Potential Changes in Mammal Fauna in Denmark in the 21st Century

The initial rise in global temperatures has already caused the altitudinal range limit of many mammals to have shifted upwards. Given the expected temperature increase due to global warming we can expect further dramatic spatial changes in species composition (Flojgaard et al. 2009). Evidence from the Last Ice Age has shown that European mammals have the capacity to respond to climate change, however, when taking anthropogenic threats into account, such as habitat loss, disturbance, pollution, overexploitation, and invasive species, these mammals may not be able to adapt to shifting temperatures. This paper discusses possible consequences of climate change and the effects it might have on Danish mammal fauna. Climate models for Europe at the end of the 21st century generally show a climatic shift in a north-eastern direction, with Denmark displaying a relatively stable climate over the next 100 years. Denmark currently has a highly fragmented landscape of natural habitats and intensely managed agricultural land and urban areas. Over the last thousand years, this has led to the extinction of many mammals, most notably moose, aurochs, lynx, wildcat brown bear, wolf. More recently, in the last 100 years, species such as the bank vole, European polecat, pine marten, and badger have all experienced population declines due to habitat loss and fragmentation. Estimations based on models and literature reviews show that climate change will cause a general enrichment of mammal fauna in Denmark. Only one species was found to be highly threatened with extinction. — Patricio Ku
Flojgaard, C., Holme, N., Skov, F., Madsen, A., Svenning, J, 2009. Potential 21st century changes to the mammal fauna of Denmark —implications of climate change, land use, and invasive species. IOP Conf Series: Earth and Environmental Science 8, doi:10.1088/1755‑1315/8/1/012016

The scientists focused on terrestrial non-volant mammals in this paper, and got their distribution data from the Atlas of European Mammals and the Danish Mammal Atlas. Climate scenarios were drawn using the A2 future climate scenario as modeled in the TYN_SC 1.0 data set, which is commonly used in the prediction of species potential future distribution. The migration rate for mammals across modern European landscapes was modeled after two studies that observed the spread of introduced mammals in Europe. Finally, to select the most relevant species that were judged most at risk of extinction, scientists used species distribution modeling to quantify their potential distributions under present and future climatic conditions.
The results showed that many species are within migration distance of the Danish border and could potentially migrate to Denmark during the 21st century and change the species distribution. Only one mammal, the northern birch mouse, was found to be at serious risk of extinction. Predictions of the species’ future distribution indicate that climate change might be one of the biggest threats to this species’ survival in Denmark. A few other species were considered to be at risk due to competition with introduced species. Recently there has been competition between the introduced American mink and native European polecat, but this has not been considered a serious threat to the polecat. However, the American mink has caused a decline in the water vole population in the British Isles due to predation. Since there are so many species within migration distance it is very likely that they will immigrate over the Danish border. These species include: Millet’s shrew, Miller’s water shrew, bi-colored shrew, lesser shrew, common hamster, common pine vole, southern water vole, fat dormouse, and garden dormouse. The species just mentioned are all native to Europe and it is considered unlikely that they will cause problems to competing native Danish species. Most of the changes in species distribution will occur because of climate change and other anthropogenic factors. As a result, the future abundance of the species discussed will depend on factors like habitat restoration. Introduced species in Denmark will become an increasing problem, but will not have an extremely large impact on native species since many of them already coexist in other areas of Europe. In conclusion, habitats throughout Denmark are not in critical danger, but should be monitored closely in order to ensure that any negative impacts are met with management and conservation plans. 

Invasive Cuban Treefrog and its Potential Dis-tribution with Climate Change

The Cuban treefrog (Osteopilus septentrionalis) is an invasive species which, in the last couple of decades, has begun to spread to many different areas of the Americas. The natural distribution of the frog includes Cuba and the Bahamas, Isla de la Juventud, San Salvador, the Acklins Islands, and the Cayman Islands. Recently, the Cuban treefrog’s habitat has expanded to include Anguilla, the British Virgin Islands, Florida, the French Antilleans, Puerto Rico, and the Virgin Islands. The frog was probably introduced in the 1930s, by accident, as an undetected stowaway in imported vegetables from Cuba. Right now breeding populations can be found as far north as Jacksonville and individuals have been reported in places as far as coastal Georgia and South Carolina. The high invasiveness of the Cuban treefrog can be attributed to its high fecundity, short larval period, broad diet, and broad habitat and dietary niches. The frog may have major impacts on native species because it is the biggest hylid in the US and could easily outcompete other species. Also, the tadpoles are omnivorous, cannibalistic, and could potentially eat the eggs of indigenous frogs. One feature limiting the distribution of the Cuban treefrog is climatic suitability, however, with the onset of anthropogenic climate change, range-size patterns for the treefrog are expected to increase even further. Geographic information systems-based climate envelope models (CEMs) are used to assess the potential distribution of species derived from their climate niches. The models were used to predict potential distribution of the frog under current climate conditions and as well as potential distribution due to anthropogenic global warming. Models suggest that global warming is very likely to increase the range of the Cuban treefrog. — Patricio Ku
Rodder, D., Weinsheimer, F., 2009. Will future anthropogenic climate change increase the potential distribution of the alien invasive Cuban treefrog (Anura: Hylidae). Journal of Natural History 43, 1207–1217

