Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government


Publications related to USGS sage-grouse and sagebrush steppe science are listed below.

Filter Total Items: 226

An approach for characterizing the distribution of shrubland ecosystem components as continuous fields as part of NLCD

Characterizing and quantifying distributions of shrubland ecosystem components is one of the major challenges for monitoring shrubland vegetation cover change across the United States. A new approach has been developed to quantify shrubland components as fractional products within National Land Cover Database (NLCD). This approach uses remote sensing data and regression tree models to estimate the

Performance of quantitative vegetation sampling methods across gradients of cover in Great Basin plant communities

Resource managers and scientists need efficient, reliable methods for quantifying vegetation to conduct basic research, evaluate land management actions, and monitor trends in habitat conditions. We examined three methods for quantifying vegetation in 1-ha plots among different plant communities in the northern Great Basin: photography-based grid-point intercept (GPI), line-point intercept (LPI),

Resilience to stress and disturbance, and resistance to Bromus tectorum L. invasion in cold desert shrublands of western North America

Alien grass invasions in arid and semi-arid ecosystems are resulting in grass–fire cycles and ecosystem-level transformations that severely diminish ecosystem services. Our capacity to address the rapid and complex changes occurring in these ecosystems can be enhanced by developing an understanding of the environmental factors and ecosystem attributes that determine resilience of native ecosystems

Evaluating greater sage-grouse seasonal space use relative to leks: Implications for surface use designations in sagebrush ecosystems

The development of anthropogenic structures, especially those related to energy resources, in sagebrush ecosystems is an important concern among developers, conservationists, and land managers in relation to greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus; hereafter, sage-grouse) populations. Sage-grouse are dependent on sagebrush ecosystems to meet their seasonal life-phase requirements, and resea

Can reliable sage-grouse lek counts be obtained using aerial infrared technology

More effective methods for counting greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) are needed to better assess population trends through enumeration or location of new leks. We describe an aerial infrared technique for conducting sage-grouse lek counts and compare this method with conventional ground-based lek count methods. During the breeding period in 2010 and 2011, we surveyed leks from fixed

Monitoring of livestock grazing effects on Bureau of Land Management land

Public land management agencies, such as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM), are charged with managing rangelands throughout the western United States for multiple uses, such as livestock grazing and conservation of sensitive species and their habitats. Monitoring of condition and trends of these rangelands, particularly with respect to effects of livestock grazing, provides critical information

Greater Sage-Grouse National Research Strategy

The condition of the sagebrush ecosystem has been declining in the Western United States, and greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), a sagebrush-obligate species, has experienced concurrent decreases in distribution and population numbers. This has prompted substantial research and management over the past two decades to improve the understanding of sage-grouse and its habitats and to ad

Conditions favouring Bromus tectorum dominance of endangered sagebrush steppe ecosystems

1. Ecosystem invasibility is determined by combinations of environmental variables, invader attributes, disturbance regimes, competitive abilities of resident species and evolutionary history between residents and disturbance regimes. Understanding the relative importance of each factor is critical to limiting future invasions and restoring ecosystems. 2. We investigated factors potentially contro

Controls of biological soil crust cover and composition shift with succession in sagebrush shrub-steppe

Successional stage may determine strength and causal direction of interactions among abiotic and biotic factors; e.g., species that facilitate the establishment of other species may later compete with them. We evaluated multivariate hypotheses about abiotic and biotic factors shaping biological soil crusts (BSCs) in early and late successional stages. We surveyed vegetation and BSC in the shrub-st

Summary of science, activities, programs, and policies that influence the rangewide conservation of Greater Sage-Grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)

The Greater Sage-Grouse, has been observed, hunted, and counted for decades. The sagebrush biome, home to the Greater Sage-Grouse, includes sagebrush-steppe and Great Basin sagebrush communities, interspersed with grasslands, salt flats, badlands, mountain ranges, springs, intermittent creeks and washes, and major river systems, and is one of the most widespread and enigmatic components of Western

Greater sage-grouse winter habitat use on the eastern edge of their range

Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) at the western edge of the Dakotas occur in the transition zone between sagebrush and grassland communities. These mixed sagebrush (Artemisia sp.) and grasslands differ from those habitats that comprise the central portions of the sage-grouse range; yet, no information is available on winter habitat selection within this region of their distribution.

Multiscale sagebrush rangeland habitat modeling in the Gunnison Basin of Colorado

North American sagebrush-steppe ecosystems have decreased by about 50 percent since European settlement. As a result, sagebrush-steppe dependent species, such as the Gunnison sage-grouse, have experienced drastic range contractions and population declines. Coordinated ecosystem-wide research, integrated with monitoring and management activities, is needed to help maintain existing sagebrush habita