Conservation planners and managers are now faced with the challenge of developing and implementing strategies that support natural resources and ecosystems under changing climate conditions. Since the effects of climate change will vary across space, adaptation strategies can be improved by accounting for the specific threats posed to a target area. EcoAdapt’s Spatial Prioritization of Adaptation (SPA) projects focus on ways to use spatial data – both climate and non-climate – to inform vulnerability assessments and develop targeted adaptation strategies, ultimately increasing the success of conservation and management efforts.
Our goal with these projects is to synthesize and translate spatial information into a format that facilitates adaptation planning for our partners and stakeholders.
Spatial Prioritization of Adaptation projects involve comparatively mapping scenarios of future climate changes such as changes in temperature, vegetation patterns, hydrology, or sea level rise, with contemporary layers such as the locations of priority habitats, focal species distributions or habitats, or current land use. These climate-informed maps help identify areas likely to change more and those likely to change less, as well as identify those resources likely to be most affected by changing conditions. The results of these spatial assessments can help a user to assess vulnerability of species or habitats to climate impacts, and can be used to inform the development of adaptation strategies and where, when and how to implement those strategies for effective resource management.