WorldWideScience

Sample records for rangeland ecosystem science

  1. 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

  2. Maintaining ecosystem services through continued livestock production on California rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Barry, S.; Becchetti, T.

    2015-12-01

    Nearly 40% of California is rangeland comprising the largest land type in California and providing forage for livestock, primarily beef cattle. In addition to forage, rangelands provide a host of ecosystem systems services, including habitat for common and endangered species, fire fuels management, pollination services, clean water, viewsheds, and carbon sequestration. Published research has documented that most of these ecosystem services are positively impacted by managed livestock grazing and rancher stewardship. Ranchers typically do not receive any monetary reimbursement for their stewardship in providing these ecosystem services to the public. Markets have been difficult to establish with limited ability to adequately monitor and measure services provided. At the same time, rangelands have been experiencing rapid conversion to urbanization and more profitable and intensive forms of agriculture such as almond and walnut orchards. To prevent further conversion of rangelands and the loss of the services they provide, there needs to be a mechanism to identify and compensate landowners for the value of all products and services being received from rangelands. This paper considers two methods (opportunity cost and avoided cost) to determine the value of Payment for Ecosystem Services (PES) for rangelands. PES can raise the value of rangelands, making them more competitive financially. Real estate values and University of California Cooperative Extension Cost Studies, were used to demonstrate the difference in value (lost opportunity cost) between the primary products of rangelands (livestock production) and the products of the converted rangelands (almond and walnut orchards). Avoided costs for vegetation management and habitat creation and maintenance were used to establish the value of managed grazing. If conversion is to be slowed or stopped and managed grazing promoted to protect the ecosystem services rangelands provide, this value could be compensated through

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. A systematic review of US rangeland social 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Vegetation - Herbivory Dynamics in Rangeland Ecosystems: Geospatial Modeling for Savanna and Wildlife Conservation in California and Namibia

    OpenAIRE

    Tsalyuk, Miriam

    2014-01-01

    Rangelands cover about half of Earth's land surface, encompass considerable biodiversity, and provide pivotal ecosystem services. However, rangelands across the globe face degradation due to changes in climate, land use, and management. Moreover, since herbivory is fundamental to rangeland ecosystem dynamics, shifts in the distribution of herbivores lead to overgrazing and desertification. To better understand, predict, and prevent changes on rangelands it is important to monitor these landsc...

  8. 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

  9. 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

    2013-01-01

    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 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. PMID:22308313

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. State-and-transition model archetypes: a global taxonomy of rangeland change

    Science.gov (United States)

    State and transition models (STMs) synthesize science-based and local knowledge to formally represent the dynamics of rangeland and other ecosystems. Mental models or concepts of ecosystem dynamics implicitly underlie all management decisions in rangelands and thus how people influence rangeland sus...

  14. Linking ecosystem services with state-and-transition models to evaluate rangeland management decisions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lohani, S.; Heilman, P.; deSteiguer, J. E.; Guertin, D. P.; Wissler, C.; McClaran, M. P.

    2014-12-01

    Quantifying ecosystem services is a crucial topic for land management decision making. However, market prices are usually not able to capture all the ecosystem services and disservices. Ecosystem services from rangelands, that cover 70% of the world's land area, are even less well-understood since knowledge of rangelands is limited. This study generated a management framework for rangelands that uses remote sensing to generate state and transition models (STMs) for a large area and a linear programming (LP) model that uses ecosystem services to evaluate natural and/or management induced transitions as described in the STM. The LP optimization model determines the best management plan for a plot of semi-arid land in the Empire Ranch in southeastern Arizona. The model allocated land among management activities (do nothing, grazing, fire, and brush removal) to optimize net benefits and determined the impact of monetizing environmental services and disservices on net benefits, acreage allocation and production output. The ecosystem services under study were forage production (AUM/ac/yr), sediment (lbs/ac/yr), water runoff (inches/yr), soil loss (lbs/ac/yr) and recreation (thousands of number of visitors/ac/yr). The optimization model was run for three different scenarios - private rancher, public rancher including environmental services and excluding disservices, and public rancher including both services and disservices. The net benefit was the highest for the public rancher excluding the disservices. A result from the study is a constrained optimization model that incorporates ecosystem services to analyze investments on conservation and management activities. Rangeland managers can use this model to understand and explain, not prescribe, the tradeoffs of management investments.

  15. Current stage of the restoration of Chernozems in rangeland ecosystems of the steppe zone

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rusanov, A. M.

    2015-06-01

    The results of two rounds of soil and geobotanic surveys of rangeland ecosystems in the steppe zone are presented. The same sites with southern chernozems (Calcic Chernozems) under steppe plant communities at different stages of pasture degradation were investigated at the end of the 1980s, when they suffered maximum anthropogenic loads, and in 2011-2013, after a long period of relative rest. In the 1980s, degradation of soil physical properties in rangeland ecosystems under the impact of long-term unsustainable management was noted. At the same time, it was found that the major qualitative and quantitative properties of humus in the chernozems were preserved independently from the level of pasture degradation. The following period of moderate grazing pressure had a favorable effect on the soil properties. Owing to the good characteristics of the soil humus, the restoration of the physical properties of chernozems-including their structural state, water permeability, and bulk density-took place in a relatively short period. It is argued that the soil bulk density is a natural regulator of the species composition of steppe vegetation, because true grasses (Poaceae)-typical representatives of the steppe flora-have a fibrous root system requiring the soils with low density values. The improvement of the properties of chernozems is related to the development of secondary ecosystems with a higher portion of grasses in place of damaged rangelands and to the increase in the area of nominal virgin phytocenoses.

  16. 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

  17. Management applicability of the intermediate disturbance hypothesis across Mongolian rangeland ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sasaki, Takehiro; Okubo, Satoru; Okayasu, Tomoo; Jamsran, Undarmaa; Ohkuro, Toshiya; Takeuchi, Kazuhiko

    2009-03-01

    The current growing body of evidence for diversity-disturbance relationships suggests that the peaked pattern predicted by the intermediate disturbance hypothesis (IDH) may not be the rule. Even if ecologists could quantify the diversity-disturbance relationship consistent with the IDH, the applicability of the IDH to land management has rarely been addressed. We examined two hypotheses related to the generality and management applicability of the IDH to Mongolian rangeland ecosystems: that the diversity-disturbance relationship varies as a function of landscape condition and that some intermediate scales of grazing can play an important role in terms of sustainable rangeland management through a grazing gradient approach. We quantified the landscape condition of each ecological site using an ordination technique and determined two types of landscape conditions: relatively benign and harsh environmental conditions. At the ecological sites characterized by relatively benign environmental conditions, diversity-disturbance relationships were generally consistent with the IDH, and maximum diversity was observed at some intermediate distance from the source of the grazing gradient. In contrast, the IDH was not supported at most (but not all) sites characterized by relatively harsh environmental conditions. The intermediate levels of grazing were generally located below the ecological threshold representing the points or zones at which disturbance should be limited to prevent drastic changes in ecological conditions, suggesting that there is little "conundrum" with regard to intermediate disturbance in the studied systems in terms of land management. We suggest that the landscape condition is one of the primary factors that cause inconsistencies in diversity-disturbance relationships. The ecological threshold can extend its utility in rangeland management because it also has the compatibility with the maintenance of species diversity. This study thus suggests that some

  18. 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...

  19. The economic impact of global climate change on Mediterranean rangeland ecosystems. A Space-for-Time approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Fleischer, Aliza; Sternberg, Marcelo

    2006-01-01

    Global Climate Change (GCC) can bring about changes in ecosystems and consequently in their services value. Here we show that the urban population in Israel values the green landscape of rangelands in the mesic Mediterranean climate region and is willing to pay for preserving it in light of the expected increasing aridity conditions in this region. Their valuation of the landscape is higher than that of the grazing services these rangelands provide for livestock growers. These results stem from a Time-for-Space approach with which we were able to measure changes in biomass production and rainfall at four experimental sites along an aridity gradient. (author)

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADOWIE PERE

    University of Mashhad International Campus, Mashhad, I.R of IRAN ... ABSTRACT: Rangelands are natural ecosystems containing a range of resources of genetic ..... Ecology of world vegetation. .... Science Journal of Islamic Azad University,.

  1. Measuring ecological function on California's rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Porzig, E.

    2016-12-01

    There is a need for a better understanding of ecosystem processes on rangelands and how management decisions influence these processes on scales that are both ecologically and socially relevant. Point Blue Conservation Science's Rangeland Monitoring Network is a coordinated effort to collect standardized data on birds, vegetation, and soils on rangelands throughout California. We work with partners, including private landowners, land trusts, state and federal agencies, and others, to measure bird and plant abundance and diversity and three soil dynamic properties (water infiltration, bulk density, and organic carbon). Here, we present data from our first two years of monitoring on over 50 ranches in 17 counties. By collecting data on the scope and scale of variation in ecological function across rangelands and the relationship with management practices, we aim to advance rangeland management, restoration, and conservation.

  2. 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...

  3. Book title: Rangelands systems: Processes, management and challenges - Chapter title: Invasive plant species and novel ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangelands represent the dominant land use systems in many countries of the world and provide sociological and cultural benefits to millions of people in both rural and urban areas. The undesirable impacts of rangeland weeds have been recognized for well over 100 years and infest between 41 and 51 ...

  4. Ecosystems science: Genes to landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    ,

    2018-05-09

    Bountiful fisheries, healthy and resilient wildlife, flourishing forests and vibrant grasslands are coveted resources that benefit all Americans. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) science supports the conservation and management of the Nation’s fish and wildlife, and the landscapes they inhabit. Our biological resources—ecosystems and the wild things that live in them—are the foundation of our conservation heritage and an economic asset to current and future generations of Americans.The USGS Ecosystems Mission Area, the biological research arm of the Department of the Interior (DOI), provides science to help America achieve sustainable management and conservation of its biological resources. This work is done within the broader mission of the USGS—to serve the Nation with science that advances understanding of our natural resources, informs land and water stewardship, and helps safeguard communities from natural and environmental hazards. The Ecosystems Mission Area provides research, technical assistance, and education conducted by Cooperative Research Units and Science Centers located in nearly every State.The quality of life and economic strength in America hinges on healthy ecosystems that support living things and natural processes. Ecosystem science better enables society to understand how and why ecosystems change and to guide actions that can prevent damage to, and restore and sustain ecosystems. It is through this knowledge that informed decisions are made about natural resources that can enhance our Nation’s economic and environmental well-being.

  5. 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.

  6. Ecosystem water availability in juniper versus sagebrush snow-dominated rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Western Juniper (J. occidentalis Hook.) now dominates over 3.6 million ha of rangeland in the Intermountain Western US. Critical ecological relationships among snow distribution, water budgets, plant community transitions, and habitat requirements for wildlife, such as sage grouse, remain poorly und...

  7. Integrating Science and Land Management for the Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) in Southwestern Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, D. C.; Heilman, P.; Nearing, M.; Speath, K.; Hernandez, M.; Wei, H.; Holifield-Collins, C.; Kautz, M.; Nichols, M.; Barlow, J.; Guertin, P.; Burns, S.; Stone, J. J.; Weltz, M.; Metz, L.; Norfleet, L.; Duriancik, L.; Johnson, M.

    2013-12-01

    Farm Bill legislation enacted by Congress in 2002 directed the U.S. Department of Agriculture to assess of the benefits and efficacy of conservation practices provided by a variety of USDA programs. Benefits include improved agricultural production, reduction of erosion and associated nutrient losses, improved water quality, improved soil resilience, and improved habitat among others. To conduct the assessment, the USDA initiated CEAP or the Conservation Effects Assessment Project in 2003, which included a national assessment complemented by small watershed studies. The national assessment started in eastern and midwestern cultivated croplands and has now progressed to western rangelands. This presentation will discuss the challenges of assessing the effects of rangeland conservation practices in a period of unusually hot and dry climatic conditions in the Cienega Creek Watershed (CCW) located southeast of Tucson, Arizona. As is common in the western U.S., the CCW consists of a patchwork of private and public lands in the west with much of the public lands leased for grazing cattle. The watershed also has high recreational value and provides many ecosystem services, including wildlife habitat qualities and flood protection to Tucson. A combination of monitoring, modeling, and remote sensing was utilized in the assessment. Conservation spending in the watershed ramped up in 1997. However, the 16-year period from 1997-2012 contains almost half of the 23 driest seasons (lowest 20 percentile) from the 117-year observed precipitation record. Initial results indicate that Landsat remotely sensed images can be effectively used to estimate both green and senescent canopy cover. This enabled detection of the impacts of drought and changes in canopy cover from practices such as prescribed fire and mechanical brush removal. Cienega Creek Watershed - Land Ownership

  8. Carbon fluxes on North American rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tony Svejcar; Raymond Angell; James A. Bradford; William Dugas; William Emmerich; Albert B. Frank; Tagir Gilmanov; Marshall Haferkamp; Douglas A. Johnson; Herman Mayeux; Pat Mielnick; Jack Morgan; Nicanor Z. Saliendra; Gerald E. Schuman; Phillip L. Sims; Kereith Snyder

    2008-01-01

    Rangelands account for almost half of the earth's land surface and may play an important role in the global carbon (C) cycle. We studied net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of C on eight North American rangeland sites over a 6-yr period. Management practices and disturbance regimes can influence NEE; for consistency, we compared ungrazed and undisturbed rangelands...

  9. 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

  10. Future directions of ecosystem science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Baron, Jill S.; 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

  11. Fort Collins Science Center: Ecosystem Dynamics

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bowen, Zack

    2004-01-01

    Many challenging natural resource management issues require consideration of a web of interactions among ecosystem components. The spatial and temporal complexity of these ecosystem problems demands an interdisciplinary approach integrating biotic and abiotic processes. The goals of the Ecosystem Dynamics Branch are to provide sound science to aid federal resource managers and use long-term, place-focused research and monitoring on federal lands to advance ecosystem science.

  12. 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...

  13. 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…

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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...

  16. 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, Steven E.; 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 E.; 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    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, ...

  18. Weather-centric rangeland revegetation planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiarid rangelands in the western United States have been or are being invaded by introduced annual weeds that negatively impact ecosystem services and pose a major conservation threat. Rehabilitation and restoration of these rangelands are challenging due to inter-annual climate and sub-seasonal ...

  19. 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...

  20. Conserving rangeland resources. | Mentis | African Journal of Range ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... goal-attainment, (5) try to correct departures, and (6) align individual and societal interests by manipulating market-forces. Keywords: altruism; conservation; Conservation implementation; Conservation properties; human activity; Human values; philosophy; Range resources; rangeland; Rangelands; Science philosophy

  1. Review of compartmental analysis in ecosystem science

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Neill, R.V.

    1978-01-01

    The compartment model has a large number of applications in ecosystem science. An attempt is made to outline the problem areas and objectives for which this type of model has particular advantages. The areas identified are an adequate model of tracer movement through an undisturbed but non-equilibrium ecosystem; an adequate model of the movement of material in greater than tracer quantity through an ecosystem near steady state; a minimal model based on limited data; a tool for extrapolating past trends; a framework for the summarization of large data sets; and a theoretical tool for exploring and comparing limited aspects of ecosystem dynamics. The review is set in an historical perspective which helps explain why these models were adopted in ecology. References are also provided to literature which documents available mathematical techniques in an ecological context

  2. Fort Collins Science Center Ecosystem Dynamics Branch

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilson, Jim; Melcher, C.; Bowen, Z.

    2009-01-01

    Complex natural resource issues require understanding a web of interactions among ecosystem components that are (1) interdisciplinary, encompassing physical, chemical, and biological processes; (2) spatially complex, involving movements of animals, water, and airborne materials across a range of landscapes and jurisdictions; and (3) temporally complex, occurring over days, weeks, or years, sometimes involving response lags to alteration or exhibiting large natural variation. Scientists in the Ecosystem Dynamics Branch of the U.S. Geological Survey, Fort Collins Science Center, investigate a diversity of these complex natural resource questions at the landscape and systems levels. This Fact Sheet describes the work of the Ecosystems Dynamics Branch, which is focused on energy and land use, climate change and long-term integrated assessments, herbivore-ecosystem interactions, fire and post-fire restoration, and environmental flows and river restoration.

  3. Citizen Science and Open Data: a Model for Invasive Alien Plant Species in Kenya's Northern Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amirazodi, S.; Griffin, R.; Flores Cordova, A. I.; Ouko, E.; Omondi, S.; Mugo, R. M.; Farah, H.; Flores Cordova, A. I.; Adams, E. C.

    2017-12-01

    Invasive species in African savannas pose great threat to the native biodiversity and changes ecosystem functioning. In the forest sector, for instance Acacia species are important sources of fuel-wood, yet at the same time they have increased strain on water resources and shrunken forage spaces for both livestock and wildlife. In recently infested regions, invasive species can progress through the stages of introduction, establishment and dispersal to a full range. Currently there is much worldwide interest in predicting distributions of invasive species, and several organizations are faced with questions of whether and how to tackle such environmental challenges, or how to interpret predictions from the science community. Conservation practioners require mapped estimates of where species could persist in a given region, and this is associated to information about the biotope - i.e. the geographic location of the species' niche. The process of collecting species distribution data for identifying the potential distribution of the invasive species in the invaded ranges has become a challenge both in terms of resource and time allocation. This study highlights innovative approaches in crowdsourcing validation data in mapping and modelling invasive species (Acacia reficiens and Cactus) through involvement of the local communities. The general approach was to model the distribution of A. reficiens and Cactus (Opuntia Spp) using occurrence records from native range, then project the model into new regions to assess susceptibility to invasion using climatic and topographic environmental variables. The models performed better than random prediction (P 0.75.

  4. 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 ...

  5. Ecosystem services science, practice, and policy: Perspectives from ACES, A Community on Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shapiro, Carl D.; Arthaud, Greg; Casey, Frank; Hogan, Dianna M.

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem services are at a crossroad. The natural capital needed to produce them is diminishing (Millennium Ecosystem Assessment, 2005). At the same time, the science relating to their identification, production, and valuation is advancing. Examples of ecosystem services applications are abundant in the literature. In addition, the concept of ecosystem services and its applications are attracting attention and are becoming more visible. The concept of ecosystem services, however, is still not routinely applied to many natural resource management decisions.

  6. Revista ORL at Open Science Ecosystem

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Tránsito FERRERAS FERNÁNDEZ

    2018-05-01

    Full Text Available In October 2017 they were held at the University of Salamanca the congress Open Knowledge Ecosystems (ACE 2017 posed as an international meeting point for specialists in open access. The congress allowed to approach the open knowledge from the perspectives I + D + i, offering papers and communications on research related to Open Access, as well as experiences developed in repositories and institutions and approaches to innovative trends in any of the fields of open knowledge.The experience of Revista ORL was present in ECA 2017 through a joint communication of several authors titled Nuevas vías de publicación para revistas biomédicas. Proyecto Revista ORL de Ediciones Universidad de Salamanca, offering an overview of the history of the Revista as an open edition project. Although on that occasion it was called a project, now we should call it "reality" fully consolidated because the data on results obtained.Open Science represents a paradigm change in the way to make science. Although this doesn't change substantially with respect to its motivations and objectives, it changes its methods. The change lies in how it is done, not in what is done. It is an open science, collaborative and made with and for society.The concept of Open Science has been preceded by Open Access to academic content and this may have conditioned its understanding. Open Access has been assimilated only with open access to articles, while with Open Science it is considered that what must be open is any research result (articles + data as well as the auxiliary instruments used (for example, laboratory notebooks. However, the double meaning of "open" (free and free is the same for the two concepts.In this paper we pose questions such as What is Open Science? What are the motivations of governments for its promotion? What components does make up this ecosystem? What are the implications for agents of scientific research? What does represent all this for the edition of

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

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

    Management of Collective Rangelands in Rhamna (Morocco) ... reduce the pressure on natural resources and promote sustainable management. ... Project status ... IDRC congratulates first cohort of Women in Climate Change Science Fellows ... and adaptive water management: Innovative solutions from the Global South”.

  8. 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,...

  9. 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...

  10. Sustaining working rangelands: Insights from rancher decision making

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grazed rangeland ecosystems encompass diverse global land resources, and are complex social-ecological systems from which society demands both goods (e.g., livestock and forage production) and services (e.g., abundant and high quality water). In the dialogue on rangeland conservation and sustainable...

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. ECOSYSTEM SERVICES AND BEYOND: INTEGRATION OF ECOSYSTEM SCIENCE AND MULTIMEDIA EXPOSURE MODELING FOR ENVIRONMENTAL PROTECTION

    Science.gov (United States)

    Decision-making for ecosystem protection and resource management requires an integrative science and technology applied with a sufficiently comprehensive systems approach. Single media (e.g., air, soil and water) approaches that evaluate aspects of an ecosystem in a stressor-by-...

  14. 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.

  15. 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...

  16. Rangeland and water resources

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Session B3 Management for sustainable use — Rangeland and water resources. ... The theme of optimsing integrated catchment management will be treated ... land system, catchment, basin), with a focus on law, policy and implementation.

  17. State and transition models: Theory, applications, and challenges. In: Briske, D.D. Rangeland Systems: Processes, Management and Challenges

    Science.gov (United States)

    State and transition models (STMs) are used for communicating about ecosystem change in rangelands and other ecosystems, especially the implications for management. The fundamental premise that rangelands can exhibit multiple states is now widely accepted. The current application of STMs for managem...

  18. Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force---Gulf of Mexico Ecosystem Science Assessment and Needs

    Science.gov (United States)

    Walker, Shelby; Dausman, Alyssa M.; Lavoie, Dawn L.

    2012-01-01

    The Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Task Force (GCERTF) was established by Executive Order 13554 as a result of recommendations from “America’s Gulf Coast: A Long-term Recovery Plan after the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill” by Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus (Mabus Report). The GCERTF consists of members from 11 Federal agencies and representatives from each State bordering the Gulf of Mexico. The GCERTF was charged to develop a holistic, long-term, science-based Regional Ecosystem Restoration Strategy for the Gulf of Mexico. Federal and State agencies staffed the GCERTF with experts in fields such as policy, budgeting, and science to help develop the Strategy. The Strategy was built on existing authorities and resources and represents enhanced collaboration and a recognition of the shared responsibility among Federal and State governments to restore the Gulf Coast ecosystem. In this time of severe fiscal constraints, Task Force member agencies and States are committed to establishing shared priorities and working together to achieve them.As part of this effort, three staffers, one National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) scientist and two U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists, created and led a Science Coordination Team (SCT) to guide scientific input into the development of the Gulf of Mexico Regional Ecosystem Restoration Strategy. The SCT leads from the GCERTF coordinated more than 70 scientists from the Federal and State Task Force member agencies to participate in development of a restoration-oriented science document focused on the entire Gulf of Mexico, from inland watersheds to the deep blue waters. The SCT leads and scientists were organized into six different working groups based on expanded goals from the Mabus Report: Coastal habitats are healthy and resilient.Living coastal and marine resources are healthy, diverse, and sustainable.Coastal communities are adaptive and resilient.Storm buffers are sustainable.Inland habitats and

  19. Effects of climate change on rangeland vegetation in the Northern Rockies Region [Chapter 7

    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

    2018-01-01

    Rangelands are dominated by grass, forb, or shrub species, but are usually not modified by using agronomic improvements such as fertilization or irrigation (Lund 2007; Reeves and Mitchell 2011) as these lands would normally be considered pastures. Rangeland includes grassland, shrubland, and desert ecosystems, alpine areas, and some woodlands (box 7.1). This chapter...

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. 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…

  4. 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.

  5. Session B1 Management for sustainable use — Rangeland auditing ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We need to monitor the capacity of healthy rangeland to support a broad suite of ecosystem services for a wide range of stakeholders — in a fair, objective and representative way. ... A hybrid session structure will be utilised: distilling wisdom from relevant posters; formal presentations; and stimulating structured debate.

  6. 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 ...

  7. Exploring the invasion of rangelands by Acacia mearnsii (black ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Reducing A. mearnsii canopy could promote grass production while encouraging carbon sequestration. Given the high AGB and clearing costs, it may be prudent to adopt the 'novel ecosystems' approach in managing infested landscapes. Keywords: grassland, invasive plants, landscape ecology, rangeland condition ...

  8. Earth observation for rangeland monitoring

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramoelo, Abel

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available .kashan.co.za] INTRODUCTION Grass nitrogen (N), as an indicator of rangeland quality, plays a crucial role in understanding the distribution, densities and feeding patterns of both wild herbivores and livestock. Zebras and livestock in the grazing and agricultural lands... ? How can grass nitrogen be mapped for assessing and monitoring of rangeland quality at wider or regional scales? ? Conventional point-based techniques for assessing rangeland quality proved to be expensive, laborious and time consuming...

  9. 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...

  10. Multi-agency Oregon Pilot: Working towards a national inventory and assessment of rangelands using onsite data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Paul L. Patterson; James Alegria; Leonard Jolley; Doug Powell; J. Jeffery Goebel; Gregg M. Riegel; Kurt H. Riitters; Craig. Ducey

    2014-01-01

    Rangelands are lands dominated by grasses, forbs, and shrubs and are managed as a natural ecosystem. Although these lands comprise approximately 40 percent of the landmass of the continental United States, there is no coordinated effort designed to inventory, monitor, or assess rangeland conditions at the national scale. A pilot project in central Oregon with the U.S....

  11. A RANGELAND GRASSHOPPER INSURANCE PROGRAM

    OpenAIRE

    Skold, Melvin D.; Davis, Robert M.

    1995-01-01

    The incidence of benefits and costs from controlling rangeland grasshoppers on public grazing lands poses problems of economic efficiency and distributional equity. Public grasshopper control programs operate like public disaster assistance. However, grasshopper infestations are an insurable risk. This article proposes a rangeland grasshopper insurance program which reduces the economic inefficiencies and distributional inequities of the existing program.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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, Steven E.; Havlina, Douglas W.; Henke, Kenneth F.; Hennig, Jacob D.; Kurth, Laurie L.; Maestas, Jeremy D.; Mayer, Kenneth E.; Manning, Mary E.; 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.

  16. Session B1 Management for sustainable use — Rangeland auditing ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Social, economic and cultural needs, values and expectations will be examined together with the biophysical technologies and approaches which underlie auditing in rangeland science. Adaptive frameworks which enhance sustainable strategic responses, and the state of art in scale dilemmas will be addressed. A hybrid ...

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. Atoms to Ecosystems: A Workshop for Science Journalists

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saltzman, J.; Bowman, C.; Brown, G. E.; Foster, A. L.; Nilsson, A.; Spormann, A. M.

    2006-12-01

    The Stanford Environmental Molecular Environmental Institute (EMSI) hosted a two-day workshop entitled "Atoms to Ecosystems: Effects of Contaminants on Humans & the Environment" for thirteen science journalists in June 2006. Reporters from local newspapers, freelance writers, and writers from university publications learned about the innovative research of four EMSI scientists and discussed the challenges of reporting on cutting-edge research. Through lectures, a lab tour, and discussions, the journalists and scientists had a very positive experience of learning from each other. The main topics were mercury, arsenic, and water, and the different approaches to understanding these important chemicals in our lives. The sessions on measuring the effect of cooking time on the concentration of mercury in ahi tuna and the challenges of creating a paradigm shift about the structure of water in the water community generated the most questions and conversations. Discussions focused on the challenges of reporting new discoveries; details, complexity, and generalities; reluctance and fears of scientists; and deadlines and the "so what?" factor in publishing. Scientists learned about that it is not always the importance of the story, but competition with other stories that can impact whether an editor chooses to publish a story. Press releases are very important, since most journalists don't have time to browse the science journals. Scientists are sometimes reluctant to talk with journalists because the reports often play out one angle, leave out the complexity of the issue, and may cause conflict with other scientists in the field. Journalists were asked to write a one-paragraph nugget at the end of the first day to assess their understanding of workshop material presented and to potentially submit to NSF. One day after the workshop, one participant published her writing sample in an online magazine. Overall, the journalists wrote that they were pleased with the workshop. They

  20. Rangeland monitoring and assessment: a review

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramoelo, Abel

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available Rangelands provide vast landscapes for grazing and foraging for livestock and wildlife. Services of rangelands are diverse and generally provide food for millions of the world’s population, especially the rural and sometimes poor communities...

  1. 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

  2. Conserving biodiversity on native rangelands: Symposium proceedings

    Science.gov (United States)

    Daniel W. Uresk; Greg L. Schenbeck; James T. O' Rourke

    1997-01-01

    These proceedings are the result of a symposium, "Conserving biodiversity on native rangelands" held on August 17, 1995 in Fort Robinson State Park, NE. The purpose of this symposium was to provide a forum to discuss how elements of rangeland biodiversity are being conserved today. We asked, "How resilient and sustainable are rangeland systems to the...

  3. The Swedish Research Infrastructure for Ecosystem Science - SITES

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lindroth, A.; Ahlström, M.; Augner, M.; Erefur, C.; Jansson, G.; Steen Jensen, E.; Klemedtsson, L.; Langenheder, S.; Rosqvist, G. N.; Viklund, J.

    2017-12-01

    The vision of SITES is to promote long-term field-based ecosystem research at a world class level by offering an infrastructure with excellent technical and scientific support and services attracting both national and international researchers. In addition, SITES will make data freely and easily available through an advanced data portal which will add value to the research. During the first funding period, three innovative joint integrating facilities were established through a researcher-driven procedure: SITES Water, SITES Spectral, and SITES AquaNet. These new facilities make it possible to study terrestrial and limnic ecosystem processes across a range of ecosystem types and climatic gradients, with common protocols and similar equipment. In addition, user-driven development at the nine individual stations has resulted in e.g. design of a long-term agricultural systems experiment, and installation of weather stations, flux systems, etc. at various stations. SITES, with its integrative approach and broad coverage of climate and ecosystem types across Sweden, constitutes an excellent platform for state-of-the-art research projects. SITES' support the development of: A better understanding of the way in which key ecosystems function and interact with each other at the landscape level and with the climate system in terms of mass and energy exchanges. A better understanding of the role of different organisms in controlling different processes and ultimately the functioning of ecosystems. New strategies for forest management to better meet the many and varied requirements from nature conservation, climate and wood, fibre, and energy supply points of view. Agricultural systems that better utilize resources and minimize adverse impacts on the environment. Collaboration with other similar infrastructures and networks is a high priority for SITES. This will enable us to make use of each others' experiences, harmonize metadata for easier exchange of data, and support each

  4. Criterion III: Maintenance of rangeland productive capacity [Chapter 4

    Science.gov (United States)

    G. R. Evans; R. A. Washmgton-Allen; R. D. Child; J. E. Mitchell; B. R. Bobowskl; R. V. Loper; B. H. Allen-Diaz; D. W. Thompson; G. R. Welling; T. B. Reuwsaat

    2010-01-01

    Maintenance of rangeland productive capacity is one of five criteria established by the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable (SRR) to monitor and assess rangeland sustainable management. Within this criterion, six indicators were developed through the Delphi Process and the expert opinions of academicians, rangeland scientists, rangeland management agency personnel, non-...

  5. African Journal of Range and Forage Science

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The African Journal of Range & Forage Science is the leading rangeland and pastoral journal in Africa. The Journal is dedicated to publishing quality original material that advances rangeland ecology and pasture management in Africa. Read more abou the journal here.

  6. Managing Actors, Resources, and Activities in Innovation Ecosystems – A Design Science Approach

    OpenAIRE

    Valkokari , Katri; Amitrano , Cristina ,; Bifulco , Francesco; Valjakka , Tiina

    2016-01-01

    Part 13: Design Science and Business Models - Design Science Research; International audience; Through a design science approach, the paper explores how actors in a network create and sustain competitive advantage independently and through participation in a system of actors (i.e., a collaborative network) who are not hierarchically managed but, rather, act toward their own goals within the innovation ecosystem. In accordance with design studies, the relevance of research and its quality are ...

