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Seth M Munson

MOAB, Utah — Drier conditions projected to result from climate change in the Southwest will likely reduce perennial vegetation cover and result in increased dust storm activity in the future, according to a new study by scientists with the U.S. Geological Survey and the University of California, Los Angeles. The research team examined climate, vegetation and soil measurements collected over a 20-year period in Arches and Canyonlands National Parks in southeastern Utah. Long-term data indicated that perennial vegetation in grasslands and some shrublands declined with temperature increases. The study then used these soil and vegetation measurements in a model to project future wind erosion. The findings strongly...
One of the major concerns about global warming is the potential for an increase in decomposition and soil respiration rates, increasing CO2 emissions and creating a positive feedback between global warming and soil respiration. This is particularly important in ecosystems with large belowground biomass, such as grasslands where over 90% of the carbon is allocated belowground. A better understanding of the relative influence of climate and litter quality on litter decomposition is needed to predict these changes accurately in grasslands. The Long-Term Intersite Decomposition Experiment Team (LIDET) dataset was used to evaluate the influence of climatic variables (temperature, precipitation, actual evapotranspiration,...
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The dataset describes rangeland monitoring results from the Hanksville, UT (USA) area. Monitoring results consist of canopy cover of plant species and functional types according to ecological site group from 1967 to 2013. The study area is bordered on the north by the Wayne-Emery County line, on the west by Capitol Reef National Park, and on the south and east by the Colorado River, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and Canyonlands National Park. Cover was estimated every 1 to 5 years (except the last measurement that had a 12 year interval) from 1967 to 2013 at 36 permanently marked sites in 15 livestock grazing allotments/pastures. Canopy cover of perennial plant species was estimated to the nearest tenth...
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This dataset is from a restoration field study conducted at seven sites distributed across the southern Colorado Plateau in northern Arizona as part of the RestoreNet dryland restoration field trial network. The data consist of post-experimental restoration treatment (2018-2019) plant density and height measurements along with site precipitation, temperature, and soils data. Plant data were collected through plot monitoring visits distributed throughout the first year following restoration treatments and seeding.
Abstract (from http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eap.1389/full): Woody plant encroachment and overall declines in perennial vegetation in dryland regions can alter ecosystem properties and indicate land degradation, but the causes of these shifts remain controversial. Determining how changes in the abundance and distribution of grass and woody plants are influenced by conditions that regulate water availability at a regional scale provides a baseline to compare how management actions alter the composition of these vegetation types at a more local scale and can be used to predict future shifts under climate change. Using a remote-sensing-based approach, we assessed the balance between grasses and woody plants...
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