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Projecting the Hydrologic Impacts of Climate Change on Montane Wetlands.

Lee SY, Ryan ME, Hamlet AF, Palen WJ, Lawler JJ, Halabisky M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: These future projections show that climate-induced changes to key driving variables (reduced snowpack, higher evapotranspiration, extended summer drought) will result in earlier and faster drawdown in Pacific Northwest montane wetlands, leading to systematic reductions in water levels, shortened wetland hydroperiods, and increased probability of drying.Intermediate hydroperiod wetlands are projected to experience the greatest changes.For the 2080s scenario, widespread conversion of intermediate wetlands to fast-drying ephemeral wetlands will likely reduce wetland habitat availability for many species.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Wetlands are globally important ecosystems that provide critical services for natural communities and human society. Montane wetland ecosystems are expected to be among the most sensitive to changing climate, as their persistence depends on factors directly influenced by climate (e.g. precipitation, snowpack, evaporation). Despite their importance and climate sensitivity, wetlands tend to be understudied due to a lack of tools and data relative to what is available for other ecosystem types. Here, we develop and demonstrate a new method for projecting climate-induced hydrologic changes in montane wetlands. Using observed wetland water levels and soil moisture simulated by the physically based Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model, we developed site-specific regression models relating soil moisture to observed wetland water levels to simulate the hydrologic behavior of four types of montane wetlands (ephemeral, intermediate, perennial, permanent wetlands) in the U. S. Pacific Northwest. The hybrid models captured observed wetland dynamics in many cases, though were less robust in others. We then used these models to a) hindcast historical wetland behavior in response to observed climate variability (1916-2010 or later) and classify wetland types, and b) project the impacts of climate change on montane wetlands using global climate model scenarios for the 2040s and 2080s (A1B emissions scenario). These future projections show that climate-induced changes to key driving variables (reduced snowpack, higher evapotranspiration, extended summer drought) will result in earlier and faster drawdown in Pacific Northwest montane wetlands, leading to systematic reductions in water levels, shortened wetland hydroperiods, and increased probability of drying. Intermediate hydroperiod wetlands are projected to experience the greatest changes. For the 2080s scenario, widespread conversion of intermediate wetlands to fast-drying ephemeral wetlands will likely reduce wetland habitat availability for many species.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Scatterplots showing the slope of wetland drying versus the average of annual minimum a) for historical runs and b) for the 2080s.Reds are ephemeral hydroperiod wetlands, oranges are intermediate hydroperiod wetland, greens are perennial wetlands and blues are permanent wetlands.
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pone.0136385.g009: Scatterplots showing the slope of wetland drying versus the average of annual minimum a) for historical runs and b) for the 2080s.Reds are ephemeral hydroperiod wetlands, oranges are intermediate hydroperiod wetland, greens are perennial wetlands and blues are permanent wetlands.

Mentions: These climate-induced shifts in hydrologic behavior across all types of montane wetlands in our study for which we had site specific models support the hypothesis that climate change will force transitions among wetland types (Fig 9). By the 2080s, 58% of intermediate wetlands are projected to become ephemeral hydroperiod wetlands (17/31 sites), whereas 22% of perennial wetlands are projected to become intermediate wetlands (7/32 sites) and 3% to become ephemeral wetlands (1/32 sites) (Fig 9B). Thirty-two percent of permanent wetlands are projected to become perennial (12/38 sites) (Fig 9B).


Projecting the Hydrologic Impacts of Climate Change on Montane Wetlands.

Lee SY, Ryan ME, Hamlet AF, Palen WJ, Lawler JJ, Halabisky M - PLoS ONE (2015)

Scatterplots showing the slope of wetland drying versus the average of annual minimum a) for historical runs and b) for the 2080s.Reds are ephemeral hydroperiod wetlands, oranges are intermediate hydroperiod wetland, greens are perennial wetlands and blues are permanent wetlands.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4557981&req=5

pone.0136385.g009: Scatterplots showing the slope of wetland drying versus the average of annual minimum a) for historical runs and b) for the 2080s.Reds are ephemeral hydroperiod wetlands, oranges are intermediate hydroperiod wetland, greens are perennial wetlands and blues are permanent wetlands.
Mentions: These climate-induced shifts in hydrologic behavior across all types of montane wetlands in our study for which we had site specific models support the hypothesis that climate change will force transitions among wetland types (Fig 9). By the 2080s, 58% of intermediate wetlands are projected to become ephemeral hydroperiod wetlands (17/31 sites), whereas 22% of perennial wetlands are projected to become intermediate wetlands (7/32 sites) and 3% to become ephemeral wetlands (1/32 sites) (Fig 9B). Thirty-two percent of permanent wetlands are projected to become perennial (12/38 sites) (Fig 9B).

Bottom Line: These future projections show that climate-induced changes to key driving variables (reduced snowpack, higher evapotranspiration, extended summer drought) will result in earlier and faster drawdown in Pacific Northwest montane wetlands, leading to systematic reductions in water levels, shortened wetland hydroperiods, and increased probability of drying.Intermediate hydroperiod wetlands are projected to experience the greatest changes.For the 2080s scenario, widespread conversion of intermediate wetlands to fast-drying ephemeral wetlands will likely reduce wetland habitat availability for many species.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: Climate Impacts Group, University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, United States of America.

ABSTRACT
Wetlands are globally important ecosystems that provide critical services for natural communities and human society. Montane wetland ecosystems are expected to be among the most sensitive to changing climate, as their persistence depends on factors directly influenced by climate (e.g. precipitation, snowpack, evaporation). Despite their importance and climate sensitivity, wetlands tend to be understudied due to a lack of tools and data relative to what is available for other ecosystem types. Here, we develop and demonstrate a new method for projecting climate-induced hydrologic changes in montane wetlands. Using observed wetland water levels and soil moisture simulated by the physically based Variable Infiltration Capacity (VIC) hydrologic model, we developed site-specific regression models relating soil moisture to observed wetland water levels to simulate the hydrologic behavior of four types of montane wetlands (ephemeral, intermediate, perennial, permanent wetlands) in the U. S. Pacific Northwest. The hybrid models captured observed wetland dynamics in many cases, though were less robust in others. We then used these models to a) hindcast historical wetland behavior in response to observed climate variability (1916-2010 or later) and classify wetland types, and b) project the impacts of climate change on montane wetlands using global climate model scenarios for the 2040s and 2080s (A1B emissions scenario). These future projections show that climate-induced changes to key driving variables (reduced snowpack, higher evapotranspiration, extended summer drought) will result in earlier and faster drawdown in Pacific Northwest montane wetlands, leading to systematic reductions in water levels, shortened wetland hydroperiods, and increased probability of drying. Intermediate hydroperiod wetlands are projected to experience the greatest changes. For the 2080s scenario, widespread conversion of intermediate wetlands to fast-drying ephemeral wetlands will likely reduce wetland habitat availability for many species.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus