WorldWideScience

Sample records for rangeland ecosystem science

  1. Sustainable rangelands ecosystem goods and services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristie Maczko; Lorie Hidinger

    2008-01-01

    The Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable (SRR) recognizes the unique contributions rangeland resources make to the nation's wellbeing. To communicate the importance of these commodity and amenity values, SRR participants developed this primer on rangeland ecosystem goods and services. It summarizes the history of the nation's relationship with and reliance upon...

  2. Valuation of rangeland ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascoigne, W.R.

    2011-01-01

    Economic valuation lends itself well to the anthropocentric orientation of ecosystem services. An economic perspective on ecosystems portrays them as natural assets providing a flow of goods and services valuable to individuals and society collectively. A few examples include the purification of drinking water, reduced risk from flooding and other extreme events, pollination of agricultural crops, climate regulation, and recreation opportunities from plant and animal habitat maintenance, among many others. Once these goods and services are identified and quantified, they can be monetized to complete the valuation process. The monetization of ecosystem goods and services (in the form of dollars) provides a common metric that allows for cross-comparison of attributes and evaluation of differing ecological scenarios. Complicating the monetization process is the fact that most of these goods and services are public and non-market in nature; meaning they are non-rival and non-exclusive and are typically not sold in a traditional market setting where monetary values are revealed. Instead, one must employ non-market valuation techniques, with primary valuation methods typically being very time and resource consuming, intimidating to non-economists, and often impractical. For these reasons, benefit transfer methods have gained popularity. This methodology harnesses the primary collection results of existing studies to make inferences about the economic values of non-market goods and services at an alternative policy site (in place and/or in time). For instance, if a primary valuation study on oak reestablishment on rangelands in southern California yielded a value of $30 per-acre associated with water regulation, this result can be transferred, with some adjustments, to say something about the value of an acre of oaks on rangelands in northern portions of the state. The economic valuation of rangeland ecosystem services has many roles. Economic values may be used as input

  3. Whither the Rangeland?: Protection and conversion in California's Rangeland ecosystems.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D Richard Cameron

    Full Text Available Land use change in rangeland ecosystems is pervasive throughout the western United States with widespread ecological, social and economic implications. In California, rangeland habitats have high biodiversity value, provide significant habitat connectivity and form the foundation for a number of ecosystem services. To comprehensively assess the conservation status of these habitats, we analyzed the extent and drivers of habitat loss and the degree of protection against future loss across a 13.5 M ha study area in California. We analyzed rangeland conversion between 1984 and 2008 using time series GIS data and classified resulting land uses with aerial imagery. In total, over 195,000 hectares of rangeland habitats were converted during this period. The majority of conversions were to residential and associated commercial development (49% of the area converted, but agricultural intensification was surprisingly extensive and diverse (40% across six categories. Voluntary enrollment in an agricultural tax incentive program provided widespread protection from residential and commercial conversions across 37% of the remaining rangeland habitat extent (7.5 M ha, though this program did not protect rangeland from conversion to more intensive agricultural uses. Additionally, 24% of the remaining rangeland was protected by private conservation organizations or public agencies through land or easement ownership while 38% had no protection status at all. By developing a spatial method to analyze the drivers of loss and patterns of protection, this study demonstrates a novel approach to prioritize conservation strategies and implementation locations to avert habitat conversion. We propose that this approach can be used in other ecosystem types, and can serve as a regional conservation baseline assessment to focus strategies to effect widespread, cost-effective conservation solutions.

  4. A systematic review of US rangeland science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland science aims to create knowledge to sustain rangeland social-ecological systems over the long term. Range science has made substantial progress on understanding ecological dynamics of rangeland systems and the management practices that sustain them, and these findings have been systematica...

  5. Future scenarios of impacts to ecosystem services on California rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrd, Kristin; Alvarez, Pelayo; Flint, Lorraine; Flint, Alan

    2014-01-01

    The 18 million acres of rangelands in the Central Valley of California provide multiple benefits or “ecosystem services” to people—including wildlife habitat, water supply, open space, recreation, and cultural resources. Most of this land is privately owned and managed for livestock production. These rangelands are vulnerable to land-use conversion and climate change. To help resource managers assess the impacts of land-use change and climate change, U.S. Geological Survey scientists and their cooperators developed scenarios to quantify and map changes to three main rangeland ecosystem services—wildlife habitat, water supply, and carbon sequestration. Project results will help prioritize strategies to conserve these rangelands and the ecosystem services that they provide.

  6. Rangeland Ecosystem Services: Nature's Supply and Humans' Demand

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem services are the benefits that society receives from nature and they include the regulation of climate, the pollination of crops, the provisioning of intellectual inspiration and recreational environment, as well as many essential goods such as food, fiber, and wood. Rangeland ecosystem se...

  7. Land management implications for ecosystem services in a South African rangeland

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petz, K.; Glenday, J.; Alkemade, J.R.M.

    2014-01-01

    In South Africa, restoration and sustainable management of historically overgrazed and degraded rangelands are promoted to increase biodiversity and ecosystem service provision. This study evaluates different land management scenarios in terms of ecosystem services in a South African rangeland, the

  8. Sound management may sequester methane in grazed rangeland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Considering their contribution to global warming, the sources and sinks of methane (CH4) should be accounted when undertaking a greenhouse gas inventory for grazed rangeland ecosystems. The aim of this study was to evaluate the mitigation potential of current ecological management programs implement...

  9. Climate change impacts on selected global rangeland ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boone, Randall B; Conant, Richard T; Sircely, Jason; Thornton, Philip K; Herrero, Mario

    2018-03-01

    Rangelands are Earth's dominant land cover and are important providers of ecosystem services. Reliance on rangelands is projected to grow, thus understanding the sensitivity of rangelands to future climates is essential. We used a new ecosystem model of moderate complexity that allows, for the first time, to quantify global changes expected in rangelands under future climates. The mean global annual net primary production (NPP) may decline by 10 g C m -2  year -1 in 2050 under Representative Concentration Pathway (RCP) 8.5, but herbaceous NPP is projected to increase slightly (i.e., average of 3 g C m -2  year -1 ). Responses vary substantially from place-to-place, with large increases in annual productivity projected in northern regions (e.g., a 21% increase in productivity in the US and Canada) and large declines in western Africa (-46% in sub-Saharan western Africa) and Australia (-17%). Soil organic carbon is projected to increase in Australia (9%), the Middle East (14%), and central Asia (16%) and decline in many African savannas (e.g., -18% in sub-Saharan western Africa). Livestock are projected to decline 7.5 to 9.6%, an economic loss of from $9.7 to $12.6 billion. Our results suggest that forage production in Africa is sensitive to changes in climate, which will have substantial impacts on the livelihoods of the more than 180 million people who raise livestock on those rangelands. Our approach and the simulation tool presented here offer considerable potential for forecasting future conditions, highlight regions of concern, and support analyses where costs and benefits of adaptations and policies may be quantified. Otherwise, the technical options and policy and enabling environment that are needed to facilitate widespread adaptation may be very difficult to elucidate. © 2017 John Wiley & Sons Ltd.

  10. Management of communal rangelands - the dialogue between science and indigenous knowledge: the case of the Eastern Cape

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Dube, S

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Communal area rangeland resource users are an important part of the rangeland ecosystem; rangeland management policies and practice should, therefore, accommodate their socio-cultural practices and knowledge. Indigenous knowledge (IK) is often...

  11. Introduced and invasive species in novel rangeland ecosystems: friends or foes?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belnap, Jayne; Ludwig, John A.; Wilcox, Bradford P.; Betancourt, Julio L.; Dean, W. Richard J.; Hoffmann, Benjamin D.; Milton, Sue J.

    2012-01-01

    Globally, new combinations of introduced and native plant and animal species have changed rangelands into novel ecosystems. Whereas many rangeland stakeholders (people who use or have an interest in rangelands) view intentional species introductions to improve forage and control erosion as beneficial, others focus on unintended costs, such as increased fire risk, loss of rangeland biodiversity, and threats to conservation efforts, specifically in nature reserves and parks. These conflicting views challenge all rangeland stakeholders, especially those making decisions on how best to manage novel ecosystems. To formulate a conceptual framework for decision making, we examined a wide range of novel ecosystems, created by intentional and unintentional introductions of nonnative species and land-use–facilitated spread of native ones. This framework simply divides decision making into two types: 1) straightforward–certain, and 2) complex–uncertain. We argue that management decisions to retain novel ecosystems are certain when goods and services provided by the system far outweigh the costs of restoration, for example in the case of intensively managed Cenchrus pastures. Decisions to return novel ecosystems to natural systems are also certain when the value of the system is low and restoration is easy and inexpensive as in the case of biocontrol of Opuntia infestations. In contrast, decisions whether to retain or restore novel ecosystems become complex and uncertain in cases where benefits are low and costs of control are high as, for example, in the case of stopping the expansion of Prosopis and Juniperus into semiarid rangelands. Decisions to retain or restore novel ecosystems are also complex and uncertain when, for example, nonnative Eucalyptus trees expand along natural streams, negatively affecting biodiversity, but also providing timber and honey. When decision making is complex and uncertain, we suggest that rangeland managers utilize cost–benefit analyses

  12. The Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy Actionable Science Plan: U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington D.C.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy Actionable Science Plan Team

    2016-01-01

    The Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy (hereafter Strategy, DOI 2015) outlined the need for coordinated, science-based adaptive management to achieve long-term protection, conservation, and restoration of the sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystem. A key component of this management approach is the identification of knowledge gaps that limit...

  13. Assessing the impacts of livestock production on biodiversity in rangeland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alkemade, Rob; Reid, Robin S; van den Berg, Maurits; de Leeuw, Jan; Jeuken, Michel

    2013-12-24

    Biodiversity in rangelands is decreasing, due to intense utilization for livestock production and conversion of rangeland into cropland; yet the outlook of rangeland biodiversity has not been considered in view of future global demand for food. Here we assess the impact of future livestock production on the global rangelands area and their biodiversity. First we formalized existing knowledge about livestock grazing impacts on biodiversity, expressed in mean species abundance (MSA) of the original rangeland native species assemblages, through metaanalysis of peer-reviewed literature. MSA values, ranging from 1 in natural rangelands to 0.3 in man-made grasslands, were entered in the IMAGE-GLOBIO model. This model was used to assess the impact of change in food demand and livestock production on future rangeland biodiversity. The model revealed remarkable regional variation in impact on rangeland area and MSA between two agricultural production scenarios. The area of used rangelands slightly increases globally between 2000 and 2050 in the baseline scenario and reduces under a scenario of enhanced uptake of resource-efficient production technologies increasing production [high levels of agricultural knowledge, science, and technology (high-AKST)], particularly in Africa. Both scenarios suggest a global decrease in MSA for rangelands until 2050. The contribution of livestock grazing to MSA loss is, however, expected to diminish after 2030, in particular in Africa under the high-AKST scenario. Policies fostering agricultural intensification can reduce the overall pressure on rangeland biodiversity, but additional measures, addressing factors such as climate change and infrastructural development, are necessary to totally halt biodiversity loss.

  14. Rangeland management for multiple outcomes: Explicity integrating ecosystem services into management models

    Science.gov (United States)

    In recent decades, there has been increased interest in ecosystem services among landowners, and a growing diversity of stakeholders on rangelands. Given these changes, management cannot focus solely on maximizing ranch proceeds, but must also incorporate ecosystem service goals to sustain resources...

  15. Towards a remote sensing based indicator of rangeland ecosystem resistance and resilience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding ecosystem resistance and resilience to disturbance and invasive species is critical to the sustainable management of rangeland systems. In this context, resistance refers to the inherent ability of an ecosystem to resist disturbance, while resilience refers to the capacity of an ecosys...

  16. Reorienting land degradation towards sustainable land management: linking sustainable livelihoods with ecosystem services in rangeland systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reed, M S; Stringer, L C; Dougill, A J; Perkins, J S; Atlhopheng, J R; Mulale, K; Favretto, N

    2015-03-15

    This paper identifies new ways of moving from land degradation towards sustainable land management through the development of economic mechanisms. It identifies new mechanisms to tackle land degradation based on retaining critical levels of natural capital whilst basing livelihoods on a wider range of ecosystem services. This is achieved through a case study analysis of the Kalahari rangelands in southwest Botswana. The paper first describes the socio-economic and ecological characteristics of the Kalahari rangelands and the types of land degradation taking place. It then focuses on bush encroachment as a way of exploring new economic instruments (e.g. Payments for Ecosystem Services) designed to enhance the flow of ecosystem services that support livelihoods in rangeland systems. It does this by evaluating the likely impacts of bush encroachment, one of the key forms of rangeland degradation, on a range of ecosystem services in three land tenure types (private fenced ranches, communal grazing areas and Wildlife Management Areas), before considering options for more sustainable land management in these systems. We argue that with adequate policy support, economic mechanisms could help reorient degraded rangelands towards more sustainable land management. Copyright © 2014 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Ltd.. All rights reserved.

  17. Assessment of rangeland ecosystem conditions, Salt Creek watershed and Dugout Ranch, southeastern Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowker, M.A.; Miller, M.E.; Belote, R.T.

    2012-01-01

    Increasingly, dry rangelands are being valued for multiple services beyond their traditional value as a forage production system. Additional ecosystem services include the potential to store carbon in the soil and plant biomass. In addition, dust emissions from rangelands might be considered an ecosystem detriment, the opposite of an ecosystem service. Dust emitted may have far-reaching impacts, for example, reduction of local air quality, as well as altering regional water supplies through effects on snowpack. Using an extensive rangeland monitoring dataset in the greater Canyonlands region (Utah, USA), we developed a method to estimate indices of the provisioning of three ecosystem services (forage production, dust retention, C storage) and one ecosystem property (nativeness), taking into account both ecosystem type and alternative states within that ecosystem type. We also integrated these four indices into a multifunctionality index. Comparing the currently ungrazed Canyonlands National Park watersheds to the adjacent Dugout Ranch pastures, we found clearly higher multifunctionality was attained in the Park, and that this was primarily driven by greater C-storage and better dust retention. It is unlikely to maximize all benefits and minimize all detriments at the same time. Some goods and services may have synergistic interactions; for example, managing for carbon storage will increase plant and biocrust cover likely lowering dust emission. Likewise, some may have antagonistic interactions. For instance, if carbon is consumed as biomass for livestock production, then carbon storage may be reduced. Ultimately our goal should be to quantify the monetary consequences of specific land use practices for multiple ecosystem services and determine the best land use and adaptive management practices for attaining multiple ecosystem services, minimizing economic detriments, and maximizing economic benefits from multi-commodity rangelands. Our technique is the first step

  18. Collaborative adaptive rangeland management fosters management-science partnerships

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangelands of the western Great Plains of North America are complex social-ecological systems where management objectives for livestock production, grassland bird conservation and vegetation structure and composition converge. The Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management (CARM) experiment is a 10...

  19. Effects of Management on Soil Carbon Pools in California Rangeland Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, W. L.; Ryals, R.; Lewis, D. J.; Creque, J.; Wacker, M.; Larson, S.

    2008-12-01

    Rangeland ecosystems managed for livestock production represent the largest land-use footprint globally, covering more than one-quarter of the world's land surface (Asner et al. 2004). In California, rangelands cover an estimated 17 million hectares or approximately 40% of the land area (FRAP 2003). These ecosystems have considerable potential to sequester carbon (C) in soil and offset greenhouse gas emissions through changes in land management practices. Climate policies and C markets may provide incentives for rangeland managers to pursue strategies that optimize soil C storage, yet we lack a thorough understanding of the effects of management on soil C pools in rangelands over time and space. We sampled soil C pools on rangelands in a 260 km2 region of Marin and Sonoma counties to determine if patterns in soil C storage exist with management. Replicate soil samples were collected from 35 fields that spanned the dominant soil orders, plant communities, and management practices in the region while controlling for slope and bioclimatic zone (n = 1050). Management practices included organic amendments, intensive (dairy) and extensive (other) grazing practices, and subsoiling. Soil C pools ranged from approximately 50 to 140 Mg C ha-1 to 1 m depth, with a mean of 99 ± 22 (sd) Mg C ha-1. Differences among sites were due primarily to C concentrations, which exhibited a much larger coefficient of variation than bulk density at all depths. There were no statistically significant differences among the dominant soil orders. Subsoiling appeared to significantly increase soil C content in the top 50 cm, even though subsoiling had only occurred for the first time the previous Nov. Organic amendments also appeared to greatly increase soil C pools, and was the dominant factor that distinguished soil C pools in intensive and extensive land uses. Our results indicate that management has the potential to significantly increase soil C pools. Future research will determine the

  20. Revolutionary land use change in the 21st century: Is (rangeland) science relevant?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrick, J.E.; Brown, J.R.; Bestelmeyer, B.T.; Andrews, S.S.; Baldi, G.; Davies, J.; Duniway, M.; Havstad, K.M.; Karl, J.W.; Karlen, D.L.; Peters, Debra P.C.; Quinton, J.N.; Riginos, C.; Shaver, P.L.; Steinaker, D.; Twomlow, S.

    2012-01-01

    Rapidly increasing demand for food, fiber, and fuel together with new technologies and the mobility of global capital are driving revolutionary changes in land use throughout the world. Efforts to increase land productivity include conversion of millions of hectares of rangelands to crop production, including many marginal lands with low resistance and resilience to degradation. Sustaining the productivity of these lands requires careful land use planning and innovative management systems. Historically, this responsibility has been left to agronomists and others with expertise in crop production. In this article, we argue that the revolutionary land use changes necessary to support national and global food security potentially make rangeland science more relevant now than ever. Maintaining and increasing relevance will require a revolutionary change in range science from a discipline that focuses on a particular land use or land cover to one that addresses the challenge of managing all lands that, at one time, were considered to be marginal for crop production. We propose four strategies to increase the relevance of rangeland science to global land management: 1) expand our awareness and understanding of local to global economic, social, and technological trends in order to anticipate and identify drivers and patterns of conversion; 2) emphasize empirical studies and modeling that anticipate the biophysical (ecosystem services) and societal consequences of large-scale changes in land cover and use; 3) significantly increase communication and collaboration with the disciplines and sectors of society currently responsible for managing the new land uses; and 4) develop and adopt a dynamic and flexible resilience-based land classification system and data-supported conceptual models (e.g., state-and-transition models) that represent all lands, regardless of use and the consequences of land conversion to various uses instead of changes in state or condition that are

  1. Power and limitation of soil properties as predictors of rangeland health and ecosystem functioning in a Northern mixed-grass prairie[Abstract

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil properties are thought to affect rangeland ecosystem functioning (e.g. primary productivity, hydrology), and thus soil variables that are consistently correlated with key ecosystem functions may be general indicators of rangeland health. We summarize results from several studies in mixed-grass...

  2. Mapping and modelling trade-offs and synergies between grazing intensity and ecosystem services in rangelands using global-scale datasets and models

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Petz, K.; Alkemade, J.R.M.; Bakkenes, M.; Schulp, C.J.E.; van der Velde, M.; Leemans, R.

    2014-01-01

    Vast areas of rangelands across the world are grazed with increasing intensity, but interactions between livestock production, biodiversity and other ecosystem services are poorly studied. This study explicitly determines trade-offs and synergies between ecosystem services and livestock grazing

  3. Future Rangeland Ecosystems in the Dryland Belt of Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Jiaguo

    2015-04-01

    One of the greatest challenges humans are facing is sustainably managing water and land resources under changing global environment. This issue is especially pertinent in dryland belt in Asia where freshwater is scarce and shared among many nations. The region is heavily dependent on the diminishing Himalayan glaciers and limited and changing precipitation patterns. With increasing climate variability and a regional warming trend water security issues are acute and if not properly addressed could affect regional stability and lead to international conflicts. Solutions to these urgent regional issues are lacking and further research efforts are needed. Adaptive strategies addressing the complex and multifaceted water resource issues in the region will require a co-design and co-delivery of knowledge specific to the region and must consider exogenous factors such as policies of neighbouring countries and changing precipitation patterns due to climate change. There is a need to determine and fund scientific research priorities and practical approaches co-developed by local stakeholders and scientists to change the region's paradigm to "science for society". This presentation will summarize the collective outcome from a focused group discussion at the international workshop on "Future Earth and Science for Society" to be held from February 25-27, 2015 at Michigan State University, including knowledge gaps, research priorities, a general framework and international collaborations to move forward to addressing the future of the dyrland belt of Asia.

  4. Relationship Between Forage Allowance and Grazing Efficiency in the Great Plains: Implications for Managing Rangelands for Both Livestock Production and Desired Ecosystem Goods and Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Emergence of desired ecosystem goods and services from rangelands as a societal benefit and a potential income source for land managers has implications regarding the management of plant communities traditionally used primarily for livestock production. Contemporary decision-making on rangelands in ...

  5. Assessing the impacts of livestock production on biodiversity in rangeland ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Alkemade, R.; Reid, R.S.; Berg, van den M.; Leeuw, de J.; Jeuken, M.

    2013-01-01

    Biodiversity in rangelands is decreasing, due to intense utilization for livestock production and conversion of rangeland into cropland; yet the outlook of rangeland biodiversity has not been considered in view of future global demand for food. Here we assess the impact of future livestock

  6. Unmanned Aircraft Systems Used over Western U.S. Rangelands to Characterize Terrestrial Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rango, A.

    2015-12-01

    New remote sensing methods to quantify terrestrial ecosystems have developed rapidly over the past 10 years. New platforms with improved aeronautical capabilities have become known as Unmanned Aircraft Systems (UAS). In addition to the new aircraft, sensors are becoming smaller and some can fit into limited payload bays. The miniaturization process is well underway, but much remains to be done. Rather than using a wide variety of sensors, a limited number of instruments is recommended. At the moment we fly 2-3 instruments (digital SLR camera, 6-band multispectral camera, and single video camera). Our flights are primarily over low population density western U.S. rangeland with objectives to assess rangeland health, active erosion, vegetation change, phenology, livestock movement, and vegetation type consumed by grazing animals. All of our UAS flights are made using a serpentine flight path with overlapping images at an altitude of 700 ft (215 m). This altitude allows hyperspatial imagery with a resolution of 5-15 cm depending upon the sensor being used, and it allows determination of vegetation type based on the plant structure and vegetation geometries, or by multispectral analysis. In addition to advances in aircraft and sensor technology, image processing software has become more sophisticated. Future development is necessary, and we can expect improvement in sensors, aircraft, data collection, and application to terrestrial ecosystems. Of 17 ARS research laboratories across the country four laboratories are interested in future UAS applications and another 13 already have at least one UAS. In 2015 the Federal Aviation Administration proposed a framework of recommendations that would allow routine use of certain small UAS (those weighing less than 55 lb (25 kg)). Although these new regulations will provide increased flexibility in how flights are made, other operations will still require the use of a Certificate of Authorization.

  7. Plant species richness and shrub cover attenuate drought effects on ecosystem functioning across Patagonian rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gaitán, Juan J; Bran, Donaldo; Oliva, Gabriel; Maestre, Fernando T; Aguiar, Martín R; Jobbágy, Esteban; Buono, Gustavo; Ferrante, Daniela; Nakamatsu, Viviana; Ciari, Georgina; Salomone, Jorge; Massara, Virginia

    2014-10-01

    Drought is an increasingly common phenomenon in drylands as a consequence of climate change. We used 311 sites across a broad range of environmental conditions in Patagonian rangelands to evaluate how drought severity and temperature (abiotic factors) and vegetation structure (biotic factors) modulate the impact of a drought event on the annual integral of normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI-I), our surrogate of ecosystem functioning. We found that NDVI-I decreases were larger with both increasing drought severity and temperature. Plant species richness (SR) and shrub cover (SC) attenuated the effects of drought on NDVI-I. Grass cover did not affect the impacts of drought on NDVI-I. Our results suggest that warming and species loss, two important imprints of global environmental change, could increase the vulnerability of Patagonian ecosystems to drought. Therefore, maintaining SR through appropriate grazing management can attenuate the adverse effects of climate change on ecosystem functioning. © 2014 The Author(s) Published by the Royal Society. All rights reserved.

  8. Rehabilitation of community-owned, mixed-use rangelands: Lessons from the Ewaso ecosystem in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Globally, 10-20% of arid and semi-arid rangelands have been classified as severely degraded (UNCCD 1994; MEA 2005), and in sub-Saharan Africa specifically, 70% of rangelands are considered moderately to severely degraded (Dregne 1992; UNCCD 1994). Given that these drylands make up 43% of Africa’s la...

  9. Institutional development for sustainable rangeland resource and ecosystem management in mountainous areas of northern Nepal.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dong, Shikui; Lassoie, James; Shrestha, K K; Yan, Zhaoli; Sharma, Ekalabya; Pariya, D

    2009-02-01

    Rangelands represent one of the most important natural resources in mountainous regions of northern Nepal. However, a poor understanding of the social dimensions of rangeland use has limited their proper management and sustainable development, which represent major challenges for Nepal's resource managers. Institutional development is thought to be a viable solution to this problem and may ultimately lead to improved rangeland management in Nepal. Based on this hypothesis, a study was conduced in the Rasuwa district of northern Nepal to examine the effectiveness of institutional development at the local and national levels in mitigating the problems facing sustainable rangeland management by using an institutional analysis and development (IAD) framework. The information and data were mainly collected from different stakeholders, farmers, professionals and practitioners using a toolkit of participatory rural appraisal (PRA), workshops and literature review. It can be concluded from this case study that a number of institutional development efforts are needed to promote sustainable rangeland management in this region. First, local herders represent a repository of rich indigenous knowledge essential to sustaining sound rangeland management practices; hence, indigenous practices need to be integrated into modern technologies. Second, public services and technical support are currently unavailable or inaccessible to local herders; hence, research, development and extension interventions need to be initiated for marginalized pastoral communities. Third, rangeland institutions are incomplete and ill-organized, so institutional development of various organizations is necessary for promoting sustainable rangeland management. Fourth, the policies and governance necessary for promoting rangeland management are not well-designed; hence, governance reform and policy development need to be formulated through internal and external agencies and organizations.

  10. Ecosystem Services are Social-ecological Services in a Traditional Pastoral System: the Case of California's Mediterranean Rangelands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lynn Huntsinger

    2014-03-01

    Full Text Available When attempting to value ecosystem services and support their production, two critical aspects may be neglected. The term "ecosystem services" implies that they are a function of natural processes; yet, human interaction with the environment may be key to the production of many. This can contribute to a misconception that ecosystem service production depends on, or is enhanced by, the coercion or removal of human industry. Second, in programs designed to encourage ecosystem service production and maintenance, too often the inter-relationship of such services with social and ecological processes and drivers at multiple scales is ignored. Thinking of such services as "social-ecological services" can reinforce the importance of human culture, perspectives, and economies to the production of ecosystem services. Using a social-ecological systems perspective, we explore the integral role of human activity and decisions at pasture, ranch, and landscape scales. Just as it does for understanding ecosystems, a hierarchical, multiscaled framework facilitates exploring the complexity of social-ecological systems as producers of ecosystem services, to develop approaches for the conservation of such services. Using California's Mediterranean rangelands as a study area, we suggest that using a multiscaled approach that considers the importance of the differing drivers and processes at each scale and the interactions among scales, and that incorporates social-ecological systems concepts, may help avoid mistakes caused by narrow assumptions about "natural" systems, and a lack of understanding of the need for integrated, multiscaled conservation programs.

  11. Framework for comparing ecosystem impacts of developing unconventional energy resources on western US rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Urs P. Kreuter; William E. Fox; John A. Tanaka; Kristie A. Maczko; Daniel W. McCollum; John E. Mitchell; Clifford S. Duke; Lori Hidinger

    2012-01-01

    More diverse sources of energy are needed for countries to progress toward energy independence and to meet future food production needs. The US Task Force on Strategic Unconventional Fuels concluded that to achieve this objective it is essential to develop a domestic unconventional fuels industry. Rangelands, which cover 50% to 70% of the earth's terrestrial...

  12. Hardwood rangeland landowners in California from 1985 to 2004: production, ecosystem services, and permanence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynn Huntsinger; Martin Johnson; Monica Stafford; Jeremy S. Fried

    2010-01-01

    A longitudinal study of California hardwood rangelands shows significant change in landowner characteristics and goals. Results of three studies spanning 1985 to 2004 were used to develop and evaluate a multiagency research and extension program known as the Integrated Hardwood Range Management Program. Program-sponsored education and research aimed at encouraging...

  13. Object-based image analysis for scaling properties of rangeland ecosystems: Linking field and image data for management decision making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karl, Jason William

    Management of semi-arid shrub-steppe ecosystems (i.e., rangelands) requires accurate information over large landscapes, and remote sensing is an attractive option for collecting such data. To successfully use remotely-sensed data in landscape-level rangeland management, questions as to the relevance of image data to landscape patterns and optimal scales of analysis must be addressed. Object-based image analysis (OBIA), which segments image pixels into homogeneous regions, or objects, has been suggested as a way to increase accuracy of remotely-sensed products, but little research has gone into how to determine sizes of image objects with regard to scaling of ecosystem properties. The purpose of my dissertation was to determine if OBIA could be used to generate observational scales to match ecological scales in rangelands and to explore the potential for OBIA to generate accurate and repeatable remote-sensing products for managers. The work presented here was conducted in southern Idaho's Snake River Plain region. By comparing OBIA segmentation of satellite imagery into successively coarser objects to pixel-based aggregation methods, I found that canonical correlations between field-collected and image data were similar at the finest scales, but higher for image segmentation as scale increased. I also detected scaling thresholds with image segmentation that were confirmed via semi-variograms of field data. This approach proved useful for evaluating the overall utility of an image to address an objective, and identifying scaling limits for analysis. I next used observations of percent bare-ground cover from 346 field sites to consider how hierarchies of image objects created through OBIA could be used to discover appropriate scales for analysis given a specific objective. Using a regression-based approach, I found that segmentation levels whose predictions of bare-ground cover had spatial dependence that most closely matched the spatial dependence of the field

  14. Invasive rangeland plants in range and animal sciences and resources management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Comprising about 50% of the world’s land surface, rangelands are an important ecological and economic resource. Rangeland plant communities are changing. Even though the composition of plant communities in rangeland changes continually through the process of succession, in more recent years this c...

  15. Future directions of ecosystem science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Jill; Galvin, Kathleen A.

    1990-01-01

    Scientific knowledge about ecosystem structure and function has expanded greatly during the past few decades. Terrestrial and aquatic nutrient cycling, ecosystem energetics, population dynamics, belowground processes, and food webs have been studied at the plot, stand, watershed, and landscape levels at many locations around the globe. Ideas about terrestrial-atmospheric interactions and human interference in these processes have changed dramatically. There is new appreciation of the need to incorporate into ecosystem studies the interactions between human populations and the ecosystem, not only because humans affect ecosystem processes, but because these systems support human populations (Glantz 1988, Holden 1988, Parry et al. 1988, WCED 1987). Recent advances in ecosystem science are due, in part, to technological improvements in computing power, new laboratory and field physical and chemical analytical techniques, and satellite imagery for remote sensing of Earth's structure and dynamics. Modeling and geographic information systems have provided the capability for integrating multiple data sets with process simulations to generate hypotheses about regional ecosystem function. Concurrent with these scientific developments has been a growing concern about the links between the health of the environment and world-wide industrial, land, and resource-management practices. Environmental damage at the local level was widely recognized in the 1960s, prompting the environmental movement of that decade. Regional environmental problems with multiple effects and politically difficult solutions have been perceived more recently; the issue of acidic deposition provides an example of such a second-generation concern (Clark and Holling 1985). Today there is a growing awareness of global-scale environmental degradation brought about by the combined actions of all peoples on Earth (Clark 1989, Woodmansee et al. 1988). The three levels of environmental concern--local, regional

  16. Integrated climate/land use/hydrological change scenarios for assessing threats to ecosystem services on California rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Byrd, K. B.; Flint, L. E.; Casey, C. F.; Alvarez, P.; Sleeter, B. M.; Sohl, T.

    2013-12-01

    In California there are over 18 million acres of rangelands in the Central Valley and the interior Coast Range, most of which are privately owned and managed for livestock production. Ranches provide extensive wildlife habitat and generate multiple ecosystem services that carry considerable market and non-market values. These rangelands are under pressure from urbanization and conversion to intensive agriculture, as well as from climate change that can alter the flow of these services. To understand the coupled and isolated impacts of land use and climate change on rangeland ecosystem services, we developed six spatially explicit (250 m) coupled climate/land use/hydrological change scenarios for the Central Valley and oak woodland regions of California consistent with three IPCC emission scenarios - A2, A1B and B1. Three land use land cover (LULC) change scenarios were each integrated with two downscaled global climate models (GCMs) (a warm, wet future and a hot, dry future) and related hydrologic data. We used these scenarios to quantify wildlife habitat, water supply (recharge potential and streamflow) and carbon sequestration on rangelands and to conduct an economic analysis associated with changes in these benefits. The USGS FOREcasting SCEnarios of land-use change model (FORE-SCE), which runs dynamically with downscaled GCM outputs, was used to generate maps of yearly LULC change for each scenario from 2006 to 2100. We used the USGS Basin Characterization Model (BCM), a regional water balance model, to generate change in runoff, recharge, and stream discharge based on land use change and climate change. Metrics derived from model outputs were generated at the landscape scale and for six case-study watersheds. At the landscape scale, over a quarter of the million acres set aside for conservation in the B1 scenario would otherwise be converted to agriculture in the A2 scenario, where temperatures increase by up to 4.5 °C compared to 1.3 °C in the B1 scenario

  17. RANGELAND SEQUESTRATION POTENTIAL ASSESSMENT

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Lee Spangler; George F. Vance; Gerald E. Schuman; Justin D. Derner

    2012-03-31

    Rangelands occupy approximately half of the world's land area and store greater than 10% of the terrestrial biomass carbon and up to 30% of the global soil organic carbon. Although soil carbon sequestration rates are generally low on rangelands in comparison to croplands, increases in terrestrial carbon in rangelands resulting from management can account for significant carbon sequestration given the magnitude of this land resource. Despite the significance rangelands can play in carbon sequestration, our understanding remains limited. Researchers conducted a literature review to identify sustainably management practices that conserve existing rangeland carbon pools, as well as increase or restore carbon sequestration potentials for this type of ecosystem. The research team also reviewed the impact of grazing management on rangeland carbon dynamics, which are not well understood due to heterogeneity in grassland types. The literature review on the impact of grazing showed a wide variation of results, ranging from positive to negative to no response. On further review, the intensity of grazing appears to be a major factor in controlling rangeland soil organic carbon dynamics. In 2003, researchers conducted field sampling to assess the effect of several drought years during the period 1993-2002. Results suggested that drought can significantly impact rangeland soil organic carbon (SOC) levels, and therefore, carbon sequestration. Resampling was conducted in 2006; results again suggested that climatic conditions may have overridden management effects on SOC due to the ecological lag of the severe drought of 2002. Analysis of grazing practices during this research effort suggested that there are beneficial effects of light grazing compared to heavy grazing and non-grazing with respect to increased SOC and nitrogen contents. In general, carbon storage in rangelands also increases with increased precipitation, although researchers identified threshold levels of

  18. Rangeland ecosystem goods and services: Values and evaluation of opportunities for ranchers and land managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristie Maczko; John A. Tanaka; Robert Breckenridge; Lori Hidinger; H. Theodore Heintz; William E. Fox; Urs P. Kreuter; Clifford S. Duke; John E. Mitchell; Daniel W. McCollum

    2011-01-01

    Although the US Department of Agriculture's 2005 public commitment to use market-based incentives for environmental stewardship and cooperative conservation focused land managers' attention on the concept of ecosystem goods and services (EGS), this was not a new idea. Much earlier in the 20th century, Aldo Leopold embraced the value of open space, calling for...

  19. Monitoring the status of forests and rangelands in the Western United States using ecosystem performance anomalies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rigge, Matthew B.; Wylie, Bruce; Gu, Yingxin; Belnap, Jayne; Phuyal, Khem P.; Tieszen, Larry

    2013-01-01

    The effects of land management and disturbance on ecosystem performance (i.e. biomass production) are often confounded by those of weather and site potential. The current study overcomes this issue by calculating the difference between actual and expected ecosystem performance (EEP) to generate ecosystem performance anomalies (EPA). This study aims to delineate and quantify average EPA from 2000–2009 within the Greater Platte and Upper Colorado River Basins, USA. Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) images averaged over the growing season (GSN) served as a proxy of actual ecosystem performance. Yearly EEP was determined with rule-based piecewise regression tree models of abiotic data (climate, soils, elevation, etc.), independently created for each land cover. EPA were calculated as the residuals of the EEP to GSN relationship, and characterized as normal performing, underperforming, and overperforming at the 90% confidence level. Validation revealed that EPA values were related to biomass production (R2 = 0.56, P = 0.02) and likely to the proportion of biomass removed by livestock in the Nebraska Sandhills. Overall, 60.6% of the study area was (normal) performing near its EEP, 3.0% was severely underperforming, 5.0% was highly overperforming, and the remainder was slightly underperforming or overperforming. Generally, disturbances such as fires, floods, and insect damage, in addition to high grazing intensity, result in a negative EPA. Conversely, mature stands and appropriate management often result in positive EPA values. This method provides information critical to land managers to evaluate the appropriateness of previous management practices and restoration efforts and quantify disturbance impacts. Results are at a scale sufficient for many of the large management units of the region and for locating areas needing further investigation. Applications of EPA data to monitoring invasive species

  20. Ecosystem Services in Environmental Science Literacy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ruppert, John Robert

    2015-01-01

    Human beings depend on a set of benefits that emerge from functioning ecosystems, termed Ecosystem Services (ES), and make decisions in everyday life that affect these ES. Recent advancements in science have led to an increasingly sophisticated understanding of ES and how they can be used to inform environmental decision-making. Following suit, US…

  1. Land science contributions to ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Crossman, N.D.; Brett, A.; Bryan, A.; Groot, de R.S.; Lin, Y.P.; Minang, P.A.

    2013-01-01

    We provide an overview of the contribution of land science to improving ecosystem service quantification, valuation and management. We briefly review the impacts of land use and land management change on ecosystem services, the complexity of relationships between the land system and the supply and

  2. Using rangeland health assessment to inform successional management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland health assessment provides qualitative information on ecosystem attributes. Successional management is a conceptual framework that allows managers to link information gathered in rangeland health assessment to ecological processes that need to be repaired to allow vegetation to change in ...

  3. Science framework for conservation and restoration of the sagebrush biome: Linking the Department of the Interior’s Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy to long-term strategic conservation actions, Part 1. Science basis and applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jeanne C.; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Bradford, John B.; Bybee, Jared; Campbell, Steve; Carlson, John; Christiansen, Thomas J; Clause, Karen J.; Collins, Gail; Crist, Michele R.; Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Doherty, Kevin E; Edwards, Fred; Espinosa, Shawn; Griffin, Kathleen A.; Griffin, Paul; Haas, Jessica R.; Hanser, Steve; Havlina, Douglas W.; Henke, Kenneth F.; Hennig, Jacob D.; Joyce, Linda A; Kilkenny, Francis F.; Kulpa, Sarah M; Kurth, Laurie L; Maestas, Jeremy D; Manning, Mary; Mayer, Kenneth E.; Mealor, Brian A.; McCarthy, Clinton; Pellant, Mike; Perea, Marco A.; Prentice, Karen L.; Pyke, David A.; Wiechman , Lief A.; Wuenschel, Amarina

    2017-01-01

    The Science Framework is intended to link the Department of the Interior’s Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy with long-term strategic conservation actions in the sagebrush biome. The Science Framework provides a multiscale approach for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies within the sagebrush biome. The emphasis is on sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) ecosystems and Greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). The approach provided in the Science Framework links sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative, invasive plant species to species habitat information based on the distribution and abundance of focal species. A geospatial process is presented that overlays information on ecosystem resilience and resistance, species habitats, and predominant threats and that can be used at the mid-scale to prioritize areas for management. A resilience and resistance habitat matrix is provided that can help decisionmakers evaluate risks and determine appropriate management strategies. Prioritized areas and management strategies can be refined by managers and stakeholders at the local scale based on higher resolution data and local knowledge. Decision tools are discussed for determining appropriate management actions for areas that are prioritized for management. Geospatial data, maps, and models are provided through the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) ScienceBase and Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Landscape Approach Data Portal. The Science Framework is intended to be adaptive and will be updated as additional data become available on other values and species at risk. It is anticipated that the Science Framework will be widely used to: (1) inform emerging strategies to conserve sagebrush ecosystems, sagebrush dependent species, and human uses of the sagebrush system, and (2) assist managers in prioritizing and planning on-the-ground restoration and mitigation actions across the sagebrush biome.

  4. Estimating grass nutrients and biomass as an indicator of rangeland (forage) quality and quantity using remote sensing in Savanna ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramoelo, Abel

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available and grass quantity, respectively. The objective of the study is to estimate and map leaf N and biomass as an indicator of rangeland quality and quantity using vegetation indices derived from one RapidEye image taken at peak productivity. The study...

  5. Effects of feral free-roaming horses on semi-arid rangeland ecosystems: an example from the sagebrush steppe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Feral horses (Equus caballus) are viewed as a symbol of freedom and power; however, they are also a largely unmanaged, non-native grazer in North America, South America, and Australia. Information on their influence on vegetation and soil characteristics in semi-arid rangelands has been limited by ...

  6. Social and Economic Indicators of the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable

    Science.gov (United States)

    John E. Mitchell; Daniel W. McCallum; Lewis E. Swanson; John Tanaka; Mark Brunson; Aaron Harp; L. Allen Torell; H. Theodore Heintz

    2006-01-01

    Social and economic systems provide a context and rationale for rangeland management. Sustaining rangeland ecosystems requires attention to the social and economic conditions that accompany the functioning of those systems. We present and discuss economic and social indicators for rangeland sustainability that have possible relevance in the United States. A brief...

  7. An Integrated Social, Economic, and Ecologic Conceptual (ISEEC) framework for considering rangeland sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    William E. Fox; Daniel W. McCollum; John E. Mitchell; Louis E. Swanson; Urs P. Kreuter; John A. Tanaka; Gary R. Evans; H. Theodore Heintz; Robert P. Breckenridge; Paul H. Geissler

    2009-01-01

    Currently, there is no standard method to assess the complex systems in rangeland ecosystems. Decision makers need baselines to create a common language of current rangeland conditions and standards for continued rangeland assessment. The Sustainable Rangeland Roundtable (SRR), a group of private and public organizations and agencies, has created a forum to discuss...

  8. Environmental resilience of rangeland ecosystems: assessment drought indices and vegetation trends on arid and semi-arid zones of Central Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aralova, Dildora; Toderich, Kristina; Jarihani, Ben; Gafurov, Dilshod; Gismatulina, Liliya; Osunmadewa, Babatunde A.; Rahamtallah Abualgasim, Majdaldin

    2016-10-01

    The Central Asian (CA) rangelands is a part of the arid and semi-arid ecological zones and spatial extent of drylands in CA (Tajikistan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, and Turkmenistan) is vast. Projections averaged across a suite of climate models, as measured between 1950-2012 by Standardised Precipitation-Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) estimated a progressively increasing drought risks across rangelands (Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan) especially during late summer and autumn periods, another index: Potential Evapotranspiration (PET) indicated drought anomalies for Turkmenistan and partly in Uzbekistan (between 1950-2000). On this study, we have combined a several datasets of drought indices ( SPIE, PET, temperature_T°C and precipitation_P) for better estimation of resilience/non-resilience of the ecosystems after warming the temperature in the following five countries, meanwhile, warming of climate causing of increasing rating of degradations and extension of desertification in the lowland and foothill zones of the landscape and consequently surrounding experienced of a raising balance of evapotranspiration (ET0). The study concluded, increasing drought anomalies which is closely related with raising (ET0) in the lowland and foothill zones of CA indicated on decreasing of NDVI indices with occurred sandy and loamy soils it will resulting a loss of vegetation diversity (endangered species) and raising of wind speeds in lowlands of CA, but on regional level especially towards agricultural intensification (without rotation) it indicated no changes of greenness index. It was investigated to better interpret how vegetation feedback modifies the sensitivity of drought indices associated with raising tendency of air temperature and changes of cold and hot year seasons length in the territory of CA.

  9. Sustainable rangeland management, economic growth, and a cautious role for the SRM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Interest in the art and science of rangeland management increased dramatically during the 20th century and it was out of this interest that the profession of rangeland management was born. As public interest in rangeland management grew, so did the number, breadth, and depth of rangeland management ...

  10. Toward an integration of evolutionary biology and ecosystem science.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthews, Blake; Narwani, Anita; Hausch, Stephen; Nonaka, Etsuko; Peter, Hannes; Yamamichi, Masato; Sullam, Karen E; Bird, Kali C; Thomas, Mridul K; Hanley, Torrance C; Turner, Caroline B

    2011-07-01

    At present, the disciplines of evolutionary biology and ecosystem science are weakly integrated. As a result, we have a poor understanding of how the ecological and evolutionary processes that create, maintain, and change biological diversity affect the flux of energy and materials in global biogeochemical cycles. The goal of this article was to review several research fields at the interfaces between ecosystem science, community ecology and evolutionary biology, and suggest new ways to integrate evolutionary biology and ecosystem science. In particular, we focus on how phenotypic evolution by natural selection can influence ecosystem functions by affecting processes at the environmental, population and community scale of ecosystem organization. We develop an eco-evolutionary model to illustrate linkages between evolutionary change (e.g. phenotypic evolution of producer), ecological interactions (e.g. consumer grazing) and ecosystem processes (e.g. nutrient cycling). We conclude by proposing experiments to test the ecosystem consequences of evolutionary changes. © 2011 Blackwell Publishing Ltd/CNRS.

  11. A review of concentrated flow erosion processes on rangelands: Fundamental understanding and knowledge gaps

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sayjro K. Nouwakpo

    2016-06-01

    Full Text Available Concentrated flow erosion processes are distinguished from splash and sheetflow processes in their enhanced ability to mobilize and transport large amounts of soil, water and dissolved elements. On rangelands, soil, nutrients and water are scarce and only narrow margins of resource losses are tolerable before crossing the sustainability threshold. In these ecosystems, concentrated flow processes are perceived as indicators of degradation and often warrant the implementation of mitigation strategies. Nevertheless, this negative perception of concentrated flow processes may conflict with the need to improve understanding of the role of these transport vessels in redistributing water, soil and nutrients along the rangeland hillslope. Vegetation influences the development and erosion of concentrated flowpaths and has been the primary factor used to control and mitigate erosion on rangelands. At the ecohydrologic level, vegetation and concentrated flow pathways are engaged in a feedback relationship, the understanding of which might help improve rangeland management and restoration strategies. In this paper, we review published literature on experimental and conceptual research pertaining to concentrated flow processes on rangelands to: (1 present the fundamental science underpinning concentrated flow erosion modeling in these landscapes, (2 discuss the influence of vegetation on these erosion processes, (3 evaluate the contribution of concentrated flow erosion to overall sediment budget and (4 identify knowledge gaps.

  12. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands: concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) onto millions of acres of Intermountain West rangelands has caused astronomical changes to numerous ecosystems and the multiple uses that depend on healthy and functional ecosystems. This is the first part, of a 3-part series ...

  13. Science Ecosystem 2.0: how will change occur?

    OpenAIRE

    Crouzier, Thomas

    2015-01-01

    The report analyses the potential impact of a transition towards Open Science on the stakeholders of the research ecosystem. The following findings are discussed. Innovative digital tools that facilitate communication, collaboration, and the data analysis will enable Open Science practices. All stakeholders of the research ecosystem will benefit from Open Science, although it will change work habits and business models. Digital platforms will facilitate innovation by streamli...

  14. Science framework for conservation and restoration of the sagebrush biome: Linking the Department of the Interior’s Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy to long-term strategic conservation actions

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.C. Chambers; J.L. Beck; J.B. Bradford; J. Bybee; S. Campbell; J. Carlson; T.J. Christiansen; K.J. Clause; G. Collins; M.R. Crist; J.B. Dinkins; K.E. Doherty; F. Edwards; S. Espinosa; K.A. Griffin; P. Griffin; J.R. Haas; S.E. Hanser; D.W. Havlina; K.F. Henke; J.D. Hennig; L.A. Joyce; F.M. Kilkenny; S.M. Kulpa; L.L. Kurth; J.D. Maestas; M. Manning; K.E. Mayer; B.A. Mealor; C. McCarthy; M. Pellant; M.A. Perea; K.L. Prentice; D.A. Pyke; L.A. Wiechman; A. Wuenschel

    2017-01-01

    The Science Framework is intended to link the Department of the Interior’s Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy with long-term strategic conservation actions in the sagebrush biome. The Science Framework provides a multiscale approach for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies within the sagebrush biome. The emphasis...

  15. Wind energy and wildlife research at the Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Susan L.

    2011-01-01

    The United States has embarked on a goal to increase electricity generation from clean, renewable sources by 2012. Towards this end, wind energy is emerging as a widely distributed form of renewable energy throughout the country. The national goal is for energy from wind to supply 20 percent of the country's electricity by 2030. As with many land uses, trade-offs exist between costs and benefits. New wind developments are occurring rapidly in parts of the United States, often leaving little time for evaluation of potential site-specific effects. These developments are known to affect wildlife, directly from fatality due to collision with the infrastructure and indirectly from loss of habitat and migration routes. The Department of the Interior, in particular, is challenged to balance energy development on public lands and also to conserve fish and wildlife. The Secretary of the Interior has proposed a number of initiatives to encourage responsible development of renewable energy. These initiatives are especially important in the western United States where large amounts of land are being developed or evaluated for wind farms.

  16. Ecologic, Economic, and Social Considerations for Rangeland Sustainability: An Integrated Conceptual Framework

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel W. McCollum; H. Theodore Jr. Heintz; Aaron J. Harp; John A. Tanaka; Gary R. Evans; David Radloff; Louis E. Swanson; William E. III Fox; Michael G. Sherm Karl; John E. Mitchell

    2006-01-01

    Use and sustainability of rangelands are inherently linked to the health and sustainability of the land. They are also inherently linked to the social and economic infrastructures that complement and support those rangelands and rangeland uses. Ecological systems and processes provide the biological interactions underlying ecosystem health and viability. Social and...

  17. Criterion IV: Social and economic indicators of rangeland sustainability (Chapter 5)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel W. McCollum; Louis E. Swanson; John A. Tanaka; Mark W. Brunson; Aaron J. Harp; L. Allen Torell; H. Theodore Heintz

    2010-01-01

    Social and economic systems provide the context and rationale for rangeland management. Sustaining rangeland ecosystems requires attention to the social and economic conditions that accompany the functioning of those systems. We present and discuss economic and social indicators for rangeland sustainability. A brief conceptual basis for each indicator is offered,...

  18. Application of rangeland health indicators on forested plots on the Fishlake National Forest, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maggie G. Toone; Sara Goeking

    2017-01-01

    Typical indicators of rangeland health are used to describe health and functionality of a variety of rangeland ecosystems. Similar indicators may be applied to forested locations to examine ecological health at a local forest level. Four rangeland health indicators were adapted and applied to data compiled by the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky...

  19. Managing climate change risks in rangeland systems [Chapter 15

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda A. Joyce; Nadine A. Marshall

    2017-01-01

    The management of rangelands has long involved adapting to climate variability to ensure that economic enterprises remain viable and ecosystems sustainable; climate change brings the potential for change that surpasses the experience of humans within rangeland systems. Adaptation will require an intentionality to address the effects of climate change. Knowledge of...

  20. Rangeland drought: Effects, restoration, and adaptation [Chap. 8

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Rosemary L. Pendleton; Matt C. Reeves; Jeffrey E. Ott; Francis F. Kilkenny; Jack L. Butler; Jacqueline P. Ott; Jeremy R. Pinto; Paulette L. Ford; Justin B. Runyon; Mark A. Rumble; Stanley G. Kitchen

    2016-01-01

    Drought can have severe impacts on rangeland ecosystems in North America. For the purposes of this chapter, rangelands include natural grasslands, savannas, shrublands, many deserts, tundras, alpine communities, marshes, meadows, and woodlands. Drought impacts vary depending on the severity, frequency, duration, and aerial extent of the drought(s); how the land is...

  1. An Integrated Social, Economic, and Ecologic Conceptual (ISEEC) framework for considering rangeland sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fox, W.E.; McCollum, D.W.; Mitchell, J.E.; Swanson, L.E.; Kreuter, U.P.; Tanaka, J.A.; Evans, G.R.; Theodore, Heintz H.; Breckenridge, R.P.; Geissler, P.H.

    2009-01-01

    Currently, there is no standard method to assess the complex systems in rangeland ecosystems. Decision makers need baselines to create a common language of current rangeland conditions and standards for continued rangeland assessment. The Sustainable Rangeland Roundtable (SRR), a group of private and public organizations and agencies, has created a forum to discuss rangeland sustainability and assessment. The SRR has worked to integrate social, economic, and ecological disciplines related to rangelands and has identified a standard set of indicators that can be used to assess rangeland sustainability. As part of this process, SRR has developed a two-tiered conceptual framework from a systems perspective to study the validity of indicators and the relationships among them. The first tier categorizes rangeland characteristics into four states. The second tier defines processes affecting these states through time and space. The framework clearly shows that the processes affect and are affected by each other. ?? 2009 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.

  2. Earth observation for rangeland monitoring

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramoelo, Abel

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available for the methodology is presented in Figure 1. Figure 1: Conceptual framework for the development of grass nutrient estimation models, using remote sensing at various scales Earth Observation for Rangeland Monitoring DR A RAMOELO, DR M CHO AND DR R MATHIEU CSIR... and canopy N conforms to the underlying geology (Figure 2). ACKNOWLEDGEMENT The authors would like to thank the Department of Science and Technology which contributed financially to this work through the grant ?Earth Observation Application Development...

  3. Rangeland health assessment - The key to understanding and assessing rangeland soil health in the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    As the science related to soil and rangeland health evolves, so do their protocols and assessment methodologies. Rangeland health assessments consist of evaluating how well ecological processes such as the water cycle, energy flow and nutrient cycling are functioning at a site. Soil health is the ca...

