Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Webinar: Integrating dynamic vegetation models with bird abundance models to identify priorities for avian conservation and habitat management

Abstract: Managers and decision makers recognize that successful climate-smart conservation strategies must focus on a broad range of future scenarios that represent and anticipate changes in climate, habitat types and species assemblages. Past attempts to model changes in bird habitat distributions relied on statistical models of vegetation change under climate change scenarios. While these statistical models fit present-day vegetation biogeography well, they assume that current vegetation are in equilibrium with climate, fail to account for non-analog climates in the future, and provide little insight into mechanisms of change under climate change scenarios. Dynamic general vegetation models (DGVM) simulate mechanisms of vegetation response to climate, which increase our confidence in estimating vegetation response to non-analog climate. However, the coarse spatial resolution of DGVM output presents a barrier for use in simulating avian habit distributions. We developed a methodology for combining the coarse DGVM projections with a finer-scale statistical distribution models to generate projections of future bird distributions across Oregon and Washington. The DGVM-based approach produces projections of avian habitat distributions that are markedly different from those relying on statistical correlations alone. The DGVM-based avian habitat projections expand the set of future conditions for managers to contemplate. We demonstrate how land managers can view and explore the results on an interactive website, to make climate-smart conservation decisions.

Contacts: Monica Tomosy ( and John Rothlisberger (

Dr. John Kim
Biological Scientist,

Western Wildland Environmental Threat Assessment Center & PNW Research Station, US Forest Service

Dr. Leo Salas
Senior Scientist,
Climate Change & Quantitative Ecology, Point Blue Conservation Science

Date: Thursday, April 26, 2018
Time: 2 p.m. Eastern/1 p.m. Central/ 12 p.m. Mountain/11 a.m. Pacific

To join the webinar:
Step 1: Dial-In: 800.768.2983, access code: 8383462
Step 2: Web Login: