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Melanism (dark coloration) is a condition resulting from a greater than normal expres-sion of the eumelanin pigments in the plumage (Gill 1990). The dark coloration can be advantageous to raptors by increasing the feathers’ resistance to bacterial degradation (Goldstein et al. 2004). conversely, abnormally dark pigmentation can reduce success in pairing by disguising key species-identification cues (García 2003) and decrease lifetime reproductive success by increasing mortality (krüger and lindström 2001). Polymorphism in color, of which melanism is one example, occurs in at least 3.5% of avian species worldwide and in 22% of raptors of the family Accipitridae (harriers, hawks, eagles, kites, and Old World vultures;...
Emerging applications of ecosystem resilience and resistance concepts in sagebrush ecosystems allow managers to better predict and mitigate impacts of wildfire and invasive annual grasses. Soil temperature and moisture strongly influence the kind and amount of vegetation, and consequently, are closely tied to sagebrush ecosystem resilience and resistance (Chambers et al. 2014, 2016). Soil taxonomic temperature and moisture regimes can be used as indicators of resilience and resistance at landscape scales to depict environmental gradients in sagebrush ecosystems that range from cold/cool-moist sites to warm-dry sites. We aggregated soil survey spatial and tabular data to facilitate broad-scale analyses of resilience...
The loss of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) on sites disturbed by fire has motivated restoration seeding and planting efforts. However, the resulting sagebrush establishment is often lower than desired, especially in dry areas. Sagebrush establishment may be increased by addressing factors such as seed source and condition or management of the plant community. We assessed initial establishment of seeded sagebrush and four populations of small outplants (from different geographies, climates, and cytotypes) and small sagebrush outplants in an early seral community where mowing, herbicide, and seeding of other native plants had been experimentally applied. No emergence of seeded sagebrush was detected. Mowing...
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This report summarizes activities and data collection outcomes for Cooperative Agreement Award F16AC01182, specifically those research activities conducted as a multi-scale assessment of the effects of juniper removal on songbird, small mammal, and raptor/corvid species. In 2017, we conducted 270 surveys for songbirds, 10 surveys for small mammals, and 77 surveys for avian predators that potentially affect greater sage-grouse. We detected 45 songbird species, 6 mammal species, and 9 species of aerial predators. Data collected by PhD student Aaron Young (aarony@uidaho.edu) will be used as part of a doctoral dissertation. Final products are expected to include a final report, a graduate student dissertation and associated...
Content Changing aspen distribution in response to climate change and fire is a major focus of biodiversity conservation, yet little is known about the potential response of aspen to these two driving forces along topoclimatic gradients. Objective This study is set to evaluate how aspen distribution might shift in response to different climate-fire scenarios in a semi-arid montane landscape, and quantify the influence of fire regime along topoclimatic gradients. Methods We used a novel integration of a forest landscape succession and disturbance model (LANDIS-II) with a fine-scale climatic water deficit approach to simulate dynamics of aspen and associated conifer and shrub species over the next 150 years under...
There is widespread evidence that multiple drivers of global change, such as habitat degradation, invasive species, and climate change, are influencing wildlife. Understanding how these drivers interact with and affect species may be difficult because outcomes depend on the magnitude and duration of environmental change and the life history of the organism. In addition, various environmental drivers may be evaluated and managed at different spatial scales. We used a historical dataset from 1991 to 1994 and current information from 2010 to 2012 to examine whether occupancy patterns of wintering raptors were consistent with regional changes in distribution or habitat conditions within a local management unit, the...
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Values represent percent of surrounding landscape (5K) are dominated by sagebrush cover. Reclassified LANDFIRE 2013 Existing Vegetation Type by selecting the ecological systems containing sagebrush (Codes: 2080, 2125, 2126, 2220, 2064, 2072, 2079, 2124) to create a binary raster dataset with 1 for the sagebrush land cover types and zero for all others.To incorporate sagebrush lost to fire in fires since the Landsat was flown in 2010 that Landfire was derived from, I used fire perimeters from 2011,2012, & 2013 to reclassify pixels designated as having sagebrush as 0 (not having sagebrush), which assumes a homogenous burn (in reality there may be patches of sagebrush left within a burn perimeter). I then ran focalsum...
