Understanding climate change impacts on freshwater habitats in Crown of the Continent

In support of the highly successful work of the Crown Adaptation Partnership in the transboundary Crown of the Continent ecosystem, the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative funded research to provide important science and information on how climate change may impact freshwater habitats.

The research team, led by Dr. Clint Muhlfeld of the US Geological Survey’s Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center, recently published their results in the journal Climate Change. The paper presents a broad-scale analysis of seasonal climate effects on stream temperature for the Crown of the Continent. This analysis increases our understanding of the impacts warming stream temperatures will have on freshwater habitats.

To help resource managers develop strategies and actions in response to changing conditions, the team is working to make the results available in a user-friendly web application (SHEDS - Spatial Hydro-Ecological Decision System). Also included will be information on the vulnerability of westslope cutthroat trout and bull trout to impacts such as invasive species, habitat loss, and climate change.