Tuesday, February 16, 2010
Monitoring Ecological Reserves in a Changing Climate: Perspectives from Pacific Northwest National Parks
Ecological implications of climate change include large-scale shifts in animal and plant distributions and rapid changes in community structure, composition, and processes. Long-term environmental monitoring that is capable of documenting trends is essential to help inform decision and policy makers of possible consequences of climate change. In 2000, the National Park Service initiated a nation-wide monitoring program to understand the status and trends of park natural resources as a basis for making decisions, working with other agencies, and communicating with the public to protect park natural systems and native species. For national parks in the Pacific Northwest, integrating the effects of climate as a primary ecosystem stressor has been an important part of the monitoring design and implementation. The presentation will provide a program manager’s overview of the National Park Service’s accomplishments, challenges, and long-term expectations of monitoring natural resources as it relates to climate change--using Pacific Northwest national parks as case studies.