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Tuesday, January 26 • 2:20pm - 2:40pm
Planning For The Climate Change Resilience of Terrestrial Ecosystems By “Conserving Nature’s Stage”

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AUTHORS: Kimberly Hall, The Nature Conservancy

ABSTRACT: One of the most promising strategies available to help nature adapt to climate change is to conserve connected networks of resilient landscapes that capture the full range of abiotic site conditions. Networks in which resilient sites (e.g., intact sites with high internal microclimate variability) are linked by corridors that facilitate movement should maximize the ability of plants and animals to reach suitable climates. By supporting species adaptation in this way, we increase the odds that the widest variety of ecosystem functions and services necessary for supporting both wild species and people will be sustained. An approach to identifying such a network, which we refer to as “Conserving Nature’s Stage” (CNS) has been developed by The Nature Conservancy, with support from the Doris Duke Charitable Foundation (DDCF). CNS has already been applied to ecoregions in the Northeast, Southeast, and Northwest regions of the US. Work is currently underway to conduct these analyses in ecoregions within the Midwest. I will introduce the theory behind this approach, describe the underlying analyses and resulting data products, and illustrate how these datasets can be incorporated into state and landscape-scale conservation planning. Next, I will provide examples of how this information can help inform site-scale management and protection decisions, highlighting the use of CNS datasets by state and federal agencies and land trusts in the geographies where results are already available. Finally, I will provide a progress report on our work in the Midwest, focusing on lessons learned thus far, and connections to other regional conservation efforts.

Tuesday January 26, 2016 2:20pm - 2:40pm EST
Vandenberg A