Recent research and species distribution modeling predict large changes in the distributions of species and vegetation types in the western interior of the United States in response to climate change. This volume reviews existing climate models that predict species and vegetation changes in the western United States, and it synthesizes knowledge about climate change impacts on the native fauna and flora of grasslands, shrublands and deserts of the interior American West. Species' responses will depend not only on their physiological tolerances but also on their phenology, establishment properties, biotic interactions, and capacity to evolve and migrate. The volume is divided into eight chapters that cover the topics of carbon mitigation and adaptation. Current and likely responses of species and habitats to climate change are examined in relation to taxonomic group and ecoregion and with regard to other disturbances. The volume ends with a review of management decision support needs and tools for assessing vulnerability of natural resources and conserving and restoring ecosystems that are or may be impacted by climate change.
Finch, Deborah M., ed. 2012. Climate change in grasslands, shrublands, and deserts of the interior American West: a review and needs assessment. Gen. Tech. Rep. RMRS-GTR-285. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. 139 p.