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Extracting exotic annual grass phenology and climate relations in western U.S. rangeland ecoregions

March 20, 2023

This research builds upon the extensive body of work to model exotic annual grass (EAG) characteristics and invasion. EAGs increase wildland fire risk and intensifies wildland fire behavior in western U.S. rangelands. Therefore, understanding characteristics of EAG growth increases understanding of its dynamics and can inform rangeland management decisions. To better understand EAG phenology and spatial distribution, monthly weather (precipitation, minimum and maximum temperature) variables were analyzed for 24 level III ecoregions. This research characterizes EAGs’ phenology identified by a normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) threshold-based interpolation technique. An EAG phenology metric model was used to estimate a growing season dynamic for the years 2017–2021 for shrub and herbaceous land cover types in the western conterminous United States (66% of the area). The EAG phenology metrics include six growing season metrics such as start of season time, end of season time, and time of maximum NDVI during the growing season. The models’ cross validation results for Pearson’s r ranged from 0.88 to 0.95. Increased understanding of the effects that weather conditions have on EAG growth and spatial distribution can help land managers develop time-sensitive plans to protect entities deemed valuable to society like native habitat, wildlife, recreational areas, and air quality.

Publication Year 2023
Title Extracting exotic annual grass phenology and climate relations in western U.S. rangeland ecoregions
DOI 10.1007/s10530-023-03021-7
Authors Trenton D Benedict, Stephen P. Boyte, Devendra Dahal, Dinesh Shrestha, Sujan Parajuli, Logan J. Megard
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Biological Invasions
Index ID 70248698
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Earth Resources Observation and Science (EROS) Center