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Connecting Wildlands
& Communities

Team Biodiversity Update

TEAM RESEARCH GOALS
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Wildlands
  • Understand the role of connectivity in supporting biodiversity and access to climate-safe spaces

Human Communities
  • Understand the balance of access to open space and recreational use with conservation goals

Biodiversity + Water
  • Investigate the role of connected, natural lands in water availability and filtration

  • Understand the importance of water to ecosystem health and riparian resilience

Biodiversity + Fire
  • Understand the impact of fire on the management and restoration of connected landscapes

  • Find conservation opportunities to avoid development in fire-prone areas

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WHERE WE ARE NOW
  • Established an approach to identify climate-safe spaces for wildlife

  • Started an observational field study at Santa Margarita Ecological Reserve to better understand the role of topography and other landscape features in providing refuge from hot and dry conditions

  • Utilizing current weather station data and working to reestablish an array of long-term monitoring sensors to better understand climate variability in the region

  • Conducted literature review to better understand the role of chaparral shrublands in carbon sequestration and storage

  • Started gathering data on undeveloped lands and protected areas to begin the access and recreation assessment and model

"I think that one of the important strengths of this project is the multidisciplinary approach to identify opportunities to plan landscapes that are resilient to the negative effects of climate change. As our landscapes are very complex, I believe that having this multidisciplinary lens is essential to address the challenges posed by our warming climate."

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- ISABEL ROJAS-VIADA
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WHAT'S NEXT
  • Complete the assessment to understand areas of climate-safe spaces for wildlife using various climate data sources to inform land-use decision making

  • Compile data parameters to better estimate the amount of carbon stored in a chaparral landscape

  • Create a web-based interface for land managers to assess the economic value of chaparral in southern California's National Forests

  • Continue gathering data sources on biodiversity, recreation, and existing land-uses, and develop the predictive model of recreational intensity to determine which areas are most vulnerable to impacts and where access can be directed to promote community health, well-being, and appreciation for natural habitats and open spaces

  • Evaluate the condition of regional landscape linkages based on fire history and recovery, and hydrologic conditions under different scenarios of change

Products

Tools & Media

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SWAF 2021 Climate Change and Natural Landscapes Panel
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Postfire Restoration Webinar
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Climate Change and Natural Landscapes: Research and Applications
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"Notes from the Field" Entry