WorldWideScience

Sample records for rangeland ecosystems electronic

  1. Sustainable rangelands ecosystem goods and services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kristie Maczko; Lorie Hidinger

    2008-01-01

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

  2. Valuation of rangeland ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gascoigne, W.R.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    D Richard Cameron

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

  4. 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.

  5. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  7. Sound management may sequester methane in grazed rangeland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-03-01

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

  9. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-12-01

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

  15. 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...

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2014-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2013-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rango, A.

    2015-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-24

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-02-01

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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Karl, Jason William

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  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. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-01-01

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

  12. Using rangeland health assessment to inform successional management

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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 ...

  16. Social and Economic Indicators of the Sustainable Rangelands Roundtable

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  17. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-10-01

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

  19. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands: concepts

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Maggie G. Toone; Sara Goeking

    2017-01-01

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

  3. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-01-01

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

  5. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. Pastoralism, land degradation and Carbon redistribution in rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kuhn, Nikolaus J.; Ali, Seid Mohammed

    2017-04-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Drought and rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  13. Enhancing wind erosion monitoring and assessment for US rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. 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 ...

  15. 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...

  16. Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-04-01

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

  17. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  19. Forests, rangelands and climate change in Southern Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Naidoo, Sasha

    2013-09-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-03-01

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

  2. Rangelands: Where anthromes meet their limits

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. A systematic review of US rangeland science

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-10-15

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-01

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

  6. Range ecosystem management for natural areas

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. Desertification of Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  10. 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)

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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...

  13. 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.

  14. Adaptive management of rangeland systems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  15. Earth observation for rangeland monitoring

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Ramoelo, Abel

    2012-10-01

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

  16. Criteria and indicators for sustainable rangeland management

    Science.gov (United States)

    John E. Mitchell

    2010-01-01

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

  17. 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 ...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  19. The Vale rangeland rehabilitation program: an evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Harold F. Heady

    1988-01-01

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

  20. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  2. 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...

  3. Applying animal behavior to arid rangeland mangement

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Sayjro K. Nouwakpo

    2016-06-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Penelope J Mograbi

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

  8. APPLYING SATELLITE IMAGERY TO TRIAGE ASSESSMENT OF ECOSYSTEM HEALTH

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. 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.

  10. Rehabilitation of degraded rangelands: lessons learned

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  11. Rangeland Ecology Monitoring Data : 1967-2013

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Integrated Rangeland Fire Management Strategy Actionable Science Plan Team

    2016-01-01

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

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

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    2006-01-01

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

  14. Humans in changing shrubland ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  18. Collaborative adaptive rangeland management fosters management-science partnerships

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2003-01-01

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

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Belay, Tamrat A; Moe, Stein R

    2015-07-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  4. Rehabilitation of cheatgrass-infested rangelands: management

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  5. 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.

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

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

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

  7. Increasing flexibility in rangeland management during drought

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  8. Sahelian rangeland development: a catastrophe?

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

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

    1996-01-01

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

  9. Adaptive Rangeland Decision-Making and Coping with Drought

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Leslie M. Roche

    2016-12-01

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

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  13. Future Rangeland Ecosystems in the Dryland Belt of Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Qi, Jiaguo

    2015-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2012-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Greg R Guerin

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2015-01-01

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

  19. Erosion rates from forests and rangelands following fuel management

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-01-01

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tony Svejcar; Jeremy James; Stuart Hardegree; Roger Sheley

    2014-01-01

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

  5. 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 ...

  6. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  8. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1984-01-01

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

  12. 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...

  13. Rehabilitation of Great Basin rangelands: an integrated approach

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    David B. Wester

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    2005-01-20

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-10-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-11-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-01-01

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

  3. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2006-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  6. 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

  7. 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

  8. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2014-01-01

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

  10. 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

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

    OpenAIRE

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

    2010-01-01

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

  12. Business analysis for a sustainable, multi-stakeholder ecosystem for leveraging the Electronic Health Records for Clinical Research (EHR4CR) platform in Europe.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dupont, Danielle; Beresniak, Ariel; Sundgren, Mats; Schmidt, Andreas; Ainsworth, John; Coorevits, Pascal; Kalra, Dipak; Dewispelaere, Marc; De Moor, Georges

    2017-01-01

    The Electronic Health Records for Clinical Research (EHR4CR) technological platform has been developed to enable the trustworthy reuse of hospital electronic health records data for clinical research. The EHR4CR platform can enhance and speed up clinical research scenarios: protocol feasibility assessment, patient identification for recruitment in clinical trials, and clinical data exchange, including for reporting serious adverse events. Our objective was to seed a multi-stakeholder ecosystem to enable the scalable exploitation of the EHR4CR platform in Europe, and to assess its economic sustainability. Market analyses were conducted by a multidisciplinary task force to define an EHR4CR emerging ecosystem and multi-stakeholder value chain. This involved mapping stakeholder groups and defining their unmet needs, incentives, potential barriers for adopting innovative solutions, roles and interdependencies. A comprehensive business model, value propositions, and sustainability strategies were developed accordingly. Using simulation modelling (including Monte Carlo simulations) and a 5-year horizon, the potential financial outcomes of the business model were forecasted from the perspective of an EHR4CR service provider. A business ecosystem was defined to leverage the EHR4CR multi-stakeholder value chain. Value propositions were developed describing the expected benefits of EHR4CR solutions for all stakeholders. From an EHR4CR service provider's viewpoint, the business model simulation estimated that a profitability ratio of up to 1.8 could be achieved at year 1, with potential for growth in subsequent years depending on projected market uptake. By enhancing and speeding up existing processes, EHR4CR solutions promise to transform the clinical research landscape. The ecosystem defined provides the organisational framework for optimising the value and benefits for all stakeholders involved, in a sustainable manner. Our study suggests that the exploitation of EHR4CR

  13. Program of Research for Forests and Associated Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1978-01-01

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

  14. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  16. 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...

  17. 75 FR 8036 - Monitor-Hot Creek Rangeland Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    2010-02-23

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

  18. Impact of Rangeland Degradation on Soil Physical, Chemical

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  19. 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...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  1. Scale, heterogeneity and secondary production in tropical rangelands

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ADOWIE PERE

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  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. 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...

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    1991-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bruce A. Roundy

    1999-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2002-01-01

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

  15. 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?

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

  17. 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,...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-08-01

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

  20. 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...

  1. 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.

  2. The rangeland management and soil health connection

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    López, Dardo R.; Cavallero, Laura

    2017-02-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2018-01-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  12. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2008-01-01

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

  14. 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 ...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gerald L. Horner; James H. Cothern

    1991-01-01

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

  17. 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...

  18. Ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Trista Patterson

    2014-01-01

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

  19. Animal-habitat relationships in high altitude rangelands

    OpenAIRE

    Singh, Navinder J.

    2008-01-01

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

  20. 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

  1. 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.

  2. Inside Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moll, Gary; And Others

    1995-01-01

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

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-04-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2007-12-01

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

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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...

  10. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Data.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wessels, Konrad J

    2007-04-01

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

  18. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, Susan L.

    2011-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    2004-04-22

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mehdi Ghorbani

    2013-06-01

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

  2. Soil degradation in wooded rangelands of southwest Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

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

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

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Gilo, Bikila Negasa; Kelkay, Tessema Zewdu

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Karma Tenzing

    2017-08-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  6. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-03-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  9. 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

  10. Ecosystem functioning

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Jax, Kurt

    2010-01-01

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

  11. 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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sue Miller; Matt Reeves; Karen Bagne; John Tanaka

    2017-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    W. A. Laycock; Dale Bartos; Keith Klement

    2001-01-01

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Accatino, F; Ward, D; Wiegand, K; De Michele, C

    2017-02-01

    Assessing the carrying capacity is of primary importance in arid rangelands. This becomes even more important during droughts, when rangelands exhibit non-equilibrium dynamics, and the dynamics of livestock conditions and forage resource are decoupled. Carrying capacity is usually conceived as an equilibrium concept, that is, the consumer density that can co-exist in long-term equilibrium with the resource. As one of the first, here we address the concept of carrying capacity in systems, where there is no feedback between consumer and resource in a limited period of time. To this end, we developed an individual-based model describing the basic characteristics of a rangeland during a drought. The model represents a rangeland composed by a single water point and forage distributed all around, with livestock units moving from water to forage and vice versa, for eating and drinking. For each livestock unit we implemented an energy balance and we accounted for the gut-filling effect (i.e. only a limited amount of forage can be ingested per unit time). Our results showed that there is a temporal threshold above which livestock begin to experience energy deficit and burn fat reserves. We demonstrated that such a temporal threshold increases with the number of animals and decreases with the rangeland conditions (amount of forage). The temporal threshold corresponded to the time livestock take to consume all the forage within a certain distance from water, so that the livestock can return to water for drinking without spending more energy than they gain within a day. In this study, we highlight the importance of a time threshold in the assessment of carrying capacity in non-equilibrium conditions. Considering this time threshold could explain contrasting observations about the influence of livestock number on livestock conditions. In case of private rangelands, the herd size should be chosen so that the spatial threshold equals (or exceeds) the length of the drought.

  18. Rangeland dynamics: investigating vegetation composition and structure of urban and exurban prairie dog habitat.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hopson, Rebecca; Meiman, Paul; Shannon, Graeme

    2015-01-01

    Rapid human population growth and habitat modification in the western United States has led to the formation of urban and exurban rangelands. Many of these rangelands are also home to populations of black-tailed prairie dogs (Cynomys ludovicianus). Our study aimed to compare the vegetation composition of an urban and exurban rangeland, and explore the role that prairie dogs play in these systems. The percent absolute canopy cover of graminoids (grasses and grass-likes), forbs, shrubs, litter, and bare ground were estimated at sampling areas located on and off prairie dog colonies at an urban and an exurban site. Herbaceous forage quality and quantity were determined on plant material collected from exclosure cages located on the colony during the entire growing season, while a relative estimate of prairie dog density was calculated using maximum counts. The exurban site had more litter and plant cover and less bare ground than the urban site. Graminoids were the dominant vegetation at the exurban plots. In contrast, mostly introduced forbs were found on the urban prairie dog colony. However, the forage quality and quantity tests demonstrated no difference between the two colonies. The relative prairie dog density was greater at the urban colony, which has the potential to drive greater vegetation utilization and reduced cover. Exurban rangeland showed lower levels of impact and retained all of the plant functional groups both on- and off-colony. These results suggest that activities of prairie dogs might further exacerbate the impacts of humans in fragmented urban rangeland habitats. Greater understanding of the drivers of these impacts and the spatial scales at which they occur are likely to prove valuable in the management and conservation of rangelands in and around urban areas.

  19. Experimental warming, not grazing, decreases rangeland quality on the Tibetan Plateau.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Klein, Julia A; Harte, John; Zhao, Xin-Quan

    2007-03-01

    We investigated experimental warming and simulated grazing (clipping) effects on rangeland quality, as indicated by vegetation production and nutritive quality, in winter-grazed meadows and summer-grazed shrublands on the Tibetan Plateau, a rangeland system experiencing climatic and pastoral land use changes. Warming decreased total aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP) by 40 g x m(-2) x yr(-1) at the meadow habitats and decreased palatable ANPP (total ANPP minus non-palatable forb ANPP) by 10 g x m(-2) x yr(-1) at both habitats. The decreased production of the medicinal forb Gentiana straminea and the increased production of the non-palatable forb Stellera chamaejasme with warming also reduced rangeland quality. At the shrubland habitats, warming resulted in less digestible shrubs, whose foliage contains 25% digestible dry matter (DDM), replacing more digestible graminoids, whose foliage contains 60% DDM. This shift from graminoids to shrubs not only results in lower-quality forage, but could also have important consequences for future domestic herd composition. Although warming extended the growing season in non-clipped plots, the reduced rangeland quality due to decreased vegetative production and nutritive quality will likely overwhelm the improved rangeland quality associated with an extended growing season. Grazing maintained or improved rangeland quality by increasing total ANPP by 20-40 g x m(-2) x yr(-1) with no effect on palatable ANPP. Grazing effects on forage nutritive quality, as measured by foliar nitrogen and carbon content and by shifts in plant group ANPP, resulted in improved forage quality. Grazing extended the growing season at both habitats, and it advanced the growing season at the meadows. Synergistic interactions between warming and grazing were present, such that grazing mediated the warming-induced declines in vegetation production and nutritive quality. Moreover, combined treatment effects were nonadditive, suggesting that we

  20. Development of the crop residue and rangeland burning in the ...

    Science.gov (United States)

    Biomass burning has been identified as an important contributor to the degradation of air quality because of its impact on ozone and particulate matter. One component of the biomass burning inventory, crop residue burning, has been poorly characterized in the National Emissions Inventory (NEI). In the 2011 NEI, wildland fires, prescribed fires, and crop residue burning collectively were the largest source of PM2.5. This paper summarizes our 2014 NEI method to estimate crop residue burning emissions and grass/pasture burning emissions using remote sensing data and field information and literature-based, crop-specific emission factors. We focus on both the postharvest and pre-harvest burning that takes place with bluegrass, corn, cotton, rice, soybeans, sugarcane and wheat. Estimates for 2014 indicate that over the continental United States (CONUS), crop residue burning excluding all areas identified as Pasture/Grass, Grassland Herbaceous, and Pasture/Hay occurred over approximately 1.5 million acres of land and produced 19,600 short tons of PM2.5. For areas identified as Pasture/Grass, Grassland Herbaceous, and Pasture/Hay, biomass burning emissions occurred over approximately 1.6 million acres of land and produced 30,000 short tons of PM2.5. This estimate compares with the 2011 NEI and 2008 NEI as follows: 2008: 49,650 short tons and 2011: 141,180 short tons. Note that in the previous two NEIs rangeland burning was not well defined and so the comparison is not e

  1. A novel protocol for assessment of aboveground biomass in rangeland environments

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Mundava, C.; Schut, A.G.T.; Helmholtz, P.; Stovold, R.G.H.; Donald, G.; Lamb, D.W.

    2015-01-01

    Current methods to measure aboveground biomass (AGB) do not deliver adequate results in relation to the extent and spatial variability that characterise rangelands. An optimised protocol for the assessment ofAGBis presented that enables calibration and validation of remote-sensing imagery or plant

  2. Improving restoration of exotic annual grass-invaded rangelands through activated carbon seed enhancement technologies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cost-efficient strategies for revegetating annual grass-infested rangelands are limited. Restoration efforts typically comprise a combination of pre-emergent herbicide treatments and seeding to restore desired plant materials. However, practitioners struggle with applying herbicide at rates sufficie...

  3. Disaggregation of Soil Map Units for Improved Ecological Site Mapping in Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland soils are often mapped with soil map units consisting of associations, complexes, and undifferentiated groups composed of varied soil components. Because different components may be related to different ecological sites, the unmapped heterogeneity within map units limits the potential uses...

  4. Developing a parameterization approach of soil erodibility for the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil erodibility is a key factor for estimating soil erosion using physically based models. In this study, a new parameterization approach for estimating erodibility was developed for the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM). The approach uses empirical equations that were developed by apply...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. Developing a year-round objective measure of Colorado rangeland nutrient composition

    Science.gov (United States)

    A goal for any rangeland grazing operation is to attain an appropriate balance among available forage resources where forage nutrient composition and supplementation (i.e. if needed) meets daily nutritional demands of livestock. To accomplish this on a short-term basis, the producer needs to have in...

  8. The quantification of rangeland condition in a semi-arid grassland of ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The degradation gradient technique was used to quantify rangeland .condition in areas ranging from poor, trampled areas close to watering points to well managed areas in a semi-arid. sweet grassland of southern Africa. Ecological values were linked to species by means of their individual positions on the degradation ...

  9. Two new mobile apps for rangeland inventory and monitoring by landowners and land managers

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rangeland inventory and monitoring have been transformed during the past 10 years by a number of major innovations. This paper reviews the status of two new mobile apps (LandInfo and LandCover) that are part of a larger “Land-Potential Knowledge System” (LandPKS) that is being developed to capitaliz...

  10. 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...

  11. 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 ...

  12. 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

  13. Future of America's Forests and Rangelands: Update to the 2010 Resources Planning Act Assessment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Forest Service U.S. Department of Agriculture

    2016-01-01

    The Update to the 2010 Resources Planning Act (RPA) Assessment summarizes findings about the status, trends, and projected future of forests, rangelands, wildlife, biodiversity, water, outdoor recreation, and urban forests, as well as the effects of climate change upon these resources. Varying assumptions about population and economic growth, land use change, and...

  14. Effects of climate change on rangeland vegetation in the northern Rockies [Chapter 6

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matt C. Reeves; Mary E. Manning; Jeff P. DiBenedetto; Kyle A. Palmquist; William K. Lauenroth; John B. Bradford; Daniel R. Schlaepfer

    2017-01-01

    A longer growing season with climate change is expected to increase net primary productivity of many rangeland types, especially those dominated by grasses, although responses will depend on local climate and soil conditions. Elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide may increase water use efficiency and productivity of some species. In many cases, increasing wildfire...

  15. Developing soil erodibility prediction equations for the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Soil erodibility is a key factor for estimating soil erosion using physically based models. In this study, a new parameterization approach for estimating erodibility was developed for the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM). The approach uses empirical equations that were developed by apply...

  16. Southern Idaho student "bug crews": Weeds, youth, and biocontrol in the rangelands of Idaho

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sharlyn Gunderson-Izurieta; George P. Markin; Nan Reedy; Becky. Frieberg

    2009-01-01

    Biological control of noxious weeds is an effective and widespread method often used by rangeland managers in the western United States. However, once biological control agents, usually insects, are released onto public and private lands there are few, if any, programs to follow up and monitor the effectiveness of these agents. A technique being used by some...

  17. Rangeland exclosures of northeastern Oregon: stories they tell (1936–2004).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Charles Grier Johnson

    2007-01-01

    Rangeland exclosures installed primarily in the 1960s, but with some from the 1940s, were resampled for changes in plant community structure and composition periodically from 1977 to 2004 on the Malheur, Umatilla, and Wallowa-Whitman National Forests in northeastern Oregon. They allow one to compare vegetation with all-ungulate exclusion (known historically as game...

  18. Response of native versus exotic plant guilds to cattle and elk herbivory in forested rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Burak K. Pekin; Michael J. Wisdom; Catherine G. Parks; Bryan A. Endress; Bridgett J. Naylor; Ralf Ohlemuller

    2015-01-01

    Questions: Are exotic plant species favoured by non-native ungulate herbivores and disadvantaged by native herbivores in forested rangelands? Do the impacts of ungulates on exotic vs native plants depend on forest management activities such as prescribed fire and stand thinning?Location: Northeastern Oregon, USA....

  19. Utah lotus: North American legume for rangeland revegetation in southern Great Basin and Colorado Plateau

    Science.gov (United States)

    Utah lotus (Lotus utahensis Ottley) is a North American leguminous forb that may hold promise for rangeland revegetation in the western USA for diversifying planting mixtures, attracting pollinators, providing high quality forage, and expanding habitats for insects needed by sage grouse chicks. We ...

  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. Orthorectification, mosaicking, and analysis of sub-decimeter resolution UAV imagery for rangeland monitoring

    Science.gov (United States)

    Unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) offer an attractive platform for acquiring imagery for rangeland monitoring. UAVs can be deployed quickly and repeatedly, and they can obtain sub-decimeter resolution imagery at lower image acquisition costs than with piloted aircraft. Low flying heights result in ima...

  2. Arguments for a major research focus on seeding establishment and recruitment on rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Understanding vegetation change is the basis for much of the rangeland management profession. Yet we know little about seedling ecology, from the standpoint of either reseeding or natural recruitment. We often view vegetation over long time horizons to allow changes to manifest themselves. If we lac...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Deriving empirical benchmarks from existing monitoring datasets for rangeland adaptive management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Under adaptive management, goals and decisions for managing rangeland resources are shaped by requirements like the Bureau of Land Management’s (BLM’s) Land Health Standards, which specify desired conditions. Without formalized, quantitative benchmarks for triggering management actions, adaptive man...

  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. 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...

  8. Satellite monitoring the rangeland degradation under the impacts of climatic and socio-economic changes over central Asia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, K.; Zhang, L.; Dai, L.; Yan, D.

    2012-12-01

    Central Asia, encompassing the republics of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz, Uzbekistan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and China's western Sinkiang, is a typical arid and semi-arid area. The climate in Central Asia is extreme arid, where summer is hot, cloudless and dry, and winter is moist and relatively warm in the south and cold and dry in the north. Rangeland, accounting for 46% of the entire area, is the main vegetation type in this area. Recent findings showed that climate change had caused unprecedented rangeland degradation in Central Asia over the past 30 years. Socio-economical change and environmental change due to the collapse of Soviet Union also accelerated rangeland degradation. Rangeland degradation adversely further deteriorated the environment. With the development of high resolution remote sensing images, an increasing attention has paid to study rangeland degradation in this area. However, previous investigations based on either Advanced Very High Resolution Radiometer (AVHRR) or Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data, has not integrate multi-resolution satellite data for investigating vegetation change and its response to climatic and socio-economic change . In this paper, we employed 30 years' remote sensing data, including both AVHRR ( 1982-2006) and MODIS (2000-2011) satellite data, and in-situ meteorological and social data (e.g. population, economic, and land use change data), to investigate rangeland degradation in the central Asia. We 1) analyzed the spatial-temporal variations of vegetation changes during the past 30 years, and 2) evaluated the roles of climatic and socio-economic factors as potential causes of observed vegetation changes. The results showed extensive area had statistically significant degradation trends (pSoviet Union, rangeland degradation was accelerated due to increased population and economic changes, but this degraded trend slowed down since the political system became relatively stable in 1991. These results

  9. Role of traditional enclosures on the diversity of herbaceous vegetation in a semi-arid rangeland, southern Ethiopia

    OpenAIRE

    Angassa, A.; Oba, G.; Treydte, A.C.; Weladji, R. B.

    2010-01-01

    Grazing management and seasonality strongly influence the recovery potential of herbaceous vegetation in semi-arid rangelands of southern Ethiopia after history of heavy grazing. We investigated effects of management (enclosures versus grazed landscapes), age of enclosures and seasonality related to rainfall (i.e., independent variables) on herbaceous biomass, grass basal cover, herbaceous species abundance, species richness and diversity in a savanna rangeland of southern Ethiopia. We furthe...

  10. Managing Semi-Arid Rangelands for Carbon Storage: Grazing and Woody Encroachment Effects on Soil Carbon and Nitrogen.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusuf, Hasen M; Treydte, Anna C; Sauerborn, Jauchim

    2015-01-01

    High grazing intensity and wide-spread woody encroachment may strongly alter soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools. However, the direction and quantity of these changes have rarely been quantified in East African savanna ecosystem. As shifts in soil C and N pools might further potentially influence climate change mitigation, we quantified and compared soil organic carbon (SOC) and total soil nitrogen (TSN) content in enclosures and communal grazing lands across varying woody cover i.e. woody encroachment levels. Estimated mean SOC and TSN stocks at 0-40 cm depth varied across grazing regimes and among woody encroachment levels. The open grazing land at the heavily encroached site on sandy loam soil contained the least SOC (30 ± 2.1 Mg ha-1) and TSN (5 ± 0.57 Mg ha-1) while the enclosure at the least encroached site on sandy clay soil had the greatest mean SOC (81.0 ± 10.6 Mg ha-1) and TSN (9.2 ± 1.48 Mg ha-1). Soil OC and TSN did not differ with grazing exclusion at heavily encroached sites, but were twice as high inside enclosure compared to open grazing soils at low encroached sites. Mean SOC and TSN in soils of 0-20 cm depth were up to 120% higher than that of the 21-40 cm soil layer. Soil OC was positively related to TSN, cation exchange capacity (CEC), but negatively related to sand content. Our results show that soil OC and TSN stocks are affected by grazing, but the magnitude is largely influenced by woody encroachment and soil texture. We suggest that improving the herbaceous layer cover through a reduction in grazing and woody encroachment restriction are the key strategies for reducing SOC and TSN losses and, hence, for climate change mitigation in semi-arid rangelands.

