Cover image for Wildlife responses to climate change : North American case studies
Wildlife responses to climate change : North American case studies
Schneider, Stephen Henry.
Publication Information:
Washington, DC : Island Press, [2002]

Physical Description:
xv, 437 pages : illustrations, maps ; 24 cm

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
QC982.8 .W54 2002 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

On Order



Wildlife Responses to Climate Changeis the culmination of a three-year project to research and study the impacts of global climate change on ecosystems and individual wildlife species in North America. In 1997, the National Wildlife Federation provided fellowships to eight outstanding graduate students to conduct research on global climate change, and engaged leading climate change experts Stephen H. Schneider and Terry L. Root to advise and guide the project. This book presents the results, with chapters describing groundbreaking original research by some of the brightest young scientists in America. The book presents case studies that examine: ways in which local and regional climate variables affect butterfly populations and habitat ranges how variations in ocean temperatures have affected intertidal marine species the potential effect of reduced snow cover on plants in the Rocky Mountains the potential effects of climate change on the distribution of vegetation in the United States how climate change may increase the susceptibility of ecosystems to invasions of non-native species the potential for environmental change to alter interactions between a variety of organisms in whitebark pine communities of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem Also included are two introductory chapters by Schneider and Root that discuss the rationale behind the project and offer an overview of climate change and its implications for wildlife.Each of the eight case studies provides important information about how biotic systems respond to climatic variables, and how a changing climate may affect biotic systems in the future. They also acknowledge the inherent complexities of problems likely to arise from changes in climate, and demonstrate the types of scientific questions that need to be explored in order to improve our understanding of how climate change and other human disturbances affect wildlife and ecosystems.Wildlife Responses to Climate Changeis an important addition to the body of knowledge critical to scientists, resource managers, and policymakers in understanding and shaping solutions to problems caused by climate change. It provides a useful resource for students and scientists studying the effects of climate change on wildlife and will assist resource managers and other wildlife professionals to better understand factors affecting the species they are striving to conserve.

Author Notes

Stephen H. Schneider is professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at Stanford University. His research on climate change and fostering public understanding of it have earned him a MacArthur Fellowship and the AAAS/Westinghouse Award for Public Understanding of Science and Technology.

Terry L. Root is associate professor in the School of Natural Resources and Environment at the University of Michigan, and has served as a Pew Scholar in Conservation and the Environment. In 1990, she was awarded the prestigious Presidential Young Investigator Award from the National Science Foundation.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

In 1997 the National Wildlife Federation solicited proposals from junior scientists to address threats to wildlife conservation in light of probable environmental changes caused by human-induced climate change. The editors of this book selected ten scientists and have compiled this book as a summary of their research efforts. The eight chapters underwent scientific peer review. The editors introduce the research chapters with a brief but thorough review of climate change science and a review of what is known about plant and animal responses to climate change. The chapters focus on case studies from North America addressing insects (two chapters), invasive species, intertidal zones (two chapters), Rocky Mountain subalpine plants, vegetation modeling, and whitebark pine/grizzly bear interaction. Without exception, each chapter is well written, well referenced, and painstakingly thorough. For those interested in a primer on the burgeoning field of ecosystem responses to climate change, this book will be extremely useful. Furthermore, for those working in this field, it provides a handy compilation of basic research on the topic. Much of the book's research reported will undoubtedly lay the groundwork for similar research efforts in the coming decades. Upper-division undergraduates through professionals. D. Goldblum University of Wisconsin--Whitewater

Table of Contents

Introduction: The Rationale for the National Wildlife Federation Cohort of Young Scientists Studying Wildlife Responses to Climate Change
Climate Change: Overview and Implications for Wildlife
Chapter 1 Climate Change and Its Effect on Species Range Boundaries: A Case Study of the Sachem Skipper Butterfly, Atalopedes campestris
Chapter 2 Butterflies as Model Systems for Understanding and Predicting Climate Change
Chapter 3 Historical Studies of Species' Responses to Climate Change: Promises and Pitfalls
Chapter 4 Community Responses to Climate Change: Links Between Temperature and Keystone Predation in a Rocky Intertidal System
Chapter 5 Testing Climate Change Predictionswith the Subalpine Species Delphinium nuttallianum
Chapter 6 Modeling Potential Impacts of Climate Change on the Spatial Distribution of Vegetation in the United States with a Probabilistic Biogeography Approach
Chapter 7 Climate Change and the Susceptibility of U.S. Ecosystems to Biological Invasions: Two Cases of Expected Range Expansion
Chapter 8 Climate Change, Whitebark Pine, and Grizzly Bears in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Conclusion: Climate Change and Wildlife-A Look Ahead