Project maps and identifies resilient riparian areas

riparian mapping project areaOn a collaborative project, the Western Governors' Association and the Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (WGA / LCC) are developing high-resolution maps of potential riparian areas across the Pacific Northwest, and identifying those areas most likely to promote biological resilience to climate change.

Investigators of the WGA / LCC Riparian Mapping Project first identified potential riparian areas and their condition based on hydrology and geomorphological variables, and human modification data layers. Next, they identified potential riparian areas that span relatively steep climatic gradients, have high canopy cover, are wide, shaded by local topography, and in relatively good condition – characteristics expected to enhance their ability to accommodate climate-driven range shifts and provide refugia from warming. Results reveal significant variance in riparian climate-corridor quality across the region, and stress the importance of incorporating multiple scales of analysis and interpretation.

The first round of products, which identify potential riparian location and condition, is now available by request to David Theobald. The second round of products, which identify riparian areas expected to have high climate adaptation potential, will be available in December 2013. To be notified of their release, or to request data layers, please contact Meade Krosby.

Learn more about the project's methods and results by viewing Webex presentation recordings: