Adaptation to Climate Change in Management of Prairie Grasslands

Saskatchewan Research Council

Type Government Publication
Organization Saskatchewan Research Council
Country Canada
Region Saskatchewan
Link Adaptation to ClimateChange in Grassland Management.pdf
Language English
Reference Thorpe, Jeff. (2012) Adaptation to climate Change in Management of Prairie Grasslands. Saskatchewan Research Council. Saskatchewan.
Key words Ecosystem Management,  Water Resource Management, Grass/Pasture Management, Grazing Management, Sustainable Economic Management
Date modified May 2013

The Prairies Regional Adaptation Collaborative created this document to identify the vulnerability of prairie grasslands to climate change and to recognize appropriate responses to mitigate predicted changes. This comprehensive document mainly focuses on management responses to drought but also includes practices that enhance ecosystem resilience and resistance to climate change.

The document contains hundreds of adaptation strategies ranging from technological and financial adaptations to conservation and restoration strategies. All actions are organized under four main categories of agriculture, range management, wetlands and biodiversity. Major adaptations for agricultural producers include the diversification of income with value-added products, utilization of government subsidies, and improved drought tolerance through native grass restoration and sufficient litter cover.

Range management adaptations focus on the adjustment of stocking rates to match drought probability. Adaptation options specifically relating to wetlands include riparian corridor restoration, careful riparian management and if possible, closed watering systems. Many of the adaptation recommendations related to biodiversity include elements of both resilience and response strategies, such as: protected areas, increased habitat diversity, the inclusion of buffer zones around protected areas, and a focus on enhancing genetic diversity.

Overall, the biodiversity recommendations aim to increase the adaptability and resilience of species in response to disturbances. This guide also includes a comprehensive summary on the state of public policy related to climate change and grasslands in Canada. Also listed are initiatives, programs and policies that may promote adaptation to climate change, organized by province.