Climate Change:Impacts and Responses for Ecological Restoration ENV 794 April 4, 2011 Ben Jurand BehroozPakzadeh
Outline • Overview of Climate Change • Impacts and Effects on Species and Ecosystems • Ecological Disturbances • Phenologies • Implications for Restoration • Current Framework • Strategies & Approaches • Conclusion and Discussion
Outlines • Introduction to climate change • Effect on Hydrology(Precipitation, Snow, ice) • Climate change consequences on Ecosystems.
What changes climate? • Change in • Sun’s output • Earth's orbit • Drifting continents • Volcanic eruptions • Greenhouse gases
Climate CO2 and other greenhouse gases are at the highest level in the 400,000 years. Global Surface temperature has increased over by an estimated 0.74°c over the past century. Many plants and animals will not be able to shift ranges to keep pace with warming
Climate change: Consequence on Ecosystem • Physical Earth • Life and Death • Humans http://www.eoearth.org
Consequences: Life and Death • Biosphere • Ecosystem Disturbance • Distributions • Diversity • Productivity • Seasonality • Species Shifts • Genes • Habitat shift • Population
Ecosystem Disturbance: Distributions Elevational Latitudinal This images was created by Robert A. Rohde for Global Warming Art
Major Terrestrial Biomes • Geographic distribution of biomes are dependent on temperature, precipitation, altitude and latitude • Weather patterns dictate the type of plants that will dominate an ecosystem faculty.southwest.tn.edu/. ../ES%20%20we16.jpg
Global Distribution of Vegetation 18,000 years ago tundra grassland taiga conifers woodland desert Prentice, C.I., Guiot, J., Huntley, B., Jolly D. and Cheddadi, R., 1996, Reconstructing biomes from palaeoecological data: a general method and its application to European pollen data at 0 and 6 ka. Climate Dynamics 12:185-194.
Global Distribution of Vegetation 6,000 years ago temperate deciduous cold deciduous taiga tundra conifers desert grassland woods & scrub Prentice, C.I., Guiot, J., Huntley, B., Jolly D. and Cheddadi, R., 1996, Reconstructing biomes from palaeoecological data: a general method and its application to European pollen data at 0 and 6 ka. Climate Dynamics 12:185-194.
Global Distribution of Vegetation - Present temperate deciduous cold deciduous taiga tundra warm mix grassland tropical R.F. Prentice, C.I., Guiot, J., Huntley, B., Jolly D. and Cheddadi, R., 1996, Reconstructing biomes from palaeoecological data: a general method and its application to European pollen data at 0 and 6 ka. Climate Dynamics 12:185-194.
Plant distributional changes attributed • Altitude • Kullman 2001, 2002, 2003 in Bulgaria 1955–1998 Pinuspeuce, treeline increased 200 m
Plant distributional changes attributed • Latitude • Jump et al. 2006 in Spain 1975–2003 Fagusgrandifoliadecreased growth at lower elevations
Ecosystem Disturbance: Diversity, Productivity • Productivity: A reasonable hypothesis is that phenological changes associated with warming will increase ecosystem productivity. • Diversity: Species extinctions are likely to result from climatic changes.
PhenologicalChanges and seasonality Penuelas J and Filella I 2001. Response to a warming world. Science 294: 793 – 795
Phenological change of Syringa in North America • Schwartz and Reiter in 2000 studied the Syringa and compared it to old existing records in herbarium records from in the 1959 • Syringa is flowering, leafing advanced 5–6 d, due to 1°c
Phenological change of Ginkobiloba in Japan • Japan 1953–2000 Ginkgo biloba bud break & leaf fall budding advanced, leaf fall delayed Matsumoto et al. 2003
Global:45°-75° N • Global phenological change between1981–1991 in terrestrial ecosystems :leafing spring advanced, autumn delayed, Myneni et al. 1997 • World-wide various numerous taxa most advanced ( a meta-analysis) Root et al. 2003
Phenology is important because… • it affects whether plants and animals thrive, or survive, in their environment • …our food supply depends on the timing of phenological events • …changes in the timing of phenological events can be used as an indicator of climate change
Phenologicalmismatches • Phenological changes are particularly troubling when mutualistic relationships are disrupted, such as when a plant is cued by temperature and an animal by day length. • For instance, the English oak blooms two weeks earlier and moth larvae hatch two weeks earlier to feed on the leaves. The pied flycatcher used to arrive when the larvae hatched to feed on them. Now the larvae population is becoming less when the birds arrive and the bird population is declining as a result.