  4. Rangelands: Where Anthromes Meet Their Limits

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan F. Sayre

    2017-05-01

    Full Text Available Defining rangelands as anthromes enabled Ellis and Ramankutty (2008 to conclude that more than three-quarters of Earth’s land is anthropogenic; without rangelands, this figure would have been less than half. They classified all lands grazed by domestic livestock as rangelands, provided that human population densities were low; similar areas without livestock were excluded and classified instead as ‘wildlands’. This paper examines the empirical basis and conceptual assumptions of defining and categorizing rangelands in this fashion. Empirically, we conclude that a large proportion of rangelands, although used to varying degrees by domesticated livestock, are not altered significantly by this use, especially in arid, highly variable environments and in settings with long evolutionary histories of herbivory by wild animals. Even where changes have occurred, the dynamics and components of many rangelands remain structurally and functionally equivalent to those that preceded domestic livestock grazing or would be found in its absence. In much of Africa and Asia, grazing is so longstanding as to be inextricable from ‘natural’ or reference conditions for those sites. Thus, the extent of anthropogenic biomes is significantly overstated. Conceptually, rangelands reveal the dependence of the anthromes thesis on outdated assumptions of ecological climax and equilibrium. Coming to terms with rangelands—how they can be classified, understood, and managed sustainably—thus offers important lessons for understanding anthromes and the Anthropocene as a whole. At the root of these lessons, we argue, is not the question of human impacts on ecosystems but property relations among humans.

  5. Integrating Social Science and Ecosystem Management: A National Challenge

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordell; H. Ken; Linda Caldwell

    1995-01-01

    These proceedings contain the contributed papers and panel presentations, as well as a paper presented at the National Workshop, of the Conference on Integrating Social Sciences and Ecosystem Management, which was held at Unicoi Lodge and Conference Center, Helen, GA, December 12-14, 1995. The overall purpose of this Conference was to improve understanding, integration...

  6. Strategic Science for Coral Ecosystems 2007-2011

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2010-01-01

    Shallow and deep coral ecosystems are being imperiled by a combination of stressors. Climate change, unsustainable fishing practices, and disease are transforming coral communities at regional to global scales. At local levels, excessive amounts of sediments, nutrients, and contaminants are also impacting the many benefits that healthy coral ecosystems provide. This Plan, Strategic Science for Coral Ecosystems, describes the information needs of resource managers and summarizes current research being conducted by U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists and partners. It outlines important research actions that need to be undertaken over the next five years to achieve more accurate forecasting of future conditions and develop more effective decision-support tools to adaptively manage coral ecosystems. The overarching outcome of this Plan, if fully implemented, would be in transferring relevant knowledge to decision-makers, enabling them to better protect and sustain coral ecosystem services. These services include sources of food, essential habitat for fisheries and protected species, protection of coastlines from wave damage and erosion, recreation, and cultural values for indigenous communities. The USGS has a long history of research and monitoring experience in studying ancient and living coral communities and serving many stakeholders. The research actions in this Plan build on the USGS legacy of conducting integrated multidisciplinary science to address complex environmental issues. This Plan is responsive to Federal legislation and authorities and a variety of external and internal drivers that include the President's Ocean Action Plan, the recommendations of the Coral Reef Task Force, the information needs of Bureaus in the Department of Interior, the USGS Bureau Science Strategy (USGS 2007) and the formal plans of several USGS Programs. To achieve this Plan's desired outcomes will require increased funding and more effective coordination and collaboration

  7. Pastoralism, land degradation and Carbon redistribution in rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Ali, Seid Mohammed

    2017-04-01

    Pastoralism is rarely viewed as a major future form of land use, because of well-documented cases of rangeland degradation, attributed to irrational overstocking, and the subsequent losses of ecosystem services. However, pastoralists were actually encouraged to settle and adopt such strategies, copied from rangelands with higher and more reliable rainfall. This curtailed mobility resulted in a shift from opportunistic and extensive land use to more intensive and settled forms of use, and promoted degradation of vegetation and soils and the ecosystem services they provided. However, pastoralists traditionally employed several techniques to manage rangeland resources. These practices, such as the use of seasonal grassland reserves and livestock mobility, influence vegetation composition, coverage and abundance in rangelands and preserved ecosystem services relevant for pastoralists. The traditional practices also offer tools for soil and vegetation protection and restoration, thereby contributing to the mitigation of climate change. However, various internal and external factors have curtailed traditional management practices and livestock mobility, breaking the co-evolved balance of vegetation, wildlife and land use, thus exposing rangeland to continued livestock pressure, which often leads to degradation. Rather than abandoning pastoralism as consequence of 20th century land degradation, the revitalisation of traditional practices and indigenous knowledge can be vital to secure sustainable livelihoods for millions of pastoralists and to maintain rangeland ecosystem services.

  8. Science Hobbyists: Active Users of the Science-Learning Ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Corin, Elysa N.; Jones, M. Gail; Andre, Thomas; Childers, Gina M.; Stevens, Vanessa

    2017-01-01

    Science hobbyists engage in self-directed, free-choice science learning and many have considerable expertise in their hobby area. This study focused on astronomy and birding hobbyists and examined how they used organizations to support their hobby engagement. Interviews were conducted with 58 amateur astronomers and 49 birders from the midwestern…

  9. 78 FR 50030 - Implementation of New Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science, Observation, Monitoring, and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-16

    ... INFORMATION CONTACT: Russ Beard, Acting Program Director, Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science... Space Center, MS 39529. SUPPLEMENTARY INFORMATION: I. Introduction The Resources and Ecosystem... science investments will evolve over time, adapting to changing information and knowledge. As noted...

  10. Environmental planning, ecosystem science, and ecosystem approaches for integrating environment and development

    Science.gov (United States)

    Slocombe, D. Scott

    1993-05-01

    Currently popular concepts such as sustainable development and sustainability seek the integration of environment and development planning. However, there is little evidence that this integration is occurring in either mainstream development planning or environmental planning. This is a function of the history, philosophies, and evolved roles of both. A brief review of the experience and results of mainstream planning, environmental planning, and ecosystem science suggests there is much in past scientific and professional practice that is relevant to the goal of integrated planning for environment and development, but still such commonly recommended reforms as systems and multidisciplinary approaches, institutional integration, and participatory, goal-oriented processes are rarely achieved. “Ecosystem approaches,” as developed and applied in ecology, human ecology, environmental planning, anthropology, psychology, and other disciplines, may provide a more transdisciplinary route to successful integration of environment and development. Experience with ecosystem approaches is reviewed, their advantages and disadvantages are discussed, and they are compared to traditional urban and regional planning, environmental planning, and ecosystem science approaches. Ultimately a synthesis of desirable characteristics for a framework to integrate environment and development planning is presented as a guide for future work and a criterion for evaluating existing programs.

  11. Science and ecosystem management in the interior Columbia basin.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard W. Haynes; Thomas M. Quigley; Jodi L. Clifford; Rebecca A. Gravenmier

    2001-01-01

    Significant changes over the past 150 years in aquatic, terrestrial, landscape, and socioeconomic systems have altered biophysical systems in the interior Columbia basin. Changes and conflict in public policy concerns, such as resource use vs. restoration vs. conservation are especially evident in more than 34% of total forest and rangeland in the United States that...

  12. Weather-centric rangeland revegetation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hardegree, Stuart P.; Abatzoglou, John T.; Brunson, Mark W.; Germino, Matthew; Hegewisch, Katherine C.; Moffet, Corey A.; Pilliod, David S.; Roundy, Bruce A.; Boehm, Alex R.; Meredith, Gwendwr R.

    2018-01-01

    Invasive annual weeds negatively impact ecosystem services and pose a major conservation threat on semiarid rangelands throughout the western United States. Rehabilitation of these rangelands is challenging due to interannual climate and subseasonal weather variability that impacts seed germination, seedling survival and establishment, annual weed dynamics, wildfire frequency, and soil stability. Rehabilitation and restoration outcomes could be improved by adopting a weather-centric approach that uses the full spectrum of available site-specific weather information from historical observations, seasonal climate forecasts, and climate-change projections. Climate data can be used retrospectively to interpret success or failure of past seedings by describing seasonal and longer-term patterns of environmental variability subsequent to planting. A more detailed evaluation of weather impacts on site conditions may yield more flexible adaptive-management strategies for rangeland restoration and rehabilitation, as well as provide estimates of transition probabilities between desirable and undesirable vegetation states. Skillful seasonal climate forecasts could greatly improve the cost efficiency of management treatments by limiting revegetation activities to time periods where forecasts suggest higher probabilities of successful seedling establishment. Climate-change projections are key to the application of current environmental models for development of mitigation and adaptation strategies and for management practices that require a multidecadal planning horizon. Adoption of new weather technology will require collaboration between land managers and revegetation specialists and modifications to the way we currently plan and conduct rangeland rehabilitation and restoration in the Intermountain West.

  13. Application of the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model to Ecological Site Descriptions and Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    The utility of Ecological Site Descriptions (ESDs) and State-and-Transition Models (STMs) concepts in guiding rangeland management hinges on their ability to accurately describe and predict community dynamics and the associated consequences. For many rangeland ecosystems, plant community dynamics ar...

  14. Climate change and North American rangelands: Assessment of mitigation and adaptation strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda A. Joyce; David D. Briske; Joel R. Brown; H. Wayne Polley; Bruce A. McCarl; Derek W. Bailey

    2013-01-01

    Recent climatic trends and climate model projections indicate that climate change will modify rangeland ecosystem functions and the services and livelihoods that they provision. Recent history has demonstrated that climatic variability has a strong influence on both ecological and social components of rangeland systems and that these systems possess substantial...

  15. Environmental metabolomics with data science for investigating ecosystem homeostasis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kikuchi, Jun; Ito, Kengo; Date, Yasuhiro

    2018-02-01

    A natural ecosystem can be viewed as the interconnections between complex metabolic reactions and environments. Humans, a part of these ecosystems, and their activities strongly affect the environments. To account for human effects within ecosystems, understanding what benefits humans receive by facilitating the maintenance of environmental homeostasis is important. This review describes recent applications of several NMR approaches to the evaluation of environmental homeostasis by metabolic profiling and data science. The basic NMR strategy used to evaluate homeostasis using big data collection is similar to that used in human health studies. Sophisticated metabolomic approaches (metabolic profiling) are widely reported in the literature. Further challenges include the analysis of complex macromolecular structures, and of the compositions and interactions of plant biomass, soil humic substances, and aqueous particulate organic matter. To support the study of these topics, we also discuss sample preparation techniques and solid-state NMR approaches. Because NMR approaches can produce a number of data with high reproducibility and inter-institution compatibility, further analysis of such data using machine learning approaches is often worthwhile. We also describe methods for data pretreatment in solid-state NMR and for environmental feature extraction from heterogeneously-measured spectroscopic data by machine learning approaches. Copyright © 2017. Published by Elsevier B.V.

  16. Drought and rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Droughts are common and occur regularly in Oklahoma. They’re the most costly natural hazard to the United States, and estimates show a $6-$8 billion annual loss to the nation’s farmers and rancher. With the current drought impacting Oklahoma, people managing rangelands are concerned with the short...

  17. Enhancing wind erosion monitoring and assessment for US rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wind erosion is a major resource concern for rangeland managers because it can impact soil health, ecosystem structure and function, hydrologic processes, agricultural production and air quality. Despite its significance, little is known about which landscapes are eroding, by how much, and when. T...

  18. The challenge of integrated rangeland monitoring: synthesis address

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The utility of monitoring and its guiding principles will only work effectively where good environmental governance is practiced by users and producers affecting rangeland ecosystems. Keywords: adaptive management, complex, environmental governance, human impacts, multi-scale, socio-ecological. African Journal of ...

  19. Citizen Science as a Tool for Conservation in Residential Ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caren B. Cooper

    2007-12-01

    Full Text Available Human activities, such as mining, forestry, and agriculture, strongly influence processes in natural systems. Because conservation has focused on managing and protecting wildlands, research has focused on understanding the indirect influence of these human activities on wildlands. Although a conservation focus on wildlands is critically important, the concept of residential area as an ecosystem is relatively new, and little is known about the potential of such areas to contribute to the conservation of biodiversity. As urban sprawl increases, it becomes urgent to construct a method to research and improve the impacts of management strategies for residential landscapes. If the cumulative activities of individual property owners could help conserve biodiversity, then residential matrix management could become a critical piece of the conservation puzzle. "Citizen science" is a method of integrating public outreach and scientific data collection locally, regionally, and across large geographic scales. By involving citizen participants directly in monitoring and active management of residential lands, citizen science can generate powerful matrix management efforts, defying the "tyranny of small decisions" and leading to positive, cumulative, and measurable impacts on biodiversity.

  20. Environmental science: Trends in ecosystem recovery from drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seneviratne, Sonia I.; Ciais, Philippe

    2017-08-01

    An analysis suggests that the time taken for ecosystems to recover from drought increased during the twentieth century. If the frequency of drought events rises, some ecosystems might never have the chance to fully recover. See Letter p.202

  1. Scale effects on runoff and soil erosion in rangelands: observations and estimations with predictors of different availability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Runoff and erosion estimates are needed for rangeland management decisions and evaluation of ecosystem services derived from rangeland conservation practices. The information on the effect of scale on the runoff and erosion, and on the choice of runoff and erosion predictors, remains scarce. The obj...

  2. Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nearing, Mark; Pierson, Fred; Hernandez, Mariano; Al-Hamdan, Osama; Weltz, Mark; Spaeth, Ken; Wei, Haiyan; Stone, Jeff

    2013-04-01

    Soil loss rates on rangelands are considered one of the few quantitative indicators for assessing rangeland health and conservation practice effectiveness. An erosion model to predict soil loss specific for rangeland applications has been needed for many years. Most erosion models were developed from croplands where the hydrologic and erosion processes are different, largely due to much higher levels of heterogeneity in soil and plant properties at the plot scale and the consolidated nature of the soils. The Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) was designed to fill that need. RHEM is an event-based model that estimates runoff, erosion, and sediment delivery rates and volumes at the spatial scale of the hillslope and the temporal scale of a single rainfall event. It represents erosion processes under normal and fire-impacted rangeland conditions, it adopts a new splash erosion and thin sheet-flow transport equation developed from rangeland data, and it links the model hydrologic and erosion parameters with rangeland plant communities by providing a new system of parameter estimation equations based on 204 plots at 49 rangeland sites distributed across 15 western U.S. states. Recent work on the model is focused on representing intra-storm dynamics, using stream-power as the driver for detachment by flow, and deriving parameters for after-fire conditions.

  3. Climate impacts on agriculture: Implications for forage and rangeland production

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Izaurralde, Roberto C.; Thomson, Allison M.; Morgan, Jack; Fay, Philip; Polley, Wayne; Hatfield, Jerry L.

    2011-04-19

    Projections of temperature and precipitation patterns across the United States during the next 50 years anticipate a 1.5 to 2°C warming and a slight increase in precipitation as a result of global climate change. There have been relatively few studies of climate change impacts on pasture and rangeland (grazingland) species compared to those on crop species, despite the economic and ecological importance of the former. Here we review the literature on pastureland and rangeland species to rising CO2 and climate change (temperature, and precipitation) and discuss plant and management factors likely to influence pastureland and rangeland responses to change (e.g., community composition, plant competition, perennial growth habit, seasonal productivity, and management methods). Overall, the response of pasture species to increased [CO2] is consistent with the general response of C3 and C4 type vegetation, although significant exceptions exist. Both pastureland and rangeland species should exhibit an acceleration of metabolism and development due to earlier onset of spring green-up and longer growing seasons. However, in the studies reviewed here, C3 pasture species increased their photosynthetic rates by up to 40% while C4 species exhibited no increase in photosynthesis. In general, it is expected that increases in [CO2] and precipitation would enhance rangeland net primary production (NPP) while increased air temperatures would either increase or decrease NPP. Much of this uncertainty in response is due to uncertain future projections of precipitation, both globally and regionally. For example, if annual precipitation changes little or declines, rangeland plant response to warming temperatures and rising [CO2] may be neutral or may decline due to increased water stress. This review reveals the need for comprehensive studies of climate change impacts on the pasture ecosystem including grazing regimes, mutualistic relationships (e.g., plant roots-nematodes; N

  4. Science framework for the conservation and restoration strategy of DOI secretarial order 3336: Utilizing resilience and resistance concepts to assess threats to sagebrush ecosystems and greater sage-grouse, prioritize conservation and restoration actions, and inform management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chambers, Jeanne C.; Campbell, Steve; Carlson, John; Beck, Jeffrey L.; Clause, Karen J.; Dinkins, Jonathan B.; Doherty, Kevin E.; Espinosa, Shawn; Griffin, Kathleen A.; Christiansen, Thomas J.; Crist, Michele R.; Hanser, Steve; Havlina, Douglas W.; Henke, Kenneth F.; Hennig, Jacob D.; Kurth, Laurie L.; Maestas, Jeremy D.; Mayer, Kenneth E.; Manning, Mary; Mealor, Brian A.; McCarthy, Clinton; Pellant, Mike; Prentice, Karen L.; Perea, Marco A.; Pyke, David A.; Wiechman , Lief A.; Wuenschel, Amarina

    2016-01-01

    The Science Framework for the Conservation and Restoration Strategy of the Department of the Interior, Secretarial Order 3336 (SO 3336), Rangeland Fire Prevention, Management and Restoration, provides a strategic, multiscale approach for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies across the sagebrush biome. The emphasis of this version is on sagebrush ecosystems and greater sage-grouse. The Science Framework uses a six step process in which sagebrush ecosystem resilience to disturbance and resistance to nonnative, invasive annual grasses is linked to species habitat information based on the distribution and abundance of focal species. The predominant ecosystem and anthropogenic threats are assessed, and a habitat matrix is developed that helps decision makers evaluate risks and determine appropriate management strategies at regional and local scales. Areas are prioritized for management action using a geospatial approach that overlays resilience and resistance, species habitat information, and predominant threats. Decision tools are discussed for determining the suitability of priority areas for management and the most appropriate management actions at regional to local scales. The Science Framework and geospatial crosscut are intended to complement the mitigation strategies associated with the Greater Sage-Grouse Land Use Plan amendments for the Department of the Interior Bureaus, such as the Bureau of Land Management, and the U.S. Forest Service.

  5. Ecosystem services: a new NRS-FIA analytical science initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brian G. Tavernia; Mark D. Nelson; James D. Garner

    2015-01-01

    Forest ecosystem services (ES) are linked to sustaining human well-being. Recognizing an inappropriate economic valuation of ecosystem properties and processes, many ecologists, economists, and political scientists have pushed for an increasing awareness and appreciation of ES. Many definitions of ES include both direct and indirect benefits humans derive from...

  6. Mapping and modelling ecosystem services for science, policy and practice

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Burkhard, B.; Crossman, N.; Nedkov, S.; Petz, K.; Alkemade, R.

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystem services are a significant research and policy topic and there are many modelling and mapping approaches aimed at understanding the stocks, demands and flows of ecosystem services on different spatial and temporal scales. The integration of geo-biophysical processes and structure

  7. 78 FR 55064 - Solicitation for Members of the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Gulf Coast Ecosystem...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-09

    ... independent guidance and review of the RESTORE Act Science Program along with general programmatic advice and... Ecosystem Restoration Science Program Advisory Working Group (RSPAWG). The RSPAWG shall provide independent... National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration Solicitation for Members of the NOAA Science Advisory Board...

  8. Adaptive management for ecosystem services (j/a) | Science ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Management of natural resources for the production of ecosystem services, which are vital for human well-being, is necessary even when there is uncertainty regarding system response to management action. This uncertainty is the result of incomplete controllability, complex internal feedbacks, and non-linearity that often interferes with desired management outcomes, and insufficient understanding of nature and people. Adaptive management was developed to reduce such uncertainty. We present a framework for the application of adaptive management for ecosystem services that explicitly accounts for cross-scale tradeoffs in the production of ecosystem services. Our framework focuses on identifying key spatiotemporal scales (plot, patch, ecosystem, landscape, and region) that encompass dominant structures and processes in the system, and includes within- and cross-scale dynamics, ecosystem service tradeoffs, and management controllability within and across scales. Resilience theory recognizes that a limited set of ecological processes in a given system regulate ecosystem services, yet our understanding of these processes is poorly understood. If management actions erode or remove these processes, the system may shift into an alternative state unlikely to support the production of desired services. Adaptive management provides a process to assess the underlying within and cross-scale tradeoffs associated with production of ecosystem services while proceeding with manage

  9. Biodiversity and ecosystem services science for a sustainable planet: the DIVERSITAS vision for 2012–20

    Science.gov (United States)

    Larigauderie, Anne; Prieur-Richard, Anne-Hélène; Mace, Georgina M; Lonsdale, Mark; Mooney, Harold A; Brussaard, Lijbert; Cooper, David; Cramer, Wolfgang; Daszak, Peter; Díaz, Sandra; Duraiappah, Anantha; Elmqvist, Thomas; Faith, Daniel P; Jackson, Louise E; Krug, Cornelia; Leadley, Paul W; Le Prestre, Philippe; Matsuda, Hiroyuki; Palmer, Margaret; Perrings, Charles; Pulleman, Mirjam; Reyers, Belinda; Rosa, Eugene A; Scholes, Robert J; Spehn, Eva; Turner, BL; Yahara, Tetsukazu

    2013-01-01

    DIVERSITAS, the international programme on biodiversity science, is releasing a strategic vision presenting scientific challenges for the next decade of research on biodiversity and ecosystem services: “Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services Science for a Sustainable Planet”. This new vision is a response of the biodiversity and ecosystem services scientific community to the accelerating loss of the components of biodiversity, as well as to changes in the biodiversity science-policy landscape (establishment of a Biodiversity Observing Network — GEO BON, of an Intergovernmental science-policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services — IPBES, of the new Future Earth initiative; and release of the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011–2020). This article presents the vision and its core scientific challenges. PMID:25104977

  10. How can science contribute to an ecosystem approach to pelagic ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    research and monitoring) to address these ecosystem issues in three important South African fisheries — pelagic, demersal and rock lobster — so that the appropriate management measures can be put into place. Socio-economic concerns are ...

  11. Estimates of Global Rangeland Net Primary Productivity and its Consumption Based on Climate and Livestock Distribution Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Asrar, G.; Wolf, J.; Rafique, R.; West, T. O.; Ogle, S. M.

    2016-12-01

    Rangelands play an important role in providing ecosystem services such as food, forage, and fuels in many parts of the world. The net primary productivity (NPP), a difference between CO2 fixed by plants and CO2 lost to autotrophic respiration, is a good indicator of the productivity of rangeland ecosystems, and their contribution to the cycling of carbon in the Earth system. In this study, we estimated the NPP of global rangelands, the consumption thereof by grazing livestock, and associated uncertainties, to better understand and quantify the contribution of rangelands to land-based carbon storage. We estimated rangeland NPP using mean annual precipitation data from Climate Research Unit (CRU), and a regression model based on global observations (Del Grosso et al., 2008). Spatial distributions of annual livestock consumption of rangeland NPP (Wolf et al., 2015) were combined with gridded annual rangeland NPP for the years 2000 - 2011. The uncertainty analysis of these estimates was conducted using a Monte Carlo approach. The rangeland NPP estimates with associated uncertainties were also compared with the total modeled GPP estimates obtained from vegetation dynamic model simulations. Our results showed that mean above-ground NPP of rangelands is 1017.5 MgC/km2, while mean below-ground NPP is 847.6 MgC/km2. The total rangeland NPP represents a significant portion of the total NPP of the terrestrial ecosystem. The livestock area requirements used to geographically distribute livestock spatially are based on optimal pasturage and are low relative to area requirements on less productive land. Even so, ca. 90% of annual livestock consumption of rangeland NPP were met with no adjustment of livestock distributions. Moreover, the results of this study allowed us to explicitly quantify the temporal and spatial variations of rangeland NPP under different climatic conditions. Uncertainty analysis was helpful in identifying the strength and weakness of the methods used to

  12. Linking biodiversity and ecosystem service science to societal actors

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oudenhoven, van Alexander P.E.; Schröter, Matthias; Groot, de Rudolf

    2016-01-01

    In this Editorial to Issue 12–3 (2016) of International Journal of Biodiversity, Ecosystem Services & Management (IJBESM), we introduce this Issue’s articles, which can be of relevance to a wide range of stakeholders, such as local and (inter)national decision-makers, large international firms,

  13. Forests, rangelands and climate change in Southern Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Naidoo, Sasha

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available should simultaneously achieve synergies with socio-economic benefits, climate change adaptation and biodiversity and ecosystem conservation. National adaptation priorities, as identified in national adaptation programme of action (NAPAs) and national... to countries to enhance technical capacity and financial capacity is also highlighted. It is essential to integrate key sectors in the adaptation of forests and rangelands to climate change through the development of holistic programmes that benefit...

  14. A collaborative characterization of North American grasslands and rangelands: climate, ecohydrology and carbon sink-source dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Petrie, M. D.; Brunsell, N. A.; Vargas, R.; Collins, S. L.

    2013-12-01

    Grassland and rangeland ecoregions extend across the North American continent and exhibit diversity in climate, ecosystem services, and biophysical processes. In many grasslands and rangelands, the potential for reductions in ecosystem services and for large-scale ecosystem state change may increase under future climate scenarios. Climate change projections for North America vary, however, and the way changing climate will influence specific ecoregions is largely unknown. To better understand the regional effects of climate change on grasslands and rangelands, it is important to better understand the biophysical characteristics of these systems locally, and to identify the sensitivity of these characteristics to observed climate variation. In our study, we propose to use eddy covariance, soil moisture and precipitation data to identify how the grasslands and rangelands of North America differ in their responses to climate variability through time, with specific focus on the active growing season. Our primary goal is to determine the sensitivity of ecosystem Net Primary Productivity [NPP] to variation in temperature and precipitation patterns, and classify North American grasslands and rangelands by these sensitivities in addition to more standard climate and productivity variables. Our preliminary analyses in mesic, semiarid and arid grasslands in Kansas, Colorado and New Mexico show significant (P photosynthesis in spring and of senescense in the fall, grassland and rangeland ecosystems in Kansas (top and bottom left panels) and New Mexico (bottom right panel) display differing patterns of activity throughout the year.

  15. Cattle-rangeland management practices and perceptions of pastoralists towards rangeland degradation in the Borana zone of southern Ethiopia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Solomon, T B; Snyman, H A; Smit, G N

    2007-03-01

    A survey was conducted in the Borana pastoral areas of southern Ethiopia to assess current livestock production systems, rangeland management practices and the perceptions of the pastoralists towards rangeland degradation. This information is considered vital to future pastoral development planning and interventions. Data were collected from a total of 20 villages that were identified from 5 peasant associations, namely Did Yabello, Moyatte, Did Harra, Dubuluk and Melbana. The average household size in the study area was 7.23. The majority of the pastoralists relied on both livestock and crop farming. The average livestock holding per household was 14 cattle, 10 goats, 6 sheep and 2 camels. Livestock holdings, with the exception of camels, has shown a declining trend over time. The two most important traditional rangeland management strategies adopted by the pastoralists included burning and mobility, but since 1974/75 burning has no longer been practised. With regard to mobility, the livestock herding falls in two categories, namely: home based and satellite herding. The former involves the herding of milking cows, calves and immature animals (2 years) further away from the encampments. Based on the pastoralists' perceptions, the major constraints on livestock production in descending order, were recurrent drought, feed and water scarcity, animal diseases, predators and communal land ownership. All the respondents considered the condition of the rangelands to have declined dramatically over time. In the past most development policies were based on equilibrium theories that opposed the communal use of the rangelands and traditional range management practices. The way in which the pastoral system affects the rangeland ecosystem functioning is contentious to this theory and the 'tragedy of the commons'. There was also a perceived problem of bush encroachment and the ban on traditional burning practices and recurrent droughts were seen as aggravating factors to this

  16. Rangelands: Where anthromes meet their limits

    Science.gov (United States)

    Defining rangelands as anthromes enabled Ellis and Ramankutty (2008) to conclude that more than three-quarters of Earth’s land is anthropogenic; without rangelands, this figure would have been less than half. They classified all lands grazed by domestic livestock as rangelands, provided that human p...

  17. Multi-paddock grazing on rangelands: why the perceptual dichotomy between research results and rancher experience?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teague, Richard; Provenza, Fred; Kreuter, Urs; Steffens, Tim; Barnes, Matt

    2013-10-15

    Maintaining or enhancing the productive capacity and resilience of rangeland ecosystems is critical for the continued support of people who depend on them for their livelihoods, especially in the face of climatic change. This is also necessary for the continued delivery of ecosystem services derived from rangelands for the broader benefit of societies around the world. Multi-paddock grazing management has been recommended since the mid-20th century as an important tool to adaptively manage rangelands ecosystems to sustain productivity and improve animal management. Moreover, there is much anecdotal evidence from producers that, if applied appropriately, multi-paddock grazing can improve forage and livestock production. By contrast, recent reviews of published rangeland-based grazing systems studies have concluded that, in general, field trials show no superiority of vegetation or animal production in multi-paddock grazing relative to continuous yearlong stocking of single-paddock livestock production systems. Our goal is to provide a framework for rangeland management decisions that support the productivity and resiliency of rangelands and then to identify why different perceptions exist among rangeland managers who have effectively used multi-paddock grazing systems and research scientists who have studied them. First, we discuss the ecology of grazed ecosystems under free-ranging herbivores and under single-paddock fenced conditions. Second, we identify five principles underpinning the adaptive management actions used by successful grazing managers and the ecological, physiological, and behavioral framework they use to achieve desired conservation, production, and financial goals. Third, we examine adaptive management principles needed to successfully manage rangelands subjected to varying environmental conditions. Fourth, we describe the differences between the interpretation of results of grazing systems research reported in the scientific literature and the

  18. Transdisciplinary science: a path to understanding the interactions among ocean acidification, ecosystems, and society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yates, Kimberly K.; Turley, Carol; Hopkinson, Brian M.; Todgham, Anne E.; Cross, Jessica N.; Greening, Holly; Williamson, Phillip; Van Hooidonk, Ruben; Deheyn, Dimitri D.; Johnson, Zachary

    2015-01-01

    The global nature of ocean acidification (OA) transcends habitats, ecosystems, regions, and science disciplines. The scientific community recognizes that the biggest challenge in improving understanding of how changing OA conditions affect ecosystems, and associated consequences for human society, requires integration of experimental, observational, and modeling approaches from many disciplines over a wide range of temporal and spatial scales. Such transdisciplinary science is the next step in providing relevant, meaningful results and optimal guidance to policymakers and coastal managers. We discuss the challenges associated with integrating ocean acidification science across funding agencies, institutions, disciplines, topical areas, and regions, and the value of unifying science objectives and activities to deliver insights into local, regional, and global scale impacts. We identify guiding principles and strategies for developing transdisciplinary research in the ocean acidification science community.

  19. Incorporating grazing into an eco-hydrologic model: Simulating coupled human and natural systems in rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reyes, J. J.; Liu, M.; Tague, C.; Choate, J. S.; Evans, R. D.; Johnson, K. A.; Adam, J. C.

    2013-12-01

    Rangelands provide an opportunity to investigate the coupled feedbacks between human activities and natural ecosystems. These areas comprise at least one-third of the Earth's surface and provide ecological support for birds, insects, wildlife and agricultural animals including grazing lands for livestock. Capturing the interactions among water, carbon, and nitrogen cycles within the context of regional scale patterns of climate and management is important to understand interactions, responses, and feedbacks between rangeland systems and humans, as well as provide relevant information to stakeholders and policymakers. The overarching objective of this research is to understand the full consequences, intended and unintended, of human activities and climate over time in rangelands by incorporating dynamics related to rangeland management into an eco-hydrologic model that also incorporates biogeochemical and soil processes. Here we evaluate our model over ungrazed and grazed sites for different rangeland ecosystems. The Regional Hydro-ecologic Simulation System (RHESSys) is a process-based, watershed-scale model that couples water with carbon and nitrogen cycles. Climate, soil, vegetation, and management effects within the watershed are represented in a nested landscape hierarchy to account for heterogeneity and the lateral movement of water and nutrients. We incorporated a daily time-series of plant biomass loss from rangeland to represent grazing. The TRY Plant Trait Database was used to parameterize genera of shrubs and grasses in different rangeland types, such as tallgrass prairie, Intermountain West cold desert, and shortgrass steppe. In addition, other model parameters captured the reallocation of carbon and nutrients after grass defoliation. Initial simulations were conducted at the Curlew Valley site in northern Utah, a former International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme Desert Biome site. We found that grasses were most sensitive to model parameters affecting

  20. Using the Scientific Python ecosystem to advance open radar science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Collis, S. M.; Helmus, J.

    2015-12-01

    The choice of a programming language or environment is rarely made with consideration of its benefits and disadvantages. Often it is something inherited from mentor or enforced by an institution. Python, developed as a "hobby" programming project, has seen increased migration of users from more traditional domain specific environments. This presentation charts our own journey in using the scientific python ecosystem, first as users and then as the developers of a community based toolkit for working with weather radar data, the Python ARM Radar Toolkit, Py-ART. We will highlight how a data model driven design approach can extend the usefulness and reusability of code and act as a bridge between amorphous mathematical algorithms and domain specific data. Finally we will showcase how Python and Py-ART can be used on clusters to tackle pleasantly parallel problems like deriving climatologies swiftly, painlessly and most importantly: reproducibly.

  1. Range ecosystem management for natural areas

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — This report describes methods for managing range ecosystems in natural areas. Preserved natural areas on rangeland may, in a short time, be only those which received...

  2. USGS Science for Restoration of South Florida: The South Florida Ecosystem Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    McPherson, Benjamin F.; Gerould, Sarah; Higer, Aaron L.

    1999-01-01

    As land and resource managers see the value of their resources diminish, and the public watches the environments they knew as children become degraded, there are increasing calls to restore what has been lost, or to build productive ecosystems that will be healthy and sustainable under the conditions of human use. The U.S. Geological Survey's (USGS) Placed-Based Studies Program was established to provide sound science for resource managers in critical ecosystems such as South Florida (fig. 1). The program, which began in south Florida in 1995, provides relevant information, high-quality data, and models to support decisions for ecosystem restoration and management. The program applies multi- and interdisciplinary science to address regional and subregional environmental resources issues.

  3. An Inquiry-Based Science Activity Centred on the Effects of Climate Change on Ocean Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boaventura, Diana; Guilherme, Elsa; Faria, Cláudia

    2016-01-01

    We propose an inquiry-based science activity centred on the effects of climate change on ocean ecosystems. This activity can be used to improve acquisition of knowledge on the effects of climate change and to promote inquiry skills, such as researching, reading and selecting relevant information, identifying a problem, focusing on a research…

  4. Ecosystem management and its role in linking science, policy, and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew Skroch

    2005-01-01

    The scientific community has recently emphasized the importance of ecological process, structure, and scale in the maintenance of biological diversity. Humans have affected most natural landscapes, and many naturally occurring processes, structures, and species may not rebound to naturally sustaining function without intervention. Ecosystem management relies on science...

  5. An Inquiry-Based Science Activity Centred on the Effects of Climate Change on Ocean Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boaventura, Diana; Guilherme, Elsa; Faria, Cláudia

    We propose an inquiry-based science activity centred on the effects of climate change on ocean ecosystems. This activity can be used to improve acquisition of knowledge on the effects of climate change and to promote inquiry skills, such as researching, reading and selecting relevant information, identifying a problem, focusing on a research…

  6. Enhancing wind erosion monitoring and assessment for U.S. rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Nicholas P.; Van Zee, Justin W.; Karl, Jason W.; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Courtright, Ericha M.; Billings, Benjamin J.; Boyd, Robert C.; Chappell, Adrian; Duniway, Michael C.; Derner, Justin D.; Hand, Jenny L.; Kachergis, Emily; McCord, Sarah E.; Newingham, Beth A.; Pierson, Frederick B.; Steiner, Jean L.; Tatarko, John; Tedela, Negussie H.; Toledo, David; Van Pelt, R. Scott

    2017-01-01

    On the GroundWind erosion is a major resource concern for rangeland managers because it can impact soil health, ecosystem structure and function, hydrologic processes, agricultural production, and air quality.Despite its significance, little is known about which landscapes are eroding, by how much, and when.The National Wind Erosion Research Network was established in 2014 to develop tools for monitoring and assessing wind erosion and dust emissions across the United States.The Network, currently consisting of 13 sites, creates opportunities to enhance existing rangeland soil, vegetation, and air quality monitoring programs.Decision-support tools developed by the Network will improve the prediction and management of wind erosion across rangeland ecosystems.

  7. Assessing the Success of Postfire Reseeding in Semiarid Rangelands Using Terra MODIS

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chen, Fang; Weber, Keith T.; Scbnase, John L.

    2012-01-01

    Successful postfire reseeding efforts can aid rangeland ecosystem recovery by rapidly establishing a desired plant community and thereby reducing the likelihood of infestation by invasive plants. Although the success of postfire remediation is critical, few efforts have been made to leverage existing geospatial technologies to develop methodologies to assess reseeding success following a fire. In this study, Terra Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) satellite data were used to improve the capacity to assess postfire reseeding rehabilitation efforts, with particular emphasis on the semiarid rangelands of Idaho. Analysis of MODIS data demonstrated a positive effect of reseeding on rangeland ecosystem recovery, as well as differences in vegetation between reseeded areas and burned areas where no reseeding had occurred (P,0.05). We conclude that MODIS provides useful data to assess the success of postfire reseeding.

  8. Accelerating North American rangeland conservation with earth observation data and user driven web applications.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allred, B. W.; Naugle, D.; Donnelly, P.; Tack, J.; Jones, M. O.

    2016-12-01

    In 2010, the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) launched the Sage Grouse Initiative (SGI) to voluntarily reduce threats facing sage-grouse and rangelands on private lands. Over the past five years, SGI has matured into a primary catalyst for rangeland and wildlife conservation across the North American west, focusing on the shared vision of wildlife conservation through sustainable working landscapes and providing win-win solutions for producers, sage grouse, and 350 other sagebrush obligate species. SGI and its partners have invested a total of $750 million into rangeland and wildlife conservation. Moving forward, SGI continues to focus on rangeland conservation. Partnering with Google Earth Engine, SGI has developed outcome monitoring and conservation planning tools at continental scales. The SGI science team is currently developing assessment and monitoring algorithms of key conservation indicators. The SGI web application utilizes Google Earth Engine for user defined analysis and planning, putting the appropriate information directly into the hands of managers and conservationists.

  9. Desertification of Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Desertification, the broad-scale conversion of perennial grasslands to dominance by xerophytic shrubs, and the attendant consequences to ecosystem services has affected arid and semiarid regions globally over the past several centuries. This state change is expected to continue in the future as envi...

  10. Creating Effective Partnerships in Ecosystem-Based Management: A Culture of Science and Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Carlie S. Wiener

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available An ecosystem-based management research partnership between the Hawai‘i Institute of Marine Biology and Office of National Marine Sanctuaries, specifically with the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands Coral Reef Ecosystem Reserve and, later, the Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument, provides a case study to analyze integration of scientific research into management plans through collaborative communications. Ecosystem-based management seeks input from disparate stakeholders and requires effective communication systems for the public, science, and management partners that bypass differences in organizational culture and communication styles. Here, we examine a successful partnership within the framework of ecosystem-based management to survey and evaluate cultural differences, understand what facilitates collaborative communication, highlight factors that impede a successful partnership, and identify areas for improvement. Effective communication has been achieved through an analysis of the organizations cultures and structures to better define communication links. Although specific differences were noted in organization and style, successful integration was accomplished through techniques such as the development of symposia and semiannual reports. This paper will explore the organizational culture analysis and structure evaluation, which are components of a larger study. This science management integration project is an example of how organizational analysis can lead to recommendations for improved communication and integration of science and management.

  11. Fire effects on aquatic ecosystems: an assessment of the current state of the science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rebecca J. Bixby,; Scott D. Cooper,; Gresswell, Bob; Lee E. Brown,; Clifford N. Dahm,; Kathleen A. Dwire,

    2015-01-01

    Fire is a prevalent feature of many landscapes and has numerous and complex effects on geological, hydrological, ecological, and economic systems. In some regions, the frequency and intensity of wildfire have increased in recent years and are projected to escalate with predicted climatic and landuse changes. In addition, prescribed burns continue to be used in many parts of the world to clear vegetation for development projects, encourage desired vegetation, and reduce fuel loads. Given the prevalence of fire on the landscape, authors of papers in this special series examine the complexities of fire as a disturbance shaping freshwater ecosystems and highlight the state of the science. These papers cover key aspects of fire effects that range from vegetation loss and recovery in watersheds to effects on hydrology and water quality with consequences for communities (from algae to fish), food webs, and ecosystem processes (e.g., organic matter subsidies, nutrient cycling) across a range of scales. The results presented in this special series of articles expand our knowledge of fire effects in different biomes, water bodies, and geographic regions, encompassing aquatic population, community, and ecosystem responses. In this overview, we summarize each paper and emphasize its contributions to knowledge on fire ecology and freshwater ecosystems. This overview concludes with a list of 7 research foci that are needed to further our knowledge of fire effects on aquatic ecosystems, including research on: 1) additional biomes and geographic regions; 2) additional habitats, including wetlands and lacustrine ecosystems; 3) different fire severities, sizes, and spatial configurations; and 4) additional response variables (e.g., ecosystem processes) 5) over long (>5 y) time scales 6) with more rigorous study designs and data analyses, and 7) consideration of the effects of fire management practices and policies on aquatic ecosystems.

  12. Comparative Assessment of Goods and Services Provided by Grazing Regulation and Reforestation in Degraded Mediterranean Rangelands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Papanastasis, Vasilios P.; Bautista, Susana; Chouvardas, Dimitrios; Mantzanas, Konstantinos; Papadimitriou, Maria; Garcia Mayor, Angeles; Koukioumi, Polina; Papaioannou, Athanasios; Vallejo, Ramon V.

    2017-01-01

    Several management actions are applied to restore ecosystem services in degraded Mediterranean rangelands, which range from adjusting the grazing pressure to the removal of grazers and pine plantations. Four such actions were assessed in Quercus coccifera L. shrublands in northern Greece: (i)

  13. Session A5 Rangelands as dynamic systems Role of wildlife in ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Rangelands in southern Africa are increasingly being used for conservation, ecotourism, game farming and hunting. This impacts people's livelihoods and the state of natural resources. Complimentarity and competition between wildlife and domestic livestock can be explored. Theme: This session focuses on ecosystem ...

  14. Multi-scale wind erosion monitoring and assessment for US rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wind erosion is a major resource concern for rangeland managers. Although wind erosion is a naturally occurring process in many drylands, land use activities, and land management in particular, can accelerate wind-driven soil loss – impacting ecosystem dynamics and agricultural production, air quali...

  15. U.S. Geological Survey Ecosystems science strategy: advancing discovery and application through collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Byron K.; Wingard, G. Lynn; Brewer, Gary; Cloern, James E.; Gelfenbaum, Guy; Jacobson, Robert B.; Kershner, Jeffrey L.; McGuire, Anthony David; Nichols, James D.; Shapiro, Carl D.; van Riper, Charles; White, Robin P.

    2013-01-01

    Ecosystem science is critical to making informed decisions about natural resources that can sustain our Nation’s economic and environmental well-being. Resource managers and policymakers are faced with countless decisions each year at local, regional, and national levels on issues as diverse as renewable and nonrenewable energy development, agriculture, forestry, water supply, and resource allocations at the urbanrural interface. The urgency for sound decisionmaking is increasing dramatically as the world is being transformed at an unprecedented pace and in uncertain directions. Environmental changes are associated with natural hazards, greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing demands for water, land, food, energy, mineral, and living resources. At risk is the Nation’s environmental capital, the goods and services provided by resilient ecosystems that are vital to the health and wellbeing of human societies. Ecosystem science—the study of systems of organisms interacting with their environment and the consequences of natural and human-induced change on these systems—is necessary to inform decisionmakers as they develop policies to adapt to these changes. This Ecosystems Science Strategy is built on a framework that includes basic and applied science. It highlights the critical roles that U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists and partners can play in building scientific understanding and providing timely information to decisionmakers. The strategy underscores the connection between scientific discoveries and the application of new knowledge, and it integrates ecosystem science and decisionmaking, producing new scientific outcomes to assist resource managers and providing public benefits. We envision the USGS as a leader in integrating scientific information into decisionmaking processes that affect the Nation’s natural resources and human well-being. The USGS is uniquely positioned to play a pivotal role in ecosystem science. With its wide range of

  16. RANGELAND DEGRADATION: EXTENT, IMPACTS, AND ALTERNATIVE RESTORATION TECHNIQUES IN THE RANGELANDS OF ETHIOPIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Mussa Abdulahi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Rangeland degradation remains a serious impediment to improve pastoral livelihoods in the lowlands of Ethiopia. This review paper presents an overview of the extent of rangeland degradation, explores its drivers, discusses the potential impacts of rangeland degradation and also suggests alternative rangeland restoration techniques. It is intended to serve as an exploratory tool for ensuing more detailed quantitative analyses to support policy and investment programs to address rangeland degradation in Ethiopia. The extent of rangeland degradation increases with time, and the productivity of rangelands are losing if not given due attention. The major drivers leading to rangeland degradation includes climate change, overgrazing, bush encroachment, population pressure, drought, and government policy, encroachment of rain fed agriculture and decline of traditional resource management institution. Degradation of rangeland has resulted in substantial declines in rangeland condition, water potential, soil status, and animal performance, livestock holding at the household level and community become destitute. Another consequence of rangeland degradation is linked to food insecurity, poverty to the extent of food aid, expansion of aridity and the need for alternative livelihood and income diversification. Moreover, it has increasingly become a threat to the pastoral production systems, and has contributed towards increases in poverty and tribal conflicts over grazing land and water resources. In spite of these impacts, the adoption of alternative restoration techniques in the country is highly insufficient. To address rangeland degradation problems, there is a strong need to substantially increase the investments and strengthen the policy support for sustainable land management.

  17. Framing the ecosystem concept through a longitudinal study of developments in science and policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aggestam, Filip

    2015-08-01

    This paper examines how scientific literature and policy documents frame the ecosystem concept and how these frames have shaped scientific dialogue and policy making over time. This was achieved by developing a frame typology, as a basis for organizing relevant value expressions, to assess how different frames have altered perspectives of the ecosystem concept. The frame typology and analysis is based on a semi-grounded and longitudinal document analysis of scientific literature and policy documents using the ecosystem concept. Despite changing discourses and public priorities (e.g., cultural constructs of biodiversity) both science and policy documents are characterized by stable value systems that have not changed substantially since the 1930s. These value systems were defined based on ethical principles that delineate 6 core frames: humans first, dual systems, eco-science, eco-holism, animals first, and multicentrism. Specific crises (e.g., climate change) and cross-disciplinary uptake and re-uptake of, for example, the ecosystem services concept, have brought new perspectives to the forefront of public discourse. These developments triggered changes in the core frames that, rather than being value based, are based on how the ecosystem is conceptualized under fixed value systems and over time. Fourteen subframes were developed to reflect these longitudinal changes. There are as such clear framing effects in both scientific literature and in policy. Ecosystem research is for instance often characterized by unstated value judgments even though the scientific community does not make these explicit. In contrast, policy documents are characterized by clear value expressions but are principally management driven and human centered. © 2015 Society for Conservation Biology.

  18. Adaptive management of rangeland systems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Allen, Craig R.; Angeler, David G.; Fontaine, Joseph J.; Garmestani, Ahjond S.; Hart, Noelle M.; Pope, Kevin L.; Twidwell, Dirac

    2017-01-01

    Adaptive management is an approach to natural resource management that uses structured learning to reduce uncertainties for the improvement of management over time. The origins of adaptive management are linked to ideas of resilience theory and complex systems. Rangeland management is particularly well suited for the application of adaptive management, having sufficient controllability and reducible uncertainties. Adaptive management applies the tools of structured decision making and requires monitoring, evaluation, and adjustment of management. Adaptive governance, involving sharing of power and knowledge among relevant stakeholders, is often required to address conflict situations. Natural resource laws and regulations can present a barrier to adaptive management when requirements for legal certainty are met with environmental uncertainty. However, adaptive management is possible, as illustrated by two cases presented in this chapter. Despite challenges and limitations, when applied appropriately adaptive management leads to improved management through structured learning, and rangeland management is an area in which adaptive management shows promise and should be further explored.

  19. Vegetation ecology meets ecosystem science: Permanent grasslands as a functional biogeography case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Violle, Cyrille; Choler, Philippe; Borgy, Benjamin; Garnier, Eric; Amiaud, Bernard; Debarros, Guilhem; Diquelou, Sylvain; Gachet, Sophie; Jolivet, Claudy; Kattge, Jens; Lavorel, Sandra; Lemauviel-Lavenant, Servane; Loranger, Jessy; Mikolajczak, Alexis; Munoz, François; Olivier, Jean; Viovy, Nicolas

    2015-11-15

    The effect of biodiversity on ecosystem functioning has been widely acknowledged, and the importance of the functional roles of species, as well as their diversity, in the control of ecosystem processes has been emphasised recently. However, bridging biodiversity and ecosystem science to address issues at a biogeographic scale is still in its infancy. Bridging this gap is the primary goal of the emerging field of functional biogeography. While the rise of Big Data has catalysed functional biogeography studies in recent years, comprehensive evidence remains scarce. Here, we present the rationale and the first results of a country-wide initiative focused on the C3 permanent grasslands. We aimed to collate, integrate and process large databases of vegetation relevés, plant traits and environmental layers to provide a country-wide assessment of ecosystem properties and services which can be used to improve regional models of climate and land use changes. We outline the theoretical background, data availability, and ecoinformatics challenges associated with the approach and its feasibility. We provide a case study of upscaling of leaf dry matter content averaged at ecosystem level and country-wide predictions of forage digestibility. Our framework sets milestones for further hypothesis testing in functional biogeography and earth system modelling. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  20. The U.S. Geological Survey Ecosystem Science Strategy, 2012-2022 - Advancing discovery and application through collaboration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Williams, Byron K.; Wingard, G. Lynn; Brewer, Gary; Cloern, James; Gelfenbaum, Guy; Jacobson, Robert B.; Kershner, Jeffrey L.; McGuire, Anthony David; Nichols, James D.; Shapiro, Carl D.; van Riper, Charles; White, Robin P.

    2012-01-01

    Ecosystem science is critical to making informed decisions about natural resources that can sustain our Nation's economic and environmental well-being. Resource managers and policy-makers are faced with countless decisions each year at local, state, tribal, territorial, and national levels on issues as diverse as renewable and non-renewable energy development, agriculture, forestry, water supply, and resource allocations at the urban-rural interface. The urgency for sound decision-making is increasing dramatically as the world is being transformed at an unprecedented pace and in uncertain directions. Environmental changes are associated with natural hazards, greenhouse gas emissions, and increasing demands for water, land, food, energy, mineral, and living resources. At risk is the Nation's environmental capital, the goods and services provided by resilient ecosystems that are vital to the health and well-being of human societies. Ecosystem science - the study of systems of organisms interacting with their environment and the consequences of natural and human-induced change on these systems - is necessary to inform decision-makers as they develop policies to adapt to these changes. This Ecosystems Science Strategy is built on a framework that includes basic and applied science. It highlights the critical roles that USGS scientists and partners can play in building scientific understanding and providing timely information to decision-makers. The strategy underscores the connection between scientific discoveries and the application of new knowledge. The strategy integrates ecosystem science and decision-making, producing new scientific outcomes to assist resource managers and providing public benefits. The USGS is uniquely positioned to play an important role in ecosystem science. With its wide range of expertise, the agency can bring holistic, cross-scale, interdisciplinary capabilities to the design and conduct of monitoring, research, and modeling and to new

  1. Effects of acid deposition on ecosystems: Advances in the state of the science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burns, Douglas A.; Fenn, Mark E.; Baron, Jill S.

    2011-01-01

    Chapter 2 focused on the environmental results of the ARP, presenting data from national monitoring networks on SO2 and NOx emissions, air quality, atmospheric deposition, surface water chemistry, and visibility. This chapter expands on this information by examining the most recent research into how ecosystems respond to acid deposition, especially the processes that control the recovery of ecosystems as acid deposition decreases. In Chapter 2, two general trends were discussed regarding the current recovery status of affected ecosystems: (1) these ecosystems are trending generally towards recovery, but improvements in ecosystem condition shown by surface water chemistry monitoring data thus far have been less than the improvements in deposition; and (2) ecosystem impacts and trends vary widely by geographic region, but the evidence of improvement is strongest and most evident in the Northeast. These trends are not uniform across the United States, however, and in some regions (e.g., central Appalachian Mountain region), trends in improved water quality are generally not evident. Despite the strong link in many areas between reduced emissions and reduced acidity of atmospheric deposition, the link is less clear between reduced acidity and recovery of the biological communities that live in aquatic and terrestrial ecosystems that have experienced deleterious effects from acid deposition. The recovery of these communities is proceeding at a slower pace than, for example, the improvements in stream and lake ANC would indicate. The goal of this chapter is to synthesize the science in a weightof-evidence manner to provide policy makers with tangible evidence and likely causative factors regarding ecosystem status and recovery patterns to date. This chapter serves as an update to the 2005 NAPAP RTC (NSTC, 2005), with an emphasis on scientific studies and monitoring since 2003, which was the last year for consideration of research results in the 2005 report. Several

  2. Advances of Air Pollution Science: From Forest Decline to Multiple-Stress Effects on Forest Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    E. Paoletti; M. Schaub; R. Matyssek; G. Wieser; A. Augustaitis; A. M. Bastrup-Birk; A. Bytnerowicz; M. S. Gunthardt-Goerg; G. Muller-Starck; Y. Serengil

    2010-01-01

    Over the past 20 years, the focus of forest science on air pollution has moved from forest decline to a holistic framework of forest health, and from the effects on forest production to the ecosystem services provided by forest ecosystems. Hence, future research should focus on the interacting factorial impacts and resulting antagonistic and synergistic responses of...

  3. What does "Diversity" Mean for Public Engagement in Science? A New Metric for Innovation Ecosystem Diversity.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özdemir, Vural; Springer, Simon

    2018-02-12

    Diversity is increasingly at stake in early 21st century. Diversity is often conceptualized across ethnicity, gender, socioeconomic status, sexual preference, and professional credentials, among other categories of difference. These are important and relevant considerations and yet, they are incomplete. Diversity also rests in the way we frame questions long before answers are sought. Such diversity in the framing (epistemology) of scientific and societal questions is important for they influence the types of data, results, and impacts produced by research. Errors in the framing of a research question, whether in technical science or social science, are known as type III errors, as opposed to the better known type I (false positives) and type II errors (false negatives). Kimball defined "error of the third kind" as giving the right answer to the wrong problem. Raiffa described the type III error as correctly solving the wrong problem. Type III errors are upstream or design flaws, often driven by unchecked human values and power, and can adversely impact an entire innovation ecosystem, waste money, time, careers, and precious resources by focusing on the wrong or incorrectly framed question and hypothesis. Decades may pass while technology experts, scientists, social scientists, funding agencies and management consultants continue to tackle questions that suffer from type III errors. We propose a new diversity metric based on the hitherto neglected diversities in knowledge framing for robust, responsible, and inclusive design of innovation ecosystems with foresight. The FDI would be positively correlated with epistemological diversity and technological democracy, and inversely correlated with prevalence of type III errors in innovation ecosystems, consortia, and knowledge networks. We suggest that the FDI can usefully measure (and prevent) type III error risks in innovation ecosystems, and help broaden the concepts and practices of diversity and inclusion in science

  4. Criteria and indicators for sustainable rangeland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    John E. Mitchell

    2010-01-01

    The concept of sustainable management encompasses ecological, economic, and social criteria and indicators (C&I) for monitoring and assessing the association between maintaining a healthy rangeland base and sustaining the well-being of communities and economies. During a series of meetings from 2001 to 2003, the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable (SRR) developed...

