Ecological effects of weather modification: effect of late snow melt on Festuca idahoensis meadows
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Diversity, cover and productivity of Festuca idahoensis meadows become progressively lower as one moves: (1) from deep-soil to shallow-soil sites, or (2) from sites that melt out in mid-May to sites that melt in late May or early June. Changes in species composition are also obvious on late melting sites. Changes associated with different melt dates are probably due to the shorter growing season of the late melting sites. Winter weather modification programs are expected to add snow, postpone melt, shorten the growing season and degrade these meadows in proportion to the amount of snow they add. Especially if the snow is deposited in drifts, the 10-15% increases in snowfall probably achievable will have small effects on the "target area" while returns to the "service area" might be considerable.
T Weaver 1974. Ecological effects of weather modification: effect of late snow melt on Festuca idahoensis meadows. American Midland Naturalist 92: 346-356. doi:10.2307/2424300.