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Remote Sensing Shrub/Grass National Land Cover Database (NLCD) Back-in-Time (BIT) Herbaceous Products for the Western U.S., 1985 - 2018

Metadata Updated: October 29, 2023

The need to monitor change in sagebrush steppe is urgent due to the increasing impacts of climate change, shifting fire regimes, and management practices on ecosystem health. Remote sensing provides a cost-effective and reliable method for monitoring change through time and attributing changes to drivers. We report an automated method of mapping rangeland fractional component cover over a large portion of the Northern Great Basin, USA, from 1986 to 2016 using a dense Landsat imagery time series. 2012 was excluded from the time-series due to a lack of quality imagery. Our method improved upon the traditional change vector method by considering the legacy of change at each pixel. We evaluate cover trends stratified by climate bin and assess spatial and temporal relationships with climate variables. Finally, we statistically evaluate the minimum time density needed to accurately characterize temporal patterns and relationships with climate drivers. Over the 30-yr period, shrub cover declined and bare ground increased. While few pixels had >10% cover change, a large majority had at least some change. All fractional components had significant spatial relationships with water year precipitation (WYPRCP), maximum temperature (WYTMAX), and minimum temperature (WYTMIN) in all years. Shrub and sagebrush cover in particular respond positively to warming WYTMIN, resulting from the largest increases in WYTMIN being in the coolest and wettest areas, and respond negatively to warming WYTMAX because the largest increases in WYTMAX are in the warmest and driest areas. These data can be used to answer critical questions regarding the influence of climate change and the suitability of management practices. Component products can be downloaded from

Access & Use Information

Public: This dataset is intended for public access and use. License: No license information was provided. If this work was prepared by an officer or employee of the United States government as part of that person's official duties it is considered a U.S. Government Work.

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Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 29, 2023

Metadata Source

Harvested from DOI EDI

Additional Metadata

Resource Type Dataset
Metadata Created Date June 1, 2023
Metadata Updated Date October 29, 2023
Publisher U.S. Geological Survey
Identifier USGS:5ed816c182ce7e579c67003f
Data Last Modified 20200818
Category geospatial
Public Access Level public
Bureau Code 010:12
Metadata Context
Metadata Catalog ID
Schema Version
Catalog Describedby
Harvest Object Id b8920232-17aa-46a6-b453-d84a04833189
Harvest Source Id 52bfcc16-6e15-478f-809a-b1bc76f1aeda
Harvest Source Title DOI EDI
Metadata Type geospatial
Old Spatial -130.238,26.2039,-99.6688,52.7905
Publisher Hierarchy White House > U.S. Department of the Interior > U.S. Geological Survey
Source Datajson Identifier True
Source Hash 320119d738d3192bfab6d191fbdce3cfeee28ae896ddbf2782863d7220b3d5f8
Source Schema Version 1.1
Spatial {"type": "Polygon", "coordinates": -130.238, 26.2039, -130.238, 52.7905, -99.6688, 52.7905, -99.6688, 26.2039, -130.238, 26.2039}

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