  5. Remote sensing applications for monitoring rangeland vegetation ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Remote sensing techniques hold considerable promise for the inventory and monitoring of natural resources on rangelands. A significant lack of information concerning basic spectral characteristics of range vegetation and soils has resulted in a lack of rangeland applications. The parameters of interest for range condition ...

  6. Development of a computerised rangelands resource information ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Data on livestock inventory, rangelands resources, and status of land degradation were integrated to produce a computerised resource information system for Swaziland, which will assist in decision making for monitoring and management of rangelands resources; its application is demonstrated. The resource information ...

  7. The Vale rangeland rehabilitation program: an evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harold F. Heady

    1988-01-01

    This manuscript discusses the initiation, execution, and outcome of an 11-year (1962-1972) rangeland rehabilitation program in southeastern Oregon. Res. Bull. PNW-RB-070 (1977) is updated with 1986 measurements and evaluations of vegetational conditions, wildlife, recreational use, livestock grazing, and management of public rangelands. The mix of multiple uses has...

  8. Current situation of rangelands in Mexico

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alicia Melgoza-Castillo

    2006-01-01

    Rangelands are natural areas with certain characteristics that make them unsuitable for agriculture. They include several types of vegetation such as deserts, grasslands, shrubs, forests, and riparian areas. Cattle ranching, along with the products and services it engenders, is a prime activity that rangelands have traditionally supported.

  9. Tackling 'the most avoided issue\\'*: communal rangeland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Facilitator training for communal rangeland management should include social skills, the social context of communal rangelands and novice facilitators should be supported by mentors. There is a need for greater financial support and law enforcement from the state in the area of communal grazing management. Keywords: ...

  10. A Dynamic Model of California's Hardwood Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard B. Standiford; Richard E. Howitt

    1991-01-01

    Low profitability of hardwood rangeland management, and oak tree harvesting for firewood markets and forage enhancement has led to concern about the long-term sustainability of the oak resource on rangelands. New markets for recreational hunting may give value to oaks for the habitat they provide for game species, and broaden the economic base for managers. A ranch...

  11. Applying animal behavior to arid rangeland mangement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Livestock production is one of many demands placed on today’s arid rangelands. Therefore, understanding plant and animal biology and their effects on biotic and abiotic landscape components is fundamental if rangelands are to remain ecologically sustainable. One limiting factor to accomplishing posi...

  12. Integrating Climate and Ecosystem-Response Sciences in Temperate Western North American Mountains: The CIRMOUNT Initiative

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millar, C. I.; Fagre, D. B.

    2004-12-01

    Mountain regions are uniquely sensitive to changes in climate, vulnerable to climate effects on biotic and physical factors of intense social concern, and serve as critical early-warning systems of climate impacts. Escalating demands on western North American (WNA) mountain ecosystems increasingly stress both natural resources and rural community capacities; changes in mountain systems cascade to issues of national concern. Although WNA has long been a focus for climate- and climate-related environmental research, these efforts remain disciplinary and poorly integrated, hindering interpretation into policy and management. Knowledge is further hampered by lack of standardized climate monitoring stations at high-elevations in WNA. An initiative is emerging as the Consortium for Integrated Climate Research in Western Mountains (CIRMOUNT) whose primary goal is to improve knowledge of high-elevation climate systems and to better integrate physical, ecological, and social sciences relevant to climate change, ecosystem response, and natural-resource policy in WNA. CIRMOUNT seeks to focus research on climate variability and ecosystem response (progress in understanding synoptic scale processes) that improves interpretation of linkages between ecosystem functions and human processing (progress in understanding human-environment integration), which in turn would yield applicable information and understanding on key societal issues such as mountains as water towers, biodiversity, carbon forest sinks, and wildland hazards such as fire and forest dieback (progress in understanding ecosystem services and key thresholds). Achieving such integration depends first on implementing a network of high-elevation climate-monitoring stations, and linking these with integrated ecosystem-response studies. Achievements since 2003 include convening the 2004 Mountain Climate Sciences Symposium (1, 2) and several special sessions at technical conferences; initiating a biennial mountain climate

  13. Criterion I: Soil and water conservation on rangelands [Chapter 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael G. (Sherm) Karl; Paul T. Tueller; Gerald E. Schuman; Mark R. Vinson; James L. Fogg; Ronald W. Shafer; David A. Pyke; D. Terrance Booth; Steven J. Borchard; William G. Ypsilantis; Richard H. Barrett

    2010-01-01

    The Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable (SRR) has explicitly included conservation and maintenance of soil and water resources as a criterion of rangeland sustainability. Within the soil/water criterion, 10 indicators ­ five soil-based and five water-based - were developed through the expert opinions of rangeland scientists, rangeland management agency personnel, non-...

  14. Biomass Increases Go under Cover: Woody Vegetation Dynamics in South African Rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mograbi, Penelope J; Erasmus, Barend F N; Witkowski, E T F; Asner, Gregory P; Wessels, Konrad J; Mathieu, Renaud; Knapp, David E; Martin, Roberta E; Main, Russell

    2015-01-01

    Woody biomass dynamics are an expression of ecosystem function, yet biomass estimates do not provide information on the spatial distribution of woody vegetation within the vertical vegetation subcanopy. We demonstrate the ability of airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) to measure aboveground biomass and subcanopy structure, as an explanatory tool to unravel vegetation dynamics in structurally heterogeneous landscapes. We sampled three communal rangelands in Bushbuckridge, South Africa, utilised by rural communities for fuelwood harvesting. Woody biomass estimates ranged between 9 Mg ha(-1) on gabbro geology sites to 27 Mg ha(-1) on granitic geology sites. Despite predictions of woodland depletion due to unsustainable fuelwood extraction in previous studies, biomass in all the communal rangelands increased between 2008 and 2012. Annual biomass productivity estimates (10-14% p.a.) were higher than previous estimates of 4% and likely a significant contributor to the previous underestimations of modelled biomass supply. We show that biomass increases are attributable to growth of vegetation wood extraction rangeland, 79% of the changes in the vertical vegetation subcanopy are gains in the 1-3 m height class. The higher the wood extraction pressure on the rangelands, the greater the biomass increases in the low height classes within the subcanopy, likely a strong resprouting response to intensive harvesting. Yet, fuelwood shortages are still occurring, as evidenced by the losses in the tall tree height class in the high extraction rangeland. Loss of large trees and gain in subcanopy shrubs could result in a structurally simple landscape with reduced functional capacity. This research demonstrates that intensive harvesting can, paradoxically, increase biomass and this has implications for the sustainability of ecosystem service provision. The structural implications of biomass increases in communal rangelands could be misinterpreted as woodland recovery in the

  15. Biomass Increases Go under Cover: Woody Vegetation Dynamics in South African Rangelands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Penelope J Mograbi

    Full Text Available Woody biomass dynamics are an expression of ecosystem function, yet biomass estimates do not provide information on the spatial distribution of woody vegetation within the vertical vegetation subcanopy. We demonstrate the ability of airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR to measure aboveground biomass and subcanopy structure, as an explanatory tool to unravel vegetation dynamics in structurally heterogeneous landscapes. We sampled three communal rangelands in Bushbuckridge, South Africa, utilised by rural communities for fuelwood harvesting. Woody biomass estimates ranged between 9 Mg ha(-1 on gabbro geology sites to 27 Mg ha(-1 on granitic geology sites. Despite predictions of woodland depletion due to unsustainable fuelwood extraction in previous studies, biomass in all the communal rangelands increased between 2008 and 2012. Annual biomass productivity estimates (10-14% p.a. were higher than previous estimates of 4% and likely a significant contributor to the previous underestimations of modelled biomass supply. We show that biomass increases are attributable to growth of vegetation <5 m in height, and that, in the high wood extraction rangeland, 79% of the changes in the vertical vegetation subcanopy are gains in the 1-3 m height class. The higher the wood extraction pressure on the rangelands, the greater the biomass increases in the low height classes within the subcanopy, likely a strong resprouting response to intensive harvesting. Yet, fuelwood shortages are still occurring, as evidenced by the losses in the tall tree height class in the high extraction rangeland. Loss of large trees and gain in subcanopy shrubs could result in a structurally simple landscape with reduced functional capacity. This research demonstrates that intensive harvesting can, paradoxically, increase biomass and this has implications for the sustainability of ecosystem service provision. The structural implications of biomass increases in communal rangelands

  16. Adaptation of Australia’s Marine Ecosystems to Climate Change: Using Science to Inform Conservation Management

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Johanna E. Johnson

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available The challenges that climate change poses for marine ecosystems are already manifesting in impacts at the species, population, and community levels in Australia, particularly in Tasmania and tropical northern Australia. Many species and habitats are already under threat as a result of human activities, and the additional pressure from climate change significantly increases the challenge for marine conservation and management. Climate change impacts are expected to magnify as sea surface temperatures, ocean chemistry, ocean circulation, sea level, rainfall, and storm patterns continue to change this century. In particular, keystone species that form the foundation of marine habitats, such as coral reefs, kelp beds, and temperate rocky reefs, are projected to pass thresholds with subsequent implications for communities and ecosystems. This review synthesises recent science in this field: the observed impacts and responses of marine ecosystems to climate change, ecological thresholds of change, and strategies for marine conservation to promote adaptation. Increasing observations of climate-related impacts on Australia’s marine ecosystems—both temperate and tropical—are making adaptive management more important than ever before. Our increased understanding of the impacts and responses of marine ecosystems to climate change provides a focus for “no-regrets” adaptations that can be implemented now and refined as knowledge improves.

  17. APPLYING SATELLITE IMAGERY TO TRIAGE ASSESSMENT OF ECOSYSTEM HEALTH

    Science.gov (United States)

    Considerable evidence documents that certain changes in vegetation and soils result in irreversibly degraded rangeland ecosystems. We used Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR)imagery to develop calibration patterns of change in the Normalized Difference Vegetation Ind...

  18. New perspectives in ecosystem services science as instruments to understand environmental securities.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Villa, Ferdinando; Voigt, Brian; Erickson, Jon D

    2014-04-05

    As societal demand for food, water and other life-sustaining resources grows, the science of ecosystem services (ES) is seen as a promising tool to improve our understanding, and ultimately the management, of increasingly uncertain supplies of critical goods provided or supported by natural ecosystems. This promise, however, is tempered by a relatively primitive understanding of the complex systems supporting ES, which as a result are often quantified as static resources rather than as the dynamic expression of human-natural systems. This article attempts to pinpoint the minimum level of detail that ES science needs to achieve in order to usefully inform the debate on environmental securities, and discusses both the state of the art and recent methodological developments in ES in this light. We briefly review the field of ES accounting methods and list some desiderata that we deem necessary, reachable and relevant to address environmental securities through an improved science of ES. We then discuss a methodological innovation that, while only addressing these needs partially, can improve our understanding of ES dynamics in data-scarce situations. The methodology is illustrated and discussed through an application related to water security in the semi-arid landscape of the Great Ruaha river of Tanzania.

  19. The Role of Rangelands in Diversified Farming Systems: Innovations, Obstacles, and Opportunities in the USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathan F. Sayre

    2012-12-01

    Full Text Available Discussions of diversified farming systems (DFS rarely mention rangelands: the grasslands, shrublands, and savannas that make up roughly one-third of Earth's ice-free terrestrial area, including some 312 million ha of the United States. Although ranching has been criticized by environmentalists for decades, it is probably the most ecologically sustainable segment of the U.S. meat industry, and it exemplifies many of the defining characteristics of DFS: it relies on the functional diversity of natural ecological processes of plant and animal (reproduction at multiple scales, based on ecosystem services generated and regenerated on site rather than imported, often nonrenewable, inputs. Rangelands also provide other ecosystem services, including watershed, wildlife habitat, recreation, and tourism. Even where non-native or invasive plants have encroached on or replaced native species, rangelands retain unusually high levels of plant diversity compared with croplands or plantation forests. Innovations in management, marketing, incentives, and easement programs that augment ranch income, creative land tenure arrangements, and collaborations among ranchers all support diversification. Some obstacles include rapid landownership turnover, lack of accessible U.S. Department of Agriculture certified processing facilities, tenure uncertainty, fragmentation of rangelands, and low and variable income, especially relative to land costs. Taking advantage of rancher knowledge and stewardship, and aligning incentives with production of diverse goods and services, will support the sustainability of ranching and its associated public benefits. The creation of positive feedbacks between economic and ecological diversity should be the ultimate goal.

  20. GSD Update: Year in Review: Spotlight on 2013 research by the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    2014-01-01

    In this issue of the GSD Update, we take a look back at selected studies of the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD) that depict its strengths and focus areas. Significant results of recent research and science delivery by GSD scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic research priorities of the...

  1. GSD Update: Year in Review: Spotlight on 2016 Research by the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    2017-01-01

    In this issue of the GSD Update, we take a look back at selected studies of the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD) that depict its strengths and focus areas. Significant results of recent research and science delivery by GSD scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic priorities of the USDA...

  2. Rehabilitation of degraded rangelands: lessons learned

    Science.gov (United States)

    The introduction and subsequent invasion of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) has had astronomical effects to Great Basin rangelands. Cheatgrass has truncated secondary succession by outcompeting native plant species for limited resources, thus building persistent seed banks that take advantage of condi...

  3. Rangeland Ecology Monitoring Data : 1967-2013

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — The dataset describes rangeland monitoring results from the Hanksville, UT (USA) area. Monitoring results consist of canopy cover of plant species and functional...

  4. Small mammalian herbivores as mediators of plant community dynamics in the high-altitude arid rangelands of Trans-Himalaya

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bagchi, S.; Namgail, T.; Ritchie, M.E.

    2006-01-01

    The high-altitude rangelands of the Trans-Himalaya represent a grazing ecosystem which has supported an indigenous pastoral community for millennia alongside a diverse assemblage of wild herbivores including burrowing mammals (pikas and voles). Pastoralists consider the small mammals to cause

  5. Data management challenges in analysis and synthesis in the ecosystem sciences.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Specht, A; Guru, S; Houghton, L; Keniger, L; Driver, P; Ritchie, E G; Lai, K; Treloar, A

    2015-11-15

    Open-data has created an unprecedented opportunity with new challenges for ecosystem scientists. Skills in data management are essential to acquire, manage, publish, access and re-use data. These skills span many disciplines and require trans-disciplinary collaboration. Science synthesis centres support analysis and synthesis through collaborative 'Working Groups' where domain specialists work together to synthesise existing information to provide insight into critical problems. The Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (ACEAS) served a wide range of stakeholders, from scientists to policy-makers to managers. This paper investigates the level of sophistication in data management in the ecosystem science community through the lens of the ACEAS experience, and identifies the important factors required to enable us to benefit from this new data-world and produce innovative science. ACEAS promoted the analysis and synthesis of data to solve transdisciplinary questions, and promoted the publication of the synthesised data. To do so, it provided support in many of the key skillsets required. Analysis and synthesis in multi-disciplinary and multi-organisational teams, and publishing data were new for most. Data were difficult to discover and access, and to make ready for analysis, largely due to lack of metadata. Data use and publication were hampered by concerns about data ownership and a desire for data citation. A web portal was created to visualise geospatial datasets to maximise data interpretation. By the end of the experience there was a significant increase in appreciation of the importance of a Data Management Plan. It is extremely doubtful that the work would have occurred or data delivered without the support of the Synthesis centre, as few of the participants had the necessary networks or skills. It is argued that participation in the Centre provided an important learning opportunity, and has resulted in improved knowledge and understanding

  6. Transdisciplinary synthesis for ecosystem science, policy and management: The Australian experience.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lynch, A J J; Thackway, R; Specht, A; Beggs, P J; Brisbane, S; Burns, E L; Byrne, M; Capon, S J; Casanova, M T; Clarke, P A; Davies, J M; Dovers, S; Dwyer, R G; Ens, E; Fisher, D O; Flanigan, M; Garnier, E; Guru, S M; Kilminster, K; Locke, J; Mac Nally, R; McMahon, K M; Mitchell, P J; Pierson, J C; Rodgers, E M; Russell-Smith, J; Udy, J; Waycott, M

    2015-11-15

    Mitigating the environmental effects of global population growth, climatic change and increasing socio-ecological complexity is a daunting challenge. To tackle this requires synthesis: the integration of disparate information to generate novel insights from heterogeneous, complex situations where there are diverse perspectives. Since 1995, a structured approach to inter-, multi- and trans-disciplinary(1) collaboration around big science questions has been supported through synthesis centres around the world. These centres are finding an expanding role due to ever-accumulating data and the need for more and better opportunities to develop transdisciplinary and holistic approaches to solve real-world problems. The Australian Centre for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (ACEAS ) has been the pioneering ecosystem science synthesis centre in the Southern Hemisphere. Such centres provide analysis and synthesis opportunities for time-pressed scientists, policy-makers and managers. They provide the scientific and organisational environs for virtual and face-to-face engagement, impetus for integration, data and methodological support, and innovative ways to deliver synthesis products. We detail the contribution, role and value of synthesis using ACEAS to exemplify the capacity for synthesis centres to facilitate trans-organisational, transdisciplinary synthesis. We compare ACEAS to other international synthesis centres, and describe how it facilitated project teams and its objective of linking natural resource science to policy to management. Scientists and managers were brought together to actively collaborate in multi-institutional, cross-sectoral and transdisciplinary research on contemporary ecological problems. The teams analysed, integrated and synthesised existing data to co-develop solution-oriented publications and management recommendations that might otherwise not have been produced. We identify key outcomes of some ACEAS working groups which used synthesis to

  7. Humans in changing shrubland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rosemary L. Pendleton; Stanley G. Kitchen; Andres F. Cibils

    2014-01-01

    Emerging arid-land research and management approaches are increasingly shaped by the recognition of the fact that humans are an integral part of ecosystems. The thrust to study the coupled natural-human dynamics of such systems1 and the growing awareness of the social-ecological nature of rangeland ecosystems2 are prompting a shift in the way we think about current and...

  8. The Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model: A dynamic approach for predicting soil loss on rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    In this study we present the improved Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM V2.3), a process-based erosion prediction tool specific for rangeland application. The article provides the mathematical formulation of the model and parameter estimation equations. Model performance is assessed agains...

  9. USDA internet tool to estimate runoff and soil loss on rangelands: rangelands hydrology and erosion model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangelands are the most dominant land cover type in the United States (770 million acres) with approximately 53% of the nation’s rangelands owned and managed by the private sector, while approximately 43% are managed by the federal government. Information on the type, extent, and spatial location of...

  10. DESDynI - A NASA Mission for Ecosystems, Solid Earth, and Cryosphere Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Freeman, A.; Rosen, P.; Jordan, R.; Johnson, WTK.; Hensley, S.; Sweetser, T.; Loverro, A.; Smith, J.; Sprague, G.; Shen, Y.

    2009-04-01

    The National Research Council's Decadal Survey for Earth Science [1] identified the Deformation, Ecosystem Structure, and Dynamics of Ice (DESDynI) mission among the highest priorities for new NASA Earth missions. DESDynI consists of an L-band Synthetic Aperture Radar configured for repeat-pass interferometric observations (InSAR), and a nadir pointing lidar suitable for vegetation canopy structure characterization. DESDynI addresses many of the scientific objectives assigned high priority by the decadal survey. It will measure the height and structure of forests, changes in carbon storage in vegetation, ice sheet deformation and dynamics, and changes in Earth's surface and the movement of magma. These measurements will improve our understanding of the affects of changing climate and land use on species habitats and atmospheric CO2. DESDynI measurements will also facilitate the monitoring of species habitats, understanding the response of ice sheets to climate change and the impact on sea level, and forecasting the likelihood of earthquakes, volcanic eruptions, and landslides. Analyses are underway to evaluate efficient combinations of science objectives and mission/instrument scenarios. This paper will focus on the InSAR technology and observational trades that affect the science return, together with and separately from the lidar.

  11. Semantic eScience for Ecosystem Understanding and Monitoring: The Jefferson Project Case Study

    Science.gov (United States)

    McGuinness, D. L.; Pinheiro da Silva, P.; Patton, E. W.; Chastain, K.

    2014-12-01

    Monitoring and understanding ecosystems such as lakes and their watersheds is becoming increasingly important. Accelerated eutrophication threatens our drinking water sources. Many believe that the use of nutrients (e.g., road salts, fertilizers, etc.) near these sources may have negative impacts on animal and plant populations and water quality although it is unclear how to best balance broad community needs. The Jefferson Project is a joint effort between RPI, IBM and the Fund for Lake George aimed at creating an instrumented water ecosystem along with an appropriate cyberinfrastructure that can serve as a global model for ecosystem monitoring, exploration, understanding, and prediction. One goal is to help communities understand the potential impacts of actions such as road salting strategies so that they can make appropriate informed recommendations that serve broad community needs. Our semantic eScience team is creating a semantic infrastructure to support data integration and analysis to help trained scientists as well as the general public to better understand the lake today, and explore potential future scenarios. We are leveraging our RPI Tetherless World Semantic Web methodology that provides an agile process for describing use cases, identification of appropriate background ontologies and technologies, implementation, and evaluation. IBM is providing a state-of-the-art sensor network infrastructure along with a collection of tools to share, maintain, analyze and visualize the network data. In the context of this sensor infrastructure, we will discuss our semantic approach's contributions in three knowledge representation and reasoning areas: (a) human interventions on the deployment and maintenance of local sensor networks including the scientific knowledge to decide how and where sensors are deployed; (b) integration, interpretation and management of data coming from external sources used to complement the project's models; and (c) knowledge about

  12. Feeding goats on scrubby Mexican rangeland and pasteurization: influences on milk and artisan cheese quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hilario, Mario Cuchillo; Puga, Claudia Delgadillo; Wrage, Nicole; Pérez-Gil R, Fernando

    2010-08-01

    The objective of this study was to evaluate the effect of foraging on local scrubby rangeland versus stable feeding with high-protein concentrate as well as the compulsory pasteurization process on goats' milk and artisan soft cheese quality in terms of chemical composition and fatty acid profile. The results indicated that there were no significant differences in the energy, fat, or ash content of milk and cheese due to feeding; however, a significant influence of feeding on cheese protein and fatty acids in both milk and cheese was detected. Feeding on scrubby rangeland tended to increase the amounts of major polyunsaturated fatty acids in milk and cheese from goats. Pasteurization, which is mandatory in Mexico, did not alter the fatty acid concentrations in milk or cheese. Small goat-keepers using rangeland resources might claim better economical returns for products recognized as healthier. Further investigations to assure ecosystem sustainability of shrubby rangeland joined with economical evaluations and best animal management to avoid deleterious effects are recommended.

  13. Exploring Ecosystems from the Inside: How Immersive Multi-user Virtual Environments Can Support Development of Epistemologically Grounded Modeling Practices in Ecosystem Science Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamarainen, Amy M.; Metcalf, Shari; Grotzer, Tina; Dede, Chris

    2015-04-01

    Recent reform efforts and the next generation science standards emphasize the importance of incorporating authentic scientific practices into science instruction. Modeling can be a particularly challenging practice to address because modeling occurs within a socially structured system of representation that is specific to a domain. Further, in the process of modeling, experts interact deeply with domain-specific content knowledge and integrate modeling with other scientific practices in service of a larger investigation. It can be difficult to create learning experiences enabling students to engage in modeling practices that both honor the position of the novice along a spectrum toward more expert understanding and align well with the practices and reasoning used by experts in the domain. In this paper, we outline the challenges in teaching modeling practices specific to the domain of ecosystem science, and we present a description of a curriculum built around an immersive virtual environment that offers unique affordances for supporting student engagement in modeling practices. Illustrative examples derived from pilot studies suggest that the tools and context provided within the immersive virtual environment helped support student engagement in modeling practices that are epistemologically grounded in the field of ecosystem science.

  14. 3D Corporate Tourism in the Marine Sciences: Application-Oriented Problem Solving in Marine and Coastal Ecosystems

    CERN Document Server

    Gebeshuber, Ille Christine; Esichaikul, Ranee; Macqueen, Mark; Majlis, Burhanuddin Yeop

    2010-01-01

    3D corporate tourism in the marine sciences is a solution-based approach to innovation in science, engineering and design. Corporate international scientists, engineers and designers work with local experts in Malaysian marine and coastal environments: they jointly discover, develop and design complex materials and designs inspired by nature directly on site (e.g. at the UKM Marine Ecosystem Research Centre EKOMAR and Malaysian Marine Parks) and construct initial biomimetic prototypes and novel designs. Thereby, new links, networks and collaborations are established between communities of thinkers in different countries. 3D tourism aims at mapping new frontiers in emerging engineering and design fields. This provides a novel way to foster and promote innovative thinking in the sciences, and considers the need for synergy and collaboration between marine sciences, engineering and design rather than segmentation and isolation. With the concept of 3D corporate tourism the potential of Malaysian marine ecosystems...

  15. Indicators of rangeland health and functionality in the Intermountain West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Renee A. O' Brien; Curtis M. Johnson; Andrea M. Wilson; Van C. Elsbernd

    2003-01-01

    Rangelands comprise about 42 percent of the land area of the United States and provide vital land functions such as watershed, multiple-use, recreation, and other amenities. Currently, we do not know the status and trends of many of our nation's rangelands, and consistent protocols for describing rangeland system dynamics across land management agencies are...

  16. The UK Ecosystem for Fostering Innovation in the Earth & Space Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lee, V. E.

    2015-12-01

    The UK national government supports an ecosystem of government-funded organisations that carry a specific remit for innovation. By specifically cultivating the commercialisation of research where appropriate, the UK demonstrates a forward-thinking and coordinated approach to deriving economic and societal impact from scientific research activities. This presentation provides an overview of innovation activities at government-backed organisations that support the Earth and space science communities. At the broadest and highest levels, the UK has a whole-of-government approach to fostering innovation. The government also has a designated innovation agency - Innovate UK - which works with people, companies, and partner organisations to find and drive the science & technology innovations that will grow the UK economy. A primary source of scientific funding to UK-based researchers comes from the Research Councils UK (RCUK), which has seven constituent Research Councils. Along with funding activities that support basic research, innovation is supported through a variety of activities. The National Environmental Research Council (NERC), the UK's leading public funder for Earth & environmental science, has brought to market a wide variety of ideas and innovations, including by helping to register patents, negotiating licensing deals, and setting up spin-out companies or joint ventures with commercial organisations. Case studies of NERC commercialization successes will be given, as well as an overview of mechanisms by which NERC supports innovation. These include 'Pathfinder' awards that help enable researchers to develop a greater understanding of the commercial aspects and possibilities of their research. Complementary 'Follow-on Fund' awards provide proof-of-concept funding to support the commercialisation of ideas arising from NERC-funded research. Early-career researchers are also eligible for NERC's Environment Young Entrepreneurs Scheme. Innovation activity, like

  17. Opportunities and obstacles for rangeland conservation in San Diego County, California, USA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kathleen A. Farley

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Working landscapes such as rangelands are increasingly recognized as having high conservation value, providing a variety of ecosystem services, including food, fiber, habitat, recreation, open space, carbon storage, and water, in addition to a broad range of social benefits. However, conversion of rangelands to other land uses has been prevalent throughout the western United States, leading to greater attention in the conservation community to the importance of collaborating with private landowners. The level of interest in collaborative conservation among private landowners and the types of conservation programs they choose to participate in depend on the social, economic, and environmental context. We used GIS analysis and interviews with ranchers to evaluate rangeland conversion and participation in conservation programs among ranchers in San Diego County, California, USA, which is part of a biodiversity hotspot with high plant species richness and a large number of endemic and rare species. We found that > 25% of rangelands were converted to other uses, primarily urbanization, over the past 25 years while the area of public rangeland increased by 9%. Interviews revealed that ranchers in San Diego County have had limited involvement with most conservation programs, and a critical factor for nonparticipation was providing programs access to private land, along with other issues related to trust and social values. Among ranchers who had participated in conservation programs, the payment level and the agency or organization administering the program were key factors. Our results provide insight into factors influencing whether and when ranchers are likely to participate in conservation initiatives and illustrate that private and public land conservation are strongly linked and would be more effective if the two strategies were better integrated.

  18. Assessment and valuation of forest ecosystem services: State of the science review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seth Binder; Robert G. Haight; Stephen Polasky; Travis Warziniack; Miranda H. Mockrin; Robert L. Deal; Greg. Arthaud

    2017-01-01

    This review focuses on the assessment and economic valuation of ecosystem services from forest ecosystems—that is, our ability to predict changes in the quantity and value of ecosystem services as a result of specific forest management decisions. It is aimed at forest economists and managers and intended to provide a useful reference to those interested in developing...

  19. Forest biodiversity and the delivery of ecosystem goods and services: translating science into policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ian Thompson; Kimiko Okabe; Jason Tylianakis; Pushpam Kumar; Eckehard G. Brockerhoff; Nancy Schellhorn; John A. Parrotta; Robert. Nasi

    2011-01-01

    Biodiversity is integral to almost all ecosystem processes, with some species playing key functional roles that are essential for maintaining the value of ecosystems to humans. However, many ecosystem services remain nonvalued, and decisionmakers rarely consider biodiversity in policy development, in part because the relationships between biodiversity and the provision...

  20. Fodder Biomass Monitoring in Sahelian Rangelands Using Phenological Metrics from FAPAR Time Series

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdoul Aziz Diouf

    2015-07-01

    Full Text Available Timely monitoring of plant biomass is critical for the management of forage resources in Sahelian rangelands. The estimation of annual biomass production in the Sahel is based on a simple relationship between satellite annual Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI and in situ biomass data. This study proposes a new methodology using multi-linear models between phenological metrics from the SPOT-VEGETATION time series of Fraction of Absorbed Photosynthetically Active Radiation (FAPAR and in situ biomass. A model with three variables—large seasonal integral (LINTG, length of growing season, and end of season decreasing rate—performed best (MAE = 605 kg·DM/ha; R2 = 0.68 across Sahelian ecosystems in Senegal (data for the period 1999–2013. A model with annual maximum (PEAK and start date of season showed similar performances (MAE = 625 kg·DM/ha; R2 = 0.64, allowing a timely estimation of forage availability. The subdivision of the study area in ecoregions increased overall accuracy (MAE = 489.21 kg·DM/ha; R2 = 0.77, indicating that a relation between metrics and ecosystem properties exists. LINTG was the main explanatory variable for woody rangelands with high leaf biomass, whereas for areas dominated by herbaceous vegetation, it was the PEAK metric. The proposed approach outperformed the established biomass NDVI-based product (MAE = 818 kg·DM/ha and R2 = 0.51 and should improve the operational monitoring of forage resources in Sahelian rangelands.

  1. Assessing the effects of woody plant traits on understory herbaceous cover in a semiarid rangeland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belay, Tamrat A; Moe, Stein R

    2015-07-01

    The ecological impact of woody plant encroachment in rangeland ecosystems has traditionally been evaluated based on correlation studies between densities of dissimilar woody plants and various ecosystem properties. However, ecosystem properties respond differently to woody plant encroachment because of variations in adaptation of co-occurring woody plants. The objective of this study is to predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on understory herbaceous cover based on analysis of key traits of woody plants. We conducted a vegetation survey in 4 savanna sites in southwestern Ethiopia and compared 9 different key traits of 19 co-occurring woody plants with understory herbaceous cover. Our results show that low understory herbaceous cover is associated with evergreen leaf phenology, shrubby growth form, smaller relative crown-base height and larger relative crown diameter. However, the N2-fixing ability and density of woody plants did not influence the understory herbaceous cover. This shows that traits of individual woody plants can predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on understory herbaceous cover better than density does. The finding improves our ability to accurately predict the impact of woody plant encroachment on various ecosystem properties in highly diverse savanna systems. This plant trait-based approach could be also used as an important management exercise to assess and predict the impact of encroaching woody species in several rangeland ecosystems.

  2. Running an open experiment: transparency and reproducibility in soil and ecosystem science

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bond-Lamberty, Benjamin; Smith, Ashly P.; Bailey, Vanessa L.

    2016-07-29

    Researchers in soil and ecosystem science, and almost every other field, are being pushed--by funders, journals, governments, and their peers--to increase transparency and reproducibility of their work. A key part of this effort is a move towards open data as a way to fight post-publication data loss, improve data and code quality, enable powerful meta- and cross-disciplinary analyses, and increase trust in, and the efficiency of, publicly-funded research. Many scientists however lack experience in, and may be unsure of the benefits of, making their data and fully-reproducible analyses publicly available. Here we describe a recent "open experiment", in which we documented every aspect of a soil incubation online, making all raw data, scripts, diagnostics, final analyses, and manuscripts available in real time. We found that using tools such as version control, issue tracking, and open-source statistical software improved data integrity, accelerated our team's communication and productivity, and ensured transparency. There are many avenues to improve scientific reproducibility and data availability, of which is this only one example, and it is not an approach suited for every experiment or situation. Nonetheless, we encourage the communities in our respective fields to consider its advantages, and to lead rather than follow with respect to scientific reproducibility, transparency, and data availability.

  3. Lessons Learned from Australia: A science-based policy approach to manage California's Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rohde, M. M.; Froend, R.; Howard, J.

    2016-12-01

    New requirements under California's Sustainable Groundwater Management Act of 2014 (SGMA) requires local Groundwater Sustainability Agencies to identify Groundwater Dependent Ecosystems (GDEs) and consider the interests of environmental beneficial uses and users of groundwater when developing their Groundwater Sustainability Plans. Most local water agencies will be identifying and considering GDEs for the first time under SGMA, and will find this challenging due to a lack of in-house biological and ecologic expertise. Uncertainty around what management triggers and thresholds are needed to prevent harm to GDEs is not only endemic to California, but also worldwide due to a lack of science at the intersection of hydrology and ecology. Australia has, however, has done an exceptional job at reducing uncertainty when selecting management triggers and thresholds for GDEs in their water management plans. This has been achieved by integrating risk assessment into an adaptive management framework that uses monitoring programs to inform management strategies. This "learn by doing" approach has helped close knowledge gaps needed to manage GDEs in response to Australia's national sustainable water management legislation. The two main objectives of this paper are to: 1) synthesize Australia's adaptive management approach of GDEs in state water plans, and 2) highlight opportunities for knowledge transfer from Australia into the California context.

  4. Advances of air pollution science: from forest decline to multiple-stress effects on forest ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paoletti, E; Schaub, M; Matyssek, R; Wieser, G; Augustaitis, A; Bastrup-Birk, A M; Bytnerowicz, A; Günthardt-Goerg, M S; Müller-Starck, G; Serengil, Y

    2010-06-01

    Over the past 20 years, the focus of forest science on air pollution has moved from forest decline to a holistic framework of forest health, and from the effects on forest production to the ecosystem services provided by forest ecosystems. Hence, future research should focus on the interacting factorial impacts and resulting antagonistic and synergistic responses of forest trees and ecosystems. The synergistic effects of air pollution and climatic changes, in particular elevated ozone, altered nitrogen, carbon and water availability, must be key issues for research. Present evidence suggests air pollution will become increasingly harmful to forests under climate change, which requires integration amongst various stressors (abiotic and biotic factors, including competition, parasites and fire), effects on forest services (production, biodiversity protection, soil protection, sustained water balance, socio-economical relevance) and assessment approaches (research, monitoring, modeling) to be fostered. Copyright 2009 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  5. Biomass Increases Go under Cover: Woody Vegetation Dynamics in South African Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mograbi, Penelope J.; Knapp, David E.; Martin, Roberta E.; Main, Russell

    2015-01-01

    Woody biomass dynamics are an expression of ecosystem function, yet biomass estimates do not provide information on the spatial distribution of woody vegetation within the vertical vegetation subcanopy. We demonstrate the ability of airborne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) to measure aboveground biomass and subcanopy structure, as an explanatory tool to unravel vegetation dynamics in structurally heterogeneous landscapes. We sampled three communal rangelands in Bushbuckridge, South Africa, utilised by rural communities for fuelwood harvesting. Woody biomass estimates ranged between 9 Mg ha-1 on gabbro geology sites to 27 Mg ha-1 on granitic geology sites. Despite predictions of woodland depletion due to unsustainable fuelwood extraction in previous studies, biomass in all the communal rangelands increased between 2008 and 2012. Annual biomass productivity estimates (10–14% p.a.) were higher than previous estimates of 4% and likely a significant contributor to the previous underestimations of modelled biomass supply. We show that biomass increases are attributable to growth of vegetation biomass increases in the low height classes within the subcanopy, likely a strong resprouting response to intensive harvesting. Yet, fuelwood shortages are still occurring, as evidenced by the losses in the tall tree height class in the high extraction rangeland. Loss of large trees and gain in subcanopy shrubs could result in a structurally simple landscape with reduced functional capacity. This research demonstrates that intensive harvesting can, paradoxically, increase biomass and this has implications for the sustainability of ecosystem service provision. The structural implications of biomass increases in communal rangelands could be misinterpreted as woodland recovery in the absence of three-dimensional, subcanopy information. PMID:25969985

  6. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands: management

    Science.gov (United States)

    This is the final part of a three part series specifically addressing lessons learned concerning the management of rehabilitated cheatgrass-infested rangelands. Steve Novak and Richard Mack reported in 2003 that they found no evidence of outcrossing in 2,000 cheatgrass seedlings from 60 North Americ...

  7. Managing the livestock– Wildlife interface on rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    du Toit, Johan T.; Cross, Paul C.; Valeix, Marion

    2017-01-01

    On rangelands the livestock–wildlife interface is mostly characterized by management actions aimed at controlling problems associated with competition, disease, and depredation. Wildlife communities (especially the large vertebrate species) are typically incompatible with agricultural development because the opportunity costs of wildlife conservation are unaffordable except in arid and semi-arid regions. Ecological factors including the provision of supplementary food and water for livestock, together with the persecution of large predators, result in livestock replacing wildlife at biomass densities far exceeding those of indigenous ungulates. Diseases are difficult to eradicate from free-ranging wildlife populations and so veterinary controls usually focus on separating commercial livestock herds from wildlife. Persecution of large carnivores due to their depredation of livestock has caused the virtual eradication of apex predators from most rangelands. However, recent research points to a broad range of solutions to reduce conflict at the livestock–wildlife interface. Conserving wildlife bolsters the adaptive capacity of a rangeland by providing stakeholders with options for dealing with environmental change. This is contingent upon local communities being empowered to benefit directly from their wildlife resources within a management framework that integrates land-use sectors at the landscape scale. As rangelands undergo irreversible changes caused by species invasions and climate forcings, the future perspective favors a proactive shift in attitude towards the livestock–wildlife interface, from problem control to asset management.

  8. Management of Collective Rangelands in Rhamna (Morocco ...

    International Development Research Centre (IDRC) Digital Library (Canada)

    Rangelands are severely degraded in Morocco. This has stimulated public interventions to reduce the pressure on natural resources and promote sustainable management. In Rhamna, a region traditionally used for transhumance, such efforts have met with limited success because they have not taken into consideration ...

  9. Increasing flexibility in rangeland management during drought

    Science.gov (United States)

    The extreme drought that began in 2011 and persists throughout the central and western US presents a challenge to sustainable rangeland management. Wyoming ranchers manage half of this drought-prone state and are at the forefront of this challenge. We examined Wyoming ranchers’ drought management st...

  10. Fort Collins Science Center Ecosystem Dynamics branch--interdisciplinary research for addressing complex natural resource issues across landscapes and time

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Zachary H.; Melcher, Cynthia P.; Wilson, Juliette T.

    2013-01-01

    The Ecosystem Dynamics Branch of the Fort Collins Science Center offers an interdisciplinary team of talented and creative scientists with expertise in biology, botany, ecology, geology, biogeochemistry, physical sciences, geographic information systems, and remote-sensing, for tackling complex questions about natural resources. As demand for natural resources increases, the issues facing natural resource managers, planners, policy makers, industry, and private landowners are increasing in spatial and temporal scope, often involving entire regions, multiple jurisdictions, and long timeframes. Needs for addressing these issues include (1) a better understanding of biotic and abiotic ecosystem components and their complex interactions; (2) the ability to easily monitor, assess, and visualize the spatially complex movements of animals, plants, water, and elements across highly variable landscapes; and (3) the techniques for accurately predicting both immediate and long-term responses of system components to natural and human-caused change. The overall objectives of our research are to provide the knowledge, tools, and techniques needed by the U.S. Department of the Interior, state agencies, and other stakeholders in their endeavors to meet the demand for natural resources while conserving biodiversity and ecosystem services. Ecosystem Dynamics scientists use field and laboratory research, data assimilation, and ecological modeling to understand ecosystem patterns, trends, and mechanistic processes. This information is used to predict the outcomes of changes imposed on species, habitats, landscapes, and climate across spatiotemporal scales. The products we develop include conceptual models to illustrate system structure and processes; regional baseline and integrated assessments; predictive spatial and mathematical models; literature syntheses; and frameworks or protocols for improved ecosystem monitoring, adaptive management, and program evaluation. The descriptions

  11. Sahelian rangeland development: a catastrophe?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Rietkerk, M.G.; Ketner, P.; Stroosnijder, L.; Prins, H.H.T.

    1996-01-01

    This paper sets out that the dynamics of the Sahelian range- Iand vegetation can be interpreted as a cusp catastrophe and that this interpretation offers a promising basis for the description and analysis of tbis ecosystem. Firstly, an existing scheme of the dynamics of Sahelian

  12. Coastal Zone Ecosystem Services: from science to values and decision making; a case study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luisetti, T; Turner, R K; Jickells, T; Andrews, J; Elliott, M; Schaafsma, M; Beaumont, N; Malcolm, S; Burdon, D; Adams, C; Watts, W

    2014-09-15

    This research is concerned with the following environmental research questions: socio-ecological system complexity, especially when valuing ecosystem services; ecosystems stock and services flow sustainability and valuation; the incorporation of scale issues when valuing ecosystem services; and the integration of knowledge from diverse disciplines for governance and decision making. In this case study, we focused on ecosystem services that can be jointly supplied but independently valued in economic terms: healthy climate (via carbon sequestration and storage), food (via fisheries production in nursery grounds), and nature recreation (nature watching and enjoyment). We also explored the issue of ecosystem stock and services flow, and we provide recommendations on how to value stock and flows of ecosystem services via accounting and economic values respectively. We considered broadly comparable estuarine systems located on the English North Sea coast: the Blackwater estuary and the Humber estuary. In the past, these two estuaries have undergone major land-claim. Managed realignment is a policy through which previously claimed intertidal habitats are recreated allowing the enhancement of the ecosystem services provided by saltmarshes. In this context, we investigated ecosystem service values, through biophysical estimates and welfare value estimates. Using an optimistic (extended conservation of coastal ecosystems) and a pessimistic (loss of coastal ecosystems because of, for example, European policy reversal) scenario, we find that context dependency, and hence value transfer possibilities, vary among ecosystem services and benefits. As a result, careful consideration in the use and application of value transfer, both in biophysical estimates and welfare value estimates, is advocated to supply reliable information for policy making. Crown Copyright © 2014. Published by Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  13. Adaptive Rangeland Decision-Making and Coping with Drought

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leslie M. Roche

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Grazinglands support the livelihoods of millions of people around the world, as well as supply critical ecosystem services. Communities reliant on rain-fed rangelands are potentially the most vulnerable to increasing climate variability given their dependence on highly climate-sensitive resources. Droughts, which are gradual natural hazards, pose substantial and recurrent economic and ecological stresses to these systems. This study examined management decision-making based on survey responses of 479 California ranchers to: (1 identify the types of drought strategies in-place across California’s rangelands and the operation variables driving strategy selection; and (2 examine how individual drought adaptation is enhanced by decision-making factors. Four types of in-place drought strategies were identified and ordered along a gradient of increasing intensity (number of practices used. Significant background variables driving strategy selection were operation experience with drought, type of livestock operation, grazing system, and land ownership types. Information resource networks, goal setting for sustainable natural resources, and management capacity all acted to enhance individual drought adaptation—defined here by active drought planning and the number of both reactive and proactive drought practices used. Overall, analyses revealed that flexibility in management is a key component of adapting to and coping with drought. Climate policy planning should take into account the diversity of strategies that have been developed by ranchers for multiple generations and within the context of their unique operations, as well as support these working landscapes via a range of adaptation and mitigation options to reduce vulnerability across all types of operations.

  14. Monitoring Forage Production of California Rangeland Using Remote Sensing Observations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, H.; Jin, Y.; Dahlgren, R. A.; O'Geen, A. T.; Roche, L. M.; Smith, A. M.; Flavell, D.

    2016-12-01

    Pastures and rangeland cover more than 10 million hectares in California's coastal and inland foothill regions, providing feeds to livestock and important ecosystem services. Forage production in California has a large year-to-year variation due to large inter-annual and seasonal variabilities in precipitation and temperature. It also varies spatially due to the variability in climate and soils. Our goal is to develop a robust and cost-effective tool to map the near-real-time and historical forage productivity in California using remote sensing observations from Landsat and MODIS satellites. We used a Monteith's eco-physiological plant growth theory: the aboveground net primary production (ANPP) is determined by (i) the absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR) and the (ii) light use efficiency (LUE): ANPP = APAR * LUEmax * f(T) * f(SM), where LUEmax is the maximum LUE, and f(T) and f(SM) are the temperature and soil moisture constrains on LUE. APAR was estimated with Landsat and MODIS vegetation index (VI), and LUE was calibrated with a statewide point dataset of peak forage production measurements at 75 annual rangeland sites. A non-linear optimization was performed to derive maximum LUE and the parameters for temperature and soil moisture regulation on LUE by minimizing the differences between the estimated and measured ANPP. Our results showed the satellite-derived annual forage production estimates correlated well withcontemporaneous in-situ forage measurements and captured both the spatial and temporal productivity patterns of forage productivity well. This remote sensing algorithm can be further improved as new field measurements become available. This tool will have a great importance in maintaining a sustainable range industry by providing key knowledge for ranchers and the stakeholders to make managerial decisions.

  15. Scientific background for soil monitoring on National Forests and Rangelands: workshop proceedings; April 29-30, 2008; Denver, CO

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah Page-Dumroese; Daniel Neary; Carl Trettin

    2010-01-01

    This workshop was developed to determine the state-of-the-science for soil monitoring on National Forests and Rangelands. We asked international experts in the field of soil monitoring, soil monitoring indicators, and basic forest soil properties to describe the limits of our knowledge and the ongoing studies that are providing new information. This workshop and the...

  16. An overview of the rangelands atmosphere hydrosphere biosphere interaction study experiment in northeastern Asia (RAISE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sugita, Michiaki; Asanuma, Jun; Tsujimura, Maki; Mariko, Shigeru; Lu, Minjiao; Kimura, Fujio; Azzaya, Dolgorsuren; Adyasuren, Tsokhio

    2007-01-01

    SummaryIntensive observations, analysis and modeling within the framework of the rangelands atmosphere-hydrosphere-biosphere interaction study experiment in northeastern Asia (RAISE) project, have allowed investigations into the hydrologic cycle in the ecotone of forest-steppe, and its relation to atmosphere and ecosystem in the eastern part of Mongolia. In this region, changes in the climate have been reported and a market oriented economy was introduced recently, but their impact on the natural environment is still not well understood. In this RAISE special issue, the outcome is presented of the studies carried out by six groups within RAISE, namely: (1) Land-atmosphere interaction analysis, (2) ecosystem analysis and modeling, (3) hydrologic cycle analysis, (4) climatic modeling, (5) hydrologic modeling, and (6) integration. The results are organized in five relevant categories comprising (i) hydrologic cycle including precipitation, groundwater, and surface water, (ii) hydrologic cycle and ecosystem, (iii) surface-atmosphere interaction, (iv) effect of grazing activities on soils, plant ecosystem and surface fluxes, and (v) future prediction. Comparison with studies on rangelands in other parts of the world, and some future directions of studies still needed in this region are also summarized.

  17. Rangeland Rummy - a board game to support adaptive management of rangeland-based livestock systems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farrié, B; Jouven, M; Launay, F; Moreau, J-C; Moulin, C-H; Piquet, M; Taverne, M; Tchakérian, E; Thénard, V; Martin, G

    2015-01-01

    Rangeland-based livestock systems have to deal with the significant instability and uncertainty of the agricultural context (policy changes, volatility of input prices, etc.), and especially of the climatic context. Thus, they are particularly concerned by adaptive management strategies. To support the development of such strategies, we developed a board game including a computer model called "Rangeland Rummy". It is to be used by groups of farmers and agricultural consultants in the context of short workshops (about 3 h). Rangeland Rummy builds upon five types of material object: (i) a game board; (ii) a calendar stick indicating the starting date of the game board; (iii) sticks marked with the feed resources available for combinations of vegetation types and their management practices; (iv) cards to define animal groups and their feeding requirements throughout the year; (v) cards related to types of feed that can be attributed to animal groups throughout the year. Using these material objects, farmers collectively design a rangeland-based livestock system. This system is immediately evaluated using a computer model, i.e. a spreadsheet providing graphs and indicators providing information on, among other things, the extent to which quantitative and qualitative animal feeding requirements are covered across the year. Playing the game thus consists in collectively and iteratively designing and evaluating rangeland-based livestock systems, while confronting the players with new contextual challenges (e.g. interannual variability of weather, volatility of input prices) or new farmers' objectives (e.g. being self-sufficient for animal feeding). An example of application of Rangeland Rummy with 3 farmers in southern France is reported. Applications show that it tends to develop farmers' adaptive capacity by stimulating their discussions and the exchange of locally-relevant knowledge on management strategies and practices in rangeland-based livestock systems. Copyright

  18. Integrating Science and Management to Assess Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability to Climate Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie A. Brandt; Patricia R. Butler; Stephen D. Handler; Maria K. Janowiak; P. Danielle Shannon; Christopher W. Swanston

    2017-01-01

    We developed the ecosystem vulnerability assessment approach (EVAA) to help inform potential adaptation actions in response to a changing climate. EVAA combines multiple quantitative models and expert elicitation from scientists and land managers. In each of eight assessment areas, a panel of local experts determined potential vulnerability of forest ecosystems to...

  19. Social science constructs in ecosystem assessments: revisiting community capacity and community resiliency.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ellen M. Donoghue; Victoria E. Sturtevant

    2007-01-01

    This article explores the development of sociological constructs in community assessment components of large-scale ecosystem assessments. We compare the conceptual and operational development of the constructs of community capacity and community resiliency used in three community assessments in the western United States: the Forest Ecosystem Management Assessment Team...

  20. The evolving role of science in wilderness to our understanding of ecosystems and landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Norman L. Christensen

    2000-01-01

    Research in wilderness areas (areas with minimal human activity and of large spatial extent) formed the foundation for ecological models and theories that continue to shape our understanding how ecosystems change through time, how ecological communities are structured and how ecosystems function. By the middle of this century, large expanses of wilderness had become...

  1. Bridging the gap between policy and science in assessing the health status of marine ecosystems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Angel Borja

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Human activities, both established and emerging, increasingly affect the provision of marine ecosystem services that deliver societal and economic benefits. Monitoring the status of marine ecosystems and determining how human activities change their capacity to sustain benefits for society requires an evidence-based Integrated Ecosystem Assessment approach that incorporates knowledge of ecosystem functioning and services. Although there are diverse methods to assess the status of individual ecosystem components, none assesses the health of marine ecosystems holistically, integrating information from multiple ecosystem components. Similarly, while acknowledging the availability of several methods to measure single pressures and assess their impacts, evaluation of cumulative effects of multiple pressures remains scarce. Therefore, an integrative assessment requires us to first understand the response of marine ecosystems to human activities and their pressures and then develop innovative, cost-effective monitoring tools that enable collection of data to assess the health status of large marine areas. Conceptually, combining this knowledge of effective monitoring methods with cost-benefit analyses will help identify appropriate management measures to improve environmental status economically and efficiently. The European project DEVOTES (DEVelopment Of innovative Tools for understanding marine biodiversity and assessing good Environmental Status specifically addressed these topics in order to support policy makers and managers in implementing the European Marine Strategy Framework Directive. Here, we synthesize our main innovative findings, placing these within the context of recent wider research, and identifying gaps and the major future challenges.

  2. Climate change and land management in the rangelands of central Oregon.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Creutzburg, Megan K; Halofsky, Jessica E; Halofsky, Joshua S; Christopher, Treg A

    2015-01-01

    Climate change, along with exotic species, disturbances, and land use change, will likely have major impacts on sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the western U.S. over the next century. To effectively manage sagebrush steppe landscapes for long-term goals, managers need information about the interacting impacts of climate change, disturbances and land management on vegetation condition. Using a climate-informed state-and-transition model, we evaluated the potential impacts of climate change on rangeland condition in central Oregon and the effectiveness of multiple management strategies. Under three scenarios of climate change, we projected widespread shifts in potential vegetation types over the twenty-first century, with declining sagebrush steppe and expanding salt desert shrub likely by the end of the century. Many extreme fire years occurred under all climate change scenarios, triggering rapid vegetation shifts. Increasing wildfire under climate change resulted in expansion of exotic grasses but also decreased juniper encroachment relative to projections without climate change. Restoration treatments in warm-dry sagebrush steppe were ineffective in containing exotic grass, but juniper treatments in cool-moist sagebrush steppe substantially reduced the rate of juniper encroachment, particularly when prioritized early in the century. Overall, climate-related shifts dominated future vegetation patterns, making management for improved rangeland condition more difficult. Our approach allows researchers and managers to examine long-term trends and uncertainty in rangeland vegetation condition and test the effectiveness of alternative management actions under projected climate change.

  3. Sustainability of organic and conventional beef cattle farms in SW Spanish rangelands (‘dehesas’): a comparative study

    OpenAIRE

    Escribano, A.J.; Mesias, F.J.; Gaspar, P.; M. Escribano; Pulido, F.

    2012-01-01

    Organic production in Spain has increased substantially in recent years due to several factors, such as the growing interest of the European Union towards preserving sensitive ecosystems; the potential role of organic production in the socio-economic development of rural areas and the growing consumers' demand for safer and higher quality foods. Within this framework, this paper analyzes the beef sector of SW Spanish rangelands (dehesas). These are traditional systems characteristic of the Ib...

