Home on the range, Year 2100: Land Use and Climate Change Could Impact Wildlife, Water Supplies

Cows_Flowers_Coyote_Ridge1From the USGS:

“Grassland habitats on rangelands in California’s Central Valley and surrounding foothills could decline by as much as 37 percent by 2100 due to changes in land use and climate, according to new scientific projections by the U.S. Geological Survey.  The peer reviewed, scientific paper was published recently in the journal Landscape Ecology. In addition to habitat loss, the study shows that increased development of rangelands for urban use exacerbates the ongoing issues surrounding rainwater runoff. When this issue is combined with periods of drought, the area will suffer from reduced the opportunities for groundwater recharge, especially on deep soils.  “Results from this study reinforce the role of open rangelands in capturing water and reducing runoff,” said Dr. Kristin Byrd, the study’s lead author and a physical scientist with the USGS. “Maintaining rangelands can help mitigate the effects of climate change and drought.” … “

Read more from the USGS here:  Home on the range, Year 2100: Land Use and Climate Change Could Impact Wildlife, Water Supplies

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