Habitat Loss

It is increasingly important to study the synergistic effects of climate change and habitat loss. Many questions remain as to how modern climate change might exacerbate the negative effects of habitat loss on species abundances and distributions. This information has critical implications for our ability to effectively integrate climate change adaptation and land use planning. Landscape factors can be particularly important around species range limits, where suitable habitat is often patchy and anthropogenic influences can often exacerbate this effect. As populations near range limits are also expected to be particularly sensitive to climate change, understanding how they respond to the size and distribution of habitat patches is critical to developing effective conservation plans.

Hare_CameraTrapAs part of a project funded by the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources, we are currently studying how climate change and habitat fragmentation interact to drive range boundary dynamics of snowshoe hares in Wisconsin over a 60-year period of environmental change. Learn more about snowshoe hare research here.


Sharp-tailed GrouseWe have also recently started work on another WI DNR funded project investigating the influence of landscape composition, land use, and climate on the long-term viability of prairie grouse populations in Wisconsin. Learn more about prairie grouse research here.


Recent related publications

Jarzyna, M.A., B. Zuckerberg, A.O. Finley, and W. F. Porter. 2016. Synergistic effects of climate and land cover: Grassland birds are more vulnerable to climate change. Landscape Ecology: 1-16 | DOI: 10.1007/s10980-016-0399-1. Link

Sultaire, S.M., J.N. Pauli, K. J. Martin, M.W. Meyer, and B. Zuckerberg. 2016. Extensive forests and persistent snow cover promote snowshoe hare occupancy in Wisconsin. The Journal of Wildlife Management. Link

Sultaire, S., J.N. Pauli, K. Martin, M. Meyer, M. Notaro, and B. Zuckerberg. 2016. Climate change surpasses land use change in the contracting range boundary of a winter-adapted mammal. Proceedings of the Royal Society B 283(1827): 20153104 | DOI: 10.1098/rspb.2015.3104. Link

Jarzyna, M.A., W.F. Porter, B.A. Maurer, B. Zuckerberg, and A. O. Finley. 2015. Landscape fragmentation affects responses of avian communities to climate change. Global Change Biology 21(8): 2942-2953. Link

Yntze van der Hoek, B. Zuckerberg, and L. Manne. 2015. Application of habitat thresholds in conservation: considerations for future directions. Global Ecology and Conservation, 3: 736-743. Link