Restoration

2022 Cons Biology Conf logo

6th North American Congress for Conservation Biology

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NACCB 2022 will be held at the Silver Legacy in downtown Reno, Nevada.

Important Dates –

November 5, 2021 – Deadline for Call for Proposals for Workshops, Short Courses, Symposia and Interactive Sessions

November 2021 – Exhibitor Registration Opens

December 2021 – Call for Abstracts Opens

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Seeding locally sourced native compared to introduced bunchgrasses after wildfire in frigid WY big sagebrush

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Seeded native and introduced bunchgrasses both increased bunchgrass abundance and cover, even though precipitation was below average the first year post-seeding. Seeding introduced wheatgrasses, however, increased bunchgrass cover and abundance more than seeding native bunchgrasses. Seeding introduced wheatgrasses also limited exotic annual grass abundance and cover, but seeding locally sourced native bunchgrasses did not. Native bunchgrasses are slow growing, thus may limit exotic annual grasses in time. Alternatively, additional treatments, such as exotic annual grass control, may be needed to improve their success. The establishment of seeded native bunchgrasses in Wyoming big sagebrush in a below-average precipitation year is a promising result and suggests further research to improve seeded native vegetation success is warranted. The greater establishment of introduced wheatgrasses and their ability to limit exotic annual grasses suggests that successful introduced species may serve as a model for guiding trait selection in native species.

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USFS Science X Climate Change Webinar Series

Webinar join links.

Monday, October 25: Assessing our Future Forests
Resources Planning Act (RPA) Assessment: informing forest and grassland management, planning, and regional assessment, presented by Jennifer Costanza
Vulnerability assessment tools for setting priorities and identifying management targets, presented by Megan Friggens
Identifying climate change vulnerabilities and adaptation options for western U.S. national forests, presented by Jessica Halofsky and David L. Peterson

Tuesday, October 26: Adapting to Future Conditions
The Wildlife Adaptation Menu: a new tool for wildlife managers, presented by Stephen Handler
Climate adaptive silviculture in an urban floodplain forest, presented by Leslie Brandt
The role of climate and landscape change context in shaping forest dynamics, presented by Kristen Emmett

Wednesday, October 27: Modeling Tools for Management
Vegetation shifts with climate change: Applying the MC2 model, presented by John Kim
Incorporating future forest dynamics under climate change into landscape restoration planning: An application to the Central Sierras, presented by Nick Povak, Patricia Manley, Kristen Wilson
TACCIMO/FAMOUS – Connecting forest planning and operation with climate change challenges in the 21st Century, presented by Kelsey Bakken

Thursday, October 28: Management and Planning Tools
Web-based tools for determining seed sources for reforestation and restoration for current and future climates, presented by Brad St. Clair
The California seed zone map and post-fire reforestation in a warmer future, presented by Jessica Wright
PhenoMap: Providing timely rangeland vegetation assessments in a changing climate, presented by Jacqueline Ott, Charlie Schrader-Patton, Nancy Grulke

Friday, October 29: Shifting Life
Desired regeneration through assisted migration, presented by Dustin Bronson
Projected changes to an Arizona Sky Island are a harbinger of climate-fire effects on other western forests, presented by Kit O’Connor
Silvicultural strategies to improve post-fire reforestation success under climate change, presented by Chris Looney

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Setting habitat priorities in a warming world: Lessons from WY

Webinar registration.

In 2020, the Wyoming Game and Fish Department (WGFD) partnered with the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) on a North Central CASC supported project designed to help the agency incorporate climate change into their Statewide Habitat Plan (SHP) that was slated for an update that year. WGFD and WCS worked together to develop and apply a process for incorporating climate change into the SHP, which included a participatory workshop, a post-workshop Information Needs Survey, and regular meetings throughout the year to translate findings from the workshop and survey into the updated SHP.

As a result of this project, climate change was more extensively incorporated into the 2020 SHP relative to the previous version of the plan (completed in 2015). This included discussing climate change as a threat to achieving habitat protection and restoration for river, riparian and wetland habitats, as well as incorporating climate-informed management strategies and actions. The updated SHP also included climate change within the agency’s scoring system for allocating funding to habitat management projects. In addition to informing the SHP, the project also helped WGFD identify management-relevant climate-related information needs that are considered highly useful to WGFD staff and their management efforts. This project offers a useful model to other agencies that are interested in incorporating climate change into management plans, and to scientists and agencies looking to identify priority research needs related to climate change.