  7. 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.

  8. Environmental science and vulnerable ecosystems. Programme and abstract book

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1995-11-01

    The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) is a non-profit, professional society established to provide a multi-disciplinary forum for individuals and institutions engaged in the study of environmental problems. SETAC provides a vehicle for scientists to exchange information and share opinions across borders and across disciplines. It does so by organizing international and national meetings, workshops and symposia, by publishing a scientific journal, newsletter and books. There were 228 papers and 291 posters presented by more than 1000 contributors on aqueous and terrestrial ecosystems and their vulnerability to anthropogenic pollution and contamination. (EG)

  9. Environmental science and vulnerable ecosystems. Programme and abstract book

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    1995-01-01

    The Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry (SETAC) is a non-profit, professional society established to provide a multi-disciplinary forum for individuals and institutions engaged in the study of environmental problems. SETAC provides a vehicle for scientists to exchange information and share opinions across border and across disciplines. It does so by organizing international and national meetings, workshops and symposia, by publishing a scientific journal, newsletter and books. There were 228 papers and 291 posters presented by more than 1000 contributors on aqueous and terrestrial ecosystems and their vulnerability to anthropogenic pollution and contamination. (EG)

  10. 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...

  11. 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)

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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...

  14. 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.

  15. 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…

  16. 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...

  17. Ecosystem Pen Pals: Using Place-Based Marine Science and Culture to Connect Students

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wiener, Carlie S.; Matsumoto, Karen

    2014-01-01

    The marine environment provides a unique context for students to explore both natural and cultural connections. This paper reports preliminary findings on Ecosystem Pen Pals, an ocean literacy program for 4th and 5th graders focused on using a pen pal model for integrating traditional ecological knowledge into marine science. Surveys with…

  18. DEVELOPMENTS IN MONITORING RANGELANDS USING REMOTELY-SENSED CROSS-FENCE COMPARISONS

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    A. D. Kilpatrick

    2012-07-01

    Full Text Available This paper presents a new method for the use of earth-observation images to assess relative land condition over broad regions, using a cross-fence comparison methodology. It controls for natural spatial and temporal variables (e.g. rainfall, temperature soils, ecosystem so that we can objectively monitor rangelands and other areas for the effects of management. The method has been tested with small and large scale theoretical models, as well as a case study in South Australian rangelands. This method can also be applied in other systems and experiments such as field trials of crop varieties as a robust spatial statistic.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jönsson, Anna Maria; Anderbrant, Olle; Holmér, Jennie; Johansson, Jacob; Schurgers, Guy; Svensson, Glenn P; Smith, Henrik G

    2015-04-01

    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 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 modelling with policy and strategies for sustainable management. In this paper we give a brief overview of different ecosystem modelling methods, discuss how to include ecological and management aspects, and highlight the importance of science-stakeholder communication. By this, we hope to stimulate a discussion among the science-stakeholder communities on how to quantify the potential for climate change adaptation by improving the realism in the models.

  20. 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.

  1. 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...

  2. 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.

  3. Meeting wild bees' needs on rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Some arid rangeland regions, notably those with warm dry climates of the temperate zones, host great diversities of native bees, primarily non-social species among which are many floral specialists. Rangeland bee faunas are threatened indirectly by invasive exotic weeds wherever these displace nat...

  4. 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 ...

  5. 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.

  6. 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

  7. Incorporating historical ecosystem diversity into conservation planning efforts in grass and shrub ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Amy C. Ganguli; Johathan B. Haufler; Carolyn A. Mehl; Jimmie D. Chew

    2011-01-01

    Understanding historical ecosystem diversity and wildlife habitat quality can provide a useful reference for managing and restoring rangeland ecosystems. We characterized historical ecosystem diversity using available empirical data, expert opinion, and the spatially explicit vegetation dynamics model SIMPPLLE (SIMulating Vegetative Patterns and Processes at Landscape...

  8. 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.

  9. Telling science stories in an evolving digital media ecosystem: from communication to conversation and confrontation

    OpenAIRE

    Holliman, Richard

    2011-01-01

    The globalised digital media ecosystem can be characterised as both dynamic and disruptive. Developments in digital technologies relate closely to emerging social practices. In turn these are influencing, and are influenced by, the political economy of professional media and user-generated content, and the introduction of political and institutional governance and policies. Together this wider context provides opportunities and challenges for science communication practitioners and researcher...

  10. 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.

  11. Scientists are from Mars, educators are from Venus: Relationships in the ecosystem of science teacher preparation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Duggan-Haas, Don Andrew

    2000-10-01

    Great problems exist in science teaching from kindergarten through the college level (NRC, 1996; NSF, 1996). The problem may be attributed to the failure of teachers to integrate their own understanding of science content with appropriate pedagogy (Shulman, 1986, 1987). All teachers were trained by college faculty and therefore some of the blame for these problems rests on those faculty. This dissertation presents three models for describing secondary science teacher preparation. Two Programs, Two Cultures adapts C. P. Snow's classic work (1959) to describe the work of a science teacher candidate as that of an individual who navigates between two discrete programs: one in college science and the second in teacher education. The second model, Scientists Are from Mars, Educators Are from Venus adapts the popular work of John Gray to describe the system of science teacher education as hobbled by the dysfunctional relationships among the major players and describes the teacher as progeny from this relationship. The third model, The Ecosystem of Science Teacher Preparation reveals some of the deeper complexities of science teacher education and posits that the traditional college science approach treats students as a monoculture when great diversity in fact exists. The three models are described in the context of a large Midwestern university's teacher education program as that program is construed for future biology teachers. Four undergraduate courses typically taken by future biology teachers were observed and described: an introductory biology course; an introductory teacher education course; an upper division course in biochemistry and a senior level science teaching methods course. Seven second semester seniors who were biological Science majors were interviewed. All seven students had taken all of the courses observed. An organization of scientists and educators working together to improve science teaching from kindergarten through graduate school is also

  12. 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

  13. Evaluating the Collaborative Ecosystem for an Innovation-Driven Economy: A Systems Analysis and Case Study of Science Parks

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Min-Ren Yan

    2018-03-01

    Full Text Available National policies for science parks and innovation have been identified as one of the major driving forces for the innovation-driven economy, especially for publicly funded science parks. To investigate this collaborative ecosystem (government-academia-industry for growth and sustainable development, this paper proposes a nation-wide economic impact analysis of science parks and innovation policy based on historical data drawn from one of the globally recognized high-technology industrial clusters in Taiwan. Systems thinking with causal loop analysis are adopted to improve our understanding of the collaborative ecosystem with science park policies. First, from a holistic viewpoint, the role of government in a science parks and innovation ecosystem is reviewed. A systems analysis of an innovation-driven economy with a science park policy is presented as a strategy map for policy implementers. Second, the added economic value and employment of the benchmarked science parks is evaluated from a long range perspective. Third, the concepts of government-academia-industry collaboration and policies to innovation ecosystem are introduced while addressing the measures and performance of innovation and applied R&D in the science parks. We conclude with a discussion of lessons learned and the policy implications of science park development and an innovation ecosystem.

  14. 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...

  15. Ecosystem Management and Restoration. Overview of Stream Restoration Technology: State of the Science. EMRRP, Volume 2, Number 3

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Fischenich, J

    1999-01-01

    The Ecosystem Management and Restoration Research Program (EMRRP), established in 1997, provides state-of-the-science techniques for prediction and analysis of environmental impacts of Corps projects and activities...

  16. 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

  17. 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.

  18. Water conservation for semi-arid rangelands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Willis, W.O.

    1983-01-01

    Water deficiency is most often the cause for low forage production on rangelands in semi-arid and arid regions. Water conservation methods have been developed but additional research is needed to develop the best management practices for various climatic regions. Poor management is another major cause of low rangeland production. Better management, including the application of research findings, depends on attitudes, policies, adaptability of findings, resources for implementation and a good understanding of the governing biotic and abiotic factors. (author)

  19. 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...

  20. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özdemir, Vural; Springer, Simon

    2018-03-01

    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, the Frame Diversity Index (FDI), based on the hitherto neglected diversities in knowledge framing. 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, technology, innovation and society.

  2. 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...

  3. GSD Update: Year in Review: Spotlight on 2015 Research by the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah. Finch

    2016-01-01

    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...

  4. GSD Update: Year in Review: Spotlight on 2017 Research by the Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah M. Finch

    2018-01-01

    In this issue of the GSD Update, we feature selected studies of the RMRS Grassland, Shrubland and Desert Ecosystems Science Program (GSD) that focus on the theme of fire. Significant results of recent research and science delivery by GSD scientists are highlighted. We feature program research that lines up with the strategic priorities and goals of the USDA Forest...

  5. The value of co-creation through Design Science Research in developing a Digital Health Innovation Ecosystem for South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Herselman, Martha E

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The purpose of this paper is to indicate what value was co-created with various stakeholders when Design Science Research as a methodology was applied, to develop a Digital Health Innovation Ecosystem (DHIE) for South Africa. Design science research...

  6. Livestock systems and rangeland degradation in the new World Atlas of Desertification

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zucca, Claudio; Reynolds, James F.; Cherlet, Michael

    2015-04-01

    Livestock systems and rangeland degradation in the new World Atlas of Desertification Land degradation and desertification (LDD), which are widespread in global rangelands, are complex processes. They are caused by multiple (but limited) number of biophysical and socioeconomic drivers that lead to an unbalance in the capacity of the land to sustainably produce ecosystem services and economic value. Converging evidence indicates that the key biophysical and socioeconomic drivers include agricultural or pastoral land use and management practices, population growth, societal demands (e.g., urbanization), and climate change (e.g., increasing aridity and drought). The new World Atlas of Desertification (WAD) describes these global issues, documents their spatial change, and highlights the importance of these drivers in relation to land degradation processes. The impacts of LDD on the atmosphere, on water and on biodiversity are also covered. The WAD spatially illustrates relevant types of livestock and rangeland management systems, related (over-under) use of resources, various management activities, and some of the common features and transitions that contribute to LDD. For example, livestock grazing in marginal areas is increasing due to competition with agricultural encroachment and, hence, vulnerable lands are under threat. The integration of stratified global data layers facilitates identifying areas where stress on the land system can be linked to underlying causal issues. One of the objectives of the new WAD is to provide synthesis and tools for scientists and stakeholders to design sustainable solutions for efficient land use in global rangelands.

  7. Contrasting watershed-scale trends in runoff and sediment yield complicate rangeland water resources planning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Berg, Matthew D.; Marcantonio, Franco; Allison, Mead A.; McAlister, Jason; Wilcox, Bradford P.; Fox, William E.

    2016-06-01

    Rangelands cover a large portion of the earth's land surface and are undergoing dramatic landscape changes. At the same time, these ecosystems face increasing expectations to meet growing water supply needs. To address major gaps in our understanding of rangeland hydrologic function, we investigated historical watershed-scale runoff and sediment yield in a dynamic landscape in central Texas, USA. We quantified the relationship between precipitation and runoff and analyzed reservoir sediment cores dated using cesium-137 and lead-210 radioisotopes. Local rainfall and streamflow showed no directional trend over a period of 85 years, resulting in a rainfall-runoff ratio that has been resilient to watershed changes. Reservoir sedimentation rates generally were higher before 1963, but have been much lower and very stable since that time. Our findings suggest that (1) rangeland water yields may be stable over long periods despite dramatic landscape changes while (2) these same landscape changes influence sediment yields that impact downstream reservoir storage. Relying on rangelands to meet water needs demands an understanding of how these dynamic landscapes function and a quantification of the physical processes at work.

  8. Researchers must be aware of their roles at the interface of ecosystem services science and policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Crouzat, Emilie; Arpin, Isabelle; Brunet, Lucas; Colloff, Matthew J; Turkelboom, Francis; Lavorel, Sandra

    2018-02-01

    Scientists working on ecosystem service (ES) science are engaged in a mission-driven discipline. They can contribute to science-policy interfaces where knowledge is co-produced and used. How scientists engage with the governance arena to mobilise their knowledge remains a matter of personal choice, influenced by individual values. ES science cannot be considered neutral and a discussion of the values that shape it forms an important part of the sustainability dialogue. We propose a simple decision tree to help ES scientists identify their role and the purpose of the knowledge they produce. We characterise six idealised scientific postures spanning possible roles at the science-policy interface (pure scientist, science arbiter-guarantor, issue advocate-guardian, officer, honest broker and stealth issue advocate) and illustrate them with feedbacks from interviews. We encourage ES scientists to conduct a reflexive exploration of their attitudes regarding knowledge production and use, with the intention of progressing toward a higher recognition of the political and ethical importance of ES assessments.

  9. Using ecosystem science to improve protection of the environment from radiation

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Bradshaw, C. [Stockholm University (Sweden); Brechignac, F. [IUR / IRSN (France); Barnthouse, L. [LWB Environmental Services Inc. (United States); Brown, J. [Norwegian Radiation Protection Authority - NRPA (Norway); Forbes, V. [University of Lincoln (United Kingdom); Kapustka, L. [LC LK Consultancy (Canada); Kautsky, U. [Svensk Kaernbraenslehantering AB - SKB (Sweden)

    2014-07-01

    The ecosystem approach (EA) involves considering the impacts of an anthropogenic stressor at the ecosystem level because this is usually the ultimate goal of environmental protection. As such, EA includes population, community and ecosystem effects, structural and functional effects, indirect effects due to ecological interactions between species, dynamic interactions, positive or negative feedback loops, and potential synergistic or antagonistic effects of multiple stressors (both anthropogenic and natural). All such effects better reflect the reality of the impact of a contamination scenario than if assessments are restricted to considering effects to individual organisms or species. Such effects may be greater or lesser than expected from studies of individual organisms or species, so not considering them may result in under- or overestimation of risk, respectively. EA is a term that is widely used in environmental assessment, management and legislation in a number of regulatory fields (e.g., radiation protection, chemicals legislation, fisheries policy, international biodiversity conventions). However, although its justification is now well established in a wide range of environment protection contexts, its practical use is still unclear due to poorly defined protection goals and assessment endpoints, making its implementation difficult. This paper presents the initial findings of a newly formed follow-up task group of the International Union of Radioecology whose aims are to identify ways to put the EA into practice when considering protection of the environment from radiation. Drawing on knowledge and experience from a range of fields, we summarise the types of ecosystem processes, goods and services that might be included when using this approach, the science that supports the use of the EA, and the methodological challenges that need to be addressed when implementing the EA in the field of radiation protection. Document available in abstract form only

  10. 75 FR 8036 - Monitor-Hot Creek Rangeland Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-23

    ... DEPARTMENT OF AGRICULTURE Forest Service Monitor-Hot Creek Rangeland Project AGENCY: Forest... Rangeland Project area. The analysis will determine if a change in management direction for livestock grazing is needed to move existing resource conditions within the Monitor-Hot Creek Rangeland Project area...

  11. Using remotely sensed imagery to monitor savanna rangeland deterioration through woody plant proliferation: a case study from communal and biodiversity conservation rangeland sites in Mokopane, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Munyati, C

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available rangeland, whereas the communal rangelands were getting more opened up by livestock trampling. Rangeland management practices of fire utilisation, stocking levels and stock concentration account for the differing trends. Lightly grazed and heavily grazed...

  12. 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 E.; Gelfenbaum, Guy R.; 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

  13. 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

  14. 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

  15. Multiscale sagebrush rangeland habitat modeling in southwest Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homer, Collin G.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Meyer, Debra K.; Coan, Michael J.; Bowen, Zachary H.

    2009-01-01

    Sagebrush-steppe ecosystems in North America have experienced dramatic elimination and degradation since European settlement. As a result, sagebrush-steppe dependent species have experienced drastic range contractions and population declines. Coordinated ecosystem-wide research, integrated with monitoring and management activities, would improve the ability to maintain existing sagebrush habitats. However, current data only identify resource availability locally, with rigorous spatial tools and models that accurately model and map sagebrush habitats over large areas still unavailable. Here we report on an effort to produce a rigorous large-area sagebrush-habitat classification and inventory with statistically validated products and estimates of precision in the State of Wyoming. This research employs a combination of significant new tools, including (1) modeling sagebrush rangeland as a series of independent continuous field components that can be combined and customized by any user at multiple spatial scales; (2) collecting ground-measured plot data on 2.4-meter imagery in the same season the satellite imagery is acquired; (3) effective modeling of ground-measured data on 2.4-meter imagery to maximize subsequent extrapolation; (4) acquiring multiple seasons (spring, summer, and fall) of an additional two spatial scales of imagery (30 meter and 56 meter) for optimal large-area modeling; (5) using regression tree classification technology that optimizes data mining of multiple image dates, ratios, and bands with ancillary data to extrapolate ground training data to coarser resolution sensors; and (6) employing rigorous accuracy assessment of model predictions to enable users to understand the inherent uncertainties. First-phase results modeled eight rangeland components (four primary targets and four secondary targets) as continuous field predictions. The primary targets included percent bare ground, percent herbaceousness, percent shrub, and percent litter. The

  16. 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.

  17. Applying a dryland degradation framework for rangelands: the case of Mongolia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jamsranjav, C; Reid, R S; Fernández-Giménez, M E; Tsevlee, A; Yadamsuren, B; Heiner, M

    2018-04-01

    Livestock-caused rangeland degradation remains a major policy concern globally and the subject of widespread scientific study. This concern persists in part because it is difficult to isolate the effects of livestock from climate and other factors that influence ecosystem conditions. Further, degradation studies seldom use multiple plant and soil indicators linked to a clear definition of and ecologically grounded framework for degradation assessment that distinguishes different levels of degradation. Here, we integrate two globally applicable rangeland degradation frameworks and apply them to a broad-scale empirical data set for the country of Mongolia. We compare our assessment results with two other recent national rangeland degradation assessments in Mongolia to gauge consistency of findings across assessments and evaluate the utility of our framework. We measured livestock-use impacts across Mongolia's major ecological zones: mountain and forest steppe, eastern steppe, steppe, and desert steppe. At 143 sites in 36 counties, we measured livestock-use and degradation indicators at increasing distances from livestock corrals in winter-grazed pastures. At each site, we measured multiple indicators linked to our degradation framework, including plant cover, standing biomass, palatability, species richness, forage quality, vegetation gaps, and soil surface characteristics. Livestock use had no effect on soils, plant species richness, or standing crop biomass in any ecological zone, but subtly affected plant cover and palatable plant abundance. Livestock effects were strongest in the steppe zone, moderate in the desert steppe, and limited in the mountain/forest and eastern steppes. Our results aligned closely with those of two other recent country-wide assessments, suggesting that our framework may have widespread application. All three assessments found that very severe and irreversible degradation is rare in Mongolia (1-18% of land area), with most rangelands

  18. PERSPECTIVES ON RANGELAND ECOLOGY AND MANAGEMENT

    OpenAIRE

    Heady, Harold F.

    2011-01-01

    This paper reviews changes in rangeland ecology and management in the U.S.A. over the last 65 years and speculates on future changes. Emphasis has shifted from livestock management to ecological and environmental concerns, hence "rangeland ecology." The term "range management" may have outlived its usefulness and may also be detrimental to our image. The vision that we have of ourselves is not the same as others have of us. Many members of the Society for Range Management (SRM) and most of ou...

  19. 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

  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. Soil Moisture Variability and its Effects on Herbage Production in Semi-arid Rangelands of Kenya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Too, D.K.; Trlica, M.J.; Swift, D.M.; Musembi, D.K.

    1999-01-01

    Results obtained from recent studies focused on rangelands potential as influenced by human activity and climatic factors in the semi-arid and arid pastoral ecosystems of Northern Kenya indicated great temporal and spatial forage production variability. The objective of the studies was to document primary production in relation to water stress (drought), herbivory and direct human activities. Efforts also focused on finding possibilities of increasing productivity while conserving the finite resources for sustainable use. Laboratory, field and numerical methods were employed over several seasons and years. Forb and grass production was more variable than that of the browse (dwarf shrub) layer. Compared to forbs and dwarf shrubs, the grass layer contributed less to the total production in all seasons, indicating that the region had less potential for grazers compared to browsers. Spatial-temporal variation in rangeland carrying capacity reflected the great spatial heterogeneity in vegetation types and production. Similarly, seasonal differences were very evident, with highest estimates in the long rainy and the lowest during the dry and short rainy seasons, respectively. Factors limiting rangeland production potential were identified to be moisture deficiency, resource-use conflicts, an increasing and partially sedentarised nomadic population, overgrazing, tree felling, and land degradation (desert encroachment). Measures that can improve rangeland production potential and provide a better way of life for the inhabitants of the region include: (a) identification of land degradation (e.g. by means of bio-indicators and Geographical Information Systems, GIS); (b) technical interventions (i.e. soil and water conservation, restoration of degraded areas, fodder production); (c) social-economic interventions (i.e. resolution of resource-use conflicts, alleviation of poverty, infrastructure development improvement of livestock marketing channels etc.) and (d) continued

  2. 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.

  3. Invasive Plants on Rangelands: a Global Threat

    Science.gov (United States)

    Invasive plant species are spreading and invading rangelands at an unprecedented rate costing ranchers billions of dollars to control invasive plants each year. In its simplest form, the invasion process has four primary stages, including introduction, establishment, spread and colonization. Th...

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Sustaining Rocky Mountain landscapes: Science, policy and management for the Crown of the Continent ecosystem

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prato, Tony; Fagre, Daniel B.

    2007-01-01

    Prato and Fagre offer the first systematic, multi-disciplinary assessment of the challenges involved in managing the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem ( CCE), an area of the Rocky Mountains that includes northwestern Montana, southwestern Alberta, and southeastern British Columbia. The spectacular landscapes, extensive recreational options, and broad employment opportunities of the CCE have made it one of the fastest growing regions in the United States and Canada, and have lead to a shift in its economic base from extractive resource industries to service-oriented recreation and tourism industries. In the process, however, the amenities and attributes that draw people to this “New West” are under threat. Pastoral scenes are disappearing as agricultural lands and other open spaces are converted to residential uses, biodiversity is endangered by the fragmentation of fish and wildlife habitats, and many areas are experiencing a decline in air and water quality. Sustaining Rocky Mountain Landscapes provides a scientific basis for communities to develop policies for managing the growth and economic transformation of the CCE without sacrificing the quality of life and environment for which the land is renowned. This forthcoming edited volume focuses on five aspects of sustaining mountain landscapes in the CCE and similar regions in the Rocky Mountains. The five aspects are: 1) how social, economic, demo graphic and environmental forces are transforming ecosystem structure and function, 2) trends in use and conditions for human and environmental resources, 3) activating science, policy and education to enhance sustainable landscape management, 4) challenges to sustainable management of public and private lands, and 5) future prospects for achieving sustainable landscapes.

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. Pastoral Decision-Making: An Empirical Investigation of Rangeland Use

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    MacPeak, J.

    1999-01-01

    Recent research in range ecology suggests that the process of resource degradation in African arid and semi-arid rangelands may be less reliant on how many animals are kept on the rangeland than on where these animals are kept. Analysis of pastoralist land use decisions indicated that rangeland condition influences livestock keeping. However, it was found that food and income production strategies, herd characteristics play critical roles in livestock keeping decisions

  10. Monitoring Rangeland Ecosystems with Remote Sensing: An example from Kazakhstan

    Science.gov (United States)

    This paper introduces the problem of desertification in Kazakhstan in both a historical and modern context. The vegetation of Kazakhstan is dominated by shrubs and grasses, many of which are adapted to saline or sandy soils, with a very limited growing season. A model of vegetation production under ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bond-Lamberty, Ben; Peyton Smith, A.; Bailey, Vanessa

    2016-08-01

    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.

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. Science in the public process of ecosystem management: lessons from Hawaii, Southeast Asia, Africa and the US Mainland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gutrich, John; Donovan, Deanna; Finucane, Melissa; Focht, Will; Hitzhusen, Fred; Manopimoke, Supachit; McCauley, David; Norton, Bryan; Sabatier, Paul; Salzman, Jim; Sasmitawidjaja, Virza

    2005-08-01

    Partnerships and co-operative environmental management are increasing worldwide as is the call for scientific input in the public process of ecosystem management. In Hawaii, private landowners, non-governmental organizations, and state and federal agencies have formed watershed partnerships to conserve and better manage upland forested watersheds. In this paper, findings of an international workshop convened in Hawaii to explore the strengths of approaches used to assess stakeholder values of environmental resources and foster consensus in the public process of ecosystem management are presented. Authors draw upon field experience in projects throughout Hawaii, Southeast Asia, Africa and the US mainland to derive a set of lessons learned that can be applied to Hawaiian and other watershed partnerships in an effort to promote consensus and sustainable ecosystem management. Interdisciplinary science-based models can serve as effective tools to identify areas of potential consensus in the process of ecosystem management. Effective integration of scientific input in co-operative ecosystem management depends on the role of science, the stakeholders and decision-makers involved, and the common language utilized to compare tradeoffs. Trust is essential to consensus building and the integration of scientific input must be transparent and inclusive of public feedback. Consideration of all relevant stakeholders and the actual benefits and costs of management activities to each stakeholder is essential. Perceptions and intuitive responses of people can be as influential as analytical processes in decision-making and must be addressed. Deliberative, dynamic and iterative decision-making processes all influence the level of stakeholder achievement of consensus. In Hawaii, application of lessons learned can promote more informed and democratic decision processes, quality scientific analysis that is relevant, and legitimacy and public acceptance of ecosystem management.

  15. Incorporating biodiversity into rangeland health: Plant species richness and diversity in great plains grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Symstad, Amy J.; Jonas, Jayne L.

    2011-01-01

    Indicators of rangeland health generally do not include a measure of biodiversity. Increasing attention to maintaining biodiversity in rangelands suggests that this omission should be reconsidered, and plant species richness and diversity are two metrics that may be useful and appropriate. Ideally, their response to a variety of anthropogenic and natural drivers in the ecosystem of interest would be clearly understood, thereby providing a means to diagnose the cause of decline in an ecosystem. Conceptual ecological models based on ecological principles and hypotheses provide a framework for this understanding, but these models must be supported by empirical evidence if they are to be used for decision making. To that end, we synthesize results from published studies regarding the responses of plant species richness and diversity to drivers that are of management concern in Great Plains grasslands, one of North America's most imperiled ecosystems. In the published literature, moderate grazing generally has a positive effect on these metrics in tallgrass prairie and a neutral to negative effect in shortgrass prairie. The largest published effects on richness and diversity were caused by moderate grazing in tallgrass prairies and nitrogen fertilization in shortgrass prairies. Although weather is often cited as the reason for considerable annual fluctuations in richness and diversity, little information about the responses of these metrics to weather is available. Responses of the two metrics often diverged, reflecting differences in their sensitivity to different types of changes in the plant community. Although sufficient information has not yet been published for these metrics to meet all the criteria of a good indicator in Great Plains Grasslands, augmenting current methods of evaluating rangeland health with a measure of plant species richness would reduce these shortcomings and provide information critical to managing for biodiversity.

  16. Ecosystem thermodynamics

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Gomez Palacio, German Rau

    1998-01-01

    Ecology is no more a descriptive and self-sufficient science. Many viewpoints are needed simultaneously to give a full coverage of such complex systems: ecosystems. These viewpoints come from physics, chemistry, and nuclear physics, without a new far from equilibrium thermodynamics and without new mathematical tools such as catastrophe theory, fractal theory, cybernetics and network theory, the development of ecosystem science would never have reached the point of today. Some ideas are presented about the importance that concept such as energy, entropy, exergy information and none equilibrium have in the analysis of processes taking place in ecosystems

  17. 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.

  18. Ecosystem Science: measuring, mapping and predicting the production of nature’s goods and services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Our existence, let alone our well-being, depends on “goods and services” produced by ecosystems (food, purification of water and air, outdoor recreation, etc.). Humans have the power to enhance, protect, or degrade nature’s capacity to provide these ecosystem s...

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. Marine and coastal ecosystem services on the science-policy-practice nexus

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Drakou, Evangelia G.; Kermagoret, Charlène; Liquete, Camino; Ruiz-Frau, Ana; Burkhard, Kremena; Lillebø, Ana I.; Oudenhoven, van Alexander P.E.; Ballé-Béganton, Johanna; Rodrigues, João Garcia; Nieminen, Emmi; Oinonen, Soile; Ziemba, Alex; Gissi, Elena; Depellegrin, Daniel; Veidemane, Kristina; Ruskule, Anda; Delangue, Justine; Böhnke-Henrichs, Anne; Boon, Arjen; Wenning, Richard; Martino, Simone; Hasler, Berit; Termansen, Mette; Rockel, Mark; Hummel, Herman; Serafy, El Ghada; Peev, Plamen

    2017-01-01

    We compared and contrasted 11 European case studies to identify challenges and opportunities toward the operationalization of marine and coastal ecosystem service (MCES) assessments in Europe. This work is the output of a panel convened by the Marine Working Group of the Ecosystem Services

  4. Developing an operational rangeland water requirement satisfaction index

    Science.gov (United States)

    Senay, Gabriel B.; Verdin, James P.; Rowland, James

    2011-01-01

    Developing an operational water requirement satisfaction index (WRSI) for rangeland monitoring is an important goal of the famine early warning systems network. An operational WRSI has been developed for crop monitoring, but until recently a comparable WRSI for rangeland was not successful because of the extremely poor performance of the index when based on published crop coefficients (K c) for rangelands. To improve the rangeland WRSI, we developed a simple calibration technique that adjusts the K c values for rangeland monitoring using long-term rainfall distribution and reference evapotranspiration data. The premise for adjusting the K c values is based on the assumption that a viable rangeland should exhibit above-average WRSI (values >80%) during a normal year. The normal year was represented by a median dekadal rainfall distribution (satellite rainfall estimate from 1996 to 2006). Similarly, a long-term average for potential evapotranspiration was used as input to the famine early warning systems network WRSI model in combination with soil-water-holding capacity data. A dekadal rangeland WRSI has been operational for east and west Africa since 2005. User feedback has been encouraging, especially with regard to the end-of-season WRSI anomaly products that compare the index's performance to ‘normal’ years. Currently, rangeland WRSI products are generated on a dekadal basis and posted for free distribution on the US Geological Survey early warning website at http://earlywarning.usgs.gov/adds/

  5. Adaptive management for complex communal rangelands in South ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Many of the intransigent problems facing the world arise in complex systems. In this paper, I propose that communal rangelands in South Africa be recognised as complex social–ecological systems and that one of the reasons that development initiatives have had little impact on improving livelihoods and rangeland ...

  6. A description of rangeland on commercial and communal land ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Analysis of a Landsat TM image from a rangeland near Peddie, Eastern Cape, revealed differences in two vegetation indices (normalised difference vegetation index, NDVI, and moving standard deviation index, MSDI) between communal and commercial rangeland. It was suggested that the difference in the MSDI reflected ...

