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    Author(s): Megan M. Friggens; Carly K. Woodlief
    Date: 2015
    Source: Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 67 p.
    Publication Series: Other
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (1.31 MB)


    Water is a critical resource for humans and ecological systems in the western United States. Aquatic ecosystems including lakes, rivers, riparian areas and wetlands, are at high risk of climate impacts because they experience relatively high exposure to climate fluctuations and extremes. In turn, impacts arising from climate change are far reaching because these systems tend to support a disproportionate amount of the biodiversity and ecological services in the landscapes within which they exist (Capon et al., 2013). A number of reviews are available that detail threats to riparian and aquatic ecosystems (Spears et al., 2013; Poff et al., 2011; EPA 2011). The Bureau of Reclamation’s Managing Water in the West report (Spears et al., 2013), Third Edition of the Literature Synthesis on Climate Change Implications for Water and Environmental Resources, provides a comprehensive synthesis specific to climate impacts for the Western U.S. Within this report expected trends and relevant studies are reviewed and summarized for each region within the U.S. (e.g. Lower Colorado, Upper Colorado, and Mid-Pacific) and include an overview of potential changes and likely impact. A comprehensive review of literature pertaining to California and surrounding areas can be found in Kiparksy and Gleick (2003). Two recent climate assessments consider impacts to aquatic ecosystems and water resources for the entire U.S. and the southwestern U.S. (Melillo et al., 2014 and Garfin et al., 2015, respectively).

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    Friggens, Megan M.; Woodlief, Carly K. 2015. Final Report: Synthesis of aquatic climate change vulnerability assessments for the Interior West. Albuquerque, NM: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 67 p.


    climate change, water resources, aquatic ecosystems

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