Skip to main content
USGS - science for a changing world

Extreme precipitation variability, forage quality and large herbivore diet selection in arid environments


Publication Date


Cain, J.W., 2017, Extreme precipitation variability, forage quality and large herbivore diet selection in arid environments: US Geological Survey data release,


Nutritional ecology forms the interface between environmental variability and large herbivore behaviour, life history characteristics, and population dynamics. Forage conditions in arid and semi-arid regions are driven by unpredictable spatial and temporal patterns in rainfall. Diet selection by herbivores should be directed towards overcoming the most pressing nutritional limitation (i.e. energy, protein [nitrogen, N], moisture) within the constraints imposed by temporal and spatial variability in forage conditions. We investigated the influence of precipitation-induced shifts in forage nutritional quality and subsequent large herbivore responses across widely varying precipitation conditions in an arid environment. Specifically, [...]


Point of Contact :
James Cain
Originator :
James W Cain
Metadata Contact :
James Cain
Publisher :
Distributor :
U.S. Geological Survey - ScienceBase
USGS Mission Area :
Land Resources
SDC Data Owner :
Climate Adaptation Science Centers

Attached Files

Click on title to download individual files attached to this item.

LevinsNicheBreadth.csv 11.98 KB
Original FGDC Metadata

18.34 KB


The purpose of this study was to assess potential nutritional limitations in available forage for desert bighorn sheep across widely varying precipitation conditions ranging from drought to wet periods in the Sonoran Desert.



  • National CASC
  • National and Regional Climate Adaptation Science Centers
  • USGS Data Release Products

Associated Items



Data source
Input directly

Additional Information


Type Scheme Key
DOI doi:10.5066/F7B856CS

Item Actions

View Item as ...

Save Item as ...

View Item...