FRAMEWORK FOR PROTECTING AQUATIC BIODIVERSITY IN THE NORTHEAST UNDER CHANGING CLIMATES
August 2021 - July 2023
- NE CASC
Our objective is to incorporate existing climate change research into a framework that evaluates the conservation of aquatic biodiversity under a suite of land protection and restoration scenarios. We will translate existing Northeast Climate Adaptation Science Center (NECASC) products into formats that can be concurrently analyzed and incorporated into novel methods for biodiversity protection in the Northeast. The goal of this work is to identify land protection and restoration actions that optimize aquatic biodiversity protection into the future. We will evaluate potential changes to biotic assemblages with changing climates and identify management actions most likely to mitigate impacts from climate change. Importantly, the tool developed will be scale-able, allowing managers at small scales (e.g., towns) to prioritize climate adaptations within their jurisdiction. The project will be completed in two phases over the course of two years. In Phase I, objectives are to 1) gather and translate all NECASC research applicable to aquatic ecosystems and 2) define standardized aquatic biodiversity metrics (e.g., species richness, community evenness) for the states of New Hampshire (NH), Vermont (VT), Massachusetts (MA), and Connecticut (CT). In Phase II, we will evaluate the amount of biodiversity protected by alternate scenarios of land protection and habitat restoration in the face of climate change.