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COASTAL INVERTEBRATES AND FISHES: HOW WILL THEY BE AFFECTED BY CHANGING ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS- INCORPORATING CLIMATE SCENARIOS INTO THE COASTAL BIODIVERSITY RISK ANALYSIS TOOL (CBRAT)
Folger, Christina L., H. Lee, M. Hanshumaker, M. Edelson, AND R. Graham. COASTAL INVERTEBRATES AND FISHES: HOW WILL THEY BE AFFECTED BY CHANGING ENVIRONMENTAL CONDITIONS- INCORPORATING CLIMATE SCENARIOS INTO THE COASTAL BIODIVERSITY RISK ANALYSIS TOOL (CBRAT). Pacific Northwest Climate Science Conference, Coeur d'Alene, ID, November 03 - 05, 2015.
This poster presentations work conducted under the Air, Climate and energy (ACE) Task 018 'Assessing the Vulnerability of Near-Coastal Species and Habitats to Individual and Multiple Climate Drivers'. The overall objectives of the research are to 1) develop a practical framework for predicting the relative vulnerability of near-coastal species to individual and multiple climate stressors at regional scales, 2) identify the primary climate stressors impacting specific species and habitats and how risk varies geographically, and 3) use these predictions to inform regionally-specific conservation and adaption strategies including developing geographically-specific climate indicators. Rules to assess the impacts of climate stressors, in particular, sea-level rise, increased sea surface temperature and ocean acidification, are being incorporated into a web-based decision tool, the Coastal Biodiversity Risk Assessment Tool (CBRAT; http://www.cbrat.org/), also being developed as part of this ACE task. CBRAT is intended for EPA and state managers, as well as serving as a research and public outreach tool to increase our understanding of the threats from climate change.
The Coastal Biodiversity Risk Analysis Tool (CBRAT) is a public website that functions as an ecoinformatics platform to synthesize biogeographical distributions, abundances, life history attributes, and environmental tolerances for near-coastal invertebrates and fishes on a broad ecoregional scale. The twelve ecoregions being examined range from the Beaufort Sea down through the Gulf of California. The initial phase of CBRAT focused on developing a conceptual framework to predict risk (high, moderate or low) based on abundance, distribution, environmental and other biotic and natural history traits. The second phase of the research uses the functionality provided by CBRAT but shifts the focus towards evaluating climate drivers (ocean acidification, sea surface temperatures and sea level rise) into the algorithm for predicting overall species vulnerability. We summarized predicted mean sea-level rise values from the literature for 2100 and, using extent of SLR and potential for landward migration, assigned a qualitative risk value for each ecoregion. In a proof-of-concept analysis for determining species’ risk to ocean acidification, we used projected aragonite saturation values for 2100 for each of IPCC’s Reference Concentration Pathways (RCPs) scenarios. From the literature, low, moderate, and high aragonite saturation thresholds for decapods (first taxon attempted) were estimated to be 1.5, 1.2, and 0.9 ΩAr respectively. To determine an organism’s relative vulnerability to an increase in sea surface temperature (SST), we are developing thermal cutpoints based on current mean SST data and projected increases in SST for each ecoregion. Using 28 years of remote sensing data, relative risk to temperature increases for each species will be determined based on maximum temperature tolerances in the southernmost ecoregion while lower temperature ranges in the northernmost ecoregion are used to predict the likelihood for northward migration with an increase in SST. Although still in the analysis stage, our ultimate objective is to combine climate impact rules with trait-based species information to project patterns of impacts on coastal invertebrates and fishes and to inform the development of practical adaptation strategies.