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Tuesday, January 26 • 10:20am - 10:40am
Potential Impacts of Changing Winter Conditions During The 21st Century on The Migratory Behavior of Dabbling Ducks In Eastern North America

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AUTHORS: Michael Notaro*, Nelson Institute Center for Climatic Research, University of Wisconsin-Madison; Michael Schummer, State University of New York at Oswego; Lena Vanden Elsen, University of Western Ontario, Long Point Waterfowl; John Coluccy, Ducks Unlimited

ABSTRACT: Potential changes in the migratory behavior of seven species of dabbling ducks across eastern North America are explored for the mid- and late 21st century. For each species, observational data is used to develop empirical relationships between changes in duck abundance and cumulative winter severity, consisting of measures of mean temperature, duration of below-freezing temperatures, mean snow depth, and duration of present snowpack. These relationships reflect the impact of winter temperatures on the ducks’ energy expenditure and the impact of the presence of snowpack and lake ice on food availability. Future projections of winter severity are developed by dynamically downscaling a set of six global climate models from the Coupled Model Intercomparison Project Phase Five using a high-resolution regional climate model, interactively coupled to a lake model to represent the Laurentian Great Lakes. This approach leads to credible climate projections for the Great Lakes Basin by simulating the impact of changing lake temperatures, ice cover, and evaporation on lake-effect snow. The debiased climate model output is used to derive projections of winter severity for the mid- and late 21st century and resulting affects on duck population and timing of migration. The expected dramatic changes in duck migratory behavior will greatly impact the hunting and tourism industries and natural resources in the Great Lakes.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 10:20am - 10:40am EST
Vandenberg A