|OLSEN, ANDREW - The Nature Conservancy|
|BADIK, KEVIN - The Nature Conservancy|
|SVEJCAR, TONY - Oregon State University|
Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/24/2020
Publication Date: 2/14/2021
Citation: O'Connor, R.C., Fox, V.G., Olsen, A., Badik, K., Svejcar, T., Boyd, C.S. 2021. Carbon dynamics of six ecological states in the sagebrush steppe of the Great Basin. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts. Abstract.
Interpretive Summary: Using a threat-based management model that categorized sage grouse habitat we are using it to determine carbon dynamics in the sagebrush steppe. We summarized the current literature – peer-reviewed, federal and extension publications – to determine what is known and where information is lacking. We found that there is good research on above-ground carbon dynamics however below-ground carbon is less studied. This information will help direct future research to understand carbon dynamics in the sagebrush steppe.
Technical Abstract: A threat-based management model was created and used in the Northern Great Basin to classify and quantify sage-grouse habitat. This threat-based model created ecological states based-off of dominant plant functional groups in the sagebrush steppe, with transitional paths between each state. Six ecological states were defined: 1) sagebrush and perennial grass co-dominant, 2) perennial grass dominant, 3) annual grass invaded, 4) degraded sagebrush, 5) sagebrush with initial juniper encroachment, and 6) advanced juniper encroachment. These six ecological states provides a good classification framework to evaluate carbon dynamics across temporal and spatial scales. Using these six ecological states we conducted an intensive literature review of peer-reviewed primary literature, federal publications, and extension publications to determine the current knowledge about carbon dynamics in the sagebrush steppe. We found that aboveground carbon pools are characterized well among our different ecological states. However, belowground carbon pools are poorly characterized even though more carbon is stored belowground than aboveground in the majority of these ecological states. Finally, carbon fluxes in the sagebrush and perennial grass dominated state, as well as both juniper encroached states are being characterized somewhat, but in the annual grass invaded and perennial grass dominated states more research needs to be done.