Extremes to Ex-Streams: Ecological Drought Adaptation in a Changing Climate

Rachel M. Gregg and Jessi Kershner
Created: 1/31/2020 -

Abstract

Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges to natural and cultural resource management and conservation practice. Among the various stressors affecting managers is ecological drought, or a deficit in naturally available water supplies that impacts species, habitats, and ecosystem services. These impacts exacerbate current resource management challenges such as conflicts over water resources, land use and degradation, invasive species, maintaining agricultural yields, and managing wildfires. Resource managers and conservation planners are addressing this challenge by revising current plans and practices with increased attention on potential climate impacts to natural resources, communities, and socioeconomic values to better meet long-term goals. This project evaluates and synthesizes the scientific body of research relevant to climate adaptation actions used to address ecological drought in the Northwest in order to identify benefits and limitations of specific management approaches. Primary products include a synthesis report of the state of the science on ecological drought adaptation actions and a decision support table classifying actions by adaptation strategy, implementation feasibility, and effectiveness in reducing ecological drought vulnerabilities. The results and products may be used by scientists, resource managers, and policy makers to prioritize the most effective actions for implementation, better target management efforts toward specific challenges, and evaluate whether to proceed with implementation.

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Keywords

Adaptation Phase
Evaluation
Sector Addressed
Conservation / Restoration
Disaster Risk Management
Water Resources
Wildlife
Target Climate Changes and Impacts
Air temperature
Biodiversity
Flow patterns
Habitat extent
Precipitation
Range shifts
Region
North America
United States
Northwest

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