  4. Ecosystem impacts of geoengineering: a review for developing a science plan.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Russell, Lynn M; Rasch, Philip J; Mace, Georgina M; Jackson, Robert B; Shepherd, John; Liss, Peter; Leinen, Margaret; Schimel, David; Vaughan, Naomi E; Janetos, Anthony C; Boyd, Philip W; Norby, Richard J; Caldeira, Ken; Merikanto, Joonas; Artaxo, Paulo; Melillo, Jerry; Morgan, M Granger

    2012-06-01

    Geoengineering methods are intended to reduce climate change, which is already having demonstrable effects on ecosystem structure and functioning in some regions. Two types of geoengineering activities that have been proposed are: carbon dioxide (CO(2)) removal (CDR), which removes CO(2) from the atmosphere, and solar radiation management (SRM, or sunlight reflection methods), which reflects a small percentage of sunlight back into space to offset warming from greenhouse gases (GHGs). Current research suggests that SRM or CDR might diminish the impacts of climate change on ecosystems by reducing changes in temperature and precipitation. However, sudden cessation of SRM would exacerbate the climate effects on ecosystems, and some CDR might interfere with oceanic and terrestrial ecosystem processes. The many risks and uncertainties associated with these new kinds of purposeful perturbations to the Earth system are not well understood and require cautious and comprehensive research.

  5. Science and Measurement Requirements for a Plant Physiology and Functional Types Mission: Measuring the Composition, Function and Health of Global Land and Coastal Ocean Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Robert O.; Rogez, Francois; Green, Rob; Ungar, Steve; Knox, Robert; Asner, Greg; Muller-Karger, Frank; Bissett, Paul; Chekalyuk, Alex; Dierssen, Heidi; hide

    2007-01-01

    This slide presentation reviews the proposed Plant Physiology and Functional Types (PPFT) Mission. The National Academy of Sciences Decadal Survey, placed a critical priority on a Mission to observe distribution and changes in ecosystem functions. The PPFT satellite mission provides the essential measurements needed to assess drivers of change in biodiversity and ecosystem services that affect human welfare. The presentation reviews the science questions that the mission will be designed to answer, the science rationale, the science measurements, the mission concept, the planned instrumentation, the calibration method, and key signal to noise ratios and uniformity requirements.

  6. Transforming "Ecosystem" from a Scientific Concept into a Teachable Topic: Philosophy and History of Ecology Informs Science Textbook Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schizas, Dimitrios; Papatheodorou, Efimia; Stamou, George

    2017-04-01

    This study conducts a textbook analysis in the frame of the following working hypothesis: The transformation of scientific knowledge into school knowledge is expected to reproduce the problems encountered with the scientific knowledge itself or generate additional problems, which may both induce misconceptions in textbook users. Specifically, we describe four epistemological problems associated with how the concept of "ecosystem" is elaborated within ecological science and we examine how each problem is reproduced in the biology textbook utilized by Greek students in the 12th grade and the resulting teacher and student misunderstandings that may occur. Our research demonstrates that the authors of the textbook address these problems by appealing simultaneously to holistic and reductionist ideas. This results in a meaningless and confused depiction of "ecosystem" and may provoke many serious misconceptions on the part of textbook users, for example, that an ecosystem is a system that can be applied to every set of interrelated ecological objects irrespective of the organizational level to which these entities belong or how these entities are related to each other. The implications of these phenomena for science education research are discussed from a perspective that stresses the role of background assumptions in the understanding of declarative knowledge.

  7. The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES): Enhancing Collaboration to Support Science-Based Decision-Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duke, C. S.; Quach, K.; Jackson, S. T.

    2015-12-01

    The Intergovernmental Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services (IPBES) offers major opportunities to enhance scientific collaboration and advance global environmental sustainability. IPBES was established in 2012 as an independent intergovernmental body dedicated to assessing the state of the planet's biodiversity, its ecosystems, and the essential services they provide to society. IPBES has four functions: 1) identify and prioritize key scientific information needed for policymakers and catalyze efforts to generate new knowledge by engaging relevant scientific, policy and funding organizations; 2) perform regular and timely assessments of knowledge on biodiversity and ecosystem services and their interlinkages; 3) support policy formulation and implementation by identifying policy-relevant tools and methodologies; and 4) prioritize key capacity-building needs to improve the science-policy interface and catalyze related financing. To date, IPBES has brought together representatives of 124 countries at three annual plenary meetings and numerous panel meetings about specific assessments. This presentation will summarize IPBES' opportunities and achievements to date. These include a conceptual framework for IPBES processes and products, an assessment of the status of pollination and pollinators associated with food production, draft reports on scenario analyses and capacity building, and scoping for assessments of land degradation and restoration and of biodiversity in five regions of the world. IPBES provides natural and social scientists and other experts with important opportunities to support collaborative, science-based environmental decision-making at global to local scales. The presentation will conclude by describing opportunities to participate as expert panel members, contributors to assessments, and reviewers.

  8. How partnership accelerates Open Science: High Energy Physics and INSPIRE, a case study of a complex repository ecosystem

    CERN Document Server

    AUTHOR|(CDS)2079501; Hecker, Bernard Louis; Holtkamp, Annette; Mele, Salvatore; O'Connell, Heath; Sachs, Kirsten; Simko, Tibor; Schwander, Thorsten

    2013-01-01

    Public calls, agency mandates and scientist demand for Open Science are by now a reality with different nuances across diverse research communities. A complex “ecosystem” of services and tools, mostly communityDdriven, will underpin this revolution in science. Repositories stand to accelerate this process, as “openness” evolves beyond text, in lockstep with scholarly communication. We present a case study of a global discipline, HighDEnergy Physics (HEP), where most of these transitions have already taken place in a “social laboratory” of multiple global information services interlinked in a complex, but successful, ecosystem at the service of scientists. We discuss our firstDhand experience, at a technical and organizational level, of leveraging partnership across repositories and with the user community in support of Open Science, along threads relevant to the OR2013 community.

  9. Opportunities for Integrated Ecological Analysis across Inland Australia with Standardised Data from Ausplots Rangelands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greg R Guerin

    Full Text Available Australian rangelands ecosystems cover 81% of the continent but are understudied and continental-scale research has been limited in part by a lack of precise data that are standardised between jurisdictions. We present a new dataset from AusPlots Rangelands that enables integrative rangelands analysis due to its geographic scope and standardised methodology. The method provides data on vegetation and soils, enabling comparison of a suite of metrics including fractional vegetation cover, basal area, and species richness, diversity, and composition. Cover estimates are robust and repeatable, allowing comparisons among environments and detection of modest change. The 442 field plots presented here span a rainfall gradient of 129-1437 mm Mean annual precipitation with varying seasonality. Vegetation measurements include vouchered vascular plant species, growth form, basal area, height, cover and substrate type from 1010 point intercepts as well as systematically recorded absences, which are useful for predictive modelling and validation of remote sensing applications. Leaf and soil samples are sampled for downstream chemical and genomic analysis. We overview the sampling of vegetation parameters and environments, applying the data to the question of how species abundance distributions (SADs vary over climatic gradients, a key question for the influence of environmental change on ecosystem processes. We found linear relationships between SAD shape and rainfall within grassland and shrubland communities, indicating more uneven abundance in deserts and suggesting relative abundance may shift as a consequence of climate change, resulting in altered diversity and ecosystem function. The standardised data of AusPlots enables such analyses at large spatial scales, and the testing of predictions through time with longitudinal sampling. In future, the AusPlots field program will be directed towards improving coverage of space, under-represented environments

  10. Opportunities for Integrated Ecological Analysis across Inland Australia with Standardised Data from Ausplots Rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerin, Greg R; Sparrow, Ben; Tokmakoff, Andrew; Smyth, Anita; Leitch, Emrys; Baruch, Zdravko; Lowe, Andrew J

    2017-01-01

    Australian rangelands ecosystems cover 81% of the continent but are understudied and continental-scale research has been limited in part by a lack of precise data that are standardised between jurisdictions. We present a new dataset from AusPlots Rangelands that enables integrative rangelands analysis due to its geographic scope and standardised methodology. The method provides data on vegetation and soils, enabling comparison of a suite of metrics including fractional vegetation cover, basal area, and species richness, diversity, and composition. Cover estimates are robust and repeatable, allowing comparisons among environments and detection of modest change. The 442 field plots presented here span a rainfall gradient of 129-1437 mm Mean annual precipitation with varying seasonality. Vegetation measurements include vouchered vascular plant species, growth form, basal area, height, cover and substrate type from 1010 point intercepts as well as systematically recorded absences, which are useful for predictive modelling and validation of remote sensing applications. Leaf and soil samples are sampled for downstream chemical and genomic analysis. We overview the sampling of vegetation parameters and environments, applying the data to the question of how species abundance distributions (SADs) vary over climatic gradients, a key question for the influence of environmental change on ecosystem processes. We found linear relationships between SAD shape and rainfall within grassland and shrubland communities, indicating more uneven abundance in deserts and suggesting relative abundance may shift as a consequence of climate change, resulting in altered diversity and ecosystem function. The standardised data of AusPlots enables such analyses at large spatial scales, and the testing of predictions through time with longitudinal sampling. In future, the AusPlots field program will be directed towards improving coverage of space, under-represented environments, vegetation types

  11. Rangeland monitoring reveals long-term plant responses to precipitation and grazing at the landscape scale

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munson, Seth M.; Duniway, Michael C.; Johanson, Jamin K.

    2015-01-01

    Managers of rangeland ecosystems require methods to track the condition of natural resources over large areas and long periods of time as they confront climate change and land use intensification. We demonstrate how rangeland monitoring results can be synthesized using ecological site concepts to understand how climate, site factors, and management actions affect long-term vegetation dynamics at the landscape-scale. Forty-six years of rangeland monitoring conducted by the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) on the Colorado Plateau reveals variable responses of plant species cover to cool-season precipitation, land type (ecological site groups), and grazing intensity. Dominant C3 perennial grasses (Achnatherum hymenoides, Hesperostipa comata), which are essential to support wildlife and livestock on the Colorado Plateau, had responses to cool-season precipitation that were at least twice as large as the dominant C4 perennial grass (Pleuraphis jamesii) and woody vegetation. However, these C3 perennial grass responses to precipitation were reduced by nearly one-third on grassland ecological sites with fine- rather than coarse-textured soils, and there were no detectable C3 perennial grass responses to precipitation on ecological sites dominated by a dense-growing shrub, Coleogyne ramosissima. Heavy grazing intensity further reduced the responses of C3 perennial grasses to cool-season precipitation on ecological sites with coarse-textured soils and surprisingly reduced the responses of shrubs as well. By using ecological site groups to assess rangeland condition, we were able to improve our understanding of the long-term relationships between vegetation change and climate, land use, and site characteristics, which has important implications for developing landscape-scale monitoring strategies.

  12. Science Framework for the Conservation and Restoration Strategy of the Department of the Interior, Secretarial Order 3336: Using resilience and resistance concepts to assess threats to sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse, prioritize conservation and restoration actions, and inform management strategies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jeanne C. Chambers; Jeffrey L. Beck; Steve Campbell; John Carlson; Thomas J. Christiansen; Karen J. Clause; Michele R. Crist; Jonathan B. Dinkins; Kevin E. Doherty; Shawn Espinosa; Kathleen A. Griffin; Steven E. Hanser; Douglas W. Havlina; Kenneth F. Henke; Jacob D. Hennig; Laurie L. Kurth; Jeremy D. Maestas; Mary Manning; Kenneth E. Mayer; Brian A. Mealor; Clinton McCarthy; Mike Pellant; Marco A. Perea; Karen L. Prentice; David A. Pyke; Lief A. Wiechman; Amarina Wuenschel

    2016-01-01

    The Science Framework for the Conservation and Restoration Strategy of the Department of the Interior, Secretarial Order 3336 (SO 3336), Rangeland Fire Prevention, Management and Restoration, provides a strategic, multiscale approach for prioritizing areas for management and determining effective management strategies across the sagebrush biome. The emphasis of this...

  13. Partner-built ecosystem science - The National Ocean Partnership Program as a builder of EBM Tools and Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoffman, P. L.; Green, R. E.; Kohanowich, K. M.

    2016-12-01

    The National Ocean Partnership Program (NOPP) was created in 1997 by federal public law to identify "and carry out partnerships among federal agencies, academia, industry, and other members of the oceanographic scientific community in the areas of data, resources, education, and communications." Since that time, numerous federal agencies have pooled talent, funding, and scientific resources (e.g. ships, aircraft, remote sensors and computing capability) to address pressing ocean science needs which no one entity can manage alone. In this presentation, we will address the ways the National Ocean Policy identifies ecosystem-based management (EBM) as a foundation for providing sound science-based and adaptable management to maintain the health, productivity, and resilience of U.S. ocean, coastal, and Great Lakes ecosystems. Because EBM is an important approach for efficient and effective interagency, multi-jurisdictional, and cross-sectoral marine planning and management, ocean science partnerships such as those provided by NOPP create a pool of regionally-pertinent, nationally-available data from which EBM decision makers can draw to address critical management issues. Specifically, we will provide examples drawn from the last five years of funding to illustrate how the NOPP process works, how it is managed by a federal Interagency Working Group (IWG-OP), and how EBM practitioners can both partner with others through the NOPP and offer guidance on the implementation of projects beneficial to the regional needs of the EBM community. Projects to be discussed have been carried out under the following themes: Arctic Cumulative Impacts: Marine Arctic Ecosystem Study (MARES) - Ecosystem Dynamics and Monitoring of the Beaufort Sea: An Integrated Science Approach. Biodiversity Indicators: Demonstration of a U.S. Marine Biodiversity Observation Network (Marine BON) Long-Term Observations: Coordinated Regional Efforts That Further the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System

  14. ECOSYSTEM IMPACTS OF GEOENGINEERING: A Review for Developing a Science Plan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Russell, Lynn M.; Rasch, Philip J.; Mace, Georgina; Jackson, Robert B.; Shepherd, John; Liss, Peter; Leinen, Margaret; Schimel, David; Vaughan, Naomi E.; Janetos, Anthony C.; Boyd, Philip W.; Norby, Richard J.; Caldeira, Ken; Merikanto, Joonas; Artaxo, Paulo; Melillo, Jerry; Morgan, M. Granger

    2012-06-01

    Geoengineering methods are intended to reduce the magnitude of climate change. Climate change in some regions is already having demonstrable effects on ecosystem structure and functioning. Two different types of geoengineering activities have been proposed: carbon dioxide removal (CDR), which includes a range of engineered and biological processes to remove carbon dioxide (CO2) from the atmosphere, and solar radiation management (SRM, or sunlight reflection methods), whereby a small percentage of sunlight is reflected back into space to offset warming from greenhouse gases. In this review, we evaluate some of the possible impacts of CDR and SRM on the physical climate and their subsequent influence on ecosystems, including the risks and uncertainties associated with new kinds of purposeful perturbations to Earth. Specifically, we find evidence that, if implemented successfully, some CDR methods and continue use of some SRM methods) could alleviate some of the deleterious ecosystem impacts associated with climate changes that might occur in the foreseeable future.

  15. Erosion rates from forests and rangelands following fuel management

    Science.gov (United States)

    William J. Elliot; Peter R. Robichaud; I. Sue Miller

    2007-01-01

    In both forest and rangelands, fuel reduction operations are now common practices. Mechanical thinning followed by prescribed fire is common in forests, while fire is frequently applied to rangelands. Studies at different scales (50 sq m to 389 ha) measure the erosion from fuel management. This presentation compares runoff and erosion from these studies. Plot size has...

  16. Structural and functional diversity in rangelands: integrating different ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Many rangelands exist as dynamic systems where structural and functional diversity of the community is a function of several interacting factors. Understanding the effects of these factors in rangelands requires an understanding of component functioning at different scales. Integrating the range of levels from ecophysiology ...

  17. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands: applications and practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    The challenges that land owners and resource managers face when trying to attempt applications and practices when attempting to rehabilitate rangelands infested with cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) are over-whelming. Simply purchasing seed and spreading it throughout the rangelands is doomed for failu...

  18. Session A2 Rangelands as dynamic systems — Biodiversity ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Management of rangelands for animal products can reduce, maintain or even increase biodiversity. Loss of biodiversity of plants and animals can lead to decreased productivity and income generation from rangelands or can exacerbate the effects of climatic variability and concomitant increased risks for subsistence and ...

  19. Improving access to livestock markets for sustainable rangeland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Productivity of rangelands in Kenya is affected by increasing crop farming especially in more fertile range areas. Among the key factors driving the encroachment of crops on rangelands are the changing opportunities brought about by markets. We hypothesize that the existing market inefficiencies characterizing livestock ...

  20. Incorporating plant mortality and recruitment into rangeland management and assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tony Svejcar; Jeremy James; Stuart Hardegree; Roger Sheley

    2014-01-01

    Rangeland management is largely focused on managing vegetation change. Objectives may include managing against change if the desired vegetation is in place, or attempting to create a shift in vegetation if the desired plant community is not present. There is a rich body of research documenting influences of disturbance and management on rangeland vegetation. However,...

  1. New Tools to Estimate Runoff, Soil Erosion, and Sustainability of Rangeland Plant Communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangelands are the largest land cover type in the world. Degradation from mismanagement, desertification, and drought impact more than 50% of rangelands across the globe. The USDA Agricultural Research Service has been evaluating sustainability of rangeland for over 40-years by conducted rangeland r...

  2. Criterion II: Indicators for conservation and maintenance of plant and animal resources on rangelands (Chapter 3)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Linda A. Joyce; William Fox; Paul Geissler; Rodney Heitschmidt; Lori Hidinger; Duncan Patten; John Spence; Laurence L. Strong; Robert Unnasch; Robert A. Washington-Allen

    2010-01-01

    Five criteria were established by the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable to be used to assess rangeland sustainability on a national scale. One of those criteria is the conservation and maintenance of plant and animal resources. Within this criterion, 10 indicators were developed through the expert opinions of rangeland scientists, rangeland management agency personnel...

  3. To Build an Ecosystem: An Introductory Lab for Environmental Science & Biology Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hudon, Daniel; Finnerty, John R.

    2013-01-01

    A hypothesis-driven laboratory is described that introduces students to the complexities of ecosystem function. Students work with live algae, brine shrimp, and sea anemones to test hypotheses regarding the trophic interactions among species, the exchange of nutrients and gases, and the optimal ratio of producers to consumers and predators in…

  4. An ecohydraulic view on stream resilience and ecosystem functioning - what can science teach management?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Battin, Tom J.; Dzubakova, Katharina; Boodoo, Kyle; Ulseth, Amber

    2017-04-01

    Streams and rivers are increasingly exposed to environmental change across various spatial and temporal scales. Consequently, ecosystem health and integrity are becoming compromised. Most management strategies designed to recover and maintain stream ecosystem health involve engineering measures of geomorphology. The success of such engineering measures relies on a thorough understanding of the underlying physical, chemical and biological process coupling across scales. First, we present results from experimental work unraveling the relevance of streambed heterogeneity for the resilience of phototrophic biofilms. This is critical as phototrophic biofilms are key for nutrient removal and hence for keeping the water clean. These biofilms are also the machinery of primary production and related carbon fluxes in stream ecosystems. Next, we show how climate change may affect primary production, including CO2, in streams and the networks they form. In fact, streams are now recognized as major sources of CO2 to the atmosphere and contributors to the global carbon cycle. Despite this, we do not yet understand how geomorphological features, themselves continuously reworked by hydrology and sedimentary dynamics, affect CO2 fluxes in streams. We show that gravel bars, clearly conspicuous geomorphological features, are hotspots of CO2 fluxes compared to the streamwater itself. This has major implications for carbon cycling and stream ecosystem functioning. Finally, we discuss what stream management could learn from ecohydraulic insights from young scientists doing excellent basic research.

  5. Science in the hardwood ecosystem experiment: accomplishments and the road ahead

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael R. Saunders; Robert K. Swihart

    2013-01-01

    Over the next century, the Hardwood Ecosystem Experiment (HEE) in Indiana will provide numerous opportunities for collaborative research on how forest management affects the ecological, economic, and social resources of southern Indiana. Here, we highlight the pre-treatment research conducted at the HEE sites from 2006 through 2008 and discuss the role that pre-...

  6. Climate change effects on rangelands and rangeland management: Affirming the need for monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel W. Mccollum; John A. Tanaka; Jack A. Morgan; John E. Mitchell; William E. Fox; Kristie A. Maczko; Lori Hidinger; Clifford S. Duke; Urs P. Kreuter

    2017-01-01

    Uncertainty as to the extent and magnitude of changes in conditions that might occur due to climate change poses a problem for land and resource managers as they seek to adapt to changes and mitigate effects of climate variability. We illustrate using scenarios of projected future conditions on rangelands in the Northern Great Plains and Desert Southwest of the United...

  7. Rangeland dynamics in South Omo Zone of Southern Ethiopia: Assessment of rangeland condition in relation to altitude and Grazing types

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Terefe, A.; Ebro, A.; Tessema, Z.K.

    2010-01-01

    A study was undertaken in Hamer and Benna-Tsemay districts of the Southern Ethiopia with the objective to determine the condition of the rangelands for grazing animals as influenced by altitude and grazing types. The rangelands in each of the study districts were stratified based on altitude and

  8. Toward an Ecosystem for Innovation in a Newly Industrialized Economy: Singapore and the Life Sciences

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Poh-Kam

    2006-01-01

    In the late 1990s the Singapore government embarked on a set of far-reaching strategies intended to develop the city-state into one of the major life science R&D and industrial clusters in Asia. Besides efforts to attract leading overseas life science companies to establish operations in Singapore, the government has developed new life science…

  9. Stable isotopes in ecosystem science: structure, function and dynamics of a subtropical Savanna.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boutton, T W; Archer, S R; Midwood, A J

    1999-01-01

    Stable isotopes are often utilized as intrinsic tracers to study the effects of human land uses on the structural and functional characteristics of ecosystems. Here, we illustrate how stable isotopes of H, C, and O have been utilized to document changes in ecosystem structure and function using a case study from a subtropical savanna ecosystem. Specifically, we demonstrate that: (1) delta 13C values of soil organic carbon record a vegetation change in this ecosystem from C4 grassland to C3 woodland during the past 40-120 years, and (2) delta 2H and delta 18O of plant and soil water reveal changes in ecosystem hydrology that accompanied this grassland-to-woodland transition. In the Rio Grande Plains of North America, delta 13C values of plants and soils indicate that areas now dominated by C3 subtropical thorn woodland were once C4 grasslands. delta 13C values of current organic matter inputs from wooded landscape elements in this region are characteristic of C3 plants (-28 to -25/1000), while those of the associated soil organic carbon are higher and range from -20 to -15/1000. Approximately 50-90% of soil carbon beneath the present C3 woodlands is derived from C4 grasses. A strong memory of the C4 grasslands that once dominated this region is retained by delta 13C values of organic carbon associated with fine and coarse clay fractions. When delta 13C values are evaluated in conjunction with 14C measurements of that same soil carbon, it appears that grassland-to-woodland conversion occurred largely within the past 40-120 years, coincident with the intensification of livestock grazing and reductions in fire frequency. These conclusions substantiate those based on demographic characteristics of the dominant tree species, historical aerial photography, and accounts of early settlers and explores. Concurrent changes in soil delta 13C values and organic carbon content over the past 90 years also indicate that wooded landscape elements are behaving as sinks for

  10. Use of local pastoral species to increase fodder production of the saline rangelands in southern Tunisia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tlili, Abderrazak; Tarhouni, Mohamed; Cardà, Artemi; Neffati, Mohamed

    2017-04-01

    Climate changes associated with multiple destructive human activities accelerate the degradation process of the natural rangelands around the world and especially the vulnerable areas such as the dryland ecosystems (Anaya-Romero et al., 2015; Eskandari et al., 2016; Muños Rojas et al., 2016; Vicente-Serrano et al., 2016). The vegetation cover and the biomass production of these ecosystems are decreasing and this is resulting in land degradation due to the soil erosion and changes in soil quality due to the abuse and misuse of the soil resources (Cerdà et al., 2016; Prosdocimi et al., 2016; Keesstra et al., 2016). To cope with such threats, it is necessary to develop some management techniques (restoration, plantation…) to enhance the biomass production and the carbon sequestration of the degraded rangelands (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016; Tarhouni et al., 2016). The valorization of saline water by planting pastoral halophyte species in salt-affected soils as well as the marginal areas are considered among the valuable tools to increase the rangeland production in dry areas. In this work, the ability of four plants (Atriplex halimus L. (Amaranthaceae), Atriplex mollis Desf. (Amaranthaceae), Lotus creticus L. (Fabaceae) and Cenchrus ciliaris L. (Poaceae)) to grow and to produce are tested under a field saline conditions (water and soil). Non-destructive method (Vegmeasure) is used to estimate the biomass production of these species. Chemical (crude protein, moisture and ash contents) and biochemical analyses (sugars, tannins and polyphenols contents) are also undertaken. Two years after plantation, the obtained results showed the ability of the four species to survive and to grow under high salinity degree. A strong positive correlation was obtained between the canopy cover and the dry biomass of the four studied species. Hence, the restoration of saline soils can be ensured by planting local halophytes. Acknowledgements. The research leading to these results has

  11. Developing a science base for implementation of the ecosystem approach to fisheries in South Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shannon, Lynne J.; Jarre, Astrid C.; Petersen, Samantha L.

    2010-10-01

    South Africa’s commitment to implementation of the ecosystem approach to fishing (EAF) requires a solid scientific basis comprised of a toolkit assembled through concerted efforts from which management measures can be carefully considered and put into place. A series of workshops was held to assist in the identification of issues in South Africa’s key fisheries that are cause for concern and may have EAF implications. Several of these issues were addressed under various projects. Food-web studies have been undertaken and models have been constructed of the changes in the structure and functioning of the Southern Benguela upwelling system. The combined effects of fishing and environmental change on South African fisheries have been examined using various observation-based and modelling methods. These are contributing to assessment of changes at multiple spatial and temporal scales, from the impact of pelagic fishing in key foraging areas of critically-dependent predators, to impacts of demersal trawls on the benthos and demersal fish assemblages, to decadal-scale dynamics, and global comparative classifications of ecosystem status. To address some of the EAF issues, practical implementation measures are being developed and applied in collaboration with stakeholders. Stakeholders are also actively involved in the process leading to development of indicators to address the human dimensions of EAF, and knowledge-based systems are being developed as decision support tools. Future priorities for South African EAF research will include placing more emphasis on conservation and biodiversity aspects, linking of environmental/oceanographic knowledge to management objectives, spatial aspects, as well as increased focus on the human dimension and transdisciplinary approaches. Indicators are a promising means of synthesizing multi-disciplinary information for consideration in the management process, providing measures of anthropogenic (including fishing) pressures including

  12. Assessment of LANDSAT for rangeland mapping, Rush Valley, Utah

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ridd, M. K.; Price, K. P.; Douglass, G. E.

    1984-01-01

    The feasibility of using LANDSAT MSS (multispectral scanner) data to identify and map cover types for rangeland, and to determine comparative condition of the ecotypes was assessed. A supporting objective is to assess the utility of various forms of aerial photography in the process. If rangelands can be efficiently mapped with Landsat data, as supported by appropriate aerial photography and field data, then uniform standards of cover classification and condition may be applied across the rangelands of the state. Further, a foundation may be established for long-term monitoring of range trend, using the same satellite system over time.

  13. Cascading effects of fire exclusion in the Rocky Mountain ecosystems: a literature review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robert E. Keane; Kevin C. Ryan; Tom T. Veblen; Craig D. Allen; Jessie Logan; Brad Hawkes

    2002-01-01

    The health of many Rocky Mountain ecosystems is in decline because of the policy of excluding fire in the management of these ecosystems. Fire exclusion has actually made it more difficult to fight fires, and this poses greater risks to the people who fight fires and for those who live in and around Rocky Mountain forests and rangelands. This paper discusses the extent...

  14. Enhanced science-stakeholder communication to improve ecosystem model performances for climate change impact assessments

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jonsson, Anna Maria; Anderbrant, Olle; Holmer, Jennie

    2015-01-01

    In recent years, climate impact assessments of relevance to the agricultural and forestry sectors have received considerable attention. Current ecosystem models commonly capture the effect of a warmer climate on biomass production, but they rarely sufficiently capture potential losses caused...... a discussion among the science–stakeholder communities on how to quantify the potential for climate change adaptation by improving the realism in the models....... by pests, pathogens and extreme weather events. In addition, alternative management regimes may not be integrated in the models. A way to improve the quality of climate impact assessments is to increase the science–stakeholder collaboration, and in a two-way dialog link empirical experience and impact...

  15. Holistic Interactions of Shallow Clouds, Aerosols, and Land-Ecosystems (HI-SCALE) Science Plan

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fast, JD [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory; Berg, LK [Pacific Northwest National Laboratory

    2015-12-01

    Cumulus convection is an important component in the atmospheric radiation budget and hydrologic cycle over the Southern Great Plains and over many regions of the world, particularly during the summertime growing season when intense turbulence induced by surface radiation couples the land surface to clouds. Current convective cloud parameterizations contain uncertainties resulting in part from insufficient coincident data that couples cloud macrophysical and microphysical properties to inhomogeneities in boundary layer and aerosol properties. The Holistic Interactions of Shallow Clouds, Aerosols, and Land-Ecosystems (HI-SCALE) campaign is designed to provide a detailed set of measurements that are needed to obtain a more complete understanding of the life cycle of shallow clouds by coupling cloud macrophysical and microphysical properties to land surface properties, ecosystems, and aerosols. HI-SCALE consists of 2, 4-week intensive observational periods, one in the spring and the other in the late summer, to take advantage of different stages and distribution of “greenness” for various types of vegetation in the vicinity of the Atmospheric Radiation and Measurement (ARM) Climate Research Facility’s Southern Great Plains (SGP) site as well as aerosol properties that vary during the growing season. Most of the proposed instrumentation will be deployed on the ARM Aerial Facility (AAF) Gulfstream 1 (G-1) aircraft, including those that measure atmospheric turbulence, cloud water content and drop size distributions, aerosol precursor gases, aerosol chemical composition and size distributions, and cloud condensation nuclei concentrations. Routine ARM aerosol measurements made at the surface will be supplemented with aerosol microphysical properties measurements. The G-1 aircraft will complete transects over the SGP Central Facility at multiple altitudes within the boundary layer, within clouds, and above clouds.

  16. North American Science Symposium: Toward a unified framework for inventorying and monitoring forest ecosystem resources

    Science.gov (United States)

    Celedonio Aguirre-Bravo; Carlos Rodriguez Franco

    1999-01-01

    The general objective of this Symposium was to build on the best science and technology available to assure that the data and information produced in future inventory and monitoring programs are comparable, quality assured, available, and adequate for their intended purposes, thereby providing a reliable framework for characterization, assessment, and management of...

  17. Rehabilitation of Great Basin rangelands: an integrated approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Disturbed rangelands present significant challenges to resource managers and land owners. In the Great Basin, exotic annual grasses have truncated secondary succession by outcompeting native perennial species for limited moisture and nutrients. An integrated approach to successfully control such inv...

  18. Restoring Degraded Rangelands in Jordan: Optimizing Mechanized Micro-Water Harvesting Technique Using Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Continuous population growth, recent refugee movement and migration as well as boundary restrictions and their implications on the nomadic lifestyle are additive pressure on rangelands throughout the Middle East. In particular, overgrazing through increased livestock herds threatens the Jordanian ra...

  19. Integrating Science into Management of Ecosystems in the Greater Blue Mountains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chapple, Rosalie S.; Ramp, Daniel; Bradstock, Ross A.; Kingsford, Richard T.; Merson, John A.; Auld, Tony D.; Fleming, Peter J. S.; Mulley, Robert C.

    2011-10-01

    Effective management of large protected conservation areas is challenged by political, institutional and environmental complexity and inconsistency. Knowledge generation and its uptake into management are crucial to address these challenges. We reflect on practice at the interface between science and management of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area (GBMWHA), which covers approximately 1 million hectares west of Sydney, Australia. Multiple government agencies and other stakeholders are involved in its management, and decision-making is confounded by numerous plans of management and competing values and goals, reflecting the different objectives and responsibilities of stakeholders. To highlight the complexities of the decision-making process for this large area, we draw on the outcomes of a recent collaborative research project and focus on fire regimes and wild-dog control as examples of how existing knowledge is integrated into management. The collaborative research project achieved the objectives of collating and synthesizing biological data for the region; however, transfer of the project's outcomes to management has proved problematic. Reasons attributed to this include lack of clearly defined management objectives to guide research directions and uptake, and scientific information not being made more understandable and accessible. A key role of a local bridging organisation (e.g., the Blue Mountains World Heritage Institute) in linking science and management is ensuring that research results with management significance can be effectively transmitted to agencies and that outcomes are explained for nonspecialists as well as more widely distributed. We conclude that improved links between science, policy, and management within an adaptive learning-by-doing framework for the GBMWHA would assist the usefulness and uptake of future research.

  20. Biosolids Effects in Chihuahuan Desert Rangelands: A Ten-Year Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David B. Wester

    2011-01-01

    Full Text Available Arid and semiarid rangelands are suitable for responsible biosolids application. Topical application is critical to avoid soil and vegetation disturbance. Surface-applied biosolids have long-lasting effects in these ecosystems. We conducted a 10-year research program investigating effects of biosolids applied at rates from 0 to 90 dry Mg ha−1 on soil water infiltration; runoff and leachate water quality; soil erosion; forage production and quality; seedling establishment; plant physiological responses; nitrogen dynamics; biosolids decomposition; and grazing animal behavior and management. Biosolids increased soil water infiltration and reduced erosion. Effects on soil water quality were observed only at the highest application rates. Biosolids increased soil nitrate-nitrogen. Biosolids increased forage production and improved forage quality. Biosolids increased leaf area of grasses; photosynthetic rates were not necessarily increased by biosolids. Biosolids effects on plant establishment are expected only under moderately favorable conditions. Over an 82-mo exposure period, total organic carbon, nitrogen, and total and available phosphorus decreased and inorganic matter increased. Grazing animals spent more time grazing, ruminating, and resting in biosolids-treated areas; positive effects on average daily gain were observed during periods of higher rainfall. Our results suggest that annual biosolids application rates of up to 18 Mg ha−1 are appropriate for desert rangelands.

  1. Biophysical characterization and management effects on semiarid rangeland observed from Landsat ETM+ data

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Fang, Hongliang; Liang, Shunlin; McClaran, Mitchell P.; van Leeuwen, Willem J. D.; Drake, Sam; Marsh, Stuart E.; Thomson, Allison M.; Izaurralde, R Cesar C.; Rosenberg, Norman J.

    2005-01-20

    Semi-arid rangelands are very sensitive to global climatic change; studies of their biophysical attributes are crucial to understanding the dynamics of rangeland ecosystems under human disturbance. In the Santa Rita Experimental Range (SRER), Arizona, the vegetation has changed considerably and there have been many management activities applied. This study calculates seven surface variables: the enhanced vegetation index (EVI), the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), surface albedos (total shortwave, visible and near-infrared), leaf area index (LAI) and the fraction of photosynthetically active radiation absorbed by green vegetation (FPAR) from the Enhanced Thematic Mapper (ETM+) data. Comparison with the MODIS (Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer) vegetation index and albedo products indicate they agree well with our estimates from ETM+ while their LAI and FPAR are larger than ETM+. Human disturbance has significantly changed the cover types and biophysical conditions. Statistical tests indicate that surface albedos increased and FPAR decreased at all sites. The recovery will require more than 67 years, and is about 50% complete within 40 years at the higher elevation. Grass cover, vegetation indices, albedos and LAI recovered from cutting faster at the higher elevation. Woody plants, vegetation indices and LAI have recovered to their original characteristics after 65 years at the lower elevation. More studies are needed to examine the spectral characteristics of different ground components.

  2. The potential of Sentinel-2 spectral configuration to assess rangeland quality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ramoelo, Abel; Cho, Moses; Mathieu, Renaud; Skidmore, Andrew K.

    2014-10-01

    The European Space Agency (ESA) has embarked on the development of the Sentinel constellation. Sentinel-2 is intended to improve vegetation assessment at local to global scale. Rangeland quality assessment is crucial for planning and management of grazing areas. Well managed and improved grazing areas lead to higher livestock production, which is a pillar of the rural economy and livelihoods, especially in many parts of the African continent. Leaf nitrogen (N) is an indicator of rangeland quality, and is crucial for understanding ecosystem function and services. Today, estimation of leaf N is possible using field and imaging spectroscopy. However, a few studies based on commercially available multispectral imageries such as WorldView-2 and RapidEye have shown the potential of a red-edge band for accurately predicting and mapping leaf N at the broad landscape scale. Sentinel-2 has two red edge bands. The objective of this study was to investigate the utility of the spectral configuration of Sentinel-2 for estimating leaf N concentration in rangelands and savannas of Southern Africa. Grass canopy reflectance was measured using the FieldSpec 3, Analytical Spectral Device (ASD) in concert with leaf sample collections for leaf N chemical analysis. ASD reflectances were resampled to the spectral bands of Sentinel-2 using published spectral response functions. Random Forest (RF) technique was used to predict leaf N using all thirteen bands. Using leave-one-out cross validation, the RF model explained 90% of leaf N variation, with the root mean square error (RMSE) of 0.04 (6% of the mean). Interestingly, spectral bands centred at 705 nm (red edge) and two shortwave infrared centred at 2190 and 1610 nm were found to be the most important bands in predicting leaf N. These findings concur with previous studies based on spectroscopy, airborne hyperspectral or multispectral imagery, e.g. RapidEye, on the importance of shortwave infrared and red-edge reflectance in the

  3. Grazing exclusion, substrate type, and drought frequency affect plant community structure in rangelands of the arid unpredictable Arabian Deserts

    Science.gov (United States)

    El-Keblawy, Ali; El-Sheikh, Mohamed

    2017-04-01

    Grazing and drought can adversely affect the ecology and management of rangeland ecosystems. Several management actions have been applied to restore species diversity and community structure in degraded rangelands of the unpredictable arid environment. Protection from grazing is considered as a proper approach for restoration of degraded rangelands, but this depends on substrate type and sometime is hindered with water deficiency (drought). In this study, the effect of protection from grazing animals on species diversity and plant community structure was assessed after a dry and wet periods in both sandy and gravelly substrates in the Dubai Desert Conservation reserve (DDCR), United Arab Emirates. Two sites were selected during November 2012 on the two substrate types (fixed sandy flat and gravel plain) in the arid DDCR. An enclosure was established in each site. Plant community attributes (plant cover, density, frequency, species composition, and diversity indices) were assessed in a number of permanent plots laid inside and outside each enclosure during November 2012, April 2014 and April 2016. The results showed that protection improved clay content, but decreased the organic matters. Interestingly, the protection reduced the concentrations of most estimated nutrients, which could be attributed to the high turnover rate of nutrients associated grazing and low decomposition of accumulated dry plants of non-protected sites. Protection significantly increased all plant community attributes, but the only significant effect was for plant density. Plant density was almost twice greater inside than outside the enclosures. During the dry period, protection resulted in significantly greater deterioration in cover, density and all diversity indices in gravel, compared to sandy sites. Most of the grasses and shrubby plants had died in the gravel plains. However, plant community of the gravel plains was significantly restored after receiving considerable rainfalls. The

  4. Are large-scale flow experiments informing the science and management of freshwater ecosystems?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olden, Julian D.; Konrad, Christopher P.; Melis, Theodore S.; Kennard, Mark J.; Freeman, Mary C.; Mims, Meryl C.; Bray, Erin N.; Gido, Keith B.; Hemphill, Nina P.; Lytle, David A.; McMullen, Laura E.; Pyron, Mark; Robinson, Christopher T.; Schmidt, John C.; Williams, John G.

    2013-01-01

    Greater scientific knowledge, changing societal values, and legislative mandates have emphasized the importance of implementing large-scale flow experiments (FEs) downstream of dams. We provide the first global assessment of FEs to evaluate their success in advancing science and informing management decisions. Systematic review of 113 FEs across 20 countries revealed that clear articulation of experimental objectives, while not universally practiced, was crucial for achieving management outcomes and changing dam-operating policies. Furthermore, changes to dam operations were three times less likely when FEs were conducted primarily for scientific purposes. Despite the recognized importance of riverine flow regimes, four-fifths of FEs involved only discrete flow events. Over three-quarters of FEs documented both abiotic and biotic outcomes, but only one-third examined multiple taxonomic responses, thus limiting how FE results can inform holistic dam management. Future FEs will present new opportunities to advance scientifically credible water policies.

  5. The reward (eco)system of science: More than the sum of its parts?

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Desrochers, N.; Haustein, S.; Alperin, J.P.; Bowman, T.D.; Diaz-Faes, A.A.; Lariviere, V.; Mongeon, P.; Paul-Hus, A.; Quan-Haase, A.; Smith, E.; Sugimoto, C.R.

    2016-07-01

    In the 1990s, Blaise Cronin and his collaborators established a “reward triangle” of science, which consisted of authorship, citations, and acknowledgements. However, in the last decades, the landscape of scholarly communication and recognition has changed immensely. The use of social media in scholarly communication has generated a new set of indicators, dubbed altmetrics. The proliferation of indicators and the strong tendency to rely on quantitative measures is a fait accompli. Needless to say, the ubiquity of measurement and evaluation creates new forms of pressure and affects scientific behavior. This event will be presented as a twist on an open fishbowl. Out of five chairs, four will be occupied by a first set of participants and each member will represent one of four elements of the reward system of science to open the discussion: authorship, citations, acknowledgements, and social media. A fifth chair will be left empty for audience members to participate. To involve remote audiences, the fishbowl will be live-tweeted. The Twitter feed will be displayed and used as a backchannel. Audience members who may not wish to take a chair will also be able to participate via Twitter. One of the organizers will monitor the Twitter feed, taking the empty chair to relay what Twitter users are saying, in order to address the feed and further the exchanges. During the final 15 minutes of the fishbowl, participants will be asked to come forth and make recommendations pertaining to the initial target topics and any emerging topics. They will be asked to formulate these in short sentences, so that they can be relayed on Twitter; the recommendations will also will be made available for further use as one document on etherpad (http://etherpad.org/). (Author)

  6. Integrating a rangeland health assessment with successional management: A synergistic approach to EBIPM

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qualitative Rangeland Health Assessments are extremely useful because they provide a relative indication of resource problems on rangelands. Additionally, theSuccessional Management framework identifies three primary causes of plantcommunity change, ecological processes, and factors that modify thes...

  7. Very High Resolution Panoramic Photography to Improve Conventional Rangeland Monitoring 1994

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland monitoring often includes repeat photographs as a basis for documentation and although photographic equipment and electronics have been evolving rapidly, basic rangeland photo monitoring methods have changed little over time. Ground based digital photography is underutilized, especially s...

  8. Conservation and restoration of sagebrush ecosystems and sage-grouse: An assessment of USDA Forest Service Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch; Douglas A. Boyce; Jeanne C. Chambers; Chris J. Colt; Kas Dumroese; Stanley G. Kitchen; Clinton McCarthy; Susan E. Meyer; Bryce A. Richardson; Mary M. Rowland; Mark A. Rumble; Michael K. Schwartz; Monica S. Tomosy; Michael J. Wisdom

    2016-01-01

    Sagebrush ecosystems are among the largest and most threatened ecosystems in North America. Greater sage-grouse has served as the bellwether for species conservation in these ecosystems and has been considered for listing under the Endangered Species Act eight times. In September 2015, the decision was made not to list greater sage-grouse, but to reevaluate its status...

  9. The Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model: A Dynamic Approach for Predicting Soil Loss on Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernandez, Mariano; Nearing, Mark A.; Al-Hamdan, Osama Z.; Pierson, Frederick B.; Armendariz, Gerardo; Weltz, Mark A.; Spaeth, Kenneth E.; Williams, C. Jason; Nouwakpo, Sayjro K.; Goodrich, David C.; Unkrich, Carl L.; Nichols, Mary H.; Holifield Collins, Chandra D.

    2017-11-01

    In this study, we present the improved Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM V2.3), a process-based erosion prediction tool specific for rangeland application. The article provides the mathematical formulation of the model and parameter estimation equations. Model performance is assessed against data collected from 23 runoff and sediment events in a shrub-dominated semiarid watershed in Arizona, USA. To evaluate the model, two sets of primary model parameters were determined using the RHEM V2.3 and RHEM V1.0 parameter estimation equations. Testing of the parameters indicated that RHEM V2.3 parameter estimation equations provided a 76% improvement over RHEM V1.0 parameter estimation equations. Second, the RHEM V2.3 model was calibrated to measurements from the watershed. The parameters estimated by the new equations were within the lowest and highest values of the calibrated parameter set. These results suggest that the new parameter estimation equations can be applied for this environment to predict sediment yield at the hillslope scale. Furthermore, we also applied the RHEM V2.3 to demonstrate the response of the model as a function of foliar cover and ground cover for 124 data points across Arizona and New Mexico. The dependence of average sediment yield on surface ground cover was moderately stronger than that on foliar cover. These results demonstrate that RHEM V2.3 predicts runoff volume, peak runoff, and sediment yield with sufficient accuracy for broad application to assess and manage rangeland systems.

  10. Criterion V: Legal, institutional, and economic framework for rangeland conservation and sustainable management [Chapter 6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jonn E. Mitchell; Stan Hamiliton; Thomas Lustig; Kenneth Nelson; Tom Roberts; Brian Czech

    2010-01-01

    Laws, institutions, and economic policies play a large role in determining the sustainability of rangelands. They provide the basic framework from which many lasting decisions about rangeland management are made. The SRR has identified 10 primary indicators to assess how this framework influences the long-term health and productivity of rangeland in this country. The...

  11. Ecohydrologic impacts of rangeland fire on runoff and erosion: A literature synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frederick B. Pierson; C. Jason Williams

    2016-01-01

    Fire can dramatically influence rangeland hydrology and erosion by altering ecohydrologic relationships. This synthesis presents an ecohydrologic perspective on the effects of fire on rangeland runoff and erosion through a review of scientific literature spanning many decades. The objectives are: (1) to introduce rangeland hydrology and erosion concepts necessary for...

  12. Rangelands of Central Asia: Proceedings of the Conference on Transformations, Issues, and Future Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    Donald J. Bedunah; E. Durant McArthur; Maria Fernandez-Gimenez

    2006-01-01

    The 11 papers in this document address issues and needs in the development and stewardship of Central Asia rangelands, and identify directions for future work. With its vast rangelands and numerous pastoral populations, Central Asia is a region of increasing importance to rangeland scientists, managers, and pastoral development specialists. Five of the papers address...

  13. Integration of Biological and Physical Sciences to Advance Ecological Understanding of Aquatic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Luce, C. H.; Buffington, J. M.; Rieman, B. E.; Dunham, J. B.; McKean, J. A.; Thurow, R. F.; Gutierrez-Teira, B.; Rosenberger, A. E.

    2005-05-01

    Conservation and restoration of freshwater stream and river habitats are important goals for land management and natural resources research. Several examples of research have emerged showing that many species are adapted to temporary habitat disruptions, but that these adaptations are sensitive to the spatial grain and extent of disturbance as well as to its duration. When viewed from this perspective, questions of timing, spatial pattern, and relevant scales emerge as critical issues. In contrast, much regulation, management, and research remains tied to pollutant loading paradigms that are insensitive to either time or space scales. It is becoming clear that research is needed to examine questions and hypotheses about how physical processes affect ecological processes. Two overarching questions concisely frame the scientific issues: 1) How do we quantify physical watershed processes in a way that is meaningful to biological and ecological processes, and 2) how does the answer to that question vary with changing spatial and temporal scales? A joint understanding of scaling characteristics of physical process and the plasticity of aquatic species will be needed to accomplish this research; hence a strong need exists for integrative and collaborative development. Considering conservation biology problems in this fashion can lead to creative and non-obvious solutions because the integrated system has important non-linearities and feedbacks related to a biological system that has responded to substantial natural variability in the past. We propose that research beginning with ecological theories and principles followed with a structured examination of each physical process as related to the specific ecological theories is a strong approach to developing the necessary science, and such an approach may form a basis for development of scaling theories of hydrologic and geomorphic process. We illustrate the approach with several examples.

  14. Exploring Ecosystems from the Inside: How Immersive Multi-User Virtual Environments Can Support Development of Epistemologically Grounded Modeling Practices in Ecosystem Science Instruction

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kamarainen, Amy M.; Metcalf, Shari; Grotzer, Tina; Dede, Chris

    2015-01-01

    Recent reform efforts and the next generation science standards emphasize the importance of incorporating authentic scientific practices into science instruction. Modeling can be a particularly challenging practice to address because modeling occurs within a socially structured system of representation that is specific to a domain. Further, in the…

  15. Endemic shrubs in temperate arid and semiarid regions of northern China and their potentials for rangeland restoration.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chu, Jianmin; Yang, Hongxiao; Lu, Qi; Zhang, Xiaoyan

    2015-06-03

    Some endemic shrubs in arid and semiarid ecosystems are in danger of extinction, and yet they can play useful roles in maintaining or restoring these ecosystems, thus practical efforts are needed to conserve them. The shrubs Amygdalus pedunculata Pall., Amygdalus mongolica (Maxim.) Ricker and Ammopiptanthus mongolicus (Maxim. ex Kom.) Cheng f. are endemic species in arid and semiarid regions of northern China, where rangeland desertification is pronounced due to chronic overgrazing. In this study, we tested the hypothesis that these endemic shrubs have developed adaptations to arid and semiarid environments and could play critical roles as nurse species to initiate the process of rangeland recovery. Based on careful vegetation surveys, we analysed the niches of these species in relation to precipitation, temperature and habitats. All sampling plots were categorized by these endemics and sorted by the non-metric multidimensional scaling method. Species ratios of each life form and species co-occurrence rates with the endemics were also evaluated. Annual average temperature and annual precipitation were found to be the key factors determining vegetation diversity and distributions. Amygdalus pedunculata prefers low hills and sandy land in temperate semiarid regions. Amygdalus mongolica prefers gravel deserts of temperate semiarid regions. Ammopiptanthus mongolicus prefers sandy land of temperate arid regions. Communities of A. pedunculata have the highest diversity and the largest ratios of long-lived grass species, whereas those of A. mongolicus have the lowest diversity but the largest ratios of shrub species. Communities of A. mongolica are a transition between the first two community types. These findings demonstrate that our focal endemic shrubs have evolved adaptations to arid and semiarid conditions, thus they can be nurse plants to stabilize sand ground for vegetation restoration. We suggest that land managers begin using these shrub species to restore

  16. EVALUATION AND MAPPING OF RANGELANDS DEGRADATION USING REMOTELY SENSED DATA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Majid Ajorlo

    2005-05-01

    Full Text Available The empirical and scientifically documents prove that misuse of natural resource causes degradation in it. So natural resources conservation is important in approaching sustainable development aims. In current study, Landsat Thematic Mapper images and grazing gradient method have been used to map the extent and degree of rangeland degradation. In during ground-based data measuring, factors such as vegetation cover, litter, plant diversity, bare soil, and stone & gravels were estimated as biophysical indicators of degradation. The next stage, after geometric correction and doing some necessary pre-processing practices on the study area’s images; the best and suitable vegetation index has been selected to map rangeland degradation among the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI, Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI, and Perpendicular Vegetation Index (PVI. Then using suitable vegetation index and distance parameter was produced the rangelands degradation map. The results of ground-based data analysis reveal that there is a significant relation between increasing distance from critical points and plant diversity and also percentage of litter. Also there is significant relation between vegetation cover percent and distance from village, i.e. the vegetation cover percent increases by increasing distance from villages, while it wasn’t the same around the stock watering points. The result of analysis about bare soil and distance from critical point was the same to vegetation cover changes manner. Also there wasn’t significant relation between stones & gravels index and distance from critical points. The results of image processing show that, NDVI appears to be sensitive to vegetation changes along the grazing gradient and it can be suitable vegetation index to map rangeland degradation. The degradation map shows that there is high degradation around the critical points. These areas need urgent attention for soil conservation. Generally, it

  17. Soil Properties and Plant Biomass Production in Natural Rangeland Management Systems

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Romeu de Souza Werner

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Improper management of rangelands can cause land degradation and reduce the economic efficiency of livestock activity. The aim of this study was to evaluate soil properties and quantify plant biomass production in four natural rangeland management systems in the Santa Catarina Plateau (Planalto Catarinense of Brazil. The treatments, which included mowed natural rangeland (NR, burned natural rangeland (BR, natural rangeland improved through the introduction of plant species after harrowing (IH, and natural rangeland improved through the introduction of plant species after chisel plowing (IC, were evaluated in a Nitossolo Bruno (Nitisol. In the improved treatments, soil acidity was corrected, phosphate fertilizer was applied, and intercropped annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum, velvet grass (Holcus lanatus, and white clover (Trifolium repens were sown. Management systems with harrowed or chisel plowed soil showed improved soil physical properties; however, the effect decreased over time and values approached those of burned and mowed natural rangelands. Natural rangeland systems in the establishment phase had little influence on soil organic C. The mowed natural rangeland and improved natural rangeland exhibited greater production of grazing material, while burning the field decreased production and increased the proportion of weeds. Improvement of the natural rangelands increased leguminous biomass for pasture.

