Sagebrush steppe – Climate change vulnerability assessment: A synthesis

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It is likely that increasing temperatures will stress native sagebrush steppe species in the lowest, hottest basins more than in cooler and wetter upland habitats. Second, the effect of climate change on cheatgrass and fire is critical but uncertain. Regional warming will increase the frequency of hot, dry conditions that promote fire, but droughts could dampen the fire cycle by limiting the production of fine fuels. Third, the adaptive capacity of sagebrush is unknown and research on the potential for sagebrush to adapt to climate change should be a high priority.