U.S. Geological Survey Home Page USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center Science Meetings; dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Dedicated to Chan Robbins USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Center; Science Meetings dedicated to Chandler S. Robbins Poster Abstracts from USGS Patuxent Wildlife Research Science Meetings, October, 2006
Patuxent Science Meeting 2006 Poster Abstract

Vulnerability of Northern prairie wetlands to climate change:

Implications for waterfowl

Guntenspergen GR, Johnson WC, Naugle D

The prairie pothole region (PPR) lies in the heart of North America and contains millions of

glacially formed depressional wetlands embedded in a matrix of natural grassland and

agriculture. These wetlands provide valuable ecosystem services and produce 50-80% of the

continent's ducks. We explored the broad spatial and temporal patterns across the PPR

between climate and wetland water levels and vegetation by applying a wetland simulation

model using 95-year weather records from across the region. Simulations suggest that the most

productive habitat for breeding waterfowl would shift under a drier climate from the center of the

PPR to the wetter eastern and northern fringes, areas currently less productive or where most

wetlands have been drained. Unless these remaining wetlands are protected and others

restored, there is little insurance for waterfowl against future climate warming. Our wetland

simulation model can assist managers in allocating restoration dollars in an uncertain future.

Friday, September 22, 2006



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