  18. Modeling vegetation heights from high resolution stereo aerial photography: an application for broad-scale rangeland monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillan, Jeffrey K.; Karl, Jason W.; Duniway, Michael; Elaksher, Ahmed

    2014-01-01

    Vertical vegetation structure in rangeland ecosystems can be a valuable indicator for assessing rangeland health and monitoring riparian areas, post-fire recovery, available forage for livestock, and wildlife habitat. Federal land management agencies are directed to monitor and manage rangelands at landscapes scales, but traditional field methods for measuring vegetation heights are often too costly and time consuming to apply at these broad scales. Most emerging remote sensing techniques capable of measuring surface and vegetation height (e.g., LiDAR or synthetic aperture radar) are often too expensive, and require specialized sensors. An alternative remote sensing approach that is potentially more practical for managers is to measure vegetation heights from digital stereo aerial photographs. As aerial photography is already commonly used for rangeland monitoring, acquiring it in stereo enables three-dimensional modeling and estimation of vegetation height. The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility and accuracy of estimating shrub heights from high-resolution (HR, 3-cm ground sampling distance) digital stereo-pair aerial images. Overlapping HR imagery was taken in March 2009 near Lake Mead, Nevada and 5-cm resolution digital surface models (DSMs) were created by photogrammetric methods (aerial triangulation, digital image matching) for twenty-six test plots. We compared the heights of individual shrubs and plot averages derived from the DSMs to field measurements. We found strong positive correlations between field and image measurements for several metrics. Individual shrub heights tended to be underestimated in the imagery, however, accuracy was higher for dense, compact shrubs compared with shrubs with thin branches. Plot averages of shrub height from DSMs were also strongly correlated to field measurements but consistently underestimated. Grasses and forbs were generally too small to be detected with the resolution of the DSMs. Estimates of

  19. Modeling vegetation heights from high resolution stereo aerial photography: an application for broad-scale rangeland monitoring.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillan, Jeffrey K; Karl, Jason W; Duniway, Michael; Elaksher, Ahmed

    2014-11-01

    Vertical vegetation structure in rangeland ecosystems can be a valuable indicator for assessing rangeland health and monitoring riparian areas, post-fire recovery, available forage for livestock, and wildlife habitat. Federal land management agencies are directed to monitor and manage rangelands at landscapes scales, but traditional field methods for measuring vegetation heights are often too costly and time consuming to apply at these broad scales. Most emerging remote sensing techniques capable of measuring surface and vegetation height (e.g., LiDAR or synthetic aperture radar) are often too expensive, and require specialized sensors. An alternative remote sensing approach that is potentially more practical for managers is to measure vegetation heights from digital stereo aerial photographs. As aerial photography is already commonly used for rangeland monitoring, acquiring it in stereo enables three-dimensional modeling and estimation of vegetation height. The purpose of this study was to test the feasibility and accuracy of estimating shrub heights from high-resolution (HR, 3-cm ground sampling distance) digital stereo-pair aerial images. Overlapping HR imagery was taken in March 2009 near Lake Mead, Nevada and 5-cm resolution digital surface models (DSMs) were created by photogrammetric methods (aerial triangulation, digital image matching) for twenty-six test plots. We compared the heights of individual shrubs and plot averages derived from the DSMs to field measurements. We found strong positive correlations between field and image measurements for several metrics. Individual shrub heights tended to be underestimated in the imagery, however, accuracy was higher for dense, compact shrubs compared with shrubs with thin branches. Plot averages of shrub height from DSMs were also strongly correlated to field measurements but consistently underestimated. Grasses and forbs were generally too small to be detected with the resolution of the DSMs. Estimates of

  20. Rangeland dynamics in South Omo Zone of Southern Ethiopia: Assessment of rangeland condition in relation to altitude and Grazing types

    OpenAIRE

    Terefe, A.; Ebro, A.; Tessema, Z.K.

    2010-01-01

    A study was undertaken in Hamer and Benna-Tsemay districts of the Southern Ethiopia with the objective to determine the condition of the rangelands for grazing animals as influenced by altitude and grazing types. The rangelands in each of the study districts were stratified based on altitude and grazing types. In the study districts, a total of 32, 3, 2, 7 and 29 species of grasses, legumes, sedges, other herbaceous plants and woody species were identified, respectively. The common and/or dom...

  1. Health science communication strategies used by researchers with the public in the digital and social media ecosystem: a systematic scoping review protocol.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fontaine, Guillaume; Lavallée, Andréane; Maheu-Cadotte, Marc-André; Bouix-Picasso, Julien; Bourbonnais, Anne

    2018-01-30

    The optimisation of health science communication (HSC) between researchers and the public is crucial. In the last decade, the rise of the digital and social media ecosystem allowed for the disintermediation of HSC. Disintermediation refers to the public's direct access to information from researchers about health science-related topics through the digital and social media ecosystem, a process that would otherwise require a human mediator, such as a journalist. Therefore, the primary aim of this scoping review is to describe the nature and the extent of the literature regarding HSC strategies involving disintermediation used by researchers with the public in the digital and social media ecosystem. The secondary aim is to describe the HSC strategies used by researchers, and the communication channels associated with these strategies. We will conduct a scoping review based on the Joanna Briggs Institute's methodology and perform a systematic search of six bibliographical databases (CINAHL, EMBASE, IBSS, PubMed, Sociological Abstracts and Web of Science), four trial registries and relevant sources of grey literature. Relevant journals and reference lists of included records will be hand-searched. Data will be managed using the EndNote software and the Rayyan web application. Two review team members will perform independently the screening process as well as the full-text assessment of included records. Descriptive data will be synthesised in a tabular format. Data regarding the nature and the extent of the literature, the HSC strategies and the associated communication channels will be presented narratively. This review does not require institutional review board approval as we will use only collected and published data. Results will allow the mapping of the literature about HSC between researchers and the public in the digital and social media ecosystem, and will be published in a peer-reviewed journal. © Article author(s) (or their employer(s) unless otherwise

  2. Program of Research for Forests and Associated Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nelson S. Loftus; Joseph G. Massey; [Compilers

    1978-01-01

    This research plan for the Southern Region is a companion publication to the National Program of Research for Forests and Associated Rangelands. While the national program reflects both regional and national priorities, this plan provides details on forestry research matters concerning the South. For the reader's convenience, background information on development...

  3. Ecology and utilization of desert shrub rangelands in Iraq

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Thalen, Derk Catharinus Peter

    1979-01-01

    When grazing is the accepted land use, vegetation is the key resource. The present study deals with the desert shrub rangelands of lraq, which contain the major characteristics of such an area, having been under grazing for many centuries. Emphasis is given to the ecology and utilization of the

  4. Simplifying ecological site verification, rangeland health assessments, and monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    During the past several decades, scientists and land managers in North America have increasingly recognized the importance of rangeland assessment relative to ecological potential based on soil and climate. The adoption of the site potential based “ecological site” system was recently formalized in ...

  5. Parameterization of erodibility in the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    The magnitude of erosion from a hillslope is governed by the availability of sediment and connectivity of runoff and erosion processes. For undisturbed rangelands, sediment is primarily detached and transported by rainsplash and sheetflow (splash-sheet) processes in isolated bare batches, but sedime...

  6. 75 FR 8036 - Monitor-Hot Creek Rangeland Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-23

    ... Forest Service Monitor-Hot Creek Rangeland Project AGENCY: Forest Service, USDA. ACTION: Notice of intent...-Toiyabe National Forest will prepare an environmental impact statement (EIS) on a proposal to authorize..., Little Fish Lake, Monitor Complex, Saulsbury and Stone Cabin allotments have active term grazing permits...

  7. Impact of Rangeland Degradation on Soil Physical, Chemical

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In terms of impacts from soil compaction, Abdel-Megid et al, (1987) reported reduced water infiltration and aeration, while Van der westhuizen et al., (1999) found poor plant respiration and soil seed germination unless the soil crust is broken. Soil compaction also enhanced encroachment in eastern rangelands of Ethiopia ...

  8. Ranch business planning and resource monitoring for rangeland sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristie A. Maczko; John A. Tanaka; Michael Smith; Cindy Garretson-Weibel; Stanley F. Hamilton; John E. Mitchell; Gene Fults; Charles Stanley; Dick Loper; Larry D. Bryant; J. K. (Rooter) Brite

    2012-01-01

    Aligning a rancher's business plan goals with the capability of the ranch's rangeland resources improves the viability and sustainability of family ranches. Strategically monitoring the condition of soil, water, vegetation, wildlife, livestock production, and economics helps inform business plan goals. Business planning and resource monitoring help keep...

  9. Session A6 Rangelands as dynamic systems — Fragmentation of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    In this symposium, we consider the effects of fragmentation of rangelands and ensuing loss of biological complexity for a variety of processes including behaviour and performance of large herbivores, responses of plant communities to herbivory, and functioning of human social and economic systems. We invite posters that ...

  10. Scale, heterogeneity and secondary production in tropical rangelands

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper will review our current understanding of scale-related effects on livestock production in tropical rangelands and herbivore-plant interactions at patch to landscape scales. We use published information and results from recent empirical studies in northern Australia and elsewhere to elucidate scale-related effects ...

  11. Vulnerability of amphibians to climate change: implications for rangeland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karen E. Bagne; Deborah M. Finch; Megan M. Friggens

    2011-01-01

    Many amphibian populations have declined drastically in recent years due to a large number of factors including the emerging threat of climate change (Wake 2007). Rangelands provide important habitat for amphibians. In addition to natural wetlands, stock tanks and other artificial water catchments provide habitat for many amphibian species (Euliss et al. 2004).

  12. Livestock versus Wildlife Ranching in Kenyan Rangelands: A Case ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Livestock versus Wildlife Ranching in Kenyan Rangelands: A Case Study of Laikipia District Ranches. ... The results reveal a web of interactive factors involving land tenur, livestock development, disease control, marketing and environmental conservation that need to be considered if the newly emerging mixed -livestock ...

  13. Post-wildfire regeneration of rangeland productivity and functionality ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Wildfires can have significant impacts on rangeland productivity and functionality causing substantial economic losses to affected farmers. In August 2011, such wildfires swept through the North West province of South Africa, destroying large areas of grazing and farm infrastructure. There is little information available on ...

  14. Botanical Criteria of Baharkish Rangeland in Quchan, Khorasan ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADOWIE PERE

    resolution of ecological problems such as biological conservation and natural ... agriculture, biology and pharmacy, this study set out to evaluate ..... Ghahreman, A (1979-1992).Colorful flora of Iran. Research Institute of Forests and Rangelands,. Tehran (In Persian). Ghahreman, A (1994). Plant systematics: cormophytes of ...

  15. Defining function in rangelands of the Peddie district, Eastern Cape ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Surface soil conditions on the communal rangeland had higher organic carbon, nitrogen and phosphorus content. Following the analysis of satellite-derived vegetation indices, the commercial site had higher active green biomass (higher NDVI) and lower spatial diversity of near-infra red band (lower MSDI) than the ...

  16. Advances in modeling soil erosion after disturbance on rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Research has been undertaken to develop process based models that predict soil erosion rate after disturbance on rangelands. In these models soil detachment is predicted as a combination of multiple erosion processes, rain splash and thin sheet flow (splash and sheet) detachment and concentrated flo...

  17. Runoff and soil erosion from two rangeland sites

    Science.gov (United States)

    Historically over 50 years of rainfall/runoff research using rainfall simulators has been conducted at various rangeland sites in the West, however these sites rarely have consecutive yearly measurements. This limits the understanding of dynamic annual conditions and the interactions of grazing, pla...

  18. Session A4 Rangelands as dynamic systems Desertification ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Session A4 Rangelands as dynamic systems Desertification: patterns and processes in Africa. M Timm Hoffman, Michael Darkoh. Abstract. The United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) makes special mention of the desertification problem in Africa. This session will provide an up to date overview of ...

  19. Yield Response of Mediterranean Rangelands under a Changing Climate

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Daliakopoulos, Ioannis N.; Panagea, Ioanna S.; Tsanis, Ioannis K.; Grillakis, Manolis G.; Koutroulis, Aristeidis G.; Hessel, Rudi; Mayor, Angeles G.; Ritsema, Coen J.

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the Mediterranean rangelands degradation trends is a key element of mitigating their vulnerability and enhancing their resilience. Climate change and its inherent effects on mean temperature and the precipitation variability can regulate the magnitude, frequency and duration of

  20. Ecology and Conservation of Acacia senegal in the Rangelands ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ecology and conservation status of Acacia senegal in the rangelands of Luwero and Nakasongola Districts were assessed between November 2002 and February 2003. Sixty plots measuring 50 x 50 m were laid at 50 m intervals along six 1,000 m transects, and the diameter at breast height (DBH), of Acacia .fellegal trees ...

  1. Monitoring Insect and Disease Impacts on Rangeland Oaks in California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedmund J. Swiecki; Elizabeth A. Bernhardt; Arnold Richard A.

    1991-01-01

    We developed methods to assess the impacts of diseases and arthropods on sapling and mature rangeland oaks, and applied these methods at 18 sample plot locations in northern California. The impact of arthropod damage was generally rated as minor. Leafy mistletoe (Phoradendron villosum) was found on 5 percent of the rated trees. There was a slight...

  2. Lessons from historical rangeland revegetation for today's restoration

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce A. Roundy

    1999-01-01

    Rangeland revegetation in the Western United States historically was applied at a large scale for soil conservation and forage production purposes. Principles of revegetation that have developed over years of research include matching site potential and plant materials adaption, use of appropriate seedbed preparation and sowing techniques, and development of large...

  3. Sediment dynamics and sources in a grazed hardwood rangeland watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Melvin R. George; Neil K. McDougald; Kenneth W. Tate; Royce Larsen

    2002-01-01

    From 1994 to 1998 we documented sediment transport dynamics and sources in a 137 ha grazed hardwood rangeland watershed on granitic soils at the San Joaquin Experimental Range in Madera County. Sediment transport for this watershed was determined by measuring total suspended solids, bedload and flow at an H-flume installed in 1994. Sediment movement as bedload is the...

  4. A review of climate change effects on terrestrial rangeland birds

    Science.gov (United States)

    D. M. Finch; K. E. Bagne; M. M. Friggens; D. M. Smith; K. M. Brodhead

    2011-01-01

    We evaluated existing literature on predicted and known climate change effects on terrestrial rangeland birds. We asked the following questions: 1) How does climate change affect birds? 2) How will birds respond to climate change? 3) Are species already responding? 4) How will habitats be impacted?

  5. Reshaping women's land rights on communal rangeland | Kleinbooi ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This paper aims to contribute to the debates on communal rangelands and analyses the gendered dimension of land rights and land access in the rural areas of Namaqualand. The actual gender relations within rural communities and the emergence of strategies that are being pursued in communal land processes are ...

  6. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Ecosystems provides data and information on the extent and classification of ecosystems circa 2000, including coastal,...

  7. Science to Support Management of Receiving Waters in an Event-Driven Ecosystem: From Land to River to Sea

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Stuart E. Bunn

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Managing receiving-water quality, ecosystem health and ecosystem service delivery is challenging in regions where extreme rainfall and runoff events occur episodically, confounding and often intensifying land-degradation impacts. We synthesize the approaches used in river, reservoir and coastal water management in the event-driven subtropics of Australia, and the scientific research underpinning them. Land-use change has placed the receiving waters of Moreton Bay, an internationally-significant coastal wetland, at risk of ecological degradation through increased nutrient and sediment loads. The event-driven climate exacerbates this issue, as the waterways and ultimately Moreton Bay receive large inputs of nutrients and sediment during events, well above those received throughout stable climatic periods. Research on the water quality and ecology of the region’s rivers and coastal waters has underpinned the development of a world-renowned monitoring program and, in combination with catchment-source tracing methods and modeling, has revealed the key mechanisms and management strategies by which receiving-water quality, ecosystem health and ecosystem services can be maintained and improved. These approaches provide a useful framework for management of water bodies in other regions driven by episodic events, or where novel stressors are involved (e.g., climate change, urbanization, to support sustained ecosystem service delivery and restoration of aquatic ecosystems.

  8. Advances in Predicting Soil Erosion After Fire Using the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Hamdan, Osama Z.; Pierson, Frederick B.; Nearing, Mark A.; Williams, C. Jason; Hernandez, Mariano; Boll, Jan; Nouwakpo, Sayjro; Weltz, Mark A.; Spaeth, Kenneth E.

    2017-04-01

    The magnitude of erosion from a hillslope is governed by the availability of sediment and connectivity of overland flow and erosion processes. For undisturbed conditions, sediment is mainly detached and transported by rainsplash and sheetflow (splash-sheet) processes in bare batches, but sediment generally only travels a short distance before deposition. On recently disturbed sites (e.g., after fire), bare ground is more extensive and runoff and erosion rates are higher relative to undisturbed conditions. Increased erosion following disturbance occurs largely due to a shift from splash-sheet to concentrated-flow-dominated processes. On long-disturbed sites (e.g., after woody plant encroachment), years of soil loss can limit sediment availability and soil erosion. In contrast, recently burned landscapes typically have ample sediment available and generate high erosion rates. This presentation highlights recent advancements in hillslope erosion prediction by the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) that accommodate recently burned conditions. The RHEM tool is a process-based model that was developed specifically for predicting hillslope runoff and erosion on rangeland ecosystems. The advancements presented here include development of empirical equations to predict erodibility parameters for conditions in which erosion by concentrated flow processes is limited (by runoff or sediment availability) and an erodibility parameter for conditions in which erosion by concentrated flow processes is the dominant erosion mechanism and sediment is amply available (burned conditions). The data used for developing and evaluating the erodibility parameter equations were obtained from rainfall simulation databases maintained by the USDA-Agricultural Research Service. The data span undisturbed, long-disturbed, and recently burned conditions. For undisturbed and long-disturbed conditions, a regression analysis was applied to derive the relationship between splash

  9. Sahelian rangeland response to changes in rainfall over two decades in the Gourma region, Mali

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hiernaux, Pierre; Mougin, Eric; Diarra, Lassine; Soumaguel, Nogmana; Lavenu, François; Tracol, Yann; Diawara, Mamadou

    2009-08-01

    SummaryTwenty-five rangeland sites were monitored over two decades (1984-2006) first to assess the impact of the 1983-1984 droughts on fodder resources, then to better understand ecosystem functioning and dynamics. Sites are sampled along the south-north bioclimatic gradient in Gourma (Mali), within three main edaphic situations: sandy, loamy-clay and shallow soils. In addition, three levels of grazing pressure where systematically sampled within sandy soils. Located at the northern edge of the area reached by the West African monsoon, the Gourma gradient has recorded extremes in inter-annual variations of rainfall and resulting variations in vegetation growth. Following rainfall variability, inter-annual variability of herbaceous yield increases as climate gets dryer with latitudes at least on the sandy soils sites. Local redistribution of rainfall explains the high patchiness of herbaceous vegetation, especially on shallow soils. Yet spatial heterogeneity of the vegetation does not buffer between year yield variability that increases with spatial heterogeneity. At short term, livestock grazing during the wet season affects plant growth and thus yield in direction and proportions that vary with the timing and intensity of grazing. In the longer term, grazing also impinges upon species composition in many ways. Hence, long histories of heavy grazing promote either long cycle annuals refused by livestock or else short cycle good quality feed species. Primary production is maintained or even increased in the case of refusal such as Sida cordifolia, and is lessened in the case of short cycle species such as Zornia glochidiata. These behaviours explain that the yield anomalies calculated for the rangelands on sandy soils relative to the yield of site less grazed under similar climate tend to be negative in northern Sahel where the scenario of short cycle species dominates, while yield anomalies are close to nil in centre Sahel and slightly positive in South Sahel where

  10. Vegetation restoration on degraded rangelands through the use of microcatchment and brush packs in the communal areas of the Eastern Cape

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Lesoli, MS

    2010-07-01

    Full Text Available Rangeland degradation results in declining functional capacity, increased poverty, and food insecurity. Major changes in rangeland surface morphology and soil characteristics have a drastic effect on the primary productivity of the rangeland...

  11. Optimising the management of complex dynamic ecosystems. An ecological-economic modelling approach

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hein, L.G.

    2005-01-01

    Keywords: ecological-economic modelling; ecosystem services; resource use; efficient; sustainability; wetlands, rangelands.

  12. The rangeland management and soil health connection

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil health is defined as the capacity of soil to function and provide ecosystem services to society. The importance of managing for the improvement and maintenance of soil health transcends political boundaries, generations, societies and languages. The challenge of communicating soil health conc...

  13. Perception and environmental education about mangrove ecosystem improving sciences and biology subjects in public school at Recife, PE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lauro Lopes Rodrigues

    2008-01-01

    Full Text Available This work was developed with the aim to identify the perceptions of the students from a school about the mangrove ecosystem, using didactic and natural elements available to do an environmental education action. The previous perception of the students on the ecosystem was evaluated by means of a questionnaire, followed of a theoretical exposition, complemented with a visit to a conserved mangrove (Paripe River, Itamaracá and another impacted (Jiquiá River, Recife, near to the school, being applied new questionnaires to evaluate their conceptions and the academic strategies. The students demonstrated a relative previous knowledge on the mangrove and the educative action showed effectiveness in the transference of the ecological concepts about the ecosystem, using the method of incorporate their daily knowledge to stimulate them to know the scientific side of the subject, ending with the development of ecologic conscience.

  14. Desertification of rangelands: 4.20

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peters, D. P. C.; Bestelmeyer, B. T.; Havstad, K. M.; Rango, A.; Archer, S. R.; Comrie, A. C.; Gimblett, H. R.; López-Hoffman, L.; Sala, O. E.; Vivoni, E. R.; Brooks, M. L.; Brown, J.; Monger, H. C.; Goldstein, J. H.

    2013-01-01

    Desertification, the broad-scale conversion of perennial grasslands to dominance by annuals or xerophytic shrubs, has affected drylands globally over the past several centuries. Desertification is a cumulative threat that includes both climatic (e.g., drought) and land-use drivers (e.g., livestock overgrazing, fire). In this chapter, we determine the vulnerability of different ecosystem services to changes in drivers and ecosystem states, with a focus on the American Southwest. We have four objectives: (1) to describe key services in drylands, (2) to identify consequences of desertification to each service, (3) to explore the vulnerability of each service to future state-changes if existing threats intensify and new threats emerge, and (4) to determine threats expected to have the greatest future impact, and to provide potential actions for mitigation. We conclude with recommendations.

  15. IDESSA: An Integrative Decision Support System for Sustainable Rangeland Management in Southern African Savannas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyer, Hanna; Authmann, Christian; Dreber, Niels; Hess, Bastian; Kellner, Klaus; Morgenthal, Theunis; Nauss, Thomas; Seeger, Bernhard; Tsvuura, Zivanai; Wiegand, Kerstin

    2017-04-01

    Bush encroachment is a syndrome of land degradation that occurs in many savannas including those of southern Africa. The increase in density, cover or biomass of woody vegetation often has negative effects on a range of ecosystem functions and services, which are hardly reversible. However, despite its importance, neither the causes of bush encroachment, nor the consequences of different resource management strategies to combat or mitigate related shifts in savanna states are fully understood. The project "IDESSA" (An Integrative Decision Support System for Sustainable Rangeland Management in Southern African Savannas) aims to improve the understanding of the complex interplays between land use, climate patterns and vegetation dynamics and to implement an integrative monitoring and decision-support system for the sustainable management of different savanna types. For this purpose, IDESSA follows an innovative approach that integrates local knowledge, botanical surveys, remote-sensing and machine-learning based time-series of atmospheric and land-cover dynamics, spatially explicit simulation modeling and analytical database management. The integration of the heterogeneous data will be implemented in a user oriented database infrastructure and scientific workflow system. Accessible via web-based interfaces, this database and analysis system will allow scientists to manage and analyze monitoring data and scenario computations, as well as allow stakeholders (e. g. land users, policy makers) to retrieve current ecosystem information and seasonal outlooks. We present the concept of the project and show preliminary results of the realization steps towards the integrative savanna management and decision-support system.

  16. The role of nurse functional types in seedling recruitment dynamics of alternative states in rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Dardo R.; Cavallero, Laura

    2017-02-01

    functional traits should be considered in management and restoration plans for rangelands with different degradation levels, since they have a strong influence in the net outcome of plant-plant interactions and in the recruitment dynamics of arid ecosystems.

  17. The positive relationships between plant coverage, species richness, and aboveground biomass are ubiquitous across plant growth forms in semi-steppe rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sanaei, Anvar; Ali, Arshad; Chahouki, Mohammad Ali Zare

    2018-01-01

    The positive relationships between biodiversity and aboveground biomass are important for biodiversity conservation and greater ecosystem functioning and services that humans depend on. However, the interaction effects of plant coverage and biodiversity on aboveground biomass across plant growth forms (shrubs, forbs and grasses) in natural rangelands are poorly studied. Here, we hypothesized that, while accounting for environmental factors and disturbance intensities, the positive relationships between plant coverage, biodiversity, and aboveground biomass are ubiquitous across plant growth forms in natural rangelands. We applied structural equation models (SEMs) using data from 735 quadrats across 35 study sites in semi-steppe rangelands in Iran. The combination of plant coverage and species richness rather than Shannon's diversity or species diversity (a latent variable of species richness and evenness) substantially enhance aboveground biomass across plant growth forms. In all selected SEMs, plant coverage had a strong positive direct effect on aboveground biomass (β = 0.72 for shrubs, 0.84 for forbs and 0.80 for grasses), followed by a positive effect of species richness (β = 0.26 for shrubs, 0.05 for forbs and 0.09 for grasses), and topographic factors. Disturbance intensity had a negative effect on plant coverage, whereas it had a variable effect on species richness across plant growth forms. Plant coverage had a strong positive total effect on aboveground biomass (β = 0.84 for shrubs, 0.88 for forbs, and 0.85 for grasses), followed by a positive effect of species richness, and a negative effect of disturbance intensity across plant growth forms. Our results shed light on the management of rangelands that is high plant coverage can significantly improve species richness and aboveground biomass across plant growth forms. We also found that high disturbance intensity due to heavy grazing has a strong negative effect on plant coverage rather than species

  18. Re-creating the commons and re-configuring Maasai women’s roles on the rangelands in the face of fragmentation

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Caroline S Archambault

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Throughout the world pastoralists today face a particularly daunting challenge of intensified rangeland fragmentation combined with human population growth and climate change. In many pastoral settings, rangelands are undergoing processes of fragmentation due to tenure transformations, as previously communal lands are privatized into individual holdings. Such processes of enclosure have raised concerns over the long-term costs on pastoral communities and on rangeland eco-systems. This paper explores pastoral responses and adaptations to enclosure based on long-term ethnographic engagement in a Maasai community in Southern Kenya that has recently privatized. Detailed family case studies and herd tracking illuminate the ways in which families try to re-create the commons by relying on social networks for free access to resources. In particular, women’s social networks (for example, their kin, affines, friends, or religious associates seem to play an important role. This paper calls attention to the need to better understand women’s changing roles in pastoral governance and production and the implications these new roles have for women’s well-being and for pastoralism in the face of fragmentation.

  19. The role of experimental forests and ranges in the development of ecosystem science and biogeochemical cycling research [Chapter 17

    Science.gov (United States)

    James M. Vose; Wayne T. Swank; Mary Beth Adams; Devendra Amatya; John Campbell; Sherri Johnson; Frederick J. Swanson; Randy Kolka; Ariel E. Lugo; Robert Musselman; Charles Rhoades

    2014-01-01

    Forest Service watershed-based Experimental Forests and Ranges (EFRs) have significantly advanced scientific knowledge on ecosystem structure and function through long-term monitoring and experimental research on hydrologic and biogeochemical cycling processes. Research conducted in the 1940s and 1950s began as “classic” paired watershed studies. The emergence of the...

  20. The role of experimental forests and ranges in the development of ecosystem science and biogeochemical cycling research

    Science.gov (United States)

    James M. Vose; Wayne T. Swank; Mary Beth Adams; Devendra Amatya; John Campbell; Sherri Johnson; Frederick J. Swanson; Randy Kolka; Ariel E. Lugo; Robert Musselman; Charles. Rhoades

    2014-01-01

    Forest Service watershed-based Experimental Forests and Ranges (EFRs) have significantly advanced scientific knowledge on ecosystem structure and function through long-term monitoring and experimental research on hydrologic and biogeochemical cycling processes. Research conducted in the 1940s and 1950s began as “classic” paired watershed studies. The emergence of the...

  1. Restoring composition and structure in Southwestern frequent-fire forests: A science-based framework for improving ecosystem resiliency

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richard T. Reynolds; Andrew J. Sanchez Meador; James A. Youtz; Tessa Nicolet; Megan S. Matonis; Patrick L. Jackson; Donald G. DeLorenzo; Andrew D. Graves

    2013-01-01

    Ponderosa pine and dry mixed-conifer forests in the Southwest United States are experiencing, or have become increasingly susceptible to, large-scale severe wildfire, insect, and disease episodes resulting in altered plant and animal demographics, reduced productivity and biodiversity, and impaired ecosystem processes and functions. We present a management framework...

  2. Enabling the Integrated Assessment of Large Marine Ecosystems: Informatics to the Forefront of Science-Based Decision Support

    Science.gov (United States)

    Di Stefano, M.; Fox, P. A.; Beaulieu, S. E.; Maffei, A. R.; West, P.; Hare, J. A.

    2012-12-01

    Integrated assessments of large marine ecosystems require the understanding of interactions between environmental, ecological, and socio-economic factors that affect production and utilization of marine natural resources. Assessing the functioning of complex coupled natural-human systems calls for collaboration between natural and social scientists across disciplinary and national boundaries. We are developing a platform to implement and sustain informatics solutions for these applications, providing interoperability among very diverse and heterogeneous data and information sources, as well as multi-disciplinary organizations and people. We have partnered with NOAA NMFS scientists to facilitate the deployment of an integrated ecosystem approach to management in the Northeast U.S. (NES) and California Current Large Marine Ecosystems (LMEs). Our platform will facilitate the collaboration and knowledge sharing among NMFS natural and social scientists, promoting community participation in integrating data, models, and knowledge. Here, we present collaborative software tools developed to aid the production of the Ecosystem Status Report (ESR) for the NES LME. The ESR addresses the D-P-S portion of the DPSIR (Driver-Pressure-State-Impact-Response) management framework: reporting data, indicators, and information products for climate drivers, physical and human (fisheries) pressures, and ecosystem state (primary and secondary production and higher trophic levels). We are developing our tools in open-source software, with the main tool based on a web application capable of providing the ability to work on multiple data types from a variety of sources, providing an effective way to share the source code used to generate data products and associated metadata as well as track workflow provenance to allow in the reproducibility of a data product. Our platform retrieves data, conducts standard analyses, reports data quality and other standardized metadata, provides iterative

  3. Prototyping a Rangeland Decision Support System Project

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — This proposal is submitted under the Innovative Tools and Techniques Supporting the Practical Uses of Earth Science Observations topic. We seek to create a prototype...

  4. Advancing biodiversity-ecosystem functioning science using high-density tree-based experiments over functional diversity gradients.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tobner, Cornelia M; Paquette, Alain; Reich, Peter B; Gravel, Dominique; Messier, Christian

    2014-03-01

    Increasing concern about loss of biodiversity and its effects on ecosystem functioning has triggered a series of manipulative experiments worldwide, which have demonstrated a general trend for ecosystem functioning to increase with diversity. General mechanisms proposed to explain diversity effects include complementary resource use and invoke a key role for species' functional traits. The actual mechanisms by which complementary resource use occurs remain, however, poorly understood, as well as whether they apply to tree-dominated ecosystems. Here we present an experimental approach offering multiple innovative aspects to the field of biodiversity-ecosystem functioning (BEF) research. The International Diversity Experiment Network with Trees (IDENT) allows research to be conducted at several hierarchical levels within individuals, neighborhoods, and communities. The network investigates questions related to intraspecific trait variation, complementarity, and environmental stress. The goal of IDENT is to identify some of the mechanisms through which individuals and species interact to promote coexistence and the complementary use of resources. IDENT includes several implemented and planned sites in North America and Europe, and uses a replicated design of high-density tree plots of fixed species-richness levels varying in functional diversity (FD). The design reduces the space and time needed for trees to interact allowing a thorough set of mixtures varying over different diversity gradients (specific, functional, phylogenetic) and environmental conditions (e.g., water stress) to be tested in the field. The intention of this paper is to share the experience in designing FD-focused BEF experiments with trees, to favor collaborations and expand the network to different conditions.

  5. Interagency Working Group on Ocean Social Science: Incorporating ecosystem services approaches into ocean and coastal decision-making and governance

    Science.gov (United States)

    The application of social science has been recognized as a priority for effective ocean and coastal management, driving much discussion and fostering emerging efforts in several areas. The Interagency Working Group on Ocean Social Science (IWG-OSS) is tasked with assisting the Su...

  6. Citizen science in hydrology and water resources: opportunities for knowledge generation, ecosystem service management, and sustainable development

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Wouter eBuytaert

    2014-10-01

    Full Text Available The participation of the general public in the research design, data collection and interpretation process together with scientists is often referred to as citizen science. While citizen science itself has existed since the start of scientific practice, developments in sensing technology, data processing and visualisation, and communication of ideas and results, are creating a wide range of new opportunities for public participation in scientific research. This paper reviews the state of citizen science in a hydrological context and explores the potential of citizen science to complement more traditional ways of scientific data collection and knowledge generation for hydrological sciences and water resources management. Although hydrological data collection often involves advanced technology, the advent of robust, cheap and low-maintenance sensing equipment provides unprecedented opportunities for data collection in a citizen science context. These data have a significant potential to create new hydrological knowledge, especially in relation to the characterisation of process heterogeneity, remote regions, and human impacts on the water cycle. However, the nature and quality of data collected in citizen science experiments is potentially very different from those of traditional monitoring networks. This poses challenges in terms of their processing, interpretation, and use, especially with regard to assimilation of traditional knowledge, the quantification of uncertainties, and their role in decision support. It also requires care in designing citizen science projects such that the generated data complement optimally other available knowledge. Lastly, we reflect on the challenges and opportunities in the integration of hydrologically-oriented citizen science in water resources management, the role of scientific knowledge in the decision-making process, and the potential contestation to established community institutions posed by co-generation of

  7. Plant/life form considerations in the rangeland hydrology and erosion model (RHEM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Resilience of rangeland to erosion has largely been attributed to adequate plant cover; however, plant life/growth form, and individual species presence can have a dramatic effect on hydrologic and erosion dynamics on rangelands. Plant life/growth form refers to genetic tendency of a plant to grow i...

  8. Agricultural, Runoff, Erosion and Salinity (ARES) Database to Better Evaluate Rangeland State and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangelands comprise approximately 40% of the earth’s surface and are the largest land cover type in the world. Degradation from mismanagement, desertification, and drought impact more than 50% of rangelands across the globe. The USDA Agricultural Research Service (ARS) has been evaluating means of r...

  9. Global view of remote sensing of rangelands: Evolution, applications, future pathways [Chapter 10

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matt Reeves; Robert A. Washington-Allen; Jay Angerer; E. Raymond Hunt; Ranjani Wasantha Kulawardhana; Lalit Kumar; Tatiana Loboda; Thomas Loveland; Graciela Metternicht; R. Douglas. Ramsey

    2015-01-01

    The term "rangeland" is rather nebulous, and there is no single definition of rangeland that is universally accepted by land managers, scientists, or international bodies (Lund, 2007; Reeves and Mitchell, 2011). Dozens and possibly hundreds (Lund, 2007) of definitions and ideologies exist because various stakeholders often have unique objectives...

  10. Winter grazing decreases wildfire risk, severity, and behavior in semi-arid sagebrush rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wildfires are an ecological and economic risk for many semi-arid rangelands which has resulted in increased pressure for pre-suppression management of fuels. In rangelands, fuel management treatment options are limited by costs. We evaluated winter grazing as a tool to manage fuels and alter fire ...

  11. Bush encroachment dynamics and rangeland management implications in the Horn of Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangelands in the Horn of Africa have been undergoing a rapid shift from herbaceous to woody plant dominance in the past decades, threatening subsistence livestock herding and pastoral food security. Despite of significant rangeland management implications, quantification of the spatial extent of en...

  12. White-tailed deer distribution in response to patch burning on rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    M. G. Meek; S. M. Cooper; M. K. Owens; R. M. Cooper; A. L. Wappel

    2008-01-01

    Management of rangelands has changed substantially over the past few decades; today there is greater emphasis on wildlife management and increased interest in using natural disturbances such as fire to manage rangeland plant and animal communities. To determine the effect of prescribed fires on the distribution of white-tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus...

  13. Earth stewardship on rangelands: Coping with ecological, economic, and political marginality

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangelands encompass 30-40 percent of Earth's land surface and support 1-2 billion people. Their predominant use is extensive livestock production by pastoralists and ranchers. But rangelands are characterized by ecological, economic, and political marginality, and higher-value, more intensive land ...

  14. Hydrologic vulnerability of western US rangelands in the wake of woodland encroachment and increasing wildfire activity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pinyon and juniper woodlands have dramatically increased their range in the past 150 years and currently occupy more than 30 million ha of the western US. Range expansion has primarily occurred through encroachment into sagebrush rangelands. Woodland expansion and infill on western rangelands have a...

  15. California Hardwood Rangeland Use and Productivity Changes, and the Economics of Regional Livestock Production

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald L. Horner; James H. Cothern

    1991-01-01

    Changes in the availability, productivity and cost of hardwood rangeland affects the production and location of range-fed livestock. The California Range Livestock Model (CRLM) was developed to determine the effect of proposed policies and alternative economic conditions on the range-fed livestock industry generally and hardwood rangeland in particular. Three possible...

  16. Discussion of submitted posters for Section 2.3 (Rangeland Germplasm Resources)

    Science.gov (United States)

    As part of the IX International Rangeland Congress held in Rosario, Argentina, a total of 70 posters from 17 countries were submitted to Section 2.3 (Rangeland Germplasm Resources). These posters documented research conducted in five major regions of the world: South America, North America, Africa...

  17. Ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trista Patterson

    2014-01-01

    Since its inception, the ecosystem service approach has stimulated interest from numerous planning, management, and partnership perspectives. To date, however, research that quantifies ecosystem services in the study area (in the form of explicit ecosystem service studies) has been limited. This chapter reviews and synthesizes the concept of ecosystem services,...

  18. 2014 Future Earth Young Scientists Conference on Integrated Science and Knowledge Co-Production for Ecosystems and Human Well-Being

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ivy Shiue

    2014-11-01

    Full Text Available Effective integration in science and knowledge co-production is a challenge that crosses research boundaries, climate regions, languages and cultures. Early career scientists are crucial in the identification of, and engagement with, obstacles and opportunities in the development of innovative solutions to complex and interconnected problems. On 25–31 May 2014, International Council for Science and International Social Science Council, in collaboration with the International Network of Next-Generation Ecologists and Institute for New Economic Thinking: Young Scholars Initiative, assembled a group of early career researchers with diverse backgrounds and research perspectives to reflect on and debate relevant issues around ecosystems and human wellbeing in the transition towards green economy, funded by the German Research Foundation, at Villa Vigoni, Italy. As a group of young scientists, we have come to a consensus that collaboration and communication among a diverse group of peers from different geographic regions could break down the barriers to multi-disciplinary research designed to solve complex global-scale problems. We also propose to establish a global systematic thinking to monitor global socio-ecological systems and to develop criteria for a “good” anthropocene. Finally, we aim to bridge gaps among research, the media, and education from a governance perspective linking with “sustainable development goals”.

  19. Our natural capital: Ecosystem service delivery

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Dziba, L

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available mitigation Livestock production Ecosystem services ? benefits for people Focus areas Designing multifunctional landscapes Enhancing ecological infrastructure Ecosystem services for poverty alleviation Ecosystem service science for policy support... Risk and disaster management in Eden Eden District Municipality South Africa Indian Ocean Insurance claims Private-public partnership 3. Ecosystem services for poverty alleviation Thicket restoration Charcoal production Livestock production...

  20. Setting the stage for new global knowledge: Science, Economics, and Indigenous knowledge in ′The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity′ at the Fourth World Conservation Congress

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Monfreda Chad

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Global environmental knowledge underwrites the authority of international institutions charged with managing climate change, biodiversity loss and other looming environmental problems. While numerous studies show how global knowledge gains authority at a macro-scale, few examine the everyday practices that establish authority in concrete settings. Investigating such day-to-day practices is important because concrete institutional settings may offer opportunities for resisting, affirming, or transforming global environmental knowledge and the policies it supports. As part of an ′event ethnography′ conducted at the International Union for Conservation of Nature′s World Conservation Congress (WCC in Barcelona in 2008, this paper looks in detail at one important site in a high-level international study on ′The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity′ (TEEB. The WCC was a site where the TEEB organisers convened three fields of knowledge-economics, ecological and biodiversity sciences, and indigenous knowledge-in an attempt to secure authority for the economic valuation of ecosystems and biodiversity. Through three vignettes, this paper investigates the differential engagement of the three knowledge communities; how these engagements reveal the processes by which global knowledge is constructed; and the political ramifications of those constructions.

  1. Animal-habitat relationships in high altitude rangelands

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Navinder J.

    2008-01-01

    The papers of the thesis are not available in Munin: 1. Navinder J Singh, Nigel G Yoccoz, Nicolas Lecomte, Steeve D Côté and Joseph L Fox: «Scale and selection of habitat and resources: Tibetan argali in high altitude rangelands» (manuscript). Published version, Can. J. Zool. 88: 436-447 (2010), available at http://dx.doi.org/10.1139/Z10-015 2. Navinder J Singh, Christophe Bonenfant, Nigel G Yoccoz and Steeve D Côté: «Proximate and ultimate causes of sexual segregation in eurasian w...

  2. Soils as a Solution: The Potential of Rangelands to Contribute to Climate Change Mitigation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Silver, W. L.; Ryals, R.; DeLonge, M. S.; Owen, J. J.

    2015-12-01

    The majority of soil-related climate change research has focused on describing the problem - estimating rates of carbon (C) losses and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from natural and managed ecosystems. More research is needed to explore potential solutions to climate change through mitigation and adaptation. Here we report on an integrated set of studies aimed at critically evaluating the biogeochemical potential of rangeland soils to help mitigate climate change, while improving the sustainability and productivity of food production systems. We explored direct effects through enhanced net primary production (NPP) and soil C sequestration, and indirect effects through diversion of high emitting sources to lower emitting organic matter dynamics. We used a combination of long- and short-term field experiments, modeling, laboratory assays, life cycle assessment (LCA), and meta-analyses in consultation with a diverse group of stakeholders from both the private and public sectors. We found that organic matter amendments held particularly strong potential. Compost amendments increased soil C storage by 0.5-1.0 Mg C ha-1 y-1 in surface soils over 5 y, and increased NPP and water holding capacity. We measured 1.0 Mg of new C ha-1 y-1 over 3 y. Long-term amendment of cattle manure increased surface soil C by 19.0±7.3 Mg C ha-1 relative to unmanured fields. However, field and modeling experiments suggested that manure amendments lead to large nitrous oxide emissions that eventually eliminated CO2e benefits, whereas compost amendments continued to benefit climate for decades longer. An LCA identified a broader range of climate impacts. When scaled to an area of 25% of California's rangelands, new C sequestered following compost amendments (21 million Mg CO2e) exceeded emissions from cattle (15 million Mg CO2e); diverting organics from waste streams to amendments led to additional GHG savings. In collaboration with our partners, our research contributed to the development of

  3. The Role of Rural Communities in Conservation of Rangelands in Mahneshan Township

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Kobra Karimi

    2016-05-01

    Full Text Available The aim of this study was to investigate the action of rangeland-depended livestock holders regarding rangeland conservation, including protection and rehabilitation activities and to analyse relevant influencing factors, using a mixed method of survey and case study. The data were collected through analysing existing documents, focus groups, semi-structured and structured interviews using questionnaires submitted to 204 rural livestock holders in the Mahneshan Township. The quantitative data were analysed using SPSS and AMOS software. According to the results farmers’ knowledge regarding the role, importance and factors affecting rangeland degradation was relatively high, however they had a low level of knowledge and action about mechanical conservation techniques. The action of livestock holders in terms of biological conservation activities and grazing management showed a positive and signifincat corrletaion with variables such as implementing of rangeland projects, their interaction with external institutions, participating in extension training courses, education level and irrigated and rainfed agricultural land size. Moreover, based on a path analysis, 37% of the variance of the farmers’ actions regarding the rangeland conservation was explained by the variables such as rangeland rehabilitation actions, farmers’ conservation knowledge, farmers’ interaction with natural resources experts, beekeeping, and participating in extension training courses. Promotional and extension activities and farmers’ interaction with experts have a positive effect in enhancing farmers’ knowledge and actions for sustainable rangeland use and conservation.

  4. Inside Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Gary; And Others

    1995-01-01

    The third in a series of articles featuring the urban ecosystem. Discusses the inner workings of an ecosystem and the links that connect its elements, including the link between people and the environment. Graphics illustrate "layers" of the landscape. (LZ)

  5. The GEOGLAM Rangelands and Pasture Productivity Activity: Recent Progress and Future Directions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Guerschman, J. P.; Held, A. A.; Donohue, R. J.; Renzullo, L. J.; Sims, N.; Kerblat, F.; Grundy, M.

    2015-12-01

    Rangelands and pastures cover about a third of the world's land area and support livestock production which represents ~40% of global agricultural gross domestic product. The global consumption of animal protein shows a clear increasing trend, driven by both total population and per capita income increases, putting a growing pressure on the sustainability of grazing lands worldwide. Despite their relevance, rangelands have received less attention than croplands regarding global monitoring of the resource productivity and condition. The Rangelands and Pasture Productivity (RaPP) activity is a component within the Global Agricultural Monitoring initiative established under the Group on Earth Observations (GEOGLAM) in 2013. GEOGLAM RaPP is aimed at providing the global community with the means to monitor the world's rangelands and pastures on a routine basis, and the capacity to produce animal protein in real-time, at global, regional and national levels. Since its launch two years ago GEOGLAM RAPP has made progress in the four implementation elements. These include: 1- the establishment of community of practice; 2- the development of a global monitoring system for rangeland condition; 3- the establishment of pilot sites in main rangeland systems for satellite data products validation and model testing; and 4- integration with livestock production models. Three international workshops have been held building the community of practice. A prototype monitoring system that provides global visualisations and querying capability of vegetation cover data and anomalies has been established. Pilot sites, mostly in areas with long records of field measurements of rangeland condition and productivity have been proposed for nine countries. The link to global livestock models, including physical and economic components, have been established. Future challenges for GEOGLAM RaPP have also been identified and include: better representation of the areas occupied by rangelands

  6. Delivering climate science about the Nation's fish, wildlife, and ecosystems: the U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Varela-Acevedo, Elda

    2014-01-01

    Changes to the Earth’s climate—temperature, precipitation, and other climate variables—pose significant challenges to our Nation’s natural resources. Managers of land, water, and living resources require an understanding of the impacts of climate change—which exacerbate ongoing stresses such as habitat alteration and invasive species—in order to design effective response strategies. In 2008, Congress created the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS). The center was formed to address environmental challenges resulting from climate and land-use change and to provide natural resource managers with rigorous scientific information and effective tools for decision making. Located at the USGS National Headquarters in Reston, Virginia, the NCCWSC has established eight regional Department of the Interior (DOI) Climate Science Centers (CSCs) and has invested over $93 million (through fiscal year 2013) in cutting-edge climate change research.

  7. Delivering Climate Science for the Nation's Fish, Wildlife, and Ecosystems: The U.S. Geological Survey National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center

    Science.gov (United States)

    Beard, T. Douglas

    2011-01-01

    Changes to the Earth's climate-temperature, precipitation, and other important aspects of climate-pose significant challenges to our Nation's natural resources now and will continue to do so. Managers of land, water, and living resources need to understand the impacts of climate change-which will exacerbate ongoing stresses such as habitat fragmentation and invasive species-so they can design effective response strategies. In 2008 Congress created the National Climate Change and Wildlife Science Center (NCCWSC) within the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS); this center was formed to address challenges resulting from climate change and to empower natural resource managers with rigorous scientific information and effective tools for decision-making. Located at the USGS National Headquarters in Reston, Virginia, the NCCWSC has invested over $20M in cutting-edge climate change research and is now leading the effort to establish eight regional Department of the Interior (DOI) Climate Science Centers (CSCs).

  8. eEcoLiDAR, eScience infrastructure for ecological applications of LiDAR point clouds : reconstructing the 3D ecosystem structure for animals at regional to continental scales

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kissling, W.D.; Seijmonsbergen, A.C.; Foppen, R.P.B.; Bouten, W.

    2017-01-01

    The lack of high-resolution measurements of 3D ecosystem structure across broad spatial extents impedes major advancements in animal ecology and biodiversity science. We aim to fill this gap by using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) technology to characterize the vertical and horizontal

  9. Adapting California’s ecosystems to a changing climate

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elizabeth Chornesky,; David Ackerly,; Paul Beier,; Frank Davis,; Flint, Lorraine E.; Lawler, Joshua J.; Moyle, Peter B.; Moritz, Max A.; Scoonover, Mary; Byrd, Kristin B.; Alvarez, Pelayo; Heller, Nicole E.; Micheli, Elisabeth; Weiss, Stuart

    2017-01-01

    Significant efforts are underway to translate improved understanding of how climate change is altering ecosystems into practical actions for sustaining ecosystem functions and benefits. We explore this transition in California, where adaptation and mitigation are advancing relatively rapidly, through four case studies that span large spatial domains and encompass diverse ecological systems, institutions, ownerships, and policies. The case studies demonstrate the context specificity of societal efforts to adapt ecosystems to climate change and involve applications of diverse scientific tools (e.g., scenario analyses, downscaled climate projections, ecological and connectivity models) tailored to specific planning and management situations (alternative energy siting, wetland management, rangeland management, open space planning). They illustrate how existing institutional and policy frameworks provide numerous opportunities to advance adaptation related to ecosystems and suggest that progress is likely to be greatest when scientific knowledge is integrated into collective planning and when supportive policies and financing enable action.

  10. Use of small UAVs in rangeland sediment source area mapping

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Kuhn, Brigitte; Krenz, Juliane

    2017-04-01

    The occurrence of severe erosion features in rangelands is often seen as a sign of high sediment delivery from those areas into nearby waterbodies. However, runoff, erosion and sediment transport are often patchy and discontinuous and thus assuming a direct link between erosion features and sediment delivery can lead to serious over predictions. So far, available data on the size of erosion features and the movement of sediment was limited by the resolution of Digital Elevation Models, soil and vegetation maps. Small UAVs offer the opportunity to quantify both the loss of surface material associated with erosion features, such as rills, gullies and badlands, as well as an estimate of the volume of depositional features between the site of erosion and nearby waterbodies. This study presents the acquisition and use of UAV-derived topographic information aimed at assessing the relevance of badland-type features in rangeland catchments of the Great Karoo region in South Africa. In particular, the feasility to assess volumes of erosion and sediment deposits, as well as the potential pathways from source to sink area, and the change of connectivity over time, are discussed.

  11. Predictive Phenologic Modeling Using MODIS: A Tool for Rangeland Management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kisen, N. M.; Hepner, G.; Hadley, H.

    2007-12-01

    Grazing is the predominant land use activity in the rangelands of the Inter-Mountain West. Vegetation phenology affects the impact of grazing; new plant growth is especially palatable to grazing animals. Over time, preferential grazing gives less palatable plants an advantage in rooting depth and may alter the composition of plant species and lead to soil erosion. The benefits of using remote spectral imagery to predict the onset and advancement of the phenologic phases for expansive and/or inaccessible areas is recognized, however, the practical application of this technology has been limited. A time series of Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectrometer (MODIS) vegetation indices was analyzed to identify the temporal profile of the growing season for surface vegetation in the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB). Drivers to which the progression of phenologic transition dates are most responsive were explored. Using phenological parameters defined from the MODIS time series and relationships of the phenological transition dates to the drivers, a predictive phenological model specific to the environmental parameters of the UCRB was developed. This model can be implemented at various spatial extents and temporal windows as part of a rangeland management strategy.

  12. Forage seeding in rangelands increases production and prevents weed invasion

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josh Davy

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available Increasing forage productivity in the Sierra foothill rangelands would help sustain the livestock industry as land availability shrinks and lease rates rise, but hardly any studies have been done on forage selections. From 2009 to 2014, in one of the first long-term and replicated studies of seeding Northern California's Mediterranean annual rangeland, we compared the cover of 22 diverse forages to determine their establishment and survivability over time. Among the annual herbs, forage brassica (Brassica napus L. and chicory (Cichorium intybus L. proved viable options. Among the annual grasses, soft brome (Bromus hordeaceus and annual ryegrass (Lolium multiflorum performed well. However, these species will likely require frequent reseeding to maintain dominance. Long-term goals of sustained dominant cover (> 3 years are best achieved with perennial grasses. Perennial grasses that persisted with greater than 50% cover were Berber orchardgrass (Dactylis glomerata, Flecha tall fescue (Lolium arundinaceum and several varieties of hardinggrass (Phalaris aquatica L., Perla koleagrass, Holdfast, Advanced AT. In 2014, these successful perennials produced over three times more dry matter (pounds per acre than the unseeded control and also suppressed annual grasses and yellow starthistle (Centaurea solstitialis L. cover.

  13. Scales of snow depth variability in high elevation rangeland sagebrush

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tedesche, Molly E.; Fassnacht, Steven R.; Meiman, Paul J.

    2017-09-01

    In high elevation semi-arid rangelands, sagebrush and other shrubs can affect transport and deposition of wind-blown snow, enabling the formation of snowdrifts. Datasets from three field experiments were used to investigate the scales of spatial variability of snow depth around big mountain sagebrush ( Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) at a high elevation plateau rangeland in North Park, Colorado, during the winters of 2002, 2003, and 2008. Data were collected at multiple resolutions (0.05 to 25 m) and extents (2 to 1000 m). Finer scale data were collected specifically for this study to examine the correlation between snow depth, sagebrush microtopography, the ground surface, and the snow surface, as well as the temporal consistency of snow depth patterns. Variograms were used to identify the spatial structure and the Moran's I statistic was used to determine the spatial correlation. Results show some temporal consistency in snow depth at several scales. Plot scale snow depth variability is partly a function of the nature of individual shrubs, as there is some correlation between the spatial structure of snow depth and sagebrush, as well as between the ground and snow depth. The optimal sampling resolution appears to be 25-cm, but over a large area, this would require a multitude of samples, and thus a random stratified approach is recommended with a fine measurement resolution of 5-cm.

  14. Alpine ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    P.W. Rundel; C.I. Millar

    2016-01-01

    Alpine ecosystems are typically defined as those areas occurring above treeline, while recognizing that alpine ecosystems at a local scale may be found below this boundary for reasons including geology, geomorphology, and microclimate. The lower limit of the alpine ecosystems, the climatic treeline, varies with latitude across California, ranging from about 3500 m in...

  15. The value of milk in rangelands in Mandera County, Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngugi, Keziah; Ertsen, Maurits

    2015-04-01

    Lack of water over expansive regions in Greater Horn of Africa created the rangelands and rangelands created pastoralism. Pastoralism involve keeping of large livestock herds and movement in search of resources, mainly water, pasture, medicine and wild foods. Several studies have been done in the last century and findings pointed at pastoralism being primitive and unsustainable. It has been predicted it would die in the last century but in the rangelands, pastoralism lives on and it is resilient. This study is based in Mandera, a pastoralism county in Kenya that neighbors Ethiopia to the North and Somalia to the East. The study sought to investigate contribution of milk to pastoralism resilience. Interviews were conducted in the field among the pastoralists, women groups, transporters, traders, government officials and consumers of milk. These information was corroborated with actual field investigations in the expansive rangelands of Mandera County. Pastoralists rarely slaughter or sell their livestock even when the animals waste away during droughts. This is because they have been through such cycles before and observed livestock make tremendous recovery when the right conditions were restored. Rangelands lack infrastructure, there are no roads, schools, telephone or hospitals. Pastoralists diet is comprised of rice, wheat and milk. It was established milk was the main source of income among pastoralists in Mandera County. From milk, the pastoralists make income that is used to purchase the other foodstuffs. Milk is available on daily basis in large quantities owing to the large number of livestock. Unfortunately, every pastoralist household produce copious amounts of milk, thus no local demand and transport infrastructure is nonexistent, making sale of milk a near impossible task. The findings showed the pastoralists have established unique routes through which milk reach the markets in urban centers where demand is high. Urbanization sustain pastoralism. These

  16. Response of aboveground carbon balance to long-term, experimental enhancements in precipitation seasonality is contingent on plant community type in cold-desert rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAbee, Kathryn; Reinhardt, Keith; Germino, Matthew; Bosworth, Andrew

    2017-01-01

    Semi-arid rangelands are important carbon (C) pools at global scales. However, the degree of net C storage or release in water-limited systems is a function of precipitation amount and timing, as well as plant community composition. In northern latitudes of western North America, C storage in cold-desert ecosystems could increase with boosts in wintertime precipitation, in which climate models predict, due to increases in wintertime soil water storage that enhance summertime productivity. However, there are few long-term, manipulative field-based studies investigating how rangelands will respond to altered precipitation amount or timing. We measured aboveground C pools and fluxes at leaf, soil, and ecosystem scales over a single growing season in plots that had 200 mm of supplemental precipitation added in either winter or summer for the past 21 years, in shrub- and exotic-bunchgrass-dominated garden plots. At our cold-desert site (298 mm precipitation during the study year), we hypothesized that increased winter precipitation would stimulate the aboveground C uptake and storage relative to ambient conditions, especially in plots containing shrubs. Our hypotheses were generally supported: ecosystem C uptake and long-term biomass accumulation were greater in winter- and summer-irrigated plots compared to control plots in both vegetation communities. However, substantial increases in the aboveground biomass occurred only in winter-irrigated plots that contained shrubs. Our findings suggest that increases in winter precipitation will enhance C storage of this widespread ecosystem, and moreso in shrub- compared to grass-dominated communities.

