Event Title

Retrospective Approaches to Evaluate Resilience of Aspen, Mountain Mahogany, and Sagebrush Communities to Drought

Presenter Information

Patrick J. Anderson
Timothy J. Assal

Location

USU Eccles Conference Center

Abstract

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) is a multiagency science-based effort that supports conservation on 19 million acres in southwest WY. WLCI local teams, which are responsible for identifying conservation needs and implementing conservation actions, have posed numerous restoration questions about the resilience of aspen, mountain mahogany, and sagebrush to recent droughts. We present several retrospective approaches in combination with field measurements that we used to evaluate trends in aspen and sagebrush condition, productivity, and mortality prior and after recent droughts. Retrospective analysis included the exploration of the relationship between remotely sensed vegetation indices, drought indices (e.g. Palmer drought severity index), precipitation data, and landscape position. We present select trend observations reflecting resilience of aspen and sagebrush and highlight how this information supports WLCI conservation planning. Future efforts using dendrological methods to evaluate relationships between drought and annual radial growth, establishment dates, and mortality in aspen, mountain mahogany, and sagebrush systems are discussed.

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Oct 18th, 5:00 PM Oct 18th, 5:05 PM

Retrospective Approaches to Evaluate Resilience of Aspen, Mountain Mahogany, and Sagebrush Communities to Drought

USU Eccles Conference Center

The Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI) is a multiagency science-based effort that supports conservation on 19 million acres in southwest WY. WLCI local teams, which are responsible for identifying conservation needs and implementing conservation actions, have posed numerous restoration questions about the resilience of aspen, mountain mahogany, and sagebrush to recent droughts. We present several retrospective approaches in combination with field measurements that we used to evaluate trends in aspen and sagebrush condition, productivity, and mortality prior and after recent droughts. Retrospective analysis included the exploration of the relationship between remotely sensed vegetation indices, drought indices (e.g. Palmer drought severity index), precipitation data, and landscape position. We present select trend observations reflecting resilience of aspen and sagebrush and highlight how this information supports WLCI conservation planning. Future efforts using dendrological methods to evaluate relationships between drought and annual radial growth, establishment dates, and mortality in aspen, mountain mahogany, and sagebrush systems are discussed.