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The WILDlife Potential Habitat ForeCASTing Framework (WildCast)

We used a modeling framework and a recent ecological land classification and land cover map to predict how ecosystems and wildlife habitat in northwest Alaska might change in response to increasing temperature.

Principal Investigators:
DeGange, Anthony

Project Contacts:
Marcot, Bruce G., bmarcot@fs.fed.us, 503-808-2010

Collaborators:
National Park Service
NPS - Arctic Network
UAF - Department of Geology and Geophysics - Alaska Ecoscience
USFS - Pacific Northwest Research Station


Status: completed
Start Year: 2009
End Year: 2014

Location:
Bering Land Bridge National Preserve
Cape Krusenstern National Monument
Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve
Kobuk Valley National Park
Noatak Wilderness
Selawik National Wildlife Refuge

USGS Mission Area and Program:
EcosystemsEnvironments Program
EcosystemsWildlife Program

Web Links:
Data:
WildCast Photographic Transect Data
Project Website:
Wildlife Potential Habitat Forecasting Framework (WildCast)
Publication:
Predicting the Effects of Climate Change on Ecosystems and Wildlife Habitat in Northwest Alaska: Results from the WildCast Project
Projected changes in diverse ecosystems from climate warming and biophysical drivers in northwest Alaska
Projected changes in wildlife habitats in Arctic natural areas of northwest Alaska
Modeling approaches for predicting change under WILDCAST: making progress in a data-poor world
Low-altitude photographic transects of the Arctic Network of National Park Units and Selawik National Wildlife Refuge, Alaska, July 2013

Keywords:
Land Surface > Geomorphology
Land Surface > Landscape
Biosphere > Terrestrial Ecosystems > Alpine/Tundra
Land Surface > Land Use/Land Cover > Land Cover
Land Surface > Frozen Ground > Permafrost
Biosphere > Terrestrial Ecosystems > Shrubland/Scrub
Biosphere > Terrestrial Ecosystems > Wetlands

Abstract


The WILDlife Potential Habitat ForeCASTing Framework or WildCast, was begun as a collaboration between the National Park Service and the U.S. Geological Survey to develop a predictive framework for ecosystems and wildlife habitat in Northwest Alaska. The study area includes the five national park units that make up the Arctic Inventory and Monitoring Network: Gates of the Arctic National Park and Preserve, Noatak National Preserve, Kobuk Valley National Park, Cape Krusenstern National Monument, and Bering Land Bridge National Monument, as well as the adjacent Selawik National Wildlife Refuge of the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Figure 1). The basic premise of the project is to develop methods and tools that, in the face of limited data, can be used to better understand how climate change might influence ecosystems and the habitats of birds and mammals that inhabit this Arctic landscape. Our results suggest modest increases in forest and tall shrub ecotypes in Northwest Alaska by the end of this century thereby increasing habitat for forest-dwelling and shrub-using birds and mammals. Conversely, we predict declines in several more open low shrub, tussock and meadow ecotypes favored by many waterbird, shorebird and small mammal species. This is the first evaluation of its type for boreal and tundra ecosystems that provides a comprehensive assessment involving the full diversity of ecosystems across a broad region. Overall, we view the results as a valuable tool for posing testable hypotheses of changes in ecotypes and speciesí habitats; as a means of identifying potential priorities for management, inventory, monitoring, and research activities; and as basis for improvement over time as new data become available.

Project metadata record

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Page Last Modified: December 06 2016 16:16:21.