Climate Change Rangelands

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Climate Change Effects on Grassland and Livestock Production in the Great Plains Ning LI Department of Earth System Science & Policy, University of North Dakota, Grand Forks, ND 583203, USA – Abstract - There is widespread agreement that the climate of the Great Plains is changing at the moment. The changing climate also has great impact on the grassland and livestock production system. The Great Plains produces much of the nation’s livestock and diary. However, most of the grassland where those livestock live is located in the arid or semi-arid region, which is sensitive to the variability of precipitation and temperature. This paper will discuss the plight of grassland in the Great Plains and what effects climate change…show more content…
Among various type of vegetation, grassland is the dominant type. Livestock grazing has been the primary rangeland use in the Great Plains and has always been closely related with livestock industry. Most of those cow-calf operations occur on native rangelands, making it accessible and efficient to acquire available forage on the rangeland. The abundance of forage make it able to bear more ruminants. Over 82% of cow-calf operations in the Great Plains have more than 50 cows, while the same data is 75.1% in the bordering states and 72.3%…show more content…
Change of the combination of CO2, temperature and precipitation will have complicated and mixed effects on different species. Though it is known that warmer temperatures and drier conditions will favor C4 grass, but the rising CO2 should benefit C3 plant photosynthesis and growth rate. There is still great uncertainty to judge how multiple climate changes will shift the plant species composition in the future. What’s more, some benefits of climate change might not only increase the growth of domestic or grazers, they will also accelerate the intrusion of invasive species, such as cheatgrass in the meantime. Expansion of woody plants (eastern red cedar) Climate change will increase the frost-free periods and will change the competitiveness of plant species in the meantime. Experiments indicate that a higher carbon dioxide concentration favors weeds and invasive plants over native species because invasives have trait that allow a larger growth response to carbon dioxide 2.5 Soil organic matter change 2.6 Land use change from grassland to cropland in need of more

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