Thursday, August 5, 2010: 1:30 PM-5:00 PM
Blrm BC, David L Lawrence Convention Center
Joshua J. Tewksbury
Nick M. Haddad
Joshua J. Tewksbury
The past century of climate change has resulted in poleward and upward shifts in the geographic distributions of many species. The increasing pace of climate change and presence of widespread barriers to plant and animal movement have led to growing concern that many species will ultimately be unable to keep up with shifting areas of climatic suitability. Scientists and land managers hoping to address this problem are faced with the challenge of adapting a primarily static protected area framework to accommodate increasingly dynamic landscapes. This effort has resulted in a wide range of landscape approaches aiming to promote species range shifts in response to climate change. In many cases these landscape approaches may provide a more effective and less risky alternative to more invasive approaches, such as assisted migration. However, numerous questions remain regarding how landscapes can best be designed to accommodate changes in species distributions: should we add more protected areas, increase the sizes of existing protected areas, or use landscape corridors to link reserves? Should we be targeting areas of high climatic heterogeneity, or protecting those areas predicted to be most resistant to climate change (i.e., climate refugia)? To what degree should we focus conservation efforts on matrix lands, and what kinds of policies will be necessary? This symposium will provide a synthetic evaluation of landscape approaches to conservation in a changing climate, from the processes governing species range shifts under climate change and our current capacity to predict small-scale changes in climate and species distributions, to the range of landscape planning approaches available and their associated policy implications.
The format for this symposium is eight, twenty minute talks, concluding with a thirty minute question and answer period to provide additional opportunities for synthesis and audience participation. The first three talks will provide a synthetic introduction to the scientific and applied foundations of the problem, from the primary challenge of managing dynamic landscapes in a static protected area framework, to the pattern and process of species range shifts under climate change, to our technical capacity to predict future shifts. The next four talks will address the variety of landscape approaches being explored to facilitate these shifts, from protected area design to large landscape conservation efforts such as the Yellowstone to Yukon corridor project. The final talk will discuss the policy implications of landscape conservation for a changing climate, including ways to revisit regulatory approaches designed for static climates.