Emerging applications of ecosystem resilience and resistance concepts in sagebrush ecosystems allow managers to better predict and mitigate impacts of wildfire and invasive annual grasses. Soil temperature and moisture strongly influence the kind and amount of vegetation, and consequently, are closely tied to sagebrush ecosystem resilience and resistance (Chambers et al. 2014, 2016). Soil taxonomic temperature and moisture regimes can be used as indicators of resilience and resistance at landscape scales to depict environmental gradients in sagebrush ecosystems that range from cold/cool-moist sites to warm-dry sites. We aggregated soil survey spatial and tabular data to facilitate broad-scale analyses of resilience...
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Emerging applications of ecosystem resilience and resistance concepts in sagebrush ecosystems allow managers to better predict and mitigate impacts of wildfire and invasive annual grasses. Soil temperature and moisture strongly influence the kind and amount of vegetation, and consequently, are closely tied to sagebrush ecosystem resilience and resistance (Chambers et al. 2014). Soil taxonomic temperature and moisture regimes can be used as indicators of resilience and resistance at landscape scales to depict environmental gradients in sagebrush ecosystems that range from cold/cool-moist sites to warm-dry sites. We aggregated soil survey spatial and tabular data to facilitate broad-scale analyses of resilience and...
On October 27, Paul Rogers of the Western Aspen Alliance discussed the impact of climate change on aspen ecosystems, with an emphasis on aspen fire types.The presentation covered the variability of aspen responses to fire and emphasized unique fire-related systems to wean practitioners from one-size-fits-all prescriptions for aspen forests. The Western Aspen Alliance is a partnership established to improve the management of aspen by linking ecological, social and economic sciences through collaboration and information sharing.
Emerging applications of ecosystem resilience and resistance concepts in sagebrush ecosystems allow managers to better predict and mitigate impacts of wildfire and invasive annual grasses. Soil temperature and moisture strongly influence the kind and amount of vegetation, and consequently, are closely tied to sagebrush ecosystem resilience and resistance (Chambers et al. 2014). Soil taxonomic temperature and moisture regimes can be used as indicators of resilience and resistance at landscape scales to depict environmental gradients in sagebrush ecosystems that range from cold/cool-moist sites to warm-dry sites. We aggregated soil survey spatial and tabular data to facilitate broad-scale analyses of resilience and...
Understanding local and geographic factors influencing species distributions is a prerequisite for conservation planning. Our objective in this study was to model local and geographic variability in elevations occupied by native and nonnative trout in the northwestern Great Basin, USA. To this end, we analyzed a large existing data set of trout presence (5,156 observations) to evaluate two fundamental factors influencing occupied elevations: climate-related gradients in geography and local constraints imposed by topography. We applied quantile regression to model upstream and downstream distribution elevation limits for each trout species commonly found in the region (two native and two nonnative species). With...
Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) is the most widespread tree species in North America, and it is found throughout much of the Mountain West (MW) across a broad range of bioclimatic regions. Aspen typically regenerates asexually and prolifically after fire, and due to its seral status in many western conifer forests, aspen is often considered dependent upon disturbance for persistence. In many landscapes, historical evidence for post-fire aspen establishment is clear, and following extended fire-free periods senescing or declining aspen overstories sometimes lack adequate regeneration and are succeeding to conifers. However, aspen also forms relatively stable stands that contain little or no evidence of...
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Emerging applications of ecosystem resilience and resistance concepts in sagebrush ecosystems allow managers to better predict and mitigate impacts of wildfire and invasive annual grasses. Soil temperature and moisture strongly influence the kind and amount of vegetation, and consequently, are closely tied to sagebrush ecosystem resilience and resistance (Chambers et al. 2014, 2016). Soil taxonomic temperature and moisture regimes can be used as indicators of resilience and resistance at landscape scales to depict environmental gradients in sagebrush ecosystems that range from cold/cool-moist sites to warm-dry sites. We aggregated soil survey spatial and tabular data to facilitate broad-scale analyses of resilience...
Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides) woodlands are expected to be sensitive to climate change, and have declined in parts of the West. Great Basin mountain ranges may be near the limits of aspen’s climatic threshold, in terms of temperature and aridity, and thus are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Birds associating with aspen are likely to undergo regional population fluctuations and changes in distribution as a result of changes in aspen availability or distribution. Thus, understanding the habitat relationships of avian communities in aspen and other montane cover types is important for tracking the impacts of future landscape change. The mountainous terrain of the Humboldt-Toiyabe National Forest in...
Studies of multiple taxa across broad-scales suggest that species distributions are shifting poleward in response to global climate change. Recognizing the influence of distribution shifts on population indices will be an important part of interpreting trends within management units because current practice often assumes that changes in local populations reflect local habitat conditions. However, the individual- and population-level processes that drive distribution shifts may occur across a large, regional scale and have little to do with the habitats within the management unit. We examined the latitudinal center of abundance for the winter distributions of six western North America raptor species using Christmas...
Emerging applications of ecosystem resilience and resistance concepts in sagebrush ecosystems allow managers to better predict and mitigate impacts of wildfire and invasive annual grasses. Soil temperature and moisture strongly influence the kind and amount of vegetation, and consequently, are closely tied to sagebrush ecosystem resilience and resistance (Chambers et al. 2014, 2016). Soil taxonomic temperature and moisture regimes can be used as indicators of resilience and resistance at landscape scales to depict environmental gradients in sagebrush ecosystems that range from cold/cool-moist sites to warm-dry sites. We aggregated soil survey spatial and tabular data to facilitate broad-scale analyses of resilience...
• Aspen communities are biologically rich and ecologically valuable, yet they face myriad threats, including changing climate, altered fire regimes, and excessive browsing by domestic and wild ungulates.• Recognizing the different types of aspen communities that occur in the Great Basin, and being able to distinguish between seral and stable aspen stands, can help managers better identify restoration needs and objectives.• Identifying key threats to aspen regeneration and persistence in a given stand or landscape is important to designing restoration plans, and to selecting appropriate treatment types.• Although some aspen stands will need intensive treatment (e.g., use of fire) to persist or remain healthy, other...
Quaking aspen is generally considered to be a fire-adapted species because it regenerates prolifically after fire, and it can be replaced by more shade-tolerant tree species in the absence of fire. As early-successional aspen stands transition to greater conifer-dominance, they become increasingly fire prone, until fire returns, and aspen again temporarily dominate. While this disturbance-succession cycle is critical to the persistence of aspen on many landscapes, some aspen stands persist on the landscape without fire. The complex role of fire is an important consideration for developing conservation and restoration strategies intended to sustain aspen.
Precipitation amount and seasonal timing determine the duration and distribution of water available for plant and microbial activity in the cold desert sagebrush steppe. In this study, we sought to determine if a sustained shift in the amount and timing of precipitation would affect soil microbial diversity, community composition, and soil carbon (C) storage. Field plots were irrigated (+200 mm) during the dormant or growing-season for 17 years. Microbial community responses were assessed over the course of a year at two depths (15–20 cm, 95–100 cm) by terminal restriction fragment length polymorphism (T-RFLP), along with co-occurring changes in plant cover and edaphic properties. Bacterial richness, Shannon Weaver...


map background search result map search result map Dataset: Sagebrush MW5k Percent Dataset: Index of Relative Ecosystem Resilience and Resistance across Sage-Grouse Management Zones Progress Report: Multi-scale assessment of wildlife response after juniper removal in a sagebrush steppe landscape Progress Report: Multi-scale assessment of wildlife response after juniper removal in a sagebrush steppe landscape Dataset: Index of Relative Ecosystem Resilience and Resistance across Sage-Grouse Management Zones Dataset: Sagebrush MW5k Percent