  11. Managing Semi-Arid Rangelands for Carbon Storage: Grazing and Woody Encroachment Effects on Soil Carbon and Nitrogen

    Science.gov (United States)

    Yusuf, Hasen M.; Treydte, Anna C.; Sauerborn, Jauchim

    2015-01-01

    High grazing intensity and wide-spread woody encroachment may strongly alter soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pools. However, the direction and quantity of these changes have rarely been quantified in East African savanna ecosystem. As shifts in soil C and N pools might further potentially influence climate change mitigation, we quantified and compared soil organic carbon (SOC) and total soil nitrogen (TSN) content in enclosures and communal grazing lands across varying woody cover i.e. woody encroachment levels. Estimated mean SOC and TSN stocks at 0–40 cm depth varied across grazing regimes and among woody encroachment levels. The open grazing land at the heavily encroached site on sandy loam soil contained the least SOC (30 ± 2.1 Mg ha-1) and TSN (5 ± 0.57 Mg ha-1) while the enclosure at the least encroached site on sandy clay soil had the greatest mean SOC (81.0 ± 10.6 Mg ha-1) and TSN (9.2 ± 1.48 Mg ha-1). Soil OC and TSN did not differ with grazing exclusion at heavily encroached sites, but were twice as high inside enclosure compared to open grazing soils at low encroached sites. Mean SOC and TSN in soils of 0–20 cm depth were up to 120% higher than that of the 21–40 cm soil layer. Soil OC was positively related to TSN, cation exchange capacity (CEC), but negatively related to sand content. Our results show that soil OC and TSN stocks are affected by grazing, but the magnitude is largely influenced by woody encroachment and soil texture. We suggest that improving the herbaceous layer cover through a reduction in grazing and woody encroachment restriction are the key strategies for reducing SOC and TSN losses and, hence, for climate change mitigation in semi-arid rangelands. PMID:26461478

  12. The value of forage measurement information in rangeland management. [implementation of satellite data in range management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lietzke, K. R.

    1975-01-01

    An economic model and simulation are developed to estimate the potential social benefit arising from the use of alternative measurement systems in rangeland management. In order to estimate these benefits, it was necessary to model three separate systems: the range environment, the rangeland manager, and the information system which links the two. The rancher's decision-making behavior is modeled according to sound economic principles. Results indicate substantial potential benefits, particularly when used in assisting management of government-operated ranges; possible annual benefits in this area range from $20 to $46 million, depending upon the system capabilities assumed. Possible annual benefit in privately-managed stocker operations range from $2.8 to $49.5 million, depending upon where actual rancher capabilities lie and what system capabilities are assumed.

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. Rangeland management and climate hazards in drylands: dust storms, desertification and the overgrazing debate

    OpenAIRE

    Middleton, N

    2016-01-01

    This paper examines the theory and supporting evidence for links between desertification, drought and dust storms with a particular focus on studies undertaken in and around the Gobi Desert. Overgrazing of rangeland by pastoralists has been the most commonly cited cause of desertification in global drylands for more than 30 years, but the evidence supporting this link is not always convincing. Nonetheless, overgrazing, desertification and dust storms are frequently connected, regardless. Drou...

  17. 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.

  18. Could payments for environmental services improve rangeland management in Central Asia, West Asia and North Africa?:

    OpenAIRE

    Dutilly-Diane, Celine; McCarthy, Nancy; Turkelboom, Francis; Bruggeman, Adriana; Tiedemann, James; Street, Kenneth; Serra, Gianluca

    2007-01-01

    "Although several institutional and management approaches that address the degradation of the rangelands have been tested in the dry areas of Central and West Asia and North Africa (CWANA), impact has been limited. Nonetheless, the development of National Action Plans to combat desertification highlights the interest of governments to tackle this issue. Payment for Environmental Services (PES) may be a viable policy option, though, to date, most PES programs have focused on the management of ...

  19. ANALYSIS OF THE FACTORS AFFECTING EFFECTIVENESS OF RANGELAND-DEPENDENT DAIRY CATTLE FARMS IN ERZURUM PROVINCE

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Abdurrahman KARA

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available With a special emphasis on the rangeland condition, factors affecting effectiveness of the farms were researched inthis study. Study area covers Erzurum Province, Turkey. Villages were purposively selected from those of whichrangeland conditions had been studied previously. Stratified sampling method was employed in determination of thesample size. Data were collected from the randomly selected farmers through face to face interviews, resulted in 99completed questionnaires. Collected data by structured questionnaires were of 2004-2005 production year. Farmswere studied under three farm size groups of 0-12, 12,1-25 and 25+ ha. In analysis of the data stepwise regressionand multiple linear and log-linear regression models were used. As farm success criteria, net product and grossmargin were calculated for every studied farm. According to the results, rangeland condition, stable type, number ofcattle, size of cultivated land, amount of labour per farm and small ruminant flock existence in the village andnumber of small ruminant were found to be the most important factors affecting farm effectiveness. It was concludedthat more robust and long-term studies should be conducted using a wider variation in rangeland condition toconfirm the study findings.

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Rangeland -- Plant responses to elevated CO sub 2

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-01-01

    Several broad conclusions which can be drawn from the work that was accomplished during the first 3-year phase of the study is described. In prairie ecosystems dominated by C{sub 4} grasses, it is likely that elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} will increase ecosystem level productivity, with a greater increase in belowground productivity. The increased productivity will primarily result from increased water use efficiency due to the anti-transpirant action of CO{sub 2}. Fumigation chambers are directly confounded with elevated CO{sub 2} effects, in that both reduce evapotranspiration. The reduced evapotranspiration of the fumigation chamber is primarily through reduced wind speeds and reduced radiation. In very dry years, fumigation chamber effects are negligible, but in years with normal precipitation, chamber effects and elevated CO{sub 2} effects are essentially equal with respect to reduced evapotranspiration effects. Increased production under elevated CO{sub 2} results in reduced nitrogen concentration in the herbage and increased fiber concentrations. Consequently, digestibility of the herbage is reduced, and microbial degradation of surface litter and soil organic matter is slowed. On the negative side, ruminant productivity will likely be reduced substantially, but increased carbon storage in the soil may buffer against future rise in atmospheric CO{sub 2}. Tallgrass prairie will not likely change greatly in botanical composition, since the C{sub 4} dominants responded to elevated CO{sub 2} more than the C{sub 3} subdominants.

  3. Climatic and topographical factors affecting the vegetative carbon stock of rangelands in arid and semiarid regions of China

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhengchao, Ren; Huazhong, Zhu; Shi, Hua; Xiaoni, Liu

    2016-01-01

    Rangeland systems play an important role in ecological stabilization and the terrestrial carbon cycle in arid and semiarid regions. However, little is known about the vegetative carbon dynamics and climatic and topographical factors that affect vegetative carbon stock in these rangelands. Our goal was to assess vegetative carbon stock by examining meteorological data in conjunction with NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index) time series datasets from 2001–2012. An improved CASA (Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach) model was then applied to simulate the spatiotemporal dynamic variation of vegetative carbon stock, and analyze its response to climatic and topographical factors. We estimated the vegetative carbon stock of rangeland in Gansu province, China to be 4.4× 1014 gC, increasing linearly at an annual rate of 9.8×1011 gC. The mean vegetative carbon density of the whole rangeland was 136.5 gC m-2. Vegetative carbon density and total carbon varied temporally and spatially and were highly associated with temperature, precipitation and solar radiation. Vegetative carbon density reached the maximal value on elevation at 2500–3500 m, a slope of >30°and easterly aspect. The effect of precipitation, temperature and solar radiation on the vegetative carbon density of five rangeland types (desert and salinized meadow, steppe, alpine meadow, shrub and tussock, and marginal grassland in the forest) depends on the acquired quantity of water and heat for rangeland plants at all spatial scales. The results of this study provide new evidence for explaining spatiotemporal heterogeneity in vegetative carbon dynamics and responses to global change for rangeland vegetative carbon stock, and offer a theoretical and practical basis for grassland agriculture management in arid and semiarid regions.

  4. Net Ecosystem Carbon Flux

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Net Ecosystem Carbon Flux is defined as the year-over-year change in Total Ecosystem Carbon Stock, or the net rate of carbon exchange between an ecosystem and the...

  5. Microbial Ecosystems, Protection of

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Bodelier, P.L.E.; Nelson, K.E.

    2014-01-01

    Synonyms Conservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes; Preservation of microbial diversity and ecosystem functions provided by microbes Definition The use, management, and conservation of ecosystems in order to preserve microbial diversity and functioning.

  6. 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.

  7. 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

  8. An Assessment of Productivity Patterns of Grass-Dominated Rangelands in the Hindu Kush Karakoram Region, Pakistan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Faisal Mueen Qamer

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available Rangelands in the Hindu Kush Karakoram region provide a resource base for nomadic livestock grazing, which is one of the major traditional livelihood practices in the area. The present study assessed the spatiotemporal patterns and trends of rangelands using satellite remote-sensing time-series data. Moderate resolution imaging spectroradiometer (MODIS-based normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI data, collected at fortnightly intervals over 12 years (2001–2012, were used as a proxy for the vegetation conditions of the grasslands. The analysis revealed that rangeland productivity increased with increasing elevation up to the sub-alpine zone, which had a higher productivity than the moist temperate zone and humid sub-tropical zone. The high sub-alpine productivity was attributed to seasonal amplitude and the extended length of the growing season in the phenological cycle. In the temporal analysis of productivity, the majority of the area exhibited improvements in vegetation conditions, which were strongest in the humid sub-tropical zones and weakest in the alpine zones. The sub-alpine grasslands were found to be the most productive and heterogeneous habitat; however, the relatively strong negative temporal trend in productivity in this zone indicates ongoing degradation in these rangelands. Thus, special attention is needed for the sustainable management of rangelands in the sub-alpine zones of the Hindu Kush Karakoram region.

  9. Influence of livestock density on the amount and structure of soil microbial communities in rangelands of SW Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anguita, Manuel; Pulido, Manuel; Schnabel, Susanne; Lavado-Contador, Francisco; Ortega, Raul; Soriano, Miguel; Miralles, Isabel

    2017-04-01

    Rangelands (namely dehesas and montados) occupy more than 90,000 km2 of land in SW Iberian Peninsula. Their natural pastures are permanently grazed by 13 millions of domestic animals. The persistence of soils of high quality is a key factor for keeping their environmental and economic sustainability. The role of soil microbial communities in the biodegradation processes of organic compounds is essential to ensure soil fertility in this kind of human-induced ecosystems. Nevertheless, there are few studies dealing the effects of livestock grazing on soil microbial communities. The main goal of this study is therefore to assess the amount and structure of soil microbial communities in rangelands of SW Spain by comparing different grazing intensities. The study was carried out in 4 fenced areas (sampling sites) belonging to privately-owned farms under different grazing intensities: low, moderate and high. One area excluded to grazing for more than 40 years (located in the Monfragüe National Park, Extremadura) was used as reference sampling site. A total number of 30 soil samples (6 each site) were collected in comparable areas with the same lithology and very similar topographical features. Commercial kit to extract DNA from these soil samples was used for metagenomic analysis. We conducted a sequencing of the amplicons V4-V5 of the 16S rRNA gene with Next-Generation Sequencing (NGS) Illumina MiSeq platform and a relative quantity of bacteria and fungi were accomplished by quantitative qPCR of rRNA 16S and ITS1-5.8S, respectively. The results showed that soils with a high livestock density had the highest content of bacteria per gram of soil (4.77E+09), followed by soils with moderate (3.32E+09) and low livestock density (2.80E+09). The lowest content of microorganisms was found in soils excluded to grazing (2.38E+09). However, soils with moderate and low livestock density showed the greatest amount of fungi per gram of soil (2.31E+10 and 2.22E+10, respectively) and

  10. Historical soil erosion rates in rangelands of SW Spain determined using botanical evidences and high resolution 3D data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Schnabel, Susanne; Rubio-Delgado, Judit; Gómez-Gutiérrez, Álvaro

    2014-05-01

    The estimation of medium-term sheet erosion rates represents still a challenge in areas with long land use history. In the present paper, a new methodology for estimating medium-term sheet erosion rates is presented and applied in a wooded rangeland (dehesa). This human-induced semi-natural ecosystem is widespread in SW Iberian Peninsula and is characterized by centuries of agrosilvopastoral land use, being livestock breeding the most important economic activity at present. Vast areas are covered by shallow and poor soils, pointing to a long history of soil erosion. Research carried out in a representative area with open plots revealed low soil loss rates and degradation studies showed high spatial variation related with land use intensity. Knowledge on past soil erosion rates and its relation with land use is necessary in order to understand present soil properties and also for giving adequate advice on land management. The present paper presents results of a pilot study on historical soil erosion in Mediterranean wooded rangelands. The methodology is based on the analysis of the morphology of tree stems, exposed roots and surface micro-topography using data obtained with a Terrestrial Laser Scanner. Specifically, botanical evidences were used to estimate the antecedent level of the soil surface. Afterwards, previous and current surfaces were confronted in order to obtain a volume of soil loss in the area influenced by the tree canopy, as well as for the open spaces. On the other hand, the age of the trees in the study area was estimated by means of an existing tree growth model. Finally, soil erosion rates were calculated using the volume of soil loss and the estimated age of every tree. The sampling was carried out in a farm in the Spanish province of Cáceres, with a two-layered vegetation, of grasses and scattered trees (Quercus ilex). Climate is Mediterranean with mean annual temperature of 160C and an annual rainfall of 620 mm. Soils are very shallow

  11. Ecosystem extent and fragmentation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sayre, Roger; Hansen, Matt

    2017-01-01

    One of the candidate essential biodiversity variable (EBV) groups described in the seminal paper by Pereira et al. (2014) concerns Ecosystem Structure. This EBV group is distinguished from another EBV group which encompasses aspects of Ecosystem Function. While the Ecosystem Function EBV treats ecosystem processes like nutrient cycling, primary production, trophic interactions, etc., the Ecosystem Structure EBV relates to the set of biophysical properties of ecosystems that create biophysical environmental context, confer biophysical structure, and occur geographically. The Ecosystem Extent and Fragmentation EBV is one of the EBVs in the Ecosystem Structure EBV group.Ecosystems are understood to exist at multiple scales, from very large areas (macro-ecosystems) like the Arctic tundra, for example, to something as small as a tree in an Amazonian rain forest. As such, ecosystems occupy space and therefore can be mapped across any geography of interest, whether that area of interest be a site, a nation, a region, a continent, or the planet. One of the most obvious and seemingly straightforward EBVs is Ecosystem Extent and Fragmentation. Ecosystem extent refers to the location and geographic distribution of ecosystems across landscapes or in the oceans, while ecosystem fragmentation refers to the spatial pattern and connectivity of ecosystem occurrences on the landscape.

  12. 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.

  13. AHP 40: Review: TOWARDS SUSTAINABLE USE OF RANGELANDS IN NORTH-WEST CHINA

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Hilary Howes

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Based on the program of an international conference held in Lanzhou, China in 2008, Towards Sustainable Use of Rangelands in North-West China offers both an overview of the "extent of resource debasement in China's pastoral zones" and a range of practical solutions for their sustainable use (v. The contributors, a formidable array of academics and policymakers from Australia, Canada, China, the USA, and the Philippines, draw on the substantial body of Chinese-language literature on the topic, thereby helping to "unlock" valuable data previously unavailable to an English-speaking audience.

  14. Transformation of Digital Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Henningsson, Stefan; Hedman, Jonas

    2014-01-01

    the Digital Ecosystem Technology Transformation (DETT) framework for explaining technology-based transformation of digital ecosystems by integrating theories of business and technology ecosystems. The framework depicts ecosystem transformation as distributed and emergent from micro-, meso-, and macro- level...... coopetition. The DETT framework consists an alternative to the existing explanations of digital ecosystem transformation as the rational management of one central actor balancing ecosystem tensions. We illustrate the use of the framework by a case study of transformation in the digital payment ecosystem......In digital ecosystems, the fusion relation between business and technology means that the decision of technical compatibility of the offering is also the decision of how to position the firm relative to the coopetive relations that characterize business ecosystems. In this article we develop...

  15. In-filled reservoirs serving as sediment archives to analyse soil organic carbon erosion - A case study from the Karoo rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krenz, Juliane; Greenwood, Philip; Heckrath, Goswin; Kuhn, Brigitte; Kuhn, Nikolaus

    2017-04-01

    Covering about 41 % of the Earth's Land Surface drylands provide a range of ecosystem services for more than one third of the world population. Threatened by climate change and incorrect land use their natural land cover is changing and land degradation is one of their major problems. The semi-arid rangelands of the Great Karoo region in South Africa are just one example of a region that has experienced a number of environmental changes. After European farmers settled in the late 18th century agricultural activities increased, leading to overgrazing and probably representing a trigger to land degradation. As a consequence of a higher water demand and shifting rainfall patterns many dams and small reservoirs have been constructed to provide drinking water for cattle or to facilitate irrigation during dry periods. High erosion rates lead to a fast filling-up of reservoirs and thereby reduced their storage capacities. Thus, most of the dams are nowadays dry (filled with sediment) or even breached. In this ongoing project, a combination of analytical methods that include drone imagery, landscape mapping, erosion modelling and sediment analysis have been employed to determine whether land degradation in the Karoo has resulted in the reversion from a net sink of C to a net source of C. Sediment deposits from three silted-up reservoirs were analysed for varying physicochemical parameters, in order to analyse and reconstruct erosional and depositional patterns. A sharp decrease in total carbon content with decreasing depth for two reservoirs suggests that land degradation during and after the post-European settlement most likely triggered erosion of the relatively fertile surface soils, which presumably in-filled the reservoirs. It is assumed that the carbon-rich bottom layers of the dam deposits originate from these eroded surface soils. Low organic Carbon (OC) content in the top layers of the reservoir in-fill, and in the eroded source areas, supports the assumption that

  16. A Bayesian geostatistical estimation of biomass in semi-arid rangelands by combining airborne and terrestrial laser scanning data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, A.; Glenn, N. F.

    2012-12-01

    Biomass of vegetation is critical for carbon cycle research. Estimating biomass from field survey data is laborious and/or destructive and thus retrieving biomass from remote sensing data may be advantageous. Most remote sensing biomass studies have focused on forest ecosystems, while few have focused on low stature vegetation, such as grasses in semi-arid environments. Biomass estimates for grass are significant for studying wildlife habitat, assessing fuel loads, and studying climate change response in semi-arid regions. Recent research has demonstrated the ability of small footprint airborne laser scanning (ALS) data to extract sagebrush height characteristics and the ability of terrestrial laser scanning (TLS) data to estimate vegetation volume over semi-arid rangelands. ALS has somewhat lower resolution than TLS, but has improved spatial coverage over TLS. Combining ALS and TLS is a powerful tool to estimate biomass on regional scales. Bayesian geostatistics, also known as Bayesian Maximum Entropy (BME), can fuse multiple data sources across scales and provide estimation uncertainties for the integration of ALS and TLS data for grass biomass. Regression models are used to approximately delineate the relationship between field biomass measurements and TLS derived height and shape metrics. We then consider TLS plot-level data at the point scale with ALS data at the area scale. The regularization method is utilized to establish the scaling relations between TLS-derived and ALS-derived metrics. The metric maps from the ALS level are reconstructed using a BME method based on regularized variograms. We gain biomass and estimation uncertainty on the regional scale by introducing updated metrics into the model. In order to evaluate the effectiveness of the BME method, we develop simple independent regression models by assuming the TLS-derived metrics as ground reference data. Therefore, the regression model is used to correct the ALS-estimated values and we retrieve

  17. Environmental factors governing population dynamics of rangeland grasshoppers: The first application of GIS and remote sensing to acridology in Russia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Latchininsky, Alexandre Vsevolodovich

    Grasshoppers (Orthoptera: Acrididae) are pests of rangeland and crops in temperate Eurasia (Siberia) where landscapes are dominated by short-grass vegetation and have many common features with the prairies of the Great Plains of North America. The zone of economic importance of grasshoppers in Siberia is localized in its southern part between 50° and 55°N and 68° and 132°E. In particular, grasshopper infestations are concentrated in close proximity to Lake Baikal, the world's deepest lake, holding one-fifth of the Earth's total fresh water supply. From a biodiversity perspective, Lake Baikal is unparalleled because >80% of its 1,085 plant and 1,550 animal species are endemic. Broad-scale pesticide applications in the zone close to the Baikal ecosystem can seriously aggravate the hazards of environmental pollution, with potentially catastrophic consequences on a vast scale. Specific composition and density of grasshopper communities were studied over a variety of habitats. Of about 50 local grasshopper species, two gomphocerines, Aeropus sibiricus and Chorthippus albomarginatus, dominated grasshopper communities in dry and mesic habitats, respectively. These species accounted for the most of the crop damage during recent outbreaks in the 1990s requiring large-scale insecticidal control. Annual fluctuations of grasshopper infestations appeared to track changes in air temperature and summer precipitation, but only a synthetic "Aridity index" was statistically significant. Spatial distribution of historic grasshopper infestations was studied using GIS (ERDAS IMAGINERTM) and remote sensing (Landsat TM satellite imagery) and was found to be significantly clumped. The highest grasshopper densities were associated with dry grasslands in transitional zones between foothills and valleys characterized by a particular elevation (600--650 m), soil type (sod-forest, or pararendzina), amount of April--October precipitation (250 mm) and degree of grazing (moderate

  18. 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.

  19. Multispectral Remote Sensing from Unmanned Aircraft: Image Processing Workflows and Applications for Rangeland Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Albert Rango

    2011-11-01

    Full Text Available Using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS as remote sensing platforms offers the unique ability for repeated deployment for acquisition of high temporal resolution data at very high spatial resolution. Multispectral remote sensing applications from UAS are reported in the literature less commonly than applications using visible bands, although light-weight multispectral sensors for UAS are being used increasingly. . In this paper, we describe challenges and solutions associated with efficient processing of multispectral imagery to obtain orthorectified, radiometrically calibrated image mosaics for the purpose of rangeland vegetation classification. We developed automated batch processing methods for file conversion, band-to-band registration, radiometric correction, and orthorectification. An object-based image analysis approach was used to derive a species-level vegetation classification for the image mosaic with an overall accuracy of 87%. We obtained good correlations between: (1 ground and airborne spectral reflectance (R2 = 0.92; and (2 spectral reflectance derived from airborne and WorldView-2 satellite data for selected vegetation and soil targets. UAS-acquired multispectral imagery provides quality high resolution information for rangeland applications with the potential for upscaling the data to larger areas using high resolution satellite imagery.

  20. Estimating Rangeland Vegetation Frequency & Density Using Low-altitude Aerial Photographs

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. Royan

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Remote sensing and aerial photography are means of exploring, studying and estimating vegetation variables such as species frequency and density in forests and rangelands. Common remote sensing images usually offer general information about vegetation parameters. For detailed information about vegetation (e.g. estimation of vegetation density and/or frequency, larger scale images are needed. The present research was conducted to estimate the density of rangeland vegetation in Inche Boroon area, north of Gorgan city. Using aerial photographs acquired from digital camera mounted on a tittered balloon in different flight altitudes, density and frequency of the main shrub species of the studied region, Halocnemum strobilaceum, were estimated on photographs at different scales (from 1:50 – to 1:1000 and were compared with field measurements. Results showed no significant difference between the field and image estimation of density below 1:600 (heights lower than 75 m but at lower scales the difference was significant. No significant difference between field and image estimation of shrub frequency was also observed up to the scale of 1:1000. Due to the wider field of view of photographs at smaller scales, flight heights of 75 m and 130 m are thus suggested as the appropriate heights to estimate Halocnemum strobilaceum density and frequency respectively in the study area.

