Climate-Adaptive Population Supplementation (CAPS) is a shift in how we think about supplementing wild populations toward embracing trait diversity of strains and accounting for the impacts of climate change on environments and species.

A brief background

Society makes massive investments in federal, Tribal, state, and private programs to supplement populations of valued species—stocking fish, planting trees, rebuilding oyster reefs, restoring prairies, and the like. These important efforts require long-term commitment because many propagules fail, and climate change is making environmental conditions less predictable and more challenging. Selection of strains/cultivars for population supplementation is often based on performance prior to release, and one or a few strains may then be used for decades even as the environment is changing. When these organisms are propagated in large numbers, they can become numerically dominant as well as genetically swamping any local adaptations. Thus, it is critically important that population supplementation programs choose strains/cultivars that will thrive under future climate conditions, and then propagate portfolios of strains/cultivars to seed and maintain genetic diversity. Existing large-scale population supplementation programs offer a remarkable opportunity to advance climate adaptation for natural resource management in the Northeast and beyond.

Let's talk stocking!

We need your input to make the CAPS concept work! If you propagate juvenile stages of organisms to supplement wild populations, you can benefit from the CAPS concept. We would LOVE to talk to you, so please reach out! We hosted an in-person workshop in August 2022 with attendees selected to maximize the diversity of taxonomic and management spheres relative to the CAPS concept. Please fill out the form below if you want to stay in the loop and learn more!