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Climate envelope modeling for evaluating anticipated effects of climate change on threatened and endangered species in the Greater Everglades

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Project Investigators: Stephanie S. Romaņach, James I. Watling, Laura A. Brandt, Frank J. Mazzotti

Project Personnel: Carolina Speroterra, David Bucklin, Allison Benscoter, Mathieu Basille, Leonard Pearlstine

Project Start Date: 2009 End Date: 2011



This project will result in both predictive ecological models and methodology for development and use of climate-based species-habitat relationships that will aid resource managers in long-term planning for sustainability of species.

Climate change is poised to induce a cascade of direct and indirect effects on biodiversity that will require novel, data-driven approaches to management. To provide robust estimates of climate change effects on species of greatest conservation concern, we will create climate envelope models for 26 species of non-marine threatened and endangered (T&E) vertebrates that occur in south Florida. We will compile the most up-to-date information on T&E vertebrates in the study area and use these data to select a subset of climate variables with known and quantifiable relationships to the ecology of focal species. Our analytical approach will emphasize an ensemble modeling approach to projecting future distributions of climate niche space for T&E vertebrates. Because our research group includes representatives of major agencies involved in biodiversity conservation, our results will be made available to managers in a timely and accessible manner that maximizes the utility of our models for conservation decision-making.

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