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Extremes to Ex-Streams: Informing Ecological Drought Management in the Northwest
Climate change is one of the most pressing challenges to natural and cultural resource management and conservation. Climate change will increase the risk of ecological drought with projected changes likely to result in cascading impacts on species, habitats, and ecosystem services. These impacts will exacerbate current resource management challenges such as conflicts over water resources, land use and degradation, invasive species, maintaining agricultural yields, and managing wildfires. Resource managers and conservation practitioners are addressing this challenge by revising current plans and practices with increased attention to potential climate impacts on natural resources, communities, and socioeconomic values to better meet long-term goals.
This project aims to support managers by evaluating and synthesizing the scientific body of research relevant to climate adaptation actions used to address ecological drought in priority ecoregions and ecosystems of the Northwest. Primary products include a synthesis report of the state of the science on ecological drought adaptation actions and examples of resilient ecological drought responses.
What is Ecological Drought?
Ecological drought refers to an "episodic deficit in water availability that drives ecosystems beyond thresholds of vulnerability, impacts ecosystem services, and triggers feedbacks in natural and/or human systems" (Crausbay et al. 2017).
  • Synthesis report, providing a state-of-the-science on evidence supporting ecological drought adaptation actions and a decision support table classifying actions by adaptation strategy, implementation feasibility, and effectiveness in reducing ecological drought vulnerabilities.
  • Management brief, providing summary findings on the benefits and limitations of ecological drought climate adaptation options