projects > land of flowers on a latitude of deserts: aiding conservation & management of florida's biodiversity using predictions from downscaled aogcm climate scenarios combined with ecological modeling
Land of Flowers on a Latitude of Deserts: Aiding Conservation & Management of Florida's Biodiversity Using Predictions from Downscaled AOGCM Climate Scenarios Combined with Ecological Modeling
La Florida (Land of Flowers) straddles latitudes forming the northern hemisphere's desert belt. Orlando is one-degree latitude south of Cairo, Egypt. Florida is unique because it is a peninsula surrounded by warm water. Florida also has a high biodiversity: 4,000+ flowering plants, including >700 trees; 90 mammals; 52 amphibians; 88 reptiles; 500 birds; 250+ freshwater fish, many of which are endangered. How will Florida's biodiversity respond to a changing climate? Which species and habitats will increase or decrease? What role does land use-land cover change play? Answers to these questions are of critical concern to resource managers. To address these questions we are developing regionally down-scaled climate model predictions from three coupled Atmospheric-Ocean General Circulation Models for Florida and the southeastern US. The climate predictions will then be used as inputs to a suite of previously developed ecological and hydrological models to assess species, communities and habitats for two study regions in Florida that are particularly vulnerable to climate change impacts. The study regions are the Suwannee River / Big Bend area in the north, which is a relatively undisturbed, pristine temperate system. In the south, we are working in the Greater Everglades which is a highly impacted tropical system.
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