Product Type: Report
Author(s): Fagre D.B., C.W. Charles, C.D. Allen, C. Birkeland, F.S. Chapin III, P.M. Groffman, G.R Guntenspergen, A.K. Knapp, A.D. McGuire, P.J. Mulholland, D.P.C. Peters, D.D. Roby, and G. Sugihara
Fagre D.B., C.W. Charles, C.D. Allen, C. Birkeland, F.S. Chapin III, P.M. Groffman, G.R Guntenspergen, A.K. Knapp, A.D. McGuire, P.J. Mulholland, D.P.C. Peters, D.D. Roby, and G. Sugihara. 2009. Thresholds of climate change in Ecosystems: Final Report, Synthesis and Assessment Product 4.2. : U.S. Geological Survey A report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research. 157+ p.
This publication is available from U.S. Climate Change Science Program .
Ecological thresholds occur when external factors, positive feedbacks, or non linear instabilities in a system cause changes to propagate in domino-like fashion that is potentially irreversible. This report reviews threshold changes in North American ecosystems that are potentially induced by climatic change and addresses the significant challenges these threshold crossings impose on resource and land managers. Sudden changes to ecosystems and the goods and services they provide are not well understood, but they are extremely important if natural resource managers are to succeed in developing adaptation strategies in a changing world. The report provides an overview of what is known about ecological threshold and where they are likely to occur. It also identifies those areas where research is most needed to improve knowledge and understand the uncertainties regarding them. The report suggests a suite of potential actions that land and resource managers could use to improve the likelihood of success for the resources they manage, even under conditions of incomplete understanding of what drives thresholds of change and when changes will occur…