Cooperative Research Units
Education, Research And Technical Assistance For Managing Our Natural Resources
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Effects of climate and habitat change on structure and function of a high priority montane ecosystem


April 2014 - March 2017


This research continues and extends long-term (29 years) study of climate effects on a human-natural ecosystem classified by the IPCC as a high priority and vulnerable ecosystem: a montane riparian system in the arid southwest. We are examining the causal mechanisms underlying change in ecosystem structure (species composition) and function (trophic interactions) in response to climate variation and elk browsing. The research includes estimation of the relative sensitivity of vegetation, bird, and mammal species to climate variation in order to project future responses and possible management alternatives. No other study in the world has annually detailed long-term population trajectories and demographic processes of such a full array of plant, bird, and small mammal species comprising an ecosystem to allow examination of climate influences on ecosystem structure and function


Current Staff

Federal Staff: 95

Masters Students: 238

Phd Students: 144

Post Docs: 54

University Staff: 239

5 Year Summary

Students graduated: 673

Scientific Publications: 1905

Presentations: 4236




Cooperative Research Units Program Headquarters Cooperators

  1. U.S. Geological Survey