Extinction The goal of the Alliance is to create a front line of defence against extinction by eliminating threats and restoring habitat to allow species populations to rebound. AZE recognizes the value of identifying the context of its priorities within broader Biodiversity Priorities:.
Important considerations in prioritizing work include the need to determine which actions conducted promptly will save significant effort in the future. If the Adobe download site is not accessible to you, you can download Acrobat Reader from an accessible page. Science and conservation. Restoring, in a controlled manner, the frequency of natural disturbances such as fires, floods, saltwater inundations, and insect outbreaks such that they approximate natural cycles; and taking advantage of events such as storms.
Artificially controlling a natural cyclical insect outbreak; removing fallen wood after storms. Allowing natural regenerative processes to occur when restoration of ecological integrity is measurable within a reasonable timeframe. Initiating major restoration activities in ecosystems that are undergoing natural regeneration. Promoting re-establishment of natural nutrient cycling e.
Maintaining, restoring, or modifying cultural practices that contribute to ecological integrity, such as grazing of ecologically appropriate e. Eliminating human activities that contribute to the maintenance or restoration of ecological integrity. Promoting responsible exploration and learning activities that facilitate natural regeneration of disturbed areas or facilitate regeneration of recently restored areas. Failing to consider alternative ways to explore and discover. Failing to facilitate public understanding about the ecological rationale for decisions.
Collaboratively planning traditional resource uses to ensure that such activities contribute to the ecological integrity of protected area ecosystems. Failing to collaborate with Aboriginal groups in collecting and evaluating monitoring data to build consensus. Seeking advice of cultural heritage resource specialists to assess the impact of changes in management strategies upon cultural heritage resources in the area where interventions are planned.
Undertaking changes in a way that respects the cultural heritage resources in the area. Failing to seek advice of cultural heritage resource management specialists when cultural heritage resources may be impacted by proposed management changes. Seeking advice of affected communities to assess the impact of changes in management strategies upon their cultural values and practices in areas where interventions are planned. Providing opportunities to facilitate public understanding and appreciation of the role of natural disturbances and perturbations in ecological processes.
Ensuring restoration activities are consistent with recommended strategies of An Invasive Alien Species Strategy for Canada , and related action plans. Placing priority on removal of invasive plant and animal species that threaten ecological integrity at landscape and regional levels. Removing alien species that have become naturalized and fulfill an important ecological function. Identifying native species of like seral and life history characteristics to compete with aliens and to facilitate recruitment and establishment of other desirable native species or communities.
Removing species that have migrated into the ecosystem as a result of natural disturbances. Developing plans for targeted species that include replacement with non-invasive native species to limit opportunities for re-invasion. Assuming that control measures taken against alien populations will be sufficient to allow for the recovery of a desired biological community. Providing opportunities to facilitate public understanding and appreciation of the impact of invasive species on ecosystem composition, structure and function.
Providing opportunities for public engagement in the removal of invasive species where appropriate. Identifying and treating the cause of population hyperabundance such as altered food-web interactions or habitat limitations. Focusing on achieving a fixed population density or steady state condition rather than on maintaining or restoring key ecological processes.
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Using management methods for hyperabundant populations that duplicate the role of natural processes as closely as possible. Culling of hyperabundant organisms without prior consideration of other options. Engaging the public and other stakeholders prior to, during, and following active removal culling of hyperabundant organisms. Allowing the area to recover naturally where degradation is recent, relatively small, and in an area not likely to be invaded by alien species. Assuming natural recovery will occur without evaluating natural recovery potential e.
Seeding or planting in locations that have not been stabilized or adequately prepared. Choosing a mix of species and genotypes that will facilitate the establishment of other native species and provide habitat for species that are 1 already present in the protected area, 2 are expected to migrate into the protected area, or 3 will be re-introduced as part of the restoration plan. Using genetic material that is native to the protected area or its adjacent communities, provided evidence suggests that genetic diversity of such material is sufficient to sustain viable, resilient populations into the future.
Alternative sources include, in decreasing order of preference: native to the ecoregion, native to the ecozone, native ecovar, native cultivar certified seed only. Providing opportunities for public engagement in the re-creation of communities or habitats. Focusing on restoring components of food webs that will likely result in them being resilient, flexible and self-sustaining. Re-introducing species because of species-centred motivations e. Using native species or, if not available, considering other alternatives as a last resort e. In the case of species at risk, considering individual species recovery plans while working towards the ultimate goal of the restoration of protected area ecological integrity.