  1. Spatial heterogeneity of aggregate stability and soil carbon in semi-arid rangeland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Bird, S B; Herrick, J E; Wander, M M; Wright, S F

    2002-01-01

    To measure and manage for C sequestration in heterogeneous rangeland systems, we need to more fully understand spatial patterns of soil resources. Spatial distributions of aggregate stability and soil carbon were investigated in a semiarid rangeland in New Mexico, USA. Soil was analyzed from plant interspaces, black grama (Bouteloua eriopoda (Torr.) Torr.), and mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa Torr.) in a landscape-replicated study. Aggregate stability at the 250 microm scale, carbonate C, organic C and N, C:N ratio, and glomalin, were all highest under mesquite. Soil C:N ratio was the best predictor of aggregate stability. Estimates of metric tons of C per hectare in the top 10 cm were highly variable at patch and landscape scales, varying from 4.2 to 10.5 under mesquite and from 3.0 to 7.0 in interspaces. High variability of aggregate stability and soil C has important implications for C sequestration. We argue that this multi-scale soil heterogeneity must be considered when measuring and managing for C sequestration.

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. FWS Ecosystem Regions

    Data.gov (United States)

    US Fish and Wildlife Service, Department of the Interior — Digital ecosystem information portraying the location and boundaries of the ecosystems. The Service originally chose the U.S. Geological Survey's Hydrologic Unit Map...

  7. Using activated carbon to limit herbicide effects to seeded bunchgrass when revegetating annual grass-invaded rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Revegetation of exotic annual grass-invaded rangelands is challenging as annuals rapidly reinvade after control treatments. The most effective control of exotic annual grass is usually achieved with pre-emergent herbicides, however, species seeded simultaneously with these herbicides will likely ex...

  8. Potential for using visual, auditory, and olfactory cues to manage foraging behaviour and spatial distribution of rangeland livestock

    Science.gov (United States)

    This paper reviews the literature and reports on the current state of knowledge regarding the potential for managers to use visual (VC), auditory (AC), and olfactory (OC) cues to manage foraging behavior and spatial distribution of rangeland livestock. We present evidence that free-ranging livestock...

  9. 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...

  10. Geospatial datasets for assessing the effects of rangeland conditions on dissolved-solids yields in the Upper Colorado River Basin

    Science.gov (United States)

    Tillman, Fred D; Flynn, Marilyn E.; Anning, David W.

    2015-01-01

    In 2009, the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) developed a Spatially Referenced Regressions on Watershed Attributes (SPARROW) surface-water quality model for the Upper Colorado River Basin (UCRB) relating dissolved-solids sources and transport in the 1991 water year to upstream catchment characteristics. The SPARROW model focused on geologic and agricultural sources of dissolved solids in the UCRB and was calibrated using water-year 1991 dissolved-solids loads from 218 monitoring sites. A new UCRB SPARROW model is planned that will update the investigation of dissolved-solids sources and transport in the basin to circa 2010 conditions and will improve upon the 2009 model by incorporating more detailed information about agricultural-irrigation and rangeland-management practices, among other improvements. Geospatial datasets relating to circa 2010 rangeland conditions are required for the new UCRB SPARROW modeling effort. This study compiled geospatial datasets for the UCRB that relate to the biotic alterations and rangeland conditions of grazing, fire and other land disturbance, and vegetation type and cover. Datasets representing abiotic alterations of access control (off-highway vehicles) and sediment generation and transport in general, were also compiled. These geospatial datasets may be tested in the upcoming SPARROW model to better understand the potential contribution of rangelands to dissolved-solids loading in UCRB streams.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    Deborah Page-Dumroese; Daniel Neary; Carl Trettin

    2010-01-01

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

  12. New Cropland on Former Rangeland and Lost Cropland from Urban Development: The “Replacement Land” Debate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lisa A. Emili

    2014-07-01

    Full Text Available In this study, a land use/land cover change analysis method was developed to examine patterns of land use/land cover conversions of cropland to urban uses and conversions of rangeland to cropland uses in the United States (US Midwest region. We used the US 2001 and 2006 National Land Cover Datasets (NLCD for our spatial analyses of these conversion trends. Our analysis showed that the eastern part of the Midwest, like prior periods, continued to experience losses of cropland to urban expansion but at a much more rapid rate, as this was during an expansion phase of the US real estate construction cycle. The period showed a very small net loss of cropland as the loss was being balanced by gains in cropland at the expense of rangeland lost in the western part of the Midwest. We refer to this rangeland to cropland conversion as “replacement land”. We do not suggest by replacement that there is a signal in the system that interconnects the loss of a hectare of cropland to urban land by converting a hectare of rangeland to cropland, rather we highlight this spatial trend as it raises concerns about the environmental sustainability of agriculture in the western part of the region, as production is dependent on the use of irrigation and the already stressed High Plains aquifer.

  13. Variation of terpenes in milk and cultured cream from Norwegian alpine rangeland-fed and in-door fed cows.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Borge, Grethe Iren A; Sandberg, Ellen; Øyaas, Jorun; Abrahamsen, Roger K

    2016-05-15

    The terpene content of milk and cream made from milk obtained from cows fed indoors, and by early or late grazing, in alpine rangeland farms in Norway, were analysed for three consecutive years. The main terpenes identified and semi-quantified were the monoterpenes β-pinene, α-pinene, α-thujene, camphene, sabinene, δ-3-carene, d-limonene, γ-terpinene, camphor, β-citronellene, and the sesquiterpene β-caryophyllene. The average total terpene content increased five times during the alpine rangeland feeding period. The terpenes α-thujene, sabinene, γ-terpinene and β-citronellene were only detected in milk and cultured cream from the alpine rangeland feeding period and not in samples from the indoors feeding period. These four terpenes could be used, as indicators, to show that milk and cultured cream originate from the alpine rangeland feeding period. The terpenes did not influence the sensorial quality of the milk or the cultured cream. Copyright © 2015 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  14. Role of traditional enclosures on the diversity of herbaceous vegetation in a semi-arid rangeland, southern Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Angassa, A.; Oba, G.; Treydte, A.C.; Weladji, R.B.

    2010-01-01

    Grazing management and seasonality strongly influence the recovery potential of herbaceous vegetation in semi-arid rangelands of southern Ethiopia after history of heavy grazing. We investigated effects of management (enclosures versus grazed landscapes), age of enclosures and seasonality related to

  15. Simulating soil moisture change in a semiarid rangeland watershed with a process-based water-balance model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Howard Evan Canfield; Vicente L. Lopes

    2000-01-01

    A process-based, simulation model for evaporation, soil water and streamflow (BROOK903) was used to estimate soil moisture change on a semiarid rangeland watershed in southeastern Arizona. A sensitivity analysis was performed to select parameters affecting ET and soil moisture for calibration. Automatic parameter calibration was performed using a procedure based on a...

  16. Expected net benefit of vaccinating rangeland sheep against bluetongue virus using a modified-live versus killed virus vaccine

    Science.gov (United States)

    Recurring outbreaks of bluetongue virus in large rangeland sheep flocks in the Intermountain West of the United States have prompted questions about the economic benefits and costs of vaccinating individual flocks against bluetongue disease. We use enterprise budgets and stochastic simulation to est...

  17. Symbiotic fungi that influence vigor, biomass and reproductive potential of native bunch grasses for remediation of degraded semiarid rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jerry R. Barrow; Mary E. Lucero; Isaac Reyes-Vera

    2008-01-01

    A steady decline of perennial bunch grasses in arid rangelands has resulted in losses of productivity and germplasm. Remediation is costly and rarely successful. Cryptic symbiotic fungi, structurally integrated with cells and organs of native plants cannot be separated from host plant tissue. However, they were successfully transferred from cell cultures of native...

  18. 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...

  19. Evaluating the Effects of Government Policy and Drought from 1984 to 2009 on Rangeland in the Three Rivers Source Region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qingshui Lu

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available The Three Rivers Source Region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau is a key area that has extensive impacts on much of the population and economy of China as well as several Southeast Asian countries. The rangeland in this area has undergone degradation, the driving factors of which have been extensively investigated in previous studies. However, the effect of policy on rangeland was not analyzed by subdividing the study period according to the timing of the rangeland policies. The role of dry conditions during the process of degradation has not been studied. Therefore, the period from 1984 to 2009 was subdivided into five periods according to the timing of the relevant government policies based on long-term field investigation. The mean annual normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI and its relationship to dry conditions, policy, temperature, precipitation, and moisture index were analyzed for the five periods. According to our analysis, dry conditions mainly occurred in non-vegetation-growing months, and they did not affect the status of the rangeland. The privatization of rangeland and livestock caused the number of livestock to increase, resulting in a decrease in the mean annual NDVI from 1984 to 1993. The policies of “Green-to-Grain” and eco-migration caused livestock numbers to decrease and the NDVI to increase after 1994. Physical factors such as temperature, precipitation, and moisture also affected the status of the rangeland. Increased temperature had positive effects on rangeland in most areas, but its effect was offset by increased numbers of livestock from 1984 to 1993. Precipitation had positive effects only in drier areas in which the precipitation in the vegetation-growing months was less than 400 mm. In general, the policies of “Green-to-Grain” and eco-migration improved the status of rangeland, and helped improve sustainable use of the rangeland. The methods used in this study could be applied to other case studies of

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Fishing for ecosystem services

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pope, Kevin L.; Pegg, Mark A.; Cole, Nicholas W.; Siddons, Stephen F.; Fedele, Alexis D.; Harmon, Brian S.; Ruskamp, Ryan L.; Turner, Dylan R.; Uerling, Caleb C.

    2016-01-01

    Ecosystems are commonly exploited and manipulated to maximize certain human benefits. Such changes can degrade systems, leading to cascading negative effects that may be initially undetected, yet ultimately result in a reduction, or complete loss, of certain valuable ecosystem services. Ecosystem-based management is intended to maintain ecosystem quality and minimize the risk of irreversible change to natural assemblages of species and to ecosystem processes while obtaining and maintaining long-term socioeconomic benefits. We discuss policy decisions in fishery management related to commonly manipulated environments with a focus on influences to ecosystem services. By focusing on broader scales, managing for ecosystem services, and taking a more proactive approach, we expect sustainable, quality fisheries that are resilient to future disturbances. To that end, we contend that: (1) management always involves tradeoffs; (2) explicit management of fisheries for ecosystem services could facilitate a transition from reactive to proactive management; and (3) adaptive co-management is a process that could enhance management for ecosystem services. We propose adaptive co-management with an ecosystem service framework where actions are implemented within ecosystem boundaries, rather than political boundaries, through strong interjurisdictional relationships.

  5. 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.

  6. Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification Ecosystem Complex

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Estuarine ecosystems are controlled by a variety of processes that operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Understanding the hierarchical nature of these...

  7. Site Productivity and Plant Size Explain the Response of Annual Species to Grazing Exclusion in a Mediterranean Semi-Arid Rangeland

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Yagil Osem; Avi Perevolotsky; Jaime Kigel

    2004-01-01

    1 The response of an annual plant community to protection from grazing as a function of variation in site productivity was studied in a semi-arid Mediterranean rangeland in Israel over 4 years (1996-99...

  8. Grazing Effect on Diversity of Annual Plant Communities in a Semi-Arid Rangeland: Interactions with Small-Scale Spatial and Temporal Variation in Primary Productivity

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Yagil Osem; Avi Perevolotsky; Jaime Kigel

    2002-01-01

    1 The interactive effect of grazing and small-scale variation in primary productivity on the diversity of an annual plant community was studied in a semiarid Mediterranean rangeland in Israel over 4 years...

  9. Circannual body reserve dynamics and metabolic profile changes in Romane ewes grazing on rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    González-García, E; Gozzo de Figuereido, V; Foulquie, D; Jousserand, E; Autran, P; Camous, S; Tesniere, A; Bocquier, F; Jouven, M

    2014-01-01

    Throughout an entire year, 41 Romane ewes reared in an extensive rangeland were used to investigate temporal changes in body reserves (BRs) and profiles of related metabolites and metabolic hormones. Ewes were allocated to homogeneous groups according to BW and BCS and were distributed by parity (primiparous [PRIM], n = 21; multiparous [MULT], n = 20) and litter size (LSi; lambing singletons [SING], n = 21 or TWINS, n = 20). The feeding system was based on rotational grazing of rangeland paddocks and progressive supplementation with hay, silage, and barley at late pregnancy during the winter. Individual BW, BCS, plasma NEFA, β-hydroxybutyrate (β-OHB), glucose, insulin, leptin, and triiodothyronine (T3) were monitored at -56, -12, 8, 49, 76, 107, 156, 195, 216, 246, and 301 d relative to lambing. The BR mobilization was observed from late pregnancy to the end of suckling and varied as a function of the ewe energy balance but also because of transitions from fertilized to native rangeland paddocks and by supplementation. Contrarily, BR accretion occurred from weaning, during the dry-off, and until the start of the next pregnancy. Lipolysis was well reflected by NEFA, β-OHB, and T3 kinetics. Mean BW (but not mean BCS) was affected by parity (MULT > PRIM), whereas both BW and BCS were influenced by LSi (SING > TWINS) but only for MULT. The most drastic BW loss was observed during the mid-suckling period (49 d in milk [DIM]) in all ewes. The lack of effects of LSi in PRIM but not in MULT was also evident in the majority of blood plasma kinetics, which were affected (P MULT by TWINS; 99.91 vs 85.52 ng/dL) and during suckling (111.7 ± 4.18 ng/dL). Lamb BW was affected at birth and weaning by parity (MULT > PRIM) and LSi (SING > TWINS). Overall, temporal changes in BR were directly affected by the transition of physiological states and feeding levels, whereas individual responses were predetermined by parity. In MULT, the reactivity and magnitude of response was

  10. Insights into the Carbon Sequestration Potential of Rangelands Through Measurement and Modeling of Differently Managed Pastures

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owen, J. J.; Hartman, M.; Parton, W. J.; Silver, W. L.

    2014-12-01

    Poor management of rangelands has led to significant soil organic matter losses globally, and contributed to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Restoring and increasing soil carbon (C) content in rangelands offers an opportunity to mitigate climate change while improving soil conditions and increasing forage production. Organic matter amendments are used to improve soil properties, but predicting the resulting changes in soil C is challenging due to the interactions between amendment characteristics, climate, and soil characteristics. We used data from 10 pasture-based dairies in California and the DayCent model to test the impact of long-term (>30 year) manure additions on soil C pools and fluxes. Soils were sampled from 26 fields which had solid, liquid, solid and liquid, or no manure additions. These field data and management information provided by the ranchers were used to model the effects of manure amends on soil C storage and loss. Soil C was significantly greater in manured fields than non-manured fields when corrected for clay content and slope. Fields with higher clay had more soil C, as did those with lower slopes, and these effects were large enough to confound the manuring effect. DayCent was able to accurately estimate total soil C when parameterized with field-specific management practices, averaging only a 10±1% difference between measurement and modeled values. Using generalized management histories for manured and non-manured fields, as would be used for regional-scale estimates, produced less accurate results with a 24±3% average difference between measurement and modeled values. Modeling alternate scenarios for each field suggested that manure amendment increased soil C and forage production by 0.6 Mg ha-1 y-1 and 0.3 Mg ha-1 y-1, respectively. Forecasting to 2100 showed that in manure-amended fields, soil C increased until 2080 before stabilization, mostly through gains in the pool with slow turnover. The "passive soil C" pool

  11. The influence of land use and cover changes on the pastoral rangeland systems of southern Ethiopia : how much woody cover is enough?

    OpenAIRE

    Mohammed, Hasen Yusuf

    2014-01-01

    The Borana rangelands in southern Ethiopia are facing deterioration caused by intensification of grazing and woody plant encroachment, resulting in marked reductions in pastoral production. This process affects the food security and livelihoods of the Borana pastoral people negatively. Woody plant encroachment might result in an increase in carbon (C) storage in these rangelands, which represents an important aspect for climate change mitigation potentials. However, it is unclear how much C i...

  12. Enclosing the commons: reasons for the adoption and adaptation of enclosures in the arid and semi-arid rangelands of Chepareria, Kenya

    OpenAIRE

    Wairore, John N; Stephen M. Mureithi; Wasonga, Oliver V; Nyberg, Gert

    2015-01-01

    The adoption and adaptation of enclosures in the arid and semi-arid rangelands of sub-Saharan Africa is driven and sustained by a combination of factors. However, reviews indicate that these factors cannot be generalized, as they tend to be case specific. A study was therefore conducted to explore the history and reasons for enclosure establishment in Chepareria, a formerly degraded communal rangeland in north-western Kenya. While Vi-Agroforestry Organization accounting for 52.5?% was the mai...

  13. Sulfide intrusion and detoxification in seagrasses ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler-Sheetal, Harald; Holmer, Marianne

    Sulfide intrusion in seagrasses represents a global threat to seagrasses and thereby an important parameter in resilience of seagrass ecosystems. In contrast seegrasses colonize and grow in hostile sediments, where they are constantly exposed to invasion of toxic gaseous sulfide. Remarkably little...... strategies of seagrasses to sustain sulfide intrusion. Using stable isotope tracing, scanning electron microscopy with x-ray analysis, tracing sulfur compounds combined with ecosystem parameters we found different spatial, intraspecific and interspecific strategies to cope with sulfidic sediments. 1...... not present in terrestrial plants at that level. Sulfide is not necessarily toxic but used as sulfur nutrition, presupposing healthy seagrass ecosystems that can support detoxification mechanisms. Presence or absence of those mechanisms determines susceptibility of seagrass ecosystems to sediment sulfide...

  14. Bush encroachment control and risk management in semi-arid rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lukomska, Natalia; Quaas, Martin F; Baumgärtner, Stefan

    2014-12-01

    We study the role of bush encroachment control for a farmer's income and income risk in a stochastic ecological-economic model of grazing management in semi-arid rangelands. In particular, we study debushing as an instrument of risk management that complements the choice of an adaptive grazing management strategy for that sake. We show that debushing, while being a good practice for increasing the mean pasture productivity and thus expected income, also increases the farmer's income risk. The optimal extent of debushing for a risk-averse farmer is thus determined from balancing the positive and negative consequences of debushing on intertemporal and stochastic farm income. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  15. Factors controlling gully erosion at different spatial and temporal scales in rangelands of SW Spain

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

    Gully erosion has been recognized as an important soil degradation process in rangelands of SW Spain. However, little is known about gullying processes at different spatial and temporal scales in these areas. Three different approaches were used in this paper to analyze the factors determining gully erosion intensity and rates at different spatial and temporal scales in rangelands of SW Spain. The first approach was based on the monitoring of a permanent valley bottom gully and continuous measurement of rainfall and discharge during the period 2001-2007 in the Parapuños experimental basin. Parapuños is a small catchment (99.5 ha) representative of dehesa land use, with an undulated topography and Mediterranean climate. Gully erosion volume was obtained by means of 28 fixed cross sections measured with a frequency of 6 months. Discharge and rainfall were monitored using a water depth probe installed in a weir at the outlet of the catchment and 6 tipping bucket rain gauges, respectively. The second approach was based on analyzing the development of the same permanent gully located in Parapuños using six series of aerial ortophotographs for the period 1945-2006. This methodology allowed to relate gully evolution with land use and vegetation cover changes. Finally, a relatively new data mining technique, called Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines (MARS), was applied to construct a model capable of predicting the location of gullies at the regional scale. A large database composed of 36 independent variables related to topography, lithology, soils, rainfall, land use and vegetation cover was used. This statistical technique allowed to determine the importance of the variables involved. This database was gathered in 46 farms representative of rangelands of SW Spain in Extremadura, covering a surface area of 35,459 ha. Farms were quite diverse although their main characteristics were undulating landforms, acid rocks (schists, greywackes and granites), and

  16. Rangeland degradation in savannas of South Africa: spatial patterns of soil and vegetation

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sandhage-Hofmann, Alexandra; Löffler, Jörg; du Preez, Chris; Kotzé, Elmarie; Weijers, Stef; Wundram, Dirk; Zacharias, Maximilan; Amelung, Wulf

    2017-04-01

    Extensive bush encroachment by Acacia mellifera and associated woody species at semi-arid and arid sites are the most notable forms of rangeland degradation in savannas of South Africa. Concerns are growing over the threat of suppression and loss of nutritious perennial grass species. Grazing and different rangeland management systems (communal and freehold) are considered to be of major importance for degradation, but the process of encroachment is not restricted to communal land. A vegetation change is mostly accompanied by changes in soil properties, where soils in savanna systems can profit from woody species due to litter fall, root distribution, shadow and animal resting time. Savannas are very heterogeneous systems with high spatial variation of patches with wood, herbaceous species and bare ground. We hypothesized that the spatial patterns of soil properties in South Africás rangelands are controlled by present or past vegetation, modulated by the tenure systems with higher rangeland degradation in communal areas. To test this, we sampled soils at communal and commercial land in the Kuruman area of South Africa with the following design: three farms per tenure system, 6 randomly chosen plots (100x100m) per farm, and 25 soil samples (0-10 cm) per plot, each in a 5x5m sampling area. At every sampling point, information of overlying vegetation was recorded (species or bare soil, canopy size, height). For each sampling area, if present, trees/ shrubs were sampled and their ages estimated through the counting of annual growth rings. For each plot, high resolution UAV aerial photos were taken to evaluate the extent of bush encroachment. Analyses involved main physical and chemical soil parameters and isotopic analyses. The results of a rough aerial image classification (grass, woody species, bare ground) revealed significant differences between the tenure systems with higher coverage of bare ground and shrubs at communal farms, and higher grass cover at

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  18. The geomorphic legacy of water and erosion control structures in a semiarid rangeland watershed

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nichols, Mary H.; Magirl, Christopher S.; Sayre, N.F.; Shaw, Jeremy R.

    2017-01-01

    Control over water supply and distribution is critical for agriculture in drylands where manipulating surface runoff often serves the dual purpose of erosion control. However, little is known of the geomorphic impacts and legacy effects of rangeland water manipulation infrastructure, especially if not maintained. This study investigated the geomorphic impacts of structures such as earthen berms, water control gates, and stock tanks, in a semiarid rangeland in the southwestern USA that is responding to both regional channel incision that was initiated over a century ago, and a more recent land use change that involved cattle removal and abandonment of structures. The functional condition of remnant structures was inventoried, mapped, and assessed using aerial imagery and lidar data. Headcut initiation, scour, and channel incision associated with compromised lateral channel berms, concrete water control structures, floodplain water spreader berms, and stock tanks were identified as threats to floodplains and associated habitat. Almost half of 27 identified lateral channel berms (48%) have been breached and 15% have experienced lateral scour; 18% of 218 shorter water spreader berms have been breached and 17% have experienced lateral scour. A relatively small number of 117 stock tanks (6%) are identified as structurally compromised based on analysis of aerial imagery, although many currently do not provide consistent water supplies. In some cases, the onset of localized disturbance is recent enough that opportunities for mitigation can be identified to alter the potentially damaging erosion trajectories that are ultimately driven by regional geomorphic instability. Understanding the effects of prior land use and remnant structures on channel and floodplain morphologic condition is critical because both current land management and future land use options are constrained by inherited land use legacy effects.

