Explore climate change impacts on vegetation across the Desert and Southern Rockies LCCs using historical monitoring data collected from 23 sites across the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, Mojave and Colorado Plateau deserts for 30-50 years. This data will then be combined with ecosystem water balance model simulations to establish features of water availability critical for plant species response. Results will allow managers to identify species and communities at risk under future climate scenarios based on predicted changes in plant water availability. Due to the high variability in soils, incorporating a detailed understanding of soil water availability beyond bioclimatic envelope approaches in the desert Southwest is essential to accurately conduct climate change vulnerability assessments and identify relative risk of vegetation change within and across management units.
This project was co-funded by multiple Landscape Conservation Cooperatives: Desert LCC and the Southern Rockies LCC.