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Predicted Likelihood of Grassland to Cropland Conversion in the U.S. Northern Plains and Prairies Given Climate Change

Dates

Publication Date

Citation

Rashford, B.S., Reese, G.C., 2018, Predicted Likelihood of Grassland to Cropland Conversion in the U.S. Northern Plains and Prairies Given Climate Change: U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/P9CRDP6K.

Summary

The purpose of this project was to estimate and map the probability that grassland converts to cropland in the northern plains and prairie region given potential climate change. This region provides critical breeding and migratory habitat for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species, and is also a highly productive agricultural region. Generally, the regional effects projected by climate models are increasing temperatures and more variable precipitation, which could provide incentives for private landowners to convert native and managed grassland to intensive cropland. Conversion of grassland to cropland can result in habitat loss for dependent species and the degradation of a range of ecosystem services. If climate change alters [...]

Contacts

Point of Contact :
Gordon C. Reese, Benjamin S. Rashford
Metadata Contact :
Gordon C. Reese
USGS Mission Area :
Land Resources
SDC Data Owner :
National Climate Adaptation Science Center

Attached Files

Click on title to download individual files attached to this item.

gcms_futprob1.tfw 94 Bytes
TablesSupplement.pdf 309.8 KB
gcms_futprob1.tif.vat.cpg 5 Bytes
gcms_futprob1.tif.vat.dbf 957.87 KB
gcms_futprob1.tif.aux.xml 2.2 MB
gcms_futprob1.tif.ovr 61.56 MB
2.94 GB
gcms_futprob1.rrd 1,006.86 MB
Equations Supplement.pdf 295.01 KB
Tables Supplement.pdf 309.8 KB

Purpose

The purpose of this project was to estimate and map the probability that grassland converts to cropland in the northern plains and prairie region given potential climate change. This region, which spans portions of Montana, Wyoming, North Dakota, South Dakota, Minnesota and Iowa, provides critical breeding and migratory habitat for waterfowl and other wetland-dependent species, and is also a highly productive agricultural region. Planning for the effects of climate change in this region is a high priority for the Plains and Prairie Pothole LCC and managers at federal, regional, and local levels (e.g. North American Waterfowl Management Plan 2012). Climate models for the Prairie Pothole Region (PPR) project increasing temperatures and little to no increases in precipitation (though potentially more variability), leading to reductions in wetland habitat through increased evapotranspiration (Johnson et al. 2010). Populations of waterfowl and other species often decrease during droughts (Sorenson et al. 1998), raising concerns that hunting opportunities could be compromised and that the long-term viability of non-game populations may be at risk. Changes in climate can also have indirect effects on biodiversity by driving changes in human land use. Warmer temperatures, resulting in longer crop growing seasons and changes in crop yields, could incentivize landowners to alter their land-management practices or to transition from less intensive grassland uses to intensive row crop production (Rashford et al. 2010), which alters habitats and wetland functions (Rashford et al. 2016). Understanding the full effect of climate change on habitat therefore requires accounting for both the direct (e.g., increased evapotranspiration) and indirect effects (e.g., land-use change) (Attavanich et al. 2014).

Additional Information

Identifiers

Type Scheme Key
doi https://www.sciencebase.gov/vocab/category/item/identifier doi:10.5066/P9CRDP6K

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