Overview: Two Publications, Bridging the Stakeholder Gap
In these two major forays into large landscape conservation planning, Dr.’s Morgan Gray, Tosha Comendant, Adina Merenlender and Lisa Micheli went deep into the research of the social science of conservation collectives to learn what factors influence participants to use results. The goal is twofold: to bridge landscape ecology and climate science, and to bring people together for conservation from an ecological and social perspective.
The team emphasized the importance of building a social network to mobilize large landscape conservation, as well as a need for stakeholder engagement. This includes co-creation of science products (building collective stake in the planning process), and asking what interested parties NEED – in order to avoid leaving out important pieces that could’ve been addressed through greater stakeholder involvement.
Climate-Wise Habitat Connectivity Takes Sustained Stakeholder Engagement
Well-managed and connected protected area networks are needed to combat the 6th mass extinction, yet the implementation of plans intended to secure landscape connectivity remains insufficient. The failure to translate planning efforts into effective action (i.e., the research-implementation gap) hinders our ability to conserve biodiversity threatened by ongoing climate change and habitat fragmentation. Sustained collaboration between researchers and practitioners to co-produce conservation strategies can bridge this gap by providing end-users with implementation guidance based on legitimate, relevant, and trusted information. However, few case studies capture methods for the co-production and use of climate-wise connectivity knowledge. Here we describe the framework for sustained engagement used by a multi-jurisdictional practitioner network to co-produce climate-wise linkages for the interior coastal ranges in Northern California. We found iterative co-production shaped ecological objectives, input data, analytical methods, and implementation priorities. Stakeholders used both co-produced and local socio-ecological (e.g., development threat, management priorities) knowledge to finalize corridor implementation plans. Priority corridors afforded greater climate benefit and were more likely to connect lands managed by participant organizations. Our results demonstrate how collaborative partnerships can bridge the gap between connectivity research and implementation. Lessons learned, outcomes, and future plans provide insights to advance landscape-scale resilience to climate change.
Read the full article here.
Quantifying Climate-Wise Connectivity across a Topographically Diverse Landscape
Climate-wise connectivity is essential to provide species access to suitable habitats in the future, yet we lack a consistent means of quantifying climate adaptation benefits of habitat linkages. Species range shifts to cooler climates have been widely observed, suggesting we should protect pathways providing access to cooler locations. However, in topographically diverse regions, the effects of elevation, seasonality, and proximity to large water bodies are complex drivers of biologically relevant temperature gradients. Here, we identify potential terrestrial and riparian linkages and their cooling benefit using mid-century summer and winter temperature extremes for interior coastal ranges in Northern California. It is rare for the same area to possess both terrestrial and riparian connectivity value. Our analysis reveals distinct differences in the magnitude and orientation of cooling benefits between the summer maximum and winter minimum temperatures provided by the linkages we delineated for the area. The cooling benefits for both linkage types were maximized to the west during summer, but upslope and to the northeast during winter. The approach we employ here provides an improved method to prioritize climate-wise connectivity and promote landscape resilience for topographically diverse regions.
Find the full article here.