Skip to Main Content
U.S. Forest Service
Caring for the land and serving people

United States Department of Agriculture

Home > Search > Publication Information

 Due to a lapse in federal funding, this USDA website will not be actively updated. Once funding has been reestablished, online operations will continue.


  1. Share via EmailShare on FacebookShare on LinkedInShare on Twitter
    Dislike this pubLike this pub
    Author(s): Mary M. Rowland; Lowell H. Suring; Michael J. Wisdom
    Date: 2010
    Source: In: Pye, John M.; Rauscher, H. Michael; Sands, Yasmeen; Lee, Danny C.; Beatty, Jerome S., tech. eds. Advances in threat assessment and their application to forest and rangeland management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-802. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations: 673-685
    Publication Series: General Technical Report (GTR)
    Station: Pacific Northwest Research Station
    PDF: View PDF  (423.0 KB)

    Description

    The sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem is one of the most imperiled in the United States. In the Great Basin ecoregion and elsewhere, catastrophic wildland fires are often followed by the invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.), eliminating or altering millions of hectares of sagebrush and other shrublands. Sagebrush in the Great Basin also is threatened by displacement from encroaching pinyon-juniper woodlands. Despite these changes, the ecoregion retains some of the Nation’s largest remaining expanses of sagebrush, most of which are federally managed. Because of these losses and degradation, sagebrush associated species are declining. To address these issues, we conducted a regional assessment of habitat threats for 40 sagebrush-associated vertebrates of concern in the Great Basin. Our goals were to (1) evaluate habitat conditions for species of concern for conservation planning and management, (2) demonstrate the application of new methods of regional threat assessment in shrubland communities, and (3) describe implications of results for management. Our analyses suggested that more than 55 percent (4.8 million ha) of sagebrush in the Great Basin is at moderate or high risk of being displaced by cheatgrass. Cheatgrass invasion also threatens other shrubland communities, particularly salt desert scrub (96 percent; 7.1 million ha at moderate or high risk). Substantial areas of sagebrush (41 percent; 2.0 million ha) were predicted to be at moderate or high risk of displacement by pinyon-juniper in the eastern Great Basin. Although little sagebrush (less than 1 percent) was at high risk to both threats, more than one-third was at high risk to cheatgrass and low or moderate risk from woodlands. Habitat loss, including sagebrush and other native plant communities, to cheatgrass could exceed 65 percent (8 million ha) for some of the 40 vertebrate species evaluated. Maintenance and restoration of native shrublands in the Great Basin will require both active and passive management to mitigate the formidable threats posed by cheatgrass and pinyon-juniper woodland expansion.

    Publication Notes

    • You may send email to pnw_pnwpubs@fs.fed.us to request a hard copy of this publication.
    • (Please specify exactly which publication you are requesting and your mailing address.)
    • We recommend that you also print this page and attach it to the printout of the article, to retain the full citation information.
    • This article was written and prepared by U.S. Government employees on official time, and is therefore in the public domain.

    Citation

    Rowland, Mary M.; Suring, Lowell H.; Wisdom, Michael J. 2010. Assessment of habitat threats to shrublands in the Great Basin: a case study. In: Pye, John M.; Rauscher, H. Michael; Sands, Yasmeen; Lee, Danny C.; Beatty, Jerome S., tech. eds. Advances in threat assessment and their application to forest and rangeland management. Gen. Tech. Rep. PNW-GTR-802. Portland, OR: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest and Southern Research Stations: 673-685.

    Keywords

    Cheatgrass, Great Basin, models, pinyonjuniper woodlands, sagebrush, threats.

    Related Search


    XML: View XML
Show More
Show Fewer
Jump to Top of Page
https://www.fs.usda.gov/treesearch/pubs/37092