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July 29-130-Curtis Talbot

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2019 SWCS International Annual Conference
July 28-31, 2019
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

Published in: Environment
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July 29-130-Curtis Talbot

  1. 1. Accounting for Climate Variability in State and Transition Models on Rangelands: History, Status, Lessons Learned Curtis Talbot USDA-NRCS
  2. 2. USDA-NRCS-National Ecological Site Handbook
  3. 3. Loamy Plains Range Site Description MLRA 49 & 70 USDA-NRCS-Colorado FOTG July 1981
  4. 4. Sandy Ecological Site Description MLRA 42 Ecosystem Dynamics Interpretive Tool June 2019
  5. 5. Sandy Ecological Site Description MLRA 42 Ecosystem Dynamics Interpretive Tool June 2019
  6. 6. Sandy Ecological Site Description MLRA 42 Ecosystem Dynamics Interpretive Tool June 2019 How can we capture climate change in the data?
  7. 7. Albuquerque Climate 1920-2009 1920-49 1930-59 1940-69 1950-79 1960-89 1970-99 1980-09 1990-19 2000-29 2010-39 2020-49 6.5 7 7.5 8 8.5 9 9.5 10 55.5 56 56.5 57 57.5 58 58.5 59 59.5 60 60.5 Precipitation(“) Temperature (F) Western Regional Climate Center wrcc@dri.edu Environmental Protection Agency What climate change may mean for the Albuquerque region 2014
  8. 8. How can we capture climate change in the STM? Reference State (Grassland with scattered shrubs) Projected State (Shrub dominance with increased bare patches) Climate Change Or…
  9. 9. How can we capture climate change in the STM? Climate Change
  10. 10. Factors to consider with projected climate change… • Models project linear change, but the “peaks and valleys” may have a greater impact on natural resources • For the Desert Southwest, most models predict an increase in high-intensity storm events • High-intensity storm events often serve as triggers for transitions between ecological states • Flooding • Lightning strike fires • Climate averages may remain stable, but seasonality could change
  11. 11. Factors to consider with projected climate change… • Plant and animal response to climate change may occur at a different temporal scale than the climate • Episodic weather events may eliminate certain species (or at least certain populations) • In order for plant species to take advantage of decreased competition, they must have access to their preferred vectors of spreading • Wind • Flooding • Carrier species (including humans) • Many plant species have a narrow climate range for germination, but can tolerate a wider range once established • Topography will impact the spread of species
  12. 12. Final thoughts… • Any attempts to model climate change in the ecological site description must be applicable to management, both temporally and economically • NRCS has a relatively new ecological site database, which will likely be the platform for displaying and interpreting the state & transition model • Ecosystem Dynamics Interpretive Tool • edit.jornada.nmsu.edu
  13. 13. Thank you! • Questions and /or comments? • Suggestions for future model / database development regarding climate change on rangeland, contact: • Brandon Bestelmeyer • brandon.Bestelmeyer@ars.usda.gov • Joel Brown • joel.brown@usda.gov • Curtis Talbot • curtis.talbot@usda.gov “The findings and conclusions in this presentation are those of the authors and should not be construed to represent any official USDA or U.S. Government determination or policy.”

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