Rődder and Weinsheimer used 6665 records of the Cuban treefrog that were available thought the Global Biodiversity Information Facility (GBIF) for their model. The climate information was taken from the WorldClim database where the cumulative frequency of biolimatic parameters was plotted with DIVA-GIS. The CEM used was Maxent 3.2.1 where the model assessed the potential distribution of the Cuban treefrog. The Maxent model allows for model testing by calculation of the Area Under the Curve (AUC) which uses either the invasive records as test points and the native records for training, or all native records for training and background points for testing.
The CEM suggests that the Cuban treefrog can find suitable regions all over the Caribbean and the countries adjacent to the Gulf of Mexico. Projections onto anthropogenic climate-change scenarios indicate an extension of the current distribution of the Cuban treefrog in Northern America. In addition to natural propagation, human-facilitated propagation is an important factor to consider when mapping the distribution of the frog. The national and international plant trade can displace species in remote places and encourage their spread. Means of control must focus on prevention rather than trying to avoid further spreading through human activities. Regional differences in population structure and fitness may also require different regulation or eradication approaches. As a result of increased climatic suitability, a more aggressive control strategy must be put in to place in order to help control the population of the Cuban treefrog.

The Response of Marine Fouling Communities and Introduced Species to Increased Water Temperature

Evidence from terrestrial ecosystems suggests that invasive species may have larger latitudinal ranges than native species. This may indicate an ability of invasives to tolerate a broader range of environmental conditions and, as a result, have higher potentials for success with the advent of global warming (Sorte et al. 2010). Previous studies have shown that there is strong evidence that climate change will affect marine species, but responses of marine invaders relative to native species are still largely unknown. In order to test these questions the fouling community of Bodega Harbor, Bodega Bay, California was studied using laboratory mesocosms. Fouling communities colonize human-made structures such as ships, mariculture farms, and seawater pipelines, and are great models for community assembly studies because they can be dominated by nonnative species. The scientists performed two experiments to measure the effects of warmer temperatures on introduced species. First, a temperature tolerance experiment was conducted to address the hypothesis that introduced species are more tolerant than native species to high temperatures. The second experiment measured the survival and growth rate of different native and nonnative species at current and future predicted temperatures. Results showed that responses differed between species, species origins, and demographic processes, which suggest that native species will decrease in abundance, while the abundance of introduced species is likely to increase. Essentially, the effects of climate change will impact both the diversity and abundance of native species, as well as increase the dominance of introduced species. — Patricio Ku
Sorte, C., Williams, S., Zerebecki, R., 2010. Ocean warming increases threat of invasive species in a marine fouling community. Ecology 91, 2198–2204.

Sorte and her team of scientists performed all of their field collections from a floating dock at Spud Point Marina in Bodega Harbor, California. In the first experiment, 10 fouling species (four natives and six invasives) were settled on plastic tiles suspended below the surface in the harbor. After colonization had occurred the tiles were moved to a laboratory where the ambient temperature (12°C) was raised by 1°C every 15 minutes until the treatment temperature was reached. After 24 hours of exposure, individuals were determined to be alive or dead based on the presence of movement after two days of recovery at ambient temperature. For the second experiment, fouling species were collected on PVC plastic plates and then randomly assigned to tanks with different treatment temperatures. The survival and growth on each of the plates was measured after five weeks at which point the experiment was repeated.
The first experiment showed that introduced species were more tolerant of higher temperatures than native species. For the six nonnative species, survival was unrelated to temperature. One of the nonnative species (Watersipora) had a survival rate of almost 100%, while some of the native species (Distaplia) had survival rates of only 2%. The second experiment supported the hypothesis that growth was strongly influenced by temperature with five of the seven species showing responses to warmer temperatures. Out of the five species that showed a response to temperature increase, three of them were introduced and two were native, of which the native Distaplia is predicted to decrease in abundance. The nonnative species, Didemnum, Botrylloides, and Bugula neritina, are predicted to increase 4%, 5%, and 19% respectively. In all, the results suggest that introduced species are likely to become more abundant due their higher survival rate and because of their greater increase in growth relative to native species. Potential changes due to different species distribution may include changes in filtering rates, water clarity, fish species abundances and diversity, and competition with farmed shellfish. These kinds of effects demonstrate the need to begin increasing fouling control practices against two types of climate change effects, direct impacts on native species and also indirect effects that come from the increased dominance of introduced species.

