Potential climate change impacts on forest connectivity in the U.S. Northern Rockies

Metadata Updated: November 12, 2020

Establishing connections among natural landscapes is the most frequently recommended strategy for adapting management of natural resources in response to climate change. The U.S. Northern Rockies still support a full suite of native wildlife, and survival of these populations depends on connected landscapes. Connected landscapes support current migration and dispersal as well as future shifts in species ranges that will be necessary for species to adapt to our changing climate. Working in partnership with state and federal resource managers and private land trusts, we sought to: 1) understand how future climate change may alter habitat composition of landscapes expected to serve as important connections for wildlife, 2) estimate how wildlife species of concern are expected to respond to these changes, 3) develop climate-smart strategies to help stakeholders manage public and private lands in ways that allow wildlife to continue to move in response to changing conditions, and 4) explore how well existing management plans and conservation efforts are expected to support crucial connections for wildlife under climate change. We assessed vulnerability of eight wildlife species and four biomes to climate change, with a focus on potential impacts to connectivity. Our assessment provides some insights about where these species and biomes may be most vulnerable or most resilient to loss of connectivity and how this information could support climate-smart management action. We also encountered high levels of uncertainty in how climate change is expected to alter vegetation and how wildlife are expected to respond to these changes. This uncertainty limits the value of our assessment for informing proactive management of climate change impacts on both species-specific and biome-level connectivity (although biome-level assessments were subject to fewer sources of uncertainty). We offer suggestions for improving the management relevance of future studies based on our own insights and those of managers and biologists who participated in this assessment and provided critical review of this report.

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License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Date February 8, 2017
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) May 1, 2017 (publication)
Frequency Of Update notPlanned

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Harvested from DOI Open Data

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Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Date February 8, 2017
Metadata Created Date November 12, 2020
Metadata Updated Date November 12, 2020
Reference Date(s) May 1, 2017 (publication)
Responsible Party Center for Large Landscape Conservation (Point of Contact)
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Access Constraints Use Constraints: None, but the user assumes all responsibility for appropriate use of the data. Users are advised to read the data set's metadata thoroughly to understand appropriate use and data limitations., Access Constraints: None. Please see 'Distribution Info' for details.
Bbox East Long -108.528169
Bbox North Lat 49.005950
Bbox South Lat 41.894474
Bbox West Long -117.049289
Coupled Resource
Frequency Of Update notPlanned
Licence Unless otherwise stated, all data, metadata and related materials are considered to satisfy the quality standards relative to the purpose for which the data were collected. Although these data and associated metadata have been reviewed for accuracy and completeness and approved for release by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), no warranty expressed or implied is made regarding the display or utility of the data on any other system or for general or scientific purposes, nor shall the act of distribution constitute any such warranty.
Metadata Language
Metadata Type geospatial
Progress completed
Spatial Data Service Type
Spatial Reference System
Spatial Harvester True

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