The productivity of grasslands in North America will increase in future climate scenarios, despite higher temperatures and increased drought, say researchers. They developed this forecast using a new model of the region’s hydrology and vegetation, incorporating data and images gathered from a network of cameras.  

The model showed an earlier start to the growing season, and warmer winter temperatures allowing the productivity of the grasslands to offset the challenges of increased drought and heat. This will require new management approaches say the researchers.

Original research paper published by Nature Climate Change on February 29, 2015.

Names and affiliations of selected authors

Koen Hufkens, Department of Organismic and Evolutionary Biology, Harvard University, Massachusetts, U.S.A.

Lawrence B. Flanagan, Department of Biological Sciences, University of Lethbridge, Alberta