Nevada Climate Change PortalNevada Climate Change Portal
A view of the desert from a climate monitoring station.

The Nevada Climate-ecohydrological Assessment Network (NevCAN)

The Universities of Nevada (Las Vegas and Reno) and the Desert Research Institute have collaborated with land owner agencies in Nevada to establish two elevational transects of monitoring stations named the Nevada Climate-ecohydrology Assessment Network (NevCAN). The primary purpose of NevCAN is to collect data for long-term assessment of climate variability and change in Nevada and its impact on ecological and hydrological processes and function.

These basin-to-mountain top transects are located in the Sheep Range (located approximately 35 km NNW of Las Vegas) and in the Snake Range (east central NV along the UT border; approximately 335 km NNE of Las Vegas). The Sheep Range transect has five monitoring stations beginning at 900 m and ending at 3015 m (Hayford Peak). All of these monitoring stations are located on land managed by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and several of the stations are co-located with Natural Resource Conservation Service (NRCS) Soil Climate Analysis Network (SCAN) sites. The Snake Range transect has seven monitoring stations beginning at 1790 m on the west side of the range, 3355 m at the western subalpine site and ending at 1560 m on the eastern side of the range. An 8th monitoring station at 1564 m (Salt Desert, west) will be incorporated into the Snake Range transect as funding permits; this site has had an operational eddy covariance system since 2007. The Snake Range transect encompasses several collaborating land holder agencies including: the Long Now Foundation, Bureau of Land Management, Great Basin National Park and the Nevada Land Conservancy.

Monitoring stations are located in the elevational "middle" of each major plant community/vegetation type along each transect. Table 1 below lists the plant community zone, predominant plant species and altitude for each monitoring station. A configuration of sensors has been installed at each monitoring station including soil and plant sensors, a webcam and standard meteorological sensors.

Table 1. Site descriptions of locations along the two transects comprising the NevCAN. For data from these locations, visit the Sensor Data page.

Transect Zone Dominant Plant Species Altitude (m)
Snake Salt Desert (west) Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Artemisia tridentata tridentata 1755
Snake Sagebrush (west) Artemisia tridentata tridentata, Sarcobatus vermiculatus 1790
Snake Pinyon-Juniper (west) Pinus monophylla, Juniperus osteosperma 2200
Snake Montane (west) Abies concolor, Pinus flexilis 2810
Snake Subalpine (west) Pinus longaeva, Pinus flexilis 3355
Snake Subalpine (east) Picea engelmannii 3070
Snake Sagebrush (east) Artemisia tridentata tridentata 1835
Snake Salt Desert (east) Sarcobatus vermiculatus, Atriplex confertifolia 1560
Sheep Desert Shrub Larrea tridentata, Ambrosia dumosa 900
Sheep Blackbrush Yucca brevifolia, Atriplex canescens 1670
Sheep Pinyon-Juniper Pinus monophylla, Purshia stansburiana 2065
Sheep Montane Pinus ponderosa, Juniperus osteosperma 2320
Sheep Subalpine (NRCS SCAN data) Pinus longaeva, Ribes cereum 3015

Nevada Climate Change Portal

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