Science Inventory

Connecting Future Environmental Trends and Assessments of Fish and Wildlife Resources of Concern: A Case Study of Big Pine Key, Florida

Citation:

Miller, L. AND M. Harwell. Connecting Future Environmental Trends and Assessments of Fish and Wildlife Resources of Concern: A Case Study of Big Pine Key, Florida. Sustainability. MDPI, Basel, Switzerland, 14(21):14553, (2022). https://doi.org/10.3390/su142114553

Impact/Purpose:

This manuscript, led by a U.S. Fish & Wildlife Science ecologist and climate scientist presents a multi-data stream, integrated analysis approach to examine current knowledge about regional climate change projections to inform adaptation strategies for fish and wildlife resources. The authors present a case study on how to work with secondary data on climate change projections, sea-level rise, changes in storms, temperature and precipitation changes, and stakeholder-driven conversations about local adaptation strategies to develop a suite of adaptation actions for managing fish and wildlife resources. The case example focuses on the freshwater resources of the middle Florida Keys – an important example of a front-line, climate-change impacted environment – and impacts to a suite of fish and wildlife resources, including the endangered Florida Key deer. The manuscript demonstrates the importance of connecting future environmental trends assessments to stakeholder-driven adaptation discussions and assessments of fish and wildlife resources of concern with an approach that is transferable to other geographical locations. This manuscript is specifically targeted to a journal designed fish and wildlife scientists and natural resource managers

Description:

Changes in hydrologic and climatic trends will influence the ecology of Florida, including the Florida Keys, and sea-level rise scenarios agree that many areas of Florida are susceptible to sea-level rise impacts. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Climate Change Strategic Plan (USFWS 2018) focuses on a broad framework to examine how climate change is affecting fish, wildlife, plants, and the habitats of all three. This case study examines how to incorporate current scientific knowledge about regional climate change projections in USFWS analyses and inform adaptation strategies. It provides updated climate change projections, sea-level rise modeling, information on expected changes in tropical storms and their impacts, and temperature and precipitation changes affecting freshwater access. This case study also examines the current and future effects of sea-level rise on existing habitat from saltwater intrusion of the freshwater lens below Big Pine Key in the lower Florida Keys. Recognizing that current projections of future sea-water elevations will periodically be reached or exceeded well before 2040 from short-term, stochastic and extreme events, such as king tides and storm surge, they will increasingly inundate the root zone before complete saltwater intrusion. Future environmental trends were connected to stakeholder-driven conversations about local adaptation strategies to develop a small suite of adaptation actions for creating temporary or permanent freshwater resources. However, beyond 3 ft (0.9 m) of sea-level rise, there are very few adaptation options available for the Florida Key - (Odocoileus virginianus clavium) outside of relocations outside of the Florida Keys. Overall, connecting these future environmental trends to assessments of fish and wildlife resources of concern is transferable to other geographical locations.

Record Details:

Record Type: DOCUMENT ( JOURNAL/ PEER REVIEWED JOURNAL)
Product Published Date: 11/05/2022
Record Last Revised: 11/16/2022
OMB Category: Other
Record ID: 356197