Title

An Adaptation Scheme for Climate Change Effects on the Biodiversity within a Montane Wet Ecosystem in East Maui, Hawaii

Date of Award

5-31-2009

Document Type

Capstone Project

Disciplines

Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Degree Name

Master of Applied Science

Department

Environmental Policy & Mgmt

Advisor

Jerry Barker

Keywords

adaptation; biodiversity; climate change; East Maui watershed; Maui, Hawaii; montane wet forest

Abstract

This Capstone explores potential impacts of climate change on biodiversity of East Maui's montane wet forests, and analyzes practical adaptation options to maximize ecosystem resiliency. An online survey was distributed to environmental professionals to identify the greatest climate change-related threats and the best adaptation strategies. Loss of biodiversity, invasive species and habitat loss were rated as the highest threats. Reducing anthropogenic stressors and protecting key ecosystem features were rated as the best adaptation strategies. Survey respondents also showed strong support for biocontrol as a tool for climate change adaptation. Survey results are explored in light of a situational analysis that resulted in specific recommendations for implementing an adaptation strategy to mitigate anticipated impacts of climate change on East Maui forests.

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