Ecological Consequences of Climate Change

Ecological Consequences of Climate Change: Mechanisms, Conservation, and Management

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Features

  • Provides mechanistic understanding for climate-change effects on biotas
  • Synthesizes climate-change information from diverse taxa, ecological processes, and ecosystem contexts
  • Offers contributions from internationally respected experts on ecological effects of, and responses to, climate change
  • Presents the general trends expected in wildlife and ecological responses to climate change
  • Discusses long- and short-term strategies to reduce the effects of climate change in wildlife science and ecology
  • Includes illustrations and an insert with eight color figures

Summary

Contemporary climate change is a crucial management challenge for wildlife scientists, conservation biologists, and ecologists of the 21st century. Climate fingerprints are being detected and documented in the responses of hundreds of wildlife species and numerous ecosystems around the world. To mitigate and accommodate the influences of climate change on wildlife and ecosystems, broader-scale conservation strategies are needed.

Ecological Consequences of Climate Change: Mechanisms, Conservation, and Management provides a mechanistic understanding of biotic responses to climate change, in order to better inform conservation and management strategies. Incorporating modeling and real-world examples from diverse taxa, ecosystems, and spatio-temporal scales, the book first presents research on recently observed rapid shifts in temperature and precipitation. It then explains how these shifts alter the biotic landscape within species and ecosystems, and how they may be expected to impose changes in the future. Also included are major sections on monitoring and conservation efforts in the face of contemporary climate change. Contributors highlight the general trends expected in wildlife and ecological responses as well as the exceptions and contingencies that may mediate those responses.

Topics covered include:

  • Description and quantification of how aspects of climate have recently changed, and may change in the future
  • Species-level and higher-order ecological responses to climate change and variability
  • Approaches to monitor and interpret ecological effects of climatic variability
  • Conservation and management efforts

The book discusses the quantification of the magnitude and variability in short-term responses, and delineates patterns of relative vulnerability among species and community types. It offers suggestions for designing investigations and management actions, including the long-term monitoring of ecological consequences of rapid climate change. It also identifies many of the biggest gaps in current knowledge, proposing avenues for further research. Bringing together many of the world’s leading experts on ecological effects of climate change, this unique and timely volume constitutes a valuable resource for practitioners, researchers, and students.

Table of Contents

THE BASIS OF RECENT CLIMATE CHANGE: CLIMATE-SCIENCE FOUNDATIONS

Western Climate Change, Philip W. Mote and Kelly T. Redmond

SINGLE- AND MULTIPLE-SPECIES RELATIONSHIPS TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Amphibian Population Declines and Climate Change, Andrew R. Blaustein, Catherine Searle, Betsy A. Bancroft, and Joshua Lawler

Minimizing Uncertainty in Interpreting Responses of Butterflies to Climate Change, Erica Fleishman and Dennis D. Murphy

Advances, Limitations, and Synergies in Predicting Changes in Species’ Distribution and Abundance under Contemporary Climate Change, Enrique Martínez-Meyer

Mammalian Distributional Responses to Climatic Changes: A Review and Research Prospectus, Robert Guralnick, Liesl Erb, and Chris Ray

HIGHER-LEVEL ECOLOGICAL RELATIONSHIPS TO CLIMATE CHANGE

Effects of Climate Change on the Elevational Limits of Species Ranges, Robert J. Wilson and David Gutiérrez

Climate Change and Sandy Beach Ecosystems, Alan R. Jones

Response of Western Mountain Ecosystems to Climatic Variability and Change: A Collaborative Research Approach, David L. Peterson, Craig D. Allen, Jill S. Baron, Daniel B. Fagre, Don McKenzie, Nathan L. Stephenson, Andrew G. Fountain, Jeffrey A. Hicke, George P. Malanson, Dennis S. Ojima, Christina L. Tague, and Phillip J. van Mantgem

MONITORING ECOLOGICAL CONSEQUENCES OF CLIMATE CHANGE

Precipitation Climatology at Selected LTER Sites: Regionalization and Dominant Circulation Patterns, Douglas G. Goodin

