Climate change and ecohydrology in temperate dryland ecosystems: a global assessment

Science Center Objects

Water cycling and availability exert dominant control over ecological processes and the sustainability of ecosystem services in water - limited ecosystems. Consequently, dryland ecosystems have the potential to be dramatically impacted by hydrologic alterations emerging from global change, notably increasing temperature and altered precipitation patterns. In addition, the possibility of directl...

Water cycling and availability exert dominant control over ecological processes and the sustainability of ecosystem services in water - limited ecosystems. Consequently, dryland ecosystems have the potential to be dramatically impacted by hydrologic alterations emerging from global change, notably increasing temperature and altered precipitation patterns. In addition, the possibility of directly manipulating global solar radiation by augmenting stratospheric SO2 is receiving increasing attention as CO2 emissions continue to increase - these manipulations are anticipated to decrease precipitation, a change that may be as influential as temperature increases in dryland ecosystems. We propose to integrate a proven soil water model with daily weather data from temperate dryland ecosystems across the globe to characterize potential future hydrologic changes in these water - limited ecosystems. We will convene a group of ecologists and hydrologists with experience in dryland ecosystems from around the globe to help parameterize and validate the model, and interpret the results. Outcomes from this workgroup will include insights about important commonalities, uncertainties, and vulnerabilities of dryland ecosystems and estimates of current and potential future ecosystem water balance and water availability in global temperate dryland ecosystems.

Principal Investigator(s):

John B Bradford (Colorado Plateau Field Station, SBSC)

William Lauenroth (University of Wyoming)

Participant(s):

David A Pyke (Snake River Field Station, FRESC)

Jayne Belnap (Canyonlands Field Station, SBSC)

Michael C Duniway (Canyonlands Field Station, SBSC)

Seth M Munson (Canyonlands Field Station, SBSC)

Tamara Hochstrasser (University College Dublin)

Britta Tietjen (Free University of Berlin)

Daniel Schlaepfer (University of Wyoming)

Gensuo Jia (Institute of Atmospheric Physics, Chinese Academy of Sciences)

Jose Paruelo (University of Buenos Aires)

Khishigbayar Jamiyansharav (Colorado State University)

Li Zhang (University of Colorado Boulder)

Scott Wilson (University of Regina)

Sonia Hall (The Nature Conservancy)

Publication(s):

Bradford, J.B., Schlaepfer, D.R., Lauenroth, W.K.,. Yackulic, C.B., Duniway, M., Hall, S., Jia, S., Jamiyansharav, K., Munson, S.M., Wilson, S.D., and Tietjen, B. (2017). “Future soil moisture and temperature extremes imply expanding suitability for rainfed agriculture in temperate drylands.” Nature Scientific Reports. 7, 12923. DOI:10.1038/s41598-017-13165-x



Schlaepfer, D.R., Bradford, J.B., Lauenroth, W.K., Munson, S.M., Tietjen, B., Hall, S.A., Wilson, S.D., Duniway, M.C., Jia, G., Pyke, D.A., Lkhagva, A. & Jamiyansharav, K. (2017). Climate change reduces extent of temperate drylands and intensifies drought in deep soils. Nature Communications, 8, 14196.



Tietjen, B., Schlaepfer, D. R., Bradford, J. B., Lauenroth, W. K., Hall, S. A., Duniway, M. C., Hochstrasser, T., Jia, G., Munson, S. M., Pyke, D. A. and Wilson, S. D. (2016), Climate change-induced vegetation shifts lead to more ecological droughts despite projected rainfall increases in many global temperate drylands. Glob Change Biol. Accepted Author Manuscript. doi:10.1111/gcb.13598



Wilson, S. D., Schlaepfer, D. R., Bradford,J. B., Lauenroth, W. K., Duniway, M. C.,Hall, S. A., et al. (2018). Functional group,biomass, and clima te change effects onecological drought in semiarid grass-lands. Journal of Geophysical Research:Biogeosciences, 123, 1072-1085. https://doi.org/10.1002/2017JG004173