  7. Meeting wild bees' needs on Western US rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    James H. Cane

    2011-01-01

    Rangelands are areas that are too arid, or with soils too shallow, to support either forests or cultivated agriculture, but that nonetheless produce enough vegetation for livestock grazing. Some arid rangeland regions, notably those with warm, dry climates in temperate zones (e.g., the warm deserts of the United States and adjacent Mexico, parts of Australia, South...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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

  12. A potential to monitor nutrients as an indicator of rangeland quality using space borne remote sensing

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ramoelo, A; Madonsela, S; Mathieu, R; Van der Korchove, R; Kaszta, Z; Wolf, E; Cho, M A

    2014-01-01

    Global change consisting of land use and climate change could have huge impacts on food security and the health of various ecosystems. Leaf nitrogen (N) is one of the key factors limiting agricultural production and ecosystem functioning. Leaf N can be used as an indicator of rangeland quality which could provide information for the farmers, decision makers, land planners and managers. Leaf N plays a crucial role in understanding the feeding patterns and distribution of wildlife and livestock. Assessment of this vegetation parameter using conventional methods at landscape scale level is time consuming and tedious. Remote sensing provides a synoptic view of the landscape, which engenders an opportunity to assess leaf N over wider rangeland areas from protected to communal areas. Estimation of leaf N has been successful during peak productivity or high biomass and limited studies estimated leaf N in dry season. The objective of this study is to monitor leaf N as an indicator of rangeland quality using WorldView 2 satellite images in the north-eastern part of South Africa. Series of field work to collect samples for leaf N were undertaken in the beginning of May (end of wet season) and July (dry season). Several conventional and red edge based vegetation indices were computed. Simple regression was used to develop prediction model for leaf N. Using bootstrapping, indicator of precision and accuracy were analyzed to select a best model for the combined data sets (May and July). The may model for red edge based simple ratio explained over 90% of leaf N variations. The model developed from the combined data sets with normalized difference vegetation index explained 62% of leaf N variation, and this is a model used to estimate and map leaf N for two seasons. The study demonstrated that leaf N could be monitored using high spatial resolution with the red edge band capability

  13. Radiation effects on non-human biota and ecosystems. Researches in National Institute of Radiological Sciences, Japan

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Yoshida, Satoshi; Ishii, Nobuyoshi; Ishikawa, Yuuji

    2008-01-01

    This paper summarizes research activities in National Institute of Radiological Sciences (NIRS) for evaluation of the radiation effects on selected terrestrial and aquatic organisms as well as the ecosystems. Seven organisms, conifers, fungi, earthworms, springtails, algae, daphnia and Medaka are presently selected to study. Most of them play important roles in Japanese ecosystems and are possibly useful for bio-indicator of the radiation effects. For the estimation of possible radiation dose, transfers of radionuclides and related elements from medium to organisms are evaluated. Dose-effect relationships of acute gamma radiation on the survival, growth, and reproduction of selected organisms have been studied. Studies on the effect of chronic gamma radiation at low dose rate were also started. In order to understand the mechanism of radiation effects and to find possible indicators of the effects, information of genome- and metagenome-wide gene expression obtained by the High Coverage Expression Profiling (HiCEP) has been collected. Evaluation of ecological effects of radiation is more challenging task. Study methods by using three-species microcosm were established, and an index for the holistic evaluation of effects on various ecological parameters was proposed. The microcosm has been simulated for its population dynamics, and mass and energy budgets as a computer simulation code. Developments of more complicated and practical model ecosystems have been started. The Denaturant Gradient Gel Electrophoresis (DGGE) has been applied on soil bacterial community in order to evaluate the radiation effects on soil ecosystems. (author)

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Catchment2Coast: A systems approach to coupled river-coastal ecosystem science and management

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Monteiro, PMS

    2009-07-01

    Full Text Available Catchment2Coast was an interdisciplinary research and modelling project that aimed to improve understanding of the linkages between coastal ecosystems and the adjacent river catchments. The project involved nine partner organizations from three...

  17. Living Digital Ecosystems for Data Preservation: An Austrian Use Case Towards the European Open Science Cloud

    OpenAIRE

    R. Ganguly; P. Budroni; B.Sánchez Solís

    2017-01-01

    This paper will address issues concerning the handling of complex data such as research data, multimedia content, e-learning content, and the use of repositories infrastructures. At the University of Vienna, an ecosystem for digital data preservation and research data management has already been established and will be subsequently be enlarged according to future needs and requirements. in the future. This living digital ecosystem is the foundation for research data management and was impleme...

  18. 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.

  19. Understanding Climate Variability of Urban Ecosystems Through the Lens of Citizen Science

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ripplinger, J.; Jenerette, D.; Wang, J.; Chandler, M.; Ge, C.; Koutzoukis, S.

    2017-12-01

    The Los Angeles megacity is vulnerable to climate warming - a process that locally exacerbates the urban heat island effect as it intensifies with size and density of the built-up area. We know that large-scale drivers play a role, but in order to understand local-scale climate variation, more research is needed on the biophysical and sociocultural processes driving the urban climate system. In this study, we work with citizen scientists to deploy a high-density network of microsensors across a climate gradient to characterize geographic variation in neighborhood meso- and micro-climates. This research asks: How do urbanization, global climate, and vegetation interact across multiple scales to affect local-scale experiences of temperature? Additionally, citizen scientist-led efforts generated research questions focused on examining microclimatic differences among yard groundcover types (rock mulch vs. lawn vs. artificial turf) and also on variation in temperature related to tree cover. Combining sensor measurements with Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) spatial models and satellite-based temperature, we estimate spatially-explicit maps of land surface temperature and air temperature to illustrate the substantial difference between surface and air urban heat island intensities and the variable degree of coupling between land surface and air temperature in urban areas. Our results show a strong coupling between air temperature variation and landcover for neighborhoods, with significant detectable signatures from tree cover and impervious surface. Temperature covaried most strongly with urbanization intensity at nighttime during peak summer season, when daily mean air temperature ranged from 12.8C to 30.4C across all groundcover types. The combined effects of neighborhood geography and vegetation determine where and how temperature and tree canopy vary within a city. This citizen science-enabled research shows how large-scale climate drivers and urbanization

  20. 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

  1. Proceedings of the 44. annual Alberta Soil Science Workshop

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hao, X.; Shaw, C.

    2007-01-01

    The Alberta Soil Science Workshop is held annually in order to provide a forum for the discussion of issues related to soil sciences in Alberta. Attendees at the conference discussed a wide range of subjects related to soil sciences and measuring the environmental impacts of oil and gas activities in the province. The role of soil science in sustainable forest management was also examined. Issues related to acid deposition were reviewed, and recent developments in soil chemistry analysis for agricultural practices were discussed. Other topics included wildland soil analysis methods; the long-term impacts of sulphate deposition from industrial activities; and water chemistry in soils, lakes and river in the Boreal regions. Projects initiated to assess cumulative land use impacts on rangeland ecosystems were outlined along with a review of tools developed to optimize soil analysis techniques. One of the 46 presentations featured at this conference has been catalogued separately for inclusion in this database. refs., tabs., figs

  2. 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

  3. Study on Rangeland production Potential and its Limitations in the Semi-Arid lands of Northern Kenya

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Keya, G.A.; Hornetz, B.

    1999-01-01

    Results obtained from recent studies focused on rangeland potential as influenced by human activity and climatic factors in the semi-arid and pastoral ecosystems of Northern Kenya indicated great temporal and spatial forage production variability. The objective of the studies was to document the primary production potential in relation to water stress (drought), herbivory and direct human activities. Efforts also focused on finding possibilities of increasing productivity while conserving the finite resources for sustainable use. Laboratory field and numeric methods were employed over several seasons and years. Forb and grass production was more viable than that of the brows (dwarf shrub) layer. Compared to forbs and dwarf shrubs, The grass layer contributed less to the total of production in all seasons, indicating that the region had less potential for grazers compared to browsers. Spatial-temporal variations in rangeland carrying capacity reflected the great spatial heterogeneity in vegetation types and production. Similarly, seasonal difference were very evident, with highest estimates in the long rainy and lowest during the dry and short rainy seasons, respectively. Factors limiting rangeland production potential and were identified to be moisture deficiency, resource-use conflicts, an increasing and partial sedentarised nomadic population, overgrazing, tree felling, and land degradation (desert encroachment). Measures that can increase rangelands production potential and provide a better way of life for the inhabitants of the region include: (a) identification of land degradation (e.g. by means of bio-indicators and Geographical Information systems, GIS); (b) technical interventions (i.e. soil and water conservation,restoration of degraded ares, fodder production); (c)socio-economic interventions (i.e. resolution of resource-use conflicts, alleviation of poverty, infrastructure development, improvement of livestock marketing channels, etc) and (d) continued

  4. 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…

  5. 78 FR 50030 - Implementation of New Gulf Coast Ecosystem Restoration Science, Observation, Monitoring, and...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-08-16

    ... NGOs, and develop new partnerships as appropriate; 4. Working within a management and policy framework... efforts supported and implemented collaboratively, and address in an integrated and holistic manner the critical knowledge needed for Gulf of Mexico ecosystem restoration and management. The Focus areas do not...

  6. 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...

  7. A comparison of the effects of different rangeland management ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A comparison of the effects of different rangeland management systems on ... Three management systems exploit these areas: commercial livestock ranching, communal livestock ranching and game ranching. ... AJOL African Journals Online.

  8. Forests, rangelands and climate change in Southern Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Naidoo, Sasha

    2013-09-01

    Full Text Available This paper provides an analysis of the implications of climate change for forests and rangelands in southern Africa. The extent of the resources and their economic and social functions and drivers of change is outlined. The vulnerability...

  9. Ecological evaluation of rangeland quality in dry subtropics of Azerbaijan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gasanova, A. F.

    2014-12-01

    The results of ecological evaluation of soil-landscape complexes of winter rangelands of Gobustan with the use of energy criteria are discussed. The diagnostic characteristics of soil fertility and correction coefficients for the thickness of texture of soil horizons, soil salinization, soil erosion, and microelemental composition of soils have been used to separate the soils of winter rangelands into several quality groups. A larger part of the soils belongs to the medium quality group with the mean weighted quality factor (bonitet) of 52. Special assessment scales have been suggested for the differential ecological assessment and monitoring of the rangelands. In the past 40 years, the area of steppe landscapes has decreased from 22.7 to 12%, whereas the area of semideserts has increased up to 64%. The area of best-quality soils within the studied rangelands had decreased by three times, and their average quality factor has decreased from 92 to 86.

  10. Effect of management on rangeland phytomass, cover and condition ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    similarity of management effects on rangeland condition and forage provision across major dryland biomes. Taking a macro-ecological perspective, we analysed if management effects differed between South Africa's central grassland and ...

  11. Assessing Effects of Climate Change on Access to Ecosystem Services in Rural Alaska: Enhancing the Science through Community Engagement

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brinkman, T. J.; Cold, H.; Brown, D. N.; Brown, C.; Hollingsworth, T. N.; Verbyla, D.

    2017-12-01

    In Arctic-Boreal regions, studies quantifying the characteristics and prevalence of environmental disruptions to access to ecosystem services are lacking. Empirical investigations are needed to assess the vulnerability of rural communities to climate change. We integrated community-based local observation (9 Interior Alaska Communities), field-based ground measurements, and remote sensing data to: 1) identify and prioritize the relative importance of different environmental changes affecting access, 2) characterize the biophysical causes and mechanisms related to access, and 3) evaluate long-term (30 year) trends in the environment that are challenging access. Dynamic winter ice and snow conditions (e.g., dangerous ice travel; n =147) were the most commonly reported cause of disturbance to access, followed by changes in summer hydrology (e.g., river navigability; n = 77) and seasonal shifts in freeze/thaw cycles (n = 31). Supporting local observations, our remote-sensing analysis indicated a trend toward environmental conditions that hinder or disrupt traditional uses of ecosystem services. For example, we found that the window of safe travel on ice has narrowed by approximately 2 weeks since the 1980s. Shifts in travel have implications on the effectiveness of subsistence activities, such as winter trapping and spring waterfowl hunting. From a methods perspective, we implemented a study design that generated novel science while also addressing locally relevant issues. Our approach and findings highlight opportunities for connecting biophysical science with societal concerns.

  12. Rangeland degradation in two watersheds of Lebanon

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Darwish, T; Faour, G.

    2008-01-01

    A complex and rugged nature characterizes the Lebanese mountains.The climatic pattern prevailing in the country, deforestation and man made erosion caused increased rangeland degradation. The purpose of this study was to monitor two contrasting watersheds, representing the Lebanese agro-ecological zones, to analyze the vegetation dynamics and trace the state of rangeland degradation. The Kfarselouane (205 km2) and Aarsal (316.7 km2) watersheds are located in the Lebanon and Anti-Lebanon mountain chain and characterized by sub humid and semi-arid climate respectively.Using multitemporal spot vegetation images between 1999 and 2005 to analyze the normalized differential vegetation index (NDVI) revealed some improvement of the vegetation cover over recent years in Kfaselouane with a steady state in Aarsal. The NDVI trend curve inclines in spring and declines in summer and fall. Judging by the time scale amplitude change and highest magnitude between the peak and lower NDVI level in Aarsal, an increased vulnerability to drought is observed in the dry Lebanese areas. Comparing land cover/use in Aarsal area between 1962 and 2000 using aerial photos and large resolution Indian satellite images (IRS) showed wood fragmentation and slight increase of the degenerated forest cover from 1108 ha to 1168 ha. Landuse change was accompanied by a simultaneous increase of cultivated lands (mostly fruit trees) from 932 ha to 4878 ha with absence of soil conservation and water harvesting practices. On the contrary, grasslands decreased from 29581 ha to 25000 ha. In Kfarselouane, the area of grassland was invaded by forestland where rangeland decreased from 8073 ha to 3568 ha and woodland increased from 5766 ha to 11800 ha. Forest expansion occurred even at the account of unproductive land which decreased from 2668 ha to 248 ha, while cultivated lands did not reveal any substantial change. Based on animals' seasonal feeding pattern, a mismatch between land carrying capacity and grazing

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

    OpenAIRE

    Johnson, Johanna E.; Holbrook, Neil J.

    2014-01-01

    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 temper...

  14. 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...

  15. Citizen science in hydrology and waterresources: opportunities for knowledge generation, ecosystem service management, and sustainable development

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Buytaert, W.; Zulkafi, Z.; Grainger, S.; Acosta, L.; Alemie, T.C.; Bastiaensen, J.; Bièvre, de B.; Bhusal, J.; Clark, J.; Dewulf, A.R.P.J.; Foggin, M.; Hannah, D.M.; Hergarten, C.; Isaeva, A.; Karpouzoglou, T.D.; Pandeya, B.; Paudel, D.; Sharma, K.; Steenhuis, T.S.; Tilahun, S.; Hecken, van G.; Zhumanova, M.

    2014-01-01

    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

  16. Principles of optimizing animal production from rangeland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Stubbendieck, J.; Waller, S.S.

    1983-01-01

    Increasing world population is one of the dominant factors escalating demands for the world's natural resources. Range and forage resources, which are used primarily for food and fibre, could be more efficiently used if management techniques were improved. The principles of managing forage resources are directly associated with both the growth and development of plants and the actions and needs of the grazing animal. An understanding of the effects of environmental factors and herbage removal (frequency, intensity and season of defoliation) on growth and regrowth of plants is the first step towards optimizing animal productivity from rangelands. Most potential changes will fit into three categories: (1) increase the quantity of forage, (2) improve the quality of forage, and (3) improve use of forage. The principles of grazing management can be separated into four intricately related categories: (1) proper degree of grazing, (2) proper season of grazing, (3) proper kind of livestock, and (4) proper distribution of grazing. Grazing management is affected by the manner in which both improvements and manipulation of vegetation affect forage yield and quality. The adaptation and application of existing knowledge to individual locations will be one step towards optimizing animal production from rangeland. Some of the problems may be solved through better dissemination of present knowledge through existing educational programmes, while others will require expanded programmes of information dissemination. A third group of problems may also be solved with present technology, but the solutions are not currently economical. Some of the problems will be solved only through expanded research. These research efforts need to be directed towards grazing or browsing animals, plant resources and the interaction between plants and animals. Application of nuclear techniques will be an integral part of this research. (author)

  17. Science for Managing Riverine Ecosystems: Actions for the USGS Identified in the Workshop "Analysis of Flow and Habitat for Instream Aquatic Communities"

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bencala, Kenneth E.; Hamilton, David B.; Petersen, James H.

    2006-01-01

    Federal and state agencies need improved scientific analysis to support riverine ecosystem management. The ability of the USGS to integrate geologic, hydrologic, chemical, geographic, and biological data into new tools and models provides unparalleled opportunities to translate the best riverine science into useful approaches and usable information to address issues faced by river managers. In addition to this capability to provide integrated science, the USGS has a long history of providing long-term and nationwide information about natural resources. The USGS is now in a position to advance its ability to provide the scientific support for the management of riverine ecosystems. To address this need, the USGS held a listening session in Fort Collins, Colorado in April 2006. Goals of the workshop were to: 1) learn about the key resource issues facing DOI, other Federal, and state resource management agencies; 2) discuss new approaches and information needs for addressing these issues; and 3) outline a strategy for the USGS role in supporting riverine ecosystem management. Workshop discussions focused on key components of a USGS strategy: Communications, Synthesis, and Research. The workshop identified 3 priority actions the USGS can initiate now to advance its capabilities to support integrated science for resource managers in partner government agencies and non-governmental organizations: 1) Synthesize the existing science of riverine ecosystem processes to produce broadly applicable conceptual models, 2) Enhance selected ongoing instream flow projects with complementary interdisciplinary studies, and 3) Design a long-term, watershed-scale research program that will substantively reinvent riverine ecosystem science. In addition, topical discussion groups on hydrology, geomorphology, aquatic habitat and populations, and socio-economic analysis and negotiation identified eleven important complementary actions required to advance the state of the science and to

  18. Bio solids Effects in Chihuahuan Desert Rangelands: A Ten-Year Study

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Wester, D.B; Sosebee, R.E; Fish, E.B; Villalobos, J.C; Zartman, R.E; Gonzalez, R.M; Jurado, P.; Moffet, C.A

    2011-01-01

    Arid and semiarid rangelands are suitable for responsible bio solids application. Topical application is critical to avoid soil and vegetation disturbance. Surface-applied bio solids have long-lasting effects in these ecosystems. We conducted a 10-year research program investigating effects of bio solids 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; bio solids decomposition; and grazing animal behavior and management. Bio solids increased soil water infiltration and reduced erosion. Effects on soil water quality were observed only at the highest application rates. Bio solids increased soil nitrate-nitrogen. Bio solids increased forage production and improved forage quality. Bio solids increased leaf area of grasses; photosynthetic rates were not necessarily increased by bio solids. Bio solids 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 bio solids-treated areas; positive effects on average daily gain were observed during periods of higher rainfall. Our results suggest that annual bio solids application rates of up to 18 Mg ha -1 are appropriate for desert rangelands.

  19. 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

  20. Three-dimensional framework of vigor, organization, and resilience (VOR) for assessing rangeland health: a case study from the alpine meadow of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Yuan-yuan; Dong, Shi-kui; Wen, Lu; Wang, Xue-xia; Wu, Yu

    2013-12-01

    Rangeland health assessments play an important role in providing qualitative and quantitative data about ecosystem attributes and rangeland management. The objective of this study is to test the feasible of a modified model and visualize the health in a three-dimensional model. A modified Costanza model was employed, and eight indicators, including the biomass, biodiversity, and carrying capacity [associated with the vigor, organization, and resilience (VOR)] were applied. An entropy method was also developed to calculate the weight of each indicator, and a three-dimensional framework was applied to visualize the indicators and health index. The conceptual model was demonstrated using data from a case study on the alpine rangeland of the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, one of the globally important grassland biomes being severely degraded by natural and human factors. The health indices of four grassland plots at different levels of degradation were calculated using a modified approach to measuring their VOR. The results indicated that the least disturbed plot was relatively healthy compared to the other plots. In addition, the health indices presented in the three-dimensional VOR framework decreased in a consistent manner across the four plots along the disturbance gradients. Such rangeland health assessments should be integrated with management efforts to insure their long-term sustainable use.

  1. 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...

  2. Improving dynamic global vegetation model (DGVM) simulation of western U.S. rangelands vegetation seasonal phenology and productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerns, B. K.; Kim, J. B.; Day, M. A.; Pitts, B.; Drapek, R. J.

    2017-12-01

    Ecosystem process models are increasingly being used in regional assessments to explore potential changes in future vegetation and NPP due to climate change. We use the dynamic global vegetation model MAPSS-Century 2 (MC2) as one line of evidence for regional climate change vulnerability assessments for the US Forest Service, focusing our fine tuning model calibration from observational sources related to forest vegetation. However, there is much interest in understanding projected changes for arid rangelands in the western US such as grasslands, shrublands, and woodlands. Rangelands provide many ecosystem service benefits and local rural human community sustainability, habitat for threatened and endangered species, and are threatened by annual grass invasion. Past work suggested MC2 performance related to arid rangeland plant functional types (PFT's) was poor, and the model has difficulty distinguishing annual versus perennial grasslands. Our objectives are to increase the model performance for rangeland simulations and explore the potential for splitting the grass plant functional type into annual and perennial. We used the tri-state Blue Mountain Ecoregion as our study area and maps of potential vegetation from interpolated ground data, the National Land Cover Data Database, and ancillary NPP data derived from the MODIS satellite. MC2 historical simulations for the area overestimated woodland occurrence and underestimated shrubland and grassland PFT's. The spatial location of the rangeland PFT's also often did not align well with observational data. While some disagreement may be due to differences in the respective classification rules, the errors are largely linked to MC2's tree and grass biogeography and physiology algorithms. Presently, only grass and forest productivity measures and carbon stocks are used to distinguish PFT's. MC2 grass and tree productivity simulation is problematic, in particular grass seasonal phenology in relation to seasonal patterns

  3. Africanizing Science in Post-colonial Kenya: Long-Term Field Research in the Amboseli Ecosystem, 1963-1989.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lewis, Amanda E

    2017-11-08

    Following Kenya's independence in 1963, scientists converged on an ecologically sensitive area in southern Kenya on the northern slope of Mt. Kilimanjaro called Amboseli. This region is the homeland of the Ilkisongo Maasai who grazed this ecosystem along with the wildlife of interest to the scientists. Biologists saw opportunities to study this complex community, an environment rich in biological diversity. The Amboseli landscape proved to be fertile ground for testing new methods and lines of inquiry in the biological sciences that were generalizable and important for shaping natural resource management policies in Kenya. However, the local community was in the midst of its own transformation from a primarily transhumant lifestyle to a largely sedentary one, a complex political situation between local and national authorities, and the introduction of a newly educated generation. This article examines the intersection of African history and field science through the post-colonial Africanization of Kenyan politics, the broadening of scientific practices in Amboseli in previously Western-occupied spaces to include Kenyan participants, and an increasing awareness of the role of local African contexts in the results, methods, and implications of biological research. "Africanization" as an idea in the history of science is multifaceted encompassing not just Africans in the scientific process, but it needs an examination of the larger political and social context on both a local and national level.

  4. Translating science into policy: Using ecosystem thresholds to protect resources in Rocky Mountain National Park

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Porter, Ellen; Johnson, Susan

    2007-01-01

    Concern over impacts of atmospheric nitrogen deposition to ecosystems in Rocky Mountain National Park, Colorado, has prompted the National Park Service, the State of Colorado Department of Public Health and Environment, the Environmental Protection Agency, and interested stakeholders to collaborate in the Rocky Mountain National Park Initiative, a process to address these impacts. The development of a nitrogen critical load for park aquatic resources has provided the basis for a deposition goal to achieve resource protection, and parties to the Initiative are now discussing strategies to meet that goal by reducing air pollutant emissions that contribute to nitrogen deposition in the Park. Issues being considered include the types and locations of emissions to be reduced, the timeline for emission reductions, and the impact of emission reductions from programs already in place. These strategies may serve as templates for addressing ecosystem impacts from deposition in other national parks. - A collaborative approach between scientists and policymakers is described for addressing nitrogen deposition effects to Rocky Mountain National Park, USA

  5. Hurricane Sandy science plan: impacts to coastal ecosystems, habitats, and fish and wildlife

    Science.gov (United States)

    Campbell, Warren H.

    2013-01-01

    Hurricane Sandy devastated some of the most heavily populated eastern coastal areas of the Nation. With a storm surge peaking at more than 19 feet, the powerful landscape-altering destruction of Hurricane Sandy is a stark reminder of why the Nation must become more resilient to coastal hazards. In response to this natural disaster, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) received a total of $41.2 million in supplemental appropriations from the Department of the Interior (DOI) to support response, recovery, and rebuilding efforts. These funds support a science plan that will provide critical scientific information necessary to inform management decisions for recovery of coastal communities, and aid in preparation for future natural hazards. This science plan is designed to coordinate continuing USGS activities with stakeholders and other agencies to improve data collection and analysis that will guide recovery and restoration efforts. The science plan is split into five distinct themes: • Coastal topography and bathymetry

  6. Regional Standards for Rangeland Health and Guidelines for Livestock Grazing Management ... A Progress Report

    OpenAIRE

    1996-01-01

    In August 1995, new BLM regulations for rangeland administration went into effect. The new regulations require BLM to establish regional standards for rangeland health and guidelines for grazing management. This publication is a report on the alternatives being considered for the Montana/Dakotas Rangeland Health Standards and Guidelines process.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...... 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...... a discussion among the science–stakeholder communities on how to quantify the potential for climate change adaptation by improving the realism in the models....

  9. Exploring Pacific Northwest ecosystem resilience: packaging climate change science for federal managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bachelet, D. M.

    2014-12-01

    Climate change is projected to jeopardize ecosystems in the Pacific Northwest. Managing ecosystems for future resilience requires collaboration, innovation and communication. The abundance of data and documents describing the uncertainty around both climate change projections and impacts has become challenging to managers who have little funding and limited time to digest and incorporate these materials into planning and implementation documents. We worked with US Forest Service and BLM managers to help them develop vulnerability assessments and identify on-the-ground strategies to address climate change challenges on the federal lands in northwest Oregon (Siuslaw, Willamette and Mt. Hood National Forests; Eugene and Salem BLM Districts). We held workshops to promote dialogue about climate change, which were particularly effective in fostering discussions between the managers who often do not have the time to share their knowledge and compare experiences across administrative boundaries. We used the Adaptation for Conservation Targets (ACT) framework to identify measurable management objectives and rapidly assess local vulnerabilities. We used databasin.org to centralize usable information, including state-of-the-art CMIP5 climate projections, for the mandated assessments of vulnerability and resilience. We introduced participants to a decision support framework providing opportunities to develop more effective adaptation strategies. We built a special web page to hold the information gathered at the workshops and provide easy access to climate change information. We are now working with several Landscape Conservation Cooperatives (LCCs) to design gateways - conservation atlases - to their relevant data repositories on databasin.org and working with them to develop web tools that can provide usable information for their own vulnerability assessments.

  10. 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.

  11. 78 FR 55064 - Solicitation for Members of the NOAA Science Advisory Board (SAB) Gulf Coast Ecosystem...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2013-09-09

    .../index.html . Dated: September 3, 2013. Jason Donaldson, Chief Financial Officer/Chief Administrative Officer, Office of Oceanic and Atmospheric Research, National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration... Act Science Program's roles within the context of NOAA's ocean missions and policies. They should be...

  12. On Man and Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Brookfield, Harold

    1982-01-01

    Distinctions between natural ecosystems and human ecosystems are misleading. Natural and social sciences can be integrated through the concept of a "human-use ecosystem," in which social scientists analyze the community, household, and individual, and natural scientists analyze the land. Includes a case study of St. Kitts. (KC)

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

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Diouf, Abdoul Aziz; Brandt, Martin Stefan; Verger, Aleixandre

    2015-01-01

    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...

  14. H3Africa and the African life sciences ecosystem: building sustainable innovation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dandara, Collet; Huzair, Farah; Borda-Rodriguez, Alexander; Chirikure, Shadreck; Okpechi, Ikechi; Warnich, Louise; Masimirembwa, Collen

    2014-12-01

    Interest in genomics research in African populations is experiencing exponential growth. This enthusiasm stems in part from the recognition that the genomic diversity of African populations is a window of opportunity for innovations in postgenomics medicine, ecology, and evolutionary biology. The recently launched H3Africa initiative, for example, captures the energy and momentum of this interest. This interdisciplinary socio-technical analysis highlights the challenges that have beset previous genomics research activities in Africa, and looking ahead, suggests constructive ways H3Africa and similar large scale science efforts could usefully chart a new era of genomics and life sciences research in Africa that is locally productive and globally competitive. As independent African scholars and social scientists, we propose that any serious global omics science effort, including H3Africa, aiming to build genomics research capacity and capability in Africa, needs to fund the establishment of biobanks and the genomic analyses platforms within Africa. Equally they need to prioritize community engagement and bioinformatics capability and the training of African scientists on these platforms. Historically, the financial, technological, and skills imbalance between Africa and developed countries has created exploitative frameworks of collaboration where African researchers have become merely facilitators of Western funded and conceived research agendas involving offshore expatriation of samples. Not surprisingly, very little funding was allocated to infrastructure and human capital development in the past. Moving forward, capacity building should materialize throughout the entire knowledge co-production trajectory: idea generation (e.g., brainstorming workshops for innovative hypotheses development by African scientists), data generation (e.g., genome sequencing), and high-throughput data analysis and contextualization. Additionally, building skills for political science

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. 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

  18. Biogeochemical cycles and continental ecosystems - Report on Science and Technology no. 27

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Pedro, Georges; Blanzat, Bernard; Albrecht, Pierre; Berthelin, Jacques; Boudot, Jean-Pierre; Munier-Lamy, Colette; Cossa, Daniel; Feix, Isabelle; Guillaumont, Robert; HUC, Alain Yves; Lavelle, Patrick; Lebrun, Michel; Lucas, Yves; Metivier, Henri; Ourisson, Guy; Raimbault, Patrick; Ranger, Jacques; Gerard, Frederic; Schmidt-Laine, Claudine; Dercourt, Jean; Gaillardet, Jerome; Bourrie, Guilhem; Trolard, Fabienne; Gerard, Frederic; Dambrine, Etienne; Meunier, Jean Dominique; Benoit, Marc; Breda, Nathalie; Dupouey, Jean-Luc; Granier, Andre; Franc, Alain; GARBAYE, Jean; Martin, Francis; Landmann, Guy; Loustau, Denis; Martinez, Jose; Crochon, Philippe; Gay, Jean-Didier; Peres, Jean-Marc; Tamponnet, Christian; Andreux, Francis; Tusseauvuillemin, Marie-Helene; Barker, Evelyne; Bouisset, Patrick; Germain, Pierre; Masson, Olivier; Boust, Dominique; Bailly du Bois, Pascal; Abdelouas, Abdesselam; Grambow, Bernd; Ansoborlo, Erich; Chiappini, Remo; Lobinski, Ryzsard; Montavon, Gilles; Moulin, Christophe; Moulin, Valerie; Ollivier, Bernard; Haeseler, Franck; Prieur, Daniel; Magot, Michel; Charmasson, Sabine; Poss, Roland; Grimaldi, Catherine; Grimaldi, Michel; Malet, Caroline

    2007-11-01

    The aim of this report is to demonstrate that the biogeochemical approach provides a uniting framework for managing the environment of our planet and in particular the environment of a planet reshaped by Man in the best possible way. This framework is based on the study of the biogeochemical cycles that characterize the biosphere (i.e. the place where life is present) and that are naturally linked to the Earth's overall geochemical cycles. The goal of this report is not to describe the biogeochemical cycles of all the chemical elements, but to show why and how these cycles have a significant role in the evolution of a planet shaped by man. In order to do so, the report is divided into two units and four parts: In the first unit, all the information that is directly linked to understanding geochemical cycles is brought together. It is divided in two parts. The first part concerns the description of the biogeochemical cycle of some of the elements that play a major role in the bio-geosphere. We have focused on: - carbon, because it is involved in all of the cycles, i.e. the atmospheric, ecological and geological cycles (chapter 1); - nitrogen, phosphorus and sulfur because they are specific to the living world and because their role is likely to be primordial in the environment (chapter 2); - silicon, aluminum and iron because they allow us to make a bridge between the ecological and the geological systems (chapter 3); - finally, radionuclides (natural and artificial), due to their impact on the biological environment (chapter 4); The second part concerns the biogeochemical study of a number of representative environments of the natural and man-shaped planet. Regarding natural ecosystems, we have focused on: - forest ecosystems, which are highly characteristic of terrestrial environments and which are the site of often very efficient biogeochemical recycling (chapter 5.1); - oceanic environments. Although not part of our topic, the biogeochemistry of these

  19. Metal bioavailability in ecological risk assessment of freshwater ecosystems: From science to environmental management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Väänänen, Kristiina; Leppänen, Matti T; Chen, XuePing; Akkanen, Jarkko

    2018-01-01

    Metal contamination in freshwater ecosystems is a global issue and metal discharges to aquatic environments are monitored in order to protect aquatic life and human health. Bioavailability is an important factor determining metal toxicity. In aquatic systems, metal bioavailability depends on local water and sediment characteristics, and therefore, the risks are site-specific. Environmental quality standards (EQS) are used to manage the risks of metals in aquatic environments. In the simplest form of EQSs, total concentrations of metals in water or sediment are compared against pre-set acceptable threshold levels. Now, however, the environmental administration bodies have stated the need to incorporate metal bioavailability assessment tools into environmental regulation. Scientific advances have been made in metal bioavailability assessment, including passive samplers and computational models, such as biotic ligand models (BLM). However, the cutting-edge methods tend to be too elaborate or laborious for standard environmental monitoring. We review the commonly used metal bioavailability assessment methods and introduce the latest scientific advances that might be applied to environmental management in the future. We present the current practices in environmental management in North America, Europe and China, highlighting the good practices and the needs for improvement. Environmental management has met these new challenges with varying degrees of success: the USA has implemented site-specific environmental risk assessment for water and sediment phases, and they have already implemented metal mixture toxicity evaluation. The European Union is promoting the use of bioavailability and BLMs in ecological risk assessment (ERA), but metal mixture toxicity and sediment phase are still mostly neglected. China has regulation only for total concentrations of metals in surface water. We conclude that there is a need for (1) Advanced and up-to-date guidelines and legislation

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  2. 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...

  3. 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.

  4. 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)

  5. Trends in the Global Small Satellite Ecosystem: Implications for Science Missions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Behrens, J.; Lal, B.

    2017-12-01

    Activity in the small satellite industry has increased in the recent years. New actors and nations have joined the evolving market globally in both the private and public sector. Progress in the smallsat sector has been driven, in part, by growing capabilities and falling costs of smallsats. Advancements include the miniaturization of technology for the small satellite platform, increased data processing capabilities, the ubiquitous presence of GPS enabling location and attitude determination, improvements in ground system costs and signal processing capabilities, and the deployment of inexpensive COTS parts. The emerging trends in the state of the art for smallsat technology, paired with planned smallsat constellation missions by both private and public actors, open the opportunity for new earth and remote sensing scientific endeavors. This presentation will characterize the drivers influencing the development of smallsat technology and the industry more generally. An overview will be provided for trends in the state of the art of smallsat technology, and secondary trends that influence the smallsat sector including infrastructure, demand, the satellite launch market, and the policy environment. These trends are mapped onto current and projected Earth observation needs, as identified by academic and governmental communities, to identify those that could be fulfilled by smallsats in the near and long term. A set of notional science missions that could be enabled, based on the various drivers identified, will be presented for both the near (3 years) and farther term (10 years).

  6. Translating the Science of Measuring Ecosystems at a National Scale: Developing NEON's Online Learning Portal

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wasser, L. A.; Gram, W.; Goehring, L.

    2014-12-01

    "Big Data" are becoming increasingly common in many fields. The National Ecological Observatory Network (NEON) will be collecting data over the 30 years, using consistent, standardized methods across the United States. These freely available new data provide an opportunity for increased understanding of continental- and global scale processes such as changes in vegetation structure and condition, biodiversity and landuse. However, while "big data" are becoming more accessible and available, integrating big data into the university courses is challenging. New and potentially unfamiliar data types and associated processing methods, required to work with a growing diversity of available data, may warrant time and resources that present a barrier to classroom integration. Analysis of these big datasets may further present a challenge given large file sizes, and uncertainty regarding best methods to properly statistically summarize and analyze results. Finally, teaching resources, in the form of demonstrative illustrations, and other supporting media that might help teach key data concepts, take time to find and more time to develop. Available resources are often spread widely across multi-online spaces. This presentation will overview the development of NEON's collaborative University-focused online education portal. Portal content will include 1) videos and supporting graphics that explain key concepts related to NEON data products including collection methods, key metadata to consider and consideration of potential error and uncertainty surrounding data analysis; and 2) packaged "lab" activities that include supporting data to be used in an ecology, biology or earth science classroom. To facilitate broad use in classrooms, lab activities will take advantage of freely and commonly available processing tools, techniques and scripts. All NEON materials are being developed in collaboration with existing labs and organizations.

  7. 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...

  8. Rangeland restoration for Hirola, the world's most endangered antelope

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland restoration can improve habitat for threatened species such as the hirola antelope (Beatragus hunteri) that inhabit savannas of eastern Kenya. However, restoration success likely varies across soil types and target restoration species, as well as according to restoration approach. We teste...

  9. A conceptual tool for improving rangeland management decision ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... the LLM concept should be seen as a continuous and evolving learning process that will be updated over the long term through decision support to include several other components essential to implement effective and sustainable rangeland management practices by local land users. Keywords: desertification; indicators ...

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. Presidential address - 1999 Towards a national rangeland policy ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    There are some problems with the publication of the journal, but Council hopes to have our ... The first is that all agencies funded through DACST will be reviewed ... to improve our understanding of management issues in communal rangeland. ... All current programmes to rehabilitate degraded land contain budgets for the ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Ecology and Conservation of Acacia senegal in the Rangelands ofLuwero and Nakasongola Districts. Jacob Godfrey Agea, Joseph Obua, Sara Namirembe, Mukadasi Buyinza, Daniel Waiswa. Abstract. No Abstract. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL ...

  14. Agroforestry potential of Acacia senegal in the rangelands of luwero ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Agroforestry potential of Acacia senegal in the rangelands of luwero and Nakasongola districts. Jacob Godfrey Agea, Joseph Obua, Sara Namirembe, Mukadasi Buyinza, Daniel Waiswa. Abstract. No Abstract. Full Text: EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT EMAIL FREE FULL TEXT · DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT DOWNLOAD FULL TEXT.

  15. Impact of Rangeland Degradation on Soil Physical, Chemical

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    major threats to enhance a sustainable pastoral-livestock production in Ethiopia. ... overall negative impact on the soil physical and chemical characteristics, demanding ... chemical properties (Gemedo et al., 2006) as well as the rangeland .... parameters such as life forms (annuals and perennials), plant forms (woody plant,.

  16. 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?

  17. 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...

  18. Determining termite diversity in arid Namibian rangelands – a ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Three methods of sampling termite diversity in arid rangelands were tested in Namibia during the wet (March) and dry (October) seasons of 1998. Six sites were chosen: one pair on each of three farms representing a gradient of land use intensity. At each site, two adjacent plots of 1 ha each were sampled: one plot by a ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Biological complexity in rangelands arises from spatially-linked ecological states and processes. Herbivores, humans and other agents integrate distinct spatial units into complex systems by moving among and exploiting these units. Spatial heterogeneity plays a central role in the structure and function of grazed ...

  20. 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...

  1. 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

  2. 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).

  3. African Journal of Range and Forage Science - Vol 17 (2000)

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    African Journal of Range and Forage Science. ... Estimation of the herbaceous standing crop of the grassy plains of 01 Choro Oiroua in the Masai ... truthing method for determination of rangeland biomass using canopy reflectance properties.

  4. Re-inventing NDE as science — How student ideas will help adapt NDE to the new ecosystem of science and technology

    Science.gov (United States)

    Meyendorf, Norbert

    2018-04-01

    Industry 4.0 stands for the fourth industrial revolution that is ongoing at present. Industry 4.0 is a terminology generally used in Europe to characterize the integration of production and communication technologies, the so called "smart factory". Lowering costs and efficient in-time production will be possible for low numbers of unique parts, for example by additive manufacturing (3D printing). A significant aspect is also quality and maintainability of these sometimes unique structures and components. NDE has to follow these trends, but introduce the capability of cyber systems into the inspection and maintenance processes. The author initiated in his NDE introductory class student projects where small groups of students had to identify everyday problems that can be solved by NDE techniques and suggest technical solutions based on today's technology. The results where exiting. After discussing the ecosystem and the present situation of NDE as a science, several of these ideas were presented. Let us listen to the ideas and needs of the young generation to re-invent NDE!

  5. The Impossible Sustainability of the Bay of Brest? Fifty Years of Ecosystem Changes, Interdisciplinary Knowledge Construction and Key Questions at the Science-Policy-Community Interface

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Olivier Ragueneau

    2018-04-01

    Full Text Available In this contribution, the study of the Bay of Brest ecosystem changes over the past 50 years is used to explore the construction of interdisciplinary knowledge and raise key questions that now need to be tackled at the science-policy-communities interface. The Bay of Brest is subject to a combination of several aspects of global change, including excessive nutrient inputs from watersheds and the proliferation of invasive species. These perturbations strongly interact, affecting positively or negatively the ecosystem functioning, with important impacts on human activities. We first relate a cascade of events over these five decades, linking farming activities, nitrogen, and silicon biogeochemical cycles, hydrodynamics of the Bay, the proliferation of an exotic benthic suspension feeder, the development of the Great scallop fisheries and the high biodiversity in maerl beds. The cascade leads to today's situation where toxic phytoplankton blooms become recurrent in the Bay, preventing the fishery of the great scallop and forcing the fishermen community to switch pray and alter the maerl habitat and the benthic biodiversity it hosts, despite the many scientific alerts and the protection of this habitat. In the second section, we relate the construction of the interdisciplinary knowledge without which scientists would never have been able to describe these changes in the Bay. Interdisciplinarity construction is described, first among natural sciences (NS and then, between natural sciences and human and social sciences (HSS. We finally ask key questions at the science-policy interface regarding this unsustainable trend of the Bay: How is this possible, despite decades of joint work between scientists and fishermen? Is adaptive co-management a sufficient condition for a sustainable management of an ecosystem? How do the different groups (i.e., farmers, fishermen, scientists, environmentalists, with their diverse interests, take charge of this situation

  6. 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...

  7. Livestock-rangeland management practices and community perceptions towards rangeland degradation in South Omo zone of Southern Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Admasu, T.; Abule, E.; Tessema, Z.K.

    2010-01-01

    A survey was conducted in Hamer and Benna-Tsemay districts of the South Omo zone of Ethiopia, with the objectives of assessing the range-livestock management practices and perceptions of the different pastoral groups (Hamer, Benna, and Tsemay) towards rangeland degradation. This information is

  8. Mapping Erosion Risk in California's Rangelands Using the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Salls, W. B.; O'Geen, T. T.

    2015-12-01

    Soil loss constitutes a multi-faceted problem for agriculture: in addition to reducing soil fertility and crop yield, it compromises downstream water quality. Sediment itself is a major issue for aquatic ecosystems, but also serves as a vector for transporting nutrients, pesticides, and pathogens. Rangelands are thought to be a contributor to water quality degradation in California, particularly in the northern Coast Range. Though total maximum daily loads (TMDLs) have been imposed in some watersheds, and countless rangeland water quality outreach activities have been conducted, the connection between grazing intensity recommendations and changes in water quality is poorly understood at the state level. This disconnect gives rise to poorly informed regulations and discourages adoption of best management practices by ranchers. By applying the Universal Soil Loss Equation (USLE) at a statewide scale, we highlighted areas most prone to erosion. We also investigated how two different grazing intensity scenarios affect modeled soil loss. Geospatial data layers representing the USLE parameters—rainfall erosivity, soil erodibility, slope length and steepness, and cover—were overlaid to model annual soil loss. Monitored suspended sediment data from a small North Coast watershed with grazing as the predominant land use was used to validate the model. Modeled soil loss values were nearly one order of magnitude higher than monitored values; average soil loss feeding the downstream-most site was modeled at 0.329 t ha-1 yr-1, whereas storm-derived sediment passing the site over two years was calculated to be 0.037 t ha-1 yr-1. This discrepancy may stem from the fact that the USLE models detached sediment, whereas stream monitoring reflects sediment detached and subsequently transported to the waterway. Preliminary findings from the statewide map support the concern that the North Coast is particularly at risk given its combination of intense rain, erodible soils, and

  9. 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.

  10. 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,...

  11. The ecosystem services agenda: bridging the worlds of natural science and economics, conservation and development, and public and private policy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Braat, L.C.; Groot, de R.S.

    2012-01-01

    The Ecosystem Services Journal starts in 2012 with a formidable basis in the reports and books from the Millennium Ecosystem Assessment and TEEB projects. Following a half-century history of growing awareness and associated scientific based policy development a bridging concept with natural and

  12. 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.

  13. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. Rangeland -- plant response to elevated CO2

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Owensby, C.E.; Coyne, P.I.; Ham, J.M.; Parton, W.; Rice, C.; Auen, L.M.; Adam, N.

    1993-01-01

    Plots of a tallgrass prairie ecosystem were exposed to ambient and twice-ambient CO 2 concentrations in open-top chambers and compared to unchambered ambient CO 2 plots during the entire growing season from 1989 through 1992. Relative root production among treatments was estimated using root ingrowth bags which remained in place throughout the growing season. Latent heat flux was simulated with and without water stress. Botanical composition was estimated annuallyin all treatments. Open-top chambers appeared to reduce latent heat flux and increase water use efficiency similar to elevated CO 2 when water stress was not severe, but under severe water stress, chamber effect on water use efficiency was limited. In natural ecosystems with periodic moisture stress, increased water use efficiency under elevated CO 2 apparently would have a greater impact on productivity than photosynthetic pathway. Root ingrowth biomass was greater in 1990 and 1991 on elevated CO 2 plots compared to ambient or chambered-ambient plots. In 1992, there was no difference in root ingrowth biomass among treatments

  18. Rangeland resource trends in the United States: A technical document supporting the 2000 USDA Forest Service RPA Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    John E. Mitchell

    2000-01-01

    This report documents trends in America's rangelands as required by the Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974. The Forest Service has conducted assessments of the rangeland situation for 30 years. Over this period, rangeland values and uses have gradually shifted from concentrating upon forage production and meeting increasing demand for red meat to a more...

  19. Ecosystem Vulnerability Review: Proposal of an Interdisciplinary Ecosystem Assessment Approach

    Science.gov (United States)

    Weißhuhn, Peter; Müller, Felix; Wiggering, Hubert

    2018-06-01

    To safeguard the sustainable use of ecosystems and their services, early detection of potentially damaging changes in functional capabilities is needed. To support a proper ecosystem management, the analysis of an ecosystem's vulnerability provide information on its weaknesses as well as on its capacity to recover after suffering an impact. However, the application of the vulnerability concept to ecosystems is still an emerging topic. After providing background on the vulnerability concept, we summarize existing ecosystem vulnerability research on the basis of a systematic literature review with a special focus on ecosystem type, disciplinary background, and more detailed definition of the ecosystem vulnerability components. Using the Web of ScienceTM Core Collection, we overviewed the literature from 1991 onwards but used the 5 years from 2011 to 2015 for an in-depth analysis, including 129 articles. We found that ecosystem vulnerability analysis has been applied most notably in conservation biology, climate change research, and ecological risk assessments, pinpointing a limited spreading across the environmental sciences. It occurred primarily within marine and freshwater ecosystems. To avoid confusion, we recommend using the unambiguous term ecosystem vulnerability rather than ecological, environmental, population, or community vulnerability. Further, common ground has been identified, on which to define the ecosystem vulnerability components exposure, sensitivity, and adaptive capacity. We propose a framework for ecosystem assessments that coherently connects the concepts of vulnerability, resilience, and adaptability as different ecosystem responses. A short outlook on the possible operationalization of the concept by ecosystem vulnerabilty indices, and a conclusion section complete the review.

  20. 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...

  1. Bayesian estimation of shrubs diversity in rangelands under two management systems in northern Syria

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Niane, A.A.; Singh, M.; Struik, P.C.

    2014-01-01

    The diversity of shrubs in rangelands of northern Syria is affected by the grazing management systems restricted by the increase in human and livestock populations. To describe and estimate diversity and compare the rangeland grazing management treatments, two popular indices for diversity, the

  2. Heat dosage and oviposition depth influence egg mortality of two common rangeland grasshopper species

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland fire is a common naturally occurring event and management tool, with the amount and structure of biomass controlling transfer of heat belowground. Temperatures grasshopper eggs are exposed to during rangeland fires are mediated by species specific oviposition traits. This experiment examin...

  3. 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...

  4. Recovery of rangelands : the functioning of soil seed banks in a semi-arid African savanna

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Tessema, Z.K.

    2011-01-01

    Rangelands in Africa provide important forage resources for herbivores; particularly perennial grasses provide grazing for domestic and wild herbivores. However, semi-arid African rangelands experience severe vegetation and soil degradation due to heavy grazing, causing negative impacts

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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...

  7. China's Rangelands under Stress : A comparative study of pasture commons in the Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ho, P.P.S.

    2000-01-01

    China's economic reforms have exacerbated the problems of over-grazing and desertification in the country's pastoral areas. In order to deal with rangeland degradation, the Chinese government has resorted to nationalization, or semi-privatization. Since the implementation of rangeland policy has

  8. Hydrologic ramifications of an increased role of wildland fire across the rangeland-dry forest continuum

    Science.gov (United States)

    The increased role of wildland fire across the rangeland-dry forest continuum in the western United States (US) presents landscape-scale consequences relative runoff and erosion. Much of the Intermountain West now exists in a state in which rangeland and woodland wildfires stimulated by invasive che...

  9. Integrating the Indigenous Knowledge of Borana Pastoralists into Rangeland Management Strategies in Southern Ethiopia

    OpenAIRE

    World Bank

    2005-01-01

    Pastoralists' indigenous knowledge (IK) about ecology and social organization led to rangeland-management strategies appropriate to deal with the erratic rainfall in African drylands. Herd mobility was traditionally practiced as the key strategy to make use of the scattered rangeland resources on a large scale.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. 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.

  13. Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecosystem goods and services are the many life-sustaining benefits we receive from nature and contribute to environmental and human health and well-being. Ecosystem-focused research will develop methods to measure ecosystem goods and services.

  14. Population-level assessments should be emphasized over community/ecosystem-level assessments. Environmental Sciences Division Publication No. 1535

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Van Winkle, W.

    1980-01-01

    Arguments are presented in favor of emphasizing population-level assessments over community/ecosystem-level assessments. The two approaches are compared on each of four issues: (1) the nature of entrainment/impingement impacts; (2) the ability to forecast reliably for a single fish population as contrasted to the ability to forecast for an aquatic community or ecosystem; (3) practical considerations involving money, manpower, time, and the need to make decisions; and (4) the nature of societal and economic concerns. The conclusion on each of these four issues is that population-level assessments provide the optimal approach for evaluating the effects of entrainment and impingement mortality

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. AERO: A Decision Support Tool for Wind Erosion Assessment in Rangelands and Croplands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galloza, M.; Webb, N.; Herrick, J.

    2015-12-01

    Wind erosion is a key driver of global land degradation, with on- and off-site impacts on agricultural production, air quality, ecosystem services and climate. Measuring rates of wind erosion and dust emission across land use and land cover types is important for quantifying the impacts and identifying and testing practical management options. This process can be assisted by the application of predictive models, which can be a powerful tool for land management agencies. The Aeolian EROsion (AERO) model, a wind erosion and dust emission model interface provides access by non-expert land managers to a sophisticated wind erosion decision-support tool. AERO incorporates land surface processes and sediment transport equations from existing wind erosion models and was designed for application with available national long-term monitoring datasets (e.g. USDI BLM Assessment, Inventory and Monitoring, USDA NRCS Natural Resources Inventory) and monitoring protocols. Ongoing AERO model calibration and validation are supported by geographically diverse data on wind erosion rates and land surface conditions collected by the new National Wind Erosion Research Network. Here we present the new AERO interface, describe parameterization of the underpinning wind erosion model, and provide a summary of the model applications across agricultural lands and rangelands in the United States.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reinhardt, K.; McAbee, K.; Germino, M. J.; Bosworth, A.

    2016-12-01

    Semi-arid rangelands have been identified as potential carbon (C) sinks. 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, climate models predict increases in wintertime precipitation and decreases in summertime precipitation. In theory, this should boost C storage in cold-desert ecosystems that have deep-rooted woody plants due to greater wintertime soil water storage that enhances summertime productivity. However, there are few long-term, manipulative field-based studies investigating how shrub- and grass-dominated rangelands will respond to changing precipitation patterns. We measured aboveground C pools and fluxes at leaf, soil, and ecosystem scales over the 2014 growing season on plots that had supplemental precipitation added in either winter or summer for 21 years, in shrub- and exotic-bunchgrass-dominated plots. We hypothesized that increased winter precipitation would stimulate aboveground C uptake and storage relative to ambient conditions, in our cold-desert-adapted plant species. We further hypothesized that long-term gains in aboveground C storage due to precipitation manipulations would be greater 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 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, provided that the ecosystems have resisted conversion to exotic grassland.

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. Decision Making in Rangelands: An Integrated Modeling Approach to Resilience and Change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Galvin, K. A.; Ojima, D. S.; Boone, R. B.

    2007-12-01

    Rangelands comprise approximately 25% of the earth's surface and these landscapes support more than 20 million people and most of the world's charismatic megafauna. Most of the people who live in these regions of the world herd domestic livestock and some do limited cultivation so they are dependent directly on the environment for their livelihoods. But change is rapidly changing the environments upon which these people depend through such factors as population pressures, land use and land tenure changes, climate variability, and policy changes which fragment their resources and thus their ability to earn a living. How can we understand change in this linked human-environment system? The study of complex biophysical and human systems can be greatly assisted by appropriate simulation models that integrate what is known about ecological and human decision-making processes. We have developed an integrated modeling system for Kajiado, Kenya where land use management decisions have implications for economics and the ecosystem. In this paper we look at how land use decisions, that is, livestock movement patterns have implications for societal economics and ecosystem services. Research that focuses on local behavior is important because it is at that level where fundamental decisions are made regarding events like extreme climate and changes such as land tenure policy and it is here where resilience is manifested. The notion that broad recommendation domains can be identified for a broad set of people and large regions coping with change is becoming increasingly hard to trust given the spatial and temporal heterogeneity of the systems we are looking at, and the complexity of the world we now live in. Why is this important? The only way the research community is going to make great progress in attaining objectives that do confer resilience (on social and ecological systems) is through much better targeting ability, a large part of which seem to be intimately entwined with

  2. 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.

  3. 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...... surveys are a main source of information. Among cultural ecosystem services, assessment of outdoor recreation can be based on a large pool of literature developed mostly in social and medical science, and landscape and ecology studies. This paper presents a methodology to include recreation...... in the conceptual framework for EU wide ecosystem assessments (Maes et al., 2013), which couples existing approaches for recreation management at country level with behavioural data derived from surveys, and population distribution data. The proposed framework is based on three components: the ecosystem function...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. 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.

  7. Analysis reveals potential rangeland impacts if Williamson Act eliminated

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    William C. Wetzel

    2012-10-01

    Full Text Available California budget cuts have resulted in dramatic reductions in state funding for the Williamson Act, a land protection program that reduces property taxes for the owners of 15 million acres of California farms and rangeland. With state reimbursements to counties eliminated, the decision to continue Williamson Act contracts lies with individual counties. We investigated the consequences of eliminating the Williamson Act, using a geospatial analysis and a mail questionnaire asking ranchers for plans under a hypothetical elimination scenario. The geospatial analysis revealed that 72% of rangeland parcels enrolled in Williamson Act contracts contained habitat important for statewide conservation goals. Presented with the elimination scenario, survey respondents reported an intention to sell 20% of their total 496,889 acres. The tendency of survey participants to respond that they would sell land was highest among full-time ranchers with low household incomes and without off-ranch employment. A majority (76% of the ranchers who reported that they would sell land predicted that the buyers would develop it for nonagricultural uses, suggesting substantial changes to California's landscape in a future without the Williamson Act.

  8. Use of biosolids to enhance rangeland forage quality.

    Science.gov (United States)

    McFarland, Michael J; Vasquez, Issaak Romero; Vutran, MaiAnh; Schmitz, Mark; Brobst, Robert B

    2010-05-01

    Biosolids land application was demonstrated to be a potentially cost-effective means for restoring forage productivity and enhancing soil-moisture-holding capacity on disturbed rangelands. By land-applying aerobically digested, anaerobically digested, composted, and lime-stabilized biosolids on rangeland test plots at rates of up to 20 times (20X) the estimated nitrogen-based agronomic rate, forage yields were found to increase from 132.8 kg/ha (118.2 lb/ac) (control plots) to 1182.3 kg/ha (1052.8 lb/ac). Despite the environmental benefits associated with increased forage yield (e.g., reduced soil erosion, improved drainage, and enhanced terrestrial carbon sequestration), the type of forage generated both before and after biosolids land application was found to be dominated by invasive weeds, all of which were characterized as having fair to poor nutritional value. Opportunistic and shallow rooting invasive weeds not only have marginal nutritional value, they also limit the establishment of native perennial grasses and thus biodiversity. Many of the identified invasive species (e.g., Cheatgrass) mature early, a characteristic that significantly increases the fuel loads that support the increased frequency and extent of western wildfires.

  9. 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.

  10. 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

  11. Comparison of LANDSAT-2 and field spectrometer reflectance signatures of south Texas rangeland plant communities

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richardson, A. J.; Escobar, D. E.; Gausman, H. W.; Everitt, J. H. (Principal Investigator)

    1982-01-01

    The accuracy was assessed for an atmospheric correction method that depends on clear water bodies to infer solar and atmospheric parameters for radiative transfer equations by measuring the reflectance signature of four prominent south Texas rangeland plants with the LANDSAT satellite multispectral scanner (MSS) and a ground based spectroradiometer. The rangeland plant reflectances produced by the two sensors were correlated with no significant deviation of the slope from unity or of the intercept from zero. These results indicated that the atmospheric correction produced LANDSAT MSS estimates of rangeland plant reflectances that are as accurate as the ground based spectroradiometer.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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”.

  15. The Climate-Population Nexus in the East African Horn: Emerging Degradation Trends in Rangeland and Pastoral Livelihood Zones

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pricope, N. G.; Husak, G. J.; Funk, C. C.; Lopez-Carr, D.

    2014-12-01

    Increasing climate variability and extreme weather conditions along with declining trends in both rainfall and temperature represent major risk factors affecting agricultural production and food security in many regions of the world. We identify regions where significant rainfall decrease from 1979-2011 over the entire continent of Africa couples with significant human population density increase. The rangelands of Ethiopia, Kenya, and Somalia in the East African Horn remain one of the world's most food insecure regions, yet have significantly increasing human populations predominantly dependent on pastoralist and agro-pastoralist livelihoods. Vegetation in this region is characterized by a variable mosaic of land covers, generally dominated by grasslands necessary for agro-pastoralism, interspersed by woody vegetation. Recent assessments indicate that widespread degradation is occurring, adversely impacting fragile ecosystems and human livelihoods. Using two underutilized MODIS products, we observe significant changes in vegetation patterns and productivity over the last decade all across the East African Horn. We observe significant vegetation browning trends in areas experiencing drying precipitation trends in addition to increasing population pressures. We also found that the drying precipitation trends only partially statistically explain the vegetation browning trends, further indicating that other factors such as population pressures and land use changes are responsible for the observed declining vegetation health. Furthermore, we show that the general vegetation browning trends persist even during years with normal rainfall conditions such as 2012, indicating potential long-term degradation of rangelands on which approximately 10 million people depend. These findings have serious implications for current and future regional food security monitoring and forecasting as well as for mitigation and adaptation strategies in a region where population is expected

  16. 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...

  17. Ecosystem Jenga!

    Science.gov (United States)

    Umphlett, Natalie; Brosius, Tierney; Laungani, Ramesh; Rousseau, Joe; Leslie-Pelecky, Diandra L.

    2009-01-01

    To give students a tangible model of an ecosystem and have them experience what could happen if a component of that ecosystem were removed; the authors developed a hands-on, inquiry-based activity that visually demonstrates the concept of a delicately balanced ecosystem through a modification of the popular game Jenga. This activity can be…

  18. Reality of rangeland degradation mapping with remote sensing: the South African experience

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wessels, Konrad J

    2008-09-01

    Full Text Available Globally there is an urgent need for standardized, quantitative measures rangeland degradation. Over the past 10 years in South Africa (SA), significant research efforts have been directed at this challenge, using diverse methods and data...

  19. Human-modified landscapes: patterns of fine-scale woody vegetation structure in communal savannah rangelands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Fisher, T

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available structure in five communal rangelands around 12 settlements in Bushbuckridge, a municipality in the Kruger to Canyons Biosphere Reserve (South Africa). The importance of underlying abiotic factors was evaluated by measuring size class distributions across...

  20. Success of seeding native compared with introduced perennial vegetation for revegetating medusahead-invaded sagebrush rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Millions of hectares of Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis Beetle &Young) rangeland have been invaded by medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski), an exotic annual grass that degrades wildlife habitat, reduces forage production, and decreases biodiversity....

  1. Separating the cows from the trees: toward development of national definitions of forest and rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    H. Gyde Lund

    2007-01-01

    This paper introduces issues surrounding the need for national definitions of forest and rangeland, and it review types of definitions in use, reviews past agreements and their status, and finally gives recommendations as to what should be done next.

  2. Rangeland Use Rights Privatisation Based on the Tragedy of the Commons: A Case Study from Tibet

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yonten Nyima Yundannima

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Rangeland use rights privatisation based on a tragedy of the commons assumption has been the backbone of state policy on rangeland management and pastoralism in China. Through an empirical case study from Pelgon county, Tibet Autonomous Region in China, this paper provides an empirical analysis of rangeland use rights privatisation. It shows that the tragedy of the commons is not the correct model to apply to Tibetan pastoralism because pasture use in Tibet has never been an open-access institution. Thus, when the tragedy of the commons model is applied as a rationale for rangeland use rights privatisation, the result is not what is intended by the policy, but rather a misfit to features of pastoralism and thus disruption of the essence of pastoralism, i.e. mobility and flexibility. The paper further shows that a hybrid institution combining household rangeland tenure with community-based use with user fees is a restoration of the pastoralist institution. This demonstrates the capacity of pastoralists to create adaptive new institutions congruent with the interdependent and integrated nature of pastoralism consisting of three components: pastoralists, livestock, and rangeland.

  3. 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

  4. Multiscale sagebrush rangeland habitat modeling in the Gunnison Basin of Colorado

    Science.gov (United States)

    Homer, Collin G.; Aldridge, Cameron L.; Meyer, Debra K.; Schell, Spencer J.

