Resistance, Resilience, and Transformation: Oak Savanna Restoration in a Rapidly Changing Climate

Resistance, Resilience, and Transformation: Oak Savanna Restoration in a Rapidly Changing Climate (INT)
Christopher Hoving, Michigan Department of Natural Resources

Michigan has been experiencing hotter temperatures and more extreme rainfall. Ecological and species effects have already been documented. Climate change has been occurring and will accelerate. How can restorationists adapt? Adaptation strategies fall into three broad categories: resistance, resilience and transformation. Each approach can be illustrated in oak savanna management. Black locust management is an example of resistance: it will become more expensive as climate increasingly favors locust. Restoring savanna structure to oak forests through prescribed fire or harvest is an example of resilience: it will get easier as climate increasingly favors oaks. Karner Blue butterfly conservation is a potential example of transformation: no amount of management is likely to conserve them where they currently exist because they are too vulnerable. Each approach is necessary in some contexts, but carries too much risk or lacks public acceptance in other contexts. Conservationists will increasingly need to choose wisely among adaptation approaches.

Christopher Hoving, Michigan Department of Natural Resources
Christopher Hoving is deeply gratified that you are reading this. Thank you for your interest. However, there is a word limit, and much ink has already been wasted. Mr. Hoving abhors waste and values concise communication. All you really need to know about Mr. Hoving is that he cares deeply about the natural world and he is committed to wise and thoughtful land management. He currently acts as the adaptation specialist for the Michigan DNR, but he has been at different times a student, teacher, camp naturalist, historian, small-scale farmer, restorationist, wildlife biologist, endangered species coordinator and a collector of antique heritage irises. He knows relatively little about any of these things, but prides himself on his extremely knowledgeable and wise network of professionals, on whom he leans heavily. He also believes strongly that playfulness and hope are keys to successful conservation, and he writes his autobiographies accordingly.