  19. Comparing soil aggregate stability at different grazing intensities (case study: Bardasiab rangeland, Fereidounshahr

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M Mollaei

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available Soil quality, aggregate stability and erosion sensibility are affected by different range management practices. This research aimed to evaluate the relationships between soil organic carbon, mean weight diameter (MWD and aggregate size distribution in the surface soil layer (0- 20 cm of various range sites with different grazing intensities (non, slightly and heavily grazed in Bardasiab rangeland, Feridounshahr, Isfahan province. Stratified random sampling method was used to collect soil samples along the established transects. Some physical and chemical properties of soil samples such as texture, electrical conductivity (EC, organic carbon (OC, MWD and sodium absorption ratio (SAR were measured in the soil laboratory. Simple linear regression and One-way ANOVA followed by the Fisher’s LSD test were used to analyze the data. Results of regression analysis showed that MWD and OC of the soil samples were significantly correlated ( α =1%, R 2 = 61.3 %. The soil MWD values of range sites with various grazing intensities were significantly different ( α =5%. Organic carbon was increased and SAR was decreased in the sites located inside exclosures, which lead to higher soil MWD. Aggregate size distribution among various sites were significantly different ( α =5% only for the aggregate smaller than 0.25 mm. Soil aggregates sizes between non-grazed and heavily grazed sites were also significantly different only for the size ranges of 4- 8 mm α =5%, ( and less than 0.25 mm α=1% (. In addition, macro aggregates increased and micro aggregates decreased in range sites with no or slight grazing intensity, respectively as these sites experienced low trampling and increased litter and organic carbons. Soil aggregate stability can therefore be used as an appropriate indicator for monitoring the impact of different management practices on rangeland soil quality and health.

  20. Dynamic belowground ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Harris, W. F.; Santantonio, D.; McGinty, D.

    1979-01-01

    Roots comprise the primary interface between plant and soil for uptake of water and nutrients. Much is known about the biochemistry, cell physiology and membrane physics associated with these important processes. In this paper we discuss the role of the belowground ecosystem, especially the autotrophic root component, in the structure and function of forest ecosystems. Beyond recognizing roles of anchoring terrestrial plants and uptake of water and nutrients, this component of the forest has been largely neglected in an ecosystem context. In order to focus discussion on the properties of the belowground ecosystem, we use the term rhizosphere to include roots, mycorrhizae, microbes, and rhizophagus invertebrates.

  1. Research Award: Ecosystems and Human Health (Ecohealth ...

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

    Jean-Claude Dumais

    Research Award: Ecosystems and Human Health (Ecohealth). Deadline: 12 September 2012. Please note that all applications must be sent electronically. IDRC's Research Awards are a unique opportunity for master's and doctoral-level students, as well as recent graduates to enhance their research skills and gain a fresh ...

  2. Monitoring African savanna water use and water stress from local to regional scale: supporting rangeland management (pilot experience in Kruger National Park, South Africa).

    Science.gov (United States)

    Andreu, Ana; Dube, Timothy; Nieto, Hector; González-Dugo, Maria P.; Hülsmann, Stephan

    2017-04-01

    Drought periods and erratic rainfall patterns across large parts of Africa result in water-limited environments like savannas, highly sensitive to land management practices and changes in climate. Over the Southern part of the continent, savannas are key productive landscapes supporting livestock, crops and rural livelihoods. Monitoring water use and the natural vegetation stress over these semi-arid complex ecosystems can support rangeland management, to maintain long-term productivity. However, the precision/resolution/accuracy of the information required for management will differ at each scale: farm-local (e.g. evaluating the effect of management practices, livestock densities, crop production and grazing), to watershed (e.g. evaluating the effect of fire, detection of vulnerable areas) and regional (e.g. early prediction of drought). To overcome these constrains, TIGER project 401 combines two approaches that take advantage of different conceptual and operational capabilities of Earth Observation data sources. Sentinel 2 high spatial (10 m) and temporal ( 5 days) resolution VIS/NIR images are used for a continuous monitoring of vegetation cover and unstressed evapotranspiration (ET - using Kc-FAO56 method). This methodology will provide the required resolution for farm-local scales, tracking separately the seasonal variations of each canopy layer growth (grass and trees). Meanwhile, lower spatial resolution (1 km) MODIS thermal data allow to determine a regional water stress index (ratio between actual ET, estimated using Two Source Energy Balance-TSEB, and potential ET), supporting the detection of vulnerable areas. The model framework was tested and validated over savanna-type experimental areas (Skukuza & Malopeni), and later applied over the whole Kruger National Park during 2015-2016.

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  5. Analysis of Vegetation Phytosociological Characteristics and Soil Physico-Chemical Conditions in Harishin Rangelands of Eastern Ethiopia

    OpenAIRE

    Haftay Hailu

    2017-01-01

    The objective of this study is to analyse the phytodiversity, distribution, herb biomass and physico-chemical conditions of the vegetation system in the context of communal continuous open grazing and enclosed grazing management practices in the Harishin rangelands of Eastern Ethiopia. A total of 58 herbaceous species and 11 woody species were recorded in the study area. Analysis of Importance Value Index for two management practices was represented by different combinations of species with v...

  6. Social processes promoting the adaptive capacity of rangeland managers to achieve resilience in the Karoo, South Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carien de Villiers, Ancois; Esler, Karen J; Knight, Andrew T

    2014-12-15

    There is a recognized need to find working examples of structures that transfer the abstract concept of resilience to practical action for land management. Holistic Management™ is a decision-making framework promoting an adaptive land management across semi-arid and arid rangelands. We determined if Holistic Management™ promoted adaptive capacity among land managers in comparison to conventional management approaches within the context of the Karoo rangeland, South Africa. An Adaptive Capacity Index was developed which quantified the extent to which practices of land managers were aligned with six key traits of adaptive capacity. Data were collected through face-to-face interviews with 20 self-defined Holistic Management™ land managers and 20 self-defined non-Holistic Management™ land managers. Social capital amongst land managers was explored using a social network analysis. Holistic Management™ land managers demonstrated higher adaptive capacity and greater participation in study groups. Holistic Management™ therefore appears to be a working example of a land management framework that promotes adaptive capacity of land managers in semi-arid to arid rangelands. Holistic Management™ may connect individual decision-makers to collective decision-making through social learning networks in the form of study groups. These study groups are thought to promote learning and innovation, which is key for implementing adaptive management. Copyright © 2014 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  7. 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

  8. 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...

  9. Soil organic carbon erosion and its subsequent fate in the Karoo rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Krenz, Juliane; Greenwood, Philip; Kuhn, Brigitte; Heckrath, Goswin; Foster, Ian; Boardman, John; Meadows, Michael; Kuhn, Nikolaus

    2016-04-01

    The rangelands of the Great Karoo region in South Africa have experienced a number of environmental changes. With the settling of European farmers in the second half of the 18th century, agricultural activities increased, leading to overgrazing and probably representing a trigger to land degradation. Ongoing land-use change and shifting rainfall patterns resulted in the development of badlands on foot slopes of upland areas, and complex gully systems in valley bottoms. Many dams and small reservoirs have been constructed to provide drinking water for cattle or to facilitate irrigation during dry periods, as a consequence of agricultural intensification. Most of the dams soon in-filled with sediment and many were eventually breached. Such a process offers the potential to use these breached dams as an environmental archive to analyse land use changes as well as carbon (C) erosion and deposition during the last ca. 100 years. In this ongoing project, a combination of analytical methods that include drone imagery, landscape mapping and sediment analysis have been employed to determine whether land degradation in the Karoo has resulted in the reversion from a net sink of C to a net source of C. Firstly, drone imagery will be used to produce a high-resolution digital elevation model for areas especially prone to erosion and for determining the volume calculation of eroded sediment in the catchment area. Secondly, sediment deposits from the same silted-up reservoir were analysed for varying physicochemical parameters, in order to analyse and reconstruct erosional and depositional patterns. Total Carbon (TC) content was recorded and the sharp decrease in total C content with decreasing depth suggests that land degradation during and after post-European settlement probably led to accelerated erosion of the then relatively fertile surface soils. This presumably resulted in the rapid in-filling of reservoirs with carbon-rich surface material which is found at the base of

  10. 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

  11. Climate change and land management impact rangeland condition and sage-grouse habitat in southeastern Oregon

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Megan K. Creutzburg

    2015-04-01

    Full Text Available Contemporary pressures on sagebrush steppe from climate change, exotic species, wildfire, and land use change threaten rangeland species such as the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus. To effectively manage sagebrush steppe landscapes for long-term goals, managers need information about the potential impacts of climate change, disturbances, and management activities. We integrated information from a dynamic global vegetation model, a sage-grouse habitat climate envelope model, and a state-and-transition simulation model to project broad-scale vegetation dynamics and potential sage-grouse habitat across 23.5 million acres in southeastern Oregon. We evaluated four climate scenarios, including continuing current climate and three scenarios of global climate change, and three management scenarios, including no management, current management and a sage-grouse habitat restoration scenario. All climate change scenarios projected expansion of moist shrub steppe and contraction of dry shrub steppe, but climate scenarios varied widely in the projected extent of xeric shrub steppe, where hot, dry summer conditions are unfavorable for sage-grouse. Wildfire increased by 26% over the century under current climate due to exotic grass encroachment, and by two- to four-fold across all climate change scenarios as extreme fire years became more frequent. Exotic grasses rapidly expanded in all scenarios as large areas of the landscape initially in semi-degraded condition converted to exotic-dominated systems. Due to the combination of exotic grass invasion, juniper encroachment, and climatic unsuitability for sage-grouse, projected sage-grouse habitat declined in the first several decades, but increased in area under the three climate change scenarios later in the century, as moist shrub steppe increased and rangeland condition improved. Management activities in the model were generally unsuccessful in controlling exotic grass invasion but were

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2017-01-01

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

  13. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Scenarios

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Scenarios provide useful insight into the complex factors that drive ecosystem change, estimating the magnitude of regional...

  14. 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 possibilities for discriminating encroaching bush species in support of management of semi-arid savanna rangelands. As a preliminary step towards establishing a spectral library of common encroaching species on savanna rangelands, the effect of canopy leaf cover...

  15. 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....

  16. Total Ecosystem Carbon Stock

    Data.gov (United States)

    U.S. Geological Survey, Department of the Interior — Total ecosystem carbon includes above- and below-ground live plant components (such as leaf, branch, stem and root), dead biomass (such as standing dead wood, down...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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 ...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. Using optical-microwave synergy for estimating surface energy fluxes over semi-arid rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Troufleau, D.; Vidal, A.; Beaudoin, A.; Moran, M. S.; Weltz, M. A.; Goodrich, D. C.; Washburn, J.; Rahman, A. F.

    1994-01-01

    First results of the Walnut Gulch '92 (Arizona, U.S.) experiment concerning the combined use of radar backscattering (ERS-1) and thermal infrared (LANDSAT TM (Thematic Mapper)) data to estimate surface sensible heat flux are reported. The first step investigates the potential use of ERS-1 SAR (Synthetic Aperture Radar) images for surface soil moisture monitoring of the watershed using five calibrated images acquired during the year 1992 (dry to wet conditions). Results show that despite the typical low level of biomass of semi arid rangeland, an attenuation of the soil backscatter (up to 2 dB) can occur during the rainy season mainly due to the vegetation characteristics. A statistical relationship is then used to retrieve the volumetric surface soil moisture from ERS-1 backscattering (sensitivity of 0.23 dB/% moisture) with a resulting root mean square error of 1.3% of soil moisture. In a second step a semi empirical approach based on energy balance relates soil temperatures to this estimated surface soil moisture. Vegetation temperature is then deduced from soil temperatures and LANDSAT TM composite temperature in order to estimate sensible heat flux according to a two layer type model providing an RMSE of 29 W/sq m.

  3. Comprehensive analysis of conventional land management in privately-owned rangelands of Extremadura (SW Spain)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pulido, Manuel; Herguido, Estela; Francisco Lavado Contador, Joaquín; Schnabel, Susanne; Gómez-Gutiérrez, Álvaro

    2017-04-01

    Extensive grazing is a key factor for the conservation of High Nature Value (HNV) farming systems such as woody rangelands (dehesas or montados) or grasslands (pastizales) in SW Europe. They have been created from clearing the former Mediterranean forest and have been subject to land use and management changes, particularly during recent decades. Environmental and economic consequences of those changes have been scarcely studied so far. In this study, the land management of 10 privately-owned farms (ranging from 200 to 1,000 ha in size) has been analysed from various perspectives: [1] environmental (soil quality, land degradation, tree regeneration, etc.), [2] economic (inputs, outputs, infrastructure and vehicles) and [3] sociodemographic (type of exploitation, generational relay, etc.). Data were obtained through field surveys, aerial image analysis and personal interviews with owners and shepherds. The results showed negative economic consequences (e.g. more expenses on food supply) on farms where soils are more degraded. Approximately 30% of the farms had negative economic balances, compensated by subsidy payments from the European Union. Furthermore, 50% of the samples do not have guaranteed the generational relay. The obtained information is relevant to evaluate the sustainability of these farming systems. However, a larger number of cases is still necessary in order to draw definitive conclusions. Keywords: Dehesas, Land management, Sustainability, Integrated approach

  4. 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

  5. Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification Ecosystem Complex

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cannon, Charles M.; Ramirez, Mary F.; Heatwole, Danelle W.; Burke, Jennifer L.; Simenstad, Charles A.; O'Connor, Jim E.; Marcoe, Keith Marcoe

    2012-01-01

    Estuarine ecosystems are controlled by a variety of processes that operate at multiple spatial and temporal scales. Understanding the hierarchical nature of these processes will aid in prioritization of restoration efforts. This hierarchical Columbia River Estuary Ecosystem Classification (henceforth "Classification") of the Columbia River estuary is a spatial database of the tidally-influenced reaches of the lower Columbia River, the tidally affected parts of its tributaries, and the landforms that make up their floodplains for the 230 kilometers between the Pacific Ocean and Bonneville Dam. This work is a collaborative effort between University of Washington School of Aquatic and Fishery Sciences (henceforth "UW"), U.S. Geological Survey (henceforth "USGS"), and the Lower Columbia Estuary Partnership (henceforth "EP"). Consideration of geomorphologic processes will improve the understanding of controlling physical factors that drive ecosystem evolution along the tidal Columbia River. The Classification is organized around six hierarchical levels, progressing from the coarsest, regional scale to the finest, localized scale: (1) Ecosystem Province; (2) Ecoregion; (3) Hydrogeomorphic Reach; (4) Ecosystem Complex; (5) Geomorphic Catena; and (6) Primary Cover Class. For Levels 4 and 5, we mapped landforms within the Holocene floodplain primarily by visual interpretation of Light Detection and Ranging (LiDAR) topography supplemented with aerial photographs, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) soils data, and historical maps. Mapped landforms are classified as to their current geomorphic function, the inferred process regime that formed them, and anthropogenic modification. Channels were classified primarily by a set of depth-based rules and geometric relationships. Classification Level 5 floodplain landforms ("geomorphic catenae") were further classified based on multivariate analysis of land-cover within the mapped landform area and attributed as "sub

  6. 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 Woody biomass dynamics are an expression of ecosystem function, yet biomass estimates do not provide information on the spatial distribution of woody vegetation within the vertical vegetation subcanopy. We demonstrate the ability of airborne light...

  7. Biomass Productivity Dynamics Monitoring and its Drivers in Sahelian Croplands and Rangelands to Support Food Security Policies

    Science.gov (United States)

    Leroux, L.

    2015-12-01

    Since the Sahelian population livelihood relies mainly on agropastoral activities, accurate information on biomass productivity dynamics and the underlying drivers are needed to manage a wide range of issues such as food security. This study aims to contribute to a better understanding of these drivers in rangeland and cropland, both at the Sahel and local scales (an agropastoral site in South-West Niger). At the Sahel scale, the MODIS Land Cover product was used to extract cropland and rangeland pixels. By analyzing MODIS NDVI trends together with TRMM3B43 annual rainfall (2000-2010), we developed a new classification scheme allowing to identify areas of persistent decline/improvement in biomass productivity and to separate rainfall-driven dynamics from other factors. The results showed an overall increase of productivity in the rangeland, and both an improvement and a degradation in the cropland. We found strong evidence that the increase in biomass productivity was generally linked to increasing rainfall, while the decrease could be attributed chiefly to other factors exclusively or to a combination of both climate- and human-induced factors (see the attached Figure). At the Niger site scale, biomass trends have been put in relation with a set of potential drivers via a RandomForest model, to define which were the explanatory factors of the observed trends. The factor set covered 5 categories: climate, natural constraints, demography, physical accessibility and land cover changes. We highlighted that tiger bushes areas were particularly prone to pressure due to overgrazing and overexploitation of wood, while positive trends were mainly observed near rivers and in fossil valleys where new agricultural practices might have been promoted. The approach developped here could help to delineate areas with decrease in crop and grassland production and thus to assess the vulnerability of the population, but also to target zones with good potential for planning long

  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. Formation of Service Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

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

  10. Catastrophic shifts in ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scheffer, Marten; Carpenter, Steve; Foley, Jonathan A.; Folke, Carl; Walker, Brian

    2001-10-01

    All ecosystems are exposed to gradual changes in climate, nutrient loading, habitat fragmentation or biotic exploitation. Nature is usually assumed to respond to gradual change in a smooth way. However, studies on lakes, coral reefs, oceans, forests and arid lands have shown that smooth change can be interrupted by sudden drastic switches to a contrasting state. Although diverse events can trigger such shifts, recent studies show that a loss of resilience usually paves the way for a switch to an alternative state. This suggests that strategies for sustainable management of such ecosystems should focus on maintaining resilience.

  11. Utilization of Unmanned Aerial Vehicles for Rangeland Resources Monitoring in a Changing Regulatory Environment (Invited)

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rango, A.; Vivoni, E. R.; Browning, D. M.; Anderson, C.; Laliberte, A. S.

    2013-12-01

    now been acquired at Jornada. Most of our UAV flights have taken place over rangelands or watersheds in the western U.S. These flights have been successful used for classification of vegetation cover and type, measuring gaps between vegetation patches, identifing locations of potentially erosive soil, deriving digital elevation models, and monitoring plant phenology.. These measurements can be directly compared to more costly and time-intensive traditional techniques used in rangeland health determinations. New UAVs are becoming available with increased sensor payload capacity. At Jornada we have concentrated on flying at low altitudes (~215 m) to acquire hyperspatial resolutions with digital cameras of about 5-6 cm. We also fly a six band multispectral camera with spatial resolution of ~ 13 cm. We have recently acquired a larger Bat-4 UAV to go with the Bat-3 UAV. The major improvement associated with this upgrade is an increase in sensor payload from 1.4 kg to 14 kg. We are surveying the type of sensors that we could add to best increase our information content.

  12. Comparison of different methods of image analysis for quantifying bare soil in rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2009-04-01

    Many authors emphasize the importance of vegetation in maintaining low levels of soil loss by means of its positive influence in reducing erosion. In some low-vegetated Mediterranean rangelands, especially those with high livestock densities, water erosion can ultimately lead to a partial or total loss of soils, particularly at the beginning of the rainy season, when the surface cover is reduced after the dry summer period. In relation with this, it is essential to develop accurate methods allowing the quantification of bare soil which, in turn, can inform about the influence of different livestock management alternatives over the land system. The main goal of this work is the comparison of the ability of various pixel-based as well as object-oriented methods of image classification for the quantification of bare soil at a fine spatial resolution. The study area is a farm located in a woody rangeland (dehesa) in SW Spain covering a surface area of 1,024 hectare. A three bands (RGB) orthophoto image with a pixel size of 0,4 metres was used, together with its brightness component, to compare the classification of bare soil vs covered soil by means of the following methods: unsupervised classification (k-means algorithm), supervised classification (maximum likelihood classification, minimum distance or nearest neighbour and Mahalanobis distance) and object oriented classification through a multiresolution segmentation. The results of classification were tested using 700 to 1000 points of field validation. Different combinations of image layers as well as validation algorithms were applied to assess for the better classification results. The best unsupervised classification was obtained from a combination of the RGB layers with the brightness component of the image. A total of 93.1 % of the field data were correctly classified and the Area Under the Curve (AUC) obtained with the ROC (Receiving Operating Characteristic) validation technique amounted to 0.91. With this

  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. Strategies to reducing GHG emissions in semi-arid rangelands of Mexico

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Heriberto Díaz Solís

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available SESS (Simple Ecological Sustainability Simulator model was modified to evaluate 3 management strategies that could increase CO2 sequestration and reduce methane emissions in cow-calf production systems in semi-arid rangelands. The management strategies included (1 maintenance of a high and constant stocking rate (CONTROL, which is the most common current practice, (2 maintenance of a low and constant stocking rate (LOW SR and (3 adjustment of stocking rate before the beginning of each breeding season based on the amount of precipitation during the previous growing season (REPLA-PPT. The model was parameterized to represent a typical extensive (5 000 ha cow-calf production system in the northeastern portion of the Mexican state of Coahuila under an historical (1950 to 1994 precipitation regime, and compared carbon sequestration, methane emissions, animal performance and net profit resulting from each strategy. Results of the 45-year simulations indicated the REPLA-PPT stocking rate strategy had the greatest improvement of range condition, captured more CO2 in vegetation, had the lowest methane emissions, substantially improved mean body condition score and reduced annual mortality of cattle, compared to the constant stocking rate strategies. REPLA-PPT also showed the highest values for calves weaned, and kg weaned per ton of methane produced and highest long-term net profit. This suggests that adaptive management of extensive cow-calf production systems in semi-arid environments could increase carbon sequestration in soils and reduce methane emissions, while improving range production, maintaining animal production and giving the greatest long-term net profit.

  15. The economics of fuel management: Wildfire, invasive plants, and the dynamics of sagebrush rangelands in the western United States

    Science.gov (United States)

    Michael H. Taylor; Kimberly Rollins; Mimako Kobayashi; Robin J. Tausch

    2013-01-01

    In this article we develop a simulation model to evaluate the economic efficiency of fuel treatments and apply it to two sagebrush ecosystems in the Great Basin of the western United States: the Wyoming Sagebrush Steppe and Mountain Big Sagebrush ecosystems. These ecosystems face the two most prominent concerns in sagebrush ecosystems relative to wildfire: annual grass...

  16. Governing ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Verburg, René; Selnes, Trond; Verweij, Pita

    2016-01-01

    The TEEB approach to the use of ecosystem services has found its way to policy as a means to biodiversity conservation and greening of the economy. In this paper we analysed the uptake of the TEEB approach at national and local levels by applying a framework that revolves around the problem,

  17. Ecosystem quality in LCIA

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    2017-01-01

    -richness-related metrics, with efforts made towards improved inclusion of ecosystem complexity. Impact indicators—which result from a range of modeling approaches that differ, for example, according to spatial and temporal scale, taxonomic coverage, and whether the indicator produces a relative or absolute measure of loss...

  18. Shelf-sea ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Walsh, J J

    1980-01-01

    An analysis of the food chain dynamics of the Oregon, Alaskan, and New York shelves is made with respect to differences in physical forcing of these ecosystems. The world's shelves are 10% of the area of the ocean, yield 99% of the world's fish catch, and may be a major sink in the global CO/sub 2/ budget.

  19. Ecosystem management issues

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jim Boynton

    1995-01-01

    Although recognized as an important tool for ecosystem maintenance, fuels management, and a variety of other purposes, the prescribed fire program in the Pacific Southwest Region of the USDA Forest Service has been constrained by several factors. These range from funding availability, to debates on the effect of fire on the habitat of sensitive species, to competition...

  20. Restoring Forested Wetland Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    John A. Stanturf; Emile S. Gardiner; Melvin L. Warren

    2003-01-01

    Forests as natural systems are intrinsically linked to the sustainability of fresh-water systems. Efforts worldwide to restore forest ecosystems seek to counteract centuries of forest conversion to agriculture and other uses. Afforestation, the practice of regenerating forests on land deforested for agriculture or other uses, is occurring at an intense pace in the...

