Moist Sandy Meadows are highly vulnerable to climate change. Potential changes in groundwater and seepage lake levels could have severe consequences for these communities.

Submitted by dshannon on Mon, 01/25/2021 - 08:01

Potential changes in groundwater and seepage lake levels could have severe consequences for these communities. Higher temperatures, longer growing seasons, and corresponding increases in evapotranspiration will result in more water leaving the system. This could be exacerbated by anthropogenic demand for groundwater resources. However, projected increases in annual precipitation may offset some of these losses. If water tables drop, tree and shrub invasion is likely along with conversion to non-wetland species. If long-term average water levels are maintained, however, most of the characteristic plants species should tolerate warmer temperatures and cyclical water level fluctuations. In addition, sites that are associated with lakes are naturally adapted to shift lake ward and shoreward in response to changing water levels. However, sites in isolated, shallow wetland pockets will be much more constrained in their ability to adapt to changing conditions.