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Science, Conservation, and National Parks$
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Steven R. Beissinger, David D. Ackerly, Holly Doremus, and Gary E. Machlis

Print publication date: 2017

Print ISBN-13: 9780226422954

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2017

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226423142.001.0001

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PRINTED FROM CHICAGO SCHOLARSHIP ONLINE (www.chicago.universitypressscholarship.com). (c) Copyright University of Chicago Press, 2022. All Rights Reserved. An individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a monograph in CHSO for personal use.date: 26 May 2022

Climate Change and Novel Disturbance Regimes in National Park Landscapes

Climate Change and Novel Disturbance Regimes in National Park Landscapes

(p.77) Five Climate Change and Novel Disturbance Regimes in National Park Landscapes
Science, Conservation, and National Parks

Monica G. Turner

Daniel C. Donato

Winslow D. Hansen

Brian J. Harvey

William H. Romme

A. Leroy Westerling

University of Chicago Press

National parks anchor many of our last intact natural landscapes and offer unparalleled opportunities for scientists to understand baseline ecological responses to global change. As climate warms, the frequency, severity, and extent of natural disturbances are changing profoundly. Understanding how, when, where, and why these changes may influence national parks is urgent for park management and conservation. In the northern Rocky Mountains, fire and insect outbreaks are key drivers of landscape pattern and ecosystem function. Long-term studies in Greater Yellowstone have documented tremendous ecological resilience to these natural disturbances, but projected climate change may lead to novel disturbance regimes and unforeseen ecological responses. Drawing primarily from research in Yellowstone and Grand Teton National Parks, we highlight the critical role of national parks as living laboratories for scientific research and the importance of science for park management during these times of rapid change.

Keywords:   climate change, disturbance regime, fire, insect outbreaks, landscape change, national parks, Yellowstone

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