Cortex undertook an exploratory analysis of the risks posed to species’ habitat quality as a result of climate change, using the Northern Spotted Owl as a case study. We developed a conceptual model with 18 direct links between measures of vital rates and temperature and snow fall, 4 indirect links between measures of vital rates and climate variables and 4 indirect links to prey density. Then, we used a quantitative, spatially explicit model that predicts owl habitat and population dynamics as a function of broad climate regimes and landscape structure. We simulated the effect of climate change by (1) projecting one of the underlying modeled habitat attributes — biogeoclimatic sub-zone / variant through bioclimate envelope modeling, and (2) by manipulating the rate of stand replacing natural disturbance regimes.
Effects of Climate Change on Habitat for the Northern Spotted Owl
- Ecological Analysis
Simon Fraser University
Government, Industry, NGO
- identified zones where current management reserves are most vulnerable to climate change
- highlighted how redesigns of conservation areas may reduce habitat vulnerability to climate change