Ecological Influence and Pathways of Land Use in Sagebrush

Steven T. Knick, Steven E. Hanser, Richard F. Miller, David A. Pyke, Michael J. Wisdom, Sean P. Finn, E. Thomas Rinkes and Charles J. Henny

in Greater Sage-Grouse

Published by University of California Press

Published in print May 2011 | ISBN: 9780520267114
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520948686 | DOI:
Ecological Influence and Pathways of Land Use in Sagebrush

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Land use in sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) landscapes influences all sage-grouse (Centrocercus spp.) populations in western North America. Croplands and the network of irrigation canals cover 230,000 square kilometers and indirectly influence up to 77% of the Sage-Grouse Conservation Area and 73% of sagebrush land cover by subsidizing synanthropic predators on sage-grouse. Urbanization and the demands of human population growth have created an extensive network of connecting infrastructure that is expanding its influence on sagebrush landscapes. Management of lands grazed by livestock has influenced sagebrush ecosystems by vegetation treatments to increase forage and reduce sagebrush and other plant species unpalatable to livestock. Land use will continue to be a dominant stressor on sagebrush systems; its individual and cumulative effects will challenge long-term conservation of sage-grouse populations.

Keywords: Artemisia; sagebrush; sagebrush ecosystems; land use; sage-grouse; Sage-Grouse Conservation Area; urbanization; livestock; conservation; irrigation canals

Chapter.  23131 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Vertebrates

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