  17. Response of aboveground carbon balance to long-term, experimental enhancements in precipitation seasonality is contingent on plant community type in cold-desert rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAbee, Kathryn; Reinhardt, Keith; Germino, Matthew J; Bosworth, Andrew

    2017-03-01

    Semi-arid rangelands are important carbon (C) pools at global scales. However, the degree of net C storage or release in water-limited systems is a function of precipitation amount and timing, as well as plant community composition. In northern latitudes of western North America, C storage in cold-desert ecosystems could increase with boosts in wintertime precipitation, in which climate models predict, due to increases in wintertime soil water storage that enhance summertime productivity. However, there are few long-term, manipulative field-based studies investigating how rangelands will respond to altered precipitation amount or timing. We measured aboveground C pools and fluxes at leaf, soil, and ecosystem scales over a single growing season in plots that had 200 mm of supplemental precipitation added in either winter or summer for the past 21 years, in shrub- and exotic-bunchgrass-dominated garden plots. At our cold-desert site (298 mm precipitation during the study year), we hypothesized that increased winter precipitation would stimulate the aboveground C uptake and storage relative to ambient conditions, especially in plots containing shrubs. Our hypotheses were generally supported: ecosystem C uptake and long-term biomass accumulation were greater in winter- and summer-irrigated plots compared to control plots in both vegetation communities. However, substantial increases in the aboveground biomass occurred only in winter-irrigated plots that contained shrubs. Our findings suggest that increases in winter precipitation will enhance C storage of this widespread ecosystem, and moreso in shrub- compared to grass-dominated communities.

  18. Understanding human--coyote encounters in urban ecosystems using citizen science data: what do socioeconomics tell us?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wine, Stuart; Gagné, Sara A; Meentemeyer, Ross K

    2015-01-01

    The coyote (Canis latrans) has dramatically expanded its range to include the cities and suburbs of the western US and those of the Eastern Seaboard. Highly adaptable, this newcomer's success causes conflicts with residents, necessitating research to understand the distribution of coyotes in urban landscapes. Citizen science can be a powerful approach toward this aim. However, to date, the few studies that have used publicly reported coyote sighting data have lacked an in-depth consideration of human socioeconomic variables, which we suggest are an important source of overlooked variation in data that describe the simultaneous occurrence of coyotes and humans. We explored the relative importance of socioeconomic variables compared to those describing coyote habitat in predicting human-coyote encounters in highly-urbanized Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA using 707 public reports of coyote sightings, high-resolution land cover, US Census data, and an autologistic multi-model inference approach. Three of the four socioeconomic variables which we hypothesized would have an important influence on encounter probability, namely building density, household income, and occupation, had effects at least as large as or larger than coyote habitat variables. Our results indicate that the consideration of readily available socioeconomic variables in the analysis of citizen science data improves the prediction of species distributions by providing insight into the effects of important factors for which data are often lacking, such as resource availability for coyotes on private property and observer experience. Managers should take advantage of citizen scientists in human-dominated landscapes to monitor coyotes in order to understand their interactions with humans.

  19. Understanding Human-Coyote Encounters in Urban Ecosystems Using Citizen Science Data: What Do Socioeconomics Tell Us?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wine, Stuart; Gagné, Sara A.; Meentemeyer, Ross K.

    2015-01-01

    The coyote ( Canis latrans) has dramatically expanded its range to include the cities and suburbs of the western US and those of the Eastern Seaboard. Highly adaptable, this newcomer's success causes conflicts with residents, necessitating research to understand the distribution of coyotes in urban landscapes. Citizen science can be a powerful approach toward this aim. However, to date, the few studies that have used publicly reported coyote sighting data have lacked an in-depth consideration of human socioeconomic variables, which we suggest are an important source of overlooked variation in data that describe the simultaneous occurrence of coyotes and humans. We explored the relative importance of socioeconomic variables compared to those describing coyote habitat in predicting human-coyote encounters in highly-urbanized Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, USA using 707 public reports of coyote sightings, high-resolution land cover, US Census data, and an autologistic multi-model inference approach. Three of the four socioeconomic variables which we hypothesized would have an important influence on encounter probability, namely building density, household income, and occupation, had effects at least as large as or larger than coyote habitat variables. Our results indicate that the consideration of readily available socioeconomic variables in the analysis of citizen science data improves the prediction of species distributions by providing insight into the effects of important factors for which data are often lacking, such as resource availability for coyotes on private property and observer experience. Managers should take advantage of citizen scientists in human-dominated landscapes to monitor coyotes in order to understand their interactions with humans.

  20. Astronomical Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Neuenschwander, D. E.; Finkenbinder, L. R.

    2004-05-01

    Just as quetzals and jaguars require specific ecological habitats to survive, so too must planets occupy a tightly constrained astronomical habitat to support life as we know it. With this theme in mind we relate the transferable features of our elementary astronomy course, "The Astronomical Basis of Life on Earth." Over the last five years, in a team-taught course that features a spring break field trip to Costa Rica, we have introduced astronomy through "astronomical ecosystems," emphasizing astronomical constraints on the prospects for life on Earth. Life requires energy, chemical elements, and long timescales, and we emphasize how cosmological, astrophysical, and geological realities, through stabilities and catastrophes, create and eliminate niches for biological life. The linkage between astronomy and biology gets immediate and personal: for example, studies in solar energy production are followed by hikes in the forest to examine the light-gathering strategies of photosynthetic organisms; a lesson on tides is conducted while standing up to our necks in one on a Pacific beach. Further linkages between astronomy and the human timescale concerns of biological diversity, cultural diversity, and environmental sustainability are natural and direct. Our experience of teaching "astronomy as habitat" strongly influences our "Astronomy 101" course in Oklahoma as well. This "inverted astrobiology" seems to transform our student's outlook, from the universe being something "out there" into something "we're in!" We thank the SNU Science Alumni support group "The Catalysts," and the SNU Quetzal Education and Research Center, San Gerardo de Dota, Costa Rica, for their support.

  1. Integrating management objectives and grazing strategies on semi-arid rangelands

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Rangelands account for almost half of Nebraska's 24 million acres. Much of these expansive natural resource areas are in the semi-arid climatic region of Nebraska...

  2. Compilation of Studies Assessing Post Wildfire Seeding of Rangelands Worldwide, 1965-2010

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Mitigation of ecological damage caused by rangeland wildfires has historically been an issue restricted to the western United States. It has focused on conservation...

  3. Collaborative adaptive landscape management (CALM) in rangelands: Discussion of general principles

    Science.gov (United States)

    The management of rangeland landscapes involves broad spatial extents, mixed land ownership, and multiple resource objectives. Management outcomes depend on biophysical heterogeneity, highly variable weather conditions, land use legacies, and spatial processes such as wildlife movement, hydrological...

  4. Relevance of rangeland degradation in semiarid Northeastern South Africa to the nonequilibrium theory

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wessels, Konrad J

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available According to the nonequilibrium theory, livestock grazing has a limited effect on long-term vegetation productivity of semiarid rangelands, which is largely determined by rainfall. The communal lands in northeastern South Africa contain extensive...

  5. African Journal of Range and Forage Science

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The African Journal of Range & Forage Science (previously known as Proceedings of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa and Journal of the Grassland Society of Southern Africa) is the leading rangeland and pastoral journal in Africa, and serves as an important reference for anyone interested in the management and ...

  6. Mirador - Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — Earth Science data access made simple. This Focus Area deals with the cycling of carbon in reservoirs and ecosystems as it changes naturally, is changed by humans,...

  7. Assessment of USDA-NRCS rangeland conservation programs: recommendation for an evidence-based conservation platform.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Briske, D D; Bestelmeyer, B T; Brown, J R; Brunson, M W; Thurow, T L; Tanaka, J A

    2017-01-01

    The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was created in response to a request from the Office of Management and Budget that the U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA-NRCS) document the societal benefits anticipated to accrue from a major increase in conservation funding authorized by the 2002 Farm Bill. A comprehensive evaluation of the efficacy of rangeland conservation practices cost-shared with private landowners was unable to evaluate conservation benefits because outcomes were seldom documented. Four interrelated suppositions are presented to examine the causes underlying minimal documentation of conservations outcomes. These suppositions are (1) the benefits of conservation practices are considered a certainty so that documentation in not required, (2) there is minimal knowledge exchange between the USDA-NRCS and research organizations, (3) and a paucity of conservation-relevant science, as well as (4) inadequate technical support for land owners following implementation of conservation practices. We then follow with recommendations to overcome potential barriers to documentation of conservation outcomes identified for each supposition. Collectively, this assessment indicates that the existing conservation practice standards are insufficient to effectively administer large conservation investments on rangelands and that modification of these standards alone will not achieve the goals explicitly stated by CEAP. We recommend that USDA-NRCS modify its conservation programs around a more comprehensive and integrative platform that is capable of implementing evidence-based conservation. Collaborative monitoring organized around landowner-agency-scientist partnerships would represent the focal point of a Conservation Program Assessment Network (CPAN). The primary network objective would be to establish missing information feedback loops between conservation practices and their agricultural and environmental outcomes

  8. Southern African pasture and forage science entering the 21st ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Given the global challenges of mitigating and alleviating land degradation and ensuring food security, particularly through protein production, pasture and forage science together with rangeland science will remain imperative to sustainable livestock production systems. Recognising the scientific principles developed in this ...

  9. Improving Rangeland Monitoring and Assessment: Integrating Remote Sensing, GIS, and Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Systems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robert Paul Breckenridge

    2007-05-01

    Creeping environmental changes are impacting some of the largest remaining intact parcels of sagebrush steppe ecosystems in the western United States, creating major problems for land managers. The Idaho National Laboratory (INL), located in southeastern Idaho, is part of the sagebrush steppe ecosystem, one of the largest ecosystems on the continent. Scientists at the INL and the University of Idaho have integrated existing field and remotely sensed data with geographic information systems technology to analyze how recent fires on the INL have influenced the current distribution of terrestrial vegetation. Three vegetation mapping and classification systems were used to evaluate the changes in vegetation caused by fires between 1994 and 2003. Approximately 24% of the sagebrush steppe community on the INL was altered by fire, mostly over a 5-year period. There were notable differences between methods, especially for juniper woodland and grasslands. The Anderson system (Anderson et al. 1996) was superior for representing the landscape because it includes playa/bare ground/disturbed area and sagebrush steppe on lava as vegetation categories. This study found that assessing existing data sets is useful for quantifying fire impacts and should be helpful in future fire and land use planning. The evaluation identified that data from remote sensing technologies is not currently of sufficient quality to assess the percentage of cover. To fill this need, an approach was designed using both helicopter and fixed wing unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) and image processing software to evaluate six cover types on field plots located on the INL. The helicopter UAV provided the best system compared against field sampling, but is more dangerous and has spatial coverage limitations. It was reasonably accurate for dead shrubs and was very good in assessing percentage of bare ground, litter and grasses; accuracy for litter and shrubs is questionable. The fixed wing system proved to be

  10. Exotic Annual Grasses in Western Rangelands: Predicting Resistance and Resilience of Native Ecosystems to Invasion (Draft)

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-04-22

    and H. Marschner. 1994. Effect of root exudates on mobilization in the rhizosphere and uptake of iron by wheat plants. Plant and Soil 165:213-218...from soil and thus ould have only given us amounts in the zeolite/soil mixture . Instead, we conducted a laboratory xperiment to determine the effect...stress on concentration of nitrogen, phosphorus, potassium, calcium, magnesium, and sodium in leaves, shoots, and roots of six olive cultivars

  11. The Role of Indigenous Ecological Knowledge in Managing Rangelands Sustainably in Northern Iran

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Ghorbani

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available Pastoralists' knowledge of adaptive rangeland management in Iran has long been only selectively analyzed and documented. This study attempts to rectify that by outlining the indigenous ecological knowledge of the pastoralists of Nariyan village in the Taleghan region of northern Iran, and by evaluating the influence of such knowledge on rangeland management. Local herd owners operate according to traditional herding practices; their knowledge of rangeland plants and principles of sustainable rangeland management is indigenous and is based on centuries of experience and observation. Their in-depth knowledge covers the medicinal properties of various local plant species and the palatability of the most salient forage species in terms of sustaining the sheep and goats that are their livelihood. This study investigates some of the traditional strategies of rangeland management used in the Taleghan region, the rationale and timing of livestock rotation in the rangelands, local landscape classification, and local know-how in animal husbandry, all of which are indispensable in contributing to the pastoralists' survival and maintenance of the local environment.

  12. Soil degradation in wooded rangelands of southwest Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnabel, S.; Lavado Contador, J. F.; Gómez Gutiérrez, Á.

    2009-04-01

    The paper presents a review on soil degradation studies carried out since 1990 in wooded rangelands in Extremadura. In the semiarid and subhumid parts of the south-western Iberian Peninsula open evergreen woodlands dominated by Quercus species are widespread (dehesas and montados). They are composed of grasslands with a varying degree of tree cover, ranging from treeless to more than 80 individuals per hectare. In some areas shrubs form a third component of the vegetation. Dehesas are subject to a complex exploitation system with agro-silvo-pastoral land use. The dominant soil degradation phenomena include different forms of water erosion and physical and biological degradation. Regarding soil erosion and surface hydrology, research has been carried out at different spatial scales. Sheetwash and overland flow were investigated along hillslopes and in microplots, whereas gully erosion and runoff production were monitored in small experimental catchments. Recently, physical and biological degradation has been studied in a large number of farms, representing the most important types of rangelands in the region of Extremadura. This included a rapid appraisal of degradation features, the determination of soil properties and a study on the distribution and activity of gullies. Soil degradation varies strongly with regard to the natural factors, but also with respect to land use and management. Sheetwash (interrill erosion) is the dominant process on hillslopes, with a mean soil loss rate of 0.63 t ha-1. However rainfall variation and land management, especially livestock density, produce changes in soil cover. With low to moderate livestock densities and during prolonged periods with low rainfall (droughts), the vegetation cover may be strongly reduced, provoking high soil losses, whereas during normal or humid periods interrill erosion is low. Excessive stocking rates may exacerbate sheetwash, producing severe soil degradation, regardless of rainfall conditions. In

  13. Changes in vegetation structure and aboveground biomass in response to traditional rangeland management practices in Borana, southern Ethiopia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gilo, Bikila Negasa; Kelkay, Tessema Zewdu

    2017-01-01

    .... Sampling through random allocation of quadrats within replicated sample plots was undertaken in communally grazed areas, grazing enclosures and rangelands managed by prescribed fire for five years...

  14. Changes in Property Rights and Management of High-Elevation Rangelands in Bhutan: Implications for Sustainable Development of Herder Communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karma Tenzing

    2017-08-01

    Full Text Available Property rights and management regimes for high-elevation rangelands in Bhutan have evolved over centuries in response to environmental, cultural, and political imperatives. The 2007 Land Act of Bhutan aims to redress historical inequities in property rights by redistributing grazing leases to local livestock owners in a process known as rangeland nationalization. This study explored 3 related issues: property rights and management regimes in 3 distinct high-elevation rangeland systems, herders' and government officials' perceptions of the proposed rangeland nationalization process, and the implications of rangeland nationalization for herder livelihoods and sustainable development. Qualitative research methods were adopted to capture the lived experiences of 151 livestock farmers, seminomadic herders, and government officials, including 40 individual interviews and 9 focus group discussions. The research revealed that herding in these high-elevation rangelands is governed by a complex combination of private, communal, and mixed property use rights regimes. Management regimes varied according to traditional rules, but development was limited because of lack of management rights. The rangeland nationalization process is expected to promote sustainable management of high-elevation rangelands by incentivizing provisioning and maintenance activities. However, the lack of clear implementation guidelines and a coherent replacement for traditional practices have created confusion and anxiety in herder communities. Providing tenure security and management rights in an equitable manner will be vital for fostering sustainable development for herder communities living in the high-elevation rangelands of Bhutan.

  15. Field soil aggregate stability kit for soil quality and rangeland health evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herrick, J.E.; Whitford, W.G.; de Soyza, A. G.; Van Zee, J. W.; Havstad, K.M.; Seybold, C.A.; Walton, M.

    2001-01-01

    Soil aggregate stability is widely recognized as a key indicator of soil quality and rangeland health. However, few standard methods exist for quantifying soil stability in the field. A stability kit is described which can be inexpensively and easily assembled with minimal tools. It permits up to 18 samples to be evaluated in less than 10 min and eliminates the need for transportation, minimizing damage to soil structure. The kit consists of two 21??10.5??3.5 cm plastic boxes divided into eighteen 3.5??3.5 cm sections, eighteen 2.5-cm diameter sieves with 1.5-mm distance openings and a small spatula used for soil sampling. Soil samples are rated on a scale from one to six based on a combination of ocular observations of slaking during the first 5 min following immersion in distilled water, and the percent remaining on a 1.5-mm sieve after five dipping cycles at the end of the 5-min period. A laboratory comparison yielded a correlation between the stability class and percent aggregate stability based on oven dry weight remaining after treatment using a mechanical sieve. We have applied the method in a wide variety of agricultural and natural ecosystems throughout western North America, including northern Mexico, and have found that it is highly sensitive to differences in management and plant community composition. Although the field kit cannot replace the careful laboratory-based measurements of soil aggregate stability, it can clearly provide valuable information when these more intensive procedures are not possible.

  16. Effects of land use change and management on SOC and soil quality in Mediterranean rangelands areas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parras-Alcántara, Luis; Lozano-García, Beatriz; Requejo, Ana; Zornoza, Raúl

    2017-04-01

    . Nevertheless, in olive grove and cereal conservationist practices increased the SOC stocks. Therefore, conservationist practices contributed to a better soil quality and to increased carbon sequestration and, consequently, this management is an excellent alternative to conventional tillage. A change in land use from dehesa to olive grove or cereal under conservationist practices appeared to increase the SOC. When calculated for the total soil profile these differences were equivalent to 20-25 Mg ha-1 of SOC. This is potentially very important for many agricultural soils in the Mediterranean area which are characterized by low organic matter content. These differences in the SOC stock were not apparent when the change in land use occurred under conventional tillage; even in the land use change from dehesa to cereal the SOC stock was reduced. This suggests that management in addition to change in land use is an important consideration and particularly the degree of soil disturbance which should be minimized. REFERENCES Brevik, E.C., 2012. Soils and climate change: gas fluxes and soil processes. Soil Horizons 53(4). http://dx.doi.org/10.2136/sh12-04-0012 Corral-Fernández, R., Parras-Alcántara, L., Lozano-García, B. 2013. Stratification ratio of soil organic C, N and C:N in Mediterranean evergreen oak woodland with conventional and organic tillage. Agriculture, Ecosystems and Environment 164, 252-259. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.agee.2012.11.002 Parras-Alcántara, L., Díaz-Jaimes, L., Lozano-García, B., Fernández Rebollo, P., Moreno Elcure, F., Carbonero Muñoz, M.D., 2014. Organic farming has little effect on carbon stock in a Mediterranean dehesa (southern Spain). Catena 113, 9-17. http://dx.doi.org/10.1016/j.catena.2013.09.002 Parras-Alcántara, L., Lozano-García, B., 2014. Conventional tillage versus organic farming in relation to soil organic carbon stock in olive groves in Mediterranean rangelands (southern Spain). Solid Earth, 5, 299- 311. http://dx.doi.org/10

  17. Fire impact on soil-water repellency and functioning of semi-arid croplands and rangelands: Implications for prescribed burnings and wildfires

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stavi, Ilan; Barkai, Daniel; Knoll, Yaakov M.; Glion, Hiam Abu; Katra, Itzhak; Brook, Anna; Zaady, Eli

    2017-03-01

    An unintended fire outbreak during summer 2015 in the semi-arid Israeli Negev resulted in the burning of extensive croplands and rangelands. The rangelands have been managed over the long term for occasional grazing, while the croplands have been utilized for rainfed wheat cropping. Yet, during the studied year, the croplands were left fallow, allowing the growth of herbaceous vegetation, which was harvested and baled for hay before the fire outbreak. The study objectives were to investigate the impacts of fire, land-use, and soil depth on water-repellency and on the status and dynamics of some of the most important organic and mineral soil resources. Additionally, we aimed to assess the severity of this fire outbreak. The soil-water repellency was studied by measuring the soil's water drop penetration time (WDPT) and critical surface tension (CST). A significant effect of fire on soil hydrophobicity was recorded, with a slight increase in mean WDPT and a slight decrease in mean CST in the burnt sites than in the non-burnt sites. Yet, soil hydrophobicity in the burnt lands was rather moderate and remained within the water repellency's lowest class. A significant effect of land-use on the means of WDPT and CST was also recorded, being eleven-fold greater and 7% smaller, respectively, in the rangelands than in the croplands. This is consistent with the almost eightfold greater mean above-ground biomass recorded in the non-burnt rangelands than in the non-burnt post-harvest croplands, revealing the positive relations between available fuel load and soil-water repellency. The effect of soil depth was significant for CST but not for WDPT. Overall, the gathered data suggest that fire severity was low to moderate. Fire was also found to significantly affect the organic carbon and ammonium-N were also studied, and generally showed higher values for the burnt lands. Overall, this study shows that the low- to moderate-fire severity only slightly increased the soil water

  18. Modeling climate change effects on runoff and soil erosion in southeastern Arizona rangelands and implications for mitigation with rangeland conservation practices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Climate change is expected to impact runoff and soil erosion on rangelands in the southwestern United States. This study was done to evaluate the potential impacts of precipitation changes on soil erosion and surface runoff in southeastern Arizona using seven GCM models with three emission scenarios...

  19. Climate change science applications and needs in forest ecosystem management: a workshop organized as part of the northern Wisconsin Climate Change Response Framework Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leslie Brandt; Chris Swanston; Linda Parker; Maria Janowiak; Richard Birdsey; Louis Iverson; David Mladenoff; Patricia. Butler

    2012-01-01

    Climate change is leading to direct and indirect impacts on forest tree species and ecosystems in northern Wisconsin. Land managers will need to prepare for and respond to these impacts, so we designed a workshop to identify forest management approaches that can enhance the ability of ecosystems in northern Wisconsin to cope with climate change and address how National...

  20. Phenology-based, remote sensing of post-burn disturbance windows in rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sankeya, Joel B.; Wallace, Cynthia S.A.; Ravi, Sujith

    2013-01-01

    Wildland fire activity has increased in many parts of the world in recent decades. Ecological disturbance by fire can accelerate ecosystem degradation processes such as erosion due to combustion of vegetation that otherwise provides protective cover to the soil surface. This study employed a novel ecological indicator based on remote sensing of vegetation greenness dynamics (phenology) to estimate variability in the window of time between fire and the reemergence of green vegetation. The indicator was applied as a proxy for short-term, post-fire disturbance windows in rangelands; where a disturbance window is defined as the time required for an ecological or geomorphic process that is altered to return to pre-disturbance levels. We examined variability in the indicator determined for time series of MODIS and AVHRR NDVI remote sensing data for a database of ∼100 historical wildland fires, with associated post-fire reseeding treatments, that burned 1990–2003 in cold desert shrub steppe of the Great Basin and Columbia Plateau of the western USA. The indicator-based estimates of disturbance window length were examined relative to the day of the year that fires burned and seeding treatments to consider effects of contemporary variability in fire regime and management activities in this environment. A key finding was that contemporary changes of increased length of the annual fire season could have indirect effects on ecosystem degradation, as early season fires appeared to result in longer time that soils remained relatively bare of the protective cover of vegetation after fires. Also important was that reemergence of vegetation did not occur more quickly after fire in sites treated with post-fire seeding, which is a strategy commonly employed to accelerate post-fire vegetation recovery and stabilize soil. Future work with the indicator could examine other ecological factors that are dynamic in space and time following disturbance – such as nutrient cycling

  1. Social values for ecosystem services (SolVES): Documentation and user manual, version 2.0

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherrouse, Benson C.; Semmens, Darius J.

    2012-01-01

    In response to the need for incorporating quantified and spatially explicit measures of social values into ecosystem services assessments, the Rocky Mountain Geographic Science Center (RMGSC), in collaboration with Colorado State University, developed a geographic information system (GIS) application, Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES). With version 2.0 (SolVES 2.0), RMGSC has improved and extended the functionality of SolVES, which was designed to assess, map, and quantify the perceived social values of ecosystem services. Social values such as aesthetics, biodiversity, and recreation can be evaluated for various stakeholder groups as distinguished by their attitudes and preferences regarding public uses, such as motorized recreation and logging. As with the previous version, SolVES 2.0 derives a quantitative, 10-point, social-values metric, the Value Index, from a combination of spatial and nonspatial responses to public attitude and preference surveys and calculates metrics characterizing the underlying environment, such as average distance to water and dominant landcover. Additionally, SolVES 2.0 integrates Maxent maximum entropy modeling software to generate more complete social value maps and to produce robust statistical models describing the relationship between the social values maps and explanatory environmental variables. The performance of these models can be evaluated for a primary study area, as well as for similar areas where primary survey data are not available but where social value mapping could potentially be completed using value-transfer methodology. SolVES 2.0 also introduces the flexibility for users to define their own social values and public uses, model any number and type of environmental variable, and modify the spatial resolution of analysis. With these enhancements, SolVES 2.0 provides an improved public domain tool for decisionmakers and researchers to evaluate the social values of ecosystem services and to facilitate

  2. Formation of Service Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Jonas, Julia M.; Sörhammar, David; Satzger, Gerhard

    Purpose: Researchers in several different academic disciplines (such as marketing, information systems, and organization) have focused on investigating service and business ecosystems (e.g. Lusch and Nambisan, 2015; Gawer and Cusumano, 2014; Kude et al. 2012). We reviewed 69 papers in service...... science, operations management, marketing, and organization journals. The majority of these papers focus on describing established service ecosystems,often on a more abstract “meso-level” (Akaka et al., 2015). Key notions are “…self-contained, self-adjusting system[s] of resource integrating actors...... connected by shared institutional arrangements and mutual value creation” (Vargo & Lusch, 2015) or “value co-creation configurations of people, technology, value propositions … and shared information” (Maglio &Spohrer, 2008). Little is known, though, of how service ecosystems emerge and become established...

  3. Ecosystem functioning

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jax, Kurt

    2010-01-01

    "In the face of decreasing biodiversity and ongoing global changes, maintaining ecosystem functioning is seen both as a means to preserve biological diversity as well as for safeguarding human well...

  4. The Ellis paradigm — humans, herbivores and rangeland systems ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The scientific and conceptual contributions Jim Ellis made throughout the course of his career reveal a logical progression towards increased understanding of pastoral ecosystems worldwide. Research in wildlife, large herbivores, systems ecology and energy flows through grazing ecosystems formed the basis of his ...

  5. Session A6 Rangelands as dynamic systems — Fragmentation of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Fragmentation is the breaking apart of habitat without incurring habitat loss — in grazed ecosystems this usually implies a diminished ability of large herbivores to access natural heterogeneity in vegetation and topography. As fragmentation occurs, ecosystems are simplified by breaking up interdependent spatial units into ...

  6. Where’s the beef? Predicting the effects of climate change on cattle production in western U.S. rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sue Miller; Matt Reeves; Karen Bagne; John Tanaka

    2017-01-01

    Cattle production capacity on western rangelands is potentially vulnerable to climate change through impacts on the amount of forage, changes in vegetation type, heat stress, and year-to-year forage variability. The researchers in this study projected climate change effects to rangelands through 2100 and compared them to a present-day baseline to estimate vulnerability...

  7. Species richness has not increased after long-term protection from grazing on sagebrush, aspen and tall forb rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. A. Laycock; Dale Bartos; Keith Klement

    2001-01-01

    Recent conservation biology and environmental literature contains claims that livestock grazing has caused and continues to cause reduction in species diversity on Western rangelands, especially public rangelands. This paper present quantitative data on species richness (number of species) inside and outside 24 long-term exclosures; 8 exclosures in aspen vegetation in...

  8. Understanding relationships among multiple ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bennett, Elena M; Peterson, Garry D; Gordon, Line J

    2009-12-01

    Ecosystem management that attempts to maximize the production of one ecosystem service often results in substantial declines in the provision of other ecosystem services. For this reason, recent studies have called for increased attention to development of a theoretical understanding behind the relationships among ecosystem services. Here, we review the literature on ecosystem services and propose a typology of relationships between ecosystem services based on the role of drivers and the interactions between services. We use this typology to develop three propositions to help drive ecological science towards a better understanding of the relationships among multiple ecosystem services. Research which aims to understand the relationships among multiple ecosystem services and the mechanisms behind these relationships will improve our ability to sustainably manage landscapes to provide multiple ecosystem services.

  9. Preliminary review of adaptation options for climate-sensitive ecosystems and resources. A report by the U.S. Climate Change Science Program and the Subcommittee on Global Change Research

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Jill S.; Griffith, Brad; Joyce, Linda A.; Kareiva, Peter; Keller, Brian D.; Palmer, Margaret A.; Peterson, Charles H.; Scott, J. Michael; Julius, Susan Herrod; West, Jordan M.

    2008-01-01

    Climate variables are key determinants of geographic distributions and biophysical characteristics of ecosystems, communities, and species. Climate change is therefore affecting many species attributes, ecological interactions, and ecosystem processes. Because changes in the climate system will continue into the future regardless of emissions mitigation, strategies for protecting climate-sensitive ecosystems through management will be increasingly important. While there will always be uncertainties associated with the future path of climate change, the response of ecosystems to climate impacts, and the effects of management, it is both possible and essential for adaptation to proceed using the best available science. This report provides a preliminary review of adaptation options for climate-sensitive ecosystems and resources in the United States. The term “adaptation” in this document refers to adjustments in human social systems (e.g., management) in response to climate stimuli and their effects. Since management always occurs in the context of desired ecosystem conditions or natural resource management goals, it is instructive to examine particular goals and processes used by different organizations to fulfill their objectives. Such an examination allows for discussion of specific adaptation options as well as potential barriers and opportunities for implementation. Using this approach, this report presents a series of chapters on the following selected management systems: National Forests, National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges, Wild and Scenic Rivers, National Estuaries, and Marine Protected Areas. For these chapters, the authors draw on the literature, their own expert opinion, and expert workshops composed of resource management scientists and representatives of managing agencies. The information drawn from across these chapters is then analyzed to develop the key synthetic messages presented below.

  10. The 2014 National Emission Inventory for Rangeland Fires ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biomass burning has been identified as an important contributor to the degradation of air quality because of its impact on ozone and particulate matter. One component of the biomass burning inventory, crop residue burning, has been poorly characterized in the National Emissions Inventory. In the 2011 NEI, Wildland fires, prescribed fires, and crop residue burning collectively were the largest source of PM2.5 This paper summarizes our 2014 NEI method to estimate crop residue burning emissions and grass/pasture burning emissions using remote sensing data and field information and literature-based, crop-specific emission factors. We will focus on both the post-harvest and pre-harvest burning that takes place with bluegrass, corn, cotton, rice, soybeans, sugarcane and wheat. Estimates for 2014 indicate that over the continental United States (CONUS), crop residue burning including all areas identified as Pasture/Grass, Grassland Herbaceous, and Pasture/Hay produced 64,994 short tons of PM2.5. This estimate compares with the 2011 NEI and 2008 NEI as follows: 2008: 49,653 short tons and 2011: 141,184 short tons. Note that in the previous two NEI’s rangeland burning was not well-defined and so the comparison is not exact. In addition, the entire database used to estimate this sector of emissions is available on EPA’s Clearinghouse for Inventories and Emission Factors (CHIEF http://www3.epa.gov/ttn/chief/index.html The National Emissions Inventory is developed on

  11. Moving Towards a New Urban Systems Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Peter M. Groffman; Mary L. Cadenasso; Jeannine Cavender-Bares; Daniel L. Childers; Nancy B. Grimm; Morgan Grove; Sarah E. Hobbie; Lucy R. Hutyra; G. Darrel Jenerette; Timon McPhearson; Diane E. Pataki; Steward T. A. Pickett; Richard V. Pouyat; Emma Rosi-Marshall; Benjamin L. Ruddell

    2016-01-01

    Research on urban ecosystems rapidly expanded in the 1990s and is now a central topic in ecosystem science. In this paper, we argue that there are two critical challenges for ecosystem science that are rooted in urban ecosystems: (1) predicting or explaining the assembly and function of novel communities and ecosystems under altered environmental conditions and (2)...

  12. Carrying capacity in arid rangelands during droughts: the role of temporal and spatial thresholds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accatino, F; Ward, D; Wiegand, K; De Michele, C

    2017-02-01

    Assessing the carrying capacity is of primary importance in arid rangelands. This becomes even more important during droughts, when rangelands exhibit non-equilibrium dynamics, and the dynamics of livestock conditions and forage resource are decoupled. Carrying capacity is usually conceived as an equilibrium concept, that is, the consumer density that can co-exist in long-term equilibrium with the resource. As one of the first, here we address the concept of carrying capacity in systems, where there is no feedback between consumer and resource in a limited period of time. To this end, we developed an individual-based model describing the basic characteristics of a rangeland during a drought. The model represents a rangeland composed by a single water point and forage distributed all around, with livestock units moving from water to forage and vice versa, for eating and drinking. For each livestock unit we implemented an energy balance and we accounted for the gut-filling effect (i.e. only a limited amount of forage can be ingested per unit time). Our results showed that there is a temporal threshold above which livestock begin to experience energy deficit and burn fat reserves. We demonstrated that such a temporal threshold increases with the number of animals and decreases with the rangeland conditions (amount of forage). The temporal threshold corresponded to the time livestock take to consume all the forage within a certain distance from water, so that the livestock can return to water for drinking without spending more energy than they gain within a day. In this study, we highlight the importance of a time threshold in the assessment of carrying capacity in non-equilibrium conditions. Considering this time threshold could explain contrasting observations about the influence of livestock number on livestock conditions. In case of private rangelands, the herd size should be chosen so that the spatial threshold equals (or exceeds) the length of the drought.

  13. Rangeland dynamics: investigating vegetation composition and structure of urban and exurban prairie dog habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopson, Rebecca; Meiman, Paul; Shannon, Graeme

    2015-01-01

    Rapid human population growth and habitat modification in the western United States has led to the formation of urban and exurban rangelands. Many of these rangelands are also home to populations of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Our study aimed to compare the vegetation composition of an urban and exurban rangeland, and explore the role that prairie dogs play in these systems. The percent absolute canopy cover of graminoids (grasses and grass-likes), forbs, shrubs, litter, and bare ground were estimated at sampling areas located on and off prairie dog colonies at an urban and an exurban site. Herbaceous forage quality and quantity were determined on plant material collected from exclosure cages located on the colony during the entire growing season, while a relative estimate of prairie dog density was calculated using maximum counts. The exurban site had more litter and plant cover and less bare ground than the urban site. Graminoids were the dominant vegetation at the exurban plots. In contrast, mostly introduced forbs were found on the urban prairie dog colony. However, the forage quality and quantity tests demonstrated no difference between the two colonies. The relative prairie dog density was greater at the urban colony, which has the potential to drive greater vegetation utilization and reduced cover. Exurban rangeland showed lower levels of impact and retained all of the plant functional groups both on- and off-colony. These results suggest that activities of prairie dogs might further exacerbate the impacts of humans in fragmented urban rangeland habitats. Greater understanding of the drivers of these impacts and the spatial scales at which they occur are likely to prove valuable in the management and conservation of rangelands in and around urban areas.

  14. Experimental warming, not grazing, decreases rangeland quality on the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Julia A; Harte, John; Zhao, Xin-Quan

    2007-03-01

    We investigated experimental warming and simulated grazing (clipping) effects on rangeland quality, as indicated by vegetation production and nutritive quality, in winter-grazed meadows and summer-grazed shrublands on the Tibetan Plateau, a rangeland system experiencing climatic and pastoral land use changes. Warming decreased total aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) by 40 g x m(-2) x yr(-1) at the meadow habitats and decreased palatable ANPP (total ANPP minus non-palatable forb ANPP) by 10 g x m(-2) x yr(-1) at both habitats. The decreased production of the medicinal forb Gentiana straminea and the increased production of the non-palatable forb Stellera chamaejasme with warming also reduced rangeland quality. At the shrubland habitats, warming resulted in less digestible shrubs, whose foliage contains 25% digestible dry matter (DDM), replacing more digestible graminoids, whose foliage contains 60% DDM. This shift from graminoids to shrubs not only results in lower-quality forage, but could also have important consequences for future domestic herd composition. Although warming extended the growing season in non-clipped plots, the reduced rangeland quality due to decreased vegetative production and nutritive quality will likely overwhelm the improved rangeland quality associated with an extended growing season. Grazing maintained or improved rangeland quality by increasing total ANPP by 20-40 g x m(-2) x yr(-1) with no effect on palatable ANPP. Grazing effects on forage nutritive quality, as measured by foliar nitrogen and carbon content and by shifts in plant group ANPP, resulted in improved forage quality. Grazing extended the growing season at both habitats, and it advanced the growing season at the meadows. Synergistic interactions between warming and grazing were present, such that grazing mediated the warming-induced declines in vegetation production and nutritive quality. Moreover, combined treatment effects were nonadditive, suggesting that we

  15. SAFRR tsunami scenario: Impacts on California ecosystems, species, marine natural resources, and fisheries: Chapter G in The SAFRR (Science Application for Risk Reduction) Tsunami Scenario

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brosnan, Deborah; Wein, Anne; Wilson, Rick; Ross, Stephanie L.; Jones, Lucile

    2014-01-01

    We evaluate the effects of the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario on California’s ecosystems, species, natural resources, and fisheries. We discuss mitigation and preparedness approaches that can be useful in Tsunami planning. The chapter provides an introduction to the role of ecosystems and natural resources in tsunami events (Section 1). A separate section focuses on specific impacts of the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario on California’s ecosystems and endangered species (Section 2). A section on commercial fisheries and the fishing fleet (Section 3) documents the plausible effects on California’s commercial fishery resources, fishing fleets, and communities. Sections 2 and 3 each include practical preparedness options for communities and suggestions on information needs or research.Our evaluation indicates that many low-lying coastal habitats, including beaches, marshes and sloughs, rivers and waterways connected to the sea, as well as nearshore submarine habitats will be damaged by the SAFRR Tsunami Scenario. Beach erosion and complex or high volumes of tsunami-generated debris would pose major challenges for ecological communities. Several endangered species and protected areas are at risk. Commercial fisheries and fishing fleets will be affected directly by the tsunami and indirectly by dependencies on infrastructure that is damaged. There is evidence that in some areas intact ecosystems, notably sand dunes, will act as natural defenses against the tsunami waves. However, ecosystems do not provide blanket protection against tsunami surge. The consequences of ecological and natural resource damage are estimated in the millions of dollars. These costs are driven partly by the loss of ecosystem services, as well as cumulative and follow-on impacts where, for example, increased erosion during the tsunami can in turn lead to subsequent damage and loss to coastal properties. Recovery of ecosystems, natural resources and fisheries is likely to be lengthy and expensive

  16. Development of the crop residue and rangeland burning in the ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biomass burning has been identified as an important contributor to the degradation of air quality because of its impact on ozone and particulate matter. One component of the biomass burning inventory, crop residue burning, has been poorly characterized in the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). In the 2011 NEI, wildland fires, prescribed fires, and crop residue burning collectively were the largest source of PM2.5. This paper summarizes our 2014 NEI method to estimate crop residue burning emissions and grass/pasture burning emissions using remote sensing data and field information and literature-based, crop-specific emission factors. We focus on both the postharvest and pre-harvest burning that takes place with bluegrass, corn, cotton, rice, soybeans, sugarcane and wheat. Estimates for 2014 indicate that over the continental United States (CONUS), crop residue burning excluding all areas identified as Pasture/Grass, Grassland Herbaceous, and Pasture/Hay occurred over approximately 1.5 million acres of land and produced 19,600 short tons of PM2.5. For areas identified as Pasture/Grass, Grassland Herbaceous, and Pasture/Hay, biomass burning emissions occurred over approximately 1.6 million acres of land and produced 30,000 short tons of PM2.5. This estimate compares with the 2011 NEI and 2008 NEI as follows: 2008: 49,650 short tons and 2011: 141,180 short tons. Note that in the previous two NEIs rangeland burning was not well defined and so the comparison is not e

  17. Partitioning ecosystems for sustainability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murray, Martyn G

    2016-03-01

    Decline in the abundance of renewable natural resources (RNRs) coupled with increasing demands of an expanding human population will greatly intensify competition for Earth's natural resources during this century, yet curiously, analytical approaches to the management of productive ecosystems (ecological theory of wildlife harvesting, tragedy of the commons, green economics, and bioeconomics) give only peripheral attention to the driving influence of competition on resource exploitation. Here, I apply resource competition theory (RCT) to the exploitation of RNRs and derive four general policies in support of their sustainable and equitable use: (1) regulate resource extraction technology to avoid damage to the resource base; (2) increase efficiency of resource use and reduce waste at every step in the resource supply chain and distribution network; (3) partition ecosystems with the harvesting niche as the basic organizing principle for sustainable management of natural resources by multiple users; and (4) increase negative feedback between consumer and resource to bring about long-term sustainable use. A simple policy framework demonstrates how RCT integrates with other elements of sustainability science to better manage productive ecosystems. Several problem areas of RNR management are discussed in the light of RCT, including tragedy of the commons, overharvesting, resource collapse, bycatch, single species quotas, and simplification of ecosystems.

  18. Upgrading Marine Ecosystem Restoration Using Ecological-Social Concepts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abelson, Avigdor; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Reed, Daniel C.; Orth, Robert J.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Beck, Michael W.; Belmaker, Jonathan; Krause, Gesche; Edgar, Graham J.; Airoldi, Laura; Brokovich, Eran; France, Robert; Shashar, Nadav; Blaeij, De Arianne; Stambler, Noga; Salameh, Pierre; Shechter, Mordechai; Nelson, Peter A.

    2016-01-01

    Conservation and environmental management are principal countermeasures to the degradation of marine ecosystems and their services. However, in many cases, current practices are insufficient to reverse ecosystem declines. We suggest that restoration ecology, the science underlying the concepts

  19. A novel protocol for assessment of aboveground biomass in rangeland environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mundava, C.; Schut, A.G.T.; Helmholtz, P.; Stovold, R.G.H.; Donald, G.; Lamb, D.W.

    2015-01-01

    Current methods to measure aboveground biomass (AGB) do not deliver adequate results in relation to the extent and spatial variability that characterise rangelands. An optimised protocol for the assessment ofAGBis presented that enables calibration and validation of remote-sensing imagery or plant

  20. Improving restoration of exotic annual grass-invaded rangelands through activated carbon seed enhancement technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cost-efficient strategies for revegetating annual grass-infested rangelands are limited. Restoration efforts typically comprise a combination of pre-emergent herbicide treatments and seeding to restore desired plant materials. However, practitioners struggle with applying herbicide at rates sufficie...

  1. Disaggregation of Soil Map Units for Improved Ecological Site Mapping in Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland soils are often mapped with soil map units consisting of associations, complexes, and undifferentiated groups composed of varied soil components. Because different components may be related to different ecological sites, the unmapped heterogeneity within map units limits the potential uses...

  2. Developing a parameterization approach of soil erodibility for the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil erodibility is a key factor for estimating soil erosion using physically based models. In this study, a new parameterization approach for estimating erodibility was developed for the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM). The approach uses empirical equations that were developed by apply...

  3. Mapping Erosion and Salinity Risk Categories Using GIS and the Rangeland Hydrology Erosion Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Up to fifteen percent of rangelands in the state of Utah in the United States are classified as being in severely eroding condition. Some of these degraded lands are located on saline, erodible soils of the Mancos Shale formation. This results in a disproportionate contribution of sediment, salinity...

  4. Salinity mobilization and transport from rangelands: assessment, recommendations, and knowledge gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    The purpose of the salinity project is to improve the understanding of sources and transport mechanisms in rangeland catchments that deliver dissolved solids (salts) to streams within the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) through a review of relevant literature on what is known about the impact of r...

  5. Developing a year-round objective measure of Colorado rangeland nutrient composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    A goal for any rangeland grazing operation is to attain an appropriate balance among available forage resources where forage nutrient composition and supplementation (i.e. if needed) meets daily nutritional demands of livestock. To accomplish this on a short-term basis, the producer needs to have in...

  6. The quantification of rangeland condition in a semi-arid grassland of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The degradation gradient technique was used to quantify rangeland .condition in areas ranging from poor, trampled areas close to watering points to well managed areas in a semi-arid. sweet grassland of southern Africa. Ecological values were linked to species by means of their individual positions on the degradation ...

  7. Two new mobile apps for rangeland inventory and monitoring by landowners and land managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland inventory and monitoring have been transformed during the past 10 years by a number of major innovations. This paper reviews the status of two new mobile apps (LandInfo and LandCover) that are part of a larger “Land-Potential Knowledge System” (LandPKS) that is being developed to capitaliz...

  8. Estimating climate change effects on net primary production of rangelands in the United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew C. Reeves; Adam L. Moreno; Karen E. Bagne; Steven W. Running

    2014-01-01

    The potential effects of climate change on net primary productivity (NPP) of U.S. rangelands were evaluated using estimated climate regimes from the A1B, A2 and B2 global change scenarios imposed on the biogeochemical cycling model, Biome-BGC from 2001 to 2100. Temperature, precipitation, vapor pressure deficit, day length, solar radiation, CO2 enrichment and nitrogen...

  9. Composted manure application promotes long-term invasion of semi-arid rangeland by Bromus tectorum

    Science.gov (United States)

    Composted organic matter derived from sewage treatment facilities or livestock manure from feedlots is often applied to rangelands of western North America to increase soil fertility, forage production, forage quality, and soil carbon (C) storage. This practice can have a number of undesirable side ...

  10. Dairy cattle on Norwegian alpine rangelands – grazing preferences and milk quality

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sickel, H; Abrahamsen, R K; Eldegard, K; Lunnan, T; Norderhaug, A; Petersen, M.A.; Sickel, M.; Steenhuisen, F.; Ohlson, M.

    2014-01-01

    The results from the study ‘Effects of vegetation and grazing preferences on the quality of alpine dairy products’ will be presented. The main objective of the project was to investigate the connections bet - ween alpine rangeland vegetation, landscape use and grazing preferences of free ranging

  11. Future of America's Forests and Rangelands: Update to the 2010 Resources Planning Act Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forest Service U.S. Department of Agriculture

    2016-01-01

    The Update to the 2010 Resources Planning Act (RPA) Assessment summarizes findings about the status, trends, and projected future of forests, rangelands, wildlife, biodiversity, water, outdoor recreation, and urban forests, as well as the effects of climate change upon these resources. Varying assumptions about population and economic growth, land use change, and...

  12. Effects of climate change on rangeland vegetation in the northern Rockies [Chapter 6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matt C. Reeves; Mary E. Manning; Jeff P. DiBenedetto; Kyle A. Palmquist; William K. Lauenroth; John B. Bradford; Daniel R. Schlaepfer

    2017-01-01

    A longer growing season with climate change is expected to increase net primary productivity of many rangeland types, especially those dominated by grasses, although responses will depend on local climate and soil conditions. Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide may increase water use efficiency and productivity of some species. In many cases, increasing wildfire...

  13. Developing soil erodibility prediction equations for the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil erodibility is a key factor for estimating soil erosion using physically based models. In this study, a new parameterization approach for estimating erodibility was developed for the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM). The approach uses empirical equations that were developed by apply...

  14. Southern Idaho student "bug crews": Weeds, youth, and biocontrol in the rangelands of Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharlyn Gunderson-Izurieta; George P. Markin; Nan Reedy; Becky. Frieberg

    2009-01-01

    Biological control of noxious weeds is an effective and widespread method often used by rangeland managers in the western United States. However, once biological control agents, usually insects, are released onto public and private lands there are few, if any, programs to follow up and monitor the effectiveness of these agents. A technique being used by some...

  15. Rangeland exclosures of northeastern Oregon: stories they tell (1936–2004).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles Grier Johnson

    2007-01-01

    Rangeland exclosures installed primarily in the 1960s, but with some from the 1940s, were resampled for changes in plant community structure and composition periodically from 1977 to 2004 on the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests in northeastern Oregon. They allow one to compare vegetation with all-ungulate exclusion (known historically as game...

  16. Response of native versus exotic plant guilds to cattle and elk herbivory in forested rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burak K. Pekin; Michael J. Wisdom; Catherine G. Parks; Bryan A. Endress; Bridgett J. Naylor; Ralf Ohlemuller

    2015-01-01

    Questions: Are exotic plant species favoured by non-native ungulate herbivores and disadvantaged by native herbivores in forested rangelands? Do the impacts of ungulates on exotic vs native plants depend on forest management activities such as prescribed fire and stand thinning?Location: Northeastern Oregon, USA....

  17. Utah lotus: North American legume for rangeland revegetation in southern Great Basin and Colorado Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utah lotus (Lotus utahensis Ottley) is a North American leguminous forb that may hold promise for rangeland revegetation in the western USA for diversifying planting mixtures, attracting pollinators, providing high quality forage, and expanding habitats for insects needed by sage grouse chicks. We ...

  18. Vulnerability of cattle production to climate change on U.S. rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matt C. Reeves; Karen E. Bagne

    2016-01-01

    We examined multiple climate change effects on cattle production for U.S. rangelands to estimate relative change and identify sources of vulnerability among seven regions. Climate change effects to 2100 were projected from published models for four elements: forage quantity, vegetation type trajectory, heat stress, and forage variability. Departure of projections from...

  19. Orthorectification, mosaicking, and analysis of sub-decimeter resolution UAV imagery for rangeland monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offer an attractive platform for acquiring imagery for rangeland monitoring. UAVs can be deployed quickly and repeatedly, and they can obtain sub-decimeter resolution imagery at lower image acquisition costs than with piloted aircraft. Low flying heights result in ima...

  20. Arguments for a major research focus on seeding establishment and recruitment on rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding vegetation change is the basis for much of the rangeland management profession. Yet we know little about seedling ecology, from the standpoint of either reseeding or natural recruitment. We often view vegetation over long time horizons to allow changes to manifest themselves. If we lac...

  1. Deforestation of "degraded" rangelands: The Argentine Chaco enters the next stage of the Anthropocene

    Science.gov (United States)

    Twenty years ago I completed my Master’s work in the Chaco forests of northern Argentina. The native forests are, in fact, rangelands. In addition to livestock grazing, there is timber extraction, wildlife harvest (think tegu lizard cowboy boots), and charcoal production. I took part in a project co...

  2. Climate-change adaptation on rangelands: Linking regional exposure with diverse adaptive capacity

    Science.gov (United States)

    David D. Briske; Linda A. Joyce; H. Wayne Polley; Joel R. Brown; Klaus Wolter; Jack A. Morgan; Bruce A. McCarl; Derek W. Bailey

    2015-01-01

    The ecological consequences of climate change are predicted to vary greatly throughout US rangelands. Projections show warming and drying in the southern Great Plains and the Southwest, warmer and drier summers with reduced winter snowpack in the Northwest, and warmer and wetter conditions in the northern Great Plains. Primarily through their combined effects on soil...

  3. Deriving empirical benchmarks from existing monitoring datasets for rangeland adaptive management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Under adaptive management, goals and decisions for managing rangeland resources are shaped by requirements like the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Land Health Standards, which specify desired conditions. Without formalized, quantitative benchmarks for triggering management actions, adaptive man...

  4. Conclusions of the Worldwide Integrated Assessment on the risks of neonicotinoids and fipronil to biodiversity and ecosystem functioning : Environmental Science and Pollution Research

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    van der Sluijs, J.P.|info:eu-repo/dai/nl/073427489; Amaral-Rogers, V.; Belzunces, L.P.; Bijleveld van Lexmond, M.F.I.J.; Bonmatin, J-M.; Chagnon, M.; Downs, C.A.; Furlan, L.; Gibbons, D.W.; Giorio, C.; Girolami, V.; Goulson, D.; Kreutzweiser, D.P.; Krupke, C.; Liess, M.; Long, E.; McField, M.; Mineau, P.; Mitchell, E.A.D.; Morrissey, C.A.; Noome, D.A.; Pisa, L.; Settele, J.; Simon-Delso, N.; Stark, J.D.; Tapparo, A.; Van Dyck, H.; van Praagh, J.; Whitehorn, P.R.; Wiemers, M.

    2015-01-01

    The side effects of the current global use of pesticides on wildlife, particularly at higher levels of biological organization: populations, communities and ecosystems, are poorly understood (Köhler and Triebskorn 2013). Here, we focus on one of the problematic groups of agrochemicals, the systemic

  5. Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Community Sustainability Study Focuses on Tying the Science of Ecosystem Services and Human Health Directly to Community Decision Making

    Science.gov (United States)

    The Community-based Sustainability Research Program in EPA’s Office of Research and Development is studying how the availability of ecosystem goods and services (EGS) is impacted by community decision making and how this relationship alters human wellbeing. We also seek ‘common g...

