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 Live from the ocean research vessel Atlantis
13.12.2018 | National Science Foundation

nachricht NSF-supported scientists present new research results on Earth's critical zone
13.12.2018 | National Science Foundation

All articles from Earth Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

The more objects we make "smart," from watches to entire buildings, the greater the need for these devices to store and retrieve massive amounts of data quickly without consuming too much power.

Millions of new memory cells could be part of a computer chip and provide that speed and energy savings, thanks to the discovery of a previously unobserved...

Im Focus: An energy-efficient way to stay warm: Sew high-tech heating patches to your clothes

Personal patches could reduce energy waste in buildings, Rutgers-led study says

What if, instead of turning up the thermostat, you could warm up with high-tech, flexible patches sewn into your clothes - while significantly reducing your...

Im Focus: Lethal combination: Drug cocktail turns off the juice to cancer cells

A widely used diabetes medication combined with an antihypertensive drug specifically inhibits tumor growth – this was discovered by researchers from the University of Basel’s Biozentrum two years ago. In a follow-up study, recently published in “Cell Reports”, the scientists report that this drug cocktail induces cancer cell death by switching off their energy supply.

The widely used anti-diabetes drug metformin not only reduces blood sugar but also has an anti-cancer effect. However, the metformin dose commonly used in the...

Im Focus: New Foldable Drone Flies through Narrow Holes in Rescue Missions

A research team from the University of Zurich has developed a new drone that can retract its propeller arms in flight and make itself small to fit through narrow gaps and holes. This is particularly useful when searching for victims of natural disasters.

Inspecting a damaged building after an earthquake or during a fire is exactly the kind of job that human rescuers would like drones to do for them. A flying...

Im Focus: Topological material switched off and on for the first time

Key advance for future topological transistors

Over the last decade, there has been much excitement about the discovery, recognised by the Nobel Prize in Physics only two years ago, that there are two types...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

ICTM Conference 2019: Digitization emerges as an engineering trend for turbomachinery construction

12.12.2018 | Event News

New Plastics Economy Investor Forum - Meeting Point for Innovations

10.12.2018 | Event News

EGU 2019 meeting: Media registration now open

06.12.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Data use draining your battery? Tiny device to speed up memory while also saving power

14.12.2018 | Power and Electrical Engineering

Tangled magnetic fields power cosmic particle accelerators

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

In search of missing worlds, Hubble finds a fast evaporating exoplanet

14.12.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>