Prestoration: using species in restoration that will persist now and into the future
RAMPS scientists assessed the ability of grass species currently used regionally in restoration to persist into the future across a range of expected future climate conditions. The findings indicate that the species selected by experts is predicted to preform reasonably well in the short term, but that losses by mid-century would approach 40%. The study identified additional species that can compensate for reduced utility of current target species sets owing to climate change. The researchers argue for the idea of using species for restoration efforts that can survive current and future climate conditions (in other word, prestoration).
Source: Buttterfield, B.J., Copeland, S.M., Munson, S.M., Royball, C.M., and Wood, T.E., 2016, Prestoration: using species in restoration that will persist now and into the future. Restoration Ecology, doi: 10.1111/rec.12381.
Desert grassland responses to climate and soil moisture suggest divergent vulnerabilities across the southwestern United States
Using long-term data sets and several grassland sites in the Southwest, RAMPS researchers investigated the importance of using both climate and soil characteristics to predict the consequences of future climate conditions on grass dynamics. The timing of precipitation and the variation in precipitation and temperature were major drivers of perennial grass abundance. Additionally, soil texture (a measurement of sand, silt, and clay) and soil depth were also important to understanding grass dynamics because these characteristics influence the amount of soil water available to plants. For most of the sites used in this study, both climate variables and the soil characteristics that influence soil moisture (texture and depth) are needed to understand perennial grass abundance in the arid Southwest. RAMPS scientists also reported that grasslands at some of the study sites are expected to more commonly experience conditions that are not conducive to perennial grass growth in the future because of unfavorable precipitation and temperature conditions.
Source: Gremer, J.R., Bradford, J.B., Munson, S.M., and Duniway, M.C., 2015, Desert grassland responses to climate and soil moisture suggest divergent vulnerabilities across the southwestern United States. Global Change Biology, v. 21, p. 4049-4062, doi: 10.1111/gcb.13043.