Invasive Species in the Mongla Port of Bangladesh

Invasive species are life forms that have evolved elsewhere and were then intentionally or unintentionally introduced into a new ecosystem (Amin et al. 2009). Although many of the species have invaded environments on their own, an increasing number are introduced into new areas because of anthropogenic forces—human exploration, colonization, and commercial trade. Specifically, coastal aquatic ecosystems have had a large increase in introduced species through industries such as the aquarium trade and aquaculture, and thousands of species are carried all across the world unknowingly in and on ships. The invasive species, with a lack of natural predators in their new environment, thrive and many times outcompete the native species. The invaded habitats can be degraded and food supplies depleted, which poses problems environmentally, economically, and for human health. In the Mongla port of Bangladesh, instances such as the one described have caused 54 indigenous fishes to become threatened. For this reason an impact analysis on invasive species in the Mongla sea port was carried out and proved to be valuable. The Mongla seaport habitat was found to be under threat due to invasive species such as catfish, which according to a survey, were found by almost all fisherman. Native fish were found to be rare in the area and to have little chance to reintegrate into the aquatic ecosystem. The organisms that live in brackish water ecosystems were found to be outcompeted and have no place to spawn. — Patricio Ku
Amin, Md., Ali, Mohd., Salequzzaman, Md, 2009. Identification and impact analysis of invasive species: A case study in the Mongla sea port area of Bagerhat district of Bangladesh. Daffodil International University Journal of Science and Technology 4, 35–41
Amin and colleagues from Khulna University did an exploratory study in the Mongla seaport where three major rivers meet (the Ganges, the Padma and the Lower Meghna). The purpose of the study was to discover problems occurring in the seaport in order to develop more precise investigations. Biological samples studied ranged from plankton to higher vertebrates, which were collected through the fisherman working around the area. The occurrence of ship movement in the area was also analyzed and compared to the frequency and distribution of invasive species.
Some fish and other aquatic faunal samples collected are of deformed maybe because of the changed environment in the seaport. The factors found to be potentially responsible for causes of invasion were also studied. The research found that vessels were the primary vector for introducing aquatic life at such an unprecedented rate. Arriving vessels can contain hundreds of species living on and within the ship. There is no regulation to prevent the thousands of ships that pass through the port from discharging their ballast water along with whatever exotic species it contains. Water diversion for shrimp practices was also deemed a significant cause to the spread of invasive species. This practice occurs predominantly during the time of the first monsoon when water levels in the Pussur River rise near the Mongla port opening up a pathway to the port. These exotic-introducing-practices cause many changes in coastal biodiversity, such as, habitat alteration, chemical pollution, over-enrichment, fisheries impacts, and the introductions themselves. Finally, it was found that the invasion of species taking place in the Mongla region will have long lasting effects. As a result, preventative measures are essential and must be undertaken for the sustainable good of the Mongla port area of Bangladesh.

Invasive Pests, Pathogens, and Plants in the forests of northeastern North America

