Climate forcing of wetland landscape connectivity in the Great Plains

Nancy E. McIntyre, Christopher K. Wright, Sharmistha Swain, Katharine Hayhoe, Ganming Liu, Frank W. Schwartz, Geoffrey M. Henebry

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

55 Scopus citations


Habitat connectivity is a landscape attribute critical to the long-term viability of many wildlife species, including migratory birds. Climate change has the potential to affect habitat connectivity within and across the three main wetland complexes in the Great Plains of North America: the prairie potholes of the northern plains, the Rainwater Basin of Nebraska, and the playas of the southern plains. Here, we use these wetlands as model systems in a graph-theory-based approach to establish links between climatic drivers and habitat connectivity for wildlife in current and projected wetland landscapes and to discern how that capacity can vary as a function of climatic forcing. We also provide a case study of macrosystems ecology to examine how the patterns and processes that determine habitat connectivity fluctuate across landscapes, regions, and continents.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)59-64
Number of pages6
JournalFrontiers in Ecology and the Environment
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 2014


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