A look into the response of riparian vegetation in the Upper Gila River Watershed to climate change and its implications for restoration work. Researchers used remote sensing to develop maps to identify areas at increased risk of degradation and analyze changes in riparian vegetation using climate as a framework. They found that despite intensifying drought throughout the watershed, vegetation greenness has increased. However, there has been increased stress and rates of wildfire and other disturbances in the lower watershed within the past 5 years. Restoration work on small scales has been shown to improve vegetation conditions. These findings can be incorporated into restoration plans to help riparian vegetation communities adapt to changing environmental conditions from climate change.


Petrakis, R.E., Norman, L.M. and Middleton, B.R., 2023. Riparian vegetation response amid variable climate conditions across the Upper Gila River watershed: informing Tribal restoration priorities. Frontiers in Environmental Science11, p.1179328. https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2023.1179328


Read the full paper here: https://doi.org/10.3389/fenvs.2023.1179328