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 New sensor could shake up earthquake response efforts
11.07.2019 | DOE/Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory

nachricht NASA satellites find biggest seaweed bloom in the world
09.07.2019 | NASA/Goddard Space Flight Center

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Artificial neural network resolves puzzles from condensed matter physics: Which is the perfect quantum theory?

For some phenomena in quantum many-body physics several competing theories exist. But which of them describes a quantum phenomenon best? A team of researchers from the Technical University of Munich (TUM) and Harvard University in the United States has now successfully deployed artificial neural networks for image analysis of quantum systems.

Is that a dog or a cat? Such a classification is a prime example of machine learning: artificial neural networks can be trained to analyze images by looking...

Im Focus: Extremely hard yet metallically conductive: Bayreuth researchers develop novel material with high-tech prospects

An international research group led by scientists from the University of Bayreuth has produced a previously unknown material: Rhenium nitride pernitride. Thanks to combining properties that were previously considered incompatible, it looks set to become highly attractive for technological applications. Indeed, it is a super-hard metallic conductor that can withstand extremely high pressures like a diamond. A process now developed in Bayreuth opens up the possibility of producing rhenium nitride pernitride and other technologically interesting materials in sufficiently large quantity for their properties characterisation. The new findings are presented in "Nature Communications".

The possibility of finding a compound that was metallically conductive, super-hard, and ultra-incompressible was long considered unlikely in science. It was...

Im Focus: Modelling leads to the optimum size for platinum fuel cell catalysts: Activity of fuel cell catalysts doubled

An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has built platinum nanoparticles for catalysis in fuel cells: The new size-optimized catalysts are twice as good as the best process commercially available today.

Fuel cells may well replace batteries as the power source for electric cars. They consume hydrogen, a gas which could be produced for example using surplus...

Im Focus: The secret of mushroom colors

Mushrooms: Darker fruiting bodies in cold climates

The fly agaric with its red hat is perhaps the most evocative of the diverse and variously colored mushroom species. Hitherto, the purpose of these colors was...

Im Focus: First results of the new Alphatrap experiment

Physicists at the Max Planck Institute for Nuclear Physics in Heidelberg report the first result of the new Alphatrap experiment. They measured the bound-electron g-factor of highly charged (boron-like) argon ions with unprecedented precision of 9 digits. In comparison with a new highly accurate quantum electrodynamic calculation they found an excellent agreement on a level of 7 digits. This paves the way for sensitive tests of QED in strong fields like precision measurements of the fine structure constant α as well as the detection of possible signatures of new physics. [Physical Review Letters, 27 June 2019]

Quantum electrodynamics (QED) describes the interaction of charged particles with electromagnetic fields and is the most precisely tested physical theory. It...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

2nd International Conference on UV LED Technologies & Applications – ICULTA 2020 | Call for Abstracts

24.06.2019 | Event News

SEMANTiCS 2019 brings together industry leaders and data scientists in Karlsruhe

29.04.2019 | Event News

Revered mathematicians and computer scientists converge with 200 young researchers in Heidelberg!

17.04.2019 | Event News

 
Latest News

A human liver cell atlas

15.07.2019 | Life Sciences

No more trial-and-error when choosing an electrolyte for metal-air batteries

15.07.2019 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Possibilities of the biosimilar principle of learning are shown for a memristor-based neural network

15.07.2019 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>