Rangeland Responses to Predicted Increases in Drought Extremity

David D. Breshears, Alan K. Knapp, Darin J. Law, Melinda D. Smith, Dirac Twidwell, Carissa L. Wonkka

Research output: Contribution to specialist publicationArticle

31 Scopus citations


• Rangeland managers actively focus on the potential to induce a shift in a site to an alternative state, but predicted changes in climate, particularly the likelihood of more extreme drought, necessitate reevaluating risks for alternative states.• Rangelands will differ in their susceptibility to undergo state changes due to climate change in general and for droughts of the future, in particular, which may be hotter.• Trees, shrubs, and grasses are expected to differ in their sensitivity to drought, with trees likely being most sensitive; this affects the likelihood for state changes in grasslands, shrublands, woodlands, and savannas.• Considering these differences can help rangeland managers deal with the challenges of increasing drought that is forecast to occur with climate change.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Number of pages6
Specialist publicationRangelands
StatePublished - Aug 1 2016


  • drought
  • grassland
  • savanna
  • shrubland
  • state and transition
  • woodland

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Geography, Planning and Development
  • Ecology
  • Management, Monitoring, Policy and Law


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