  6. eEcoLiDAR, eScience infrastructure for ecological applications of LiDAR point clouds: reconstructing the 3D ecosystem structure for animals at regional to continental scales

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. Daniel Kissling

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available The lack of high-resolution measurements of 3D ecosystem structure across broad spatial extents impedes major advancements in animal ecology and biodiversity science. We aim to fill this gap by using Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR technology to characterize the vertical and horizontal complexity of vegetation and landscapes at high resolution across regional to continental scales. The newly LiDAR-derived 3D ecosystem structures will be applied in species distribution models for breeding birds in forests and marshlands, for insect pollinators in agricultural landscapes, and songbirds at stopover sites during migration. This will allow novel insights into the hierarchical structure of animal-habitat associations, into why animal populations decline, and how they respond to habitat fragmentation and ongoing land use change. The processing of these massive amounts of LiDAR point cloud data will be achieved by developing a generic interactive eScience environment with multi-scale object-based image analysis (OBIA and interpretation of LiDAR point clouds, including data storage, scalable computing, tools for machine learning and visualisation (feature selection, annotation/segmentation, object classification, and evaluation, and a PostGIS spatial database. The classified objects will include trees, forests, vegetation strata, edges, bushes, hedges, reedbeds etc. with their related metrics, attributes and summary statistics (e.g. vegetation openness, height, density, vertical biomass distribution etc.. The newly developed eScience tools and data will be available to other disciplines and applications in ecology and the Earth sciences, thereby achieving high impact. The project will foster new multi-disciplinary collaborations between ecologists and eScientists and contribute to training a new generation of geo-ecologists.

  7. 2014 Future Earth Young Scientists Conference on Integrated Science and Knowledge Co-Production for Ecosystems and Human Well-Being

    OpenAIRE

    Ivy Shiue; Leah Samberg; Benard Kulohoma; Diana Dogaru; Carina Wyborn; Perrine Hamel; Peter Søgaard Jørgensen; Paul Lussier; Bharath Sundaram; Michelle Lim; Antonio Tironi

    2014-01-01

    Effective integration in science and knowledge co-production is a challenge that crosses research boundaries, climate regions, languages and cultures. Early career scientists are crucial in the identification of, and engagement with, obstacles and opportunities in the development of innovative solutions to complex and interconnected problems. On 25–31 May 2014, International Council for Science and International Social Science Council, in collaboration with the International Network of Next-...

  8. Research Note Detecting the onset of rangeland degradation using ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Mean annual soil respiration correlates with net primary productivity and therefore provides an indication of ecosystem functioning. Soil respiration, however, varies considerably in space and time owing to the influence of factors such as soil nutrient content, temperature and water content. Comparing soil respiration across ...

  9. Ecosystem, Nigeria

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    komla

    University of Lagos, Faculty of Science, Environmental Toxicology Laboratory,. Department of Zoology, Marine Biology and Fisheries, Ecotoxicology Laboratory,. Akoka, Lagos, Nigeria. zNigerian Institute for Oceanography and Marine Research (NIO.

  10. Development of the crop residue and rangeland burning in the 2014 National Emissions Inventory using information from multiple sources

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Environmental Protection Agency — This workbook contains all the activity data, emission factor data, and ancillary data used to compute crop residue burning and rangeland emissions for the 2014 NEI...

  11. Off-stage ecosystem service burdens

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Pascual, Unai; Palomo, Ignacio; Adams, William M.; Chan, Kai M.A.; Daw, Tim M.; Garmendia, Eneko; Gómez-Baggethun, Erik; Groot, de Dolf; Mace, Georgina M.; Martín-López, Berta; Phelps, Jacob

    2017-01-01

    The connected nature of social-ecological systems has never been more apparent than in today's globalized world. The ecosystem service framework and associated ecosystem assessments aim to better inform the science-policy response to sustainability challenges. Such assessments, however, often

  12. Book Reviews Concepts of Ecosystem Ecology

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    problems and issues facing ecosystem science on terra firma, and were very informative from my primarily aquatic perspective. (Yes. I'm also guilty of this artificial dichotomy). From an African context, however, I was greatly surprised by Risser's apparently total neglect of fire as an abiotic factor in grassland ecosystems.

  13. Satellite monitoring the rangeland degradation under the impacts of climatic and socio-economic changes over central Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, K.; Zhang, L.; Dai, L.; Yan, D.

    2012-12-01

    Central Asia, encompassing the republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and China's western Sinkiang, is a typical arid and semi-arid area. The climate in Central Asia is extreme arid, where summer is hot, cloudless and dry, and winter is moist and relatively warm in the south and cold and dry in the north. Rangeland, accounting for 46% of the entire area, is the main vegetation type in this area. Recent findings showed that climate change had caused unprecedented rangeland degradation in Central Asia over the past 30 years. Socio-economical change and environmental change due to the collapse of Soviet Union also accelerated rangeland degradation. Rangeland degradation adversely further deteriorated the environment. With the development of high resolution remote sensing images, an increasing attention has paid to study rangeland degradation in this area. However, previous investigations based on either Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, has not integrate multi-resolution satellite data for investigating vegetation change and its response to climatic and socio-economic change . In this paper, we employed 30 years' remote sensing data, including both AVHRR ( 1982-2006) and MODIS (2000-2011) satellite data, and in-situ meteorological and social data (e.g. population, economic, and land use change data), to investigate rangeland degradation in the central Asia. We 1) analyzed the spatial-temporal variations of vegetation changes during the past 30 years, and 2) evaluated the roles of climatic and socio-economic factors as potential causes of observed vegetation changes. The results showed extensive area had statistically significant degradation trends (pSoviet Union, rangeland degradation was accelerated due to increased population and economic changes, but this degraded trend slowed down since the political system became relatively stable in 1991. These results

  14. Role of traditional enclosures on the diversity of herbaceous vegetation in a semi-arid rangeland, southern Ethiopia

    OpenAIRE

    Angassa, A.; Oba, G.; Treydte, A.C.; Weladji, R. B.

    2010-01-01

    Grazing management and seasonality strongly influence the recovery potential of herbaceous vegetation in semi-arid rangelands of southern Ethiopia after history of heavy grazing. We investigated effects of management (enclosures versus grazed landscapes), age of enclosures and seasonality related to rainfall (i.e., independent variables) on herbaceous biomass, grass basal cover, herbaceous species abundance, species richness and diversity in a savanna rangeland of southern Ethiopia. We furthe...

  15. SCOR Working Group 137: "Global Patterns of Phytoplankton Dynamics in Coastal Ecosystems": An introduction to the special issue of Estuarine, Coastal and Shelf Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paerl, Hans W.; Yin, Kedong; O'Brien, Todd D.

    2015-09-01

    Phytoplankton form the base of most aquatic food webs and play a central role in assimilation and processing of carbon and nutrients, including nitrogen, phosphorus, silicon, iron and a wide range of trace elements (Reynolds, 2006). In the marine environment, estuarine and coastal ecosystems (jointly termed coastal here) are among the most productive, resourceful and dynamic habitats on Earth (Malone et al., 1999; Day et al., 2012). These ecosystems constitute only ∼10% of the global oceans' surface, but account for over 30% of its primary production (Day et al., 2012). They process vast amounts of nutrients, sediments, carbonaceous, and xenobiotic compounds generated in coastal watersheds, in which approximately 70% of the world's human population resides (Nixon, 1995; Vitousek et al., 1997; NOAA, 2013). Estuarine and coastal ecosystems are also strongly influenced by localized nutrient enrichment from coastal upwelling, with major impacts on the structure and function of phytoplankton communities and the food webs they support (Legendre and Rassoulzadegan, 2012; Paerl and Justić, 2012). In addition, introductions and invasions of exotic plant and animal species have led to significant "top down" mediated changes in phytoplankton community structure and function (Carlton, 1999; Thompson, 2005). Lastly, the coastal zone is the "front line" of climatically-induced environmental change, including warming, altered rainfall patterns, intensities and magnitudes (Trenberth, 2005; IPCC, 2012), which jointly impact phytoplankton community structure and function (Cloern and Jassby, 2012; Hall et al., 2013). The combined effects of these pressures translate into a myriad of changes in phytoplankton production and community structure along geomorphological and geographic gradients (Fig. 1), with cascading quantitative and qualitative impacts on biogeochemical cycling, food web structure and function, water quality and overall resourcefulness and sustainability of these

  16. Managing Semi-Arid Rangelands for Carbon Storage: Grazing and Woody Encroachment Effects on Soil Carbon and Nitrogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusuf, Hasen M; Treydte, Anna C; Sauerborn, Jauchim

    2015-01-01

    High grazing intensity and wide-spread woody encroachment may strongly alter soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools. However, the direction and quantity of these changes have rarely been quantified in East African savanna ecosystem. As shifts in soil C and N pools might further potentially influence climate change mitigation, we quantified and compared soil organic carbon (SOC) and total soil nitrogen (TSN) content in enclosures and communal grazing lands across varying woody cover i.e. woody encroachment levels. Estimated mean SOC and TSN stocks at 0-40 cm depth varied across grazing regimes and among woody encroachment levels. The open grazing land at the heavily encroached site on sandy loam soil contained the least SOC (30 ± 2.1 Mg ha-1) and TSN (5 ± 0.57 Mg ha-1) while the enclosure at the least encroached site on sandy clay soil had the greatest mean SOC (81.0 ± 10.6 Mg ha-1) and TSN (9.2 ± 1.48 Mg ha-1). Soil OC and TSN did not differ with grazing exclusion at heavily encroached sites, but were twice as high inside enclosure compared to open grazing soils at low encroached sites. Mean SOC and TSN in soils of 0-20 cm depth were up to 120% higher than that of the 21-40 cm soil layer. Soil OC was positively related to TSN, cation exchange capacity (CEC), but negatively related to sand content. Our results show that soil OC and TSN stocks are affected by grazing, but the magnitude is largely influenced by woody encroachment and soil texture. We suggest that improving the herbaceous layer cover through a reduction in grazing and woody encroachment restriction are the key strategies for reducing SOC and TSN losses and, hence, for climate change mitigation in semi-arid rangelands.

  17. Managing Semi-Arid Rangelands for Carbon Storage: Grazing and Woody Encroachment Effects on Soil Carbon and Nitrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusuf, Hasen M.; Treydte, Anna C.; Sauerborn, Jauchim

    2015-01-01

    High grazing intensity and wide-spread woody encroachment may strongly alter soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools. However, the direction and quantity of these changes have rarely been quantified in East African savanna ecosystem. As shifts in soil C and N pools might further potentially influence climate change mitigation, we quantified and compared soil organic carbon (SOC) and total soil nitrogen (TSN) content in enclosures and communal grazing lands across varying woody cover i.e. woody encroachment levels. Estimated mean SOC and TSN stocks at 0–40 cm depth varied across grazing regimes and among woody encroachment levels. The open grazing land at the heavily encroached site on sandy loam soil contained the least SOC (30 ± 2.1 Mg ha-1) and TSN (5 ± 0.57 Mg ha-1) while the enclosure at the least encroached site on sandy clay soil had the greatest mean SOC (81.0 ± 10.6 Mg ha-1) and TSN (9.2 ± 1.48 Mg ha-1). Soil OC and TSN did not differ with grazing exclusion at heavily encroached sites, but were twice as high inside enclosure compared to open grazing soils at low encroached sites. Mean SOC and TSN in soils of 0–20 cm depth were up to 120% higher than that of the 21–40 cm soil layer. Soil OC was positively related to TSN, cation exchange capacity (CEC), but negatively related to sand content. Our results show that soil OC and TSN stocks are affected by grazing, but the magnitude is largely influenced by woody encroachment and soil texture. We suggest that improving the herbaceous layer cover through a reduction in grazing and woody encroachment restriction are the key strategies for reducing SOC and TSN losses and, hence, for climate change mitigation in semi-arid rangelands. PMID:26461478

  18. The value of forage measurement information in rangeland management. [implementation of satellite data in range management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lietzke, K. R.

    1975-01-01

    An economic model and simulation are developed to estimate the potential social benefit arising from the use of alternative measurement systems in rangeland management. In order to estimate these benefits, it was necessary to model three separate systems: the range environment, the rangeland manager, and the information system which links the two. The rancher's decision-making behavior is modeled according to sound economic principles. Results indicate substantial potential benefits, particularly when used in assisting management of government-operated ranges; possible annual benefits in this area range from $20 to $46 million, depending upon the system capabilities assumed. Possible annual benefit in privately-managed stocker operations range from $2.8 to $49.5 million, depending upon where actual rancher capabilities lie and what system capabilities are assumed.

  19. Institutions and governance of communal rangelands in South Africa ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... to guide policy formation, which must be flexible enough to accommodate collective management approaches that emphasise cooperation both within and between communities. Keywords: common property, land tenure, natural resource management, traditional leaders. African Journal of Range & Forage Science 2013, ...

  20. Water use efficiency of six rangeland grasses under varied soil ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Journal of Environmental Science and Technology. Journal Home · ABOUT THIS JOURNAL · Advanced Search · Current Issue · Archives · Journal Home > Vol 9, No 7 (2015) >. Log in or Register to get access to full text downloads.

  1. A fuzzy multi-objective linear programming approach for integrated sheep farming and wildlife in land management decisions: a case study in the Patagonian rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Metternicht, Graciela; Blanco, Paula; del Valle, Hector; Laterra, Pedro; Hardtke, Leonardo; Bouza, Pablo

    2015-04-01

    Wildlife is part of the Patagonian rangelands sheep farming environment, with the potential of providing extra revenue to livestock owners. As sheep farming became less profitable, farmers and ranchers could focus on sustainable wildlife harvesting. It has been argued that sustainable wildlife harvesting is ecologically one of the most rational forms of land use because of its potential to provide multiple products of high value, while reducing pressure on ecosystems. The guanaco (Lama guanicoe) is the most conspicuous wild ungulate of Patagonia. Guanaco ?bre, meat, pelts and hides are economically valuable and have the potential to be used within the present Patagonian context of production systems. Guanaco populations in South America, including Patagonia, have experienced a sustained decline. Causes for this decline are related to habitat alteration, competition for forage with sheep, and lack of reasonable management plans to develop livelihoods for ranchers. In this study we propose an approach to explicitly determinate optimal stocking rates based on trade-offs between guanaco density and livestock grazing intensity on rangelands. The focus of our research is on finding optimal sheep stocking rates at paddock level, to ensure the highest production outputs while: a) meeting requirements of sustainable conservation of guanacos over their minimum viable population; b) maximizing soil carbon sequestration, and c) minimizing soil erosion. In this way, determination of optimal stocking rate in rangelands becomes a multi-objective optimization problem that can be addressed using a Fuzzy Multi-Objective Linear Programming (MOLP) approach. Basically, this approach converts multi-objective problems into single-objective optimizations, by introducing a set of objective weights. Objectives are represented using fuzzy set theory and fuzzy memberships, enabling each objective function to adopt a value between 0 and 1. Each objective function indicates the satisfaction of

  2. Transcending Landscapes: Working Across Scales and Levels in Pastoralist Rangeland Governance.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Lance W; Ontiri, Enoch; Alemu, Tsegaye; Moiko, Stephen S

    2017-08-01

    Landscape approaches can be subjected to mistakenly targeting a single "best" level of governance, and paying too little attention to the role that cross-scale and cross-level interactions play in governance. In rangeland settings, resources, patterns of use of those resources, and the institutions for managing the resources exist at multiple levels and scales. While the scholarship on commons offers some guidance on how to conceptualize governance in rangeland landscapes, some elements of commons scholarship-notably the "design principles" for effective governance of commons-do not seem to apply neatly to governance in pastoralist rangeland settings. This paper examines three cases where attempts have been made to foster effective landscape governance in such settings to consider how the materiality of commons influences the nature of cross-scale and cross-level interactions, and how these interactions affect governance. In all three cases, although external actors seemed to work appropriately and effectively at community and landscape levels, landscape governance mechanisms have been facing great challenges arising from relationships beyond the landscape, both vertically to higher levels of decision-making and horizontally to communities normally residing in other landscapes. The cases demonstrate that fostering effective landscape-level governance cannot be accomplished only through action at the landscape level; it is a task that must be pursued at multiple levels and in relation to the connections across scales and levels. The paper suggests elements of a conceptual framework for understanding cross-level and cross-scale elements of landscape governance, and offers suggestions for governance design in pastoralist rangeland settings.

  3. Phenomapping of rangelands in South Africa using time series of RapidEye data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Parplies, André; Dubovyk, Olena; Tewes, Andreas; Mund, Jan-Peter; Schellberg, Jürgen

    2016-12-01

    Phenomapping is an approach which allows the derivation of spatial patterns of vegetation phenology and rangeland productivity based on time series of vegetation indices. In our study, we propose a new spatial mapping approach which combines phenometrics derived from high resolution (HR) satellite time series with spatial logistic regression modeling to discriminate land management systems in rangelands. From the RapidEye time series for selected rangelands in South Africa, we calculated bi-weekly noise reduced Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) images. For the growing season of 2011⿿2012, we further derived principal phenology metrics such as start, end and length of growing season and related phenological variables such as amplitude, left derivative and small integral of the NDVI curve. We then mapped these phenometrics across two different tenure systems, communal and commercial, at the very detailed spatial resolution of 5 m. The result of a binary logistic regression (BLR) has shown that the amplitude and the left derivative of the NDVI curve were statistically significant. These indicators are useful to discriminate commercial from communal rangeland systems. We conclude that phenomapping combined with spatial modeling is a powerful tool that allows efficient aggregation of phenology and productivity metrics for spatially explicit analysis of the relationships of crop phenology with site conditions and management. This approach has particular potential for disaggregated and patchy environments such as in farming systems in semi-arid South Africa, where phenology varies considerably among and within years. Further, we see a strong perspective for phenomapping to support spatially explicit modelling of vegetation.

  4. Rangeland management and climate hazards in drylands: dust storms, desertification and the overgrazing debate

    OpenAIRE

    Middleton, N

    2016-01-01

    This paper examines the theory and supporting evidence for links between desertification, drought and dust storms with a particular focus on studies undertaken in and around the Gobi Desert. Overgrazing of rangeland by pastoralists has been the most commonly cited cause of desertification in global drylands for more than 30 years, but the evidence supporting this link is not always convincing. Nonetheless, overgrazing, desertification and dust storms are frequently connected, regardless. Drou...

  5. Transcending Landscapes: Working Across Scales and Levels in Pastoralist Rangeland Governance

    Science.gov (United States)

    Robinson, Lance W.; Ontiri, Enoch; Alemu, Tsegaye; Moiko, Stephen S.

    2017-08-01

    Landscape approaches can be subjected to mistakenly targeting a single "best" level of governance, and paying too little attention to the role that cross-scale and cross-level interactions play in governance. In rangeland settings, resources, patterns of use of those resources, and the institutions for managing the resources exist at multiple levels and scales. While the scholarship on commons offers some guidance on how to conceptualize governance in rangeland landscapes, some elements of commons scholarship—notably the "design principles" for effective governance of commons—do not seem to apply neatly to governance in pastoralist rangeland settings. This paper examines three cases where attempts have been made to foster effective landscape governance in such settings to consider how the materiality of commons influences the nature of cross-scale and cross-level interactions, and how these interactions affect governance. In all three cases, although external actors seemed to work appropriately and effectively at community and landscape levels, landscape governance mechanisms have been facing great challenges arising from relationships beyond the landscape, both vertically to higher levels of decision-making and horizontally to communities normally residing in other landscapes. The cases demonstrate that fostering effective landscape-level governance cannot be accomplished only through action at the landscape level; it is a task that must be pursued at multiple levels and in relation to the connections across scales and levels. The paper suggests elements of a conceptual framework for understanding cross-level and cross-scale elements of landscape governance, and offers suggestions for governance design in pastoralist rangeland settings.

  6. Could payments for environmental services improve rangeland management in Central Asia, West Asia and North Africa?:

    OpenAIRE

    Dutilly-Diane, Celine; McCarthy, Nancy; Turkelboom, Francis; Bruggeman, Adriana; Tiedemann, James; Street, Kenneth; Serra, Gianluca

    2007-01-01

    "Although several institutional and management approaches that address the degradation of the rangelands have been tested in the dry areas of Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA), impact has been limited. Nonetheless, the development of National Action Plans to combat desertification highlights the interest of governments to tackle this issue. Payment for Environmental Services (PES) may be a viable policy option, though, to date, most PES programs have focused on the management of ...

  7. A critique of the 'novel ecosystem' concept.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Murcia, Carolina; Aronson, James; Kattan, Gustavo H; Moreno-Mateos, David; Dixon, Kingsley; Simberloff, Daniel

    2014-10-01

    The 'novel ecosystem' concept has captured the attention of scientists, managers, and science journalists, and more recently of policymakers, before it has been subjected to the scrutiny and empirical validation inherent to science. Lack of rigorous scrutiny can lead to undesirable outcomes in ecosystem management, environmental law, and policy. Contrary to the contentions of its proponents, no explicit, irreversible ecological thresholds allow distinctions between 'novel ecosystems' and 'hybrid' or 'historic' ones. Further, there is no clear message as to what practitioners should do with a 'novel ecosystem'. In addition, ecosystems of many types are being conserved, or restored to trajectories within historical ranges of variation, despite severe degradation that could have led to their being pronounced 'novel'. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. ANALYSIS OF THE FACTORS AFFECTING EFFECTIVENESS OF RANGELAND-DEPENDENT DAIRY CATTLE FARMS IN ERZURUM PROVINCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdurrahman KARA

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available With a special emphasis on the rangeland condition, factors affecting effectiveness of the farms were researched inthis study. Study area covers Erzurum Province, Turkey. Villages were purposively selected from those of whichrangeland conditions had been studied previously. Stratified sampling method was employed in determination of thesample size. Data were collected from the randomly selected farmers through face to face interviews, resulted in 99completed questionnaires. Collected data by structured questionnaires were of 2004-2005 production year. Farmswere studied under three farm size groups of 0-12, 12,1-25 and 25+ ha. In analysis of the data stepwise regressionand multiple linear and log-linear regression models were used. As farm success criteria, net product and grossmargin were calculated for every studied farm. According to the results, rangeland condition, stable type, number ofcattle, size of cultivated land, amount of labour per farm and small ruminant flock existence in the village andnumber of small ruminant were found to be the most important factors affecting farm effectiveness. It was concludedthat more robust and long-term studies should be conducted using a wider variation in rangeland condition toconfirm the study findings.

  9. Emerging issues and challenges in conservation of biodiversity in the rangelands of Tanzania

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jafari Kideghesho

    2013-11-01

    Full Text Available Tanzania rangelands are a stronghold for biodiversity harbouring a variety of animal and plant species of economic, ecological and socio-cultural importance. Efforts to protect these resources against destruction and loss have involved, among other things, setting aside some tracks of land as protected areas in the form of national parks, nature reserves, game reserves, game controlled and wildlife management areas. However, these areas and adjacent lands have long been subjected to a number of emerging issues and challenges, which complicate their management, thus putting the resources at risk of over exploitation and extinction. These issues and challenges include, among other things, government policies, failure of conservation (as a form of land use to compete effectively with alternative land uses, habitat degradation and blockage of wildlife corridors, overexploitation and illegal resource extraction, wildfires, human population growth, poverty, HIV/AIDS pandemic and human-wildlife conflicts. In this paper, we review the emerging issues and challenges in biodiversity conservation by drawing experience from different parts of Tanzania. The paper is based on the premise that, understanding of the issues and challenges underpinning the rangelands is a crucial step towards setting up of plausible objectives, strategies and plans that will improve and lead to effective management of these areas. We conclude by recommending some proactive measures that may enhance the sustainability of the rangeland resources for the benefit of the current and future generations.

  10. Introducing cattle grazing to a noxious weed-dominated rangeland shifts plant communities

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josh S. Davy

    2015-10-01

    Full Text Available Invasive weed species in California's rangelands can reduce herbaceous diversity, forage quality and wildlife habitat. Small-scale studies (5 acres or fewer have shown reductions of medusahead and yellow starthistle using prescribed grazing on rangelands, but little is published on the effects of pasture-scale (greater than 80 acres prescribed grazing on weed control and plant community responses. We report the results of a 6-year collaborative study of manager-applied prescribed grazing implemented on rangeland that had not been grazed for 4 years. Grazing reduced medusahead but did not alter yellow starthistle cover. Medusahead reductions were only seen in years that did not have significant late spring rainfall, suggesting that it is able to recover from heavy grazing if soil moisture is present. Later season grazing appears to have the potential to suppress medusahead in all years. In practice, however, such grazing is constrained by livestock drinking water availability and forage quality, which were limited even in years with late spring rainfall. Thus, we expect that grazing treatments under real-world constraints would reduce medusahead only in years with little late spring rainfall. After 10 years of grazing exclusion, the ungrazed plant communities began to shift, replacing medusahead with species that have little value, such as ripgut and red brome.

  11. Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification Ecosystem Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannon, Charles M.; Ramirez, Mary F.; Heatwole, Danelle W.; Burke, Jennifer L.; Simenstad, Charles A.; O'Connor, Jim E.; Marcoe, Keith Marcoe

    2012-01-01

    Estuarine ecosystems are controlled by a variety of processes that operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Understanding the hierarchical nature of these processes will aid in prioritization of restoration efforts. This hierarchical Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification (henceforth "Classification") of the Columbia River estuary is a spatial database of the tidally-influenced reaches of the lower Columbia River, the tidally affected parts of its tributaries, and the landforms that make up their floodplains for the 230 kilometers between the Pacific Ocean and Bonneville Dam. This work is a collaborative effort between University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (henceforth "UW"), U.S. Geological Survey (henceforth "USGS"), and the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership (henceforth "EP"). Consideration of geomorphologic processes will improve the understanding of controlling physical factors that drive ecosystem evolution along the tidal Columbia River. The Classification is organized around six hierarchical levels, progressing from the coarsest, regional scale to the finest, localized scale: (1) Ecosystem Province; (2) Ecoregion; (3) Hydrogeomorphic Reach; (4) Ecosystem Complex; (5) Geomorphic Catena; and (6) Primary Cover Class. For Levels 4 and 5, we mapped landforms within the Holocene floodplain primarily by visual interpretation of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) topography supplemented with aerial photographs, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soils data, and historical maps. Mapped landforms are classified as to their current geomorphic function, the inferred process regime that formed them, and anthropogenic modification. Channels were classified primarily by a set of depth-based rules and geometric relationships. Classification Level 5 floodplain landforms ("geomorphic catenae") were further classified based on multivariate analysis of land-cover within the mapped landform area and attributed as "sub

  12. Rangeland -- Plant responses to elevated CO sub 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Owensby, C.E.; Coyne, P.I.; Ham, J.M.; Parton, W.; Rice, C.; Auen, L.M.; Adam, N.

    1992-01-01

    Several broad conclusions which can be drawn from the work that was accomplished during the first 3-year phase of the study is described. In prairie ecosystems dominated by C{sub 4} grasses, it is likely that elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} will increase ecosystem level productivity, with a greater increase in belowground productivity. The increased productivity will primarily result from increased water use efficiency due to the anti-transpirant action of CO{sub 2}. Fumigation chambers are directly confounded with elevated CO{sub 2} effects, in that both reduce evapotranspiration. The reduced evapotranspiration of the fumigation chamber is primarily through reduced wind speeds and reduced radiation. In very dry years, fumigation chamber effects are negligible, but in years with normal precipitation, chamber effects and elevated CO{sub 2} effects are essentially equal with respect to reduced evapotranspiration effects. Increased production under elevated CO{sub 2} results in reduced nitrogen concentration in the herbage and increased fiber concentrations. Consequently, digestibility of the herbage is reduced, and microbial degradation of surface litter and soil organic matter is slowed. On the negative side, ruminant productivity will likely be reduced substantially, but increased carbon storage in the soil may buffer against future rise in atmospheric CO{sub 2}. Tallgrass prairie will not likely change greatly in botanical composition, since the C{sub 4} dominants responded to elevated CO{sub 2} more than the C{sub 3} subdominants.

  13. Climatic and topographical factors affecting the vegetative carbon stock of rangelands in arid and semiarid regions of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhengchao, Ren; Huazhong, Zhu; Shi, Hua; Xiaoni, Liu

    2016-01-01

    Rangeland systems play an important role in ecological stabilization and the terrestrial carbon cycle in arid and semiarid regions. However, little is known about the vegetative carbon dynamics and climatic and topographical factors that affect vegetative carbon stock in these rangelands. Our goal was to assess vegetative carbon stock by examining meteorological data in conjunction with NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) time series datasets from 2001–2012. An improved CASA (Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach) model was then applied to simulate the spatiotemporal dynamic variation of vegetative carbon stock, and analyze its response to climatic and topographical factors. We estimated the vegetative carbon stock of rangeland in Gansu province, China to be 4.4× 1014 gC, increasing linearly at an annual rate of 9.8×1011 gC. The mean vegetative carbon density of the whole rangeland was 136.5 gC m-2. Vegetative carbon density and total carbon varied temporally and spatially and were highly associated with temperature, precipitation and solar radiation. Vegetative carbon density reached the maximal value on elevation at 2500–3500 m, a slope of >30°and easterly aspect. The effect of precipitation, temperature and solar radiation on the vegetative carbon density of five rangeland types (desert and salinized meadow, steppe, alpine meadow, shrub and tussock, and marginal grassland in the forest) depends on the acquired quantity of water and heat for rangeland plants at all spatial scales. The results of this study provide new evidence for explaining spatiotemporal heterogeneity in vegetative carbon dynamics and responses to global change for rangeland vegetative carbon stock, and offer a theoretical and practical basis for grassland agriculture management in arid and semiarid regions.

  14. Multiple ecosystem services in a working landscape.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eastburn, Danny J; O'Geen, Anthony T; Tate, Kenneth W; Roche, Leslie M

    2017-01-01

    Policy makers and practitioners are in need of useful tools and models for assessing ecosystem service outcomes and the potential risks and opportunities of ecosystem management options. We utilize a state-and-transition model framework integrating dynamic soil and vegetation properties to examine multiple ecosystem services-specifically agricultural production, biodiversity and habitat, and soil health-across human created vegetation states in a managed oak woodland landscape in a Mediterranean climate. We found clear tradeoffs and synergies in management outcomes. Grassland states maximized agricultural productivity at a loss of soil health, biodiversity, and other ecosystem services. Synergies existed among multiple ecosystem services in savanna and woodland states with significantly larger nutrient pools, more diversity and native plant richness, and less invasive species. This integrative approach can be adapted to a diversity of working landscapes to provide useful information for science-based ecosystem service valuations, conservation decision making, and management effectiveness assessments.

  15. Net Ecosystem Carbon Flux

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Net Ecosystem Carbon Flux is defined as the year-over-year change in Total Ecosystem Carbon Stock, or the net rate of carbon exchange between an ecosystem and the...

  16. Microbial Ecosystems, Protection of

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodelier, P.L.E.; Nelson, K.E.

    2014-01-01

    Synonyms Conservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes; Preservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes Definition The use, management, and conservation of ecosystems in order to preserve microbial diversity and functioning.

  17. Application of the Best Available Science in Ecosystem Restoration: Lessons Learned From Large-Scale Restoration Project Efforts in the USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-05-01

    Washington. Available at http://pugetsoundnearshore. org. Cover: Cama Beach on Camano Island , Washington is an example of a bluff backed beach...Restoration Program. Lee, K. N. 1993. Compass and Gyroscope: Integrating Science and Politics for the Environment. Island Press, Washington, D.C. 243 p

  18. Predicting Ecosystem Alliances Using Landscape Theory

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Shruti Satsangi

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available Previous articles in the TIM Review have covered various aspects of the concept of business ecosystems, from the types of ecosystems to keystone strategy, to different member roles and value co-creation. While there is no dearth of suggested best practices that organizations should follow as ecosystem members, it can be difficult to apply these insights into actionable steps for them to take. This is especially true when the ecosystem members already have a prior history of cooperation or competition with each other, as opposed to where a new ecosystem is created. Landscape theory, a political science approach to predicting coalition formation and strategic alliances, can be a useful complement to ecosystems studies by providing a tool to evaluate the best possible alliance options for an organization, given information about itself and the other companies in the system. As shown in the case study of mobile device manufacturers choosing platform providers in the mobile ecosystem, this tool is highly flexible and customizable, with more data providing a more accurate view of the alliances in the ecosystem. At the same time, with even basic parameters, companies can glean significant information about which coalitions will best serve their interest and overall standing within the ecosystem. This article shows the synergies between landscape theory and an ecosystems approach and offers a practical, actionable way in which to analyze individual member benefits.

  19. The Ecology and Evolution of Constructed Ecosystems as Green Infrastructure

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jeremy eLundholm

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Green infrastructure consists of ecosystems that provide valuable services to urban areas. Constructed ecosystems, including green roofs, bioretention systems, constructed wetlands and bioreactors are artificial, custom-built components of green infrastructure that are becoming more common in cities. Small size, strong spatial boundaries, ecological novelty and the role of human design characterize all constructed ecosystems, influencing their functions and interactions with other urban ecosystems. Here I outline the relevance of ecology and evolution in understanding the functioning of constructed ecosystems. In turn, a research focus on the distinctive aspects of constructed ecosystems can contribute to fundamental science.

  20. Investigating the Effect of Biological Crusts on Some Biological Properties of Soil (Case Study: Qare Qir Rangelands of Golestan Province

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Kakeh

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Introduction: Physical and biological soil crusts are the principal types of soil crusts. Physical and biological soil crusts are distributed in arid, semi-arid and sub-humid regions which constitute over 40% of the earth terrestrial surface. Biological soil crusts (BSCs result from an intimate association between soil particles and cyanobacteria, algae, fungi, lichens and mosses in different proportions which live on the surface, or in the immediately uppermost millimeters of soil. Some of the functions that BSCs influences include: water absorption and retention, nutrient retention, Carbon and nitrogen fixation, biological activate and hydrologic Status. BSCs are important from the ecological view point and their effects on the environment, especially in rangeland, and desert ecosystems and this caused which researchers have a special attention to this component of the ecosystems more than before. Materials and Methods: This study carried out in the Qara Qir rangelands of Golestan province, northeast of Iran (37º15′ - 37º23′ N &54º33′ -54º39′ E, to investigate the effects of BSCs on some of soil biological properties. Four sites including with and without BSCs cover were selected. Soil biological properties such as microbial populations, soil respiration, microbial biomass carbon and nitrogen, as well as, other effective properties such asorganic carbon percent, total nitrogen, electrical conductivity, and available water content were measured in depths of 0-5 and 5-15 cm of soil with four replications. The gathered data were analyzed by nested plot, and the mean values were compared by Duncan test. Results and Discussion: The results showed that organic carbon and water content were higher at the surface under BSCs, followed by 5-15 cm soils under BSCs. Both soil depths of uncrusted soils showed substantially lower organic carbon and water content than the BSC-covered soils. Total nitrogen was far higher in BSC-encrusted surface

  1. Session B1 Management for sustainable use — Rangeland auditing ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Adaptive frameworks which enhance sustainable strategic responses, and the state of art in scale dilemmas will be addressed. A hybrid session structure will be utilised: distilling wisdom from relevant posters; formal presentations; and stimulating structured debate. African Journal of Range & Forage Science 2003, 20(2): ...

  2. The challenge of integrated rangeland monitoring: synthesis address

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... akin to business approaches than conventional science. As demanding as such an integrated approach may seem, much of the socio-economic data already exists and physical and biological data can increasingly be collected and collated by new imaging technologies. For monitoring to be locally and globally useful, ...

  3. Volume V: a framework for sustainable-ecosystem management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bernard T. Bormann; Martha H. Brookes; E. David Ford; A. Ross Kiester; Chadwick D. Oliver; James F. Weigand

    1994-01-01

    Principles for sustainable-ecosystem management are derived by integrating fundamental, societal, and scientific premises. Ecosystem science is applied in the design of a system of management focused on building overlap between what people collectively want and what is ecologically possible. We conclude that management must incorporate more science and societal...

  4. An Assessment of Productivity Patterns of Grass-Dominated Rangelands in the Hindu Kush Karakoram Region, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faisal Mueen Qamer

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Rangelands in the Hindu Kush Karakoram region provide a resource base for nomadic livestock grazing, which is one of the major traditional livelihood practices in the area. The present study assessed the spatiotemporal patterns and trends of rangelands using satellite remote-sensing time-series data. Moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS-based normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI data, collected at fortnightly intervals over 12 years (2001–2012, were used as a proxy for the vegetation conditions of the grasslands. The analysis revealed that rangeland productivity increased with increasing elevation up to the sub-alpine zone, which had a higher productivity than the moist temperate zone and humid sub-tropical zone. The high sub-alpine productivity was attributed to seasonal amplitude and the extended length of the growing season in the phenological cycle. In the temporal analysis of productivity, the majority of the area exhibited improvements in vegetation conditions, which were strongest in the humid sub-tropical zones and weakest in the alpine zones. The sub-alpine grasslands were found to be the most productive and heterogeneous habitat; however, the relatively strong negative temporal trend in productivity in this zone indicates ongoing degradation in these rangelands. Thus, special attention is needed for the sustainable management of rangelands in the sub-alpine zones of the Hindu Kush Karakoram region.

  5. Influence of livestock density on the amount and structure of soil microbial communities in rangelands of SW Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anguita, Manuel; Pulido, Manuel; Schnabel, Susanne; Lavado-Contador, Francisco; Ortega, Raul; Soriano, Miguel; Miralles, Isabel

    2017-04-01

    Rangelands (namely dehesas and montados) occupy more than 90,000 km2 of land in SW Iberian Peninsula. Their natural pastures are permanently grazed by 13 millions of domestic animals. The persistence of soils of high quality is a key factor for keeping their environmental and economic sustainability. The role of soil microbial communities in the biodegradation processes of organic compounds is essential to ensure soil fertility in this kind of human-induced ecosystems. Nevertheless, there are few studies dealing the effects of livestock grazing on soil microbial communities. The main goal of this study is therefore to assess the amount and structure of soil microbial communities in rangelands of SW Spain by comparing different grazing intensities. The study was carried out in 4 fenced areas (sampling sites) belonging to privately-owned farms under different grazing intensities: low, moderate and high. One area excluded to grazing for more than 40 years (located in the Monfragüe National Park, Extremadura) was used as reference sampling site. A total number of 30 soil samples (6 each site) were collected in comparable areas with the same lithology and very similar topographical features. Commercial kit to extract DNA from these soil samples was used for metagenomic analysis. We conducted a sequencing of the amplicons V4-V5 of the 16S rRNA gene with Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Illumina MiSeq platform and a relative quantity of bacteria and fungi were accomplished by quantitative qPCR of rRNA 16S and ITS1-5.8S, respectively. The results showed that soils with a high livestock density had the highest content of bacteria per gram of soil (4.77E+09), followed by soils with moderate (3.32E+09) and low livestock density (2.80E+09). The lowest content of microorganisms was found in soils excluded to grazing (2.38E+09). However, soils with moderate and low livestock density showed the greatest amount of fungi per gram of soil (2.31E+10 and 2.22E+10, respectively) and

  6. Historical soil erosion rates in rangelands of SW Spain determined using botanical evidences and high resolution 3D data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnabel, Susanne; Rubio-Delgado, Judit; Gómez-Gutiérrez, Álvaro

    2014-05-01

    The estimation of medium-term sheet erosion rates represents still a challenge in areas with long land use history. In the present paper, a new methodology for estimating medium-term sheet erosion rates is presented and applied in a wooded rangeland (dehesa). This human-induced semi-natural ecosystem is widespread in SW Iberian Peninsula and is characterized by centuries of agrosilvopastoral land use, being livestock breeding the most important economic activity at present. Vast areas are covered by shallow and poor soils, pointing to a long history of soil erosion. Research carried out in a representative area with open plots revealed low soil loss rates and degradation studies showed high spatial variation related with land use intensity. Knowledge on past soil erosion rates and its relation with land use is necessary in order to understand present soil properties and also for giving adequate advice on land management. The present paper presents results of a pilot study on historical soil erosion in Mediterranean wooded rangelands. The methodology is based on the analysis of the morphology of tree stems, exposed roots and surface micro-topography using data obtained with a Terrestrial Laser Scanner. Specifically, botanical evidences were used to estimate the antecedent level of the soil surface. Afterwards, previous and current surfaces were confronted in order to obtain a volume of soil loss in the area influenced by the tree canopy, as well as for the open spaces. On the other hand, the age of the trees in the study area was estimated by means of an existing tree growth model. Finally, soil erosion rates were calculated using the volume of soil loss and the estimated age of every tree. The sampling was carried out in a farm in the Spanish province of Cáceres, with a two-layered vegetation, of grasses and scattered trees (Quercus ilex). Climate is Mediterranean with mean annual temperature of 160C and an annual rainfall of 620 mm. Soils are very shallow

  7. Ecosystem extent and fragmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayre, Roger; Hansen, Matt

    2017-01-01

    One of the candidate essential biodiversity variable (EBV) groups described in the seminal paper by Pereira et al. (2014) concerns Ecosystem Structure. This EBV group is distinguished from another EBV group which encompasses aspects of Ecosystem Function. While the Ecosystem Function EBV treats ecosystem processes like nutrient cycling, primary production, trophic interactions, etc., the Ecosystem Structure EBV relates to the set of biophysical properties of ecosystems that create biophysical environmental context, confer biophysical structure, and occur geographically. The Ecosystem Extent and Fragmentation EBV is one of the EBVs in the Ecosystem Structure EBV group.Ecosystems are understood to exist at multiple scales, from very large areas (macro-ecosystems) like the Arctic tundra, for example, to something as small as a tree in an Amazonian rain forest. As such, ecosystems occupy space and therefore can be mapped across any geography of interest, whether that area of interest be a site, a nation, a region, a continent, or the planet. One of the most obvious and seemingly straightforward EBVs is Ecosystem Extent and Fragmentation. Ecosystem extent refers to the location and geographic distribution of ecosystems across landscapes or in the oceans, while ecosystem fragmentation refers to the spatial pattern and connectivity of ecosystem occurrences on the landscape.

  8. Effects of drought on forests and rangelands in the United States: a comprehensive science synthesis

    Science.gov (United States)

    James Vose; J.S. Clark; Charlie Luce; Toral Patel-Weynand

    2016-01-01

    This assessment provides input to the reauthorized National Integrated Drought Information System (NIDIS) and the National Climate Assessment (NCA), and it establishes the scientific foundation needed to manage for drought resilience and adaptation. Focal areas include drought characterization; drought impacts on forest processes and disturbances such as insect...

  9. Application of high resolution images from unmanned aircraft systems for watershed and rangeland science

    Science.gov (United States)

    UAS provide a new way to acquire hyperspatial data with a resolution of 6 cm that has not been available in the past. This hyperspatial data can be used to obtain detailed 1-m DEMs, mosaics of entire watersheds, detailed vegetation classification of bare soils and vegetation type, and input to mode...

  10. Stakeholder Theory and Rangeland Management: The Importance of Ranch Income Dependence

    Science.gov (United States)

    Elias, S.; Roche, L. M.; Elias, E.

    2016-12-01

    The California drought beginning in 2012 has been driven by reduced precipitation and record high temperatures. Hydrologic drought in the Southwest United States is projected to become the new climatology of the region. While ranchers are considered naturally adaptive, often adeptly altering management based upon conditions, the projected increased aridity may challenge rangeland management. Certain rancher characteristics are likely to impact how well ranchers adapt. Based on Stakeholder Theory (ST), we hypothesize that the extent to which ranchers are dependent on their ranches as a source of income would serve as a predictor of several key variables related to ranching adaptation and success. Data were obtained from 507 ranchers throughout the State of California via the Rangeland Decision-Making Survey implemented by University of California, Davis in 2010, just prior to the unprecedented California drought. Consistent with the ST urgency facet, results of linear regression analyses indicate the more dependent ranchers are on their ranches for their income, the more aware they are of USDA ranching initiatives (β = 0.19, p < .001) and state ranching initiatives (β = 0.10, p < .05). In addition, more dependent ranchers are more likely to use multiple and diverse sources of information about ranching (β = 0.18, p < .001), are more likely to realize the severity and extent of the most recent drought's impacts (β = 0.18, p < .001), and were more likely to have a drought management plan in place during the most recent drought (β = 0.18, p < .001). These findings are important in relation to both outreach/extension efforts and rangeland research. Outreach/extension efforts should take into account that people less dependent on their ranches are less aware of resources, as well as, less prepared to adapt to drought. Researchers should control for the extent to which ranchers are dependent on their ranches for income in order to ensure more accurate findings.

  11. AHP 40: Review: TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE USE OF RANGELANDS IN NORTH-WEST CHINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hilary Howes

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Based on the program of an international conference held in Lanzhou, China in 2008, Towards Sustainable Use of Rangelands in North-West China offers both an overview of the "extent of resource debasement in China's pastoral zones" and a range of practical solutions for their sustainable use (v. The contributors, a formidable array of academics and policymakers from Australia, Canada, China, the USA, and the Philippines, draw on the substantial body of Chinese-language literature on the topic, thereby helping to "unlock" valuable data previously unavailable to an English-speaking audience.

  12. Transformation of Digital Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henningsson, Stefan; Hedman, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    the Digital Ecosystem Technology Transformation (DETT) framework for explaining technology-based transformation of digital ecosystems by integrating theories of business and technology ecosystems. The framework depicts ecosystem transformation as distributed and emergent from micro-, meso-, and macro- level...... coopetition. The DETT framework consists an alternative to the existing explanations of digital ecosystem transformation as the rational management of one central actor balancing ecosystem tensions. We illustrate the use of the framework by a case study of transformation in the digital payment ecosystem......In digital ecosystems, the fusion relation between business and technology means that the decision of technical compatibility of the offering is also the decision of how to position the firm relative to the coopetive relations that characterize business ecosystems. In this article we develop...

  13. In-filled reservoirs serving as sediment archives to analyse soil organic carbon erosion - A case study from the Karoo rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krenz, Juliane; Greenwood, Philip; Heckrath, Goswin; Kuhn, Brigitte; Kuhn, Nikolaus

    2017-04-01

    Covering about 41 % of the Earth's Land Surface drylands provide a range of ecosystem services for more than one third of the world population. Threatened by climate change and incorrect land use their natural land cover is changing and land degradation is one of their major problems. The semi-arid rangelands of the Great Karoo region in South Africa are just one example of a region that has experienced a number of environmental changes. After European farmers settled in the late 18th century agricultural activities increased, leading to overgrazing and probably representing a trigger to land degradation. As a consequence of a higher water demand and shifting rainfall patterns many dams and small reservoirs have been constructed to provide drinking water for cattle or to facilitate irrigation during dry periods. High erosion rates lead to a fast filling-up of reservoirs and thereby reduced their storage capacities. Thus, most of the dams are nowadays dry (filled with sediment) or even breached. In this ongoing project, a combination of analytical methods that include drone imagery, landscape mapping, erosion modelling and sediment analysis have been employed to determine whether land degradation in the Karoo has resulted in the reversion from a net sink of C to a net source of C. Sediment deposits from three silted-up reservoirs were analysed for varying physicochemical parameters, in order to analyse and reconstruct erosional and depositional patterns. A sharp decrease in total carbon content with decreasing depth for two reservoirs suggests that land degradation during and after the post-European settlement most likely triggered erosion of the relatively fertile surface soils, which presumably in-filled the reservoirs. It is assumed that the carbon-rich bottom layers of the dam deposits originate from these eroded surface soils. Low organic Carbon (OC) content in the top layers of the reservoir in-fill, and in the eroded source areas, supports the assumption that

  14. Benchmarking Terrestrial Ecosystem Models in the South Central US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kc, M.; Winton, K.; Langston, M. A.; Luo, Y.

    2016-12-01

    Ecosystem services and products are the foundation of sustainability for regional and global economy since we are directly or indirectly dependent on the ecosystem services like food, livestock, water, air, wildlife etc. It has been increasingly recognized that for sustainability concerns, the conservation problems need to be addressed in the context of entire ecosystems. This approach is even more vital in the 21st century with formidable increasing human population and rapid changes in global environment. This study was conducted to find the state of the science of ecosystem models in the South-Central region of US. The ecosystem models were benchmarked using ILAMB diagnostic package developed as a result of International Land Model Benchmarking (ILAMB) project on four main categories; viz, Ecosystem and Carbon Cycle, Hydrology Cycle, Radiation and Energy Cycle and Climate forcings. A cumulative assessment was generated with weighted seven different skill assessment metrics for the ecosystem models. This synthesis on the current state of the science of ecosystem modeling in the South-Central region of US will be highly useful towards coupling these models with climate, agronomic, hydrologic, economic or management models to better represent ecosystem dynamics as affected by climate change and human activities; and hence gain more reliable predictions of future ecosystem functions and service in the region. Better understandings of such processes will increase our ability to predict the ecosystem responses and feedbacks to environmental and human induced change in the region so that decision makers can make an informed management decisions of the ecosystem.

  15. Hot-spot analysis applied to the identification of potential high and low regulating, providing and cultural ecosystem services in Vilnius Region (Lithuania)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pereira, Paulo; Daniel, Depellegrin; Egarter-Vigl, Lukas; Cerda, Artemi; Estebaranz, Ferran; Misiune, Ieva

    2017-04-01

    Ecosystem services (ES) potential assessment is crucial for a correct territorial planning at different scales of analysis (Depellegrin et al., 2016). In urban and peri-urban areas, sprawl, grazing and unsustainable agriculture practices contributed to land degradation and de decrease of the quality and quantity of the services provided by these areas (Eldridge and Delgado-Baquerizo, 2017; Favretto et al., 2017). In order to understand the spatial pattern of these impacts, mapping ES potential is key to understand the areas that need to be restored and protected for an unsustainable use (Brevik et al., 2016; Egarter-Vigl et al., 2017; Pereira et al., 2017). Hot-spot analysis is a good method to identify clusters of areas with high and low capacity for ES capacity. This analysis is very useful to detect homogeneous areas, where ES have high or low quality. The objective of this work is to apply a hot-spot analysis to detect areas with high/low capacity for Regulating, Provision, Cultural and Total ES in Vilnius region. ES potential was carried out based on the matrix developed by Burkhard et al. (2009), which ranks ES capacity from 0= no capacity to 5=very high relevant capacity to a different land use type. The results showed that regulating, providing and cultural and total ES have a significant dispersed (low-clustered) pattern: Regulating (Z-score=-19.28, pJournal of Sustainable Development and World Ecology, 23, 441-455. Egarter-Vigl, L., Depellegrin, D., Pereira, P., De Groot, D., Tappeiner, U. (2017) Mapping the ecosystem service delivery chain: Capacity, flow, and demand pertaining to aesthetic experiences in mountain landscapes, Science of the Total Environment, 574, 442-436. Eldridge, D.J., Delgado-Baquerizo, M. (2017) Continental-scale impacts of livestock grazing on ecosystem supporting and regulating services. Land Degradation and Development. DOI: 10.1002/ldr.2668 Favretto, N., Lueding, E., Stringer, L., Dougill, A.J. (2017) Valuing ecosystem services

  16. A Bayesian geostatistical estimation of biomass in semi-arid rangelands by combining airborne and terrestrial laser scanning data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, A.; Glenn, N. F.

    2012-12-01

    Biomass of vegetation is critical for carbon cycle research. Estimating biomass from field survey data is laborious and/or destructive and thus retrieving biomass from remote sensing data may be advantageous. Most remote sensing biomass studies have focused on forest ecosystems, while few have focused on low stature vegetation, such as grasses in semi-arid environments. Biomass estimates for grass are significant for studying wildlife habitat, assessing fuel loads, and studying climate change response in semi-arid regions. Recent research has demonstrated the ability of small footprint airborne laser scanning (ALS) data to extract sagebrush height characteristics and the ability of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data to estimate vegetation volume over semi-arid rangelands. ALS has somewhat lower resolution than TLS, but has improved spatial coverage over TLS. Combining ALS and TLS is a powerful tool to estimate biomass on regional scales. Bayesian geostatistics, also known as Bayesian Maximum Entropy (BME), can fuse multiple data sources across scales and provide estimation uncertainties for the integration of ALS and TLS data for grass biomass. Regression models are used to approximately delineate the relationship between field biomass measurements and TLS derived height and shape metrics. We then consider TLS plot-level data at the point scale with ALS data at the area scale. The regularization method is utilized to establish the scaling relations between TLS-derived and ALS-derived metrics. The metric maps from the ALS level are reconstructed using a BME method based on regularized variograms. We gain biomass and estimation uncertainty on the regional scale by introducing updated metrics into the model. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the BME method, we develop simple independent regression models by assuming the TLS-derived metrics as ground reference data. Therefore, the regression model is used to correct the ALS-estimated values and we retrieve

  17. Environmental factors governing population dynamics of rangeland grasshoppers: The first application of GIS and remote sensing to acridology in Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latchininsky, Alexandre Vsevolodovich

    Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) are pests of rangeland and crops in temperate Eurasia (Siberia) where landscapes are dominated by short-grass vegetation and have many common features with the prairies of the Great Plains of North America. The zone of economic importance of grasshoppers in Siberia is localized in its southern part between 50° and 55°N and 68° and 132°E. In particular, grasshopper infestations are concentrated in close proximity to Lake Baikal, the world's deepest lake, holding one-fifth of the Earth's total fresh water supply. From a biodiversity perspective, Lake Baikal is unparalleled because >80% of its 1,085 plant and 1,550 animal species are endemic. Broad-scale pesticide applications in the zone close to the Baikal ecosystem can seriously aggravate the hazards of environmental pollution, with potentially catastrophic consequences on a vast scale. Specific composition and density of grasshopper communities were studied over a variety of habitats. Of about 50 local grasshopper species, two gomphocerines, Aeropus sibiricus and Chorthippus albomarginatus, dominated grasshopper communities in dry and mesic habitats, respectively. These species accounted for the most of the crop damage during recent outbreaks in the 1990s requiring large-scale insecticidal control. Annual fluctuations of grasshopper infestations appeared to track changes in air temperature and summer precipitation, but only a synthetic "Aridity index" was statistically significant. Spatial distribution of historic grasshopper infestations was studied using GIS (ERDAS IMAGINERTM) and remote sensing (Landsat TM satellite imagery) and was found to be significantly clumped. The highest grasshopper densities were associated with dry grasslands in transitional zones between foothills and valleys characterized by a particular elevation (600--650 m), soil type (sod-forest, or pararendzina), amount of April--October precipitation (250 mm) and degree of grazing (moderate

  18. Ecosystem services in the Great Lakes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Steinman, Alan D.; Cardinale, Bradley J; Munns Jr, Wayne R; Ogdahl, Mary E.; Allan, David J; Angadi, Ted; Bartlett, Sarah; Brauman, Kate; Byappanahalli, Muruleedhara; Doss, Matt; Dupont, Diane; Johns, Annie; Kashian, Donna; Lupi, Frank; McIntyre, Peter B.; Miller, Todd; Moore, Michael P.; Muenich, Rebecca Logsdon; Poudel, Rajendra; Price, James; Provencher, Bill; Rea, Anne; Read, Jennifer; Renzetti, Steven; Sohngen, Brent; Washburn, Erica

    2017-01-01

    A comprehensive inventory of ecosystem services across the entire Great Lakes basin is currently lacking and is needed to make informed management decisions. A greater appreciation and understanding of ecosystem services, including both use and non-use services, may have avoided misguided resource management decisions in the past that resulted in negative legacies inherited by future generations. Given the interest in ecosystem services and lack of a coherent approach to addressing this topic in the Great Lakes, a summit was convened involving 28 experts working on various aspects of ecosystem services in the Great Lakes. The invited attendees spanned a variety of social and natural sciences. Given the unique status of the Great Lakes as the world's largest collective repository of surface freshwater, and the numerous stressors threatening this valuable resource, timing was propitious to examine ecosystem services. Several themes and recommendations emerged from the summit. There was general consensus that: 1) a comprehensive inventory of ecosystem services throughout the Great Lakes is a desirable goal but would require considerable resources; 2) more spatially and temporally intensive data are needed to overcome our data gaps, but the arrangement of data networks and observatories must be well-coordinated; 3) trade-offs must be considered as part of ecosystem services analyses; and 4) formation of a Great Lakes Institute for Ecosystem Services, to provide a hub for research, meetings, and training is desirable. Several challenges also emerged during the summit, which are discussed.