  1. nent of marine ecosystems

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    spamer

    trophic web of marine ecosystems (Clarke 1980,. 1996, Rodhouse et al. 1987, 1992, Lipinski et al. 1992, Rodhouse and Nigmatullin 1996, Guerra et al. 1993). .... deep in the submucosa and were encapsulated in an amorphous eosinophilic substance. The anterior ex- tremities of nematodes and the vacated hyaline caps.

  2. 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.

  3. [Urban ecosystem services: A review].

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mao, Qi-zheng; Huang, Gan-lin; Wu, Jian-guo

    2015-04-01

    Maintaining and improving ecosystem services in urban areas and human well-being are essential for sustainable development and therefore constitute an important topic in urban ecology. Here we reviewed studies on ecosystem services in urban areas. Based on the concept and classification of urban ecosystem services, we summarized characteristics of urban ecosystem services, including the human domination, high demand of ecosystem services in urban areas, spatial heterogeneity and temporal dynamics of ecosystem services supply and demand in urban areas, multi-services of urban green infrastructures, the socio-economic dimension of ecosystem services supply and ecosystem disservices in urban areas. Among different urban ecosystem services, the regulating service and cultural service are particularly indispensable to benefit human health. We pointed out that tradeoffs among different types of ecosystem services mostly occur between supportive service and cultural service, as well as regulating service and cultural service. In particular, we emphasized the relationship between landscape design (i.e. green infrastructure) and ecosystem services supply. Finally, we discussed current gaps to link urban ecosystem services studies to landscape design and management and pointed out several directions for future research in urban ecosystem services.

  4. Spatial characterisation of the Benguela ecosystem for ecosystem ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The three countries of the Benguela Current Large Marine Ecosystem (BCLME), namely Angola, Namibia and South Africa, have committed to implementing ecosystem-based management (EBM) including an ecosystem approach to fisheries (EAF) in the region, to put in practice the principles of sustainable development in ...

  5. Morphological and molecular characterization of an uninucleated cyst-producing Entamoeba spp. in captured Rangeland goats in Western Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Al-Habsi, Khalid; Yang, Rongchang; Ryan, Una; Jacobson, Caroline; Miller, David W

    2017-02-15

    Uninucleated Entamoeba cysts measuring 7.3×7.7μm were detected in faecal samples collected from wild Rangeland goats (Capra hircus) after arrival at a commercial goat depot near Geraldton, Western Australia at a prevalence of 6.4% (8/125). Sequences were obtained at the 18S rRNA (n=8) and actin (n=5) loci following PCR amplification. At the 18S locus, phylogenetic analysis grouped the isolates closest with an E. bovis isolate (FN666250) from a sheep from Sweden with 99% similarity. At the actin locus, no E. bovis sequences were available, and the isolates shared 94.0% genetic similarity with E. suis from a pig in Western Japan. This is the first report to describe the morphology and molecular characterisation of Entamoeba from Rangeland goats in Western Australia and the first study to produce actin sequences from E. bovis-like Entamoeba sp. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  6. Analysis of Vegetation Phytosociological Characteristics and Soil Physico-Chemical Conditions in Harishin Rangelands of Eastern Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Haftay Hailu

    2017-01-01

    Full Text Available The objective of this study is to analyse the phytodiversity, distribution, herb biomass and physico-chemical conditions of the vegetation system in the context of communal continuous open grazing and enclosed grazing management practices in the Harishin rangelands of Eastern Ethiopia. A total of 58 herbaceous species and 11 woody species were recorded in the study area. Analysis of Importance Value Index for two management practices was represented by different combinations of species with varied dominance. The herbs’ diversity–dominance curve revealed a lognormal distribution in both managements practices. The overview of distribution patterns for most of the species layer showed contiguous growth and a clumped distribution pattern. Species diversity, richness, herb biomass, basal cover and soil physico-chemical attributes showed a distinct separation in relation to grazing management practices. Based on the findings, one can conclude that the establishment of enclosures has a positive impact in restoring rangeland vegetation diversity, distribution, in increasing herb productivity and in boosting soil fertility.

  7. Pastoralism versus Agriculturalism-How Do Altered Land-Use Forms Affect the Spread of Invasive Plants in the Degraded Mutara Rangelands of North-Eastern Rwanda?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wronski, Torsten; Bariyanga, Jean Damascene; Sun, Ping; Plath, Martin; Apio, Ann

    2017-05-12

    Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) originates from tropical Central and South America and has become invasive in about 50 countries. It causes problems when invading rangelands due to its toxicity to livestock and its tendency to form dense, monotonous thickets. Its invasiveness can partly be explained by the high tannin content largely protecting the species from being browsed, its tolerance to a wide range of environmental conditions, as well as its general preference for anthropogenically disturbed habitats. The dispersal of L. camara is facilitated by birds and other animals consuming its drupes (endozoochory), and so both wild and domestic ungulates could contribute to its spread. In our study, we investigated the distribution of L. camara in the Mutara rangelands of north-eastern Rwanda, an area that faced dramatic landscape changes in recent decades. We assessed 23 ecological factors and factors related to land-use and conservation-political history. Major effects on the local abundance of L. camara were found in that the relative canopy cover of L. camara was negatively correlated with the occurrence of other shrubs (suggesting competition for space and nutrients), while encounter rates of houses, 'living fences' (Euphorbia tirucalli L.) and cattle tracks were positively correlated with L. camara cover. Hence, the spread of non-native L. camara in the Mutara rangelands appears to be linked to landscape alterations arising from the transformation of rangelands supporting traditional pastoralist communities to other agricultural land-use forms.

  8. Pastoralism versus Agriculturalism—How Do Altered Land-Use Forms Affect the Spread of Invasive Plants in the Degraded Mutara Rangelands of North-Eastern Rwanda?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wronski, Torsten; Bariyanga, Jean Damascene; Sun, Ping; Plath, Martin; Apio, Ann

    2017-01-01

    Lantana camara L. (Verbenaceae) originates from tropical Central and South America and has become invasive in about 50 countries. It causes problems when invading rangelands due to its toxicity to livestock and its tendency to form dense, monotonous thickets. Its invasiveness can partly be explained by the high tannin content largely protecting the species from being browsed, its tolerance to a wide range of environmental conditions, as well as its general preference for anthropogenically disturbed habitats. The dispersal of L. camara is facilitated by birds and other animals consuming its drupes (endozoochory), and so both wild and domestic ungulates could contribute to its spread. In our study, we investigated the distribution of L. camara in the Mutara rangelands of north-eastern Rwanda, an area that faced dramatic landscape changes in recent decades. We assessed 23 ecological factors and factors related to land-use and conservation-political history. Major effects on the local abundance of L. camara were found in that the relative canopy cover of L. camara was negatively correlated with the occurrence of other shrubs (suggesting competition for space and nutrients), while encounter rates of houses, ‘living fences’ (Euphorbia tirucalli L.) and cattle tracks were positively correlated with L. camara cover. Hence, the spread of non-native L. camara in the Mutara rangelands appears to be linked to landscape alterations arising from the transformation of rangelands supporting traditional pastoralist communities to other agricultural land-use forms. PMID:28498334

  9. The Rangeland Vegetation Simulator: A user-driven system for quantifying production, succession, disturbance and fuels in non-forest environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Matt Reeves; Leonardo Frid

    2016-01-01

    Rangeland landscapes occupy roughly 662 million acres in the coterminous U.S. (Reeves and Mitchell 2011) and their vegetation responds quickly to climate and management, with high relative growth rates and inter-annual variability. Current national decision support systems in the U.S. such as the Interagency Fuels Treatment Decision Support System (IFT-DSS) require...

  10. Economic viewpoints on ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Silvis, H.J.; Heide, van der C.M.

    2013-01-01

    to help determine the different values of ecosystems. Ecosystem services are usually divided into four categories: provisioning services, regulating services, cultural services and habitat services (previously denoted as supporting services). This overview highlights economic theories about

  11. Ecosystem overfishing in the ocean

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Coll, Marta; Libralato, Simone; Tudela, Sergi; Palomera, Isabel; Pranovi, Fabio

    2008-01-01

    ...., the level of ecosystem overfishing. Here we evaluate the historical and current risk of ecosystem overfishing at a global scale by quantifying the depletion of secondary production using the best available fisheries and ecological...

  12. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Population

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Population data sets provide baseline population information as one of the drivers of ecosystem change. The data helped in...

  13. Ecosystem overfishing in the ocean

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Coll, Marta; Libralato, Simone; Tudela, Sergi; Palomera, Isabel; Pranovi, Fabio

    2008-01-01

    ...., the level of ecosystem overfishing. Here we evaluate the historical and current risk of ecosystem overfishing at a global scale by quantifying the depletion of secondary production using the best available fisheries and ecological data (i.e...

  14. Modelling tree dynamics to assess the implementation of EU policies related to afforestation in SW Spain rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herguido, Estela; Pulido, Manuel; Francisco Lavado Contador, Joaquín; Schnabel, Susanne

    2017-04-01

    In Iberian dehesas and montados, the lack of tree recruitment compromises its long-term sustainability. However, in marginal areas of dehesas shrub encroachment facilitates tree recruitment while altering the distinctive physiognomic and cultural characteristics of the system. These are ongoing processes that should be considered when designing afforestation measures and policies. Based on spatial variables, we modeled the proneness of a piece of land to undergo tree recruitment and the results were related with the afforestation measures carried out under the UE First Afforestation Agricultural Land Program between 1992 and 2008. We analyzed the temporal tree population dynamics in 800 randomly selected plots of 100 m radius (2,510 ha in total) in dehesas and treeless pasturelands of Extremadura (hereafter rangelands). Tree changes were revealed by comparing aerial images taken in 1956 with orthophotographs and infrared ones from 2012. Spatial models that predict the areas prone either to lack tree recruitment or with recruitment were developed and based on three data mining algorithms: MARS (Multivariate Adaptive Regression Splines), Random Forest (RF) and Stochastic Gradient Boosting (Tree-Net, TN). Recruited-tree locations (1) vs. locations of places with no recruitment (0) (randomly selected from the study areas) were used as the binary dependent variable. A 5% of the data were used as test data set. As candidate explanatory variables we used 51 different topographic, climatic, bioclimatic, land cover-related and edaphic ones. The statistical models developed were extrapolated to the spatial context of the afforested areas in the region and also to the whole Extremenian rangelands, and the percentage of area modelled as prone to tree recruitment was calculated for each case. A total of 46,674.63 ha were afforested with holm oak (Quercus ilex) or cork oak (Quercus suber) in the studied rangelands under the UE First Afforestation Agricultural Land Program. In

  15. Electronics and electronic systems

    CERN Document Server

    Olsen, George H

    1987-01-01

    Electronics and Electronic Systems explores the significant developments in the field of electronics and electronic devices. This book is organized into three parts encompassing 11 chapters that discuss the fundamental circuit theory and the principles of analog and digital electronics. This book deals first with the passive components of electronic systems, such as resistors, capacitors, and inductors. These topics are followed by a discussion on the analysis of electronic circuits, which involves three ways, namely, the actual circuit, graphical techniques, and rule of thumb. The remaining p

  16. Investigating Ecosystems in a Biobottle

    Science.gov (United States)

    Breene, Arnica; Gilewski, Donna

    2008-01-01

    Biobottles are miniature ecosystems made from 2-liter plastic soda bottles. They allow students to explore how organisms in an ecosystem are connected to each other, examine how biotic and abiotic factors influence plant and animal growth and development, and discover how important biodiversity is to an ecosystem. This activity was inspired by an…

  17. Ecosystems in the Learning Environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Louviere, Gregory

    2011-01-01

    Habitats, ecology and evolution are a few of the many metaphors commonly associated with the domain of biological ecosystems. Surprisingly, these and other similar biological metaphors are proving to be equally associated with a phenomenon known as digital ecosystems. Digital ecosystems make a direct connection between biological properties and…

  18. The Coevolution of Digital Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    SungYong, Um

    2016-01-01

    Digital ecosystems are one of the most important strategic issues in the current digital economy. Digital ecosystems are dynamic and generative. They evolve as new firms join and as heterogeneous systems are integrated into other systems. These features digital ecosystems determine economic and technological success in the competition among…

  19. Ecosystem services in ECOCLIM

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

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

    , the surface exchange of GHG in Denmark and Danish waters is unknown and qualified predictions of the effect of changes in climate or anthropogenic activities are not possible. In ECOCLIM it is a goal to quantify the natural sinks and sources controlling the atmospheric concentration of CO2 and CH4 thus...... 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......Surface exchange of greenhouse gasses (GHG) between land/sea and the atmosphere is an important climate feedback mechanism. The processes involved in exchange of GHG needs to be fully understood and accurately quantified in order to increase reliability of climate projections and ensure...

  20. Land use and soil organic matter in South Africa 1: A review on spatial variability and the influence of rangeland stock production

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pearson N.S. Mnkeni

    2011-05-01

    Full Text Available Degradation of soil as a consequence of land use poses a threat to sustainable agriculture in South Africa, resulting in the need for a soil protection strategy and policy. Development of such a strategy and policy require cognisance of the extent and impact of soil degradation processes. One of the identified processes is the decline of soil organic matter, which also plays a central role in soil health or quality. The spatial variability of organic matter and the impact of grazing and burning under rangeland stock production are addressed in this first part of the review. Data from uncoordinated studies showed that South African soils have low organic matter levels. About 58% of soils contain less than 0.5% organic carbon and only 4% contain more than 2% organic carbon. Furthermore, there are large differences in organic matter content within and between soil forms, depending on climatic conditions, vegetative cover, topographical position and soil texture. A countrywide baseline study to quantify organic matter contents within and between soil forms is suggested for future reference. Degradation of rangeland because of overgrazing has resulted in significant losses of soil organic matter, mainly as a result of lower biomass production. The use of fire in rangeland management decreases soil organic matter because litter is destroyed by burning. Maintaining or increasing organic matter levels in degraded rangeland soils by preventing overgrazing and restricting burning could contribute to the restoration of degraded rangelands. This restoration is of the utmost importance because stock farming uses the majority of land in South Africa.

  1. Land Conversion Dynamics in the Borana Rangelands of Southern Ethiopia: An Integrated Assessment Using Remote Sensing Techniques and Field Survey Data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Michael Elias

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Conversion of rangelands into cultivated land is one of the main challenges affecting the management of rangelands in Ethiopia. In order to inform policy makers about trends in land-use conversion, this study examined the drivers, trends, and impacts of land conversions in five locations selected in the Borana rangelands of Southern Ethiopia. This study integrated survey interviews from agro-pastoralists, participatory appraisals, rainfall data, and remotely sensed satellite data from Landsat images taken in 1985 and 2011. Results indicate that there is a marked increase in cultivated land in some of the study sites while in the other sites there is a slight reduction. The bare lands increased in some parts of the study sites though there was slight recovery of grassland in some of the degraded areas. Settlement areas with permanent housing increased. Woodland vegetation decreased except on mountain escarpments where there were slight gains. The results further show that, during this period, bushland decreased while at the same time grassland increased. Shrub/grassland with seasonally flooded areas increased in the bottomlands. Inhabitants interviewed in the study areas perceived land use and land cover changes to be driven by interplay of recurrent drought, loss of pasture, food insecurity, and decline in income. Changes in policies that govern natural resources have influence the land use change in this area and the expansion of cultivation. Expansion of cultivation practices upon rangelands has resulting in significant loss of vegetation biomass and soil erosion, thereby precipitating rangeland degradation. The results provide comprehensive insights regarding the influence of internal and external drivers of land conversion that should be considered when making decisions for land use planning.

  2. Evaluating Structural and Functional Characteristics of Various Ecological Patches in Different Range Conditions (Case Study: Semi -Steppe Rangeland of Aghche-Isfahan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Jafari

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available Rangeland condition assessment plays an important role in determining range health and applying appropriate management programs. This study aimed to evaluate the structure and function of a semi-steppe rangeland using Landscape Function Analysis technique (LFA in different land conditions in western Isfahan province, Iran. For this purpose, 4, 3 and 7 sites in different rangeland condition classes including very poor, poor, and moderate were selected respectively. In each site, a 30-meter transect was established and all kinds of patches and inter patches were identified and their lengths and widths were recorded. Also, in each ecological patch, 11 indicators of soil surface characteristics with three replications were measured, and their status was scored according to LFA method. The functionality indices of all the sites including soil stability, infiltration and nutrient cycling were measured. According to the statistical analysis results, most of the structural characteristics (number of patches, patch length, patch area index, landscape organization index and functional indices (infiltration, stability and nutrient cycling status varied significantly (α= 5% between rangeland sites with moderate and very poor condition. The changes of these structural and functional characteristics were not significant between range sites with moderate and poor, and also poor and very poor range conditions. According to the findings of this study, patch types' functionalities did not vary significantly in both rangeland sites with moderate and very poor conditions. The nutrient cycling index in patches formed by ‘forb, shrub and grass’ with poor range condition was significantly more than ‘forb’ and ‘grass’ patches. The study of range site functionality can assist managers in identifying possible ecological thresholds and prioritizing the sub-catchments and vegetation types for implementing range improvement practices.

  3. Enclosing the commons: reasons for the adoption and adaptation of enclosures in the arid and semi-arid rangelands of Chepareria, Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wairore, John N; Mureithi, Stephen M; Wasonga, Oliver V; Nyberg, Gert

    2015-01-01

    The adoption and adaptation of enclosures in the arid and semi-arid rangelands of sub-Saharan Africa is driven and sustained by a combination of factors. However, reviews indicate that these factors cannot be generalized, as they tend to be case specific. A study was therefore conducted to explore the history and reasons for enclosure establishment in Chepareria, a formerly degraded communal rangeland in north-western Kenya. While Vi-Agroforestry Organization accounting for 52.5 % was the main source of knowledge on enclosure establishment; it has now emerged that rangeland enclosures among the Pokot pastoral community existed prior to land management interventions by Vi- Agroforestry. Results indicated that there are three categories of enclosures which were established for boundary demarcation, provide grazing reserves, enable proper land management, facilitate crop cultivation in a pastoral setup and to curb land degradation. The role of self-trigger [accounting for most of the spontaneous enclosures (73.5 %)] indicates the continued establishment and expansion of areas under enclosure management as private land ownership accounting for 51.7 % of enclosure tenure continues to gain momentum in Chepareria. While rangeland enclosures in Chepareria were mainly established for boundary demarcation, to alleviate pasture scarcity and enable proper management of formerly degraded areas; they have facilitated land restoration and rehabilitation by increasing flexibility in land, fodder and livestock management amongst agro-pastoralists in Chepareria over the last three decades. To ensure that rehabilitated areas do not revert to their previously degraded state; technical interventions are needed to allow for a more intensive use of rangeland resources within enclosed areas.

  4. Marine Ecosystem Services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hasler, Berit; Ahtiainen, Heini; Hasselström, Linus

    MARECOS (Marine Ecosystem Services) er et tværfagligt studie, der har haft til formål at tilvejebringe information vedrørende kortlægning og værdisætning af økosystemtjenester, som kan anvendes i forbindelse med udformning af regulering på det marine område såvel nationalt, som regionalt og...

  5. Microplastic in Aquatic Ecosystems.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ivleva, Natalia P; Wiesheu, Alexandra C; Niessner, Reinhard

    2017-02-06

    The contamination of marine and freshwater ecosystems with plastic, and especially with microplastic (MP), is a global ecological problem of increasing scientific concern. This has stimulated a great deal of research on the occurrence of MP, interaction of MP with chemical pollutants, the uptake of MP by aquatic organisms, and the resulting (negative) impact of MP. Herein, we review the major issues of MP in aquatic environments, with the principal aims 1) to characterize the methods applied for MP analysis (including sampling, processing, identification and quantification), indicate the most reliable techniques, and discuss the required further improvements; 2) to estimate the abundance of MP in marine/freshwater ecosystems and clarify the problems that hamper the comparability of such results; and 3) to summarize the existing literature on the uptake of MP by living organisms. Finally, we identify knowledge gaps, suggest possible strategies to assess environmental risks arising from MP, and discuss prospects to minimize MP abundance in aquatic ecosystems. © 2017 Wiley-VCH Verlag GmbH & Co. KGaA, Weinheim.

  6. Sagebrush Ecosystems Under Fire

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Downs, Janelle L.

    2014-12-30

    Since settlement of the western United States began, sagebrush (Artemisia L. spp.) ecosystems have decreased both in quantity and quality. Originally encompassing up to 150 million acres in the West, the “interminable fields” of sage described by early explorers (Fremont 1845) have been degraded and often eliminated by conversion to agriculture, urbanization, livestock grazing, invasion by alien plants, and alteration of wildfire cycles (Hann et al. 1997; West 1999). More than half of the original sagebrush steppe ecosystems in Washington have been converted to agriculture and many of the remaining stands of sagebrush are degraded by invasion of exotic annuals such as cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.). Today, sagebrush ecosystems are considered to be one of the most imperiled in the United States (Noss, LeRoe and Scott 1995), and more than 350 sagebrush-associated plants and animals have been identified as species of conservation concern (Suring et al. 2005; Wisdom et al. 2005). The increasing frequency of wildfire in sagebrush-dominated landscapes is one of the greatest threats to these habitats and also presents one of the most difficult to control.

  7. Historical cover trends in a sagebrush steppe ecosystem from 1985 to 2013: Links with climate, disturbance, and management

    Science.gov (United States)

    Shi, Hua; Rigge, Matthew B.; Homer, Collin; Xian, George Z.; Meyer, Debbie; Bunde, Brett

    2017-01-01

    Understanding the causes and consequences of component change in sagebrush steppe is crucial for evaluating ecosystem sustainability. The sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) steppe ecosystem of the northwest USA has been impacted by the invasion of exotic grasses, increasing fire return intervals, changing land management practices, and fragmentation, often lowering the overall resilience to change. We utilized contemporary and historical Landsat imagery, field data, and regression tree models to produce fractional cover maps of rangeland components (shrub, sagebrush, herbaceous, bare ground, and litter) through the last 30 years. Our main goals were to (1) investigate rangeland component trends over 30 years, (2) evaluate the magnitude and direction of trends in components and climate drivers and their relationship, and (3) assess component trends influenced by climate. Results indicated that over the study period, shrub, sage, herbaceous, and litter cover decreased, while bare ground cover increased. Measured rates of change ranged from − 0.14% decade−1 for shrub cover to 0.05% decade−1 for bare ground, whereas herbaceous and litter cover trends were negligible. Net landscape cover changes were consistent with expectations of climate change and disturbance producing a loss of biotic cover, and converting a portion of shrub and sagebrush to herbaceous cover. Overall, fire and related successional recovery was the greatest change agent for all components in terms of area and cover change, while increasing minimum temperature, at a rate of 0.66°C decade−1, was found to be the most significant climate driver.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    We address the following emerging issues through the symposium and associated posters: (1) complexity (and/or heterogeneity) and (2) scale as factors affecting: (i) productivity, (ii) resistance, (iii) stability, and (iv) sustainability of the ecosystem. We focus on African savanna as the major case studies, but draw on case ...

  9. Applicability of Montreal Process Criterion 1 - conservation of biological diversity - to rangeland sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Curtis H. Flather; Carolyn Hull Sieg

    2000-01-01

    Nine indicators of biodiversity conservation have been defined by the nations participating in the Montreal Process for assessing sustainability of temperate and boreal forests. Five of these indicators address compositional and spatial diversity of ecosystems; two address species diversity; and two are indirect measures of genetic diversity. Our objective was to...

  10. Geography as destiny? Social and ecological resilience in rangelands of the American southwest

    Science.gov (United States)

    Background/Question/Methods: Social-ecological systems perspectives focus on the reciprocal relationships between human and natural ecosystem elements and how these interactions determine human well-being, ecological state change, and land use change. In the arid southwestern US, which is dominated...

  11. Ecosystem Management. A Management View

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ravn-Jonsen, Lars

    with a planning hierarchy---with the ecosystem being the strategic planning level. Management planning requires, in order to establish a quantifiable means and ends chain, that the goals at the ecosystem level can be linked to operational levels; ecosystem properties must therefore be reducible to lower......The need for management of the marine ecosystem using a broad perspective has been recommended under a variety of names. This paper uses the term Ecosystem Management, which is seen as a convergence between the ecological idea of an organisational hierarchy and the idea of strategic planning...

  12. Using Unmanned Helicopters to Assess Vegetation Cover in Sagebrush Steppe Ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robert P. Breckenridge; Maxine Dakins; Stephen Bunting; Jerry Harbour; Randy Lee

    2012-07-01

    Evaluating vegetation cover is an important factor in understanding the sustainability of many ecosystems. Methods that have sufficient accuracy and improved cost efficiency could dramatically alter how biotic resources are monitored on both public and private lands. This will be of interest to land managers because there are rarely enough resource specialists or funds available for comprehensive ground evaluations. In this project, unmanned helicopters were used to collect still-frame imagery to assess vegetation cover during May, June, and July in 2005. The images were used to estimate percent cover for six vegetative cover classes (shrub, dead shrub, grass, forbs, litter, and bare ground). The field plots were located on the INL site west of Idaho Falls, Idaho. Ocular assessments of digital imagery were performed using a software program called SamplePoint, and the results were compared against field measurements collected using a point-frame method to assess accuracy. The helicopter imagery evaluation showed a high degree of agreement with field cover class values for litter, bare ground, and grass, and reasonable agreement for dead shrubs. Shrub cover was often overestimated and forbs were generally underestimated. The helicopter method took 45% less time than the field method to set plots and collect and analyze data. This study demonstrates that UAV technology provides a viable method for monitoring vegetative cover on rangelands in less time and with lower costs. Tradeoffs between cost and accuracy are critical management decisions that are important when managing vegetative conditions across vast sagebrush ecosystems throughout the Intermountain West.

  13. Nutritive Value of Grasses in Semi-arid Rangelands of Ethiopia: Local Experience Based Herbage Preference Evaluation versus Laboratory Analysis

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Habtamu T. Keba

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available We examined the nutritive value of common grass species in the semi-arid rangelands of Borana in southern Ethiopia using local experience based herbage preference (LEBHP perception and laboratory techniques. Local pastoralists in the study area were asked to identify common grass species and rank them according to the species’ preferences and palatability to cattle. The pastoralists listed a total of 15 common grass species which were then sampled during the main rain and cold dry seasons and analyzed for crude protein (CP, Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF, Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF and ash content to verify pastoralists’ claim regarding the quality of individual species. The relative feed value (RFV and dry matter digestibility (DMD were also calculated using NDF and ADF contents. Spearman’s rank correlation was used to examine possible relationships between laboratory results and pastoralists’ experience on grass quality. Cenchrus ciliaris, Chrysopogon aucheri, Digitaria milanjiana, Eragrostis papposa and Panicum maximum were the top five species based on LEBHP perception. There were indications of inconsistency in terms of LEBHP perception among the different pastoral communities. The chemical composition of all grass species showed significant (p<0.05 variation between sites, seasons and species. The results showed that the CP values for the Borana rangelands were in the range of 8.7% in the main rain season to 5.1% for the cold dry season. The fiber constituents were relatively low in the main rain season compared to the cold dry season. Overall, Digitaria milanjiana had the highest CP (16.5% content, while the least was recorded with Heteropogon contortus (10.8 and Aristida adoensis (9.8% during the main rain season. It seems that the spatial variability of landscapes within the wider geographical regions, soil properties and texture, and land-use patterns probably contributed to site differences in species quality. Generally, the RFV

  14. Social Values for Ecosystem Services, version 3.0 (SolVES 3.0): documentation and user manual

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sherrouse, Ben C.; Semmens, Darius J.

    2015-01-01

    The geographic information system (GIS) tool, Social Values for Ecosystem Services (SolVES), was developed to incorporate quantified and spatially explicit measures of social values into ecosystem service assessments. SolVES 3.0 continues to extend the functionality of SolVES, which was designed to assess, map, and quantify the social values of ecosystem services. Social values—the perceived, nonmarket values the public ascribes to ecosystem services, particularly cultural services, such as aesthetics and recreation—can be evaluated for various stakeholder groups. These groups are distinguishable by their attitudes and preferences regarding public uses, such as motorized recreation and logging. As with previous versions, SolVES 3.0 derives a quantitative 10-point, social-values metric—the value index—from a combination of spatial and nonspatial responses to public value and preference surveys. The tool also calculates metrics characterizing the underlying environment, such as average distance to water and dominant landcover. SolVES 3.0 is integrated with Maxent maximum entropy modeling software to generate more complete social-value maps and offer robust statistical models describing the relationship between the value index and explanatory environmental variables. A model’s goodness of fit to a primary study area and its potential performance in transferring social values to similar areas using value-transfer methodology can be evaluated. SolVES 3.0 provides an improved public-domain tool for decision makers and researchers to evaluate the social values of ecosystem services and to facilitate discussions among diverse stakeholders regarding the tradeoffs among ecosystem services in a variety of physical and social contexts ranging from forest and rangeland to coastal and marine.

  15. Coral reef ecosystem

    Digital Repository Service at National Institute of Oceanography (India)

    Wafar, M.V.M.; Wafar, S.

    is unparalleled by any other marine ecosystem. More than 2,200 fishes are known allover the world reefs (Sale 1980), ofwhich several hundreds may orcur at any time in a single reef (Sale et al. 1994). So is the order ofsome other invertebrate groups: corals (800... skeleton. in bone transplants). Capacity Building in Intellectual Property Rights (/PR) Technological benefits from the use of hiodiversity can be in lhe order of millions of dollars. For example, sale ofTaq D!'IA polymerase, produced from thennophi)ic...

  16. Sustainable web ecosystem design

    CERN Document Server

    O'Toole, Greg

    2013-01-01

    This book is about the process of creating web-based systems (i.e., websites, content, etc.) that consider each of the parts, the modules, the organisms - binary or otherwise - that make up a balanced, sustainable web ecosystem. In the current media-rich environment, a website is more than a collection of relative html documents of text and images on a static desktop computer monitor. There is now an unlimited combination of screens, devices, platforms, browsers, locations, versions, users, and exabytes of data with which to interact. Written in a highly approachable, practical style, this boo

  17. Seventy-five years of vegetation treatments on public rangelands in the Great Basin of North America

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pilliod, David S.; Welty, Justin; Toevs, Gordon R.

    2017-01-01

    On the Ground Land treatments occurring over millions of hectares of public rangelands in the Great Basin over the last 75 years represent one of the largest vegetation manipulation and restoration efforts in the world.The ability to use legacy data from land treatments in adaptive management and ecological research has improved with the creation of the Land Treatment Digital Library (LTDL), a spatially explicit database of land treatments conducted by the U.S. Bureau of Land Management.The LTDL contains information on over 9,000 confirmed land treatments in the Great Basin, composed of seedings (58%), vegetation control treatments (24%), and other types of vegetation or soil manipulations (18%).The potential application of land treatment legacy data for adaptive management or as natural experiments for retrospective analyses of effects of land management actions on physical, hydrologic, and ecologic patterns and processes is considerable and just beginning to be realized.

  18. Integrating remote sensing and conventional grazing/browsing models for modelling carrying capacity in southern African rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Adjorlolo, C.; Botha, J. O.; Mhangara, P.; Mutanga, O.; Odindi, J.

    2014-10-01

    Woody vegetation encroachment into grasslands or bush thickening, a global phenomenon, is transforming the Southern African grassland systems into savanna-like landscapes. Estimation of woody vegetation is important to rangeland scientists and land managers for assessing its impact on grass production and calculating its grazing and browsing capacity. Assessment of grazing and browsing components is often challenging because agro-ecological landscapes of this region are largely characterized by small scale and heterogeneous land-use-land-cover patterns. In this study, we investigated the utility of high spatial resolution remotely sensing data for modelling grazing and browsing capacity at landscape level. Woody tree density or Tree Equivalents (TE) and Total Leaf Mass (LMASS) data were derived using the Biomass Estimation for Canopy Volume (BECVOL) program. The Random Forest (RF) regression algorithm was assessed to establish relationships between these variables and vegetation indices (Simple Ratio and Normalized Difference Vegetation Index), calculated using the red and near infrared bands of SPOT5. The RF analysis predicted LMASS with R2 = 0.63 and a Root Mean Square Error (RMSE) of 1256 kg/ha compared to a mean of 2291kg/ha. TE was predicted with R2 = 0.55 and a RMSE = 1614 TE/ha compared to a mean of 3746 TE/ha. Next, spatial distribution maps of LMASS/ha and TE/ha were derived using separate RF regression models. The resultant maps were then used as input data into conventional grazing and browsing capacity models to calculate grazing and browsing capacity maps for the study area. This study provides a sound platform for integrating currently available and future remote sensing satellite data into rangeland carrying capacity modelling and monitoring.

  19. Ecological site-based assessments of wind and water erosion: informing accelerated soil erosion management in rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Nicholas P.; Herrick, Jeffrey E.; Duniway, Michael C.

    2014-01-01

    Accelerated soil erosion occurs when anthropogenic processes modify soil, vegetation or climatic conditions causing erosion rates at a location to exceed their natural variability. Identifying where and when accelerated erosion occurs is a critical first step toward its effective management. Here we explore how erosion assessments structured in the context of ecological sites (a land classification based on soils, landscape setting and ecological potential) and their vegetation states (plant assemblages that may change due to management) can inform systems for reducing accelerated soil erosion in rangelands. We evaluated aeolian horizontal sediment flux and fluvial sediment erosion rates for five ecological sites in southern New Mexico, USA, using monitoring data and rangeland-specific wind and water erosion models. Across the ecological sites, plots in shrub-encroached and shrub-dominated vegetation states were consistently susceptible to aeolian sediment flux and fluvial sediment erosion. Both processes were found to be highly variable for grassland and grass-succulent states across the ecological sites at the plot scale (0.25 Ha). We identify vegetation thresholds that define cover levels below which rapid (exponential) increases in aeolian sediment flux and fluvial sediment erosion occur across the ecological sites and vegetation states. Aeolian sediment flux and fluvial erosion in the study area can be effectively controlled when bare ground cover is 100 cm in length is less than ~35%. Land use and management activities that alter cover levels such that they cross thresholds, and/or drive vegetation state changes, may increase the susceptibility of areas to erosion. Land use impacts that are constrained within the range of natural variability should not result in accelerated soil erosion. Evaluating land condition against the erosion thresholds identified here will enable identification of areas susceptible to accelerated soil erosion and the development of

  20. Ecological site‐based assessments of wind and water erosion: informing accelerated soil erosion management in rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Webb, Nicholas P; Herrick, Jeffrey E; Duniway, Michael C

    Accelerated soil erosion occurs when anthropogenic processes modify soil, vegetation, or climatic conditions causing erosion rates at a location to exceed their natural variability. Identifying where and when accelerated erosion occurs is a critical first step toward its effective management. Here we explored how erosion assessments structured in the context of ecological sites (a land classification based on soils, landscape setting, and ecological potential) and their vegetation states (plant assemblages that may change due to management) can inform systems for reducing accelerated soil erosion in rangelands. We evaluated aeolian horizontal sediment flux and fluvial sediment erosion rates for five ecological sites in southern New Mexico, USA, using monitoring data and rangeland-specific wind and water erosion models. Across the ecological sites, plots in shrub-encroached and shrub-dominated vegetation states were consistently susceptible to aeolian sediment flux and fluvial sediment erosion. Both processes were found to be highly variable for grassland and grass–succulent states across the ecological sites at the plot scale (0.25 ha). We identified vegetation thresholds that define cover levels below which rapid (exponential) increases in aeolian sediment flux and fluvial sediment erosion occur across the ecological sites and vegetation states. Aeolian sediment flux and fluvial erosion in the study area could be effectively controlled when bare ground cover was 100 cm in length was less than ∼35%. Land use and management activities that alter cover levels such that they cross thresholds, and/or drive vegetation state changes, may increase the susceptibility of areas to erosion. Land use impacts that are constrained within the range of natural variability should not result in accelerated soil erosion. Evaluating land condition against the erosion thresholds identified here will enable identification of areas susceptible to accelerated soil erosion and the

  1. A spatial dynamic model to assess piospheric land degradation processes of SW Iberian rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Herguido Sevillano, Estela; Ibáñez, Javier; Francisco Lavado Contador, Joaquín; Pulido-Fernández, Manuel; Schnabel, Susanne

    2015-04-01

    Iberian open wooded rangelands (known as dehesas or montados) constitute valuable agro-silvo-pastoral systems traditionally considered as highly sustainable. Nevertheless, in the recent decades, those systems are undergoing changes of land use and management practices that compromise its sustainability. Some of those changes, as the rising construction of watering points and the high spatial fragmentation and livestock movement restriction associated to fencing, show an aggregated effect with livestock, producing an impact gradient over soil and vegetation. Soil compaction related to livestock pressure is higher around watering points, with bare soil halos and patches of scarce vegetation or nude soil developing with higher frequency in areas close to them. Using the freeware Dinamica EGO as environmental modeling platform, we have developed a theoretic spatial dynamic model that represents some of the processes of land degradation associated to livestock grazing in dehesa fenced enclosures. Spatial resolution is high since every cell in the model is a square unit area of 1 m2. We paid particular attention to the relationships between soil degradation by compaction (porosity), livestock pressure, rainfall, pasture growth and shrub cover and bare soil generation. The model considers pasture growth as related to soil compaction, measured by the pore space in the top 10 cm soil layer. Annual precipitation is randomly generated following a normal distribution. When annual precipitation and pore space increase, also does pasture growth. Besides, there is a feedback between pasture growth and pore space, given that pasture roots increases soil porosity. The cell utility for livestock function has been defined as an exponential function of the distance of a cell to watering points and the amount of pasture present in it. The closer the cell to a pond and the higher the amount of pasture, the higher is cell utility. The latter is modulated by a normal random variable to

  2. Relationship between gully erosion and hydrology in a small rangeland catchment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gómez, Á.; Schnabel, S.; Sanjosé Blasco, J. J.; Lavado Contador, J. F.

    2009-04-01

    Gully erosion plays an important role in degradation processes of Mediterranean environments. Relatively little is known about relationships between gully erosion rates and rainfall or discharge in these areas. The aims of this work are: quantifying gully erosion, analyzing its spatial and temporal variability and evaluating its relationships with catchment hydrology. The study was carried out in a small catchment (99.5 ha) located in the SW of the Iberian Peninsula. The topography is undulated with an average slope of 7.6%. Climate is Mediterranean with a pronounced dry season. Annual and inter-annual rainfall variation is high with an annual average of 510 mm. Vegetation cover is formed by a tree layer of Holm oaks (Quercus rotundifolia) and an herbaceous layer characterized by therophytes. The land use is representative of wooded rangelands (dehesa) land use and is based on grazing by sheep and seasonally by pigs. The channel is a valley bottom discontinuous gully incised into an alluvial sediment fill of approximately 1.5 m. The gully is a second order channel with a tributary joining the main branch at 174 m from the basin outlet. Mean width and depth of the gully is 3.3 m an 0.6 m, respectively. The main channel presents several headcuts along its course including one in the upper limit, while the tributary presents 2 very active headcuts close to the junction. Gully erosion or accumulation volume was obtained by means of 28 fixed cross sections measured with a frequency of 6 months during the period 2001-2007. Cross sections were measured using a laser total station which allows increasing the profile resolution in critical areas (such us bank toes or channel bed). Discharge was determined using a water depth probe installed in a weir at the outlet of the catchment. Rainfall was registered by means of 6 tipping bucket rain gauges distributed over the catchment. Both discharge and rainfall were registered with a resolution of 5 minutes. Results showed a total

  3. Conditions for entrepreneurial ecosystem development

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Radziwon, Agnieszka; Bogers, Marcel; Brem, Alexander

    In this paper, we explore on the value creation and capturing process in a regional entrepreneurial ecosystem. We investigate the conditions for the ecosystem development with a particular focus on small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs), potentially the largest group of stakeholders within many...... ecosystems. The key findings discussed in the paper include general organizational requirements and governing structures, the role of leadership and ownership of the initiatives, and suggestions for potential collaborative areas. The paper concludes with suggestions both for potential inter...

  4. Stability and Diversity of Ecosystems

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Anthony R. Ives; Stephen R. Carpenter

    2007-01-01

    .... The relationship is also complex, because the concept of stability is multifaceted; different types of stability describing different properties of ecosystems lead to multiple diversity-stability relationships...

  5. Understanding the mobile money ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tobbin, P.

    2011-01-01

    This paper discusses the structure of the new mobile money ecosystem and the roles of its key players. Mobile money is an evolving sector both in volume and in economic impact especially in the developing world. The paper is an exploratory study that investigates the structure of the ecosystem......, providing a foundation for future strategic analysis of the system. We adopt a theoretical insight from Moore's business ecosystem theory to explain the key roles of the actors in the mobile money ecosystem. And also draw extensively from the work of Iansiti and Levien to explain the best strategies...

  6. Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Aeronautics and Space Administration — The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment: MA Biodiversity provides data and information on amphibians, disease agents (extent and distribution of infectious and parasitic...

  7. NextFlex Flexible Hybrid Electronics Manufacturing

    Science.gov (United States)

    2016-10-01

    Headquartered in San Jose, California, the “capital of Silicon Valley,” the Institute harnesses the region’s electronic manufacturing entrepreneurs ... ecosystem . This positions the United States for continued leader- ship in a critical technology area. NextFlex is built upon public-private partnerships...national ecosystem that creates novel products for the DoD and the larger commercial sectors across health and human monitoring, wearable electronics

  8. Mercury in Nordic ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Munthe, John; Waengberg, Ingvar (IVL Swedish Environmental Research Inst., Stockholm (SE)); Rognerud, Sigurd; Fjeld, Eirik (Norwegian Inst. for Water Research (NIVA), Oslo (Norway)); Verta, Matti; Porvari, Petri (Finnish Environment Inst. (SYKE), Helsinki (Finland)); Meili, Markus (Inst. of Applied Environmental Research (ITM), Stockholm (Sweden))

    2007-12-15

    This report provides a first comprehensive compilation and assessment of available data on mercury in air, precipitation, sediments and fish in the Nordic countries. The main conclusion is that mercury levels in Nordic ecosystems continue to be affected by long-range atmospheric transport. The geographical patterns of mercury concentrations in both sediments and fish are also strongly affected by ecosystem characteristics and in some regions possibly by historical pollution. An evaluation of geographical variations in mercury concentrations in precipitation indicates that the influence from anthropogenic sources from Central European areas is still significant. The annual variability of deposition is large and dependant of precipitation amounts. An evaluation of data from stations around the North Sea has indicated a significant decrease in mercury concentrations in precipitation indicating a continuous decrease of emissions in Europe (Waengberg et al., 2007). For mercury in air (TGM), the geographical pattern is less pronounced indicating the influence of mercury emissions and distribution over a larger geographical area (i.e. hemispherical transport). Comparison of recent (surficial) and historical lake sediments show significantly elevated concentrations of mercury most likely caused by anthropogenic atmospheric deposition over the past century. The highest pollution impact was observed in the coastal areas of southern Norway, in south western Finland and in Sweden from the coastal areas in the southwest across the central parts to the north-east. The general increase in recent versus old sediments was 2-5 fold. Data on mercury in Nordic freshwater fish was assembled and evaluated with respect to geographical variations. The fish data were further compared with temporal and spatial trends in mercury deposition and mercury contamination of lake sediments in order to investigate the coupling between atmospheric transport and deposition of mercury and local mercury

  9. Ecotoxicology and ecosystems health.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Damiani, Giovanni

    2002-01-01

    There is mounting evidence that traditional investigations are no longer sufficient either to assess the ecological characteristics of a resource or to better understand the dynamics of an ecosystem. Reliable experimental data to be used for further investigation as well as for environmental corrective action are obtained using the traditional quantitative and qualitative biological methods. In fact, environmental health is connected with well functioning global and local ecological cycles, that also assure renewable, good quality natural resources. There is, therefore, a keen need for new, adequate techniques based on biological parameters that will allow for a better understanding and protection of the environment. The use of biological indexes and indicators and toxicology tests have been also prescribed by a recent Italian law on water protection. Differences between toxicology, environmental toxicology and ecotoxicology, often used as equivalent terms, are also analyzed. Furthermore a new classification is proposed and mapping of ecobiotic and toxicologic data on studying waters in river basins.

  10. Payment for ecosystem services

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Zandersen, Marianne; Oddershede, Jakob Stoktoft; Pedersen, Anders Branth

    Research question: Northern Europe experiences an increasingly wet climate, leading to more frequent and severe fluvial flood events. Ecosystem-based Adaptation (EbA) is becoming recognised as a valuable yet under-utilised means to alleviating negative effects of a changing climate. This however...... that would allow the local municipality to periodically flood farmland in order to avoid or limit urban flooding from Storåen. The experiment aims to estimate the costs of getting farmers to participate in the scheme, which would represent (some of) the costs of reducing climate change problems in the town...... of Holstebro. In a number of choice occasions, farmers were asked to select between either no contract or contracts characterised by a set of positive and negative attributes, including a whether or not to require specific flood resistant crops or not; whether to allow for a compensation in case of crop loss...

  11. Landscape Measures of Rangeland Condition in the BLM Owyhee Pilot Project: Shrub Canopy Mapping, Vegetation Classification, and Detection of Anomalous Land Areas

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Tagestad, Jerry D.; Downs, Janelle L.

    2007-12-28

    In 2006, the BLM tasked PNNL to collaborate in research being conducted under the Owyhee Uplands Pilot Project to assess rangeland condition. The objective of this effort was to provide Owyhee Uplands Pilot Project with a sophisticated suite of data and tools to assist in evaluating the health and condition of the Owyhee Uplands study area. We focused on three technical areas. The first involved enhancing existing algorithms to estimate shrub canopy cover in the Lower Reynolds Creek Watershed. The second task involved developing and applying a strategy to assess and compare three vegetation map products for the Idaho portion of the Owyhee study area. The third task developed techniques and data that can be used to identify areas exhibiting anomalous rangeland conditions (for example exotic plants or excessive bare soil exposure). This report documents the methods used, results obtained, and conclusions drawn.

  12. Glacier Ecosystems of Himalaya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kohshima, S.; Yoshimura, Y.; Takeuchi, N.; Segawa, T.; Uetake, J.

    2012-12-01

    Biological activity on glaciers has been believed to be extremely limited. However, we found various biotic communities specialized to the glacier environment in various part of the world, such as Himalaya, Patagonia and Alaska. Some of these glacier hosted biotic communities including various cold-tolerant insects, annelids and copepods that were living in the glacier by feeding on algae and bacteria growing in the snow and ice. Thus, the glaciers are simple and relatively closed ecosystems sustained by the primary production in the snow and ice. In this presentation, we will briefly introduce glacier ecosystems in Himalaya; ecology and behavior of glacier animals, altitudinal zonation of snow algal communities, and the structure of their habitats in the glacier. Since the microorganisms growing on the glacier surface are stored in the glacial strata every year, ice-core samples contain many layers with these microorganisms. We showed that the snow algae in the ice-core are useful for ice core dating and could be new environmental signals for the studies on past environment using ice cores. These microorganisms in the ice core will be important especially in the studies of ice core from the glaciers of warmer regions, in which chemical and isotopic contents are often heavily disturbed by melt water percolation. Blooms of algae and bacteria on the glacier can reduce the surface albedo and significantly affect the glacier melting. For example, the surface albedo of some Himalayan glaciers was significantly reduced by a large amount of dark-colored biogenic material (cryoconite) derived from snow algae and bacteria. It increased the melting rates of the surfaces by as much as three-fold. Thus, it was suggested that the microbial activity on the glacier could affect the mass balance and fluctuation of the glaciers.

