Non-Forested Wetlands

Non-Forested Wetlands

Taxonomy Machine Name
sector_nonforested_ecosystems
Taxonomy Alias
nonforested_ecosystems
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Mid-Atlantic Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the Mid-Atlantic Climate Change Response Framework

Forest ecosystems will be affected directly and indirectly by a changing climate over the 21st century. This assessment evaluates the vulnerability of 11 forest ecosystems in the Mid-Atlantic region (Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, eastern Maryland, and southern New York) under a range of future climates. We synthesized and summarized information on the contemporary landscape, provided information on past climate trends, and described a range of projected future climates.

New England and Northern New York Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the New England Climate Change Response Framework Project

This region contains about 40 million acres of forest, which provide numerous cultural, economic, and environmental benefits. Climate change is already having an impact on the region’s forests, increasing damage from extreme precipitation events and insect pests. Future changes could dramatically alter the landscape that characterizes the region.

Forest Adaptation Resources: Climate change tools and approaches for land managers, 2nd Edition

This document provides a suite of materials to help land managers to consider climate change and to develop adaptation actions. It does not provide specific recommendations, but rather serves as a decision-support tool for incorporating adaptation considerations into current management objectives.

Wet and wet-mesic prairies are moderately vulnerable to climate change. These ecosystems are tolerant of a broad range of climatic conditions. Altered seasonal precipitation and the resulting hydrologic responses pose the greatest climate-related threats.

Submitted by dshannon on Tue, 08/18/2020 - 13:33

Wet prairie is moderately vulnerable to climate change (when evaluated in low to high climate change emissions scenarios). Wet Prairies may be most vulnerable to changes in hydrology, increasing non-native invasive species, and invading brush. Changes to surface water hydrology are likely to occur with climate alterations to the hydrologic cycle. Thus leading to projected increases in droughts as well as the frequency and intensity of flood events.

Mesic Prairie is highly vulnerable to climate change. Maintained by periodic fire, this system may have less capacity to adapt to climate change due to their extreme rarity and small and isolated nature that limit options to rearrange and migrate.

Submitted by dshannon on Tue, 08/18/2020 - 13:27

Mesic Prairie is highly vulnerable to climate change (when evaluated in low to high climate change emissions scenarios). Mesic Prairie ecosystem occurs where soil depth and annual precipitation (and periodic fire) are primary drivers of prairie development and maintenance. Of all the prairie types, mesic prairie is considered to be the most vulnerable to climate change due to a combination of negative climate-related impacts and the small and isolated nature of remnants that confine and reduce opportunity to rearrange and migrate as a means to accommodate stressors.

Sand Prairie is mod-low to moderately vulnerable to climate change. This ecosystem is intrinsically hot and arid, thus the species that grow in these communities are able to resist potential climate change threats such as drought and extreme heat.

Submitted by dshannon on Tue, 08/18/2020 - 13:14

Sand Prairie is moderately-low to moderately vulnerable to climate change (when evaluated in low to high climate change emissions scenarios). The Sand Prairie environment is intrinsically hot and arid, plants are adapted to growing on infertile soils and thus the species that grow in this natural community are able to resist potential climate change threats such as drought and extreme heat. It’s possible that the frequency, intensity and timing of precipitation along with increased dry periods between rains may affect groundwater infiltration and increase drought stress.

Dry Prairie is moderately vulnerable to climate change. This natural community is adapted to warmer temperatures and drought. The uncertainties surrounding wildfire on the landscape and woody species invasion, poses the greatest threats to this community.

Submitted by dshannon on Tue, 08/18/2020 - 13:06

Dry Prairie is moderately vulnerable to climate change (when evaluated in low to high climate change emissions scenarios). Many of the dominant species of a Dry Prairie natural community are well-adapted to warmer temperatures and drought. Although threat of drought is projected to increase, plants adapted to growing on infertile soils exhibit tolerance to drought; drought tolerance may be lesser on sandstone-derived soils than on sites underlain by dolomite. This drought tolerance may also help native prairie plants compete with invaders. .

Bracken Grassland is mod-low to moderately vulnerable to climate change. This drought tolerant community is generally hardy, occurring on nutrient poor sites. Although changing climate may alter the flora and structure, shifting to more trees and brush.

Submitted by dshannon on Tue, 08/18/2020 - 13:05

Bracken Grassland is moderately low to moderately vulnerable to climate change (when evaluated in low to high climate change emissions scenarios). This natural community occurs on nutrient poor sites with a history of disturbance, where non-native species are dominant alongside native weedy species. These generalist species may prove to be hardy in the face of a changing climate. Changes in community structure are a significant threat, mainly due to increasing cover from trees and brush.

Climate change may increase the frequency and intensity of storm events, causing flooding and runoff of nutrients from agricultural fields and lawns, sediment from fields and streambanks, and salt from roads and sidewalks.

Submitted by dshannon on Tue, 08/18/2020 - 12:57

Precipitation in winter is projected to more often be rain or freezing rain than snow, further increasing the threat of runoff if rain falls on frozen ground. Nutrient enrichment and sedimentation are among the leading causes of degradation of wet and wet-mesic prairies, and may also negatively impact upland grasslands by favoring non-native invasive and aggressive native species. Erosion may occur on steep slopes during extreme storm events, especially after a prescribed burn.

Grassland

Submitted by dshannon on Tue, 08/18/2020 - 12:57

Grassland is a natural community group that broadly characterizes several distinct natural communities. Grassland broadly includes: Bracken Grassland, Dry Prairie, Dry-mesic Prairie, Mesic Prairie, Sand Prairie, Wet Prairie, Wet-mesic prairie natural communities. Grasslands with high floral diversity that occur within large open landscapes may fare best: plants may shift locations and composition may fluctuate over time based on responses to climatic variables. This adaptive capacity is further enhanced if a site has (micro)topographical diversity.