Potential human impacts of overlapping land-use and climate in a sensitive dryland: a case study of the Colorado Plateau, USA

Ecosphere
By: , and 

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Abstract

Climate and land-use interactions are likely to affect future environmental and socioeconomic conditions in drylands, which tend to be limited by water resources and prone to land degradation. We characterized the potential for interactions between land-use types and land-use and climate change in a model dryland system, the Colorado Plateau, a region with a history of climatic variability and land-use change. We analyzed the spatial and temporal trends in aridification, land-use, and recreation at the county and 10 km2 grid scales. Our results show that oil and gas development and recreation may interact due to increasing trends and overlapping areas of high intensity. Projections suggest that aridification will impact all vegetation classes, with some of the highest proportional change in the south-east. The results suggest that the rate of change and spatial pattern of land-use in the future may differ from past patterns in land-use scale and intensity.

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Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Potential human impacts of overlapping land-use and climate in a sensitive dryland: a case study of the Colorado Plateau, USA
Series title Ecosphere
DOI 10.1002/ecs2.1823
Volume 8
Issue 5
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Ecological Society of America
Contributing office(s) Southwest Biological Science Center
Description 25 p.
First page 1
Last page 25
Country United States
State Colorado
Other Geospatial Colorado Plateau