The Wisconsin Center for Wildlife and the UW-Stevens Point College of Natural Resources invite you to the third seminar
in the Changing Climate of Natural Resources series

White Rabbit, White Rabbit, White Rabbit

February 20, 2020

4 p.m. in Room 170 of the Trainer Natural Resources Building, UWSP campus, Stevens Point, WI

with Jonathan Pauli, Ph.D.
Associate Professor
Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology

Climate change is disrupting biotic interactions and community assemblages globally. Seasonally snow-covered environments featuring winter-adapted species have proven to be important models for understanding the mechanisms through which climate change affects biotic communities. Snowshoe hares (Lepus americanus), a species of central importance in northern forests, have experienced local declines and range contractions along their southern boundary. These declines have been suggested to be the result of climate change via the mechanism of camouflage mismatch, an inability to match seasonal coat color to declining snow cover duration. The loss of snowshoe hares from their southern range can have dramatic implications for other co-occurring species along their southern range boundary including ruffed grouse (Bonasa umbellus), porcupines (Erethizon dorsatum) and fishers (Pekania pennanti). However, the mechanism driving hare range contraction has not been experimentally tested, nor has the role of landscape heterogeneity been evaluated. To identify the mechanisms driving range shifts, we performed an experimental translocation of snowshoe hares along their historic range boundary in Wisconsin. Our approach allowed us to directly observe how altered climatic conditions and landscape features interplay to drive population declines and local extirpation and the rippling consequences for other vertebrate community members. As climate change alters ecological communities, identifying mechanisms that drive changes in the southern range boundary of climate-sensitive species as well as landscape features that can be manipulated to buffer those effects will be critical for management aimed at promoting persistence of winter-adapted communities.

Jonathan Pauli is an Associate Professor in the Department of Forest and Wildlife Ecology at University of Wisconsin-Madison.  He earned his Ph.D. in Ecology and a Masters of Science in Zoology and Physiology from the University of Wyoming, and earned his Bachelors in Wildlife and Biology here at UW Stevens Point. Jon's research focuses on the effects of large-scale human disturbances, including climate change, on mammals. His lab often works specifically with carnivores such as cougars, black bears and cougars, but Jon is also known for his work with sloths, porcupines, and snowshoe hares. 

To learn more about Jon and his research lab, please visit: