Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

For a rare prairie orchid, science is making climate change local

12.02.2016

Knowing how climate change may affect an entire region is only marginally useful to land managers trying to preserve the small white lady's slipper, a once-abundant orchid that today is found in small "postage stamp" prairie fragments as little as 10 acres in size in Minnesota and another dozen states across the Midwest. Land managers need the details: how might a small fragment of orchid habitat change with climate change, and what climate adaptation strategies will be most effective in preserving remaining populations of small white lady's slipper?


The small white lady's slipper is listed as endangered, threatened, rare or extirpated throughout most of its historic range, which extends extending from the Dakotas and Nebraska east to New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland, and from southern Canada south to Missouri, Kentucky and Virginia.

Credit: Justin Meissner

Research by University of Minnesota and USDA Forest Service scientists is helping answer those questions. Robert Haight and Stephanie Snyder of the USDA Forest Service's Northern Research Station in St. Paul, Minn., worked with principal investigator Laura Phillips-Mao and Susan Galatowitsch, both with the University of Minnesota, to create a dynamic model that focuses on site scale conservation.

Development of the model is described in a study, "Model-based scenario planning to develop climate change adaptation strategies for rare plant populations in grassland reserves," which was recently published by the journal Biological Conservation and is available from the Northern Research Station at: http://www.nrs.fs.fed.us/pubs/49967

The small white lady's slipper orchid occurs in wet prairies, meadows, and fens and is a high risk species with respect to climate change because its wet prairie habitat is considered vulnerable to regional climate change impacts such as water table drawdowns and increased frequency of severe drought. Regional climate change projections may indicate higher temperature and more variable precipitation, but resulting changes in soil water availability will depend on local features, including soil texture and drainage, vegetative cover, topography and hydrology. On a site scale, climate change impacts may not manifest uniformly, and areas of currently suitable habitat for a given species may vary in their vulnerability to climate change.

"Our model accounts for these site-level features when projecting the potential impacts of different climate change scenarios," said Phillips-Mao. "The model delivers information about management strategies that is specific to the location and the plant itself, which gives managers much more certainty in decision-making." For the small white lady's slipper, such decisions may include whether to prioritize invasive species management, protect critical groundwater recharge areas, or increase monitoring intensity to detect population responses to drought and other environmental stressors.

"Modeling that makes the anticipated regional effects of climate change site-specific has the potential to benefit other rare species with very limited ranges," said Haight. "This approach gives conservation planners and practitioners information they need to make sound, on-the-ground management decisions in the face of climate change."

The small white lady's slipper is listed as endangered, threatened, rare or extirpated throughout most of its historic range, which extends extending from the Dakotas and Nebraska east to New York, Pennsylvania and Maryland, and from southern Canada south to Missouri, Kentucky and Virginia.

The mission of the Forest Service's Northern Research Station is to improve people's lives and help sustain the natural resources in the Northeast and Midwest through leading-edge science and effective information delivery.

The mission of the Forest Service, part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture, is to sustain the health, diversity, and productivity of the Nation's forests and grasslands to meet the needs of present and future generations. The agency manages 193 million acres of public land, provides assistance to state and private landowners, and maintains the largest forestry research organization in the world. Public lands the Forest Service manages contribute more than $13 billion to the economy each year through visitor spending alone. Those same lands provide 20 percent of the Nation's clean water supply, a value estimated at $7.2 billion per year. The agency has either a direct or indirect role in stewardship of about 80 percent of the 850 million forested acres within the U.S., of which 100 million acres are urban forests where most Americans live.

Media Contact

Jane Hodgins
jmhodgins@fs.fed.us
651-649-5281

http://nrs.fs.fed.us 

Jane Hodgins | EurekAlert!

Further reports about: USDA climate change impacts decisions orchid populations prairie

More articles from Earth Sciences:

nachricht Colorado River's connection with the ocean was a punctuated affair
16.11.2017 | University of Oregon

nachricht Researchers create largest, longest multiphysics earthquake simulation to date
14.11.2017 | Gauss Centre for Supercomputing

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: A “cosmic snake” reveals the structure of remote galaxies

The formation of stars in distant galaxies is still largely unexplored. For the first time, astron-omers at the University of Geneva have now been able to closely observe a star system six billion light-years away. In doing so, they are confirming earlier simulations made by the University of Zurich. One special effect is made possible by the multiple reflections of images that run through the cosmos like a snake.

Today, astronomers have a pretty accurate idea of how stars were formed in the recent cosmic past. But do these laws also apply to older galaxies? For around a...

Im Focus: Visual intelligence is not the same as IQ

Just because someone is smart and well-motivated doesn't mean he or she can learn the visual skills needed to excel at tasks like matching fingerprints, interpreting medical X-rays, keeping track of aircraft on radar displays or forensic face matching.

That is the implication of a new study which shows for the first time that there is a broad range of differences in people's visual ability and that these...

Im Focus: Novel Nano-CT device creates high-resolution 3D-X-rays of tiny velvet worm legs

Computer Tomography (CT) is a standard procedure in hospitals, but so far, the technology has not been suitable for imaging extremely small objects. In PNAS, a team from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) describes a Nano-CT device that creates three-dimensional x-ray images at resolutions up to 100 nanometers. The first test application: Together with colleagues from the University of Kassel and Helmholtz-Zentrum Geesthacht the researchers analyzed the locomotory system of a velvet worm.

During a CT analysis, the object under investigation is x-rayed and a detector measures the respective amount of radiation absorbed from various angles....

Im Focus: Researchers Develop Data Bus for Quantum Computer

The quantum world is fragile; error correction codes are needed to protect the information stored in a quantum object from the deteriorating effects of noise. Quantum physicists in Innsbruck have developed a protocol to pass quantum information between differently encoded building blocks of a future quantum computer, such as processors and memories. Scientists may use this protocol in the future to build a data bus for quantum computers. The researchers have published their work in the journal Nature Communications.

Future quantum computers will be able to solve problems where conventional computers fail today. We are still far away from any large-scale implementation,...

Im Focus: Wrinkles give heat a jolt in pillared graphene

Rice University researchers test 3-D carbon nanostructures' thermal transport abilities

Pillared graphene would transfer heat better if the theoretical material had a few asymmetric junctions that caused wrinkles, according to Rice University...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Ecology Across Borders: International conference brings together 1,500 ecologists

15.11.2017 | Event News

Road into laboratory: Users discuss biaxial fatigue-testing for car and truck wheel

15.11.2017 | Event News

#Berlin5GWeek: The right network for Industry 4.0

30.10.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA detects solar flare pulses at Sun and Earth

17.11.2017 | Physics and Astronomy

NIST scientists discover how to switch liver cancer cell growth from 2-D to 3-D structures

17.11.2017 | Health and Medicine

The importance of biodiversity in forests could increase due to climate change

17.11.2017 | Studies and Analyses

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>