Projecting the Future Encroachment of Woody Vegetation into Grasslands of the Northern Great Plains by Simulating Climate Conditions and Possible Management Actions
Maintaining the native prairie lands of the Northern Great Plains (NGP), which provide an important habitat for declining grassland species, requires anticipating the effects of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and climate change on the region’s vegetation. Specifically, climate change threatens NGP grasslands by increasing the potential encroachment of native woody species into areas where they were previously only present in minor numbers. This project used a dynamic vegetation model to simulate vegetation type (grassland, shrubland, woodland, and forest) for the NGP for a range of projected future climates and relevant management scenarios. Comparing results of these simulations illustrates...
FY2015The Northwestern Great Basin ecoregion is one of the most intact ecosystems in the west. It is also a biological hotspot for migratory birds, greater sage-grouse and a stronghold for pronghorn antelope. However, altered fire regimes, invasive species, water scarcity, development, and climate change threaten the integrity of this landscape. Several efforts are ongoing for individual species, specific threats or sub-geographies, and over 60 existing plans and assessments have been identified for the region. This project will pull the pieces together to create a holistic view of shared priorities on the landscape.
Integrated scenarios of the future Northwest U.S. environment: hydrometerological projections for 2050s and 2080s, CMIP5 models, RCP 8.5
Projected change from historical (1950-2005) in several hydrometerological variables under three Global Circulation Models for two time periods (2050s and 2080s) under RCP 8.5. This metadata record documents multiple individual datasets, specifically the change from historical (1950-2005) for 12 hydrometerological variables projected by 3 Global Circulation Models (GCM) over 2 future time periods, for one Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP 8.5) The variables are: Water Deficit, Spring (March-May) Water Deficit, Summer (July-September) Potential Evapotranspiration, Spring (March-May) Potential Evapotranspiration, Summer (July-September) Total Runoff, Summer (June-August) Total Runoff, Spring (March-May)...
FY2015Researchers conducted interviews with sagebrush land managers from Oregon, Idaho and Utah to identify the most relevant variables, threats and management strategies relevant to their specific sagebrush management areas. Managers were also asked to assess a series of web-based climate tools, providing feedback about what features of the tools were most intuitive, interesting and useful, or complicated, unnecessary, and in need of revision. Results from the first phase of the project suggested several directions to improve existing climate tools.
In the Pacific Northwest, temperatures are projected to increase 2-15°F by 2100. Winters are expected to become wetter and summers could become drier. Snowpack will likely decrease substantially, and snowmelt runoff may occur earlier in the year. Wildfires are projected to become more frequent and severe, and forest types are expected to change from maritime evergreen to subtropical mixed-woodlands. Because the impacts of climate change vary from place to place, regionally-specific climate projections are critical to help farmers, foresters, city planners, public utility providers, and fish and wildlife managers plan for how to best manage resources. However, the models that are used to project changes in climate...