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    Author(s): Francis J. Triepke
    Date: 2018
    Source: Dissertation. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico. 147 p.
    Publication Series: Dissertations
    Station: Rocky Mountain Research Station
    PDF: Download Publication  (3.0 MB)


    Climate change is challenging scientists and decision-makers to understand the complexities of climate change and to predict the related effects at scales relevant to environmental policy and the management of ecosystem services. Extraordinary change in climate, and the ensuing impacts to ecosystem services, are widely anticipated for the southwestern United States. Predicting the vulnerability of Southwest ecosystems and their components has been a priority of natural resource organizations over the past decade. Supplementing vulnerability assessments in the region with geospatial inputs of high thematic and spatial detail has become vital for supporting local analyses, planning, and decisions. In this context has come the opportunity to build upon a framework of major ecosystem types of the Southwest and to assess vulnerability to climate change for each type. Herein are presented three studies that set the backdrop for vulnerability assessment, detail a novel correlative modeling procedure to predict the location and the magnitude of vulnerability to familiar vegetation patterns, and then explore applications of the resulting geospatial vulnerability surface: 1) considerations for evaluating or designing a vulnerability assessment; 2) an overview of the vegetation and climate of major ecosystem types, and 3) a climate change vulnerability assessment for all major ecosystem types of the Southwest. This work has resulted in a regionwide vulnerability surface of greater extent and higher spatial and thematic resolution than previous modeling efforts, giving local managers information on the location and degree of climate risk to vegetation resources.

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    Triepke, Francis J. 2018. Assessing the climate change vulnerability of ecosystem types of the Southwestern U.S. Dissertation. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico. 147 p.


    Ecological Response Unit, exposure, sensitivity, climate envelope, fire severity, scrub encroachment

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