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1 February 2010 Prairie Wetland Complexes as Landscape Functional Units in a Changing Climate
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Abstract

The wetland complex is the functional ecological unit of the prairie pothole region (PPR) of central North America. Diverse complexes of wetlands contribute high spatial and temporal environmental heterogeneity, productivity, and biodiversity to these glaciated prairie landscapes. Climatewarming simulations using the new model WETLANDSCAPE (WLS) project major reductions in water volume, shortening of hydroperiods, and less-dynamic vegetation for prairie wetland complexes. The WLS model portrays the future PPR as a much less resilient ecosystem: The western PPR will be too dry and the eastern PPR will have too few functional wetlands and nesting habitat to support historic levels of waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species. Maintaining ecosystem goods and services at current levels in a warmer climate will be a major challenge for the conservation community.

© 2010 by American Institute of Biological Sciences. All rights reserved. Request permission to photocopy or reproduce article content at the University of California Press's Rights and Permissions Web site at www.ucpressjournals.com/reprintinfo.asp.
W. Carter Johnson, Brett Werner, Glenn R. Guntenspergen, Richard A. Voldseth, Bruce Millett, David E. Naugle, Mirela Tulbure, Rosemary W. H. Carroll, John Tracy, and Craig Olawsky "Prairie Wetland Complexes as Landscape Functional Units in a Changing Climate," BioScience 60(2), 128-140, (1 February 2010). https://doi.org/10.1525/bio.2010.60.2.7
Published: 1 February 2010
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