  13. The impact of climate change on pastoral production systems: A study of climate variability and household adaptation strategies in southern Ethiopian rangelands

    OpenAIRE

    Berhanu, Wassie; Beyene, Fekadu

    2014-01-01

    This paper examines the determinants and implied economic impacts of climate change adaptation strategies in the context of traditional pastoralism. It is based on a household level survey in southern Ethiopian rangelands. Pastoralists' perception of climate change in the region is found to be very consistent with the actually recorded trends of increased temperature and the evident secular declines in precipitation. Not only long-term declines, trends in the region's rainfall also appear to ...

  14. Bottomland Hardwood Ecosystem Management Project

    Science.gov (United States)

    John A. Stanturf; Calvin E. Meier

    1994-01-01

    Federal agency approaches to land management are undergoing a shift from parcel-specific concerns toward a more holistic, ecosystem management approach. Southern bottomland hardwood ecosystems provide important environmental services and commodity goods (Wharton et al. 1982), yet much of our knowledge of these systems comes from anecdotal information. The Bottomland...

  15. Refocusing ecosystem services towards sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Schroter, Matthias; Stumpf, Klara H.; Loos, Jacqueline; Oudenhoven, van Alexander P.E.; Böhnke-Henrichs, Anne; Abson, David J.

    2017-01-01

    Ecosystem services and sustainability have become prominent concepts in international policy and research agendas. However, a common conceptual ground between these concepts is currently underdeveloped. In particular, a vision is missing on how to align ecosystem services with overarching

  16. Ecology in Small Aquatic Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Mikkel René

    Small ecosystems are many-fold more abundant than their larger counterparts. Both on regional and global scale small lakes outnumber medium and large lakes and account for a much larger surface area. Small streams are also far more common than rivers. Despite their abundance small ecosystems are ...

  17. Millennium ecosystem assessment: research needs

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Carpenter, SR

    2006-10-01

    Full Text Available The Millennium Ecosystem Assessment (MA) was designed to meet the needs of decision-makers for scientific information on the consequences of ecosystem change for human well-being. Even though the intended audience is decision-makers, the scientific...

  18. Ecosystem Restoration: A Manager's Perspective

    Science.gov (United States)

    James G. Kenna; Gilpin R., Jr. Robinson; Bill Pell; Michael A. Thompson; Joe McNeel

    1999-01-01

    Elements of ecological restoration underlie much of what we think of as ecosystem management, and restoration projects on federal lands represent some of the most exciting, challenging, and convincing demonstrations of applied ecosystem management. The Society for Ecological Restoration defined restoration as "the process of reestablishing to the extent possible...

  19. Terrestrial ecosystems and their change

    Science.gov (United States)

    Anatoly Z. Shvidenko; Eric Gustafson; A. David McGuire; Vjacheslav I. Kharuk; Dmitry G. Schepaschenko; Herman H. Shugart; Nadezhda M. Tchebakova; Natalia N. Vygodskaya; Alexander A. Onuchin; Daniel J. Hayes; Ian McCallum; Shamil Maksyutov; Ludmila V. Mukhortova; Amber J. Soja; Luca Belelli-Marchesini; Julia A. Kurbatova; Alexander V. Oltchev; Elena I. Parfenova; Jacquelyn K. Shuman

    2012-01-01

    This chapter considers the current state of Siberian terrestrial ecosystems, their spatial distribution, and major biometric characteristics. Ongoing climate change and the dramatic increase of accompanying anthropogenic pressure provide different but mostly negative impacts on Siberian ecosystems. Future climates of the region may lead to substantial drying on large...

  20. Twenty years of ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Costanza, Robert; Groot, de Dolf; Braat, L.; Kubiszewski, Ida; Fioramonti, Lorenzo; Sutton, Paul; Farber, Steve; Grasso, Monica

    2017-01-01

    It has been 20 years since two seminal publications about ecosystem services came out: an edited book by Gretchen Daily and an article in Nature by a group of ecologists and economists on the value of the world's ecosystem services. Both of these have been very highly cited and kicked off an

  1. National Atlas of Ecosystem Services

    Science.gov (United States)

    The nation’s ecosystems provide a vast array of services to humans from clean and abundant water to recreational opportunities. The benefits of nature or “ecosystem services” are often taken for granted and not considered in environmental decision-making. In some cases, decis...

  2. Ecosystem Services : In Nordic Freshwater Management

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Magnussen, Kristin; Hasler, Berit; Zandersen, Marianne

    Human wellbeing is dependent upon and benefit from ecosystem services which are delivered by well-functioning ecosystems. Ecosystem services can be mapped and assessed consistently within an ecosystem service framework. This project aims to explore the use and usefulness of the ecosystem service ...

  3. Comparison of Unmanned Aerial Vehicle Platforms for Assessing Vegetation Cover in Sagebrush Steppe Ecosystems

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robert P. Breckenridge; Maxine Dakins; Stephen Bunting; Jerry Harbour; Sera White

    2011-09-01

    In this study, the use of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) as a quick and safe method for monitoring biotic resources was evaluated. Vegetation cover and the amount of bare ground are important factors in understanding the sustainability of many ecosystems and assessment of rangeland health. Methods that improve speed and cost efficiency could greatly improve how biotic resources are monitored on western lands. Sagebrush steppe ecosystems provide important habitat for a variety of species (including sage grouse and pygmy rabbit). Improved methods are needed to support monitoring these habitats because there are not enough resource specialists or funds available for comprehensive ground evaluations. In this project, two UAV platforms, fixed wing and helicopter, were used to collect still-frame imagery to assess vegetation cover in sagebrush steppe ecosystems. This paper discusses the process for collecting and analyzing imagery from the UAVs to (1) estimate percent cover for six different vegetation types (shrub, dead shrub, grass, forb, litter, and bare ground) and (2) locate sage grouse using representative decoys. The field plots were located on the Idaho National Engineering (INL) site west of Idaho Falls, Idaho, in areas with varying amounts and types of vegetation cover. A software program called SamplePoint was used along with visual inspection to evaluate percent cover for the six cover types. Results were compared against standard field measurements to assess accuracy. The comparison of fixed-wing and helicopter UAV technology against field estimates shows good agreement for the measurement of bare ground. This study shows that if a high degree of detail and data accuracy is desired, then a helicopter UAV may be a good platform to use. If the data collection objective is to assess broad-scale landscape level changes, then the collection of imagery with a fixed-wing system is probably more appropriate.

  4. Rangeland -- Plant responses to elevated CO{sub 2}. Progress report

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1992-10-01

    Several broad conclusions which can be drawn from the work that was accomplished during the first 3-year phase of the study is described. In prairie ecosystems dominated by C{sub 4} grasses, it is likely that elevated atmospheric CO{sub 2} will increase ecosystem level productivity, with a greater increase in belowground productivity. The increased productivity will primarily result from increased water use efficiency due to the anti-transpirant action of CO{sub 2}. Fumigation chambers are directly confounded with elevated CO{sub 2} effects, in that both reduce evapotranspiration. The reduced evapotranspiration of the fumigation chamber is primarily through reduced wind speeds and reduced radiation. In very dry years, fumigation chamber effects are negligible, but in years with normal precipitation, chamber effects and elevated CO{sub 2} effects are essentially equal with respect to reduced evapotranspiration effects. Increased production under elevated CO{sub 2} results in reduced nitrogen concentration in the herbage and increased fiber concentrations. Consequently, digestibility of the herbage is reduced, and microbial degradation of surface litter and soil organic matter is slowed. On the negative side, ruminant productivity will likely be reduced substantially, but increased carbon storage in the soil may buffer against future rise in atmospheric CO{sub 2}. Tallgrass prairie will not likely change greatly in botanical composition, since the C{sub 4} dominants responded to elevated CO{sub 2} more than the C{sub 3} subdominants.

  5. Linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services for public policy

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Christina P; Jiang, Bo; Kinzig, Ann P; Lee, Kai N; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2015-01-01

    Governments worldwide are recognising ecosystem services as an approach to address sustainability challenges. Decision-makers need credible and legitimate measurements of ecosystem services to evaluate decisions for trade-offs to make wise choices. Managers lack these measurements because of a data gap linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services. The dominant method to address the data gap is benefit transfer using ecological data from one location to estimate ecosystem services at other locations with similar land cover. However, benefit transfer is only valid once the data gap is adequately resolved. Disciplinary frames separating ecology from economics and policy have resulted in confusion on concepts and methods preventing progress on the data gap. In this study, we present a 10-step approach to unify concepts, methods and data from the disparate disciplines to offer guidance on overcoming the data gap. We suggest: (1) estimate ecosystem characteristics using biophysical models, (2) identify final ecosystem services using endpoints and (3) connect them using ecological production functions to quantify biophysical trade-offs. The guidance is strategic for public policy because analysts need to be: (1) realistic when setting priorities, (2) attentive to timelines to acquire relevant data, given resources and (3) responsive to the needs of decision-makers. PMID:25394857

  6. Linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services for public policy.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wong, Christina P; Jiang, Bo; Kinzig, Ann P; Lee, Kai N; Ouyang, Zhiyun

    2015-01-01

    Governments worldwide are recognising ecosystem services as an approach to address sustainability challenges. Decision-makers need credible and legitimate measurements of ecosystem services to evaluate decisions for trade-offs to make wise choices. Managers lack these measurements because of a data gap linking ecosystem characteristics to final ecosystem services. The dominant method to address the data gap is benefit transfer using ecological data from one location to estimate ecosystem services at other locations with similar land cover. However, benefit transfer is only valid once the data gap is adequately resolved. Disciplinary frames separating ecology from economics and policy have resulted in confusion on concepts and methods preventing progress on the data gap. In this study, we present a 10-step approach to unify concepts, methods and data from the disparate disciplines to offer guidance on overcoming the data gap. We suggest: (1) estimate ecosystem characteristics using biophysical models, (2) identify final ecosystem services using endpoints and (3) connect them using ecological production functions to quantify biophysical trade-offs. The guidance is strategic for public policy because analysts need to be: (1) realistic when setting priorities, (2) attentive to timelines to acquire relevant data, given resources and (3) responsive to the needs of decision-makers. © 2014 The Authors. Ecology Letters published by John Wiley & Sons Ltd and CNRS.

  7. Technological Ecosystems in Health Informatics: A Brief Review Article.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wu, Zhongmei; Zhang, Xiuxiu; Chen, Ying; Zhang, Yan

    2016-09-01

    The existing models of information technology in health sciences have full scope of betterment and extension. The high demand pressures, public expectations, advanced platforms all collectively contribute towards hospital environment, which has to be kept in kind while designing of advanced technological ecosystem for information technology. Moreover, for the smooth conduct and operation of information system advanced management avenues are also essential in hospitals. It is the top priority of every hospital to deal with the essential needs of care for patients within the available resources of human and financial outputs. In these situations of high demand, the technological ecosystems in health informatics come in to play and prove its importance and role. The present review article would enlighten all these aspects of these ecosystems in hospital management and health care informatics. We searched the electronic database of MEDLINE, EMBASE, and PubMed for clinical controlled trials, pre-clinical studies reporting utilizaiono of ecosysyem advances in health information technology. The primary outcome of eligible studies included confirmation of importance and role of advances ecosystems in health informatics. It was observed that technological ecosystems are the backbone of health informatics. Advancements in technological ecosystems are essential for proper functioning of health information system in clinical setting.

  8. Diverse Drought Spatiotemporal Trends, Diverse Etic-Emic Perceptions and Knowledge: Implications for Adaptive Capacity and Resource Management for Indigenous Maasai-Pastoralism in the Rangelands of Kenya

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Margaret Mwangi

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available The study examined the spatiotemporal distribution of drought in the Maasai rangelands of Kenya. The implications of this distribution, in concert with the documented existing and/or projected social and biophysical factors, on critical rangeland resources in Maasai-pastoralism are discussed using an integrated approach. Participatory interviews with the Maasai, retrieval from archives, and acquisition from instrument measurements provided data for the study. Empirical evidence of the current study reveals that drought occurrences in this rangeland have been recurrent, widespread, cyclic, sometimes temporally clustered, and have manifested with varying intensities across spatial, temporal, and, occasionally, social scales; and they have more intensity in lower than higher agroecological areas. An estimated 86% of drought occurrences in this rangeland, over the last three decades alone, were of major drought category. The 2000s, with four major drought events including two extreme droughts, are an important drought period. A strong consensus exists among the Maasai regarding observed drought events. In Maasai-pastoralism, the phenomenon called drought, pastoralist drought, is simultaneously multivariate and multiscalar: its perception comprises the simultaneous manifestation of cross-scale meteorological, socioeconomic, and environmental factors and processes, and their various combinations. The inherent simultaneous multivariate and scalar nature of the pastoralist drought distinguishes it from the conventional drought types, particularly the meteorological drought that predominantly guides drought and resource management in the rangelands of Kenya. In Maasai-pastoralism, the scarcely used (33% meteorological drought is construed as rainfall delay/failure across spatial and/or temporal scale, and never its reduced amount. Collectively, the current findings reveal that knowledge about drought affects the way the manifestation of this climatic

  9. Towards a consistent approach for ecosystem accounting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Edens, B.; Hein, L.G.

    2013-01-01

    In spite of an increasing interest in environmental economic accounting, there is still very limited experience with the integration of ecosystem services and ecosystem capital in national accounts. This paper identifies four key methodological challenges in developing ecosystem accounts: the

  10. Ecosystem overfishing in the ocean.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marta Coll

    Full Text Available Fisheries catches represent a net export of mass and energy that can no longer be used by trophic levels higher than those fished. Thus, exploitation implies a depletion of secondary production of higher trophic levels (here the production of mass and energy by herbivores and carnivores in the ecosystem due to the removal of prey. The depletion of secondary production due to the export of biomass and energy through catches was recently formulated as a proxy for evaluating the ecosystem impacts of fishing-i.e., the level of ecosystem overfishing. Here we evaluate the historical and current risk of ecosystem overfishing at a global scale by quantifying the depletion of secondary production using the best available fisheries and ecological data (i.e., catch and primary production. Our results highlight an increasing trend in the number of unsustainable fisheries (i.e., an increase in the risk of ecosystem overfishing from the 1950s to the 2000s, and illustrate the worldwide geographic expansion of overfishing. These results enable to assess when and where fishing became unsustainable at the ecosystem level. At present, total catch per capita from Large Marine Ecosystems is at least twice the value estimated to ensure fishing at moderate sustainable levels.

  11. Ecosystem services provided by birds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Whelan, Christopher J; Wenny, Daniel G; Marquis, Robert J

    2008-01-01

    Ecosystem services are natural processes that benefit humans. Birds contribute the four types of services recognized by the UN Millennium Ecosystem Assessment-provisioning, regulating, cultural, and supporting services. In this review, we concentrate primarily on supporting services, and to a lesser extent, provisioning and regulating services. As members of ecosystems, birds play many roles, including as predators, pollinators, scavengers, seed dispersers, seed predators, and ecosystem engineers. These ecosystem services fall into two subcategories: those that arise via behavior (like consumption of agricultural pests) and those that arise via bird products (like nests and guano). Characteristics of most birds make them quite special from the perspective of ecosystem services. Because most birds fly, they can respond to irruptive or pulsed resources in ways generally not possible for other vertebrates. Migratory species link ecosystem processes and fluxes that are separated by great distances and times. Although the economic value to humans contributed by most, if not all, of the supporting services has yet to be quantified, we believe they are important to humans. Our goals for this review are 1) to lay the groundwork on these services to facilitate future efforts to estimate their economic value, 2) to highlight gaps in our knowledge, and 3) to point to future directions for additional research.

  12. Adaptive management for ecosystem services.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birgé, Hannah E; Allen, Craig R; Garmestani, Ahjond S; Pope, Kevin L

    2016-12-01

    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 management designed to meet the demands of a growing human population. Copyright © 2016 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  13. Ecosystem overfishing in the ocean.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Coll, Marta; Libralato, Simone; Tudela, Sergi; Palomera, Isabel; Pranovi, Fabio

    2008-01-01

    Fisheries catches represent a net export of mass and energy that can no longer be used by trophic levels higher than those fished. Thus, exploitation implies a depletion of secondary production of higher trophic levels (here the production of mass and energy by herbivores and carnivores in the ecosystem) due to the removal of prey. The depletion of secondary production due to the export of biomass and energy through catches was recently formulated as a proxy for evaluating the ecosystem impacts of fishing-i.e., the level of ecosystem overfishing. Here we evaluate the historical and current risk of ecosystem overfishing at a global scale by quantifying the depletion of secondary production using the best available fisheries and ecological data (i.e., catch and primary production). Our results highlight an increasing trend in the number of unsustainable fisheries (i.e., an increase in the risk of ecosystem overfishing) from the 1950s to the 2000s, and illustrate the worldwide geographic expansion of overfishing. These results enable to assess when and where fishing became unsustainable at the ecosystem level. At present, total catch per capita from Large Marine Ecosystems is at least twice the value estimated to ensure fishing at moderate sustainable levels.

  14. Faecal near-IR spectroscopy to determine the nutritional value of diets consumed by beef cattle in east Mediterranean rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, S Y; Dvash, L; Roudman, M; Muklada, H; Barkai, D; Yehuda, Y; Ungar, E D

    2016-02-01

    Rapid assessment of the nutritional quality of diets ingested by grazing animals is pivotal for successful cow-calf management in east Mediterranean rangelands, which receive unpredictable rainfall and are subject to hot-spells. Clipped vegetation samples are seldom representative of diets consumed, as cows locate and graze selectively. In contrast, faeces are easily sampled and their near-IR spectra contain information about nutrients and their utilization. However, a pre-requisite for successful faecal near-infrared reflectance spectroscopy (FNIRS) is that the calibration database encompass the spectral variability of samples to be analyzed. Using confined beef cows in Northern and Southern Israel, we calibrated prediction equations based on individual pairs of known dietary attributes and the NIR spectra of associated faeces (n=125). Diets were composed of fresh-cut green fodder of monocots (wheat and barley), dicots (safflower and garden pea) and natural pasture collected at various phenological states over 2 consecutive years, and, optionally, supplements of barley grain and dried poultry litter. A total of 48 additional pairs of faeces and diets sourced from cows fed six complete mixed rations covering a wide range of energy and CP concentrations. Precision (linearity of calibration, R2cal, and of cross-validation, R2cv) and accuracy (standard error of cross-validation, SEcv) were criteria for calibration quality. The calibrations for dietary ash, CP, NDF and in vitro dry matter digestibility yielded R2cal values >0.87, R2cv of 0.81 to 0.89 and SEcv values of 16, 13, 39 and 31 g/kg dry matter, respectively. Equations for nutrient intake were of low quality, with the exception of CP. Evaluation of FNIRS predictions was carried out with grazing animals supplemented or not with poultry litter, and implementation of the method in one herd over 2 years is presented. The potential usefulness of equations was also established by calculating the Mahalanobis (H

  15. Impact of animal density on cattle nutrition in dry Mediterranean rangelands: a faecal near-IR spectroscopy-aided study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Landau, S Y; Dvash, L; Yehuda, Y; Muklada, H; Peleg, G; Henkin, Z; Voet, H; Ungar, E D

    2018-02-01

    In the context of determining the sustainable carrying capacity of dry-Mediterranean herbaceous rangelands, we examined the effect of animal density on cattle nutrition, which is fundamental to animal performance and welfare. The effects on dietary components of low (0.56 cows/ha; L) and high (1.11 cows/ha; H) animal densities were monitored for three consecutive years in grazing beef cows. In the dry season (summer and early autumn), cows had free access to N-rich poultry litter (PL) given as a dietary supplement. In each season, near-IR spectroscopy (NIRS) was used to predict the chemical composition of herbage samples (ash, NDF, CP, in vitro dry matter digestibility (IVDMD) and metabolizable energy (ME) content from IVDMD). Near-IR spectroscopy was applied also to faecal samples to determine the chemical composition of the diet selected by the animal, as well as the contents of ash, NDF and CP in the faeces themselves. A faecal-NIRS equation was applied to estimate the dietary proportion of PL. Seasonal categories were green, dry without PL supplementation and dry with it. We found no effects of animal density on nutrition during the green season but effects were apparent when cows consumed dry pasture. Ash content predicted by faecal NIRS was higher in the diet than in plant samples clipped from pasture, which infers that cows ingested soil. Dietary and faecal ash contents were higher (Panimals. During the dry period, dietary contents of ME were higher in L than in H (Panimal health, the above results cast doubts on the long-term sustainability of the higher of the animal densities tested. Although it may be sustainable vis-à-vis the vegetation, treatment H may have exceeded the boundaries of what is acceptable for cow health. Chemical information revealed with NIRS can be used to evaluate whether animal densities are compatible with animal health and welfare standards and can play a role in determining the carrying capacity of Mediterranean rangelands.

  16. Integrating Human and Ecosystem Health Through Ecosystem Services Frameworks.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ford, Adriana E S; Graham, Hilary; White, Piran C L

    2015-12-01

    The pace and scale of environmental change is undermining the conditions for human health. Yet the environment and human health remain poorly integrated within research, policy and practice. The ecosystem services (ES) approach provides a way of promoting integration via the frameworks used to represent relationships between environment and society in simple visual forms. To assess this potential, we undertook a scoping review of ES frameworks and assessed how each represented seven key dimensions, including ecosystem and human health. Of the 84 ES frameworks identified, the majority did not include human health (62%) or include feedback mechanisms between ecosystems and human health (75%). While ecosystem drivers of human health are included in some ES frameworks, more comprehensive frameworks are required to drive forward research and policy on environmental change and human health.

  17. The Electron

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Thomson, George

    1972-01-01

    Electrons are elementary particles of atoms that revolve around and outside the nucleus and have a negative charge. This booklet discusses how electrons relate to electricity, some applications of electrons, electrons as waves, electrons in atoms and solids, the electron microscope, among other things.

  18. Trialogue model for ecosystem governance.

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Hattingh, J

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available The International Symposium on Ecosystem Governance held in South Africa during 2005 enabled scientists from several disciplines to debate issues relating to governance. The symposium provided an opportunity to explore the concept of governance...

  19. Rapid Recovery of Damaged Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Jones, Holly P.; Schmitz, Oswald J.

    2009-01-01

    Background Recent reports on the state of the global environment provide evidence that humankind is inflicting great damage to the very ecosystems that support human livelihoods. The reports further predict that ecosystems will take centuries to recover from damages if they recover at all. Accordingly, there is despair that we are passing on a legacy of irreparable damage to future generations which is entirely inconsistent with principles of sustainability. Methodology/Principal Findings We tested the prediction of irreparable harm using a synthesis of recovery times compiled from 240 independent studies reported in the scientific literature. We provide startling evidence that most ecosystems globally can, given human will, recover from very major perturbations on timescales of decades to half-centuries. Significance/Conclusions Accordingly, we find much hope that humankind can transition to more sustainable use of ecosystems. PMID:19471645

  20. Ecosystem overfishing in the ocean

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Coll, Marta; Libralato, Simone; Tudela, Sergi; Palomera, Isabel; Pranovi, Fabio

    2008-01-01

    ...) due to the removal of prey. The depletion of secondary production due to the export of biomass and energy through catches was recently formulated as a proxy for evaluating the ecosystem impacts of fishing-i.e...

