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Morzaria-Luna H.N.,Centro Intercultural Of Estudios Of Desiertos Y Oceanos | Turk-Boyer P.,Centro Intercultural Of Estudios Of Desiertos Y Oceanos | Rosemartin A.,National Coordinating Office | Rosemartin A.,University of Arizona | Camacho-Ibar V.F.,Autonomous University of Baja California
Ocean and Coastal Management | Year: 2014

The ecosystem functions and environmental services provided by coastal wetlands are threatened by climate change and other anthropogenic impacts. Assessing the degree of vulnerability and the nature and extent of probable impacts of climate change on coastal wetlands is necessary to develop adaptation strategies. Here we review and synthesize existing scientific information to examine climate change impacts on physical and biotic processes of hypersaline salt marshes in the Northern Gulf of California, Mexico. In this region, negative estuaries provide nursery and refuge for migratory species and sustain important fisheries. We found marshes in the Northern Gulf may be susceptible to the effects increased CO2, sea-level rise, storm frequency and intensity, changes in ambient temperature, and ocean physical changes, including elevated sea temperature, and acidification. The responses of coastal marshes to these climate change effects will likely be interactive and hard to predict; climatic interannual variability (i.e. El Niño-Southern Oscillation) will play an important role in determining the strength and directionality of the impacts. Given the uncertainty of climate change effects, it will be important to continue ongoing monitoring programs and implement new ones that help separate natural variability from the effects of climate change. Management actions and adaptation plans will be needed that consider uncertainty, are flexible, and encourage ongoing learning. Our study is a first step toward understanding vulnerability of coastal wetlands in the Northern Gulf of California to climate change. © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. Source

Gerst K.L.,National Coordinating Office | Gerst K.L.,University of Arizona | Kellermann J.L.,National Coordinating Office | Kellermann J.L.,University of Arizona | And 8 more authors.
International Journal of Biometeorology | Year: 2015

Phenology is an important indicator of ecological response to climate change. Yet, phenological responses are highly variable among species and biogeographic regions. Recent monitoring initiatives have generated large phenological datasets comprised of observations from both professionals and volunteers. Because the observation frequency is often variable, there is uncertainty associated with estimating the timing of phenological activity. “Status monitoring” is an approach that focuses on recording observations throughout the full development of life cycle stages rather than only first dates in order to quantify uncertainty in generating phenological metrics, such as onset dates or duration. However, methods for using status data and calculating phenological metrics are not standardized. To understand how data selection criteria affect onset estimates of springtime leaf-out, we used status-based monitoring data curated by the USA National Phenology Network for 11 deciduous tree species in the eastern USA between 2009 and 2013. We asked, (1) How are estimates of the date of leaf-out onset, at the site and regional levels, influenced by different data selection criteria and methods for calculating onset, and (2) at the regional level, how does the timing of leaf-out relate to springtime minimum temperatures across latitudes and species? Results indicate that, to answer research questions at site to landscape levels, data users may need to apply more restrictive data selection criteria to increase confidence in calculating phenological metrics. However, when answering questions at the regional level, such as when investigating spatiotemporal patterns across a latitudinal gradient, there is low risk of acquiring erroneous results by maximizing sample size when using status-derived phenological data. © 2015 ISB Source

Enquist C.A.F.,National Coordinating Office | Enquist C.A.F.,Wildlife Conservation Society | Enquist C.A.F.,University of Arizona | Kellermann J.L.,National Coordinating Office | And 5 more authors.
International Journal of Biometeorology | Year: 2014

Natural resource professionals in the United States recognize that climate-induced changes in phenology can substantially affect resource management. This is reflected in national climate change response plans recently released by major resource agencies. However, managers on-the-ground are often unclear about how to use phenological information to inform their management practices. Until recently, this was at least partially due to the lack of broad-based, standardized phenology data collection across taxa and geographic regions. Such efforts are now underway, albeit in very early stages. Nonetheless, a major hurdle still exists: phenology-linked climate change research has focused more on describing broad ecological changes rather than making direct connections to local to regional management concerns. To help researchers better design relevant research for use in conservation and management decision-making processes, we describe phenology-related research topics that facilitate "actionable" science. Examples include research on evolution and phenotypic plasticity related to vulnerability, the demographic consequences of trophic mismatch, the role of invasive species, and building robust ecological forecast models. Such efforts will increase phenology literacy among on-the-ground resource managers and provide information relevant for short- and long-term decision-making, particularly as related to climate response planning and implementing climate-informed monitoring in the context of adaptive management. In sum, we argue that phenological information is a crucial component of the resource management toolbox that facilitates identification and evaluation of strategies that will reduce the vulnerability of natural systems to climate change. Management-savvy researchers can play an important role in reaching this goal. © 2014 ISB. Source

Denny E.G.,National Coordinating Office | Denny E.G.,University of Arizona | Gerst K.L.,National Coordinating Office | Gerst K.L.,University of Arizona | And 16 more authors.
International Journal of Biometeorology | Year: 2014

Phenology offers critical insights into the responses of species to climate change; shifts in species' phenologies can result in disruptions to the ecosystem processes and services upon which human livelihood depends. To better detect such shifts, scientists need long-term phenological records covering many taxa and across a broad geographic distribution. To date, phenological observation efforts across the USA have been geographically limited and have used different methods, making comparisons across sites and species difficult. To facilitate coordinated cross-site, cross-species, and geographically extensive phenological monitoring across the nation, the USA National Phenology Network has developed in situ monitoring protocols standardized across taxonomic groups and ecosystem types for terrestrial, freshwater, and marine plant and animal taxa. The protocols include elements that allow enhanced detection and description of phenological responses, including assessment of phenological "status", or the ability to track presence-absence of a particular phenophase, as well as standards for documenting the degree to which phenological activity is expressed in terms of intensity or abundance. Data collected by this method can be integrated with historical phenology data sets, enabling the development of databases for spatial and temporal assessment of changes in status and trends of disparate organisms. To build a common, spatially, and temporally extensive multi-taxa phenological data set available for a variety of research and science applications, we encourage scientists, resources managers, and others conducting ecological monitoring or research to consider utilization of these standardized protocols for tracking the seasonal activity of plants and animals. © 2014 The Author(s). Source

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