The multidimensionality of climate vulnerability

[PAPER] Multiple axes of ecological vulnerability to climate change.

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My first dissertation chapter was recently published in Global Change Biology! This project grew out of work I began at NatureServe, a conservation NGO where I worked prior to grad school, and my co-authors deserve much credit for this study.

The project had several goals:

  • To develop high-resolution climate vulnerability predictions for a hundred major vegetation types across the western US, helping inform decisions at the Bureau of Land Management (who funded this project).
  • To understand how vulnerability estimates based on niche models, time series models, and spatial climate change models differ (they turn out to be quite different, as illustrated above).
  • To develop a conceptual framework around how these metrics can be used together to guide management decisions around climate change adapatation strategies (see the figure below).
  • To quantify which climate variables are most important for predicting vegetation patterns in which geographic areas (an understudied question).

Alejandro Ordonez published a wonderful commentary piece on the paper, which was a cool surprise. You can find our paper online here, or as a pdf here.

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