Measuring and interpreting faunal responses to climate in the Intermountain West
There is considerable research and management interest in whether and how native faunas are responding to climate change. Evaluating whether empirical data support range-shift hypotheses is complicated by variation in climate, differences in response variables and the extent and resolution of analyses, and mismatches between the resolutions at which climate data typically are available and species respond to environmental heterogeneity. Emerging results from analyses of 15 years of data on the distributions of birds and butterflies in the Great Basin suggest many productive opportunities for creative collaboration among atmospheric scientists and ecologists. Results from a partnership among climatologists, ecologists, resource managers, and public health experts in the southwestern United States also highlight potential multidisciplinary nexuses with strong social benefits.
BIO: Erica Fleishman is Director, Center for Environmental Management of Military Lands and Professor, Department of Fish, Wildlife and Conservation Biology at Colorado State University. She received a B.S. (1991) and M.S. (1992) in Biological Sciences from Stanford University and a Ph.D. (1997) in Ecology, Evolution, and Conservation Biology from University of Nevada, Reno. Much of Fleishman’s research focuses on responses of native animals to changes in land use and climate in the Great Basin and California. She also participates in multidisciplinary projects on interactions among climate extremes, natural resources, and public health in the southwestern United States. Additionally, Fleishman has worked with federal agencies and industry on responses of marine mammals to underwater sound, and coauthored curricula on applications of remote sensing to environmental sciences and ecological modeling. Fleishman is past editor in chief of Conservation Biology and currently serves on the editorial boards of three other ecological journals.