RCMAP projected cover products characterize the fractional (i.e. percentage) cover of shrub, herbaceous, bare ground, litter, sagebrush, and annual herbaceous in each 30-meter pixel in the Western United States. Projected data include three time periods (2020s, 2050s, and 2080s) and two climate scenarios (Representative Concentration Pathways [RCP] 4.5 and 8.5). Component cover were harmonized so that the sum of bare ground, shrub, herbaceous, and litter cover adds to ~100% and secondary components sagebrush and annual herbaceous cover were harmonized to their respective primary components of shrub and herbaceous cover, (so their cover could not be greater than their primary component). These products have been produced by USGS in collaboration with the Bureau of Land Management. Component products are designed to be used individually or combined to support a broad variety of applications. Data are packaged by time-period and climate scenarios (six). Please note that some suspect increases in sagebrush cover are projected in the Southern Great Basin and Southern Colorado Plateau, which we interpret as model error. We have developed a mask (see below) to apply to the future sagebrush cover layers. Masked areas meet three criteria: 1) they are within the sagebrush biome (Jeffries and Finn 2019), 2) within the following EPA level 3 ecoregions: Arizona/New Mexico Mountains, Arizona/New Mexico Plateau (excluding the San Luis Valley from the mask), Colorado Plateaus (excluding the Uinta Basin from the mask), Mojave Basin and Range, and Sonoran Basin and Range, and 3) have a maximum of 0% sagebrush cover observed over the 1985-2020 RCMAP time-series.
Preferred citation: Rigge, M., Shi, H., Postma, K. 2021. Projected change in rangeland component fractional cover across the sagebrush biome through 2085. Ecosphere. 12: e03538
Related citation: Rigge, M.B., 2022, Projections of Rangeland Fractional Component Cover Across the Sagebrush Biome for Representative Concentration Pathways (RCP) 4.5 and 8.5 Scenarios for the 2020s, 2050s, and 2080s Time-Periods (ver. 1.1, April 2022): U.S. Geological Survey data release, https://doi.org/10.5066/P9EC2094.