Regional Flow Categories

Jan 5, 2017 (Last modified Jan 9, 2017)
Uploaded by Melissa M. Clark
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Dataset was scientifically peer reviewed

Flow refers to the gradual movement of plant and animal populations in response to changes in the climate. Population range shifts were common and widespread in past episodes of climate change and have already been detected for hundreds of plant and animal populations in response to current climate change.
Types of Flow:
Climate Corridors occur where high amounts of flow become concentrated in relatively small channels or pinch points. Climate Corridors often correspond to natural ridgelines (terrestrial corridors) or relatively intact riparian and floodplain areas (riparian climate corridors) embedded in a matrix of development and agriculture. Climate Corridors may connect climate flow zones or areas of confirmed biodiversity.
Climate Flow Zones occur in intact natural areas where high amounts of flow can spread-out and expand in many directions. These areas correspond to the least fragmented parts of the region.
Blocked Flow occurs where flow hits a hard barrier or encounters strong resistance that dampers and decreases the overall amount of movement in an area
Climatic driven flows are often directional, for example current populations are moving upslope and northward into cooler climate zones, or downslope into a moist shady riparian area. Unlike the past, today’s dispersing species must navigate through to a wealth of barriers such as busy roads, impassable dams, and extensive development, in order to reach suitable new habitat, and in many places species movements are blocked or rerouted. 
Flow patterns have a distinct regional structure because barriers work in aggregate to slow, obstruct, redirect, or funnel moving populations. Like water, a steady current of dispersing species may flow around obstructions, spread-out in intact areas, or become concentrated in channels. Mapping the region’s natural flow patterns and studying how they are influenced by anthropogenic barriers, allows us to determine the location of critical flow paths that maintain larger connections, and identify important places for facilitating adaptive movements.

Data Provided By:
Eastern Conservation Science, The Nature Conservancy
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not specified
Anderson, M.G., Barnett, A., Clark, M., Prince, J., Olivero Sheldon, A. and Vickery B. 2016. Resilient and Connected Landscapes for Terrestrial Conservation. The Nature Conservancy, Eastern Conservation Science, Eastern Regional Office. Boston, MA.
Contact Organization:
Eastern Conservation Science, The Nature Conservancy
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Eastern Division, The Nature Conservancy
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About the Uploader

Melissa M. Clark
Eastern Division Spatial Data Manager with The Nature Conservancy

I work on many GIS/conservation planning projects for the Eastern Division of the Nature Conservancy. One of the major datasets that we create as a division is the Secured Lands Data Set. The Secured Lands dataset is a GIS database of permanently protected lands in the Northeast United States. The...