Webinar: Big sagebrush ecosystem response to changing climate and disturbance

Event Type: 
GNLCC Webinar
Date and Time: 
May 3, 2016 10:00 am to 12:00 pm MDT

Hosts: USFWS R6 Science Applications and the Great Northern, Southern Rockies, Great Basin, and Plains and Prairie Potholes Landscape Conservation Cooperatives


Over the past few years, the USFWS R6 Science Applications program has been able to support several important research studies to increase our understanding of the response of sagebrush ecosystems in a changing world. We have been able to support these studies through a variety of funding sources including Inter-LCC Science Funding, our partnership with the Western Association of Fish and Wildlife Agencies (WAFWA) and the USGS Science Support Program.

We anticipate that the results of these completed and ongoing studies will have multiple applications to the Service’s (and our partners) decisions and management actions relative to conservation across the sagebrush ecosystem, especially in consideration of spatial and temporal dynamics and the ability of specific locales to support dependent vertebrate species.

Presenters: Drs. William Lauenroth and Kyle Palmquist, Department of Botany, University of Wyoming; and Dr. John Bradford, USGS SW Biological Science Center

The PIs will present and discuss several aspects of their research, including:

  • Climate change impacts to the ecohydrology of sagebrush ecosystems
  • How climate change alters ecohydrological suitability to support big sagebrush and the probability of sagebrush regeneration (In progress)
  • How big sagebrush plant communities respond to altered climate and disturbance (In progress)
  • The current plant biodiversity of sagebrush ecosystems
  • How mortality of mature big sagebrush stands is related to environmental conditions, including soil moisture and climatic dynamics (Study initiating summer 2016)



Big sagebrush habitat