Native and nonnative pest, pathogen, and plant species in the northeastern forests of North America all contain the capacity to alter and damage the ecological processes of the forest. This damage can lead to ecological and economic damage such as, among other things, causing tree mortality (Dukes et al. 2009).  The northeastern forests of North America are being increasingly affected by invasive species in the form of fruit-bearing shrubs and vines that are altering young or physically disturbed forests. Essentially, the alien species create dense thickets that eliminate tree regeneration and reduce native understory shrub and herb diversity. These alien species are highly responsive to changes in the climate through changes in host distribution, population dynamics, nutrition, defense compounds, and evolving land use. Temperature increases in the northeastern US of 0.25 °C will increase the metabolism, reproductive rates, and survival of invasive species. In the case study, the possible responses of six key species were analyzed according to the effects of projected future climate change on the forests. For insect pests, climatic warming was found to accelerate insect consumption, development, and movement, which in turn can also influence fecundity, survival, generation time, and dispersal. The spread of pathogens in response to climate change is more difficult to predict because less is known about viral or bacterial sensitivity to climate in forest systems. However, likely affects of climate change on forest pathogens include increased growth and reproduction, altered dispersal, transmission rates, infection phenology, and changes in overwinter survival. And it is not just the temperature that affects the pathogens, precipitation, storm severity, nitrogen deposition, atmospheric ozone and CO2 concentration, and UV-B radiation all can affect forest pathogens. Plants also respond directly to changes in the climate. Direct effects to plants in the northeastern US forests as a result of climate change include: temperature, frost-free period length, and magnitude and duration of climate extremes. Indirect affects could also occur by altering ecosystem processes which could affect soil nutrients and moisture.—Patricio Ku
Dukes, J., Pontius, J., Orwig, D., Garnas, J., Rodger, V., Brazee, N., Cooke, B., Theoharides, K., Stange, E., Harrington, R., Ehrenfeld, J., Gurevitch, J., Leradu, M., Stinson, K., Wick, R., Ayres, M. 2009. Responses of insect pests, pathogens, and invasive plant species to climate change in the forests of northeastern North America: What can we predict?. Canadian Journal of Forest Research 39, 231–248

            The species chosen to represent a sample of invasive aliens in northeastern US forests were selected because they represent a good sample of invasives and are not necessarily the most damaging species. The six case studies include two pests: Adelges tsuga (hemlock woolly adelgid) and the Malacosoma disstria (forest tent caterpillar); two common diseases: Armillaria (Armillaria root rot) and Cryptococcus fagisuga + Neonectria spp. (beech bark disease); and two invasive plant species: Frangula alnus Mill. (glossy buckthorn) and Celastrus orbiculatus (oriental bittersweet).
            The result of almost all the case studies showed that climate change in almost certain to be a strong driver of evolutionary change in plant and pathogen populations. Although it is clear that invasive species are among the primary agents of biotic disturbance in northeastern US forests, it is unclear how exactly these forest dynamics will be played out. Uncertainties associated with internal ecosystem processes, climate projections, future human actions, and those arising from a lack of data on the invasive species themselves all make predicting the manifestations of these species more difficult. Nonetheless, the case studies did show that three of the six studied species (hemlock woolly adelgid, beech bark disease, and oriental bittersweet) are likely to become more widespread or abundant in northeastern US forests under projected climate change. None of the species that were studied were found to become less problematic as a result of climate change, but this does not mean that such species do not exist. The results were also difficult to interpret because of the relatively low statistical confidence level of the information on five of the six species studied. In the future it will be more useful and accurate to use whole-systems modeling of invasives to anticipate the range of possible responses of these complex systems as opposed to each individual species.

Elevated CO2 Levels and Competitive Interactions Between Native and Invasive Exotic Plant Species

Exotic plants have been identified as a major threat to biodiversity as well as a significant management and economic concern. One factor that becomes increasingly relevant when studying interactions between exotic and native species is the increasing amount of atmospheric CO2 available to plants (Manea and Leishman 2010). The reason exotic plants take over and become dominant in the ecosystems they invade is largely because of their superior competitive ability.  Carbon capture strategies in invasive species attributed to certain leaf traits make for fast plant growth.  Thus, it was hypothesized that elevated CO2 levels will affect invasive exotic plants more than native ones. Competitive outcomes were tested for 14 different species, which measured relative competitive ability, rather than inferring competitive ability based on a plant’s abundance and growth. Results indicated that the competitive rankings within each species pair were not altered by differing CO2 treatments. However, results did show that the competitive response of the native species decreased under elevated CO2 compared to ambient CO2.—Patricio Ku
Manea, A., Leishman, M., 2010. Competitive interactions between native and invasive exotic plant species are altered under elevated carbon dioxide. Community Ecology 10.1007/s00442-010-1765-3