    2013-01-01

    North American sagebrush-steppe ecosystems have decreased by about 50 percent since European settlement. As a result, sagebrush-steppe dependent species, such as the Gunnison sage-grouse, have experienced drastic range contractions and population declines. Coordinated ecosystem-wide research, integrated with monitoring and management activities, is needed to help maintain existing sagebrush habitats; however, products that accurately model and map sagebrush habitats in detail over the Gunnison Basin in Colorado are still unavailable. The goal of this project is to provide a rigorous large-area sagebrush habitat classification and inventory with statistically validated products and estimates of precision across the Gunnison Basin. This research employs a combination of methods, including (1) modeling sagebrush rangeland as a series of independent objective components that can be combined and customized by any user at multiple spatial scales; (2) collecting ground measured plot data on 2.4-meter QuickBird satellite imagery in the same season the imagery is acquired; (3) modeling of ground measured data on 2.4-meter imagery to maximize subsequent extrapolation; (4) acquiring multiple seasons (spring, summer, and fall) of Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery (30-meter) for optimal modeling; (5) using regression tree classification technology that optimizes data mining of multiple image dates, ratios, and bands with ancillary data to extrapolate ground training data to coarser resolution Landsat Thematic Mapper; and 6) employing accuracy assessment of model predictions to enable users to understand their dependencies. Results include the prediction of four primary components including percent bare ground, percent herbaceous, percent shrub, and percent litter, and four secondary components including percent sagebrush (Artemisia spp.), percent big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata), percent Wyoming sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata wyomingensis), and shrub height (centimeters

  5. Remote sensing data in Rangeland assessment and monitoring

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Hamid, Amna Ahmed; Ali, Mohamed M.

    1999-01-01

    The main objective of the paper is to illustrate the potential of remote sensing data in the study and monitoring of environmental changes in western Sudan where considerable part of the area is under rangeland use. Data from NOAA satellite AVHRR sensor as well as thematic mapper Tm was used to assess the environment of the area during 1982-1997. The AVHRR data was processed into vegetation index (NDVI) images. Image analysis and classification was done using image display and analysis (IDA) GIS method to study vegetation condition in time series. The obtained information from field observations. The result showed high correlation between the information the work concluded the followings: NDVI images and thematic mapper data proved to be efficient in environment change analysis. NOAA AVHRR satellite data can provide an early-warning indicator of an approaching disaster. Remote sensing integrated into a GIS can contribute effectively to improve land management through better understanding of environment variability.(Author)

  6. Evaluating soil moisture and hydraulic conductivity in semi-arid rangeland soils

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Whitaker, M.P.L.

    1993-01-01

    The US DOE's Office of Civilian Radioactive Waste Management (DOE-OCRWM) Fellowship Program supports various disciplines of academic research related to the isolation of radionuclides from the biosphere. The purpose of this paper is to provide an example of a university research application in the specific discipline of hydrology and water resources (a multi-disciplinary field encompassing engineering and the earth sciences), and to discuss how this research pertains to the objectives of the DOE-OCRWM Fellowship Program. The university research application is twofold: One portion focuses on the spatial variability of soil moisture (θ) and the other section compares point measurements with small watershed estimates of hydraulic conductivity (K) in a semi-arid rangeland soil in Arizona. For soil moisture measurements collected over a range of horizontal sampling intervals, no spatial correlation was evident. This outcome is reassuring to computer modelers who have assumed no spatial correlation for soil moisture over smaller scales. In regard to hydraulic conductivity, point measurements differed significantly from small watershed estimates of hydraulic conductivity which were derived from a calibrated and verified rainfall-runoff computer model. The estimates of saturated hydraulic conductivity (Ks) were obtained from previous computer simulations in which measured data was collected in the same research location as the present study

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Belnap, Jayne; Evans, R. D; Phillips, Susan L; Reheis, Merith; Reynolds, Rich; Sanford, Robert; Webb, Bruce

    2004-01-01

    Bromus tectorum (hereafter referred to as Bromus) is a non-native annual grass from the Mediterranean region that arrived in the United States in the late 19th century and soon spread throughout the western states...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-04-22

    herbivores on Ipomopsis arizonica . In addition, litter and neighboring plants can influence herbivore damage by concealing seeds and small seedlings...1991. Facilitation and interference of Quercus douglasii on understory productivity in central California. - Ecology 72: 1484- 1499. 66 Callaway, R

  11. Resource analysis of the Chinese society 1980-2002 based on exergy-Part 4: Fishery and rangeland

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Chen, B.; Chen, G.Q.

    2007-01-01

    This fourth part is the continuation of the third part on agricultural products. The major fishery and rangeland products entering the Chinese society from 1980 to 2002 are calculated and analyzed in detail in this paper. The aquatic production, mainly relying on freshwater and seawater breeding, Enhancement policy of fishery resources, including closed fishing season system, construction of artificial fish reefs and ecological fish breeding, etc., is discussed in detail. The degradation of the major rangeland areas, hay yields and intake rangeland resources by the livestock, are also described associated with the strategic adjustment and comprehensive program to protect rangeland resources during the study period

  12. Appreciation, Use, and Management of Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services in California's Working Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Plieninger, Tobias; Ferranto, Shasta; Huntsinger, Lynn; Kelly, Maggi; Getz, Christy

    2012-09-01

    "Working landscapes" is the concept of fostering effective ecosystem stewardship and conservation through active human presence and management and integrating livestock, crop, and timber production with the provision of a broad range of ecosystem services at the landscape scale. Based on a statewide survey of private landowners of "working" forests and rangelands in California, we investigated whether owners who are engaged in commercial livestock or timber production appreciate and manage biodiversity and ecosystem services on their land in different ways than purely residential owners. Both specific uses and management practices, as well as underlying attitudes and motivations toward biodiversity and ecosystem services, were assessed. Correlation analysis showed one bundle of ecosystem goods and services (e.g., livestock, timber, crops, and housing) that is supported by some landowners at the community level. Another closely correlated bundle of biodiversity and ecosystem services includes recreation, hunting/fishing, wildlife habitat, and fire prevention. Producers were more likely to ally with the first bundle and residential owners with the second. The survey further confirmed that cultural ecosystem services and quality-of-life aspects are among the primary amenities that motivate forest and rangeland ownership regardless of ownership type. To live near natural beauty was the most important motive for both landowner groups. Producers were much more active in management for habitat improvement and other environmental goals than residential owners. As the number of production-oriented owners decreases, developing strategies for encouraging environment-positive management by all types of landowners is crucial.

  13. Climate change impacts utilizing regional models for agriculture, hydrology and natural ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kafatos, M.; Asrar, G. R.; El-Askary, H. M.; Hatzopoulos, N.; Kim, J.; Kim, S.; Medvigy, D.; Prasad, A. K.; Smith, E.; Stack, D. H.; Tremback, C.; Walko, R. L.

    2012-12-01

    Climate change impacts the entire Earth but with crucial and often catastrophic impacts at local and regional levels. Extreme phenomena such as fires, dust storms, droughts and other natural hazards present immediate risks and challenges. Such phenomena will become more extreme as climate change and anthropogenic activities accelerate in the future. We describe a major project funded by NIFA (Grant # 2011-67004-30224), under the joint NSF-DOE-USDA Earth System Models (EaSM) program, to investigate the impacts of climate variability and change on the agricultural and natural (i.e. rangeland) ecosystems in the Southwest USA using a combination of historical and present observations together with climate, and ecosystem models, both in hind-cast and forecast modes. The applicability of the methodology to other regions is relevant (for similar geographic regions as well as other parts of the world with different agriculture and ecosystems) and should advance the state of knowledge for regional impacts of climate change. A combination of multi-model global climate projections from the decadal predictability simulations, to downscale dynamically these projections using three regional climate models, combined with remote sensing MODIS and other data, in order to obtain high-resolution climate data that can be used with hydrological and ecosystem models for impacts analysis, is described in this presentation. Such analysis is needed to assess the future risks and potential impacts of projected changes on these natural and managed ecosystems. The results from our analysis can be used by scientists to assist extended communities to determine agricultural coping strategies, and is, therefore, of interest to wide communities of stakeholders. In future work we will be including surface hydrologic modeling and water resources, extend modeling to higher resolutions and include significantly more crops and geographical regions with different weather and climate conditions

  14. Influencing adaptation processes on the Australian rangelands for social and ecological resilience

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nadine A. Marshall

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Resource users require the capacity to cope and adapt to climate changes affecting resource condition if they, and their industries, are to remain viable. Understanding individual-scale responses to a changing climate will be an important component of designing well-targeted, broad-scale strategies and policies. Because of the interdependencies between people and ecosystems, understanding and supporting resilience of resource-dependent people may be as important an aspect of effective resource management as managing the resilience of ecological components. We refer to the northern Australian rangelands as an example of a system that is particularly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change and look for ways to enhance the resilience of the system. Vulnerability of the social system comprises elements of adaptive capacity and sensitivity to change (resource dependency as well as exposure, which is not examined here. We assessed the adaptive capacity of 240 cattle producers, using four established dimensions, and investigated the association between adaptive capacity and climate sensitivity (or resource dependency as measured through 14 established dimensions. We found that occupational identity, employability, networks, strategic approach, environmental awareness, dynamic resource use, and use of technology were all positively correlated with at least one dimension of adaptive capacity and that place attachment was negatively correlated with adaptive capacity. These results suggest that adaptation processes could be influenced by focusing on adaptive capacity and these aspects of climate sensitivity. Managing the resilience of individuals is critical to processes of adaptation at higher levels and needs greater attention if adaptation processes are to be shaped and influenced.

  15. Spatially explicit rangeland erosion monitoring using high-resolution digital aerial imagery

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gillan, Jeffrey K.; Karl, Jason W.; Barger, Nichole N.; Elaksher, Ahmed; Duniway, Michael C.

    2016-01-01

    Nearly all of the ecosystem services supported by rangelands, including production of livestock forage, carbon sequestration, and provisioning of clean water, are negatively impacted by soil erosion. Accordingly, monitoring the severity, spatial extent, and rate of soil erosion is essential for long-term sustainable management. Traditional field-based methods of monitoring erosion (sediment traps, erosion pins, and bridges) can be labor intensive and therefore are generally limited in spatial intensity and/or extent. There is a growing effort to monitor natural resources at broad scales, which is driving the need for new soil erosion monitoring tools. One remote-sensing technique that can be used to monitor soil movement is a time series of digital elevation models (DEMs) created using aerial photogrammetry methods. By geographically coregistering the DEMs and subtracting one surface from the other, an estimate of soil elevation change can be created. Such analysis enables spatially explicit quantification and visualization of net soil movement including erosion, deposition, and redistribution. We constructed DEMs (12-cm ground sampling distance) on the basis of aerial photography immediately before and 1 year after a vegetation removal treatment on a 31-ha Piñon-Juniper woodland in southeastern Utah to evaluate the use of aerial photography in detecting soil surface change. On average, we were able to detect surface elevation change of ± 8−9cm and greater, which was sufficient for the large amount of soil movement exhibited on the study area. Detecting more subtle soil erosion could be achieved using the same technique with higher-resolution imagery from lower-flying aircraft such as unmanned aerial vehicles. DEM differencing and process-focused field methods provided complementary information and a more complete assessment of soil loss and movement than any single technique alone. Photogrammetric DEM differencing could be used as a technique to

  16. Governance of Ecosystem Services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Primmer, Eeva; Jokinen, Pekka; Blicharska, Malgorzata; Barton, David N.; Bugter, Rob; Potschin, Marion

    2015-01-01

    Biodiversity conservation policies justified with science and intrinsic value arguments have produced disappointing outcomes, and the need for conservation is now being additionally justified with the concept of ecosystem services. However, little, if any empirical attention is paid to ways in

  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 fire severity only slightly increased the soil water repellency, and at the same time, increased on-site availability of some important soil resources. Nevertheless, it is acknowledged that such fires could impose

  18. Using avian focal species to inform rangeland management in California oak woodland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Alicia D. Young; Breanna Owens; Melissa Odell; Corey Shake; Wendell Gilgert; Geoffrey R. Geupel

    2015-01-01

    Biological knowledge about bird focal species may be used to inform planning, habitat management, and restoration efforts, with the assumption that the implementation of these species-based recommendations will maintain and enhance healthy functioning habitats and the ecosystems services they provide. Point Blue Conservation Science in collaboration with the Natural...

  19. Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Stam, F.C.; Spigel, Ben

    2016-01-01

    This paper reviews and discusses the emergent entrepreneurial ecosystem approach. Entrepreneurial ecosystems are defined as a set of interdependent actors and factors coordinated in such a way that they enable productive entrepreneurship within a particular territory. The purpose of this paper is to

  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. Seasonal food habits of swift fox (Vulpes velox) in cropland and rangeland landscapes in western Kansas

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sovada, M.A.; Roy, C.C.; Telesco, D.J.

    2001-01-01

    Food habits of swift foxes (Vulpes velox) occupying two distinct landscapes (dominated by cropland versus rangeland) in western Kansas were determined by analysis of scats collected in 1993 and 1996. Frequencies of occurrence of prey items in scats were compared between cropland and rangeland areas by season. Overall, the most frequently occurring foods of swift foxes were mammals (92% of all scats) and arthropods (87%), followed by birds (24%), carrion (23%), plants (15%) and reptiles (4%). No differences were detected between landscapes for occurrence of mammals, arthropods or carrion in any season (P ≥ 0.100). Plants, specifically commercial sunflower seeds, were consumed more frequently in cropland than in rangeland in spring (P = 0.004) and fall (P = 0.001). Birds were more common in the swift fox diet in cropland than in rangeland during the fall (P = 0.008), whereas reptiles occurred more frequently in the diet in rangeland than in cropland during spring (P = 0.042). Variation in the diet of the swift fox between areas was most likely due to its opportunistic foraging behavior, resulting in a diet that closely links prey use with availability.

  2. A synoptic review of U.S. rangelands: a technical document supporting the Forest Service 2010 RPA Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matthew Clark Reeves; John E. Mitchell

    2012-01-01

    The Renewable Resources Planning Act of 1974 requires the USDA Forest Service to conduct assessments of resource conditions. This report fulfills that need and focuses on quantifying extent, productivity, and health of U.S. rangelands. Since 1982, the area of U.S. rangelands has decreased at an average rate of 350,000 acres per year owed mostly to conversion to...

  3. Ecosystem-based management and the wealth of ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Seong Do; Hutniczak, Barbara; Abbott, Joshua K.; Fenichel, Eli P.

    2017-01-01

    We merge inclusive wealth theory with ecosystem-based management (EBM) to address two challenges in the science of sustainable management of ecosystems. First, we generalize natural capital theory to approximate realized shadow prices for multiple interacting natural capital stocks (species) making up an ecosystem. These prices enable ecosystem components to be better included in wealth-based sustainability measures. We show that ecosystems are best envisioned as portfolios of assets, where the portfolio’s performance depends on the performance of the underlying assets influenced by their interactions. Second, changes in ecosystem wealth provide an attractive headline index for EBM, regardless of whether ecosystem wealth is ultimately included in a broader wealth index. We apply our approach to the Baltic Sea ecosystem, focusing on the interacting community of three commercially important fish species: cod, herring, and sprat. Our results incorporate supporting services embodied in the shadow price of a species through its trophic interactions. Prey fish have greater shadow prices than expected based on market value, and predatory fish have lower shadow prices than expected based on market value. These results are because correctly measured shadow prices reflect interdependence and limits to substitution. We project that ecosystem wealth in the Baltic Sea fishery ecosystem generally increases conditional on the EBM-inspired multispecies maximum sustainable yield management beginning in 2017, whereas continuing the current single-species management generally results in declining wealth. PMID:28588145

  4. Ecosystem-based management and the wealth of ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yun, Seong Do; Hutniczak, Barbara; Abbott, Joshua K; Fenichel, Eli P

    2017-06-20

    We merge inclusive wealth theory with ecosystem-based management (EBM) to address two challenges in the science of sustainable management of ecosystems. First, we generalize natural capital theory to approximate realized shadow prices for multiple interacting natural capital stocks (species) making up an ecosystem. These prices enable ecosystem components to be better included in wealth-based sustainability measures. We show that ecosystems are best envisioned as portfolios of assets, where the portfolio's performance depends on the performance of the underlying assets influenced by their interactions. Second, changes in ecosystem wealth provide an attractive headline index for EBM, regardless of whether ecosystem wealth is ultimately included in a broader wealth index. We apply our approach to the Baltic Sea ecosystem, focusing on the interacting community of three commercially important fish species: cod, herring, and sprat. Our results incorporate supporting services embodied in the shadow price of a species through its trophic interactions. Prey fish have greater shadow prices than expected based on market value, and predatory fish have lower shadow prices than expected based on market value. These results are because correctly measured shadow prices reflect interdependence and limits to substitution. We project that ecosystem wealth in the Baltic Sea fishery ecosystem generally increases conditional on the EBM-inspired multispecies maximum sustainable yield management beginning in 2017, whereas continuing the current single-species management generally results in declining wealth.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    A leader of the South Turkana Ecosystem Project (STEP), he showed the adaptive basis for opportunistic and spatially extensive resource use in temporally and spatially variable environments. After the STEP, he examined pastoral ecosystems in northern and central Asia and elsewhere in Africa. Spatial extensivity, or scale ...

  6. 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

  7. Environmental System Science Data Infrastructure for a Virtual Ecosystem (ESS-DIVE) - A New U.S. DOE Data Archive

    Science.gov (United States)

    Agarwal, D.; Varadharajan, C.; Cholia, S.; Snavely, C.; Hendrix, V.; Gunter, D.; Riley, W. J.; Jones, M.; Budden, A. E.; Vieglais, D.

    2017-12-01

    The ESS-DIVE archive is a new U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) data archive designed to provide long-term stewardship and use of data from observational, experimental, and modeling activities in the earth and environmental sciences. The ESS-DIVE infrastructure is constructed with the long-term vision of enabling broad access to and usage of the DOE sponsored data stored in the archive. It is designed as a scalable framework that incentivizes data providers to contribute well-structured, high-quality data to the archive and that enables the user community to easily build data processing, synthesis, and analysis capabilities using those data. The key innovations in our design include: (1) application of user-experience research methods to understand the needs of users and data contributors; (2) support for early data archiving during project data QA/QC and before public release; (3) focus on implementation of data standards in collaboration with the community; (4) support for community built tools for data search, interpretation, analysis, and visualization tools; (5) data fusion database to support search of the data extracted from packages submitted and data available in partner data systems such as the Earth System Grid Federation (ESGF) and DataONE; and (6) support for archiving of data packages that are not to be released to the public. ESS-DIVE data contributors will be able to archive and version their data and metadata, obtain data DOIs, search for and access ESS data and metadata via web and programmatic portals, and provide data and metadata in standardized forms. The ESS-DIVE archive and catalog will be federated with other existing catalogs, allowing cross-catalog metadata search and data exchange with existing systems, including DataONE's Metacat search. ESS-DIVE is operated by a multidisciplinary team from Berkeley Lab, the National Center for Ecological Analysis and Synthesis (NCEAS), and DataONE. The primarily data copies are hosted at DOE's NERSC

  8. Urban ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Duvigneaud, P

    1974-01-01

    The author considers the town as an ecosystem. He examines its various subdivisions (climate, soil, structure, human and non-human communities, etc.) for which he chooses examples with particular reference to the city of Brussels.

  9. A tiered approach for ecosystem services mapping

    OpenAIRE

    Grêt-Regamey, Adrienne; Weibel, Bettina; Rabe, Sven-Erik; Burkhard, Benjamin

    2017-01-01

    Mapping ecosystem services delivers essential insights into the spatial characteristics of various goods’ and services’ flows from nature to human society. It has become a central topic of science, policy, business and society – all belonging on functioning ecosystems. This textbook summarises the current state-of-the-art of ecosystem services mapping, related theory and methods, different ecosystem service quantification and modelling approaches as well as practical applications. The book...

  10. Fusing MODIS with Landsat 8 data to downscale weekly normalized difference vegetation index estimates for central Great Basin rangelands, USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Boyte, Stephen; Wylie, Bruce K.; Rigge, Matthew B.; Dahal, Devendra

    2018-01-01

    Data fused from distinct but complementary satellite sensors mitigate tradeoffs that researchers make when selecting between spatial and temporal resolutions of remotely sensed data. We integrated data from the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) sensor aboard the Terra satellite and the Operational Land Imager sensor aboard the Landsat 8 satellite into four regression-tree models and applied those data to a mapping application. This application produced downscaled maps that utilize the 30-m spatial resolution of Landsat in conjunction with daily acquisitions of MODIS normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) that are composited and temporally smoothed. We produced four weekly, atmospherically corrected, and nearly cloud-free, downscaled 30-m synthetic MODIS NDVI predictions (maps) built from these models. Model results were strong with R2 values ranging from 0.74 to 0.85. The correlation coefficients (r ≥ 0.89) were strong for all predictions when compared to corresponding original MODIS NDVI data. Downscaled products incorporated into independently developed sagebrush ecosystem models yielded mixed results. The visual quality of the downscaled 30-m synthetic MODIS NDVI predictions were remarkable when compared to the original 250-m MODIS NDVI. These 30-m maps improve knowledge of dynamic rangeland seasonal processes in the central Great Basin, United States, and provide land managers improved resource maps.

  11. Evaluating new SMAP soil moisture for drought monitoring in the rangelands of the US High Plains

    Science.gov (United States)

    Velpuri, Naga Manohar; Senay, Gabriel B.; Morisette, Jeffrey T.

    2016-01-01

    Level 3 soil moisture datasets from the recently launched Soil Moisture Active Passive (SMAP) satellite are evaluated for drought monitoring in rangelands.Validation of SMAP soil moisture (SSM) with in situ and modeled estimates showed high level of agreement.SSM showed the highest correlation with surface soil moisture (0-5 cm) and a strong correlation to depths up to 20 cm.SSM showed a reliable and expected response of capturing seasonal dynamics in relation to precipitation, land surface temperature, and evapotranspiration.Further evaluation using multi-year SMAP datasets is necessary to quantify the full benefits and limitations for drought monitoring in rangelands.

  12. Improving human-wildlife co-existence: Landscape level strategies to enhance wildlife movement in Amboseli-Tsavo Ecosystem, Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Schnepf, Marit

    2017-01-01

    Amboseli-Tsavo Ecosystem is a unique landscape in Kenya’s semi-arid rangelands to the border of Tanzania. It is characterized by high abundances of wildlife which frequently disperses between three National Parks, namely Amboseli, Tsavo West and Chyulu Hills. Due to an increased population and a land-use change from prior nomadic pastoralism to sedentary farming activities, the land became highly fragmented and transformed into a human-dominated area. Increasingly wildlife migration routes ar...

  13. 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...

  14. Strategic ecosystems of Colombia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Marquez Calle German

    2002-01-01

    The author relates the ecosystems in Colombia, he makes a relationship between ecosystems and population, utility of the ecosystems, transformation of the ecosystems and poverty and he shows a methodology of identification of strategic ecosystems

  15. Traits determining the digestibility-decomposability relationships in species from Mediterranean rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bumb, Iris; Garnier, Eric; Coq, Sylvain; Nahmani, Johanne; Del Rey Granado, Maria; Gimenez, Olivier; Kazakou, Elena

    2018-03-05

    Forage quality for herbivores and litter quality for decomposers are two key plant properties affecting ecosystem carbon and nutrient cycling. Although there is a positive relationship between palatability and decomposition, very few studies have focused on larger vertebrate herbivores while considering links between the digestibility of living leaves and stems and the decomposability of litter and associated traits. The hypothesis tested is that some defences of living organs would reduce their digestibility and, as a consequence, their litter decomposability, through 'afterlife' effects. Additionally in high-fertility conditions the presence of intense herbivory would select for communities dominated by fast-growing plants, which are able to compensate for tissue loss by herbivory, producing both highly digestible organs and easily decomposable litter. Relationships between dry matter digestibility and decomposability were quantified in 16 dominant species from Mediterranean rangelands, which are subject to management regimes that differ in grazing intensity and fertilization. The digestibility and decomposability of leaves and stems were estimated at peak standing biomass, in plots that were either fertilized and intensively grazed or unfertilized and moderately grazed. Several traits were measured on living and senesced organs: fibre content, dry matter content and nitrogen, phosphorus and tannin concentrations. Digestibility was positively related to decomposability, both properties being influenced in the same direction by management regime, organ and growth forms. Digestibility of leaves and stems was negatively related to their fibre concentrations, and positively related to their nitrogen concentration. Decomposability was more strongly related to traits measured on living organs than on litter. Digestibility and decomposition were governed by similar structural traits, in particular fibre concentration, affecting both herbivores and micro

  16. 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.

  17. Basin wildrye (Leymus cinereus) pooled tetraploid accessions for U.S. Intermountain rangeland reclamation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stanford A. Young; Jason Vernon; Nancy Shaw

    2013-01-01

    Basin wildrye (Leymus cinereus [Scribn. & Merr.] A. Love) is an important perennial, hardy, long-lived, cool season C3 native grass of rangeland plant communities throughout much of western United States and Canada. All classes of livestock and wildlife, including large and small birds and mammals, utilise the grass year round for food and protection due to its 2-3...

  18. Analytical approaches to quality assurance and quality control in rangeland monitoring data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Producing quality data to support land management decisions is the goal of every rangeland monitoring program. However, the results of quality assurance (QA) and quality control (QC) efforts to improve data quality are rarely reported. The purpose of QA and QC is to prevent and describe non-sampling...

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. Assessing Rangeland Attributes On Semi-Arid Zone Of North Darfur State Sudan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed Almontasir A. M. Mohamed

    2015-08-01

    Full Text Available Abstract The study was conducted over a two years period of 2012 and 2013 at three sites of Alfashir locality Ummarahik 25km north of Alfashir Fashar in eastern part of Alfashir about 5km and Berka 30km west of Alfashir Western Sudan in semi-arid zone. The aim of this study was to assess rangeland attributes. Measurements of plant density vegetation cover range production and carrying capacity were assessed. Results showed that total forage production was low and inadequate to satisfy requirements of livestock for inhabiting the area average range production all over the area was found to be 50.68 kgha and 59.21 kgha for the seasons 2012 and 2013 respectively. The average ground cover was about 34.71 and 42.41 for two seasons. The average plant density for the first season was 27.1 plantm2 while the average plant density for the second season was 29.4 plantm2. The study concluded that unwise utilization and exploitation of the rangelands particularly by man causes range deterioration and serious reduction in range production in both quantity and quality so the study suggested that improvement and rehabilitation such lands rangelands should be done. Further research work is needed to assess rangeland attributes across different ecological zones in North Darfur State.

  2. Rangelands Vegetation under Different Management Systems and Growth Stages in North Darfur State, Sudan (Range Attributes

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohamed AAMA Mohamed

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available This study was conducted at Um Kaddada, North Darfur State, Sudan, at two sites (closed and open for two consecutive seasons 2008 and 2009 during flowering and seed setting stages to evaluate range attributes at the locality. A split plot design was used to study vegetation attributes. Factors studied were management systems (closed and open and growth stages (flowering and seed setting. Vegetation cover, plant density, carrying capacity, and biomass production were assessed. Chemical analyses were done for selected plants to determine their nutritive values. The results showed high significant differences in vegetation attributes (density, cover and biomass production between closed and open areas. Closed areas had higher carrying capacity compared to open rangelands. Crude protein (CP and ash contents of range vegetation were found to decrease while Crude fiber (CF and Dry matter yield (DM had increased with growth. The study concluded that closed rangelands are better than open rangelands because it fenced and protected. Erosion index and vegetation degradation rate were very high. Future research work is needed to assess rangelands characteristics and habitat condition across different ecological zones in North Darfur State, Sudan.DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3126/ije.v3i3.11093 International Journal of Environment Vol.3(3 2014: 332-343

  3. Rangeland livestock production: Developing the concept of sustainability on the Santa Rita Experimental Range

    Science.gov (United States)

    George B. Ruyle

    2003-01-01

    The Santa Rita Experimental Range (SRER) was established in 1903 at the behest of concerned stockmen and researchers as the first facility in the United States set aside to study range livestock production. At the time, severe overgrazing of the public domain had seriously reduced carrying capacities of Southwestern rangelands. Researchers on the SRER developed and...

  4. 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...

  5. 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 ...

  6. Weight gain and behavior of Raramuri Criollo versus Corriente steers developed on Chihuahuan Desert rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranchers that raise Criollo cattle must overcome the challenge of lack of markets for weaned calves. Raramuri Criollo (RC) steers are commonly raised for beef and finished on rangelands, while Corriente (CR) are often raised for rodeo sports. No data exist on weight gains and grazing behavior of ran...

  7. Movement and spatial proximity patterns of rangeland-raised Raramuri Criollo cow-calf pairs

    Science.gov (United States)

    The objective of this study was to compare movement patterns of nursing vs. nonnursing mature cows and to characterize cow-calf proximity patterns in two herds of Raramuri Criollo cattle. Herds grazed rangeland pastures in southern New Mexico (4355 ha) and west-central Chihuahua, Mexico (633 ha)'' A...

  8. Mother-Offspring Interactions in Raramuri Criollo Cattle on New Mexico and Chihuahua (Mexico) Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland beef cows spend approximately six months of a typical year raising their calf. This endeavor is known to significantly alter a dam’s grazing behavior and spatial distribution patterns. The objective of this study was to characterize cow-calf contact events in two herds of Raramuri Criollo ...

  9. Weight gain and behavior of Raramuri Criollo versus crossbred steers developed on Chihuahuan Desert rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ranchers that raise Raramuri Criollo (RC) cattle must overcome the challenge of lack of markets for weaned calves. Growing and finishing RC or RC-crossbred steers on rangeland pastures is increasingly common; however, no data exist on their weight gains or grazing behavior. We tracked the weight a...

  10. Influence of forest and rangeland management on anadromous fish habitat in Western North America: economic considerations.

    Science.gov (United States)

    William R. tech. ed. Meehan

    1985-01-01

    Although many effects of forest and rangeland management on anadromous fisheries are difficult to measure, economic methods for the evaluation of costs and benefits can be helpful. Such methods can be used to address questions of equity as well as efficiency. Evaluations of equity can show who bears the costs and who captures the benefits of management actions, but...

  11. A planning support system for rangeland allocation in Iran : case of Chadegan sub-region

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Farahpour, M.

    2002-01-01

    Rangelands, like other natural resources are subject to many changes. In Iran, one of the changes is the land tenure reform, that may have significant effects on both the land and the land user. Land tenure changes not only affect the life of the present, but also that of next generations,

  12. A review of concentrated flow erosion processes on rangelands: fundamental understanding and knowledge gaps

    Science.gov (United States)

    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 tolera...

  13. 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...

  14. Grazing management, resilience and the dynamics of a fire driven rangeland system

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Anderies, J.M.; Janssen, M.A.; Walker, B.H.

    2002-01-01

    We developed a stylized mathematical model to explore the effects of physical, ecological, and economic factors on the resilience of a managed fire-driven rangeland system. Depending on grazing pressure, the model exhibits one of three distinct configurations: a fire-dominated, grazing-dominated, or

  15. Searls prairie clover (Dalea searlsiae) for rangeland revegetation: Phenotypic and genetic evaluations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kishor Bhattarai; Shaun Bushman; Douglas A. Johnson; John G. Carman

    2011-01-01

    Few North American legumes are available for use in rangeland revegetation in the western USA, but Searls prairie clover [Dalea searlsiae (A. Gray) Barneby] is one that holds promise. Commercial-scale seed production of this species could address the issues of unreliable seed availability and high seed costs associated with its wildland seed collection. To evaluate its...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. Bridging Drought – Resilience in Rangeland Management in Times of Climate Change

    OpenAIRE

    Isele, Judith

    2014-01-01

    Organic livestock farming in semiarid regions greatly depends on the sustainable management of the natural rangeland as the resource for livestock sustenance. High stock density in combination with short grazing and long recovery periods achieve effective rainfall utilisation and considerably higher fodder production resulting in a high degree of resilience in drought situations.

  19. 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...

  20. Temperament affects rangeland use patterns and reproductive performance of beef cows

    Science.gov (United States)

    • The American beef industry is paying more attention to cattle temperament, but studies examining relationships between temperaments and grazing behavior or animal performance on rangelands are limited. • We studied range beef cow temperaments using the behavioral syndromes framework. Cows classifi...

