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Projected sagebrush recovery in greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) habitat from energy development across southwestern Wyoming


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Monroe, A.P., Nauman, T.W., Aldridge, C.L., O'Donnell, M.S., Duniway, M.C., Cade, B.S., Manier, D.J., and Anderson, P.J., 2022, Sagebrush recovery analyzed with a dynamic reference approach in southwest Wyoming, USA 1985-2018: U.S. Geological Survey data release,


Identifying ecologically relevant reference sites is important for evaluating ecosystem recovery, but the relevance of references that are temporally static is unclear in the context of vast landscapes with varying disturbance and environmental contexts over space and time. This question is pertinent for landscapes dominated by sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) which face a suite of threats from disturbance and development but also have lengthy recovery times. Here, we applied a dynamic reference approach to studying and projecting recovery of sagebrush on former oil and gas well pads in southwestern Wyoming, USA using over 3 decades of remote sensing data (1985-2018). We also used quantile regression to evaluate factors that may affect recovery [...]


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perc_recov_local_nest.tif 180.59 MB image/geotiff
perc_recov_local_summer.tif 158.23 MB image/geotiff
time_to_recov_local_nest.tif 33.8 MB image/geotiff
time_to_recov_local_summer.tif 30.35 MB image/geotiff


Greater sage-grouse rely on sagebrush for habitat and evaluating resilience of these systems to disturbance is a pressing research need for conservation. Additionally, management guidelines suggest certain thresholds for maintaining habitat for this species. These projections could be used to evaluate sagebrush recovery in sage-grouse habitat in this region relative to thresholds and given similar disturbance and weather conditions, and to compare outcomes under ideal (high quantiles) or challenging (low quantiles) recovery conditions.

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