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With increasing population growth and land-use change, urban communities in the desert southwest are progressively looking to remote basins to supplement existing water supplies. Recent applications for groundwater appropriations from Dixie Valley, Nevada, a primarily undeveloped basin neighboring the Carson Desert to the east, have prompted a reevaluation of the quantity of naturally discharging groundwater. The objective of this study was to develop a new, independent estimate of groundwater discharge by evapotranspiration (ET) from Dixie Valley using a combination of eddy-covariance evapotranspiration measurements and multispectral satellite imagery. Mean annual groundwater ET (ETg) was estimated during October...
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The Rapid Assessment (RA) vegetation dynamics data help to synthesize the best available knowledge of vegetation dynamics and quantify the natural range of variability in vegetation composition and structure. Models consist of two components: (1) a comprehensive description and (2) a quantitative, state-and-transition (box) model, created in the public domain software VDDT (Vegetation Dynamics Development Tool; Beukema et al. 2003). RA vegetation models were based on a simple, standardized five-box model that combines three generic succession stages with two canopy cover classes. Each class is specifically defined for individual models. Variations on this standardized model were also developed. Models were developed...
The Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy (hereafter Strategy, DOI 2015) outlined the need for coordinated, science-based adaptive management to achieve long-term protection, conservation, and restoration of the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem. A key component of this management approach is the identification of knowledge gaps that limit implementation of effective strategies to meet current management challenges. The tasks and actions identified in the Strategy address several broad topics related to management of the sagebrush ecosystem. This science plan is organized around these topics and specifically focuses on fire, invasive plant species and their effects on altering fire regimes, restoration,...
The spread and impacts of exotic species are unambiguous, global threats to many ecosystems. A prominent example is the suite of annual grasses in the Bromus genus (Bromus hereafter) that originate from Europe and Eurasia but have invaded or are invading large areas of the Western USA. This book brings a diverse, multidisciplinary group of authors together to synthesize current knowledge, research needs, and management implications for Bromus. Exotic plant invasions are multifaceted problems, and understanding and managing them requires the biological, ecological, sociological, and economic perspectives that are integrated in this book. Knowing how well information from one geographic or environmental setting can...
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The Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center 's mission is to provide scientific understanding and the technology needed to support sound management and conservation of our nation's natural resources, with emphasis on western ecosystems. The scientists from FRESC capitalize on their diverse expertise to answer critically important scientific questions shaped by the equally diverse environments of the western United States. FRESC scientists collaborate with each other and with partners to provide rigorous, objective, and timely information and guidance for the management and conservation of biological systems in the West and worldwide. Research activities are concentrated in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Nevada,...
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During the Pliocene to middle Pleistocene, pluvial lakes in the western Great Basin repeatedly rose to levels much higher than those of the well-documented late Pleistocene pluvial lakes, and some presently isolated basins were connected. Sedimentologic, geomorphic, and chronologic evidence at sites shown on the map indicates that Lakes Lahontan and Columbus-Rennie were as much as 70 m higher in the early-middle Pleistocene than during their late Pleistocene high stands. Lake Lahontan at its 1400-m shoreline level would submerge present-day Reno, Carson City, and Battle Mountain, and would flood other now-dry basins. To the east, Lakes Jonathan (new name), Diamond, Newark, and Hubbs also reached high stands during...
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The distribution and abundance of cheatgrass, an invasive annual grass native to Eurasia, has increased substantially across the Intermountain West, including the Great Basin. Cheatgrass is highly flammable, and as it has expanded, the extent and frequency of fire in the Great Basin has increased by as much as 200%. These changes in fire regimes are associated with loss of the native sagebrush, grasses, and herbaceous flowering plants that provide habitat for many native animals, including Greater Sage-Grouse. Changes in vegetation and fire management have been suggested with the intent of conserving Greater Sage-Grouse. However, the potential responses of other sensitive-status birds to these changes in management...
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This raster dataset depicts percent canopy cover derived from 1-m conifer classifications when aggregated to 30-m cells. Conifer features were classified from 2010, 2012, and 2013 NAIP Digital Ortho Quarter Quads (DOQQ) using the Feature Analyst 5.0 extension for ArcGIS 10.1. Tiles were organized and grouped by Nevada Department of Wildlife Population Management Unit (PMU) locations, plus a 10 km area beyond the PMU extent. Analysts visually identified conifers in the imagery using false color infrared settings and digitized multiple trees per tile as training locations for classification. After performing hierarchical learning and clutter removal with Feature Analyst to remove non-conifer features on output shapefiles,...
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SWPA_alvbsn is a vector dataset of alluvial-fill basin statistics for the Southwest United States. Statistics for each basin include physical details such as area, landcover, elevation, slope and precipitation. Anthropogenic data for basin include landuse, population, and wateruse.
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Cheatgrass began invading the Great Basin about 100 years ago, changing large parts of the landscape from a rich, diverse ecosystem to one where a single invasive species dominates. Cheatgrass dominated areas experience more fires that burn more land than in native ecosystems, resulting in economic and resource losses. Therefore, the reduced production, or absence, of cheatgrass in previously invaded areas during years of adequate precipitation could be seen as a windfall. However, this cheatgrass dieoff phenomenon creates other problems for land managers like accelerated soil erosion, loss of early spring food supply for livestock and wildlife, and unknown recovery pathways. We used satellite data and scientific...
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These data represent modeled stream temperatures for a portion of a larger dataset known as the Great Northern Landscape Conservation Cooperative (GNLCC) (http://greatnorthernlcc.org/). This metadata record is a combined description for two spatial data feature types, vector lines and points, which cover the same geographic area. The line features are derived from NHDPlus (http://www.horizon-systems.com/NHDPlus/index.php) (USEPA and USGS, 2010) stream lines and the point data represent 1 km intervals along the NHDPlus stream network. Both datasets contain identical modeled stream temperature attributes. These modeled stream temperatures were generated as part of the U.S. Forest Service NorWeST stream temperature...
