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Climate change

2014

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Graduate Theses & Dissertations

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Characterizing Metrics And Outcomes Of Stress In A Climate-Sensitive Species, The American Pika, Jennifer Lee Wilkening Jan 2014

Characterizing Metrics And Outcomes Of Stress In A Climate-Sensitive Species, The American Pika, Jennifer Lee Wilkening

Ecology & Evolutionary Biology Graduate Theses & Dissertations

The American pika (Ochotona princeps) is considered a sentinel species for detecting ecological effects of climate change. Pikas are declining within a large portion of their range, but previous studies have focused only on local pika extirpation as a metric of change. This approach does not take into account the role of behavioral thermoregulation and the pika's use of microhabitats to ameliorate variations in climate. Without evidence of a direct climatic impact on pikas, studies correlating pika habitat occupancy with climate metrics provide relatively weak support for projecting effects of climate change on this species. This dissertation research focuses ...