USGS - science for a changing world


Seth M Munson

Research Ecologist

Canyonlands Field Station, SBSC

Office Phone: 928-523-7740
Fax: 928-556-9111

Colorado Plateau Research Station
2290 S. West Resource Blvd, Mail Stop 980
Moab , UT 84532

Supervisor: Kathryn A Thomas
The dataset describes rangeland monitoring results from the Hanksville, UT (USA) area. Monitoring results consist of canopy cover of plant species and functional types, in addition to associated soil physical properties, at different ecological sites from 1967 to 2013. The study area in southcentral Utah is bordered on the north by the Wayne-Emery County line, on the west by Capitol Reef National Park, and on the south and east by the Colorado River, Glen Canyon National Recreation Area, and Canyonlands National Park. Cover was estimated every 1 to 5 years (except the last measurement that had a 12 year interval) from 1967 to 2013 at 36 permanently marked sites in 15 livestock grazing allotments/pastures. Canopy...
Explore climate change impacts on vegetation across the Desert and Southern Rockies LCCs using historical monitoring data collected from 23 sites across the Sonoran, Chihuahuan, Mojave and Colorado Plateau deserts for 30-50 years. This data will then be combined with ecosystem water balance model simulations to establish features of water availability critical for plant species response. Results will allow managers to identify species and communities at risk under future climate scenarios based on predicted changes in plant water availability. Due to the high variability in soils, incorporating a detailed understanding of soil water availability beyond bioclimatic envelope approaches in the desert Southwest is essential...
Categories: Project; Types: Map Service, OGC WFS Layer, OGC WMS Layer, OGC WMS Service; Tags: Decision Support, California, New Mexico, climate change, desert southwest, All tags...
The National Park Service (NPS) is charged with conserving natural resources unimpaired for the enjoyment of future generations. Understanding the current status of resources, and anticipating how these resources may change in the future, will help NPS manage their parks more effectively. To monitor the status and long-term trends of selected natural resources, NPS has organized more than 270 parks with significant natural resources into 32 Inventory and Monitoring (I&M) Networks (NPS 2014). All 32 networks have prioritized and selected a set of “vital signs” that are being used to track the condition of selected natural resources. Vital signs are physical, chemical, and biological elements and processes of park...
Abstract (from Woody plant encroachment and overall declines in perennial vegetation in dryland regions can alter ecosystem properties and indicate land degradation, but the causes of these shifts remain controversial. Determining how changes in the abundance and distribution of grass and woody plants are influenced by conditions that regulate water availability at a regional scale provides a baseline to compare how management actions alter the composition of these vegetation types at a more local scale and can be used to predict future shifts under climate change. Using a remote-sensing-based approach, we assessed the balance between grasses and woody plants...
Abstract (from Climate change effects on vegetation will likely be strong in the southwestern U.S., which is projected to experience large increases in temperature and changes in precipitation. Plant communities in the southwestern U.S. may be particularly vulnerable to climate change as the productivity of many plant species is strongly water-limited. This study examines the relationship between climate and vegetation condition using a time-series of Landsat imagery across grassland, shrubland, and woodland communities on the Colorado Plateau, USA. We improve on poorly understood inter-annual climate-vegetation relationships by exploring how the...
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