Title: An assessment of climate change and the vulnerability of wildlife in the Sky Islands of the Southwest
Author: Coe, Sharon J.; Finch, Deborah M.; Friggens, Megan M.
Source: Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-273. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 208 p.
Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
Description: We evaluated the historical and projected trends in climate and vegetation relevant to the Coronado National Forest in southeast Arizona, USA. We then applied this information in an assessment of the vulnerability of 30 species of terrestrial vertebrates on the Coronado National Forest to the potential effects of future climate change. We used a pilot version of a decision-support tool developed by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station that produces scores that represent relative measures of vulnerability to climate change as related to habitat, physiology, phenology, and biotic interactions. Over the next ~100 years, increased temperature and aridity are projected for the region, as well as a reduction in forested areas. All 30 species were considered vulnerable with respect to at least some criteria comprising the decision-support tool. The elegant trogon (Trogon elegans) and Tarahumara frog (Rana tarahumarae) were tied for the largest vulnerability score. The Slevin's bunchgrass lizard (Sceloporus slevini) had the smallest vulnerability score. While species varied in their expected responses to climate change, most appeared to be vulnerable relative to one or more expected negative impacts to their habitat, such as an overall reduction in suitable habitat. The assessment results can be used by USFS managers in climate change adaptation planning for these species and their habitats by helping to identify goals for adaptation planning.
Keywords: climate change, vulnerability assessment, wildlife management, Coronado National Forest, decision-support tool
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Coe, Sharon J.; Finch, Deborah M.; Friggens, Megan M. 2012. An assessment of climate change and the vulnerability of wildlife in the Sky Islands of the Southwest. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-273. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 208 p.
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