Skip to page content
USDA Forest Service

Research & Development Treesearch

Treesearch Home
About Treesearch
Contact Us
Research & Development
Forest Products Lab
International Institute of Tropical Forestry
Pacific Northwest
Pacific Southwest
Rocky Mountain
Southern Research Station
Help - We Participate  Government Made Easy

Global Forest Information Service

US Forest Service
P.O. Box 96090
Washington, D.C.

(202) 205-8333

You are here: Home / Search / Publication Information
Bookmark and Share

Publication Information

View PDF (1.0 MB byte)

Title: A climate-change adaptation framework to reduce continental-scale vulnerability across conservation reserves

Author: Magness, D.R.; Morton, J.M.; Huettmann, F.; Chapin, F.S. III; McGuire, A.D.;

Date: 2011

Source: Ecosphere. 2(10): 1-23

Publication Series: Scientific Journal (JRNL)

Description: Rapid climate change, in conjunction with other anthropogenic drivers, has the potential to cause mass species extinction. To minimize this risk, conservation reserves need to be coordinated at multiple spatial scales because the climate envelopes of many species may shift rapidly across large geographic areas. In addition, novel species assemblages and ecological reorganization make future conditions uncertain. We used a GIS analysis to assess the vulnerability of 501 reserve units in the National Wildlife Refuge System as a basis for a nationally coordinated response to climate change adaptation. We used measures of climate change exposure (historic rate of temperature change), sensitivity (biome edge and critical habitat for threatened and endangered species), and adaptive capacity (elevation range, latitude range, watershed road density; and watershed protection) to evaluate refuge vulnerability. The vulnerability of individual refuges varied spatially within and among biomes. We suggest that the spatial variability in vulnerability be used to define suites of management approaches that capitalize on local conditions to facilitate adaptation and spread risk across the reserve network. We conceptually define four divergent management strategies to facilitate adaption: refugia, ecosystem maintenance, “natural” adaptation, and facilitated transitions. Furthermore, we recognize that adaptation approaches can use historic (i.e., retrospective) and future (prospective) condition as temporal reference points to define management goals.

Keywords: climate change, conservation reserve, National Wildlife Refuge System, prospective adaptation, resilience, retrospective adaptation, species extinction, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, vulnerability

Publication Notes:

  • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
  • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.



Magness, D.R.; Morton, J.M.; Huettmann, F.; Chapin, F.S., III; McGuire, A.D. 2011. A climate-change adaptation framework to reduce continental-scale vulnerability across conservation reserves. Ecosphere. 2(10): 1-23.


 [ Get Acrobat ]  Get the latest version of the Adobe Acrobat reader or Acrobat Reader for Windows with Search and Accessibility

USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.