            Manea and Leishman, from the Department of Biological Sciences, Macquarie University, grew fourteen different species of native and invasive exotic plants in a series of competition experiments under ambient (380–420ppm) and elevated (675–715) CO2 concentrations. The ambient CO2 concentration represents that of the beginning of the twenty-first century and the elevated one represents the predicted atmospheric CO2 concentrations by 2100. The method used to determine competitive ability was the corrected index of relative competition intensity (CRCI). Plant species used in the study are common species of the Cumberland Plain Woodland in western Sydney, Australia. Species pairs were selected based on: being from the same functional group (grass, vine, herb or shrub/tree), utilizing the same photosynthetic pathway (C3 or C4), and having the same life history (annual or perennial).
            Competitive rankings within species-pairs were not affected by CO2, but the strength of the competitive interactions was affected. Native species had, on average, a reduced competitive response under elevated compared with ambient CO2. This could also be interpreted as an increased competitive effect of invasive exotic species under elevated CO2. These results could suggest that under future CO2 levels, competitive rankings among species may not change substantially, but the relative success of invasive exotic species may be increased. Results also showed that, in general, traits associated with growth and allocation can enable predictions of outcomes of competition under particular environmental conditions. 

Agriculture and Global Warming

Agriculture and climate change both have a strong influence over each other. Currently, agriculture accounts for approximately 15% of the world’s GHG emissions (Minimakawa et al., 2009). The mitigation potential for controlling GHGs going into the atmosphere can be found mostly in carbon sequestration, where 89% of agricultural GHGs are accounted for. Global warming of more than 4oC in many areas will increase crop vulnerability and surpass the adaptive capacity of many systems. Negative impacts of temperature increase all over the world have already been reported. One of the principal problems in mitigating agricultural use in respect to climate change is that we cannot accurately estimate the adaptive capacity of the Earth for human activities. Although timelines and projections have been discussed, nothing concrete has been identified because climate change is largely dependent on future anthropogenic GHG emissions.— Patricio Ku 
Minimakawa, K., Yagi, K., Nishimura, S., 2009. Agriculture and Global Warming: Their Interaction and Other Problems of Sustainability. Journal of Developments in Sustainable Agriculture 4, 79–81

 Minimakawa, Yagi, and Nishimura from Tsukuba, Japan, studied the interaction between agriculture and global warming, and how they play a role in affecting each other. Irreversible impacts on the adaptive capacity of the Earth were evaluated. An understanding of the “big picture” was considered the top priority which would permit quantitative objectives for coping with global warming.
Rice is one of the crops that has already seen a negative response to global warming resulting from pollination failure. Rice sterility in Japan increases about 16% with each 1oC increase in air temperature above 35oC during the growing period. Further warming (4-5oC) will have negative impacts in all parts of the world. There are many ways agricultural practices can be adapted to global warming, such as by using cultivars with heat tolerance, changing crops, and shifting the cropping period. Finally, scientific knowledge cannot currently predict future world conditions accurately, although it is clear that irreversible affects of global warming depend on human activity. We do have choices in controlling the impact humans have on this earth regarding consumption levels and population control.

Risk to Sagebrush Ecosystems in Nevada, USA, as a Result of Climate Change, Land Use and Invasive Species

Sagebrush ecosystems in Nevada are at a high risk because of climate change, land use, and invasive species (Bradley 2010).  In order to help conserve sagebrush species it is useful to use GIS maps and multiple climate/species projection models. These models show changes that, in the short-term, sagebrush ecosystems may decline because of invasive species and land use in the form of agriculture, power lines, and roads. In the long-term, sagebrush ecosystems will also become susceptible to woodland expansion.  Overall, most of the sagebrush ecosystems in Nevada are at a moderate to high risk of diminishing, with those in the northern and eastern parts of the state having the least risk of retreating. These findings illustrate the major challenges that may arise in forming conservation and management strategies for this ecosystem.—Patricio Ku
Bradley, B., 2010. Assessing ecosystem threats from global and regional change: hierarchical modeling of risk to sagebrush ecosystems from climate change, land use and invasive species in Nevada, USA. Ecography 33, 198–208
Essentially, Bradley measured the current Nevada sagebrush distribution and compared it against future projections for disturbance risks according to land use, invasive species, and climate change. She calculated the risk to sagebrush species using bioclimatic envelope modeling (BEM) based on future climate projections from atmosphere ocean general circulation models (AOGCMs). Inconsistencies in these climate models were minimized by using an ensemble approach, in which multiple models are used.
The main invasive species threat against sagebrush is the expansion of cheatgrass. Cheatgrass invasion comes in as a result of land use—agriculture, power lines, and roads were all shown to elevate the probability of cheat grass invasion. Expanding pinyon-juniper woodlands pose a threat at low elevations because of possible shifts in temperature and precipitation. Finally, future climatic suitability based on the BEM and AOGCM projections, suggests that the majority of suitable sagebrush ecosystem land in Nevada is at a very high risk of diminishing. With the help of ensemble modeling, regional threats will be assessed and management strategies can be developed so that conservation practices can be put in place.