  1. Science You Can Use Bulletin: Coming to a landscape near you: Natural resource changes in the Interior West

    Science.gov (United States)

    Frank Sturges; Linda Joyce; Tom Brown; Curt Flather; Miranda Mockrin; Matt Reeves

    2013-01-01

    In the coming decades, population growth, economic growth, and associated land-use changes - in concert with climate change - will influence forests and rangelands in the Interior West. Society’s demand for ecosystem goods and services continues to increase as human and biophysical change alter the productive capacity of these lands. The 2010 RPA Assessment uses...

  2. Designer ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Awasthi, Ashutosh; Singh, Kripal; O'Grady, Audrey; Courtney, Ronan; Kalra, Alok; Singh, Rana Pratap; Cerda Bolinches, Artemio; Steinberger, Yosef; Patra, D.D.

    2016-01-01

    Increase in human population is accelerating the rate of land use change, biodiversity loss and habitat degradation, triggering a serious threat to life supporting ecosystem services. Existing strategies for biological conservation remain insufficient to achieve a sustainable human-nature

  3. 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)...

  4. 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.

  5. Linking remote-sensing and ecosystem services modeling to support and assess management for regenerative grazing in the South Gobi, Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Chaplin-Kramer, R.; Kowal, V. A.; Sharp, R.

    2017-12-01

    Managing and monitoring supply chain sustainability is a major challenge and opportunity for business, especially in rangelands, heavily managed and often degraded natural systems that provide significant resources and raw materials for production. One of the largest and most threatened rangeland systems in the world is in Mongolia, which has seen a rapid rise in grazing pressure due to increasing global demand for cashmere along with privatization of a formerly government-run livestock industry. A new opportunity is emerging for remote-sensing to improve the management decisions of the producers and their incentive-setters, leading to a more sustainable rangeland system and better outcomes for biodiversity and people in this unique and imperiled landscape. Oyu Tolgoi (OT), the Mongolian subsidiary of the mining company Rio Tinto, in cooperation with Kering, an apparel conglomerate that sources cashmere from the region, are providing financial incentives to improve grazing patterns through a Sustainable Cashmere program, in order to restore the degraded rangeland ecosystem in the Gobi desert region. We present a framework and approach for predicting the effect of changing grazing practices on biodiversity and ecosystem services, which we are developing into decision-support tools for OT, Kering, and their local partner Wildlife Conservation Society to quantify the impacts of their programs and where these interventions will have greatest benefit. Our approach integrates remote-sensing and ecosystem modeling to scale up field monitoring data and forecast future impacts. Our rangeland production model, based on the soil-vegetation model CENTURY and the livestock model GRAZPLAN, predicts biomass production and plant species composition changes, and can feed into ecosystem services models such as soil retention and water regulation in the InVEST (Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs) software suite. This presents a significant advance in ecosystem

  6. 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 ...

  7. Field test of a new Australian method of rangeland monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Suzanne Mayne; Neil West

    2001-01-01

    Managers need more efficient means of monitoring changes on the lands they manage. Accordingly, a new Australian approach was field tested and compared to the Daubenmire method of assessing plant cover, litter, and bare soil. The study area was a 2 mile wide by 30.15 mile long strip, mostly covered by salt desert shrub ecosystem types, centered along the SE boundary of...

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. Grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) community composition in the rangeland of the northern slopes of The Qilian Mountains in northwestern China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sun, T; Liu, Z Y; Qin, L P; Long, R J

    2015-01-01

    In order to describe grasshopper (Orthoptera: Acrididae) species composition, diversity, abundance, and density of four rangelands types, we compared the grasshopper community composition and dynamics in the rangeland of the northern slopes of the Qilian Mountains. In total, 55 grasshopper species were collected from 2007 to 2009, representing three families and six subfamilies. The subfamily Oedipodinae was dominant, followed by Gomphocerinae and Catantopinae. Species abundance varied among rangeland types (RTs). The greatest abundance of grasshoppers was found in mountain rangeland, while the lowest abundance of grasshoppers was caught in alpine shrublands. Three species (Chorthippus cf. brunneus (Thunberg) (Acrididae), Chorthippus Dubius (Zubovski), and Gomphocerus licenti (Chang) were broadly distributed in the four RTs and constituted 7.5% of all grasshoppers collected. Ch. dubius was very abundant in desert rangeland and alpine shrubland. Bryodema dolichoptera Yin et Feng Eremippus qilianshanensis Lian and Zheng, and Filchnerella qilianshanensis Xi and Zheng (Pamphagidae) were endemic to the region of the Qilian Mountains. Species similarity between RTs ranged from 17.8 to 51.6 based on the Renkonen index. Similarly, the Sörensen index indicated a wide separation in species composition among RTs. The abundance of the eight most common species showed obvious differences among RTs and years. On average, mountain rangeland had the highest density values in 2007 and 2008, and alpine shrubland supported the smallest density. The densities in desert and mountain rangeland in 2007 were significantly higher than in 2008, while alpine rangeland and shrublands did not present obvious differences among years. © The Author 2015. Published by Oxford University Press on behalf of the Entomological Society of America.

  11. Ecohydrology and tipping points in semiarid australian rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saco, P. M.; Azadi, S.; Moreno de las Heras, M.; Willgoose, G. R.

    2017-12-01

    Semiarid landscapes are often characterised by a spatially heterogeneous vegetation cover forming mosaics of patches with dense vegetation within bare soil. This patchy vegetation cover, which is linked to the healthy function of these ecosystems, is sensitive to human disturbances that can lead to degradation. Previous work suggests that vegetation loss below a critical value can lead to a sudden decrease in landscape functionality following threshold behaviour. The decrease in vegetation cover is linked to erosion and substantial water losses by increasing landscape hydrological connectivity. We study these interactions and the possible existence of tipping points in the Mulga land bioregion, by combining remote sensing observations and results from an eco-geomorphologic model to investigate changes in ecosystem connectivity and the existence of threshold behaviour. More than 30 sites were selected along a precipitation gradient spanning a range from approximately 250 to 500 mm annual rainfall. The analysis of vegetation patterns is derived from high resolution remote sensing images (IKONOS, QuickBird, Pleiades) and MODIS NDVI, which combined with local precipitation data is used to compute rainfall use efficiency to assess the ecosystem function. A critical tipping point associated to loss of vegetation cover appears in the sites with lower annual precipitation. We found that this tipping point behaviour decreases for sites with higher rainfall. We use the model to investigate the relation between structural and functional connectivity and the emergence of threshold behaviour for selected plots along this precipitation gradient. Both observations and modelling results suggest that sites with higher rainfall are more resilient to changes in surface connectivity. The implications for ecosystem resilience and land management are discussed

  12. ESTIMAP: Ecosystem services mapping at European scale

    OpenAIRE

    ZULIAN GRAZIA; PARACCHINI Maria-Luisa; MAES JOACHIM; LIQUETE GARCIA MARIA DEL CAMINO

    2013-01-01

    Mapping, visualization and the access to suitable data as a means to facilitate the dialogue among scientists, policy makers and the general public are among the most challenging issues within current ecosystem service science and application. Recently the attention on spatially explicit ways to map ecosystem services, at local, regional and global scale is increasing. This report presents ESTIMAP: a suite of models for a spatially explicit assessment of three ecosystem services (recreati...

  13. Trialogue model for ecosystem governance.

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Hattingh, J

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available form and timescale to ensure good governance. In essence, good governance promotes democratic management of ecosystems and, by inference, prudentwater resourcemanagement. Consequently, it is likely that the type of governance that occurs most often... that, unless the imperative for civic science to support democratic governance is institutionalised through policy and strategy, it is unlikely that there will be sufficient human and financial investment in civic science as a means to promote...

  14. An ecohydrological sketch of climate change impacts on water and natural ecosystems for the Netherlands: bridging the gap between science and society

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Witte, J.P.M.; Runhaar, J.; van Ek, R.; van der Hoek, D.C.J.; Bartholomeus, R.P.; Batelaan, O.; van Bodegom, P.M.; Wassen, M.J.; van der Zee, S.E.A.T.M.

    2012-01-01

    For policy making and spatial planning, information is needed about the impacts of climate change on natural ecosystems. To provide this information, commonly hydrological and ecological models are used. We give arguments for our assessment that modelling only is insufficient for determining the

  15. 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...

  16. A nature-based approach for managing the invasive weed species Gutenbergia cordifolia for sustainable rangeland management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ngondya, Issakwisa B; Munishi, Linus K; Treydte, Anna C; Ndakidemi, Patrick A

    2016-01-01

    The invasive weed species Gutenbergia cordifolia has been observed to suppress native plants and to dominate more than half of the entire crater floor (250 km 2 ) in the Ngorongoro Conservation Area (NCA). As this species has been found to be toxic to ruminants it might strongly impact animal populations in this ecologically diverse ecosystem. Hence, a nature-based approach is urgently needed to manage its spread. We tested two Desmodium spp extracts applied to G. cordifolia and assessed the latter's germination rate, height, fresh weight and leaf total chlorophyll content after 30 days in both laboratory and screen house experiments. Seedling germination rate was halved by Desmodium uncinatum leaf extract (DuL), particularly under higher concentrations (≥75 %) rather than lower concentrations (≤62.5 %). Likewise, in both laboratory and screen house experiments, germination rate under DuL treatments declined with increasing concentrations. Seedling height, fresh weight and leaf total chlorophyll content (Chl) were also most strongly affected by DuL treatments rather than D. uncinatum root extract, Desmodium intortum leaf extract or D. intortum root extract treatments. Generally, seedlings treated with higher DuL concentrations were half as tall, had one-third the weight and half the leaf Chl content compared to those treated with lower concentrations. Our study shows a novel technique that can be applied where G. cordifolia may be driving native flora and fauna to local extinction. Our data further suggest that this innovative approach is both ecologically safe and effective and that D. uncinatum can be sustainably used to manage invasive plants, and thus, to improve rangeland productivity.

  17. 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

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Effect of canopy cover and canopy background variables on spectral profiles of savanna rangeland bush encroachment species based on selected Acacia species (mellifera, tortilis, karroo) and Dichrostachys cinerea at Mokopane, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Munyati, C

    2013-07-01

    Full Text Available The proliferation of woody plant species on savanna rangelands (i.e. bush encroachment) degrades rangeland quality, thereby threatening the biodiversity conservation effort as well as pastoral farming. Hyperspectral remote sensing offers...

  3. Ecosystem services provided by bats.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kunz, Thomas H; Braun de Torrez, Elizabeth; Bauer, Dana; Lobova, Tatyana; Fleming, Theodore H

    2011-03-01

    Ecosystem services are the benefits obtained from the environment that increase human well-being. Economic valuation is conducted by measuring the human welfare gains or losses that result from changes in the provision of ecosystem services. Bats have long been postulated to play important roles in arthropod suppression, seed dispersal, and pollination; however, only recently have these ecosystem services begun to be thoroughly evaluated. Here, we review the available literature on the ecological and economic impact of ecosystem services provided by bats. We describe dietary preferences, foraging behaviors, adaptations, and phylogenetic histories of insectivorous, frugivorous, and nectarivorous bats worldwide in the context of their respective ecosystem services. For each trophic ensemble, we discuss the consequences of these ecological interactions on both natural and agricultural systems. Throughout this review, we highlight the research needed to fully determine the ecosystem services in question. Finally, we provide a comprehensive overview of economic valuation of ecosystem services. Unfortunately, few studies estimating the economic value of ecosystem services provided by bats have been conducted to date; however, we outline a framework that could be used in future studies to more fully address this question. Consumptive goods provided by bats, such as food and guano, are often exchanged in markets where the market price indicates an economic value. Nonmarket valuation methods can be used to estimate the economic value of nonconsumptive services, including inputs to agricultural production and recreational activities. Information on the ecological and economic value of ecosystem services provided by bats can be used to inform decisions regarding where and when to protect or restore bat populations and associated habitats, as well as to improve public perception of bats. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Stormwater management and ecosystem services: a review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Prudencio, Liana; Null, Sarah E.

    2018-03-01

    Researchers and water managers have turned to green stormwater infrastructure, such as bioswales, retention basins, wetlands, rain gardens, and urban green spaces to reduce flooding, augment surface water supplies, recharge groundwater, and improve water quality. It is increasingly clear that green stormwater infrastructure not only controls stormwater volume and timing, but also promotes ecosystem services, which are the benefits that ecosystems provide to humans. Yet there has been little synthesis focused on understanding how green stormwater management affects ecosystem services. The objectives of this paper are to review and synthesize published literature on ecosystem services and green stormwater infrastructure and identify gaps in research and understanding, establishing a foundation for research at the intersection of ecosystems services and green stormwater management. We reviewed 170 publications on stormwater management and ecosystem services, and summarized the state-of-the-science categorized by the four types of ecosystem services. Major findings show that: (1) most research was conducted at the parcel-scale and should expand to larger scales to more closely understand green stormwater infrastructure impacts, (2) nearly a third of papers developed frameworks for implementing green stormwater infrastructure and highlighted barriers, (3) papers discussed ecosystem services, but less than 40% quantified ecosystem services, (4) no geographic trends emerged, indicating interest in applying green stormwater infrastructure across different contexts, (5) studies increasingly integrate engineering, physical science, and social science approaches for holistic understanding, and (6) standardizing green stormwater infrastructure terminology would provide a more cohesive field of study than the diverse and often redundant terminology currently in use. We recommend that future research provide metrics and quantify ecosystem services, integrate disciplines to

  7. Determining RUSLE P-factors for stonebunds and trenches in rangeland and cropland, Northern Ethiopia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Taye, Gebeyehu; Poesen, Jean; Vanmaercke, Matthias; Van Wesemael, Bas; Tesfay, Samuel; Teka, Daniel; Nyssen, Jan; Deckers, Jozef; Haregeweyn, Nigussie

    2017-04-01

    The implementation of soil and water conservation (SWC) measures in the Ethiopian highlands is a top priority to reduce soil erosion rates and to enhance the sustainability of agroecosystem. Nonetheless, the effectiveness of many of these measures for different hillslope and land use conditions remains currently poorly understood. As a result, the overall effects of these measures at regional or catchment scale remain hard to quantify. This study addresses this knowledge gap by determining the cover-management (C) and support practice (P) factors of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE), for commonly used SWC measures in semi-arid environments (i.e. stone bunds, trenches and a combination of both). Calculations were based on soil loss data collected with runoff plots in Tigray, northern Ethiopia (i.e. 21 runoff plots of 600 to 1000 m2, monitored during 2010, 2011 and 2012). The runoff plots were installed in rangeland and cropland sites corresponding to a gentle (5%), medium (12%) and steep (16%) slope gradients. The C and P factors of the RUSLE were calculated following the recommended standard procedures. Results show that the C-factor for rangeland ranges from 0.31 to 0.98 and from 0.06 to 0.39 for cropland. For rangeland, this large variability is due to variations in vegetation cover caused by grazing. In cropland, C-factors vary with tillage practices and crop types. The calculated P-factors ranged from 0.32 to 0.74 for stone bunds, from 0.07 to 0.65 for trenches and from 0.03 to 0.22 for a combination of both stone bunds and trenches. This variability is partly due to variations in the density of the implemented measures in relation to land use (cropland vs rangeland) and slope angles. However, also annual variations in P factor values are highly significant. Especially trenches showed a very significant decline of effectiveness over time, which is attributable to their reduced static storage capacity as a result of sediment deposition (e.g. for

  8. An ecohydrological sketch of climate change impacts on water and natural ecosystems for the Netherlands: bridging the gap between science and society

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. P. M. Witte

    2012-11-01

    Full Text Available For policy making and spatial planning, information is needed about the impacts of climate change on natural ecosystems. To provide this information, commonly hydrological and ecological models are used. We give arguments for our assessment that modelling only is insufficient for determining the impacts of climate changes on natural ecosystems at regional scales. Instead, we proposed a combination of hydrological simulations, a literature review and process-knowledge on climate-hydrology-vegetation interactions, to compile a sketch map that indicates climate change effects on a number of ecosystems in the Netherlands. Soon after a first version of our sketch map was published by a Dutch professional journal, copies appeared in policy documents, and also in a commercial and popular atlas of the Netherlands. Moreover, the map led to a question in the Dutch parliament about the sustainability of bog reserves under the future climate. Apparently, there was an urgent need for the information provided by the map.

    The map shows that climate change will presumably have the largest influence on ecosystems in the Netherlands that depend on precipitation as the major water source, like heathlands, dry grasslands, rain-fed moorland pools and raised bogs. Also highly susceptible are fens in reserves surrounded by deeply drained polders, because such fens depend on the inlet of surface water, of which quality is likely to deteriorate upon climate change. While the map is indicative for directions of change, in view of the uncertainties of our study, no conclusions should be drawn that may have far-reaching consequences, such as giving up certain nature targets that might no longer be feasible in the future climate. Instead, we advise to anticipate the potential threats from climate change by taking a number of adaptation measures that enhance the robustness of nature reserves.

    To improve climate change projections on hydrology and ecosystems

  9. An ecohydrological sketch of climate change impacts on water and natural ecosystems for the Netherlands: bridging the gap between science and society

    Science.gov (United States)

    Witte, J. P. M.; Runhaar, J.; van Ek, R.; van der Hoek, D. C. J.; Bartholomeus, R. P.; Batelaan, O.; van Bodegom, P. M.; Wassen, M. J.; van der Zee, S. E. A. T. M.

    2012-11-01

    For policy making and spatial planning, information is needed about the impacts of climate change on natural ecosystems. To provide this information, commonly hydrological and ecological models are used. We give arguments for our assessment that modelling only is insufficient for determining the impacts of climate changes on natural ecosystems at regional scales. Instead, we proposed a combination of hydrological simulations, a literature review and process-knowledge on climate-hydrology-vegetation interactions, to compile a sketch map that indicates climate change effects on a number of ecosystems in the Netherlands. Soon after a first version of our sketch map was published by a Dutch professional journal, copies appeared in policy documents, and also in a commercial and popular atlas of the Netherlands. Moreover, the map led to a question in the Dutch parliament about the sustainability of bog reserves under the future climate. Apparently, there was an urgent need for the information provided by the map. The map shows that climate change will presumably have the largest influence on ecosystems in the Netherlands that depend on precipitation as the major water source, like heathlands, dry grasslands, rain-fed moorland pools and raised bogs. Also highly susceptible are fens in reserves surrounded by deeply drained polders, because such fens depend on the inlet of surface water, of which quality is likely to deteriorate upon climate change. While the map is indicative for directions of change, in view of the uncertainties of our study, no conclusions should be drawn that may have far-reaching consequences, such as giving up certain nature targets that might no longer be feasible in the future climate. Instead, we advise to anticipate the potential threats from climate change by taking a number of adaptation measures that enhance the robustness of nature reserves. To improve climate change projections on hydrology and ecosystems, future research should especially

  10. 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

  11. Interpreting and Correcting Cross-scale Mismatches in Resilience Analysis: a Procedure and Examples from Australia's Rangelands

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    John A. Ludwig

    2005-12-01

    Full Text Available Many rangelands around the globe are degraded because of mismatches between the goals and actions of managers operating at different spatial scales. In this paper, we focus on identifying, interpreting, and correcting cross-scale mismatches in rangeland management by building on an existing four-step resilience analysis procedure. Resilience analysis is an evaluation of the capacity of a system to persist in the face of disturbances. We provide three examples of cross-scale resilience analysis using a rangeland system located in northern Australia. The system was summarized in a diagram showing key interactions between three attributes (water quality, regional biodiversity, and beef quality, which can be used to indicate the degree of resilience of the system, and other components that affect these attributes at different scales. The strengths of cross-scale interactions were rated as strong or weak, and the likely causes of mismatches in strength were interpreted. Possible actions to correct cross-scale mismatches were suggested and evaluated. We found this four-step, cross-scale resilience analysis procedure very helpful because it reduced a complex problem down to manageable parts without losing sight of the larger-scale whole. To build rangeland resilience, many such cross-scale mismatches in management will need to be corrected, especially as the global use of rangelands increases over the coming decades.

  12. 25 CFR 166.307 - Will the grazing capacity be increased if I graze adjacent trust or non-trust rangelands not...

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-04-01

    ... § 166.307 Will the grazing capacity be increased if I graze adjacent trust or non-trust rangelands not... trust or non-trust rangeland in common with the permitted land. Grazing capacity will be established... 25 Indians 1 2010-04-01 2010-04-01 false Will the grazing capacity be increased if I graze...

  13. 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

  14. science

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

    David Spurgeon

    Give us the tools: science and technology for development. Ottawa, ...... altered technical rela- tionships among the factors used in the process of production, and the en- .... to ourselves only the rights of audit and periodic substantive review." If a ...... and destroying scarce water reserves, recreational areas and a generally.

  15. 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.

  16. Is "Holisitc Resource Management" the answer for African Rangelands?

    OpenAIRE

    Bayer, W.; Niamir, M.; A. Waters-Bayer

    1987-01-01

    Metadata only record In Pastoral Network Newsletter No. 23, mention was made of a workshop on Holistic Resource Management (HRM) held 15-17 December 1986 in Uppsala, Sweden. The workshop was organized on behalf of SIDA by the consulting firm Terra Nova and the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences. Participants were mainly from Swedish universities and development agencies, but also included a few individuals form Denmark, Norway, USA and Germany. The sole lecturer was Mr. Allan Savo...

  17. 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.

  18. Robustness and management adaptability in tropical rangelands: a viability-based assessment under the non-equilibrium paradigm.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accatino, F; Sabatier, R; De Michele, C; Ward, D; Wiegand, K; Meyer, K M

    2014-08-01

    Rangelands provide the main forage resource for livestock in many parts of the world, but maintaining long-term productivity and providing sufficient income for the rancher remains a challenge. One key issue is to maintain the rangeland in conditions where the rancher has the greatest possibility to adapt his/her management choices to a highly fluctuating and uncertain environment. In this study, we address management robustness and adaptability, which increase the resilience of a rangeland. After reviewing how the concept of resilience evolved in parallel to modelling views on rangelands, we present a dynamic model of rangelands to which we applied the mathematical framework of viability theory to quantify the management adaptability of the system in a stochastic environment. This quantification is based on an index that combines the robustness of the system to rainfall variability and the ability of the rancher to adjust his/her management through time. We evaluated the adaptability for four possible scenarios combining two rainfall regimes (high or low) with two herding strategies (grazers only or mixed herd). Results show that pure grazing is viable only for high-rainfall regimes, and that the use of mixed-feeder herds increases the adaptability of the management. The management is the most adaptive with mixed herds and in rangelands composed of an intermediate density of trees and grasses. In such situations, grass provides high quantities of biomass and woody plants ensure robustness to droughts. Beyond the implications for management, our results illustrate the relevance of viability theory for addressing the issue of robustness and adaptability in non-equilibrium environments.

  19. 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.

  20. Rangeland monitoring using remote sensing: comparison of cover estimates from field measurements and image analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ammon Boswell

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available Rangeland monitoring is important for evaluating and assessing semi-arid plant communities. Remote sensing provides an effective tool for rapidly and accurately assessing rangeland vegetation and other surface attributes such as bare soil and rock. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the efficacy of remote sensing as a surrogate for field-based sampling techniques in detecting ground cover features (i.e., trees, shrubs, herbaceous cover, litter, surface, and comparing results with field-based measurements collected by the Utah Division of Wildlife Resources Range Trent Program. In the field, five 152 m long transects were used to sample plant, litter, rock, and bare-ground cover using the Daubenmire ocular estimate method. At the same location of each field plot, a 4-band (R,G,B,NIR, 25 cm pixel resolution, remotely sensed image was taken from a fixed-wing aircraft. Each image was spectrally classified producing 4 cover classes (tree, shrub, herbaceous, surface. No significant differences were detected between canopy cover collected remotely and in the field for tree (P = 0.652, shrub (P = 0.800, and herbaceous vegetation (P = 0.258. Surface cover was higher in field plots (P < 0.001, likely in response to the methods used to sample surface features by field crews. Accurately classifying vegetation and other features from remote sensed information can improve the efficiency of collecting vegetation and surface data. This information can also be used to improve data collection frequency for rangeland monitoring and to efficiently quantify ecological succession patterns.

  1. Infection of Melanoplus sanguinipes Grasshoppers following Ingestion of Rangeland Plant Species Harboring Vesicular Stomatitis Virus▿

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drolet, Barbara S.; Stuart, Melissa A.; Derner, Justin D.

    2009-01-01

    Knowledge of the many mechanisms of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) transmission is critical for understanding of the epidemiology of sporadic disease outbreaks in the western United States. Migratory grasshoppers [Melanoplus sanguinipes (Fabricius)] have been implicated as reservoirs and mechanical vectors of VSV. The grasshopper-cattle-grasshopper transmission cycle is based on the assumptions that (i) virus shed from clinically infected animals would contaminate pasture plants and remain infectious on plant surfaces and (ii) grasshoppers would become infected by eating the virus-contaminated plants. Our objectives were to determine the stability of VSV on common plant species of U.S. Northern Plains rangelands and to assess the potential of these plant species as a source of virus for grasshoppers. Fourteen plant species were exposed to VSV and assayed for infectious virus over time (0 to 24 h). The frequency of viable virus recovery at 24 h postexposure was as high as 73%. The two most common plant species in Northern Plains rangelands (western wheatgrass [Pascopyrum smithii] and needle and thread [Hesperostipa comata]) were fed to groups of grasshoppers. At 3 weeks postfeeding, the grasshopper infection rate was 44 to 50%. Exposure of VSV to a commonly used grasshopper pesticide resulted in complete viral inactivation. This is the first report demonstrating the stability of VSV on rangeland plant surfaces, and it suggests that a significant window of opportunity exists for grasshoppers to ingest VSV from contaminated plants. The use of grasshopper pesticides on pastures would decrease the incidence of a virus-amplifying mechanical vector and might also decontaminate pastures, thereby decreasing the inter- and intraherd spread of VSV. PMID:19286779

  2. Infection of Melanoplus sanguinipes grasshoppers following ingestion of rangeland plant species harboring vesicular stomatitis virus.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Drolet, Barbara S; Stuart, Melissa A; Derner, Justin D

    2009-05-01

    Knowledge of the many mechanisms of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV) transmission is critical for understanding of the epidemiology of sporadic disease outbreaks in the western United States. Migratory grasshoppers [Melanoplus sanguinipes (Fabricius)] have been implicated as reservoirs and mechanical vectors of VSV. The grasshopper-cattle-grasshopper transmission cycle is based on the assumptions that (i) virus shed from clinically infected animals would contaminate pasture plants and remain infectious on plant surfaces and (ii) grasshoppers would become infected by eating the virus-contaminated plants. Our objectives were to determine the stability of VSV on common plant species of U.S. Northern Plains rangelands and to assess the potential of these plant species as a source of virus for grasshoppers. Fourteen plant species were exposed to VSV and assayed for infectious virus over time (0 to 24 h). The frequency of viable virus recovery at 24 h postexposure was as high as 73%. The two most common plant species in Northern Plains rangelands (western wheatgrass [Pascopyrum smithii] and needle and thread [Hesperostipa comata]) were fed to groups of grasshoppers. At 3 weeks postfeeding, the grasshopper infection rate was 44 to 50%. Exposure of VSV to a commonly used grasshopper pesticide resulted in complete viral inactivation. This is the first report demonstrating the stability of VSV on rangeland plant surfaces, and it suggests that a significant window of opportunity exists for grasshoppers to ingest VSV from contaminated plants. The use of grasshopper pesticides on pastures would decrease the incidence of a virus-amplifying mechanical vector and might also decontaminate pastures, thereby decreasing the inter- and intraherd spread of VSV.

  3. Some ecological side-effects of chemical and physical bush clearing in a southern African rangeland ecosystem

    Czech Academy of Sciences Publication Activity Database

    Haussmann, N. S.; Kalwij, Jesse; Bezuidenhout, S.

    2016-01-01

    Roč. 102, JAN 2016 (2016), s. 234-239 ISSN 0254-6299 Institutional support: RVO:67985939 Keywords : Acacia giraffae * bush encroachment * physical soil disturbance Subject RIV: EF - Botanics Impact factor: 1.427, year: 2016

  4. Biomass increases go under cover: woody vegetation dynamics in South African rangelands

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Mograbi, PJ

    2015-05-01

    Full Text Available and ranging (LiDAR) data The communal rangelands were surveyed with airborne laser mapping as part of a Carnegie Airborne Observatory (http://cao.ciw.edu/) campaign in April 2008 and April 2012, concur- rently with the collected fieldwork data in 2012. Small... permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are credited. Data Availability Statement: All data necessary to replicate the results of this study are contained within the paper and its...

  5. Measuring Entrepreneurial Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Stam, F.C.

    2017-01-01

    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 ecosystem elements and use these to compose an entrepreneurial ecosystem index. Next, we measure the output of entrepreneurial ecosystems with different indicators of high-growth firms. We use the 12 provi...

  6. Mapping Ecosystem Services

    OpenAIRE

    Georgiev,Teodor; Burkhard,Benjamin; Maes,Joachim

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem services are the contributions of ecosystem structure and function (in combination with other inputs) to human well-being. That means, humankind is strongly dependent on well-functioning ecosystems and natural capital that are the base for a constant flow of ecosystem services from nature to society. Therefore ecosystem services have the potential to become a major tool for policy and decision making on global, national, regional and local scales. Possible applications are manifold:...

  7. Allowing variance may enlarge the safe operating space for exploited ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carpenter, Stephen R; Brock, William A; Folke, Carl; van Nes, Egbert H; Scheffer, Marten

    2015-11-17

    Variable flows of food, water, or other ecosystem services complicate planning. Management strategies that decrease variability and increase predictability may therefore be preferred. However, actions to decrease variance over short timescales (2-4 y), when applied continuously, may lead to long-term ecosystem changes with adverse consequences. We investigated the effects of managing short-term variance in three well-understood models of ecosystem services: lake eutrophication, harvest of a wild population, and yield of domestic herbivores on a rangeland. In all cases, actions to decrease variance can increase the risk of crossing critical ecosystem thresholds, resulting in less desirable ecosystem states. Managing to decrease short-term variance creates ecosystem fragility by changing the boundaries of safe operating spaces, suppressing information needed for adaptive management, cancelling signals of declining resilience, and removing pressures that may build tolerance of stress. Thus, the management of variance interacts strongly and inseparably with the management of resilience. By allowing for variation, learning, and flexibility while observing change, managers can detect opportunities and problems as they develop while sustaining the capacity to deal with them.

  8. 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, pInternational Journal 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

  9. 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.

  10. Energy budgets and resistances to energy transport in sparsely vegetated rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, W.D.

    1992-01-01

    Partitioning available energy between plants and bare soil in sparsely vegetated rangelands will allow hydrologists and others to gain a greater understanding of water use by native vegetation, especially phreatophytes. Standard methods of conducting energy budget studies result in measurements of latent and sensible heat fluxes above the plant canopy which therefore include the energy fluxes from both the canopy and the soil. One-dimensional theoretical numerical models have been proposed recently for the partitioning of energy in sparse crops. Bowen ratio and other micrometeorological data collected over phreatophytes growing in areas of shallow ground water in central Nevada were used to evaluate the feasibility of using these models, which are based on surface and within-canopy aerodynamic resistances, to determine heat and water vapor transport in sparsely vegetated rangelands. The models appear to provide reasonably good estimates of sensible heat flux from the soil and latent heat flux from the canopy. Estimates of latent heat flux from the soil were less satisfactory. Sensible heat flux from the canopy was not well predicted by the present resistance formulations. Also, estimates of total above-canopy fluxes were not satisfactory when using a single value for above-canopy bulk aerodynamic resistance. ?? 1992.

