Sage-grouse & Sagebrush Ecosystem

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USGS has been a leader in sagebrush ecosystem research and continues to meet the priority science needs of management agencies. We bring a diversity of expertise and capabilities to address a wide variety of science needs at multiple spatial scales and are committed to providing high quality science to our management partners.

Greater Sage-grouse Annotated Bibliography

Greater Sage-grouse Annotated Bibliography

Synthesizes the scientific literature published since records of decision were completed for 2015 BLM/USDA Forest Service land use plan amendments for greater sage-grouse, and provides potential management implications of the science.

See the report

Meet our lead scientists and team members

Meet our lead scientists and team members

Information about USGS principal investigators (PIs) working on sage-grouse or sagebrush ecosystem issues is available here.

Meet the PIs

Looking for more information?

Looking for more information?

We have put together a list of related resources and links for the sage-grouse and sagebrush ecosystem.

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News

Date published: February 1, 2019

Long-term Studies Reveal Climate Adaptation Patterns of Big Sagebrush

To understand plant genetic diversity and adaptations, scientist often conduct “common garden” experiments growing plants with diverse origins under the same soil and climatic conditions. However, most common garden studies may be too short to detect adaptive differences. Understanding climate adaptation of Wyoming Big Sagebrush could improve restoration strategies and success.

Date published: December 14, 2018

Guide to Bees of Southern Idaho

Bees are an important part of natural ecosystems and thriving agricultural systems in southwest Idaho and other areas of the United States. Both introduced and native bees can provide ecosystem services by pollinating native plants and agricultural crops such as fruit trees. 

Date published: November 2, 2018

Effects of Disturbance on Vascular Plants and Biocrusts in Sagebrush Steppe

Semi-arid sagebrush ecosystems experience chronic disturbances through grazing, invasive grasses, and acute disturbance of fire. Biocrusts, a community of cyanobacteria, mosses, and lichens, develop on soil surfaces and contribute to the land’s resistance to invasive plants. 

Publications

Year Published: 2019

Validating a time series of annual grass percent cover in the sagebrush ecosystem

We mapped yearly (2000–2016) estimates of annual grass percent cover for much of the sagebrush ecosystem of the western United States using remotely sensed, climate, and geophysical data in regression-tree models. Annual grasses senesce and cure by early summer and then become beds of fine fuel that easily ignite and spread fire...

Boyte, Stephen P.; Wylie, Bruce K.; Major, Donald J.

Year Published: 2018

An introduction and practical guide to use of the Soil-Vegetation Inventory Method (SVIM) data

Long-term vegetation dynamics across public rangelands in the western United States are not well understood because of the lack of large-scale, readily available historic datasets. The Bureau of Land Management’s Soil-Vegetation Inventory Method (SVIM) program was implemented between 1977 and 1983 across 14 western states, but...

Barker, Brittany S.; Pilliod, David S.; Welty, Justin; Arkle, Robert S.; Karl, Michael G. "Sherm"; Toevs, Gordon R.
Barker, B.S., Pilliod, D.S., Welty, J.L., Arkle, R.S., Karl, M.G., Toevs, G.R., 2018, An introduction and practical guide to the use of the Soil - Vegetation Inventory Method (SVIM) data: Rangeland Ecology and Management, p. online, https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2018.06.003.

Year Published: 2018

U.S. Geological Survey science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2016 annual report

This is the ninth annual report highlighting U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science and decision-support activities conducted for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative (WLCI). The activities address specific management needs identified by WLCI partner agencies. In fiscal year (FY) 2016, there were 26 active USGS WLCI science-based projects...

Bowen, Zachary H.; Aikens, Ellen; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Anderson, Patrick J.; Assal, Timothy J.; Chalfoun, Anna D.; Chong, Geneva W.; Eddy-Miller, Cheryl A.; Garman, Steven L.; Germaine, Stephen S.; Homer, Collin G.; Johnston, Aaron; Kauffman, Matthew J.; Manier, Daniel J.; Melcher, Cynthia P.; Miller, Kirk A.; Walters, Annika W.; Wheeler, Jerrod D.; Wieferich, Daniel; Wilson, Anna B.; Wyckoff, Teal B.; Zeigenfuss, Linda C.
Bowen, Z.H., Aikens, E., Aldridge, C.L., Anderson, P.J., Assal, T.J., Chalfoun, A.D., Chong, G.W., Eddy-Miller, C.A., Garman, S.L., Germaine, S.S., Homer, C.G., Johnston, A., Kauffman, M.J., Manier, D.J., Melcher, C.P., Miller, K.A., Walters, A.W., Wheeler, J.D., Wieferich, D., Wilson, A.B., Wyckoff, T.B., and Zeigenfuss, L.C., 2018, U.S. Geological Survey science for the Wyoming Landscape Conservation Initiative—2016 annual report: U.S. Geological Survey Open-File Report 2018–1048, 49 p., https://doi.org/10.3133/ofr20181048.