The authors looked at 36 vernal pools on two different geologic formations on a 5000-ha ranch in eastern Sacramento County, California. Their experiments found that removal of grazing reduced the duration of wetland flooding by an average of 50 days per year. Their simulations show that climate change could compound these impacts, potentially, leaving endangered fairy shrimp and tiger salamanders without enough time to mature before their temporary aquatic environments disappear. "Consequently, land managers can play an important role in climate change impacts, i.e. they can exacerbate or ameliorate, the local impacts of global change." Pyke adds. Conservationists may find that grazing is not always a negative factor, and it presents real opportunities to adapt to climate variability and climate change.
This study is published in the October issue of Conservation Biology. Media wishing to receive a PDF of this article please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
Conservation Biology is a top-ranked journal in the fields of Ecology and Environmental Science and has been called, "required reading for ecologists throughout the world." It is published on behalf of the Society for Conservation Biology.
Christopher R. Pyke conducted the work while he was a David H. Smith fellow at the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis. He now works with the U.S. EPA's Global Change Research Program. He has a long standing interest in developing practical climate adaptation strategies. Dr. Pyke is available for media questions.