Agriculture and Global Warming

Agriculture and climate change both have a strong influence over each other. Currently, agriculture accounts for approximately 15% of the world’s GHG emissions (Minimakawa et al., 2009). The mitigation potential for controlling GHGs going into the atmosphere can be found mostly in carbon sequestration, where 89% of agricultural GHGs are accounted for. Global warming of more than 4oC in many areas will increase crop vulnerability and surpass the adaptive capacity of many systems. Negative impacts of temperature increase all over the world have already been reported. One of the principal problems in mitigating agricultural use in respect to climate change is that we cannot accurately estimate the adaptive capacity of the Earth for human activities. Although timelines and projections have been discussed, nothing concrete has been identified because climate change is largely dependent on future anthropogenic GHG emissions.— Patricio Ku 
Minimakawa, K., Yagi, K., Nishimura, S., 2009. Agriculture and Global Warming: Their Interaction and Other Problems of Sustainability. Journal of Developments in Sustainable Agriculture 4, 79–81

 Minimakawa, Yagi, and Nishimura from Tsukuba, Japan, studied the interaction between agriculture and global warming, and how they play a role in affecting each other. Irreversible impacts on the adaptive capacity of the Earth were evaluated. An understanding of the “big picture” was considered the top priority which would permit quantitative objectives for coping with global warming.
Rice is one of the crops that has already seen a negative response to global warming resulting from pollination failure. Rice sterility in Japan increases about 16% with each 1oC increase in air temperature above 35oC during the growing period. Further warming (4-5oC) will have negative impacts in all parts of the world. There are many ways agricultural practices can be adapted to global warming, such as by using cultivars with heat tolerance, changing crops, and shifting the cropping period. Finally, scientific knowledge cannot currently predict future world conditions accurately, although it is clear that irreversible affects of global warming depend on human activity. We do have choices in controlling the impact humans have on this earth regarding consumption levels and population control.

Rain-fed Agricultural Enterprises and their Resistance to Climate Change

Climate change is expected to increase the frequency of dry conditions around south-eastern Australia. Traditional rain-fed agricultural land management has operated around the method of maximizing yield in good seasons, but with climate change it may be more feasible to adjust to the increasing amount of dry seasons instead (Reid, 2009).  The effect of climate change on resilience thresholds pertaining to dry conditions is not uniform to the landscape. As a result, during dry periods, certain areas will call for different management strategies. A property planning tool was developed to make properties more resilient to climate change by encouraging production in dry seasons by limiting land degradation and financial exposure.  The planning tool takes into account the drying order of different segments of property, grading the soil types of each segment, and tailoring a water retention and utilization strategy for each segment. A training program to help ease the farmers into using the adaptation program was also implemented. When used in the property planning extension program the planning tool proved to be highly effective.  If farms are to remain productive their focus must shift from maximum yield in good conditions to sustainable yields in drier conditions. — Patricio Ku 
Reid, G., 2009. Building resilience to climate change in rain-fed agricultural enterprises: An integrated property planning tool. Agric Hum Values 26, 391–397

 Gregory H. Reid studied the use of target strategies for differing land areas within the same landscape as a way of adapting to drier conditions brought on by climate change. Reid mapped out different soil fertility in conjunction with moisture retention to produce a guide to investment priorities. The resulting map code can then be used as an adjustment guide to seasonal weather conditions based on fertility and moisture limitations in each area. The guide will help avoid land degradation that would limit future production.
The planning method implemented proved to be very successful. Many farmers who participated in the study have already noticed changes in yield and production. After the study, the number of participants willing to adapt to climate change through this planning tool rose from 43 to 84%. Surveys indicated that 91% of the participants felt better equipped to deal with climate change. It is also estimated that the program will encourage the sequestration of more than 100,000 tons of carbon into soils and trees. The likely benefits through using this planning tool are reduced degradation costs, less feed supplementation, delayed destocking beyond market lows, and better long term stocking capacity. With the onset of climate change, rain-fed agriculture will eventually require this method of integrated property planning with an emphasis on soil moisture as a diminishing resource in order to adapt to unpredictable seasons.