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Wednesday, October 19 • 8:40am - 9:00am
Wildlife. The velocity of regional global change: Are climate resilient landscapes also resilient to land use change?

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AUTHORS: *Adam Terando, US Geological Survey and North Carolina State University; John Kupfer, University of South Carolina; Peng Gao, University of South Carolina; Bruce Stein, National Wildlife Federation

ABSTRACT: Maps depicting the “velocity of climate change” provide a simple but elegant means for examining the rate at which species must migrate over the earth’s surface to track changing climatic conditions. The underlying premise, that landscape heterogeneity is a key component for climate change adaptation, has been incorporated into climate change conservation strategies such as the ‘conserving the stage’ concept and the Nature Conservancy’s Resilient Landscapes; however, such concepts as presented typically ignore or treat landscape condition as a static variable and do not consider how an accelerated pace of land use change can dramatically impact the ability of species and ecosystems to respond to human-caused environmental changes. In this research, we expand on the velocity of climate change approach by including: 1) additional climate variables in the velocity calculation that are more relevant to critical Southeastern species and ecosystems, and 2) a new velocity axis that depicts the rate of landscape change in terms of projected suburban growth over the next several decades. We do so by using statistically downscaled climate projections to assess expected climate change velocities for different fossil fuel emission scenarios and ensembles of climate models. Using existing datasets, we also quantify the expected landscape change in terms of the expansion of urbanized areas. Combining the effects of these two anthropogenic drivers of change provides greater insights into which areas within the region potentially provide a resilient network of lands and which are most vulnerable to change.

Wednesday October 19, 2016 8:40am - 9:00am
Riverview B

Attendees (4)