Dealing with Uncertainty: Managing and Monitoring Canada’s Northern National Parks in a Rapidly Changing World, Donald McLennan

CONSERVATION EFFORTS IN THE FACE OF RAPID CLIMATE CHANGE

Ensuring That Protected Areas Play an Effective Role in Mitigating Climate Change, Nigel Dudley, Linda Krueger, Kathy MacKinnon, and Sue Stolton

Resource Managers Rise to the Challenge of Climate Change, Melinda G. Knutson and Patricia J. Heglund

CONCLUSIONS AND FUTURE RESEARCH NEEDS

Ecological Consequences of Climate Change: Synthesis and Research Needs, Erik A. Beever and Jerrold L. Belant

Index

Editor Bio(s)

Dr. Erik Beever received his BS in Biological Sciences from the University of California, Davis, in 1993 and his PhD in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from the University of Nevada, Reno, in December 1999. He has published over 50 articles in diverse scientific journals and in numerous subdisciplines of biology. He has performed field research on plants, soils, amphibians, birds, reptiles, fishes, and insects, as well as small, medium, and large mammals. He is a member of the IUCN Protected Areas Specialist Group, the IUCN Lagomorph Specialist Group, as well as The Wildlife Society, the Society for Conservation Biology, American Society of Mammalogists, Sigma Xi, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.

Dr. Jerrold Belant is Associate Professor of Wildlife Ecology and Management and Director of the Carnivore Ecology Laboratory at Mississippi State University. He received his PhD degree from the University of Alaska, Fairbanks. Dr. Belant has authored over 100 publications in wildlife ecology, conservation, and management. He is the Chair of the IUCN Species Survival Commission’s Small Carnivore Specialist Group and a member of the International Federation of Mammalogists. Dr. Belant is also Editor of Small Carnivore Conservation and Associate Editor for Ursus, Natural Areas Journal, and Latin American Journal of Conservation.

Editorial Reviews

"Researchers and managers alike will enjoy and learn from the case studies of this volume, which can be read individually. Some of the book’s most intriguing questions and potential insights for consequences of climate change, however, lie at the interfaces of ecology, conservation, and management, which are bound here through the thread of mechanism."
—KATHARINE J. MACH, Carnegie Institution for Science Department of Global Ecology Stanford, California 94305 USA, in Ecology, 94(1), 2013

"… relevant and timely volume that seeks a merger of results from research on mechanisms responsible for effects of climate change with consequences for management … valuable reading for ecologists and managers interested and concerned about the nearly ubiquitous effects of rapid climate change."
The Journal of Wildlife Management, 2012

"Contemporary climate change is a crucial management challenge for wildlife scientists, conservation biologists, and ecologists of the 21st century. … [This book] provides a mechanistic understanding of biotic responses to climate change in order to better inform conservation and management strategies. … Bringing together many of the world's leading experts on ecological effects of climate change, this unique and timely volume constitutes a valuable resource for practitioners, researchers, and students."
Northeastern and Southeastern Naturalist, Vol. 11, No. 1, 2012

There is no shortage of books and journal articles focusing on how climate change has affected or will likely affect ecological systems. This edited volume is a well-organized, thorough contribution to this literature, with a geographic focus on the western US and Canada. The book begins with a summary of recent climate changes in western North America, followed by chapters addressing several geographic scales ranging from single-species and multiple-species (mammals, amphibians, and insects) changes to broader ecosystem alterations induced by climate change. These chapters not only summarize and describe the nature of the ecological changes, but also include discussion of the mechanisms behind the changes (a component often lacking in the more common descriptive literature), as well as sections on management and conservation implications of the changes described. The two chapters in the penultimate section of the book focus on how conservation efforts in protected areas might be used as a critical part of climate change response strategies and what tools natural resource managers might implement to minimize the adverse impacts of climate change. The final chapter looks forward and identifies gaps in the field of climate change ecology.
Summing Up: Highly recommended. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals.
—D. Goldblum,Northern Illinois University, in CHOICE, May 2012

 
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