Adaptive capacity: the linchpin for understanding and addressing species' vulnerability to climate change

Meeting Date: 12/6/2017

- 12/6/2017

Location: Webinar

Event date:
Wednesday, December 6, 2017 - 11:00am to 12:00pm


Lindsey Thurman, U.S. Geological Survey

A multi-year collaborative partnership is underway among the U.S. Geological Survey, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, National Park Service, Landscape Conservation Cooperatives, and state and NGO partners, with the goal of assessing species' adaptive capacity to climate change. Adaptive capacity refers to species' ability to respond to environmental and ecological change via acclimation in situ (e.g. through evolutionary adaptation), phenotypic plasticity (flexibility), or shifting to more suitable conditions. Adaptive capacity is one component of climate change vulnerability assessments, along with exposure and sensitivity, but is the least understood and addressed. To help improve effectiveness of conservation planning and resource management in a changing climate, we are conducting a broad synthesis of the science on adaptive capacity and have developed a community of practice to strengthen partnerships and improve awareness of adaptive capacity. The ultimate goal of the project is to co-produce a decision framework that natural-resource managers and other conservation practitioners can use to assess and facilitate (when possible) species' innate ability to cope with climate change.