Soil vulnerability to future climate in the Southern Rockies LCC, with implications for vegetation change and water cycle

CBI staff will develop tools for managers in all watersheds of the Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative to project the effects of climate change on soil water conditions and help them develop appropriate strategies to mitigate negative climate impacts. The overall goals of this project are:

(1) To develop a spatially-explicit soil vulnerability index for the Southern Rockies Landscape Conservation Cooperative that can be used to forecast the short-term response of plants to current drought conditions and test a vegetation model hindcast of plant response to drought

(2) To compare and contrast the current vulnerability index with projections of vegetation dieback under future climate change scenarios and provide some warning about areas that are still currently protected by current plant cover but where future vegetation shifts may increase soil vulnerability, thus enabling preliminary estimates of the future location of vegetation dieback and potential aeolian dust sources

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