Climate Corner: The Role of Microclimates in Climate Change Resilience

A stand of oak trees on a hillside
Oak Woodland at John Muir National Historic Site

NPS / Jessica Weinberg McClosky

September 2017 - A Global Change Biology paper published earlier this year looked at how small scale climate refuges (microrefugia), especially those related to water availability, may be able to help species persist in areas where climate change is making conditions less suitable for them. For plants and sessile animals, these kinds of local refuges are likely to be especially critical. The article, “Hydrologic refugia, plants, and climate change” considers the range of conditions that can create these wetter microenvironments, and how likely they are to persist in the face of climate change. In particular, the authors use case studies from California's oak woodlands to look at the relationship between water availability and the ecological needs of target species. Read more in the full article here.

Last updated: September 29, 2017