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Agreement and uncertainty among climate change impact models: A synthesis of sagebrush steppe vegetation predictions


A newer version of this resource http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/3b420b738128411e8e1e11b38b83b5f1 is available that replaces this version.
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Resource type: Composite Resource
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Created: Sep 30, 2019 at 8:03 p.m.
Last updated: Oct 02, 2019 at 9:21 p.m.
DOI: 10.4211/hs.6af3a8cc235d43a6a5be13298aee0af2
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Content types: Geographic Feature Content  Geographic Raster Content 
Sharing Status: Published
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Abstract

Ecologists have built numerous models to predict how climate change will impact vegetation, but these predictions are difficult to validate, making their utility for land management planning unclear. In the absence of direct validation, researchers can ask whether predictions from varying models are consistent. Here, we analyzed 43 models of climate change impacts on sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.), cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), pinyon-juniper (Pinus spp. and Juniperus spp.), and forage production on Bureau of Land Management (BLM) lands in the United States Intermountain West. These models consistently projected pinyon-juniper declines, forage production increases, and the potential for sagebrush increases in some regions of the Intermountain West. In contrast, models of cheatgrass did not predict consistent changes, making cheatgrass projections uncertain. While differences in emission scenarios had little influence on model projections, predictions from different modeling approaches were inconsistent in some cases. This model-choice uncertainty emphasizes the importance of comparisons such as this.
The projected vegetation changes have important management implications for agencies such as the BLM. Pinyon-juniper declines would reduce the BLM’s need to control pinyon-juniper encroachment, and increases in forage production could benefit livestock and wildlife populations in some regions. Sagebrush habitat may benefit where sagebrush is predicted to increase, but sagebrush conservation and restoration projects will be challenged in areas where climate may not remain hospitable. Projected vegetation changes may also interact with increasing future wildfire risk, potentially impacting vegetation and increasing management challenges related to fire.

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Resource Level Coverage

Spatial

Coordinate System/Geographic Projection:
WGS 84 EPSG:4326
Coordinate Units:
Decimal degrees
Place/Area Name:
U.S. Intermountain West
North Latitude
50.0991°
East Longitude
-102.1032°
South Latitude
30.0401°
West Longitude
-121.7907°

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This resource has been replaced by newer version: http://www.hydroshare.org/resource/3b420b738128411e8e1e11b38b83b5f1

Credits

Funding Agencies

This resource was created using funding from the following sources:
Agency Name Award Title Award Number
National Science Foundation
The Wilderness Society

How to Cite

Zimmer, S., G. Grosklos, P. Adler, P. Belmont (2019). Agreement and uncertainty among climate change impact models: A synthesis of sagebrush steppe vegetation predictions, HydroShare, https://doi.org/10.4211/hs.6af3a8cc235d43a6a5be13298aee0af2

This resource is shared under the Creative Commons Attribution CC BY.

 http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/
CC-BY

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