Alberta Species Conservation Atlas (ASCA)
The Alberta Species Conservation Atlas (ASCA) is an initiative led by the Applied Conservation Ecology laboratory that seeks to model the distribution and potential habitat for Alberta’s rarest taxa (500 plants, vertebrates, and invertebrates). By synthesizing information across species, ASCA will be used to rank – in a spatially-explicit manner – irreplaceability of Alberta’s places, thus helping to guide and prioritize conservation actions and land use decision-making associated with Alberta’s Land Use Framework. The Atlas will also provide rankings of species vulnerabilities to climate change and habitat fragmentation based on niche requirements and dispersal life history traits. This will be used to identify species in most need of assisted migration/colonization and locations where landscape connectivity necessitates restoration actions.
Rare vascular plants of the Lower Athabasca
Conservation Planning in Northwest Alberta

A conservation plan for Northwest Alberta, Canada based on coarse and fine-filter conservation values.

Digital Atlas of Fruiting Shrubs

A digital atlas for 21 species of fruiting plants across the Lower Athabasca region of northeast Alberta south of Lake Athabasca.  Models were developed and used to map shrub presence, abundance (% cover) and fruit production for each species using  environmental predictors and field plot data (845 plots for presence; 335 plots for cover & fruit production).

Nielsen SE (2016) Fruiting shrubs of the Lower Athabasca: Distribution, ecology and a digital atlas. A report to the Cumulative Environmental Management Association (CEMA). 81 pgs.

Prioritizing Sites for Protection and Restoration for Grizzly Bears (Ursus arctos) in Southwestern Alberta, Canada

Maps and data of distribution and prioritization of key areas for Grizzly Bear conservation, including sources, sinks, food resources, suitable habitats and mortality risks. Publication supplemental (online data & models).

Braid & Nielsen (2015) Prioritizing sites for protection and restoration for grizzly bears in southwest Alberta, Canada. PLoS ONE. 10(7):e0132501.

Velocity of climate change in Alberta

Atlas of synthesis maps representing rare plant vulnerabilities to climate change & migration stresses in Alberta under a variety of rates of climate change; maps of how organism ranges have to shift to keep up with climate change.

Barber, Nielsen & Hamann (2016)  Assessing the vulnerability of rare plants using climate change velocity, habitat connectivity, and dispersal ability: a case study in Alberta, Canada. Regional Environmental Change.


Plant biodiversity hotspots & climate change refugia in Alberta

Atlas of current and future (2080s) distribution of 1,541 vascular plant species of Alberta, indicating richness, phylogenetic diversity and endemism. Analysis includes areas projected to lose or gain species, and potential future refugia. Publication supplemental.

J. Zhang, Nielsen SE, Stolar J, Chen Y & Thuiller W (2015) Gains and losses of plant species and phylogenetic diversity for a northern high-latitude region. Diversity and Distributions.21(12):1441–1454

Land Facets of Alberta

Atlas of land facet models for Alberta representing combinations of terrain, climate, and lithology conditions as coarse-filter representations of biodiversity. Atlas data in preparation.

Alberta Orchid Atlas

Probable habitat model atlas for species of Orchidaceae in Alberta, Canada under current and projected climates.

Stolar & Nielsen (2012) Probable habitat for species of Orchidaceae in Alberta, Canada. Version 1. Alberta Species Conservation Atlas, Applied Conservation Ecology Laboratory.

Rare Vascular Plants of Alberta

Ecological niche models for rare vascular plants of Alberta, present-day and 2050 and 2080 projections. Atlas contains 146 genera, 214 species & subspecies in 54 families.

Stolar & Nielsen. (In review) Mitigating potential losses of Alberta’s rare vascular plants and butterflies under climate change and resource use. Ecosphere.

Rare Butterflies of Alberta

Ecological niche models for rare butterflies of Alberta, present-day and projections for 2050 and 2080.
Atlas contains 7 genera, 9 species in 4 families.

Stolar & Nielsen. (In review) Mitigating potential losses of Alberta’s rare vascular plants and butterflies under climate change and resource use. Ecosphere.