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Projecting the Future Encroachment of Woody Vegetation into Grasslands of the Northern Great Plains by Simulating Climate Conditions and Possible Management Actions

Projecting Future Effects of Land Management, Natural Disturbance, and CO2 on Woody Encroachment in the Northern Great Plains in a Changing Climate


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Maintaining the native prairie lands of the Northern Great Plains (NGP), which provide an important habitat for declining grassland species, requires anticipating the effects of increasing atmospheric carbon dioxide (CO2) concentrations and climate change on the region’s vegetation. Specifically, climate change threatens NGP grasslands by increasing the potential encroachment of native woody species into areas where they were previously only present in minor numbers. This project used a dynamic vegetation model to simulate vegetation type (grassland, shrubland, woodland, and forest) for the NGP for a range of projected future climates and relevant management scenarios. Comparing results of these simulations illustrates the sensitivity [...]

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“South Dakota grasslands - Tom Koerner, USFWS”
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