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Connecting stakeholders to leverage knowledge for ecological restoration projects

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Ecological restoration efforts are likely to be more successful when project components are informed by relevant stakeholders. However, key stakeholders are often not included in restoration design and deployment. This is largely driven by a lack of practitioner knowledge of and experience with stakeholder relations. In fact, inclusion of stakeholders across the entire restoration process can be accomplished by practitioners with no formal social science training. I will describe several easy (and usually inexpensive) ways to formally cultivate relationships among restoration practitioners, researchers, and stakeholders to improve restoration outcomes. These include: how to identify and work with stakeholders; how to recognize the unique needs and contributions of stakeholder groups, and how to provide information back to stakeholders through outreach. Although how this practice occurs is dependent on restoration context, integrating these approaches more regularly into ecological restoration projects will likely result in more successful, relevant, and community-supported management outcomes.

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Considering root traits for improved native plant development and restoration

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Description: Trait-based ecology aims to link specific plant traits, or characteristics that affect fitness, to community assembly, biodiversity, and ecosystem function. Trait-based approaches are increasingly being used to understand plant establishment and survival in restoration settings. In this talk, I will discuss how considering plant traits can improve plant selection for revegetation of systems threatened by drought or competition. I will focus on early seedling and root traits, as they hold great promise for better understanding plant establishment and survival in stressful systems.

Presenter: Magda Garbowski received her PhD from the Graduate Degree Program in Ecology at Colorado State University in 2020 and is currently a postdoctoral researcher at the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research. Much of Magda’s PhD work focused on understanding variation in root traits for improved native plant selection and restoration in stressful environments.

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National Seed Strategy Progress Report 2015-2020

Webinar recording.

In the past 5 years of implementing the National Seed Strategy, the scientific knowledge gained has worked to reduce erosion, reduce the spread of non-native invasive plants and promoted productivity and biodiversity of plant and animal communities. Through increased coordination and communication between the private and public sector, the pace and scale of restoration will be accelerated. This presentation will describe the National Seed Strategy and present the 2015-2020 Progress Report, including highlighting USGS science that has been instrumental in meeting The Seed Strategy’s vision of getting the right seed in the right place at the right time.

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2022 Society for Range Management (SRM)’s 75th Annual Meeting

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Join us in the heart of New Mexico for the 75th Annual SRM Meeting. The beautiful high desert rangelands, diverse cultures, authentic art, and painted skies of Albuquerque will make for a great meeting.

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We can better manage ecosystems by connecting solutions to constraints

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Here we synthesize and present a portfolio of broad structured approaches and specific actions that can be used to advance restoration of plant-invaded wetlands in a diversity of contexts immediately and over the long-term, linking these solutions to the constraints they best address. These solutions can be used by individual managers to chart a path forward when they are daunted by potentially needing to pivot from more familiar management actions to increase efficiency and efficacy in attaining restoration goals. In more complex collaborations with multiple actors, the shared vocabulary presented here for considering and selecting the most appropriate solution will be essential. Of course, every management context is unique (i.e., different constraints are at play) so we advocate that involved parties consider a range of potential solutions, rather than either assuming any single solution to be universally optimal or relying on a solution simply because it is familiar and feasible. Moving rapidly to optimally effective invasive plant management in wetlands may not be realistic, but making steady, incremental progress by implementing appropriate solutions based on clearly identified constraints will be critical to eventually attaining wetland restoration goals.

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Drivers of seedling establishment success in dryland restoration

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Here we examine restoration seeding outcomes across 174 sites on six continents, encompassing 594,065 observations of 671 plant species. Our findings suggest reasons for optimism. Seeding had a positive impact on species presence: in almost a third of all treatments, 100% of species seeded were growing at first monitoring. However, dryland restoration is risky: 17% of projects failed, with no establishment of any seeded species, and consistent declines were found in seeded species as projects matured. Across projects, higher seeding rates and larger seed sizes resulted in a greater probability of recruitment, with further influences on species success including site aridity, taxonomic identity and species life form. Our findings suggest that investigations examining these predictive factors will yield more effective and informed restoration decision-making.

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