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Modeling plant community composition and vegetation structure in core sage grouse habitats

Post Date

July 22nd 2013

Application Due Date

August 5th 2013

This opportunity is being issued under a Cooperative Ecosystem Studies Unit Program - Rocky Mountain CESU Cooperative and Joint Venture Agreement (#60181AJ402). Eligible recipients must be a participating partner of the Rocky Mountain (CESU).

Funding Opportunity Number


CFDA Number(s)


Funding Instrument Type(s)

Cooperative Agreement

Funding Activity Categories

Consumer Protection
Information and Statistics
Natural Resources
Science and Technology and other Research and Development

Number of Awards


Eligibility Categories


Rocky Mountain CESU university partners possess the unique expertise to substantially involve and collaborate with the Service in the modeling and assessment of sage grouse habitats across the range of the species, and to provide for substantial cost savings to the Service by minimization of overhead through a negotiated rate in the CESU agreement.


  • Estimated Total Funding:


  • Award Range:

    $100000 - $155000

Grant Description

In order to assist and direct the future management of sagebrush habitats for the conservation of Greater Sage Grouse, the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (Service) is desirous of acquiring an analysis of sage-grouse habitat to examine how climate change and disturbance will influence the soil water conditions needed for persistence of the key sagebrush plant community components. We anticipate the need to simulate daily soil water dynamics as a function of climate and soil variables and employment of a modeling platform which comprises a daily time step soil water model and a plant demographic model to simulate the effects of water availability and inter- and intraspecific competition on species composition and production of sagebrush plant communities, including invasive alien species such as cheatgrass and Japanese brome. The Service expects that this analysis, when completed, will address the following questions: 1. How will climate change and disturbance affect sagebrush plant communities over the first half of the 21st century? 2. To what variables will sagebrush plant communities be most sensitive? 3. How will competition from invasive annual grasses such as cheatgrass and Japanese brome influence sagebrush plant communities? 4. To which kinds of disturbance will sagebrush plant communities be most sensitive? The Service anticipates that the successful applicant will possess the expertise and capability to develop and apply simulation modeling that integrates projected soil moisture conditions with plant community dynamics to produce estimates and associated uncertainties for seedling establishment, plant survival, species composition, and production under current conditions and climate change scenarios for individual species or functional groups of plants. The Service also expects that the analyses will utilize specific locations in state-identified priority sage-grouse habitat that presently supports sagebrush. All results will be described in peer-reviewed scientific publications and presented to interested resource managers.

Contact Information

  • Agency

    Department of the Interior

  • Office:

    Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Agency Contact:

    Greg Watson, Project Officer, 303 236-8155

  • Agency Mailing Address:

  • Agency Email Address:

  • More Information:


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