  19. The usefullness of ERTS-1 and supporting aircraft data for monitoring plant development in rangeland environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carneggie, D. M.; Degloria, S. D.

    1972-01-01

    The author has identified the following significant results. Preliminary analysis of ERTS-1 MSS imagery of annual and perennial rangeland in California yields the following observations: (1) Sufficient geomorphological detail can be resolved to differentiate upland and bottomland range sites in the foothill range areas. (2) Dry and green meadowland can be differentiated on MSS band 5. (3) Color composites prepared by NASA-Goddard were useful for locating perennial rangeland with varying amounts of herbaceous ground cover. (4) The ERTS-1 images received and interpreted cover nearly 50% of the state of California and show nearly two-thirds of the annual grassland type. (5) Satellite imagery obtained during the late summer season should be optimum for differentiating grassland from brushland and forested land. (6) The ERTS-1 imagery clearly shows areas which at one time were part of the annual grassland but which are now used for dry land farming (cropping of cereal grains). Similarly, the imagery show areas which have been converted from brushland to grassland.

  20. Multispectral Remote Sensing from Unmanned Aircraft: Image Processing Workflows and Applications for Rangeland Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albert Rango

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS as remote sensing platforms offers the unique ability for repeated deployment for acquisition of high temporal resolution data at very high spatial resolution. Multispectral remote sensing applications from UAS are reported in the literature less commonly than applications using visible bands, although light-weight multispectral sensors for UAS are being used increasingly. . In this paper, we describe challenges and solutions associated with efficient processing of multispectral imagery to obtain orthorectified, radiometrically calibrated image mosaics for the purpose of rangeland vegetation classification. We developed automated batch processing methods for file conversion, band-to-band registration, radiometric correction, and orthorectification. An object-based image analysis approach was used to derive a species-level vegetation classification for the image mosaic with an overall accuracy of 87%. We obtained good correlations between: (1 ground and airborne spectral reflectance (R2 = 0.92; and (2 spectral reflectance derived from airborne and WorldView-2 satellite data for selected vegetation and soil targets. UAS-acquired multispectral imagery provides quality high resolution information for rangeland applications with the potential for upscaling the data to larger areas using high resolution satellite imagery.

  1. Estimating Rangeland Vegetation Frequency & Density Using Low-altitude Aerial Photographs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Royan

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Remote sensing and aerial photography are means of exploring, studying and estimating vegetation variables such as species frequency and density in forests and rangelands. Common remote sensing images usually offer general information about vegetation parameters. For detailed information about vegetation (e.g. estimation of vegetation density and/or frequency, larger scale images are needed. The present research was conducted to estimate the density of rangeland vegetation in Inche Boroon area, north of Gorgan city. Using aerial photographs acquired from digital camera mounted on a tittered balloon in different flight altitudes, density and frequency of the main shrub species of the studied region, Halocnemum strobilaceum, were estimated on photographs at different scales (from 1:50 – to 1:1000 and were compared with field measurements. Results showed no significant difference between the field and image estimation of density below 1:600 (heights lower than 75 m but at lower scales the difference was significant. No significant difference between field and image estimation of shrub frequency was also observed up to the scale of 1:1000. Due to the wider field of view of photographs at smaller scales, flight heights of 75 m and 130 m are thus suggested as the appropriate heights to estimate Halocnemum strobilaceum density and frequency respectively in the study area.

  2. Spatial heterogeneity of aggregate stability and soil carbon in semi-arid rangeland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, S B; Herrick, J E; Wander, M M; Wright, S F

    2002-01-01

    To measure and manage for C sequestration in heterogeneous rangeland systems, we need to more fully understand spatial patterns of soil resources. Spatial distributions of aggregate stability and soil carbon were investigated in a semiarid rangeland in New Mexico, USA. Soil was analyzed from plant interspaces, black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda (Torr.) Torr.), and mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa Torr.) in a landscape-replicated study. Aggregate stability at the 250 microm scale, carbonate C, organic C and N, C:N ratio, and glomalin, were all highest under mesquite. Soil C:N ratio was the best predictor of aggregate stability. Estimates of metric tons of C per hectare in the top 10 cm were highly variable at patch and landscape scales, varying from 4.2 to 10.5 under mesquite and from 3.0 to 7.0 in interspaces. High variability of aggregate stability and soil C has important implications for C sequestration. We argue that this multi-scale soil heterogeneity must be considered when measuring and managing for C sequestration.

  3. Abandoned seasonal livestock migration reflected by plant functional traits: A case study in Kyrgyz rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hoppe, Franziska; Zhusui Kyzy, Taalaigul; Usupbaev, Adilet; Schickoff, Udo

    2017-04-01

    At least 30% of Kyrgyz pasture areas are considered to be subject to vegetation and soil degradation. Since animal husbandry is the economic basis to sustain people's livelihoods, rangeland degradation presents a threat for the majority of the population. Recently, the usage of plant functional traits as a powerful tool for the characterization of vegetation dynamics in response to anthropogenic and natural disturbances has been put forward. Grazing is one of the most severe disturbances on vegetation, which concerns equally the loss of area and biomass. Because grazing is both depending on and affecting plant functional traits, important insights can be generated, based on this codependency. We hypothesized that the contrasting grazing intensity of summer and winter pastures is reflected by the chosen traits. We used traits such as plant height, flowering start, growth form as well as SLA (Specific Leaf Area) and LMA (Leaf Mass per Area). Based on former phytosociological classification of the main pasture types (summer and winter pastures), community structure and the traits of dominant plant species were analyzed. Our results showed that on winter pastures grazing decreased plant height and SLA and favored plants with an earlier flowering start as well as rosette plants and ascending plants. We conclude that the study of trait composition in relation to anthropogenic disturbances can provide important insights into the mechanism of plant response to grazing in high-altitude rangelands.

  4. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.

    How can entrepreneurial ecosystems and productive entrepreneurship can be traced empirically and how is entrepreneurship related to entrepreneurial ecosystems. The analyses in this chapter show the value of taking a systems view on the context of entrepreneurship. We measure entrepreneurial

  5. Coral reefs - Specialized ecosystems

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.

    This paper discusses briefly some aspects that characterize and differentiate coral reef ecosystems from other tropical marine ecosystems. A brief account on the resources that are extractable from coral reefs, their susceptibility to natural...

  6. Mapping cultural ecosystem services:

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Paracchini, Maria Luisa; Zulian, Grazia; Kopperoinen, Leena

    2014-01-01

    Research on ecosystem services mapping and valuing has increased significantly in recent years. However, compared to provisioning and regulating services, cultural ecosystem services have not yet been fully integrated into operational frameworks. One reason for this is that transdisciplinarity...

  7. FWS Ecosystem Regions

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Digital ecosystem information portraying the location and boundaries of the ecosystems. The Service originally chose the U.S. Geological Survey's Hydrologic Unit Map...

  8. Agricultural science and ethics

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Gjerris, Mickey; Vaarst, Mette

    2014-01-01

    , about 20 % of the world's coral reefs and 35 % of the mangrove areas were lost (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment 2005). In the following, the development of agricultural science will be sketched out and the role of ethics in agricultural science will be discussed. Then different views of nature that have...... between agricultural science and ethics....

  9. Using activated carbon to limit herbicide effects to seeded bunchgrass when revegetating annual grass-invaded rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revegetation of exotic annual grass-invaded rangelands is challenging as annuals rapidly reinvade after control treatments. The most effective control of exotic annual grass is usually achieved with pre-emergent herbicides, however, species seeded simultaneously with these herbicides will likely ex...

  10. Potential for using visual, auditory, and olfactory cues to manage foraging behaviour and spatial distribution of rangeland livestock

    Science.gov (United States)

    This paper reviews the literature and reports on the current state of knowledge regarding the potential for managers to use visual (VC), auditory (AC), and olfactory (OC) cues to manage foraging behavior and spatial distribution of rangeland livestock. We present evidence that free-ranging livestock...

  11. The role of fire in managing for biological diversity on native rangelands of the Northern Great Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carolyn Hull Sieg

    1997-01-01

    A strategy for using fire to manage for biological diversity on native rangelands in the Northern Great Plains incorporates an understanding of its past frequency, timing and intensity. Historically, lightning and humans were the major fire setters, and the role of fire varied both in space and time. A burning regime that includes fires at various intervals, seasons...

  12. Geospatial datasets for assessing the effects of rangeland conditions on dissolved-solids yields in the Upper Colorado River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillman, Fred D; Flynn, Marilyn E.; Anning, David W.

    2015-01-01

    In 2009, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) developed a Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) surface-water quality model for the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) relating dissolved-solids sources and transport in the 1991 water year to upstream catchment characteristics. The SPARROW model focused on geologic and agricultural sources of dissolved solids in the UCRB and was calibrated using water-year 1991 dissolved-solids loads from 218 monitoring sites. A new UCRB SPARROW model is planned that will update the investigation of dissolved-solids sources and transport in the basin to circa 2010 conditions and will improve upon the 2009 model by incorporating more detailed information about agricultural-irrigation and rangeland-management practices, among other improvements. Geospatial datasets relating to circa 2010 rangeland conditions are required for the new UCRB SPARROW modeling effort. This study compiled geospatial datasets for the UCRB that relate to the biotic alterations and rangeland conditions of grazing, fire and other land disturbance, and vegetation type and cover. Datasets representing abiotic alterations of access control (off-highway vehicles) and sediment generation and transport in general, were also compiled. These geospatial datasets may be tested in the upcoming SPARROW model to better understand the potential contribution of rangelands to dissolved-solids loading in UCRB streams.

  13. New Cropland on Former Rangeland and Lost Cropland from Urban Development: The “Replacement Land” Debate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa A. Emili

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In this study, a land use/land cover change analysis method was developed to examine patterns of land use/land cover conversions of cropland to urban uses and conversions of rangeland to cropland uses in the United States (US Midwest region. We used the US 2001 and 2006 National Land Cover Datasets (NLCD for our spatial analyses of these conversion trends. Our analysis showed that the eastern part of the Midwest, like prior periods, continued to experience losses of cropland to urban expansion but at a much more rapid rate, as this was during an expansion phase of the US real estate construction cycle. The period showed a very small net loss of cropland as the loss was being balanced by gains in cropland at the expense of rangeland lost in the western part of the Midwest. We refer to this rangeland to cropland conversion as “replacement land”. We do not suggest by replacement that there is a signal in the system that interconnects the loss of a hectare of cropland to urban land by converting a hectare of rangeland to cropland, rather we highlight this spatial trend as it raises concerns about the environmental sustainability of agriculture in the western part of the region, as production is dependent on the use of irrigation and the already stressed High Plains aquifer.

  14. Variation of terpenes in milk and cultured cream from Norwegian alpine rangeland-fed and in-door fed cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borge, Grethe Iren A; Sandberg, Ellen; Øyaas, Jorun; Abrahamsen, Roger K

    2016-05-15

    The terpene content of milk and cream made from milk obtained from cows fed indoors, and by early or late grazing, in alpine rangeland farms in Norway, were analysed for three consecutive years. The main terpenes identified and semi-quantified were the monoterpenes β-pinene, α-pinene, α-thujene, camphene, sabinene, δ-3-carene, d-limonene, γ-terpinene, camphor, β-citronellene, and the sesquiterpene β-caryophyllene. The average total terpene content increased five times during the alpine rangeland feeding period. The terpenes α-thujene, sabinene, γ-terpinene and β-citronellene were only detected in milk and cultured cream from the alpine rangeland feeding period and not in samples from the indoors feeding period. These four terpenes could be used, as indicators, to show that milk and cultured cream originate from the alpine rangeland feeding period. The terpenes did not influence the sensorial quality of the milk or the cultured cream. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Role of traditional enclosures on the diversity of herbaceous vegetation in a semi-arid rangeland, southern Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Angassa, A.; Oba, G.; Treydte, A.C.; Weladji, R.B.

    2010-01-01

    Grazing management and seasonality strongly influence the recovery potential of herbaceous vegetation in semi-arid rangelands of southern Ethiopia after history of heavy grazing. We investigated effects of management (enclosures versus grazed landscapes), age of enclosures and seasonality related to

  16. Simulating soil moisture change in a semiarid rangeland watershed with a process-based water-balance model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard Evan Canfield; Vicente L. Lopes

    2000-01-01

    A process-based, simulation model for evaporation, soil water and streamflow (BROOK903) was used to estimate soil moisture change on a semiarid rangeland watershed in southeastern Arizona. A sensitivity analysis was performed to select parameters affecting ET and soil moisture for calibration. Automatic parameter calibration was performed using a procedure based on a...

  17. Expected net benefit of vaccinating rangeland sheep against bluetongue virus using a modified-live versus killed virus vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recurring outbreaks of bluetongue virus in large rangeland sheep flocks in the Intermountain West of the United States have prompted questions about the economic benefits and costs of vaccinating individual flocks against bluetongue disease. We use enterprise budgets and stochastic simulation to est...

  18. Symbiotic fungi that influence vigor, biomass and reproductive potential of native bunch grasses for remediation of degraded semiarid rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerry R. Barrow; Mary E. Lucero; Isaac Reyes-Vera

    2008-01-01

    A steady decline of perennial bunch grasses in arid rangelands has resulted in losses of productivity and germplasm. Remediation is costly and rarely successful. Cryptic symbiotic fungi, structurally integrated with cells and organs of native plants cannot be separated from host plant tissue. However, they were successfully transferred from cell cultures of native...

  19. Common garden comparisons of reproductive, forage and weed suppression potential of rangeland rehabilitation grasses of the Great Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Common garden experiments are a means to remove environmental effects. Using 8 species of perennial rangeland grasses, we established a common garden (3 reps x28 plants = 84 plants/species). We found that ‘Hycrest’ crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) and bluebunch wheatgrass (Pseudoroegneria sp...

  20. Evaluating the Effects of Government Policy and Drought from 1984 to 2009 on Rangeland in the Three Rivers Source Region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingshui Lu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The Three Rivers Source Region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is a key area that has extensive impacts on much of the population and economy of China as well as several Southeast Asian countries. The rangeland in this area has undergone degradation, the driving factors of which have been extensively investigated in previous studies. However, the effect of policy on rangeland was not analyzed by subdividing the study period according to the timing of the rangeland policies. The role of dry conditions during the process of degradation has not been studied. Therefore, the period from 1984 to 2009 was subdivided into five periods according to the timing of the relevant government policies based on long-term field investigation. The mean annual normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI and its relationship to dry conditions, policy, temperature, precipitation, and moisture index were analyzed for the five periods. According to our analysis, dry conditions mainly occurred in non-vegetation-growing months, and they did not affect the status of the rangeland. The privatization of rangeland and livestock caused the number of livestock to increase, resulting in a decrease in the mean annual NDVI from 1984 to 1993. The policies of “Green-to-Grain” and eco-migration caused livestock numbers to decrease and the NDVI to increase after 1994. Physical factors such as temperature, precipitation, and moisture also affected the status of the rangeland. Increased temperature had positive effects on rangeland in most areas, but its effect was offset by increased numbers of livestock from 1984 to 1993. Precipitation had positive effects only in drier areas in which the precipitation in the vegetation-growing months was less than 400 mm. In general, the policies of “Green-to-Grain” and eco-migration improved the status of rangeland, and helped improve sustainable use of the rangeland. The methods used in this study could be applied to other case studies of

  1. Rangeland management and fluvial geomorphology in northern Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian W; Doyle, Martin W

    2014-06-01

    Researchers have independently documented the effects of land use on rivers and threats to river management institutions, but the relationship between changes in institutional context and river condition is not well described. This study assesses the connections between resource management institutions, land use, and rivers by integrating social science, geospatial analysis, and geomorphology. In particular, we measured hydraulic geometry, sediment size distributions, and estimated sediment yield for four rivers in northern Tanzania and conducted semistructured interviews that assessed corresponding resource management institutions. Communities managed rivers through both customary (traditional, nonstate) and government institutions, but the differences in the resource management policies and practices of the study rivers themselves were fairly subtle. Clearer differences were found at broader scales; the four watersheds exhibited substantial differences in land cover change and sediment yield associated with the location of settlements, roadways, and cultivation. Unexpectedly, these recent land use changes did not initiate a geomorphic response in rivers. The long history of grazing by domestic and wild ungulates may have influenced water and sediment supplies such that river channel dimensions are more resistant to changes in land use than other systems or have already adjusted to predominant changes in boundary conditions. This would suggest that not all rivers will have the anticipated responses to contemporary land use changes because of antecedent land use patterns; over long time scales (centuries to millennia), the presence of grazers may actually increase the ability of rivers to withstand changes in land use. Our findings point to a need for further interdisciplinary study of dryland rivers and their shifts between system states, especially in areas with a long history of grazing, relatively recent changes in land use, and a dynamic social and

  2. Rangeland management and fluvial geomorphology in northern Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian W.; Doyle, Martin W.

    2014-06-01

    Researchers have independently documented the effects of land use on rivers and threats to river management institutions, but the relationship between changes in institutional context and river condition is not well described. This study assesses the connections between resource management institutions, land use, and rivers by integrating social science, geospatial analysis, and geomorphology. In particular, we measured hydraulic geometry, sediment size distributions, and estimated sediment yield for four rivers in northern Tanzania and conducted semistructured interviews that assessed corresponding resource management institutions. Communities managed rivers through both customary (traditional, nonstate) and government institutions, but the differences in the resource management policies and practices of the study rivers themselves were fairly subtle. Clearer differences were found at broader scales; the four watersheds exhibited substantial differences in land-cover change and sediment yield associated with the location of settlements, roadways, and cultivation. Unexpectedly, these recent land-use changes did not initiate a geomorphic response in rivers. The long history of grazing by domestic and wild ungulates may have influenced water and sediment supplies such that river channel dimensions are more resistant to changes in land use than other systems or have already adjusted to predominant changes in boundary conditions. This would suggest that not all rivers will have the anticipated responses to contemporary land-use changes because of antecedent land-use patterns; over long time scales (centuries to millennia), the presence of grazers may actually increase the ability of rivers to withstand changes in land use. Our findings point to a need for further interdisciplinary study of dryland rivers and their shifts between system states, especially in areas with a long history of grazing, relatively recent changes in land use, and a dynamic social and

  3. Global Ecosystem Restoration Index

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Fernandez, Miguel; Garcia, Monica; Fernandez, Nestor

    2015-01-01

    The Global ecosystem restoration index (GERI) is a composite index that integrates structural and functional aspects of the ecosystem restoration process. These elements are evaluated through a window that looks into a baseline for degraded ecosystems with the objective to assess restoration...

  4. Ecosystem classification, Chapter 2

    Science.gov (United States)

    M.J. Robin-Abbott; L.H. Pardo

    2011-01-01

    The ecosystem classification in this report is based on the ecoregions developed through the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) for North America (CEC 1997). Only ecosystems that occur in the United States are included. CEC ecoregions are described, with slight modifications, below (CEC 1997) and shown in Figures 2.1 and 2.2. We chose this ecosystem...

  5. Towards ecosystem accounting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Duku, C.; Rathjens, H.; Zwart, S.J.; Hein, L.

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem accounting is an emerging field that aims to provide a consistent approach to analysing environment-economy interactions. One of the specific features of ecosystem accounting is the distinction between the capacity and the flow of ecosystem services. Ecohydrological modelling to support

  6. Rights to ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Davidson, M.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem services are the benefits people obtain from ecosystems. Many of these services are provided outside the borders of the land where they are produced; this article investigates who is entitled to these non-excludable ecosystem services from two libertarian perspectives. Taking a

  7. Effects of ice storm on forest ecosystem of southern China in 2008 Shaoqiang Wang1, Lei Zhou1, Weimin Ju2, Kun Huang1 1Key Lab of Ecosystem Network Observation and Modeling, Institute of Geographical Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Beijing, 10010

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Shaoqiang

    2014-05-01

    Evidence is mounting that an increase in extreme climate events has begun to occur worldwide during the recent decades, which affect biosphere function and biodiversity. Ecosystems returned to its original structures and functions to maintain its sustainability, which was closely dependent on ecosystem resilience. Understanding the resilience and recovery capacity of ecosystem to extreme climate events is essential to predicting future ecosystem responses to climate change. Given the overwhelming importance of this region in the overall carbon cycle of forest ecosystems in China, south China suffered a destructive ice storm in 2008. In this study, we used the number of freezing day and a process-based model (Boreal Ecosystem Productivity Simulator, BEPS) to characterize the spatial distribution of ice storm region in southeastern China and explore the impacts on carbon cycle of forest ecosystem over the past decade. The ecosystem variables, i.e. Net primary productivity (NPP), Evapotranspiration (ET), and Water use efficiency (WUE, the ratio of NPP to ET) from the outputs of BEPS models were used to detect the resistance and resilience of forest ecosystem in southern China. The pattern of ice storm-induced forest productivity widespread decline was closely related to the number of freezing day during the ice storm period. The NPP of forest area suffered heavy ice storm returned to normal status after five months with high temperature and ample moisture, indicated a high resilience of subtropical forest in China. The long-term changes of forest WUE remain stable, behaving an inherent sensitivity of ecosystem to extreme climate events. In addition, ground visits suggested that the recovery of forest productivity was attributed to rapid growth of understory. Understanding the variability and recovery threshold of ecosystem following extreme climate events help us to better simulate and predict the variability of ecosystem structure and function under current and

  8. Biodiversity and industry ecosystem management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coleman, William G.

    1996-11-01

    The term biodiversity describes the array of interacting, genetically distinct populations and species in a region, the communities they comprise, and the variety of ecosystems of which they are functioning parts. Ecosystem health, a closely related concept, is described in terms of a process identifying biological indicators, end points, and values. The decline of populations or species, an accelerating trend worldwide, can lead to simplification of ecosystem processes, thus threatening the stability and sustainability of ecosystem services directly relevant to human welfare in the chain of economic and ecological relationships. The challenge of addressing issues of such enormous scope and complexity has highlighted the limitations of ecology-as-science. Additionally, biosphere-scale conflicts seem to lie beyond the scope of conventional economics, leading to differences of opinion about the commodity value of biodiversity and of the services that intact ecosystems provide. In the face of these uncertainties, many scientists and economists have adopted principles that clearly assign burdens of proof to those who would promote the loss of biodiversity and that also establish “near-trump” (preeminent) status for ecological integrity. Electric utility facilities and operations impact biodiversity whenever construction, operation, or maintenance of generation, delivery, and support facilities alters landscapes and habitats and thereby impacts species. Although industry is accustomed to dealing with broad environmental concerns (such as global warming or acid rain), the biodiversity issue invokes hemisphere-wide, regional, local, and site-specific concerns all at the same time. Industry can proactively address these issues of scope and scale in two main ways: first, by aligning strategically with the broad research agenda put forth by informed scientists and institutions; and second, by supporting focused management processes whose results will contribute

  9. Fishing for ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Kevin L.; Pegg, Mark A.; Cole, Nicholas W.; Siddons, Stephen F.; Fedele, Alexis D.; Harmon, Brian S.; Ruskamp, Ryan L.; Turner, Dylan R.; Uerling, Caleb C.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystems are commonly exploited and manipulated to maximize certain human benefits. Such changes can degrade systems, leading to cascading negative effects that may be initially undetected, yet ultimately result in a reduction, or complete loss, of certain valuable ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based management is intended to maintain ecosystem quality and minimize the risk of irreversible change to natural assemblages of species and to ecosystem processes while obtaining and maintaining long-term socioeconomic benefits. We discuss policy decisions in fishery management related to commonly manipulated environments with a focus on influences to ecosystem services. By focusing on broader scales, managing for ecosystem services, and taking a more proactive approach, we expect sustainable, quality fisheries that are resilient to future disturbances. To that end, we contend that: (1) management always involves tradeoffs; (2) explicit management of fisheries for ecosystem services could facilitate a transition from reactive to proactive management; and (3) adaptive co-management is a process that could enhance management for ecosystem services. We propose adaptive co-management with an ecosystem service framework where actions are implemented within ecosystem boundaries, rather than political boundaries, through strong interjurisdictional relationships.

  10. Fishing for ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Kevin L; Pegg, Mark A; Cole, Nicholas W; Siddons, Stephen F; Fedele, Alexis D; Harmon, Brian S; Ruskamp, Ryan L; Turner, Dylan R; Uerling, Caleb C

    2016-12-01

    Ecosystems are commonly exploited and manipulated to maximize certain human benefits. Such changes can degrade systems, leading to cascading negative effects that may be initially undetected, yet ultimately result in a reduction, or complete loss, of certain valuable ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based management is intended to maintain ecosystem quality and minimize the risk of irreversible change to natural assemblages of species and to ecosystem processes while obtaining and maintaining long-term socioeconomic benefits. We discuss policy decisions in fishery management related to commonly manipulated environments with a focus on influences to ecosystem services. By focusing on broader scales, managing for ecosystem services, and taking a more proactive approach, we expect sustainable, quality fisheries that are resilient to future disturbances. To that end, we contend that: (1) management always involves tradeoffs; (2) explicit management of fisheries for ecosystem services could facilitate a transition from reactive to proactive management; and (3) adaptive co-management is a process that could enhance management for ecosystem services. We propose adaptive co-management with an ecosystem service framework where actions are implemented within ecosystem boundaries, rather than political boundaries, through strong interjurisdictional relationships. Published by Elsevier Ltd.

  11. Upgrading Marine Ecosystem Restoration Using Ecological-Social Concepts.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abelson, Avigdor; Halpern, Benjamin S; Reed, Daniel C; Orth, Robert J; Kendrick, Gary A; Beck, Michael W; Belmaker, Jonathan; Krause, Gesche; Edgar, Graham J; Airoldi, Laura; Brokovich, Eran; France, Robert; Shashar, Nadav; de Blaeij, Arianne; Stambler, Noga; Salameh, Pierre; Shechter, Mordechai; Nelson, Peter A

    2016-02-01

    Conservation and environmental management are principal countermeasures to the degradation of marine ecosystems and their services. However, in many cases, current practices are insufficient to reverse ecosystem declines. We suggest that restoration ecology, the science underlying the concepts and tools needed to restore ecosystems, must be recognized as an integral element for marine conservation and environmental management. Marine restoration ecology is a young scientific discipline, often with gaps between its application and the supporting science. Bridging these gaps is essential to using restoration as an effective management tool and reversing the decline of marine ecosystems and their services. Ecological restoration should address objectives that include improved ecosystem services, and it therefore should encompass social-ecological elements rather than focusing solely on ecological parameters. We recommend using existing management frameworks to identify clear restoration targets, to apply quantitative tools for assessment, and to make the re-establishment of ecosystem services a criterion for success.

  12. Upgrading Marine Ecosystem Restoration Using Ecological‐Social Concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

    Abelson, Avigdor; Halpern, Benjamin S.; Reed, Daniel C.; Orth, Robert J.; Kendrick, Gary A.; Beck, Michael W.; Belmaker, Jonathan; Krause, Gesche; Edgar, Graham J.; Airoldi, Laura; Brokovich, Eran; France, Robert; Shashar, Nadav; de Blaeij, Arianne; Stambler, Noga; Salameh, Pierre; Shechter, Mordechai; Nelson, Peter A.

    2015-01-01

    Conservation and environmental management are principal countermeasures to the degradation of marine ecosystems and their services. However, in many cases, current practices are insufficient to reverse ecosystem declines. We suggest that restoration ecology, the science underlying the concepts and tools needed to restore ecosystems, must be recognized as an integral element for marine conservation and environmental management. Marine restoration ecology is a young scientific discipline, often with gaps between its application and the supporting science. Bridging these gaps is essential to using restoration as an effective management tool and reversing the decline of marine ecosystems and their services. Ecological restoration should address objectives that include improved ecosystem services, and it therefore should encompass social–ecological elements rather than focusing solely on ecological parameters. We recommend using existing management frameworks to identify clear restoration targets, to apply quantitative tools for assessment, and to make the re-establishment of ecosystem services a criterion for success. PMID:26977115

  13. Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification Ecosystem Complex

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Estuarine ecosystems are controlled by a variety of processes that operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Understanding the hierarchical nature of these...

  14. Setting the bar: Standards for ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polasky, Stephen; Tallis, Heather; Reyers, Belinda

    2015-01-01

    Progress in ecosystem service science has been rapid, and there is now a healthy appetite among key public and private sector decision makers for this science. However, changing policy and management is a long-term project, one that raises a number of specific practical challenges. One impediment to broad adoption of ecosystem service information is the lack of standards that define terminology, acceptable data and methods, and reporting requirements. Ecosystem service standards should be tailored to specific use contexts, such as national income and wealth accounts, corporate sustainability reporting, land-use planning, and environmental impact assessments. Many standard-setting organizations already exist, and the research community will make the most headway toward rapid uptake of ecosystem service science by working directly with these organizations. Progress has been made in aligning with existing organizations in areas such as product certification and sustainability reporting, but a major challenge remains in mainstreaming ecosystem service information into core public and private use contexts, such as agricultural and energy subsidy design, national income accounts, and corporate accounts. PMID:26082540

  15. CSIR ScienceScope: Life sciences

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    CSIR

    2007-04-01

    Full Text Available , manage our unique and fragile ecosystems, and find more sustainable energy alternatives. This edition of ScienceScope features some CSIR research outcomes in life sciences achieved to date, while outlining current and future objectives. L I F E SC...

  16. Site Productivity and Plant Size Explain the Response of Annual Species to Grazing Exclusion in a Mediterranean Semi-Arid Rangeland

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Yagil Osem; Avi Perevolotsky; Jaime Kigel

    2004-01-01

    1 The response of an annual plant community to protection from grazing as a function of variation in site productivity was studied in a semi-arid Mediterranean rangeland in Israel over 4 years (1996-99...

  17. Grazing Effect on Diversity of Annual Plant Communities in a Semi-Arid Rangeland: Interactions with Small-Scale Spatial and Temporal Variation in Primary Productivity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Yagil Osem; Avi Perevolotsky; Jaime Kigel

    2002-01-01

    1 The interactive effect of grazing and small-scale variation in primary productivity on the diversity of an annual plant community was studied in a semiarid Mediterranean rangeland in Israel over 4 years...

  18. Circannual body reserve dynamics and metabolic profile changes in Romane ewes grazing on rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-García, E; Gozzo de Figuereido, V; Foulquie, D; Jousserand, E; Autran, P; Camous, S; Tesniere, A; Bocquier, F; Jouven, M

    2014-01-01

    Throughout an entire year, 41 Romane ewes reared in an extensive rangeland were used to investigate temporal changes in body reserves (BRs) and profiles of related metabolites and metabolic hormones. Ewes were allocated to homogeneous groups according to BW and BCS and were distributed by parity (primiparous [PRIM], n = 21; multiparous [MULT], n = 20) and litter size (LSi; lambing singletons [SING], n = 21 or TWINS, n = 20). The feeding system was based on rotational grazing of rangeland paddocks and progressive supplementation with hay, silage, and barley at late pregnancy during the winter. Individual BW, BCS, plasma NEFA, β-hydroxybutyrate (β-OHB), glucose, insulin, leptin, and triiodothyronine (T3) were monitored at -56, -12, 8, 49, 76, 107, 156, 195, 216, 246, and 301 d relative to lambing. The BR mobilization was observed from late pregnancy to the end of suckling and varied as a function of the ewe energy balance but also because of transitions from fertilized to native rangeland paddocks and by supplementation. Contrarily, BR accretion occurred from weaning, during the dry-off, and until the start of the next pregnancy. Lipolysis was well reflected by NEFA, β-OHB, and T3 kinetics. Mean BW (but not mean BCS) was affected by parity (MULT > PRIM), whereas both BW and BCS were influenced by LSi (SING > TWINS) but only for MULT. The most drastic BW loss was observed during the mid-suckling period (49 d in milk [DIM]) in all ewes. The lack of effects of LSi in PRIM but not in MULT was also evident in the majority of blood plasma kinetics, which were affected (P MULT by TWINS; 99.91 vs 85.52 ng/dL) and during suckling (111.7 ± 4.18 ng/dL). Lamb BW was affected at birth and weaning by parity (MULT > PRIM) and LSi (SING > TWINS). Overall, temporal changes in BR were directly affected by the transition of physiological states and feeding levels, whereas individual responses were predetermined by parity. In MULT, the reactivity and magnitude of response was

  19. Insights into the Carbon Sequestration Potential of Rangelands Through Measurement and Modeling of Differently Managed Pastures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, J. J.; Hartman, M.; Parton, W. J.; Silver, W. L.

    2014-12-01

    Poor management of rangelands has led to significant soil organic matter losses globally, and contributed to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Restoring and increasing soil carbon (C) content in rangelands offers an opportunity to mitigate climate change while improving soil conditions and increasing forage production. Organic matter amendments are used to improve soil properties, but predicting the resulting changes in soil C is challenging due to the interactions between amendment characteristics, climate, and soil characteristics. We used data from 10 pasture-based dairies in California and the DayCent model to test the impact of long-term (>30 year) manure additions on soil C pools and fluxes. Soils were sampled from 26 fields which had solid, liquid, solid and liquid, or no manure additions. These field data and management information provided by the ranchers were used to model the effects of manure amends on soil C storage and loss. Soil C was significantly greater in manured fields than non-manured fields when corrected for clay content and slope. Fields with higher clay had more soil C, as did those with lower slopes, and these effects were large enough to confound the manuring effect. DayCent was able to accurately estimate total soil C when parameterized with field-specific management practices, averaging only a 10±1% difference between measurement and modeled values. Using generalized management histories for manured and non-manured fields, as would be used for regional-scale estimates, produced less accurate results with a 24±3% average difference between measurement and modeled values. Modeling alternate scenarios for each field suggested that manure amendment increased soil C and forage production by 0.6 Mg ha-1 y-1 and 0.3 Mg ha-1 y-1, respectively. Forecasting to 2100 showed that in manure-amended fields, soil C increased until 2080 before stabilization, mostly through gains in the pool with slow turnover. The "passive soil C" pool

  20. Ecosystem management as a wicked problem.

    Science.gov (United States)

    DeFries, Ruth; Nagendra, Harini

    2017-04-21

    Ecosystems are self-regulating systems that provide societies with food, water, timber, and other resources. As demands for resources increase, management decisions are replacing self-regulating properties. Counter to previous technical approaches that applied simple formulas to estimate sustainable yields of single species, current research recognizes the inherent complexity of ecosystems and the inability to foresee all consequences of interventions across different spatial, temporal, and administrative scales. Ecosystem management is thus more realistically seen as a "wicked problem" that has no clear-cut solution. Approaches for addressing such problems include multisector decision-making, institutions that enable management to span across administrative boundaries, adaptive management, markets that incorporate natural capital, and collaborative processes to engage diverse stakeholders and address inequalities. Ecosystem management must avoid two traps: falsely assuming a tame solution and inaction from overwhelming complexity. An incremental approach can help to avoid these traps. Copyright © 2017, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  1. Sustaining ecosystem services in cultural landscapes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tobias Plieninger

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Classical conservation approaches focus on the man-made degradation of ecosystems and tend to neglect the social-ecological values that human land uses have imprinted on many environments. Throughout the world, ingenious land-use practices have generated unique cultural landscapes, but these are under pressure from agricultural intensification, land abandonment, and urbanization. In recent years, the cultural landscapes concept has been broadly adopted in science, policy, and management. The interest in both outstanding and vernacular landscapes finds expression in the UNESCO World Heritage Convention, the European Landscape Convention, and the IUCN Protected Landscape Approach. These policies promote the protection, management, planning, and governance of cultural landscapes. The ecosystem services approach is a powerful framework to guide such efforts, but has rarely been applied in landscape research and management. With this paper, we introduce a special feature that aims to enhance the theoretical, empirical and practical knowledge of how to safeguard the resilience of ecosystem services in cultural landscapes. It concludes (1 that the usefulness of the ecosystem services approach to the analysis and management of cultural landscapes should be reviewed more critically; (2 that conventional ecosystem services assessment needs to be complemented by socio-cultural valuation; (3 that cultural landscapes are inherently changing, so that a dynamic view on ecosystem services and a focus on drivers of landscape change are needed; and (4 that managing landscapes for ecosystem services provision may benefit from a social-ecological resilience perspective.

  2. The influence of land use and cover changes on the pastoral rangeland systems of southern Ethiopia : how much woody cover is enough?

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammed, Hasen Yusuf

    2014-01-01

    The Borana rangelands in southern Ethiopia are facing deterioration caused by intensification of grazing and woody plant encroachment, resulting in marked reductions in pastoral production. This process affects the food security and livelihoods of the Borana pastoral people negatively. Woody plant encroachment might result in an increase in carbon (C) storage in these rangelands, which represents an important aspect for climate change mitigation potentials. However, it is unclear how much C i...

  3. Enclosing the commons: reasons for the adoption and adaptation of enclosures in the arid and semi-arid rangelands of Chepareria, Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Wairore, John N; Stephen M. Mureithi; Wasonga, Oliver V; Nyberg, Gert

    2015-01-01

    The adoption and adaptation of enclosures in the arid and semi-arid rangelands of sub-Saharan Africa is driven and sustained by a combination of factors. However, reviews indicate that these factors cannot be generalized, as they tend to be case specific. A study was therefore conducted to explore the history and reasons for enclosure establishment in Chepareria, a formerly degraded communal rangeland in north-western Kenya. While Vi-Agroforestry Organization accounting for 52.5?% was the mai...

  4. Institutional barriers and incentives for ecosystem management: a problem analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    H.J. Cortner; M.A. Shannon; M.G. Wallace; S. Burke; M.A. Moote

    1996-01-01

    Ecosystem management is currently being proposed as a new resource management philosophy. This approach to resource management will require changes in how society approaches nature, science, and politics. Further, if efforts to implement ecosystem management are to succeed, institutional issues must be examined. This report identifies five problem areas where social...

  5. Interacting Science through Web Quests

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unal, Ahmet; Karakus, Melek Altiparmak

    2016-01-01

    The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of WebQuests on elementary students' science achievement, attitude towards science and attitude towards web supported education in teaching 7th grade subjects (Ecosystems, Solar System). With regard to this research, "Science Achievement Test," "Attitude towards Science Scale"…

  6. Assessment in the global context: From ozone to ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Scholes, B

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available This presentation discusses the assessment in the global context: From ozone to ecosystems. Process to evaluate the status of knowledge on complex problems relevant to societies. A key element of the contemporary science-policy interface....

  7. Bush encroachment control and risk management in semi-arid rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukomska, Natalia; Quaas, Martin F; Baumgärtner, Stefan

    2014-12-01

    We study the role of bush encroachment control for a farmer's income and income risk in a stochastic ecological-economic model of grazing management in semi-arid rangelands. In particular, we study debushing as an instrument of risk management that complements the choice of an adaptive grazing management strategy for that sake. We show that debushing, while being a good practice for increasing the mean pasture productivity and thus expected income, also increases the farmer's income risk. The optimal extent of debushing for a risk-averse farmer is thus determined from balancing the positive and negative consequences of debushing on intertemporal and stochastic farm income. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  8. Factors controlling gully erosion at different spatial and temporal scales in rangelands of SW Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez Gutiérrez, Á.; Schnabel, S.; Lavado Contador, J. F.; Pulido Fernández, M.

    2009-04-01

    Gully erosion has been recognized as an important soil degradation process in rangelands of SW Spain. However, little is known about gullying processes at different spatial and temporal scales in these areas. Three different approaches were used in this paper to analyze the factors determining gully erosion intensity and rates at different spatial and temporal scales in rangelands of SW Spain. The first approach was based on the monitoring of a permanent valley bottom gully and continuous measurement of rainfall and discharge during the period 2001-2007 in the Parapuños experimental basin. Parapuños is a small catchment (99.5 ha) representative of dehesa land use, with an undulated topography and Mediterranean climate. Gully erosion volume was obtained by means of 28 fixed cross sections measured with a frequency of 6 months. Discharge and rainfall were monitored using a water depth probe installed in a weir at the outlet of the catchment and 6 tipping bucket rain gauges, respectively. The second approach was based on analyzing the development of the same permanent gully located in Parapuños using six series of aerial ortophotographs for the period 1945-2006. This methodology allowed to relate gully evolution with land use and vegetation cover changes. Finally, a relatively new data mining technique, called Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS), was applied to construct a model capable of predicting the location of gullies at the regional scale. A large database composed of 36 independent variables related to topography, lithology, soils, rainfall, land use and vegetation cover was used. This statistical technique allowed to determine the importance of the variables involved. This database was gathered in 46 farms representative of rangelands of SW Spain in Extremadura, covering a surface area of 35,459 ha. Farms were quite diverse although their main characteristics were undulating landforms, acid rocks (schists, greywackes and granites), and

  9. Rangeland degradation in savannas of South Africa: spatial patterns of soil and vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandhage-Hofmann, Alexandra; Löffler, Jörg; du Preez, Chris; Kotzé, Elmarie; Weijers, Stef; Wundram, Dirk; Zacharias, Maximilan; Amelung, Wulf

    2017-04-01

    Extensive bush encroachment by Acacia mellifera and associated woody species at semi-arid and arid sites are the most notable forms of rangeland degradation in savannas of South Africa. Concerns are growing over the threat of suppression and loss of nutritious perennial grass species. Grazing and different rangeland management systems (communal and freehold) are considered to be of major importance for degradation, but the process of encroachment is not restricted to communal land. A vegetation change is mostly accompanied by changes in soil properties, where soils in savanna systems can profit from woody species due to litter fall, root distribution, shadow and animal resting time. Savannas are very heterogeneous systems with high spatial variation of patches with wood, herbaceous species and bare ground. We hypothesized that the spatial patterns of soil properties in South Africás rangelands are controlled by present or past vegetation, modulated by the tenure systems with higher rangeland degradation in communal areas. To test this, we sampled soils at communal and commercial land in the Kuruman area of South Africa with the following design: three farms per tenure system, 6 randomly chosen plots (100x100m) per farm, and 25 soil samples (0-10 cm) per plot, each in a 5x5m sampling area. At every sampling point, information of overlying vegetation was recorded (species or bare soil, canopy size, height). For each sampling area, if present, trees/ shrubs were sampled and their ages estimated through the counting of annual growth rings. For each plot, high resolution UAV aerial photos were taken to evaluate the extent of bush encroachment. Analyses involved main physical and chemical soil parameters and isotopic analyses. The results of a rough aerial image classification (grass, woody species, bare ground) revealed significant differences between the tenure systems with higher coverage of bare ground and shrubs at communal farms, and higher grass cover at

  10. Detecting spatial regimes in ecosystems | Science Inventory ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Research on early warning indicators has generally focused on assessing temporal transitions with limited application of these methods to detecting spatial regimes. Traditional spatial boundary detection procedures that result in ecoregion maps are typically based on ecological potential (i.e. potential vegetation), and often fail to account for ongoing changes due to stressors such as land use change and climate change and their effects on plant and animal communities. We use Fisher information, an information theory based method, on both terrestrial and aquatic animal data (US Breeding Bird Survey and marine zooplankton) to identify ecological boundaries, and compare our results to traditional early warning indicators, conventional ecoregion maps, and multivariate analysis such as nMDS (non-metric Multidimensional Scaling) and cluster analysis. We successfully detect spatial regimes and transitions in both terrestrial and aquatic systems using Fisher information. Furthermore, Fisher information provided explicit spatial information about community change that is absent from other multivariate approaches. Our results suggest that defining spatial regimes based on animal communities may better reflect ecological reality than do traditional ecoregion maps, especially in our current era of rapid and unpredictable ecological change. Use an information theory based method to identify ecological boundaries and compare our results to traditional early warning

  11. The geomorphic legacy of water and erosion control structures in a semiarid rangeland watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Mary H.; Magirl, Christopher S.; Sayre, N.F.; Shaw, Jeremy R.

    2017-01-01

    Control over water supply and distribution is critical for agriculture in drylands where manipulating surface runoff often serves the dual purpose of erosion control. However, little is known of the geomorphic impacts and legacy effects of rangeland water manipulation infrastructure, especially if not maintained. This study investigated the geomorphic impacts of structures such as earthen berms, water control gates, and stock tanks, in a semiarid rangeland in the southwestern USA that is responding to both regional channel incision that was initiated over a century ago, and a more recent land use change that involved cattle removal and abandonment of structures. The functional condition of remnant structures was inventoried, mapped, and assessed using aerial imagery and lidar data. Headcut initiation, scour, and channel incision associated with compromised lateral channel berms, concrete water control structures, floodplain water spreader berms, and stock tanks were identified as threats to floodplains and associated habitat. Almost half of 27 identified lateral channel berms (48%) have been breached and 15% have experienced lateral scour; 18% of 218 shorter water spreader berms have been breached and 17% have experienced lateral scour. A relatively small number of 117 stock tanks (6%) are identified as structurally compromised based on analysis of aerial imagery, although many currently do not provide consistent water supplies. In some cases, the onset of localized disturbance is recent enough that opportunities for mitigation can be identified to alter the potentially damaging erosion trajectories that are ultimately driven by regional geomorphic instability. Understanding the effects of prior land use and remnant structures on channel and floodplain morphologic condition is critical because both current land management and future land use options are constrained by inherited land use legacy effects.

  12. Comparing soil aggregate stability at different grazing intensities (case study: Bardasiab rangeland, Fereidounshahr

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Mollaei

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Soil quality, aggregate stability and erosion sensibility are affected by different range management practices. This research aimed to evaluate the relationships between soil organic carbon, mean weight diameter (MWD and aggregate size distribution in the surface soil layer (0- 20 cm of various range sites with different grazing intensities (non, slightly and heavily grazed in Bardasiab rangeland, Feridounshahr, Isfahan province. Stratified random sampling method was used to collect soil samples along the established transects. Some physical and chemical properties of soil samples such as texture, electrical conductivity (EC, organic carbon (OC, MWD and sodium absorption ratio (SAR were measured in the soil laboratory. Simple linear regression and One-way ANOVA followed by the Fisher’s LSD test were used to analyze the data. Results of regression analysis showed that MWD and OC of the soil samples were significantly correlated ( α =1%, R 2 = 61.3 %. The soil MWD values of range sites with various grazing intensities were significantly different ( α =5%. Organic carbon was increased and SAR was decreased in the sites located inside exclosures, which lead to higher soil MWD. Aggregate size distribution among various sites were significantly different ( α =5% only for the aggregate smaller than 0.25 mm. Soil aggregates sizes between non-grazed and heavily grazed sites were also significantly different only for the size ranges of 4- 8 mm α =5%, ( and less than 0.25 mm α=1% (. In addition, macro aggregates increased and micro aggregates decreased in range sites with no or slight grazing intensity, respectively as these sites experienced low trampling and increased litter and organic carbons. Soil aggregate stability can therefore be used as an appropriate indicator for monitoring the impact of different management practices on rangeland soil quality and health.

  13. Dynamic belowground ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harris, W. F.; Santantonio, D.; McGinty, D.

    1979-01-01

    Roots comprise the primary interface between plant and soil for uptake of water and nutrients. Much is known about the biochemistry, cell physiology and membrane physics associated with these important processes. In this paper we discuss the role of the belowground ecosystem, especially the autotrophic root component, in the structure and function of forest ecosystems. Beyond recognizing roles of anchoring terrestrial plants and uptake of water and nutrients, this component of the forest has been largely neglected in an ecosystem context. In order to focus discussion on the properties of the belowground ecosystem, we use the term rhizosphere to include roots, mycorrhizae, microbes, and rhizophagus invertebrates.

  14. Monitoring African savanna water use and water stress from local to regional scale: supporting rangeland management (pilot experience in Kruger National Park, South Africa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreu, Ana; Dube, Timothy; Nieto, Hector; González-Dugo, Maria P.; Hülsmann, Stephan

    2017-04-01

    Drought periods and erratic rainfall patterns across large parts of Africa result in water-limited environments like savannas, highly sensitive to land management practices and changes in climate. Over the Southern part of the continent, savannas are key productive landscapes supporting livestock, crops and rural livelihoods. Monitoring water use and the natural vegetation stress over these semi-arid complex ecosystems can support rangeland management, to maintain long-term productivity. However, the precision/resolution/accuracy of the information required for management will differ at each scale: farm-local (e.g. evaluating the effect of management practices, livestock densities, crop production and grazing), to watershed (e.g. evaluating the effect of fire, detection of vulnerable areas) and regional (e.g. early prediction of drought). To overcome these constrains, TIGER project 401 combines two approaches that take advantage of different conceptual and operational capabilities of Earth Observation data sources. Sentinel 2 high spatial (10 m) and temporal ( 5 days) resolution VIS/NIR images are used for a continuous monitoring of vegetation cover and unstressed evapotranspiration (ET - using Kc-FAO56 method). This methodology will provide the required resolution for farm-local scales, tracking separately the seasonal variations of each canopy layer growth (grass and trees). Meanwhile, lower spatial resolution (1 km) MODIS thermal data allow to determine a regional water stress index (ratio between actual ET, estimated using Two Source Energy Balance-TSEB, and potential ET), supporting the detection of vulnerable areas. The model framework was tested and validated over savanna-type experimental areas (Skukuza & Malopeni), and later applied over the whole Kruger National Park during 2015-2016.

  15. BUSINESS ECOSYSTEMS VS BUSINESS DIGITAL ECOSYSTEMS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marinela Lazarica

    2006-05-01

    Full Text Available E-business is often described as the small organisations’ gateway to global business and markets. The adoption of Internet-based technologies for e-business is a continuous process, with sequential steps of evolution. The latter step in the adoption of Internet-based technologies for business, where the business services and the software components are supported by a pervasive software environment, which shows an evolutionary and self-organising behaviour are named digital business ecosystems. The digital business ecosystems are characterized by intelligent software components and services, knowledge transfer, interactive training frameworks and integration of business processes and e-government models.

  16. Seedbed preparation influence on morphometric characteristics of perennial grasses of a semi-arid rangeland in Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Opiyo, Francis EO; Ekaya, Wellington N; Nyariki, Dickson M; Mureithi, Stephen Mwangi

    2011-01-01

    Semi-arid rangelands in Kenya are an important source of forage for both domestic and wild animals. However, indigenous perennial grasses notably Cenchrus ciliaris (African foxtail grass), Eragrostis superba (Maasai love grass) and Enteropogon macrostachyus (Bush rye grass) are disappearing at an alarming rate. Efforts to re-introduce them through restoration programs have often yielded little success. This can partly be attributed to failure of topsoil to capture and store scarce water to me...

  17. Analysis of Vegetation Phytosociological Characteristics and Soil Physico-Chemical Conditions in Harishin Rangelands of Eastern Ethiopia

    OpenAIRE

    Haftay Hailu

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study is to analyse the phytodiversity, distribution, herb biomass and physico-chemical conditions of the vegetation system in the context of communal continuous open grazing and enclosed grazing management practices in the Harishin rangelands of Eastern Ethiopia. A total of 58 herbaceous species and 11 woody species were recorded in the study area. Analysis of Importance Value Index for two management practices was represented by different combinations of species with v...

  18. Social processes promoting the adaptive capacity of rangeland managers to achieve resilience in the Karoo, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carien de Villiers, Ancois; Esler, Karen J; Knight, Andrew T

    2014-12-15

    There is a recognized need to find working examples of structures that transfer the abstract concept of resilience to practical action for land management. Holistic Management™ is a decision-making framework promoting an adaptive land management across semi-arid and arid rangelands. We determined if Holistic Management™ promoted adaptive capacity among land managers in comparison to conventional management approaches within the context of the Karoo rangeland, South Africa. An Adaptive Capacity Index was developed which quantified the extent to which practices of land managers were aligned with six key traits of adaptive capacity. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews with 20 self-defined Holistic Management™ land managers and 20 self-defined non-Holistic Management™ land managers. Social capital amongst land managers was explored using a social network analysis. Holistic Management™ land managers demonstrated higher adaptive capacity and greater participation in study groups. Holistic Management™ therefore appears to be a working example of a land management framework that promotes adaptive capacity of land managers in semi-arid to arid rangelands. Holistic Management™ may connect individual decision-makers to collective decision-making through social learning networks in the form of study groups. These study groups are thought to promote learning and innovation, which is key for implementing adaptive management. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  19. Ecosystem approach in education

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nabiullin, Iskander

    2017-04-01

    Environmental education is a base for sustainable development. Therefore, in our school we pay great attention to environmental education. Environmental education in our school is based on ecosystem approach. What is an ecosystem approach? Ecosystem is a fundamental concept of ecology. Living organisms and their non-living environments interact with each other as a system, and the biosphere planet functions as a global ecosystem. Therefore, it is necessary for children to understand relationships in ecosystems, and we have to develop systems thinking in our students. Ecosystem approach and systems thinking should help us to solve global environmental problems. How do we implement the ecosystem approach? Students must understand that our biosphere functions as a single ecosystem and even small changes can lead to environmental disasters. Even the disappearance of one plant or animal species can lead to irreversible consequences. So in the classroom we learn the importance of each living organism for the nature. We pay special attention to endangered species, which are listed in the Red Data List. Kids are doing projects about these organisms, make videos, print brochures and newspapers. Fieldwork also plays an important role for ecosystem approach. Every summer, we go out for expeditions to study species of plants and animals listed in the Red Data List of Tatarstan. In class, students often write essays on behalf of any endangered species of plants or animals, this also helps them to understand the importance of each living organism in nature. Each spring we organise a festival of environmental projects among students. Groups of 4-5 students work on a solution of environmental problems, such as water, air or soil pollution, waste recycling, the loss of biodiversity, etc. Participants shoot a clip about their project, print brochures. Furthermore, some of the students participate in national and international scientific Olympiads with their projects. In addition to

  20. Influences of forest and rangeland management on salmonid fishes and their habitats

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Meehan, William R

    1991-01-01

    Contents : Stream ecosystems - Salmonid distributions and life histories - Habitat requirements of salmonids in streams - Natural processes - Timber harvesting, silvicultrue and watershed processes - Forest...