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Evaluating the Use of Spatially Explicit Population Models to Predict Conservation Reliant Species in Nonanalogue Future Environments on DoD Lands


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Predicting which species will need ongoing management is valuable for planning and prioritizing natural resource management needs on Department of Defense managed lands. We developed and tested an empirical protocol and theoretical framework for determining if target species are likely to become conservation reliant because of changing climatic conditions. We used time series, space-for-time studies and experimental manipulations to determine climate drivers of demographic rates for seven focal species. We used these relationships and downscaled global climate change models to predict population level changes for each species under future climate scenarios, and developed a process for identifying the importance of different aspects of a species life history in shaping population responses. Three of the 49 populations evaluated across all seven species were projected to respond negatively to projected changes in local climate conditions. Populations most at risk for becoming conservation reliant were those in the warmest parts of the species ranges, while populations in the coolest parts of species ranges tended to benefit from projected changes in climate.



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