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FY2014The goals for the project are1) Develop a Walker River Vision document which will include Traditional Ecological Knowledge (TEK) of the traditional plants, wildlife, fish and water located on the reservation and traditional hunting/ gathering areas of the Agai Dicutta Numa (Walker River Paiutes) for use in future resource management planning and cultural sustainability..2) Develop a pilot project along the Walker River on the reservation by planting willows and other traditional plants to determine best practices for re-vegetation.This project will focus on GBLCC Goal 2: Focus science and management actions to sustain natural resources in the context of changing environmental conditions.The proposed project...
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FY2013The proposed project’s objective is to provide a scientific review of(1) current priority species management practices in Nevada, (2) status of our combined scientific knowledge of priority species’ needs and gaps in that knowledge, and(3) adequacy of current monitoring programs of priority species.The project builds on recent, well-researched species conservation plans for Nevada (GBBO 2010, NWPT 2012), and it will leverage funds that are already obligated to research on scientifically based disturbance buffer recommendations and to evaluate GBBO’s statewide landbird monitoring program, the Nevada Bird Count.The outcome of the proposed work will be an online open-source compendium document that summarizes...
A genecological approach was used to explore genetic variation for survival in Artemisia tridentata (big sagebrush). Artemisia tridentata is a widespread and foundational shrub species in western North America. This species has become extremely fragmented, to the detriment of dependent wildlife, and efforts to restore it are now a land manage-ment priority. Common- garden experiments were established at three sites with seed-lings from 55 source- populations. Populations included each of the three predominant subspecies, and cytotype variations. Survival was monitored for 5 years to assess dif-ferences in survival between gardens and populations. We found evidence of adap-tive genetic variation for survival. Survival...
On August 25, 2015 speaker Matt Germino presented on his work restoring sagebrush in the Great Basin. Shrubs are ecosystem foundation species in most of the Great Basin’s landscapes. Most of the species, including sagebrush, are poorly adapted to the changes in fire and invasive pressures that are compounded by climate change. This presentation gives an overview of challenges and opportunities regarding restoration of sagebrush and blackbrush, focusing on climate adaptation, selection of seeds and achieving seeding and planting success. Results from Great Basin LCC supported research on seed selection and planting techniques are presented.
Melanism (dark coloration) is a condition resulting from a greater than normal expres-sion of the eumelanin pigments in the plumage (Gill 1990). The dark coloration can be advantageous to raptors by increasing the feathers’ resistance to bacterial degradation (Goldstein et al. 2004). conversely, abnormally dark pigmentation can reduce success in pairing by disguising key species-identification cues (García 2003) and decrease lifetime reproductive success by increasing mortality (krüger and lindström 2001). Polymorphism in color, of which melanism is one example, occurs in at least 3.5% of avian species worldwide and in 22% of raptors of the family Accipitridae (harriers, hawks, eagles, kites, and Old World vultures;...
The distribution of the greater sage-grouse (hereafter sage-grouse; Centrocercus urophasianus) has declined to 56% of its pre-settlement distribution (Schroeder et al. 2004) and abundance of males attending leks has decreased substantially over the past 50 years throughout the species’ range (Garton et al. 2011, Garton et al. 2015, WAFWA 2015). Livestock grazing is a common land use within sage-grouse habitat, and livestock grazing has been implicated by some experts as one of numerous factors contributing to sage-grouse population declines (Beck and Mitchell 2000, Schroeder et al. 2004). However, there are also numerous mechanisms by which livestock grazing might benefit sage-grouse (Beck and Mitchell 2000, Crawford...
This presentation aired as part of the Great Basin LCC webinar series on December 6, 2017. The presentation was given by Dr. Tamara Wall of the Desert Research InstituteOne of the challenges facing public land managers in the Great Basin is identifying adaptation strategies to increase resiliency to climate change in an area that is already struggling with profound environmental challenges. Recent efforts to understand how the Great Basin weathered past droughts and climate variability may offer insight into approaches that could work in future decades. One approach to gather this information is to understand Traditional Knowledge. Gathering this information is challenging and requires an acknowledgment that much...


map background search result map search result map Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Cheatgrass Die-Off Areas in the Northern Great Basin Extent of Pleistocene Lakes in the Western Great Basin Evaluating Species Management Guidance and Monitoring Programs for the Great Basin in Nevada 1:24,000-scale Hydrographic Areas for Humboldt River Basin, Nevada Alluvial basin statistics of the Southwest Principal Aquifers (SWPA) study. LANDFIRE Rapid Assessment Reference Condition Model: Black sage Temperature Normalized Enhanced Vegetation Index for Dixie Valley, Churchill County, Nevada Great Basin Historic and Predicted Stream Temps Walker River Paiute Tribe TEK Project Percent canopy cover of conifers within Nevada and northeastern California sage-grouse habitat (2017) Walker River Paiute Tribe TEK Project Temperature Normalized Enhanced Vegetation Index for Dixie Valley, Churchill County, Nevada LANDFIRE Rapid Assessment Reference Condition Model: Black sage Modeling Effects of Climate Change on Cheatgrass Die-Off Areas in the Northern Great Basin 1:24,000-scale Hydrographic Areas for Humboldt River Basin, Nevada Evaluating Species Management Guidance and Monitoring Programs for the Great Basin in Nevada Percent canopy cover of conifers within Nevada and northeastern California sage-grouse habitat (2017) Extent of Pleistocene Lakes in the Western Great Basin Great Basin Historic and Predicted Stream Temps Alluvial basin statistics of the Southwest Principal Aquifers (SWPA) study.