Prairie wetland complexes as landscape functional units in a changing climate

BioScience
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Abstract

The wetland complex is the functional ecological unit of the prairie pothole region (PPR) of central North America. Diverse complexes of wetlands contribute high spatial and temporal environmental heterogeneity, productivity, and biodiversity to these glaciated prairie landscapes. Climatewarming simulations using the new model WETLANDSCAPE (WLS) project major reductions in water volume, shortening of hydroperiods, and less-dynamic vegetation for prairie wetland complexes. The WLS model portrays the future PPR as a much less resilient ecosystem: The western PPR will be too dry and the eastern PPR will have too few functional wetlands and nesting habitat to support historic levels of waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species. Maintaining ecosystem goods and services at current levels in a warmer climate will be a major challenge for the conservation community.
Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Prairie wetland complexes as landscape functional units in a changing climate
Series title BioScience
Volume 60
Issue 2
Year Published 2010
Language English
Publisher American Institute of Biological Sciences
Publisher location Washington, D.C.
Contributing office(s) Patuxent Wildlife Research Center
Description 13 p.
Larger Work Type Article
Larger Work Subtype Journal Article
Larger Work Title BioScience
First page 128
Last page 140
Country United States
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