Importance of phenology in climate change • Tool to monitor • Precise quantitative analysis of changes in phenological time series • A know relationship with temperature and or precipitation • Analogous change in corresponding temperature and or precipitation series over time
Phenology monitoring • Species observations • Cloned plant observations • Web cams • Satellite remote-sensing of ecosystem production • Atmospheric monitoring of Carbone dioxide concentration
Satellite Phenology • Advantages 1) Global coverage; 2) Integrated signal • Limitations: 1) Short period-of-record; 2) Cloud cover interference; 3) Interpretation issues; 4) Small set of measures
Species Shifts: Habitat shift • Definition: Change in the local environmental conditions in which a particular organism lives. http://www.esa.org/plantpop/
Species shift: Population • Snow Lotous, a valuable Tibetan medicinal plant, is threatened by both over-harvest and climate change http://www.esa.org/plantpop/
Species shift: Population • A 90-percent decline in sooty shearwaters (Puffinusgriseus) off the California coast in just 7 years (1987-1994) has been associated with warming of the California Current, which flows from southern British Columbia to Baja California
Shifts in Terrestrial Habitat Potential distribution of the major world biomes under current climate conditions • It is predicted that at the end of this century there will be large scale shifts in the global distribution of vegetation in response to anthropogenic climate change. • With man doubling the amount of carbon dioxide entering into the atmosphere the climate is changing more rapidly than plant migration can keep up. Projected distribution of the major world biomes by simulating the effects of 2xCO2-equivalent concentrations www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/ seminars/960610SM.html
Boreal and Alpine Vegetation Predicted changes in Siberian vegetation in response to doubling of CO2 • Research indicates the greatest amount of change will occur at the higher latitudes • Northern Canada and Alaska are already experiencing rapid warming and reduction of ice cover • Vegetation existing in these areas will be replaced with temperate forest species • Tundra, Taiga and Temperate forests will migrate pole ward • Some plants will face extinction because habitat will become too small (ex. Mountain tops of European Alps) www.usgcrp.gov/usgcrp/ seminars/960610SM.html Climate change
CO2 Emission 2009 Union of Concerned Scientists
Those at Risk • countries (Russia, Sweden, Finland) ½ of existing terrestrial habitats at risk • In Mexico, it’s predicted that 2.4% of species will lose 90% of their range and threatened with extinction by the year 2055 • Population at greatest risk are the rare and isolated species with fragmented habitats or those surrounded by water, agriculture or human development • Polar bears facing extinction by prolonged ice melts in feeding areas along with decline in seal population
Conclusions • Prevention in nature always cheaper and easier than cure! • Warming of the climate system is unequivocal • Human-caused warming over last 30 years has likely had a visible influence on many physical and biological systems • Conservation thought like( Adaption, Mitigation, Restoration) can slow down the effect of global warming
Restoration Responses • Implications for Restoration • Current Management Practices • The Role of Historical Reference Conditions • Strategies and Approaches to Dealing with Climate Change • Adaptation • Mitigation
Implications for Restoration • How do we value ecosystems? • Emphasis on economic interests • Many are counterproductive to climate and ecosystem stability • Must realize: without ecosystem functions, no economic goods or services would be possible • Threatened ecosystems and species will become increasingly difficult to predict
Implications for Restoration • Dealing with uncertainties • Impacts on species and natural resources • Sudden, unpredictable changes • Large events • Inevitable in the next 20-30 years? • Trajectory, inertia of earth’s systems mean that we must adapt to changing climate in the next few decades (Harris et al. 2006) • Management strategies need to identify the specific impacts of climate change on managed species and ecosystems (Hulme 2005)
Implications for Restoration Anthropogenic stressors interact with climate systems: (Millar et al. 2007) • Pollution • Habitat fragmentation • Land-use changes • Invasive species (plants, animals, pathogens) • Altered fire regimes
National Conservation Framework “…conserve the scenery and the natural and historic objects and the wild life therein and to provide for the enjoyment of the same in such manner and by such means as will leave them unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations.” The National Park Service Organic Act (16 U.S.C. l 2 3, and 4), as set forth herein, consists of the Act of Aug. 25 1916 (39 Stat. 535) and amendments thereto. Legislation protects habitat types and important species • Based on assumptions that the ecosystems don’t change
Current Management Practices • Ecosystems managed under current conservation schemes may become: • More vulnerable • Less resilient to disturbances • More likely to suffer gene pool degradation • More likely to have difficultly with species regeneration after disturbance • Ecosystem fringes • Barriers to new strategies • Entrenched interest groups • Polarized opinions • Time delays in strategy adoption
Current Management Practices Counterproductive Practices? Example: fire suppression • Some high altitude forests no longer retain higher moisture content due to climate change • Dryer • More vulnerable • More likely to burn in fires • Management practices exacerbate the problem
Current Management Practices Example: forest management (Millar et al. 2007) • Assumption that restoring the structure of a forest to historical reference conditions is the best way to maintain sustainable ecosystems • Restoration efforts often focused on restoring to past conditions • May be more prudent to help ecosystems adapt to changing current and future conditions
Historical Reference Conditions • Use of historical ecosystem conditions as targets and references must be compared to how likely it is that the system will change in the future • Relying solely on historic reference conditions is problematic • Climate changes may not support historic conditions • May lead to failure of restoration efforts
Example • Atmospheric CO2 concentrations in African savannas (Bond & Midgley 2000) • Tree-grass proportions linked to atmospheric CO2 concentrations • Concentrations have changed • Applying reference conditions to restoration efforts problematic • Historic tree-grass proportions not likely to be restored because of change in CO2 concentration http://www.alaboola.com/lists/african_savannah/
Historical Reference Conditions • But… we disregard history at our own peril(Swetnam et al. 1999) • Crucial to understanding range of variation • Historical conditions as a guide, but not necessarily a prescription • Need multiple, comparative histories from multiple locations • Need to look toward the future as well • Why establish wetlands in an area likely to become semi-arid? • Why use a temperate woodland as a reference condition if area is likely to be flooded by sea level rise?
Strategies and Approaches • Managing in the face of uncertainty (Millar et al. 2007) • Short term strategies • Long term strategies • Focus on enhancing resistance and resilience • Assist in ecosystem adaptation to changes in climate • Management must understand: (Hulme 2005) • Climate drivers • How ecosystems and species respond to climate and management strategies
Conceptual Framework Toolbox concept: (Millar et al. 2007) • Various treatments, practices combined to fit unique situations • Strategies vary based on specific spatial and temporal considerations • Appropriate levels/scales • Models and information sources about future • Planning horizons • Public support
Conceptual Framework Deterministic Approaches • Reliance on projections about the future for planning • Specific goals intended for the future Indeterministic Approaches • Multiple approaches to minimize risks • Unknown directions • Goals developed with uncertainty in mind (Millar et al. 2007)
Response Strategies Adaptive strategies Help ecosystems accommodate change Mitigation strategies Reducing anthropogenic climate change Integrated strategies Adaption + Mitigation