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Keyword: drought

Climate variability, carbon, drought and fire, in arid-semi-arid ecosystems

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 01, 2019
Using the best available science and tools, we can project the effects of today’s management actions on tomorrow’s non-forest vegetation assemblage, carbon, and productivity while considering changing climates. 

A tool for projecting rangeland vegetation response to management and climate

Publications Posted on: July 01, 2019
New technologies may enhance management by enabling quantitative testing of assumptions of vegetation response to climate and management. State-and-transition simulation models can keep track of interactions that are too complicated for us to comprehend using only conceptual models. This tool takes conceptual state-and-transition models to the next level, fostering greater communication and dialogue with stakeholders.

Examining the patterns and processes of grassland resiliency to drought

Projects Posted on: November 02, 2018
With increasing temperatures due to climate change and the inherent interannual variability in precipitation of most grasslands, droughts will likely increase in frequency and intensity across the Great Plains. Precipitation legacies from previous years can impact current year productivity in arid grasslands by shifting tiller and bud bank densities of the dominant grasses. Belowground bud survival during drought and the ability of buds to break dormancy following drought are key to maintaining a resilient grassland in both arid and mesic grasslands.

Ecology and management of sand shinnery communities: a literature review

Publications Posted on: August 01, 2018
Sand shinnery is codominated by oak shrubs and mid and tallgrasses; the grasses are usually taller than the oaks. The shrubs are the small, visible shoots of massive underground stem systems, which are hundreds or thousands of years old. Sand shinnery occupies 5 to 7 M acres in western Oklahoma, western Texas, and southeastern New Mexico.

Our forests in the [water] balance

Pages Posted on: May 15, 2018
  Climate change is not only causing temperatures to rise, it is also altering the amount and type of precipitation that falls across the western United States. Research shows a trend of increasingly dry “dry years,” meaning droughts are becoming more severe and streams are flowing lower during these periods. Forests play an important role in delivering high quality water to streams, but climate change is affecting this role. Drought can cause tree mortality due to lack of water or reduced resistance to insects and disease. Dry fuels and stressed vegetation in forests also increases the potential for large wildfires. When many trees die in a forest fire or from disease or insect outbreaks, the amount of water entering nearby streams often increases. However, so does the delivery of sediment to these streams through erosion. These changes call on resource managers and communities in the West to start conversations today about addressing water supplies in the future. In addition, silviculturists, fuel specialists, and aquatic ecologists can work together to maintain a holistic view of ecosystems that, above all, considers where forests fit in the water balance.

Invasive Species Science Update (No. 10)

Publications Posted on: April 26, 2018
In this issue, we cover new research on wide-ranging topics from the longterm effects of drought on competition between native and invasive plant species, to the effects of drought on pollinator visitation to invasive plants, to a novel use of insect pheromones to improve biocontrol of invasive saltcedar.

Global patterns of drought recovery

Publications Posted on: April 10, 2018
Drought, a recurring phenomenon with major impacts on both human and natural systems is the most widespread climatic extreme that negatively affects the land carbon sink. Although twentieth-century trends in drought regimes are ambiguous, across many regions more frequent and severe droughts are expected in the twenty-first century.

Fine-scale spatial climate variation and drought mediate the likelihood of reburning

Publications Posted on: March 27, 2018
In many forested ecosystems, it is increasingly recognized that the probability of burning is substantially reduced within the footprint of previously burned areas.

MODIS-based annual production estimates from 2000-2015 for rangelands in USFS grazing allotments in Region 5

Datasets Posted on: March 15, 2018
This data publication contains an ESRI grid dataset describing annual productivity and drought in the non-forest domain of Region 5 (California) of the United States Forest Service (USFS). Production data were generated from the Rangeland Vegetation Simulator (RVS).

Tree mortality estimates and species distribution probabilities in southeastern United States forests

Publications Posted on: October 05, 2017
Stresses to trees under a changing climate can lead to changes in forest tree survival, mortality and distribution.  For instance, a study examining the effects of human-induced climate change on forest biodiversity by Hansen and others (2001) predicted a 32% reduction in loblolly–shortleaf pine habitat across the eastern United States.  However, they also predicted an average increase in area of 34% for oak-hickory forests and a 290% increase