  11. 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.

  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......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...... 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...

  13. Ecosystem degradation in India

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sinha, B.N.

    1990-01-01

    Environmental and ecosystem studies have assumed greater relevance in the last decade of the twentieth century than even before. The urban settlements are becoming over-crowded and industries are increasingly polluting the air, water and sound in our larger metropolises. Degradation of different types of ecosystem are discussed in this book, Ecosystem Degradation in India. The book has been divided into seven chapters: Introduction, Coastal and Delta Ecosystem, River Basin Ecosystem, Mountain Ecosystem, Forest Ecosystem, Urban Ecosystem and the last chapter deals with the Environmental Problems and Planning. In the introduction the environmental and ecosystem degradation problems in India is highlighted as a whole while in other chapters mostly case studies by experts who know their respective terrain very intimately are included. The case study papers cover most part of India and deal with local problems, stretching from east coast to west coast and from Kashmir to Kanyakumari. (author)

  14. 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...

  15. National projections of forest and rangeland condition indicators: a supporting technical document for the 1999 RPA assessment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    John Hof; Curtis Flather; Tony Baltic; Stephen. Davies

    1999-01-01

    The 1999 forest and rangeland condition indicator model is a set of independent econometric production functions for environmental outputs (measured with condition indicators) at the national scale. This report documents the development of the database and the statistical estimation required by this particular production structure with emphasis on two special...

  16. Moisture, plant-plant interactions and herbivory as drivers of rangeland restoration success in the western US

    Science.gov (United States)

    Restoration efforts in the western US occur across a diverse array of plant communities and climatic conditions. Restoration is likely constrained by different factors in different locations, but few efforts have compared the outcomes of rangeland restoration experiments across broad spatial scales....

  17. Effects of different management regimes on soil erosion and surface runoff in semi-arid to sub-humid rangelands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Oudenhoven, van A.P.E.; Veerkamp, C.J.; Alkemade, Rob; Leemans, Rik

    2015-01-01

    Over one billion people's livelihoods depend on dry rangelands through livestock grazing and agriculture. Livestock grazing and other management activities can cause soil erosion, increase surface runoff and reduce water availability. We studied the effects of different management regimes on soil

  18. Rangeland Brush Estimation Toolbox (RaBET): An Approach for Evaluating Brush Management Conservation Efforts in Western Grazing Lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Holifield Collins, C.; Kautz, M. A.; Skirvin, S. M.; Metz, L. J.

    2016-12-01

    There are over 180 million hectares of rangelands and grazed forests in the central and western United States. Due to the loss of perennial grasses and subsequent increased runoff and erosion that can degrade the system, woody cover species cannot be allowed to proliferate unchecked. The USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) has allocated extensive resources to employ brush management (removal) as a conservation practice to control woody species encroachment. The Rangeland-Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) has been tasked with determining how effective the practice has been, however their land managers lack a cost-effective means to conduct these assessments at the necessary scale. An ArcGIS toolbox for generating large-scale, Landsat-based, spatial maps of woody cover on grazing lands in the western United States was developed through a collaboration with NRCS Rangeland-CEAP. The toolbox contains two main components of operation, image generation and temporal analysis, and utilizes simple interfaces requiring minimum user inputs. The image generation tool utilizes geographically specific algorithms developed from combining moderate-resolution (30-m) Landsat imagery and high-resolution (1-m) National Agricultural Imagery Program (NAIP) aerial photography to produce the woody cover scenes at the Major Land Resource (MLRA) scale. The temporal analysis tool can be used on these scenes to assess treatment effectiveness and monitor woody cover reemergence. RaBET provides rangeland managers an operational, inexpensive decision support tool to aid in the application of brush removal treatments and assessing their effectiveness.

  19. The changing role of shrubs in rangeland-based livestock production systems: Can shrubs increase our forage supply?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Projected global increases in ruminant numbers and loss of native grasslands will present a number of challenges for livestock agriculture. Escalated demand for livestock products may stimulate interest in using shrubs on western rangelands. A paradigm shift is needed to change the role of shrubs in...

  20. 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...

  1. Asymmetric ecological and economic responses for rangeland restoration: A case study of tree thickening in Queensland, Australia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ecological and economic thresholds are important considerations when making decisions about safeguarding or restoring degraded rangelands. When degradation levels have passed a threshold, most managers figure it is either time to take action or too late to take action depending on the particular c...

  2. An Application of BLM's Riparian Inventory Procedure to Rangeland Riparian Resources in the Kern and Kaweah River Watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Patricia Gradek; Lawrence Saslaw; Steven Nelson

    1989-01-01

    The Bakersfield District of the Bureau of Land Management conducted an inventory of rangeland riparian systems using a new method developed by a Bureau-wide task force to inventory, monitor and classify riparian areas. Data on vegetation composition were collected for 65 miles of streams and entered into a hierarchical vegetation classification system. Ratings of...

  3. Indicators of ecosystem function identify alternate states in the sagebrush steppe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kachergis, Emily; Rocca, Monique E; Fernandez-Gimenez, Maria E

    2011-10-01

    Models of ecosystem change that incorporate nonlinear dynamics and thresholds, such as state-and-transition models (STMs), are increasingly popular tools for land management decision-making. However, few models are based on systematic collection and documentation of ecological data, and of these, most rely solely on structural indicators (species composition) to identify states and transitions. As STMs are adopted as an assessment framework throughout the United States, finding effective and efficient ways to create data-driven models that integrate ecosystem function and structure is vital. This study aims to (1) evaluate the utility of functional indicators (indicators of rangeland health, IRH) as proxies for more difficult ecosystem function measurements and (2) create a data-driven STM for the sagebrush steppe of Colorado, USA, that incorporates both ecosystem structure and function. We sampled soils, plant communities, and IRH at 41 plots with similar clayey soils but different site histories to identify potential states and infer the effects of management practices and disturbances on transitions. We found that many IRH were correlated with quantitative measures of functional indicators, suggesting that the IRH can be used to approximate ecosystem function. In addition to a reference state that functions as expected for this soil type, we identified four biotically and functionally distinct potential states, consistent with the theoretical concept of alternate states. Three potential states were related to management practices (chemical and mechanical shrub treatments and seeding history) while one was related only to ecosystem processes (erosion). IRH and potential states were also related to environmental variation (slope, soil texture), suggesting that there are environmental factors within areas with similar soils that affect ecosystem dynamics and should be noted within STMs. Our approach generated an objective, data-driven model of ecosystem dynamics

  4. Exploring the Gap between Ecosystem Service Research and Management in Development Planning

    OpenAIRE

    Nadia Sitas; Heidi E. Prozesky; Karen J. Esler; Belinda Reyers

    2014-01-01

    The gap between science and practice has been highlighted in a number of scientific disciplines, including the newly developing domain of ecosystem service science, posing a challenge for the sustainable management of ecosystem services for human wellbeing. While methods to explore science-practice gaps are developing, testing and revisions of these methods are still needed so as to identify opportunities for mainstreaming ecosystem service science into development policies and practice. We d...

  5. Rangeland management and fluvial geomorphology in northern Tanzania

    Science.gov (United States)

    Miller, Brian W.; Doyle, Martin W.

    2014-01-01

    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

  6. 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

  7. The interconnectedness between landowner knowledge, value, belief, attitude, and willingness to act: policy implications for carbon sequestration on private rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cook, Seth L; Ma, Zhao

    2014-02-15

    Rangelands can be managed to increase soil carbon and help mitigate emissions of carbon dioxide. This study assessed Utah rangeland owner's environmental values, beliefs about climate change, and awareness of and attitudes towards carbon sequestration, as well as their perceptions of potential policy strategies for promoting carbon sequestration on private rangelands. Data were collected from semi-structured interviews and a statewide survey of Utah rangeland owners, and were analyzed using descriptive and bivariate statistics. Over two-thirds of respondents reported some level of awareness of carbon sequestration and a generally positive attitude towards it, contrasting to their lack of interest in participating in a relevant program in the future. Having a positive attitude was statistically significantly associated with having more "biocentric" environmental values, believing the climate had been changing over the past 30 years, and having a stronger belief of human activities influencing the climate. Respondents valued the potential ecological benefits of carbon sequestration more than the potential financial or climate change benefits. Additionally, respondents indicated a preference for educational approaches over financial incentives. They also preferred to work with a private agricultural entity over a non-profit or government entity on improving land management practices to sequester carbon. These results suggest potential challenges for developing technically sound and socially acceptable policies and programs for promoting carbon sequestration on private rangelands. Potential strategies for overcoming these challenges include emphasizing the ecological benefits associated with sequestering carbon to appeal to landowners with ecologically oriented management objectives, enhancing the cooperation between private agricultural organizations and government agencies, and funneling resources for promoting carbon sequestration into existing land management and

  8. Improvements in ecosystem services from investments in natural capital.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ouyang, Zhiyun; Zheng, Hua; Xiao, Yi; Polasky, Stephen; Liu, Jianguo; Xu, Weihua; Wang, Qiao; Zhang, Lu; Xiao, Yang; Rao, Enming; Jiang, Ling; Lu, Fei; Wang, Xiaoke; Yang, Guangbin; Gong, Shihan; Wu, Bingfang; Zeng, Yuan; Yang, Wu; Daily, Gretchen C

    2016-06-17

    In response to ecosystem degradation from rapid economic development, China began investing heavily in protecting and restoring natural capital starting in 2000. We report on China's first national ecosystem assessment (2000-2010), designed to quantify and help manage change in ecosystem services, including food production, carbon sequestration, soil retention, sandstorm prevention, water retention, flood mitigation, and provision of habitat for biodiversity. Overall, ecosystem services improved from 2000 to 2010, apart from habitat provision. China's national conservation policies contributed significantly to the increases in those ecosystem services. Copyright © 2016, American Association for the Advancement of Science.

  9. Ecosystem functioning is enveloped by hydrometeorological variability.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pappas, Christoforos; Mahecha, Miguel D; Frank, David C; Babst, Flurin; Koutsoyiannis, Demetris

    2017-09-01

    Terrestrial ecosystem processes, and the associated vegetation carbon dynamics, respond differently to hydrometeorological variability across timescales, and so does our scientific understanding of the underlying mechanisms. Long-term variability of the terrestrial carbon cycle is not yet well constrained and the resulting climate-biosphere feedbacks are highly uncertain. Here we present a comprehensive overview of hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability from hourly to decadal timescales integrating multiple in situ and remote-sensing datasets characterizing extra-tropical forest sites. We find that ecosystem variability at all sites is confined within a hydrometeorological envelope across sites and timescales. Furthermore, ecosystem variability demonstrates long-term persistence, highlighting ecological memory and slow ecosystem recovery rates after disturbances. However, simulation results with state-of-the-art process-based models do not reflect this long-term persistent behaviour in ecosystem functioning. Accordingly, we develop a cross-time-scale stochastic framework that captures hydrometeorological and ecosystem variability. Our analysis offers a perspective for terrestrial ecosystem modelling and paves the way for new model-data integration opportunities in Earth system sciences.

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. 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

  16. Geospatial Data as a Service: The GEOGLAM Rangelands and Pasture Productivity Map Experience

    Science.gov (United States)

    Evans, B. J. K.; Antony, J.; Guerschman, J. P.; Larraondo, P. R.; Richards, C. J.

    2017-12-01

    Empowering end-users like pastoralists, land management specialists and land policy makers in the use of earth observation data for both day-to-day and seasonal planning needs both interactive delivery of multiple geospatial datasets and the capability of supporting on-the-fly dynamic queries while simultaneously fostering a community around the effort. The use of and wide adoption of large data archives, like those produced by earth observation missions, are often limited by compute and storage capabilities of the remote user. We demonstrate that wide-scale use of large data archives can be facilitated by end-users dynamically requesting value-added products using open standards (WCS, WMS, WPS), with compute running in the cloud or dedicated data-centres and visualizing outputs on web-front ends. As an example, we will demonstrate how a tool called GSKY can empower a remote end-user by providing the data delivery and analytics capabilities for the GEOGLAM Rangelands and Pasture Productivity (RAPP) Map tool. The GEOGLAM RAPP initiative from the Group on Earth Observations (GEO) and its Agricultural Monitoring subgroup aims at providing practical tools to end-users focusing on the important role of rangelands and pasture systems in providing food production security from both agricultural crops and animal protein. Figure 1, is a screen capture from the RAPP Map interface for an important pasture area in the Namibian rangelands. The RAPP Map has been in production for six months and has garnered significant interest from groups and users all over the world. GSKY, being formulated around the theme of Open Geospatial Data-as-a-Service capabilities uses distributed computing and storage to facilitate this. It works behind the scenes, accepting OGC standard requests in WCS, WMS and WPS. Results from these requests are rendered on a web-front end. In this way, the complexities of data locality and compute execution are masked from an end user. On-the-fly computation of

  17. Sediment budgets and source determinations using fallout Cesium-137 in a semiarid rangeland watershed, Arizona, USA

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ritchie, Jerry C.; Nearing, Mark A.; Rhoton, Fred E.

    2009-01-01

    Analysis of soil redistribution and sediment sources in semiarid and arid watersheds provides information for implementing management practices to improve rangeland conditions and reduce sediment loads to streams. The purpose of this research was to develop sediment budgets and identify potential sediment sources using 137 Cs and other soil properties in a series of small semiarid subwatersheds on the USDA ARS Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed near Tombstone, Arizona, USA. Soils were sampled in a grid pattern on two small subwatersheds and along transects associated with soils and geomorphology on six larger subwatersheds. Soil samples were analyzed for 137 Cs and selected physical and chemical properties (i.e., bulk density, rocks, particle size, soil organic carbon). Suspended sediment samples collected at measuring flume sites on the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed were also analyzed for these properties. Soil redistribution measured using 137 Cs inventories for a small shrub-dominated subwatershed and a small grass-dominated subwatershed found eroding areas in these subwatersheds were losing -5.6 and -3.2 t ha -1 yr -1 , respectively; however, a sediment budget for each of these subwatersheds, including depositional areas, found net soil loss to be -4.3 t ha -1 yr -1 from the shrub-dominated subwatershed and -0.1 t ha -1 yr -1 from the grass-dominated subwatershed. Generally, the suspended sediment collected at the flumes of the six other subwatersheds was enriched in silt and clay. Using a mixing model to determine sediment source indicated that shrub-dominated subwatersheds were contributing most of the suspended sediment that was measured at the outlet flume of the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed. The two methodologies (sediment budgets and sediment source analyses) indicate that shrub-dominated systems provide more suspended sediment to the stream systems. The sediment budget studies also suggest that sediment yields measured at the outlet of a

  18. Ecosystem services in ECOCLIM

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Sørensen, Lise Lotte; Boegh, Eva; Bendtsen, J

    that actions initiated to reduce anthropogenic GHG emissions are sustainable and not destructive to existing ecosystem services. Therefore it is important to address i.e. land use change in relation to the regulating services of the ecosystems, such as carbon sequestration and climate regulation. At present...... a thorough understanding of the ecosystem processes controlling the uptake or emissions of GHG is fundamental. Here we present ECOCLIM in the context of ecosystem services and the experimental studies within ECOCLIM which will lead to an enhanced understanding of Danish ecosystems....

  19. 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.

  20. Rangeland -- Plant response to elevated CO{sub 2}. Progress report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    NONE

    1996-08-01

    An experiment is being designed to examine the influence of elevating CO2 levels on tallgrass prairie rangeland. Changes in biomass production, photosynthesis rates, and species composition (C3 versus C4) over time are to be examined. This report covers the period from August 15, 1988 to January 1, 1989. During this period the authors have had planning meetings in Manhattan, KS, and Washington, DC, with various investigators of the measurement and modeling groups within the elevated CO{sub 2} program. During this period detailed discussions with regard to the methodology were carried out. In addition, short-term experiments and prototype constructions were completed to assess design and materials. Because of changes in the methodology and, to a certain degree, the scope, they are requesting changes in the funding cycle to implement the project at the beginning of the growing cycle of the tallgrass prairie.

  1. Assessment of Landsat multispectral scanner spectral indexes for monitoring arid rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Musick, H. B.

    1984-01-01

    Correlations between spectral indices and vegetation parameters in south-central New Mexico were used to determine the utility of Landsat Multispectral Scanner (MSS) spectral indices in arid rangeland monitoring. In addition, spectral index change for 1976-1980 was calculated from retrospective MSS data and compared with qualitative ground truth in order to evaluate vegetation change detection by means of spectral indices. Brightness index change consistently differentiated between cover increase and decrease, but index change appears to have been offset from true cover change; this may at least partly be attributed to the failure of the methods used to standardize MSS scenes for differences in sensor response. Green vegetation indices, by contrast to brightness indices, failed to consistently differentiate between cover increase and decrease.

  2. Evaluation of environmental change in rangelands of Uzbekistan with application of nuclear techniques approach

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Nasyrov, M.G.; Safarov, A.N.; Osmanov, B.S.

    2004-01-01

    Full text: Desertification and land degradation are a problem of major importance in the arid and semi-arid regions of the world. Deterioration of soil and plant cover has adversely affected nearly 50% of land areas as a result of extended droughts and human mismanagement of cultivated and rangelands. Due to several factors such as soil erosion, overgrazing, collection of plants and other anthropogenic activities the most part of these biomes are under degradation. The problem of assessments of current status of rangelands becomes very important days after days. Therefore, it needs to work out and implement new time and labor saving methods of assessment of current status of natural biomes. Soil erosion is a natural process caused by water, wind, and ice that have affected the earth's surface since the beginning if time. Man's activities often accelerate soil erosion. Soil erosion and its off-site, downstream damages are major concerns around the world causing losses in soil productivity, degradation of landscape, degradation of water quality, and loss of soil organic carbon. Current techniques for assessing soil erosion are (1) long-term soil erosion plot monitoring, (2) field surveys, and (3) soil erosion models (Evans, 1995). Each of this techniques has strengths and weaknesses. Over the last 30 years, research has shown the potential of using radioactive fallout 137 Cs to provide timely and quantitative estimates of soil erosion and redeposition at point, field, and reconnaissance scales. Applications of 137 Cs o provide an independent measurement of soil erosion rates, patterns, and redepositions are well-documented (Ritchie and McHenry, 1990). The unique advantages of the 137 Cs technique to study soil erosion rates and patterns are that it (a) requires only one trip to the field; (b) provides results quickly; (c) allows retrospective assessment of soil erosion rates; (d) provides average losses for 35 to 40 year period thus is less influenced by extreme

  3. Multifrequency passive microwave observations of soil moisture in an arid rangeland environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jackson, T. J.; Schmugge, T. J.; Parry, R.; Kustas, W. P.; Ritchie, J. C.; Shutko, A. M.; Khaldin, A.; Reutov, E.; Novichikhin, E.; Liberman, B.

    1992-01-01

    A cooperative experiment was conducted by teams from the U.S. and U.S.S.R. to evaluate passive microwave instruments and algorithms used to estimate surface soil moisture. Experiments were conducted as part of an interdisciplinary experiment in an arid rangeland watershed located in the southwest United States. Soviet microwave radiometers operating at wavelengths of 2.25, 21 and 27 cm were flown on a U.S. aircraft. Radio frequency interference limited usable data to the 2.25 and 21 cm systems. Data have been calibrated and compared to ground observations of soil moisture. These analyses showed that the 21 cm system could produce reliable and useful soil moisture information and that the 2.25 cm system was of no value for soil moisture estimation in this experiment.

  4. Spatial distribution of overland flow and sediment yield in semi-arid rangelands

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Sarah, P.; Lavee, H.

    2009-01-01

    Feedbacks and mutual links exist among soil, vegetation and water; they enable co-evolution of these features within eco-geomorphic systems, These relations are fragile, especially in semi-arid areas where grazing is the main land use. The simples subdivision of the surface of many semi-arid rangelands is into a two-component mosaic pattern comprising shrub patches interspersed with open spaces, with the former acting s skinks for water and other resources, and the latter as sources. However close observations in areas under grazing in the northern Negev region of Israel suggested that the spatial patterns of surface components is more complicated, and that the open space between shrubs consists of two components: herbaceous areas, separated by trampling routes that support no vegetation. (Author)

  5. 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.

    2018-01-01

    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.

  6. Setting the bar: Standards for ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Polasky, Stephen; Tallis, Heather; Reyers, Belinda

    2015-06-16

    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.

  7. 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

  8. 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

  9. Terrestrial ecosystems in a changing world

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Canadell, J.G. [CSIRO Marine and Atmospheric Research, Canberra, ACT (Australia). Global Carbon Project; Pataki, D.E. [California Univ., Irvine, CA (United States). Dept. of Earth System Science]|[California Univ., Irvine, CA (United States). Dept. of Ecology and Evolutionary Biology; Pitelka, L.F. (eds.) [Maryland Univ., Frostburg, MD (United States). Appalachian Lab.

    2007-07-01

    Over 100 authors present 25 contributions on the impacts of global change on terrestrial ecosystems including: * key processes of the earth system such as the CO2 fertilization effect, shifts in disturbances and biome distribution, the saturation of the terrestrial carbon sink, and changes in functional biodiversity, * ecosystem services such the production of wheat, pest control, and carbon storage in croplands, and * sensitive regions in the world threaten by rapid changes in climate and land use such as high latitudes ecosystems, tropical forest in Southeast Asia, and ecosystems dominated by Monsoon climate. The book also explores new research developments on spatial thresholds and nonlinearities, the key role of urban development in global biogeochemical processes, and the integration of natural and social sciences to address complex problems of the human-environment system. (orig.)

  10. 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.

  11. Laws, Institutions and Transboundary Pasture Management in the High Pamir and Pamir-Alai Mountain Ecosystem of Central Asia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michelle Lim

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Enhanced rangeland governance is a priority for the governments of the post-Soviet Central Asian states of the Kyrgyz Republic and Tajikistan. Major transitional challenges confront the newly independent states of Central Asia. These challenges include the withdrawal of subsidies previously provided by the centralised Soviet government; moves towards privatisation and the conversion of administrative boundaries to international boundaries. In this context transboundary approaches to rangeland management are essential. This paper highlights the challenges for effective pasture management in the Pamir, Pamir-Alai ecosystem; the inadequacies of pasture-related legal instruments and the absence of institutions for the implementation of these instruments. Transboundary management is hampered by the lack of agreements between the two countries and the differences between national level laws and institutions. Meaningful transboundary agreements and the harmonization of national level laws would be a significant step towards achieving sustainable transboundary pasture management. However, on their own these legal tools are insufficient. Long-term effective pasture management in the Pamir, Pamir-Alai ecosystem necessitates that the causes of degradation are addressed. Mountain communities would also need to be convinced of economic and other benefits before current resource-use practices could be expected to change. Institutional and capacity building and adequate funding are also fundamental to ensuring the effectiveness of any legal instruments that are developed and any strategies that are employed.

  12. 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...

  13. Ecosystem-based management and the wealth of ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Yun, Seong Do; Hutniczak, Barbara; Abbott, Joshua K.; Fenichel, Eli P.

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystems store vast quantities of wealth, but difficulties measuring wealth held in ecosystems prevent its inclusion in accounting systems. Ecosystem-based management endeavors to manage ecosystems holistically. However, ecosystem-based management lacks headline indicators to evaluate performance. We unify the inclusive wealth and ecosystem-based management paradigms, allowing apples-to-apples comparisons between the wealth of the ecosystem and other forms of wealth, while providing a headl...

  14. 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....

  15. 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...

  16. Threats to Mediterranean rangelands: a case study based on the views of citizens in the Viotia prefecture, Greece.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kyriazopoulos, Apostolos P; Arabatzis, Garyfallos; Abraham, Eleni M; Parissi, Zoi M

    2013-11-15

    Rangelands in Greece constitute a very important natural resource as they occupy 40% of the total surface. Not only is their forage production essential for the development of extensive livestock farming, but also they play a key role in outdoor recreational activities, protection from erosion, provision of water supplies and biodiversity conservation. However, land use changes, inappropriate management and wildfires threaten their existence. The research was conducted among the citizens of Viotia prefecture, an area close to Athens, Greece, using personal interviews with a structured questionnaire in 2008. The aim was to record citizens' opinions regarding the threats to rangelands. The results suggest that the main threats as perceived by the respondents, are land use changes especially for urban development, and wildfires. The application of cluster analysis highlighted the differentiation among the respondents in ranking these threats. The more ecologically aware citizens recognised that mismanagement, abandonment and agriculture also threaten rangelands. These threats can have a considerable impact on the lives of the local people. Policy makers and managers should take the opinions of local citizens into consideration, and engage them in decision making so that sustainable management policies could be applied. Copyright © 2013 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  17. 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.

  18. 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...

  19. Estimating Rangeland Forage Production Using Remote Sensing Data from a Small Unmanned Aerial System (sUAS)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Liu, H.; Jin, Y.; Devine, S.; Dahlgren, R. A.; Covello, S.; Larsen, R.; O'Geen, A. T.

    2017-12-01

    California rangelands cover 23 million hectares and support a $3.4 billion annual cattle industry. Rangeland forage production varies appreciably from year-to-year and across short distances on the landscape. Spatially explicit and near real-time information on forage production at a high resolution is critical for effective rangeland management, especially during an era of climatic extremes. We here integrated a multispectral MicaSense RedEdge camera with a 3DR solo quad-copter and acquired time-series images during the 2017 growing season over a topographically complex 10-hectare rangeland in San Luis Obispo County, CA. Soil moisture and temperature sensors were installed at 16 landscape positions, and vegetation clippings were collected at 36 plots to quantify forage dry biomass. We built four centimeter-level models for forage production mapping using time series of sUAS images and ground measurements of forage biomass and soil temperature and moisture. The biophysical model based on Monteith's eco-physiological plant growth theory estimated forage production reasonably well with a coefficient of determination (R2) of 0.86 and a root-mean-square error (RMSE) of 424 kg/ha when the soil parameters were included, and a R2 of 0.79 and a RMSE of 510 kg/ha when only remote sensing and topographical variables were included. We built two empirical models of forage production using a stepwise variable selection technique, one with soil variables. Results showed that cumulative absorbed photosynthetically active radiation (APAR) and elevation were the most important variables in both models, explaining more than 40% of the spatio-temporal variance in forage production. Soil moisture accounted for an additional 29% of the variance. Illumination condition was selected as a proxy for soil moisture in the model without soil variables, and accounted for 18% of the variance. We applied the remote sensing-based models to map daily forage production at 30-cm resolution for the

  20. Belowground ecosystems [chapter 9

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carole Coe Klopatek

    1995-01-01

    The USDA Forest Service defined ecosystem management as "an ecological approach to achieve multiple-use management of national forests and grasslands by blending the needs of people and environmental values in such a way that national forests and grasslands represent diverse, healthy, productive, and sustainable ecosystems" (June 4, 1992, letter from Chief FS...

  1. Payments for Ecosystem Services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Chan, Kai M.A; Anderson, Emily K.; Chapman, Mollie

    2017-01-01

    Payments for ecosystem services (PES) programs are one prominent strategy to address economic externalities of resource extraction and commodity production, improving both social and ecological outcomes. But do PES and related incentive programs achieve that lofty goal? Along with considerable en...... sustainable relationships with nature, conserving and restoring ecosystems and their benefits for people now and in the future....

  2. Ecosystem Management and Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.D. Peine; B.L. Jacobs; K.E. Franzreb; M.R. Stevens

    2011-01-01

    Ecosystem management (EM) promotes an integrated approach to environmental issues; its central goal is the protection of entire ecosystems. By focusing on an interdisciplinary solution to environmental challenges, EM can help to synthesize societal, economic scientific, and governmental goals. Furthermore, as EM becomes part of the foundation of environmental...

  3. Radionuclides in terrestrial ecosystems

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Bocock, K.L.

    1981-01-01

    This report summarizes information on the distribution and movement of radionuclides in semi-natural terrestrial ecosystems in north-west England with particular emphasis on inputs to, and outputs from ecosystems; on plant and soil aspects; and on radionuclides in fallout and in discharges by the nuclear industry. (author)

  4. Coastal ecosystems, productivity and ecosystem protection: Coastal ecosystem management

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Ngoile, M.A.K.; Horrill, C.J.

    1993-01-01

    The coastal zone is a complex ecosystem under the influence of physical, chemical and biological processes. Under natural conditions these processes interact and maintain an equilibrium in the coastal ecosystem. Man makes a variety of important uses of coastal resources, ranging from harvesting of living resources, extraction of nonliving resources, and recreation, to the disposal of wastes. Man's extensive use of the oceans introduces factors which bring about an imbalance in the natural processes, and may result in harmful and hazardous effects to life hindering further use. Man's pressure on the resources of the coastal zone is already manifest and will increase manifold. This calls for an immediate solution to the protection and sustainable use of coastal resources. The current sectorized approach to the management of human activities will not solve the problem because the different resources of the coastal zone interact in such a manner that disturbances in one cause imbalance in the others. This is further complicated by the sectorized approach to research and limited communication between policy makers, managers, and scientists. This paper discusses strategies for managing coastal-resources use through an integrated approach. The coastal zone is presented as a unified ecosystem in equilibrium and shows that man's extensive use of the coastal resources destabilizes this equilibrium. Examples from the East Africa Region are presented. 15 refs, 2 figs, 3 tabs

  5. 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

  6. Combined effects of leaf litter and soil microsite on decomposition process in arid rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carrera, Analía Lorena; Bertiller, Mónica Beatriz

    2013-01-15

    The objective of this study was to analyze the combined effects of leaf litter quality and soil properties on litter decomposition and soil nitrogen (N) mineralization at conserved (C) and disturbed by sheep grazing (D) vegetation states in arid rangelands of the Patagonian Monte. It was hypothesized that spatial differences in soil inorganic-N levels have larger impact on decomposition processes of non-recalcitrant than recalcitrant leaf litter (low and high concentration of secondary compounds, respectively). Leaf litter and upper soil were extracted from modal size plant patches (patch microsite) and the associated inter-patch area (inter-patch microsite) in C and D. Leaf litter was pooled per vegetation state and soil was pooled combining vegetation state and microsite. Concentrations of N and secondary compounds in leaf litter and total and inorganic-N in soil were assessed at each pooled sample. Leaf litter decay and soil N mineralization at microsites of C and D were estimated in 160 microcosms incubated at field capacity (16 month). C soils had higher total N than D soils (0.58 and 0.41 mg/g, respectively). Patch soil of C and inter-patch soil of D exhibited the highest values of inorganic-N (8.8 and 8.4 μg/g, respectively). Leaf litter of C was less recalcitrant and decomposed faster than that of D. Non-recalcitrant leaf litter decay and induced soil N mineralization had larger variation among microsites (coefficients of variation = 25 and 41%, respectively) than recalcitrant leaf litter (coefficients of variation = 12 and 32%, respectively). Changes in the canopy structure induced by grazing disturbance increased leaf litter recalcitrance, and reduced litter decay and soil N mineralization, independently of soil N levels. This highlights the importance of the combined effects of soil and leaf litter properties on N cycling probably with consequences for vegetation reestablishment and dynamics, rangeland resistance and resilience with implications

  7. Using a dynamic model to assess trends in land degradation by water erosion in Spanish Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ibáñez, Javier; Francisco Lavado-Contador, Joaquín; Schnabel, Susanne; Pulido-Fernández, Manuel; Martínez Valderrama, Jaime

    2014-05-01

    This work presents a model aimed at evaluating land degradation by water erosion in dehesas and montados of the Iberian Peninsula, that constitute valuable rangelands in the area. A multidisciplinary dynamic model was built including weather, biophysical and economic variables that reflect the main causes and processes affecting sheet erosion on hillsides of the study areas. The model has two main and two derived purposes: Purpose 1: Assessing the risk of degradation that a land-use system is running. Derived purpose 1: Early warning about land-use systems that are particularly threatened by degradation. Purpose 2: Assessing the degree to which different factors would hasten degradation if they changed from the typical values they show at present. Derived purpose 2: Evaluating the role of human activities on degradation. Model variables and parameters have been calibrated for a typical open woodland rangeland (dehesa or montado) defined along 22 working units selected from 10 representative farms and distributed throughout the Spanish region of Extremadura. The model is the basis for a straightforward assessment methodology which is summarized by the three following points: i) The risk of losing a given amount of soil before a given number of years was specifically estimated as the percentage of 1000 simulations where such a loss occurs, being the simulations run under randomly-generated scenarios of rainfall amount and intensity and meat and supplemental feed market prices; ii) Statistics about the length of time that a given amount of soil takes to be lost were calculated over 1000 stochastic simulations run until year 1000, thereby ensuring that such amount of soil has been lost in all of the simulations, i.e. the total risk is 100%; iii) Exogenous factors potentially affecting degradation, mainly climatic and economic, were ranked in order of importance by means of a sensitivity analysis. Particularly remarkable in terms of model performance is the major role

  8. 75 FR 65673 - NASA Advisory Council; Science Committee; Earth Science Subcommittee; Meeting

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-10-26

    ... Committee; Earth Science Subcommittee; Meeting AGENCY: National Aeronautics and Space Administration. ACTION... amended, the National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA) announces a meeting of the Earth Science... following topics: --Earth Science Division Update. --Deformation, Ecosystem Structure and Dynamics of Ice...

