RESEARCH & PUBLICATIONS



Pinyon and juniper encroachment into sagebrush ecosystems impacts distribution and survival of greater sage-grouse

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Collectively, these results provide clear evidence that local sage-grouse distributions and demographic rates are influenced by pinyon-juniper, especially in habitats with higher primary productivity but relatively low and seemingly benign tree cover. Such areas may function as ecological traps that convey attractive resources but adversely affect population vital rates. To increase sage-grouse survival, our model predictions support reducing actual pinyon-juniper cover as low as 1.5%, which is lower than the published target of 4.0%. These results may represent effects of pinyon-juniper cover in areas with similar ecological conditions to those of the Bi-State Distinct Population Segment, where populations occur at relatively high elevations and pinyon-juniper is abundant and widespread.