Science Inventory

User's Guide and Metadata to Coastal Biodiversity Risk Analysis Tool (CBRAT): Framework for the Systemization of Life History and Biogeographic Information

Citation:

Lee II, H., K. Marko, M. Hanshumaker, C. Folger, AND R. Graham. User's Guide and Metadata to Coastal Biodiversity Risk Analysis Tool (CBRAT): Framework for the Systemization of Life History and Biogeographic Information. U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Office of Research and Development, National Center for Environmental Assessment, Washington, DC, EPA/601/B-15/001, 2015.

Impact/Purpose:

User’s Guide & Metadata to Coastal Biodiversity Risk Analysis Tool (CBRAT): Framework for the Systemization of Life History and Biogeographic Information Public EPA Report Contact: Dr. Henry Lee II U.S. EPA, NHEERL, Western Ecology Division Pacific Coastal Ecology Branch (Newport, OR) Lee.henry@epa.gov A major challenge in responding to the effects of climate change on near-coastal ecosystems is their rich biodiversity; literally thousands of fish and macroinvertebrate species each differing in their habitats, regional distributions, vulnerabilities, and ecosystem functions and services. To address this challenge, the U.S. EPA, with assistance from the USGS, is developing an approach to predict the relative vulnerability of large numbers of near-coastal species to climate alterations by using generally available information on species traits, regional abundance patterns, and sensitivities to temperature increases, sea level rise, and ocean acidification. This trait-based approach is similar in spirit to the use of medical questionnaires to identify high risk individuals relatively quickly and cheaply. The climate vulnerability approach relies on the synthesis of multiple types of biotic and environmental information, from feeding type to geographic patterns of sea surface temperature. Thus, the first phase of the research effort was to develop a rigorous framework to organize these disparate types of information so as to allow the systematic application of a set of trait-based rules predicting vulnerability across the diversity of species. This was accomplished by the design and implementation of a web-based ecoinformatics tool, the Coastal Biodiversity Risk Analysis Tool, which will be available to managers, researchers, and the public in October. CBRAT is unique for near-coastal species in its scope and scale of biotic traits and population parameters captured as well as it hierarchical structure to facilitate the calculation of regionally-specific risks. As a proof-of-concept, we synthesized the traits and abundance patterns of all the true crabs (368 species), king crabs (20 species), and rockfish (74 species) from the Gulf of California to the Beaufort Sea. The ongoing research is to expand CBRAT to incorporate the specific climate sensitivities by taxon into the risk analysis and then to automate the vulnerability calculation, resulting in a transparent and adaptable risk analysis tool.

Description:

ABSTRACTUser’s Guide & Metadata to Coastal Biodiversity Risk Analysis Tool (CBRAT): Framework for the Systemization of Life History and Biogeographic Information(EPA/601/B-15/001, 2015, 123 pages)Henry Lee II, U.S. EPA, Western Ecology DivisionKatharine Marko, U.S. EPA, Western Ecology DivisionW. Marshall Hanshumaker, Contractor U.S. EPA Western Ecology DivisionChristina Folger, U.S. EPA, Western Ecology DivisionRene Graham, CSS-Dynamac, Contractor U.S. EPA Western Ecology DivisionA key gap in assessing the ecological risks of climate change to near-coastal species is the lack of an organized schema to address which species are most vulnerable to climate change, how vulnerability changes geographically along the coast, and what climate drivers are most likely to be impacting specific species. In response, we are developing a trait-based climate risk assessment, based on the concept that it is possible to generate first-order vulnerability projections from existing information on species life-history attributes, biogeographic abundance patterns, and taxon-level sensitivities to temperature increases, sea level rise, and ocean acidification. The first phase of the research was to develop a rigorous framework to organize these disparate types of information so as to allow the systematic application of a set of trait-based rules predicting vulnerability across the diversity of species and geographical locations. This was accomplished by the development of a hierarchical schema to organize multiple types of biotic traits and biogeographical information at regional scales, which is documented in the “User’s Guide & Metadata to Coastal Biodiversity Risk Analysis Tool (CBRAT)”. The second phase was the design and implementation of a web-based ecoinformatics tool, the Coastal Biodiversity Risk Analysis Tool, to input and store the multiple data types. CBRAT is now a public website, with life-history and regional abundance patterns keyed by Marine Ecoregions of the World (MEOW) ecoregions for all the true crabs (368 species), king crabs (20 species), and rockfish (74 species) from the Gulf of California to the Beaufort Sea. CBRAT allows the extensive data on these species to be extracted as maps showing geographical patterns or as Excel, csv, or PDF files. The current research is focusing on incorporating taxon-level climate vulnerability thresholds into CBRAT and the automation of climate vulnerability, resulting in a transparent and adaptable climate risk analysis tool for near-coastal species.

URLs/Downloads:

http://go.usa.gov/cHQ3T   Exit

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT (PUBLISHED REPORT/MANUAL)
Product Published Date: 12/31/2015
Record Last Revised: 04/01/2016
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 311665