Non-forested wetlands play a critical role in mitigating climate change impacts
Maintaining healthy watersheds, reducing runoff and excess nutrients, and limiting the spread of invasive species will be essential to maintaining the integrity of wetlands. NIACS is partnering with the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts (WICCI) Plants and Natural Communities working group to create adaptation resources specific to non-forested wetlands in the Midwest.
Effects from climate change
Climate change will not affect all parts of a watershed in the same way. The local response and vulnerability of a wetland to regional climate changes will be influenced by soils, topography, location in the watershed, and current and past land uses. Warmer temperatures and variable precipitation will have direct impacts on the wetland water budget and the hydrology, which may affect the timing, distribution, and seasonal availability of water on-site. The likelihood of more extreme precipitation events increases the risk of water quality issues such as erosion, sedimentation, and nutrient runoff. These events can degrade water quality and fuel the transportation and growth of non-native invasive plants and weedy native species. The use of vulnerability assessments for natural communities can help managers characterize site vulnerability.
Adaptation in Action
We have created resources to help land managers anticipate climate change impacts and identify adaptation actions. Designed to be used with the Adaptation Workbook, this new resource will help managers understand and select from a wide variety of climate-informed actions that support wetlands.
Work with Us
We provide training and technical assistance to natural resource professionals and land owners to support climate-informed land management. Examples of our work include:
- Working with partners to plan and facilitate adaptation workshops for real-world wetland project management.
- Providing climate change and adaptation resources to support on-the-ground management and planning activities.
- Development of real-world examples of climate-informed wetland management.
This effort is led by the Wisconsin Initiative on Climate Change Impacts Plants and Natural Community Working Group. We would like to thank our partners for authoring resources, providing expertise, and sharing their vision for sustainable wetland management.
Webpage Photo credits: Richard Staffen, Wisconsin DNR.