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Building Resilience through Landscape Connectivity


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Landscape Resilience in a Changing Climate: From Concepts to Action

- Tosha Comendant, Conservation Science Manager,
Pepperwood Foundation

This presentation was given during a workshop at the Bay Area Open Space Council's March Gathering on Thursday, March 15, 2018 at the David Brower Center in Berkeley, CA.

Published in: Environment
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Building Resilience through Landscape Connectivity

  1. 1. Building resilience through landscape connectivity March 15, 2018 Tosha Comendant, Pepperwood Foundation Morgan Gray, Lisa Micheli, Adina Merenlender (UC Berkeley)
  2. 2. Keeping landscapes connected is the #1 science-based recommendation for maintaining landscape resilience in the face of climate change (Heller and Zavaleta 2009) How can we evaluate climate benefits and enhance connectivity at the parcel scale to achieve shared conservation outcomes?
  3. 3. Building habitat connectivity for climate adaptation Mayacamas to Berryessa Coast Ranges, California A California Landscape Conservation Cooperative place-based adaptation project
  4. 4. • Convened land managers from Sonoma, Napa, Lake, and Mendocino for a regional collaboration to assess terrestrial and riparian potential linkages • Quantified climate benefits of potential linkages • Facilitated, practitioner-driven prioritization of potential linkages to select habitat corridor project What we did: • Generate a habitat corridor map for the region • Create corridors based on species models • Rank potential linkages • Tell practitioners to adopt a set of management objectives What we did not do:
  5. 5. Potential terrestrial and riparian linkage pathways between existing protected lands
  6. 6. Utilizing consistent terminology Broad region of connectivity Priority protection areas on ground Path that costs the least Potential linkages Least cost paths Corridors
  7. 7. Gray, Micheli, and Merenlender (unpublished) Building habitat connectivity for climate adaptation Mayacamas to Berryessa Coast Ranges, California Direction to move to cooler climates in summer Direction to move to cooler climates in winter Climate gradients at this scale run from coast to valley, not North to South! Zones of “novel” high temperatures projected for 2050 Unprecedented summer heat Unprecedented winter warmth Study area Protected lands
  8. 8. Tool kit for practitioners: A parcel-scale evaluation of the potential linkage Least cost path & potential linkage Summarize climate & connectivity variables Identify area of interest and priority corridor
  9. 9. Key findings from this climate connectivity assessment • Riparian linkages are complementary to terrestrial linkages and do not overlap – Terrestrial linkages designed to avoid the built environment – Riparian linkages in valleys • Locations where both terrestrial and riparian connectivity co-occur should be prioritized for conservation planning Climate analyses • Summer and winter temperatures must be evaluated independently in locations with topographic and climatic diversity • Different future climate spaces for summer and winter • Different linkages offer the greatest climate benefit for summer and winter Connectivity analyses
  10. 10. Coast to Valley Landscape Connectivity Network Critical partnerships • Local, state, & federal parks • Land trusts • Tribes • Water districts • CalTrans • Land use & transportation planners • Non-profit organizations • Universities and schools Phase 1 Mayacamas to Berryessa Phase 2 Sonoma & Mendocino Phase 3 Marin
  11. 11. Connecting cameras and corridors Camera arrays can validate wildlife use of corridors Planned array
  12. 12. Tosha Comendant Thank you for your critical support!