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Published on Feb 18, 2014
Dr. Maureen Ryan of Simon Frasier University leads this webinar on climate change effects on Pacific Northwest wetland ecosystems. The NPLCC provided funding to Dr. Alan Hamlet of the University of Washington in 2011 for the study.
The webinar, which welcomed around 60 attendees, provided a background on the approach for predicting climate change impacts to wetlands, improved methods for identifying wetlands, and management implications of wetland ecosystem changes. Models were used in the study to identify best predictors and generate regression models of wetland response to fine scale climate projections. This study helped develop an understanding of how climate change may affect wetlands by causing earlier drawdown, more rapid recession rates, reduced water levels, and longer dry seasons in the summer potentially leading to loss of habitat for species. Park Service managers are already using the results of this research to identify high priority wetlands for management actions, such as removing deleterious species, to conserve sensitive native amphibian species. Proactively incorporating climate change information into management decisions will increase the likelihood of survival for desired sensitive species in the long term.