See The Science

In support of science-based management, a comprehensive bibliography has been assembled and made available here containing peer-reviewed literature relevant to pinyon-juniper ecology and management across historic grasslands, shrublands, and woodlands in the region. Approximate locations of each study are provided on the map to help users assess the context of the research.

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Suggested Readings

With such a large library of resources, it is easy to get overwhelmed. The following list of resources is recommended for each topic area. 



  • Roundy et al. 2014. Piñon-Juniper reduction increases soil water availability of the resource growth pool. Rangeland Ecology and Management 67:495–505.
  • Roundy et al. 2020. Long-term effects of tree expansion and reduction on soil climate in a semiarid ecosystem. Ecosphere 11:e03241.
  • Kormos et al. 2017. Ecosystem water availability in juniper versus sagebrush snow-dominated rangelands. Rangeland Ecology and Management 70:116–128.
  • Williams et al. 2020. Long-term effectiveness of tree removal to re-establish sagebrush steppe vegetation and associated spatial patterns in surface conditions and soil hydrologic properties. Water 12:2213.



  • Filippelli et al. 2020. Monitoring pinyon-juniper cover and aboveground biomass across the Great Basin. Environmental Research Letters 15:025004.
  • Reinhardt et al. 2020. Quantifying pinyon-juniper reduction within North America’s sagebrush ecosystem. Rangeland Ecology and Management 73:420–432.
  • Chambers et al. 2021. Sagebrush recovery patterns after fuel treatments mediated by disturbance type and plant functional group interactions. Ecosphere 12:e03450.
  • Davies et al. 2019. To burn or not to burn: Comparing reintroducing fire with cutting an encroaching conifer for conservation of an imperiled shrub-steppe. Ecology and Evolution 9:9137–9148.
  • Roundy et al. 2014. Understory cover responses to piñon-juniper treatments across tree dominance gradients in the Great Basin. Rangeland Ecology and Management 67:482–494.


Carbon and Nutrient Cycling

  • Rau et al. 2011. Woodland expansion’s influence on belowground carbon and nitrogen in the Great Basin U.S. Journal of Arid Environments 75:827–835.
  • Abdallah et al. 2020. Ecosystem carbon in relation to woody plant encroachment and control: juniper systems in Oregon USA. Agriculture, Ecosystems, and Environment 290:106762. 
  • Rau et al. 2009. Soil carbon and nitrogen in a Great Basin pinyon-juniper woodland: Influence of vegetation, burning, and time. Journal of Arid Environments 73:472–479.



  • Olsen et al. 2021. Reversing tree expansion in sagebrush steppe yields population-level benefit for imperiled grouse. Ecosphere 12:e03551. 
  • Coates et al. 2017. Pinyon and juniper encroachment into sagebrush ecosystems impacts distribution and survival of greater sage-grouse. Rangeland Ecology and Management 70:25–38.
  • Baruch-Mordo et al. 2013. Saving sage-grouse from the trees: A proactive solution to reducing a key threat to a candidate species. Biological Conservation 167:233–241.
  • Severson et al. 2017. Short-term response of sage-grouse nesting to conifer removal in the northern great basin. Rangeland Ecology and Management 70:50–58.
  • Sandford et al. 2017. Greater sage-grouse resource selection drives reproductive fitness under a conifer removal strategy. Rangeland Ecology and Management 70:59–67.
  • Holmes et al. 2017. Bird responses to removal of western juniper in sagebrush-steppe. Rangeland Ecology and Management 70:87–94.
  • Bergman et al. 2014. Habitat management influences overwinter survival of mule deer fawns in Colorado. Journal of Wildlife Management 78:448–455.


A literature review for peer-reviewed publications was conducted in both Web of Science and Google Scholar search engines using various combinations of the keywords: pinyon-juniper, pinyon encroachment/expansion/invasion, juniper encroachment/expansion/invasion, conifer encroachment, and sagebrush.