  9. Application of MODIS Land Products to Assessment of Land Degradation of Alpine Rangeland in Northern India with Limited Ground-Based Information

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Masahiro Tasumi

    2014-09-01

    Full Text Available Land degradation of alpine rangeland in Dachigam National Park, Northern India, was evaluated in this study using MODerate resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS land products. The park has been used by a variety of livestock holders. With increasing numbers of livestock, the managers and users of the park are apprehensive about degradation of the grazing land. However, owing to weak infrastructure for scientific and statistical data collection and sociopolitical restrictions in the region, a lack of quality ground-based weather, vegetation, and livestock statistical data had prevented scientific assessment. Under these circumstances, the present study aimed to assess the rangeland environment and its degradation using MODIS vegetation, snow, and evapotranspiration products as primary input data for assessment. The result of the analysis indicated that soil water content and the timing of snowmelt play an important role in grass production in the area. Additionally, the possibility of land degradation in heavily-grazed rangeland was indicated via a multiple regression analysis at a decadal timescale, whereas weather conditions, such as rainfall and snow cover, primarily explained year-by-year differences in grass production. Although statistical uncertainties remain in the results derived in this study, the satellite-based data and the analyses will promote understanding of the rangeland environment and suggest the potential for unsustainable land management based on statistical probability. This study provides an important initial evaluation of alpine rangeland, for which ground-based information is limited.

  10. 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"…

  11. 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

  12. Stream channel designs for riparian and wet meadow rangelands in the southwestern United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Roy Jemison; Daniel G. Neary

    2000-01-01

    Inappropriate land uses have degraded wetland and riparian ecosystems throughout the Southwestern United States. In 1996, the Cibola National Forest in New Mexico implemented a channel relocation project, as part of a road improvement project, to determine the feasibility of restoring wet meadow and riparian ecosystems degraded by inappropriately located roads and...

  13. Effects of livestock grazing on grasshopper abundance on a native rangeland in Montana.

    Science.gov (United States)

    O'Neill, Kevin M; Olson, Bret E; Wallander, Roseann; Rolston, Marni G; Seibert, Catherine E

    2010-06-01

    Livestock grazing can affect habitat quality for grasshoppers through effects on food and oviposition site availability, microclimate, and other factors. Because of this, some authors have suggested that grazing programs can be used to help manage pest grasshopper populations. In a 6-yr study, we controlled access of cattle to replicated experimental plots on an Agropyron spicatum/Poa sandbergii pasture to create consistent year-to-year differences in postgrazing plant cover, with resultant affects on microclimate. After sampling grasshoppers multiple times after grazing treatments each summer, we found evidence of between-treatment differences in grasshopper abundance for the entire assemblage during 4 of the 6 yr. Some species, including Melanoplus sanguinipes (perhaps the worse rangeland grasshopper pest in the western United States), tended to be more abundant on ungrazed plots, whereas Melanoplus gladstoni often had greater densities on heavily-grazed plots. The effect of grazing on grasshopper densities in this study was lower in magnitude and less consistent among years than in a study we conducted simultaneously at a nearby site where the vegetation was dominated by the exotic species crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum). Our results generally support proposals that grazing could be used to reduce pest grasshopper densities, although the effectiveness of a particular grazing scheme may vary among sites, years, and grasshopper and vegetation assemblages.

  14. Prevalence of gastrointestinal nematode infections in goat flocks on semi-arid rangelands of northeastern Mexico.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olivas-Salazar, Raquel; Estrada-Angulo, Alfredo; Mellado, Miguel; Aguilar-Caballero, Armando Jacinto; Castro-Pérez, Beatriz Isabel; Gutiérrez-Blanco, Eduardo; Ruiz-Zárate, Fernando

    2018-04-01

    The objective of this study was to determine the prevalence of gastrointestinal nematode (GIN) infection in goat flocks on semi-arid rangelands of northeastern Mexico (25° N, 350-400 mm annual precipitation). The study included 668 pluriparous goats from 18 herds in five municipalities of Coahuila and Nuevo Leon, Mexico. Five genetic groups were considered (predominance of Boer, Nubian, Alpine, Saanen, and Toggenburg). Fecal samples were taken from the rectum of each animal to determine the number of eggs per gram (EPG) of GIN. The prevalence of flocks with GIN infections was 88.9%. Similar results were observed for the number of goats infected in the flocks. The Alpine breed presented the highest prevalence and highest EPG loads of GIN, whereas Boer and Nubian were the genetic groups with the lowest (P arid zones of Mexico was found a high prevalence of infections with gastrointestinal nematodes. The municipality and the breed of the animals were factors that showed influence on this prevalence and the level of infection of the goats.

  15. BITES RATE ON NATIVE VEGETATION BY TRASHUMANCE GOATS GRAZING IN MOUNTAIN RANGELAND IN NUDO MIXTECO, MEXICO

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F.J. Franco-Guerra

    2014-08-01

    Full Text Available The objective of the present study was to determine the habits of grazing-browsing by the rate of bites and rate of consumption in the dry matter (MS of the diet of goats under transhumance grazing in mountain rangelands of Nudo Mixteco, being the natural vegetation in the different strata. Six animals of different age and sex were randomly chosen. Direct observation of grazing method was used to determine the rate of bites/min and the rate of consumption by layers. Analyzes of variance was performed and the Tukey test was used for mean comparison test was used (HSD Tukey (α, 0.05. The values of both variables were small, which may be due to the great diversity of plants and their varied morphology which induces the goat won on the one hand to spend more time in the choice of food becoming more selective and on the other, to carry out bites smaller in those plants whose leaf surface is of the type megafilia or in those woody whose leaves are very small (microphilia 2.25 cm2 to 20.25 cm2.

  16. Pastoralism and wildlife: historical and current perspectives in the East African rangelands of Kenya and Tanzania.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lankester, F; Davis, A

    2016-11-01

    The relationship between pastoralists, their livestock, wildlife and the rangelands of East Africa is multi-directional, complex and long-standing. The tumultuous events of the past century, however, have rewritten the nature of this relationship, reshaping the landscapes that were created, and relied upon, by both pastoralists and wildlife. Presently, much of the interaction between wildlife and pastoralists takes place in and around protected areas, the most contentious occurring in pastoral lands surrounding national parks. In conservation terminology these areas are called buffer zones. In the past century buffer zones have been shaped by, and contributed to, restrictive conservation policies, expropriation of land, efforts to include communities in conservation, both positive and negative wildlife/livestock interactions, and political tensions. In this review paper, the authors outline the history that shaped the current relationship between pastoralists, livestock and wildlife in buffer zones in East Africa and highlight some of the broader issues that pastoralists (and pastoralism as an effective livelihood strategy) now face. Finally, they consider some of the sustainable and equitable practices that could be implemented to improve livelihoods and benefit wildlife and pastoralism alike.

  17. Anthropogenic impacts on marine ecosystems in Antarctica.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Aronson, Richard B; Thatje, Sven; McClintock, James B; Hughes, Kevin A

    2011-03-01

    Antarctica is the most isolated continent on Earth, but it has not escaped the negative impacts of human activity. The unique marine ecosystems of Antarctica and their endemic faunas are affected on local and regional scales by overharvesting, pollution, and the introduction of alien species. Global climate change is also having deleterious impacts: rising sea temperatures and ocean acidification already threaten benthic and pelagic food webs. The Antarctic Treaty System can address local- to regional-scale impacts, but it does not have purview over the global problems that impinge on Antarctica, such as emissions of greenhouse gases. Failure to address human impacts simultaneously at all scales will lead to the degradation of Antarctic marine ecosystems and the homogenization of their composition, structure, and processes with marine ecosystems elsewhere. © 2011 New York Academy of Sciences.

  18. Comparing patterns of ecosystem service consumption and perceptions of range management between ethnic herders in Inner Mongolia and Mongolia

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Zhen, L; Lv, Y; Wei, Y J; Liu, X L; Yao, Z J; Li, F; Ochirbat, B; Chen, J Q

    2010-01-01

    Ecosystems in the Central Asian Plateau, which includes the Mongolian Plateau, are becoming increasingly sensitive to human interventions, leading to deterioration of already fragile ecosystems. The goal of this paper is to illustrate human dependence on an ecosystem by identifying patterns of resource consumption in this region and investigating the knowledge and perceptions of herders living in these ecosystems. Data on consumption in the two regions were collected using structured questionnaires delivered to a total of 252 herders from Mongolia and China's Inner Mongolia. Meat and other animal products remain the dominant food items for most households, accompanied by various vegetables and cereals. This unbalanced diet leads to excessive consumption of protein and fat from animal sources. The major energy sources used by herders are fuelwood, animal dung, crop residues, and dry grass, but consumption patterns differed between the two areas. Mongolian herders rely more heavily on livestock for meeting their consumption needs than herders in Inner Mongolia. Herder knowledge and perceptions of ecosystem conditions and consumption of resources differed between Mongolia and Inner Mongolia, reflecting the influence of different state policies. The data reported and the conclusions drawn are relevant for developing resource management policies for the Mongolian Plateau, but also provide useful insights for any region where livestock production dominates the use of rangeland resources.

  19. Ecosystem quality in LCIA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Woods, John S.; Damiani, Mattia; Fantke, Peter

    2017-01-01

    Purpose: Life cycle impact assessment (LCIA) results are used to assess potential environmental impacts of different products and services. As part of the UNEP-SETAC life cycle initiative flagship project that aims to harmonize indicators of potential environmental impacts, we provide a consensus...... viewpoint and recommendations for future developments in LCIA related to the ecosystem quality area of protection (AoP). Through our recommendations, we aim to encourage LCIA developments that improve the usefulness and global acceptability of LCIA results. Methods: We analyze current ecosystem quality...... metrics and provide recommendations to the LCIA research community for achieving further developments towards comparable and more ecologically relevant metrics addressing ecosystem quality. Results and discussion: We recommend that LCIA development for ecosystem quality should tend towards species...

  20. List identifies threatened ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2012-09-01

    The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) announced on 9 September that it will develop a new Red List of Ecosystems that will identify which ecosystems are vulnerable or endangered. The list, which is modeled on the group's Red List of Threatened Species™, could help to guide conservation activities and influence policy processes such as the Convention on Biological Diversity, according to the group. “We will assess the status of marine, terrestrial, freshwater, and subterranean ecosystems at local, regional, and global levels,” stated Jon Paul Rodriguez, leader of IUCN's Ecosystems Red List Thematic Group. “The assessment can then form the basis for concerted implementation action so that we can manage them sustainably if their risk of collapse is low or restore them if they are threatened and then monitor their recovery.”

  1. Formation of Service Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    – i.e. the “birth phase” (Moore, 2009) of a service ecosystem. This paper, therefore, aims to explore how the somewhat “magic” processes of service ecosystem formation that are being taken for granted actually occur. Methodology/Approach: Building on a review of core elements in the definitions...... for Harvard students) or value proposition (share messages, photos, videos, etc. with friends). Processes of configuring actors, resources, and value propositions are influenced by the structural embeddedness of the service ecosystem (e.g., regional infrastructure, existing networks of actors, or resource...... availability) as well as guided by the actors’ own and shared institutions (e.g., rules, norms,and beliefs).We contextualize each starting point with illustrative cases and analyze the service ecosystem configuration process: “Axoon/Trumpf” (initiated by resources), “JOSEPHS – the service manufactory...

  2. Revisiting software ecosystems research

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manikas, Konstantinos

    2016-01-01

    ‘Software ecosystems’ is argued to first appear as a concept more than 10 years ago and software ecosystem research started to take off in 2010. We conduct a systematic literature study, based on the most extensive literature review in the field up to date, with two primarily aims: (a) to provide...... an updated overview of the field and (b) to document evolution in the field. In total, we analyze 231 papers from 2007 until 2014 and provide an overview of the research in software ecosystems. Our analysis reveals a field that is rapidly growing both in volume and empirical focus while becoming more mature...... from evolving. We propose means for future research and the community to address them. Finally, our analysis shapes the view of the field having evolved outside the existing definitions of software ecosystems and thus propose the update of the definition of software ecosystems....

  3. Ecosystem Analysis Program

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    Burgess, R.L.

    1978-01-01

    Progress is reported on the following research programs: analysis and modeling of ecosystems; EDFB/IBP data center; biome analysis studies; land/water interaction studies; and computer programs for development of models

  4. Stakeholder Values and Ecosystems

    OpenAIRE

    Sveinsdottir, Thordis; Wessels, Bridgette; Smallwood, Rod; Linde, Peter; Kalla, Vasso; Tsoukala, Victoria; Sondervan, Jeroen

    2013-01-01

    This report is the deliverable for Work Package 1 (WP1), Stakeholder Values and Ecosystems, of the EU FP7 funded project RECODE (Grant Agreement No: 321463), which focuses on developing Policy Recommendations for Open Access to Research Data in Europe. WP1 focuses on understanding stakeholder values and ecosystems in Open Access, dissemination and preservation in the area of scientific and scholarly data (thus not government data). The objectives of this WP are as follows: • Identify and map ...

  5. Terrestrial ecosystems and biodiversity

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Davis-Reddy, Claire

    2017-10-01

    Full Text Available Ecoregions Terrestrial Biomes Protected Areas Climate Risk and Vulnerability: A Handbook for Southern Africa | 75 7.2. Non-climatic drivers of ecosystem change 7.2.1. Land-use change, habitat loss and fragmentation Land-use change and landscape... concentrations of endemic plant and animal species, but these mainly occur in areas that are most threatened by human activity. Diverse terrestrial ecosystems in the region include tropical and sub-tropical forests, deserts, savannas, grasslands, mangroves...

  6. Privacy driven internet ecosystem

    OpenAIRE

    Trinh, Tuan Anh; Gyarmati, Laszlo

    2012-01-01

    The dominant business model of today's Internet is built upon advertisements; users can access Internet services while the providers show ads to them. Although significant efforts have been made to model and analyze the economic aspects of this ecosystem, the heart of the current status quo, namely privacy, has not received the attention of the research community yet. Accordingly, we propose an economic model of the privacy driven Internet ecosystem where privacy is handled as an asset that c...

  7. Understanding the links between ecosystem health and social system well-being: an annotated bibliography.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dawn M. Elmer; Harriet H. Christensen; Ellen M. Donoghue; [Compilers].

    2002-01-01

    This bibliography focuses on the links between social system well-being and ecosystem health. It is intended for public land managers and scientists and students of social and natural sciences. Multidisciplinary science that addresses the interconnections between the social system and the ecosystem is presented. Some of the themes and strategies presented are policy...

  8. IMPACT OF WOODY PLANTS SPECIES ON SOIL PHYSIO-CHEMICAL PROPERTIES ALONG GRAZING GRADIENTS IN RANGELANDS OF EASTERN ETHIOPIA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Mussa Abdulahi

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available In the lowlands of arid and semiarid rangelands woody plants plays an important role in soil fertility maintenance, providing food, medicine, cosmetics, fodder, fuel wood and pesticides. A better understanding of the interaction of woody plants on their immediate environment is needed to guide optimum management of native vegetation in the production landscapes. However, the impact of woody plant species on soil properties remains poorly understood. This study evaluates the impact of two dominant woody plant species (A. senegal and B. aegyptica on soil physico-chemical properties along grazing gradients in rangelands of eastern Ethiopia. Six trees of each species were selected from light, moderate and heavy grazing sites.  Soil sample data at two depths (0-15 and 16-30 cm were collected from under and open areas of A. senegal and B. aegyptica from each grazing sites, and analysed for nutrient contents. The nutrient status of soil under both woody species was significantly higher especially with regard to soil organic matter (4.37%, total nitrogen (0.313%, and available phosphorus (11.62 than the open grassland with soil organic matter (3.82%, total nitrogen (0.246%, and available phosphorus (10.94 mg/Kg soil for A. Senegal. The soil organic matter (3.93%, total nitrogen (0.285%, available phosphorus (11.66 mg/Kg soil were significantly higher than open grassland with soil organic matter (3.52%, total nitrogen (0.218%, available phosphorus (10.73 mg/Kg soil for B. aegyptica. This was more pronounced in the top 15 cm of soil under A. senegal woody plant species and on the light and moderate grazing site. Therefore, this tree has a significant effect on soil fertility improvement in resource poor rangelands and as a result, it is important to retain scattered A. senegal and B. aegyptica plants in the lowlands of eastern Ethiopia.

  9. Promoting Innovation Ecosystem from Knowledge Supplying Side

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yuqiu WANG

    2017-03-01

    Full Text Available Innovation and development paradigm has dominated the world since the 19th century. In the era of industry 4.0, innovation ecosystem has been advocated globally. There are different innovation paradigms in history. Before 1960s, the competitive and monopolized paradigm was dominative, while between the 1970s and 1990s, the cluster and innovation valley paradigm had played a key role. In the 21st century, with the advent of industry 4.0, the innovation ecosystem paradigm is advocated globally. Accordingly, there exist different innovation strategies, in reality, considering different economic and social context. However, no matter if having in mind developed or developing countries, the ecosystem paradigm has high rewards for different companies and society. There is also evidence showing that research and development by top universities and research institutes have high productivity and benefits for enterprises and society nowadays, no matter the development state of the areas considered. The author analyzes by literature review and case study the necessity, feasibility, strategy and approaches of innovation ecosystem from a knowledge supplying side. The strategy and approaches include collaboration between university, industry, agriculture and government, talents education, knowledge diffusion, patent purchasing, technology tailoring, consulting, human resource training and platform construction. Science community also takes the role of standards development and maintaining, high technology forecasting and innovation monitoring. The patent office, start-ups, spin-offs and innovation labs act as the links between science, technology, and application.

  10. Monetary accounting of ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Remme, R.P.; Edens, Bram; Schröter, Matthias; Hein, Lars

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem accounting aims to provide a better understanding of ecosystem contributions to the economy in a spatially explicit way. Ecosystem accounting monitors ecosystem services and measures their monetary value using exchange values consistent with the System of National Accounts (SNA). We

  11. Ecosystem-based management of coastal eutrophication

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Jesper H.

    This thesis focuses on Ecosystem-Based Management (EBM) of coastal eutrophication. Special attention is put on connections between science and decision-making in regard to development, implementation and revision of evidence-based nutrient management strategies. Two strategies are presented...... and analysed: the Danish Action Plans on the Aquatic Environment and the eutrophication segment of the Baltic Sea Action Plan. Similarities and differences are discussed and elements required for making nutrient management strategies successful are suggested. Key words: Eutrophication, marine, Danish...

  12. Sustaining ecosystem services in cultural landscapes

    OpenAIRE

    Plieninger, T.; van der Horst, D.; Schleyer, C.; Bieling, C.

    2014-01-01

    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 ...

  13. Survey of Beaver-related Restoration Practices in Rangeland Streams of the Western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Rohde, Ashley T.; Charnley, Susan; Davee, Rachael R.; Dunham, Jason B.; Gosnell, Hannah; Grant, Gordon E.; Hausner, Mark B.; Huntington, Justin L.; Nash, Caroline

    2018-01-01

    Poor condition of many streams and concerns about future droughts in the arid and semi-arid western USA have motivated novel restoration strategies aimed at accelerating recovery and increasing water resources. Translocation of beavers into formerly occupied habitats, restoration activities encouraging beaver recolonization, and instream structures mimicking the effects of beaver dams are restoration alternatives that have recently gained popularity because of their potential socioeconomic and ecological benefits. However, beaver dams and dam-like structures also harbor a history of social conflict. Hence, we identified a need to assess the use of beaver-related restoration projects in western rangelands to increase awareness and accountability, and identify gaps in scientific knowledge. We inventoried 97 projects implemented by 32 organizations, most in the last 10 years. We found that beaver-related stream restoration projects undertaken mostly involved the relocation of nuisance beavers. The most common goal was to store water, either with beaver dams or artificial structures. Beavers were often moved without regard to genetics, disease, or potential conflicts with nearby landowners. Few projects included post-implementation monitoring or planned for longer term issues, such as what happens when beavers abandon a site or when beaver dams or structures breach. Human dimensions were rarely considered and water rights and other issues were mostly unresolved or addressed through ad-hoc agreements. We conclude that the practice and implementation of beaver-related restoration has outpaced research on its efficacy and best practices. Further scientific research is necessary, especially research that informs the establishment of clear guidelines for best practices.

  14. Herbaceous Legume Encroachment Reduces Grass Productivity and Density in Arid Rangelands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Thomas C Wagner

    Full Text Available Worldwide savannas and arid grasslands are mainly used for livestock grazing, providing livelihood to over a billion people. While normally dominated by perennial C4 grasses, these rangelands are increasingly affected by the massive spread of native, mainly woody legumes. The consequences are often a repression of grass cover and productivity, leading to a reduced carrying capacity. While such encroachment by woody plants has been extensively researched, studies on similar processes involving herbaceous species are rare. We studied the impact of a sustained and massive spread of the native herbaceous legume Crotalaria podocarpa in Namibia's escarpment region on the locally dominant fodder grasses Stipagrostis ciliata and Stipagrostis uniplumis. We measured tussock densities, biomass production of individual tussocks and tussock dormancy state of Stipagrostis on ten 10 m x 10 m plots affected and ten similarly-sized plots unaffected by C. podocarpa over eight consecutive years and under different seasonal rainfalls and estimated the potential relative productivity of the land. We found the percentage of active Stipagrostis tussocks and the biomass production of individual tussocks to increase asymptotically with higher seasonal rainfall reaching a maximum around 300 mm while the land's relative productivity under average local rainfall conditions reached only 40% of its potential. Crotalaria podocarpa encroachment had no effect on the proportion of productive grass tussocks, but reduced he productivity of individual Stipagrostis tussocks by a third. This effect of C. podocarpa on grass productivity was immediate and direct and was not compensated for by above-average rainfall. Besides this immediate effect, over time, the density of grass tussocks declined by more than 50% in areas encroached by C. podocarpa further and lastingly reducing the lands carrying capacity. The effects of C. podocarpa on grass productivity hereby resemble those of woody

  15. How best to quantify soil seed banks in arid rangelands of the Nama Karoo?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dreber, Niels

    2011-02-01

    Sampling design and three sample treatments prior the application of the seedling emergence method were tested in order to find the best method for seed bank quantification in arid Nama Karoo rangelands. I analyzed species composition and seed densities by contrasting undercanopy and open-matrix samples from two soil depths and by comparing the effects of cold-, heat-, and no stratification on germination rates of species in a greenhouse setting. The soil seed bank showed minimal similarity to the standing vegetation, with only 20 plant species germinated. Spatial distribution of seeds was highly heterogeneous. Nearly 90% of germinated seeds were located in 0- to 4-cm compared to >4- to 8-cm soil depth. Undercanopy seed banks contained significantly more species and seeds than open-matrix seed banks. Neither the number nor the diversity of seeds germinated differed significantly among the three treatments. Cold stratification tended to detect more species and seeds only at >4- to 8-cm soil depth. The results highlight the importance of spatial heterogeneity in the accurate evaluation of soil seed banks in the arid Nama Karoo and the importance of considering seasonal variability in the availability of readily germinable seeds. Data also suggest that sample pretreatment in germination trials may give little return for cost and effort, which emphasizes that it is more important to choose the sampling design most likely to give a representative number of seed bank species. Further studies are needed to analyze seed bank dynamics and species-specific germination requirements to promote recruitment of plant taxa underrepresented in the seed bank.

  16. Survey of beaver-related restoration practices in rangeland streams of the western USA

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Rohde, Ashley T.; Charnley, Susan; Davee, Rachael R; Dunham, Jason B.; Gosnell, Hannah; Grant, Gordon E.; Hausner, Mark B.; Huntington, Justin L.; Nash, Caroline

    2018-01-01

    Poor condition of many streams and concerns about future droughts in the arid and semi-arid western USA have motivated novel restoration strategies aimed at accelerating recovery and increasing water resources. Translocation of beavers into formerly occupied habitats, restoration activities encouraging beaver recolonization, and instream structures mimicking the effects of beaver dams are restoration alternatives that have recently gained popularity because of their potential socioeconomic and ecological benefits. However, beaver dams and dam-like structures also harbor a history of social conflict. Hence, we identified a need to assess the use of beaver-related restoration projects in western rangelands to increase awareness and accountability, and identify gaps in scientific knowledge. We inventoried 97 projects implemented by 32 organizations, most in the last 10 years. We found that beaver-related stream restoration projects undertaken mostly involved the relocation of nuisance beavers. The most common goal was to store water, either with beaver dams or artificial structures. Beavers were often moved without regard to genetics, disease, or potential conflicts with nearby landowners. Few projects included post-implementation monitoring or planned for longer term issues, such as what happens when beavers abandon a site or when beaver dams or structures breach. Human dimensions were rarely considered and water rights and other issues were mostly unresolved or addressed through ad-hoc agreements. We conclude that the practice and implementation of beaver-related restoration has outpaced research on its efficacy and best practices. Further scientific research is necessary, especially research that informs the establishment of clear guidelines for best practices.

  17. Climate change impacts on ecosystems and ecosystem services in the United States: Process and prospects for sustained assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grimm, Nancy B.; Groffman, Peter M; Staudinger, Michelle D.; Tallis, Heather

    2016-01-01

    The third United States National Climate Assessment emphasized an evaluation of not just the impacts of climate change on species and ecosystems, but also the impacts of climate change on the benefits that people derive from nature, known as ecosystem services. The ecosystems, biodiversity, and ecosystem services component of the assessment largely drew upon the findings of a transdisciplinary workshop aimed at developing technical input for the assessment, involving participants from diverse sectors. A small author team distilled and synthesized this and hundreds of other technical input to develop the key findings of the assessment. The process of developing and ranking key findings hinged on identifying impacts that had particular, demonstrable effects on the U.S. public via changes in national ecosystem services. Findings showed that ecosystem services are threatened by the impacts of climate change on water supplies, species distributions and phenology, as well as multiple assaults on ecosystem integrity that, when compounded by climate change, reduce the capacity of ecosystems to buffer against extreme events. As ecosystems change, such benefits as water sustainability and protection from storms that are afforded by intact ecosystems are projected to decline across the continent due to climate change. An ongoing, sustained assessment that focuses on the co-production of actionable climate science will allow scientists from a range of disciplines to ascertain the capability of their forecasting models to project environmental and ecological change and link it to ecosystem services; additionally, an iterative process of evaluation, development of management strategies, monitoring, and reevaluation will increase the applicability and usability of the science by the U.S. public.

  18. 'One physical system': Tansley's ecosystem as Earth's critical zone.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Richter, Daniel deB; Billings, Sharon A

    2015-05-01

    Integrative concepts of the biosphere, ecosystem, biogeocenosis and, recently, Earth's critical zone embrace scientific disciplines that link matter, energy and organisms in a systems-level understanding of our remarkable planet. Here, we assert the congruence of Tansley's (1935) venerable ecosystem concept of 'one physical system' with Earth science's critical zone. Ecosystems and critical zones are congruent across spatial-temporal scales from vegetation-clad weathering profiles and hillslopes, small catchments, landscapes, river basins, continents, to Earth's whole terrestrial surface. What may be less obvious is congruence in the vertical dimension. We use ecosystem metabolism to argue that full accounting of photosynthetically fixed carbon includes respiratory CO₂ and carbonic acid that propagate to the base of the critical zone itself. Although a small fraction of respiration, the downward diffusion of CO₂ helps determine rates of soil formation and, ultimately, ecosystem evolution and resilience. Because life in the upper portions of terrestrial ecosystems significantly affects biogeochemistry throughout weathering profiles, the lower boundaries of most terrestrial ecosystems have been demarcated at depths too shallow to permit a complete understanding of ecosystem structure and function. Opportunities abound to explore connections between upper and lower components of critical-zone ecosystems, between soils and streams in watersheds, and between plant-derived CO₂ and deep microbial communities and mineral weathering. © 2015 The Authors. New Phytologist © 2015 New Phytologist Trust.

  19. Facing uncertainty in ecosystem services-based resource management.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Grêt-Regamey, Adrienne; Brunner, Sibyl H; Altwegg, Jürg; Bebi, Peter

    2013-09-01

    The concept of ecosystem services is increasingly used as a support for natural resource management decisions. While the science for assessing ecosystem services is improving, appropriate methods to address uncertainties in a quantitative manner are missing. Ignoring parameter uncertainties, modeling uncertainties and uncertainties related to human-environment interactions can modify decisions and lead to overlooking important management possibilities. In this contribution, we present a new approach for mapping the uncertainties in the assessment of multiple ecosystem services. The spatially explicit risk approach links Bayesian networks to a Geographic Information System for forecasting the value of a bundle of ecosystem services and quantifies the uncertainties related to the outcomes in a spatially explicit manner. We demonstrate that mapping uncertainties in ecosystem services assessments provides key information for decision-makers seeking critical areas in the delivery of ecosystem services in a case study in the Swiss Alps. The results suggest that not only the total value of the bundle of ecosystem services is highly dependent on uncertainties, but the spatial pattern of the ecosystem services values changes substantially when considering uncertainties. This is particularly important for the long-term management of mountain forest ecosystems, which have long rotation stands and are highly sensitive to pressing climate and socio-economic changes. Copyright © 2012 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Dimensions of ecosystem theory

    International Nuclear Information System (INIS)

    O'Neill, R.V.; Reichle, D.E.

    1979-01-01

    Various dimensions of ecosystem structure and behavior that seem to develop from the ubiquitous phenomena of system growth and persistence were studied. While growth and persistence attributes of ecosystems may appear to be simplistic phenomena upon which to base a comprehensive ecosystem theory, these same attributes have been fundamental to the theoretical development of other biological disciplines. These attributes were explored at a hierarchical level in a self-organizing system, and adaptive system strategies that result were analyzed. Previously developed causative relations (Reichle et al., 1975c) were examined, their theoretical implications expounded upon, and the assumptions tested with data from a variety of forest types. The conclusions are not a theory in themselves, but a state of organization of concepts contributing towards a unifying theory, along the lines promulgated by Bray (1958). The inferences drawn rely heavily upon data from forested ecosystems of the world, and have yet to be validated against data from a much more diverse range of ecosystem types. Not all of the interpretations are logically tight - there is room for other explanations, which it is hoped will provide fruitful grounds for further speculation