  1. Mirador - Carbon Cycle and Ecosystems

    Data.gov (United States)

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

  2. Engineering Ecosystems and Synthetic Ecologies#

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mee, Michael T; Wang, Harris H

    2012-01-01

    Microbial ecosystems play an important role in nature. Engineering these systems for industrial, medical, or biotechnological purposes are important pursuits for synthetic biologists and biological engineers moving forward. Here, we provide a review of recent progress in engineering natural and synthetic microbial ecosystems. We highlight important forward engineering design principles, theoretical and quantitative models, new experimental and manipulation tools, and possible applications of microbial ecosystem engineering. We argue that simply engineering individual microbes will lead to fragile homogenous populations that are difficult to sustain, especially in highly heterogeneous and unpredictable environments. Instead, engineered microbial ecosystems are likely to be more robust and able to achieve complex tasks at the spatial and temporal resolution needed for truly programmable biology. PMID:22722235

  3. Mineral nutrients in mediterranean ecosystems

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Day, JA

    1983-06-01

    Full Text Available The notion of ecological convergence has influenced taxonomists and biogeographers since the development of ecology in the mid-nineteenth century. Our initial understanding of the ecosystems of the world resulted from plant geographers...

  4. Puako Ecosystem Model Output Data

    Data.gov (United States)

    National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, Department of Commerce — Coral reefs provide a wide range of ecosystem services that are valued differently by different users. Managers are challenged to comprehensively address the full...

  5. Effect of Grazing Intensity on Some Soil Chemical Characteristics in Gardaneh Zanburi Rangeland of Arsanjan

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    zeinab khademolhosseini

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Introduction:Changes caused by grazing on range ecosystem are generally assessed based on the soil conditions and vegetation. Livestock as one of the major elements in range land ecosystems has different effects on different parts of this ecosystem. One of these impacts is excessive livestock grazing capacity which can have different effects on soils and plants in various intensities. Materials and Methods:Gardaneh ZanbooriRangelandis located in Arsanjan in Fars province. This isanareaof mountains, hillsandplains with the maximum height of 2280 meters and minimum height of 1640 meters above sea level. Related areas were separated under three different management methods of enclosure, moderate grazing and heavy grazing. These three areas are considered as symbolic areas of grazing intensity including the reference area where no grazing intensity was observed, the key area where medium to heavy grazing was applied and critical area where heavy grazing was used. These areas were similar in all characteristics such as topography, soil type and rainfall and differed only in their grazing intensity factor. Then, soil samples were collected. Random systematic soil sampling was conducted at two horizons of 0 -15 and 15 -30 cm. Therefore, five profiles in each area (enclosure, moderate grazing and heavy grazing, a total of 15 soil profiles, were excavated and two samples were taken in each profile (one sample from each horizon. Finally, the thirty soil samples were transported to the laboratory. Samples were dried in the air laboratory and passed a two millimeter sieve after smashing. Factors such as N, P, K, OM, EC and PH were measured in each sample In the laboratory, the percentage of P was determined by the Olsen method while the percentage of K was determined using the flamephotometry method. Moreover, N was measured using the Kjeldhal method. C was measured by the Walkley and Black method. The percentage of OM was found by carbon multiplying

  6. Aerial Explorers and Robotic Ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Young, Larry A.; Pisanich, Greg

    2004-01-01

    A unique bio-inspired approach to autonomous aerial vehicle, a.k.a. aerial explorer technology is discussed. The work is focused on defining and studying aerial explorer mission concepts, both as an individual robotic system and as a member of a small robotic "ecosystem." Members of this robotic ecosystem include the aerial explorer, air-deployed sensors and robotic symbiotes, and other assets such as rovers, landers, and orbiters.

  7. In Brief: Coral ecosystems plan

    Science.gov (United States)

    Showstack, Randy

    2007-08-01

    With climate change, unsustainable fishing practices, and disease ``transforming coral communities at regional to global scales,'' a 30 July report from the U.S. Geological Survey outlines a strategy for conducting research on coral ecosystems. The report indicates that USGS coral ecosystem research will focus on three major themes during the next five years, as funding permits: reef structure, ecological integrity, and the role of marine reserves; land-based and local impacts; and responses to global change.

  8. Interaction webs in arctic ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Schmidt, Niels M.; Hardwick, Bess; Gilg, Olivier

    2017-01-01

    How species interact modulate their dynamics, their response to environmental change, and ultimately the functioning and stability of entire communities. Work conducted at Zackenberg, Northeast Greenland, has changed our view on how networks of arctic biotic interactions are structured, how they ...... that the combination of long-term, ecosystem-based monitoring, and targeted research projects offers the most fruitful basis for understanding and predicting the future of arctic ecosystems....

  9. Water development strategy as a driving force for sustained rangeland management by local communities in sub-Saharan Africa.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Pamo, Etienne Tedonkeng

    2004-12-01

    Water is the major food component for the maintenance of animals. Although Africa is endowed with diverse agricultural environments, the survival of animals in Sahelian and sub-Sahelian Africa is threatened by the lack of water. Animals need water as an essential nutrient, a component of the body, and for conductive or evaporative cooling. Water needs are met mainly through drinking free water and to a lesser extent by utilising water that forms part of the feed. However during the long dry season, surface water resources dwindle and the water content of available forage decreases, thereby increasing the animals' demand for water. Consequently animals have to walk for long distances to obtain adequate forage and water, which in turn raises the demand for these resources. Water can be used to direct and regulate rangeland management in this open access environment, to maintain range resources and to improve their quality. Water development, which takes into consideration usable forage, despite some intra- or inter-annual variability, plays an important role and its spatial distribution will affect the grazing intensity of forage resources. Sound water development and management strategies integrating local communities in the decision-making will set up a firm basis for sustained range management in the free and open access environment of sub-Saharan Africa where lack of financial input, social and cultural habits and above all the environmental condition do not permit large scale fencing as in other parts of the world.

  10. Novel ecosystems in the Anthropocene: a revision of the novel ecosystem concept for pragmatic applications

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Nathaniel B. Morse

    2014-06-01

    Full Text Available Ecologists have developed terminology to distinguish ecosystems based on the degree of human alteration. To this end, ecosystems can be characterized as "novel ecosystems," "impacted ecosystems," or "designed ecosystems," depending on the role of human management in ecosystem development and effects on ecosystem properties. Properly classifying an ecosystem as novel, impacted, or designed has critical implications for its conservation and management, but a broadly applicable definition for a "novel ecosystem" does not exist. We have provided a formal definition of "novel ecosystem" that facilitates its use in practical applications and have described four characteristics of such an ecosystem. A novel ecosystem can be identified by its origins rooted in human agency, the ecological thresholds it has crossed, a significantly altered species composition, and a capacity to sustain itself. Ecosystem classification in the literature has been inconsistent. We have illustrated the application of our definition using multiple case studies representing impacted, designed, and novel ecosystems.

  11. 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

    discussions among diverse stakeholders regarding the tradeoffs among different ecosystem services in a variety of physical and social contexts ranging from forest and rangeland to coastal and marine.

  12. Electron radiography

    Science.gov (United States)

    Merrill, Frank E.; Morris, Christopher

    2005-05-17

    A system capable of performing radiography using a beam of electrons. Diffuser means receive a beam of electrons and diffuse the electrons before they enter first matching quadrupoles where the diffused electrons are focused prior to the diffused electrons entering an object. First imaging quadrupoles receive the focused diffused electrons after the focused diffused electrons have been scattered by the object for focusing the scattered electrons. Collimator means receive the scattered electrons and remove scattered electrons that have scattered to large angles. Second imaging quadrupoles receive the collimated scattered electrons and refocus the collimated scattered electrons and map the focused collimated scattered electrons to transverse locations on an image plane representative of the electrons' positions in the object.

  13. Western juniper management: assessing strategies for improving greater sage-grouse habitat and rangeland productivity

    Science.gov (United States)

    Farzan, Shahla; Young, Derek J.N.; Dedrick, Allison G.; Hamilton, Mattew; Porse, Erik C.; Coates, Peter S.; Sampson, Gabriel

    2015-01-01

    Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis subsp. occidentalis) range expansion into sagebrush steppe ecosystems has affected both native wildlife and economic livelihoods across western North America. The potential listing of the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus) under the U.S. Endangered Species Act has spurred a decade of juniper removal efforts, yet limited research has evaluated program effectiveness. We used a multi-objective spatially explicit model to identify optimal juniper removal sites in Northeastern California across weighted goals for ecological (sage-grouse habitat) and economic (cattle forage production) benefits. We also extended the analysis through alternative case scenarios that tested the effects of coordination among federal agencies, budgetary constraints, and the use of fire as a juniper treatment method. We found that sage-grouse conservation and forage production goals are somewhat complementary, but the extent of complementary benefits strongly depends on spatial factors and management approaches. Certain management actions substantially increase achievable benefits, including agency coordination and the use of prescribed burns to remove juniper. Critically, our results indicate that juniper management strategies designed to increase cattle forage do not necessarily achieve measurable sage-grouse benefits, underscoring the need for program evaluation and monitoring.

  14. Could Payments for Ecosystem Services Create an "Ecosystem Service Curse"?

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Jakub Kronenberg

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Payments for ecosystem services (PES have received much praise and are increasingly perceived as a promising tool to ensure the protection of global ecosystems as well as being able to help alleviate poverty in areas rich in ecosystem services. Given current trends, the scale of payments is likely to grow, creating new circumstances within which ecosystem services will be managed. In this dynamic context, following a precautionary approach, one should focus on establishing systems to handle the risks involved. Based on an analogy to resources that have long been included in the system of market transactions, we suggest that the rapid development of PES can negatively influence regional and potentially national economies. Resource revenues are highly correlated with economic problems in poor countries that are not able to use those revenues to ensure sound development. Problems similar to those that affect resource-rich countries may emerge in the case of economies rich in ecosystem services once PES increase in spatial and monetary scale. The most prominent examples of such problems include rent seeking, unequal bargaining power of buyers and sellers, volatility of payments, which are all related to the quality of institutions. To ensure the long-term positive impacts of PES, such systems should be carefully designed paying particular attention to distribution of property rights and transparency, decentralization of revenues, and capacity building to ensure further development opportunities.

  15. Our natural capital: Ecosystem service delivery

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Dziba, L

    2012-10-01

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

  16. Defining Ecosystem Assets for Natural Capital Accounting.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, Lars; Bagstad, Ken; Edens, Bram; Obst, Carl; de Jong, Rixt; Lesschen, Jan Peter

    2016-01-01

    In natural capital accounting, ecosystems are assets that provide ecosystem services to people. Assets can be measured using both physical and monetary units. In the international System of Environmental-Economic Accounting, ecosystem assets are generally valued on the basis of the net present value of the expected flow of ecosystem services. In this paper we argue that several additional conceptualisations of ecosystem assets are needed to understand ecosystems as assets, in support of ecosystem assessments, ecosystem accounting and ecosystem management. In particular, we define ecosystems' capacity and capability to supply ecosystem services, as well as the potential supply of ecosystem services. Capacity relates to sustainable use levels of multiple ecosystem services, capability involves prioritising the use of one ecosystem service over a basket of services, and potential supply considers the ability of ecosystems to generate services regardless of demand for these services. We ground our definitions in the ecosystem services and accounting literature, and illustrate and compare the concepts of flow, capacity, capability, and potential supply with a range of conceptual and real-world examples drawn from case studies in Europe and North America. Our paper contributes to the development of measurement frameworks for natural capital to support environmental accounting and other assessment frameworks.

  17. Governance of ecosystem services on small islands

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Polman, Nico; Reinhard, Stijn; Bets, van L.K.J.; Kuhlman, Tom

    2016-01-01

    Natural ecosystems provide an attractive focus for tourism on small islands. However, at the same time tourism and other human actions can be detrimental to these ecosystems especially because governance of the ecosystem may be difficult due to the limited resilience of small island ecosystems.

  18. Developing spatial biophysical accounting for multiple ecosystem services

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Remme, R.P.; Schroter, M.; Hein, L.G.

    2014-01-01

    Ecosystem accounting is receiving increasing interest as a way to systematically monitor the conditions of ecosystems and the ecosystem services they provide. A critical element of ecosystem accounting is understanding spatially explicit flows of ecosystem services. We developed spatial biophysical

  19. Rangeland plant response to elevated CO{sub 2}. Annual report, 1991

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

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

    1991-12-31

    Effects of carbon dioxide enrichment on a tallgrass ecosystem were monitored during the 1990 growing season. The chambers, CO{sub 2} delivery system, and data acquisition and control system were in place and operational by 4 April 1990. CO{sub 2} fumigation and data acquisition began on that date. Nitrogen fertilizer as ammonium nitrate was applied at a rate of 45 kg ha {sup -1} on 1 April to the N-fertilized plots. The chambers were 4.5 m in diameter and 4 m in height to allow for destructive sampling for biomass accumulation, leaf area determination, and for grazing esophageally-fistulated sheep. The experimental site was located in pristine Tallgrass Prairie north of/and adjacent to the Kansas State University campus. Vegetation on the site was a mixture of C3 and C4 species and was dominated by big bluestem (Andropogon geradii vitman) and indiangrass (Sorghastrum nutans (L.) Nash). Subdominants included Kentucky bluegrass (Poa pratensis L.), sideoats grama (Bouteloua curtipendula (Michx.) Torr.), and tall dropseed (Sporobolus asper var. asper (Michx.) Kunth). Members of the sedge family made up 5-10% of the composition. Principal forbs included western ragweed (Ambrosia psilostachya DC.), Louisiana sagewort (Artemesia ludoviciana Nutt.), and mayflower scurfpea (Psoralea tenuiflora var. floribunda (Nutt.) Rydb.). Average peak biomass occurs in early August at 425 g m{sup -2} of which 35 g m{sup -2} is from forbs. The area was ideal for meeting the experimental objectives, in that the mixture of C3 and C4 plants would allow for assessment of competitive relationships among numerous species of both carbon fixation pathways.

  20. Progress and challenges in the development of ecosystem accounting as a tool to analyse ecosystem capital

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Hein, Lars; Obst, Carl; Edens, Bram; Remme, R.P.

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem accounting has been developed as a systematic approach to incorporate measures of ecosystem services and ecosystem assets into an accounting structure. Ecosystem accounting involves spatially explicit modelling of ecosystem services and assets, in both physical and monetary terms. A

  1. Ecosystem services provided by waterbirds.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Green, Andy J; Elmberg, Johan

    2014-02-01

    Ecosystem services are ecosystem processes that directly or indirectly benefit human well-being. There has been much recent literature identifying different services and the communities and species that provide them. This is a vital first step towards management and maintenance of these services. In this review, we specifically address the waterbirds, which play key functional roles in many aquatic ecosystems, including as predators, herbivores and vectors of seeds, invertebrates and nutrients, although these roles have often been overlooked. Waterbirds can maintain the diversity of other organisms, control pests, be effective bioindicators of ecological conditions, and act as sentinels of potential disease outbreaks. They also provide important provisioning (meat, feathers, eggs, etc.) and cultural services to both indigenous and westernized societies. We identify key gaps in the understanding of ecosystem services provided by waterbirds and areas for future research required to clarify their functional role in ecosystems and the services they provide. We consider how the economic value of these services could be calculated, giving some examples. Such valuation will provide powerful arguments for waterbird conservation. © 2013 The Authors. Biological Reviews © 2013 Cambridge Philosophical Society.

  2. Belowground dynamics in mangrove ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    McKee, Karen L.

    2004-01-01

    Mangrove ecosystems are tropical/subtropical communities of primarily tree species that grow in the intertidal zone. These tidal communities are important coastal ecosystems that are valued for a variety of ecological and societal goods and services (fig. 1). Mangrove wetlands are important filters of materials moving between the land and sea, trapping sediment, nutrients, and pollutants in runoff from uplands and preventing their direct introduction into sensitive marine ecosystems such as seagrass beds and coral reefs. Mangroves serve as nursery grounds and refuge for a variety of organisms and are consequently vital to the biological productivity of coastal waters. Furthermore, because mangroves are highly resilient to disturbances such as hurricanes, they represent a self-sustaining, protective barrier for human populations living in the coastal zone. Mangrove ecosystems also contribute to shoreline stabilization through consolidation of unstable mineral sediments and peat formation. In order to help conserve mangrove ecoystems, scientists with the United States Geological Survey (USGS) at the National Wetlands Research Center are working to more fully understand the dynamics that impact these vital ecosystems.

  3. Performance and effects of land cover type on synthetic surface reflectance data and NDVI estimates for assessment and monitoring of semi-arid rangeland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Olexa, Edward M.; Lawrence, Rick L

    2014-01-01

    Federal land management agencies provide stewardship over much of the rangelands in the arid andsemi-arid western United States, but they often lack data of the proper spatiotemporal resolution andextent needed to assess range conditions and monitor trends. Recent advances in the blending of com-plementary, remotely sensed data could provide public lands managers with the needed information.We applied the Spatial and Temporal Adaptive Reflectance Fusion Model (STARFM) to five Landsat TMand concurrent Terra MODIS scenes, and used pixel-based regression and difference image analyses toevaluate the quality of synthetic reflectance and NDVI products associated with semi-arid rangeland. Pre-dicted red reflectance data consistently demonstrated higher accuracy, less bias, and stronger correlationwith observed data than did analogous near-infrared (NIR) data. The accuracy of both bands tended todecline as the lag between base and prediction dates increased; however, mean absolute errors (MAE)were typically ≤10%. The quality of area-wide NDVI estimates was less consistent than either spectra lband, although the MAE of estimates predicted using early season base pairs were ≤10% throughout the growing season. Correlation between known and predicted NDVI values and agreement with the 1:1regression line tended to decline as the prediction lag increased. Further analyses of NDVI predictions,based on a 22 June base pair and stratified by land cover/land use (LCLU), revealed accurate estimates through the growing season; however, inter-class performance varied. This work demonstrates the successful application of the STARFM algorithm to semi-arid rangeland; however, we encourage evaluation of STARFM’s performance on a per product basis, stratified by LCLU, with attention given to the influence of base pair selection and the impact of the time lag.

  4. A Hydrogeophysics Approach to Investigate Upland-Stream Connectivity on a Rangeland Hillslope in the Upper Crow Creek Watershed in Southeastern Wyoming

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carey, A. M.; Flinchum, B. A.; Paige, G. B.; Carr, B.; Miller, S. N.; Holbrook, W. S.

    2015-12-01

    Nearly all streamflow at one time passes through or over a hillslope prior to reaching the stream network. Knowledge of how this water is attenuated and delayed over a variety of hillslope conditions is critical for understanding the mechanisms controlling the spatial and temporal distribution of streamflow response. In semi-arid rangeland environments, these mechanisms remain unclear. Non- invasive geophysical methods coupled with traditional hydrological tools can provide the necessary insights into the dynamics of how upland hillslopes and streams are episodically connected. We collected approximately 1.4 km of ground penetrating radar (GPR) data to characterize the subsurface structure of a rangeland hillslope in the Upper Crow Creek Watershed and identify subsurface fractures. A field study integrating variable intensity rainfall simulation with time-lapse electrical resistivity tomography (ERT) was then conducted on four runoff plots positioned on the hillslope, to quantify the real-time partitioning of rainfall into surface and subsurface response. Runoff varied significantly across the plots due to spatial variability in vegetation cover, with a maximum and minimum peak runoff rate of 82 mm hr-1 and 7 mm hr-1 respectively. Time-lapse ERT data suggest the potential for infiltrated water to move preferentially through fractured regions in the subsurface identified by the GPR. Conductivity probes and pressure transducers positioned in the adjacent stream showed changes in electrical conductivity and depth following rainfall applications, suggesting hillslope connectivity with fairly rapid subsurface flow. Information obtained from this study will allow us to improve our understanding of the coupling of upland hillslopes and adjacent stream networks in complex rangeland environments.

  5. Defining ecosystem assets for natural capital accounting

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hein, Lars; Bagstad, Kenneth J.; Edens, Bram; Obst, Carl; de Jong, Rixt; Lesschen, Jan Peter

    2016-01-01

    In natural capital accounting, ecosystems are assets that provide ecosystem services to people. Assets can be measured using both physical and monetary units. In the international System of Environmental-Economic Accounting, ecosystem assets are generally valued on the basis of the net present value of the expected flow of ecosystem services. In this paper we argue that several additional conceptualisations of ecosystem assets are needed to understand ecosystems as assets, in support of ecosystem assessments, ecosystem accounting and ecosystem management. In particular, we define ecosystems’ capacity and capability to supply ecosystem services, as well as the potential supply of ecosystem services. Capacity relates to sustainable use levels of multiple ecosystem services, capability involves prioritising the use of one ecosystem service over a basket of services, and potential supply considers the ability of ecosystems to generate services regardless of demand for these services. We ground our definitions in the ecosystem services and accounting literature, and illustrate and compare the concepts of flow, capacity, capability, and potential supply with a range of conceptual and real-world examples drawn from case studies in Europe and North America. Our paper contributes to the development of measurement frameworks for natural capital to support environmental accounting and other assessment frameworks.

  6. EFFECT OF SEASON ON SERUM COPPER AND ZINC CONCENTRATIONS IN CROSSBRED GOATS HAVING DIFFERENT REPRODUCTIVE STATUS UNDER SEMIARID RANGELAND CONDITIONS IN SOUTHERN MEXICO STATE

    OpenAIRE

    José Fernando Vázquez-Armijo; Rolando Rojo; Ricardo Marcial García; Daniel López; Abdel-Fattah Zeidan Mohamed Salem; Ignacio Arturo Domínguez; Nazario Pescador; José Luis Tinoco

    2010-01-01

    The effect of season (rainy: RS, and dry: DS) and reproductive status on copper (Cu) and zinc (Zn) concentrations in blood serum of crossbred goats (BW= 36.01 ± 1.59 kg) were studied under semiarid rangeland conditions in Southern Mexico State. Blood samples from 80 crossbred goats were taken each season (RS and DS). The goats were clustered into 10 different groups considering their reproductive status. Concentrations of Cu and Zn in serum were assayed using atomic absorption. Data were ana...

  7. Characterizing the Danish telemedicine ecosystem

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Manikas, Konstantinos; Hansen, Klaus Marius

    2013-01-01

    The use of telemedicine is arguably beneficial even in densely populated areas in reducing cost and increasing efficiency of healthcare. However, the implementation of telemedicine solutions in the healthcare system of Denmark has been perceived as being faced with implementation...... and interoperability issues, silo solutions, and lack of guidelines and standards. In this paper, we characterise the ecosystem evolved around the telemedicine services in Denmark and study the actors involved in this ecosystem. We establish a method for this study, where we define two actor roles and ways...... of characterizing actor contributions, and apply the method to the largest healthcare region of Denmark. Our findings reveal an ecosystem that is relatively closed to new actors, where the actors tend to be related to single telemedicine applications, the applications have low connectivity, and the most influential...

  8. Environmental Impacts—Marine Ecosystems

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Brander, Keith; Ottersen, Geir; Bakker, J.P.

    2016-01-01

    the physiology, reproduction, growth, survival, behaviour and transport of individuals; the distribution, dynamics and evolution of populations; and the trophic structure and coupling of ecosystems. These complex responses can be detected because there are detailed long-term biological and environmental records...... for the North Sea; written records go back 500 years and archaeological records many thousands of years. The information presented here shows that the composition and productivity of the North Sea marine ecosystem is clearly affected by climate change and that this will have consequences for sustainable levels...... of harvesting and other ecosystem services in the future. Multi-variate ocean climate indicators that can be used to monitor and warn of changes in composition and productivity are now being developed for the North Sea...

  9. Macroevolution in a model ecosystem

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Felsenstein, J.

    1978-01-01

    A greatly oversimplified model of the evolution of energy flow in a single population or a simple ecosystem is presented. In all cases treated, once the effect of the initial size of the ecosystem is lost, the total energy content of the ecosystem increases linearly with time. A constant fraction of the cumulative energy inflow remains in the system at any given time. This fraction is smaller the more unpredictable is the environment and is greater the more trophic levels are present. In simple cases the trophic pyramid converges to a geometric shape which does not lengthen during evolution. A somewhat arbitrary measure of the information content of a population per unit energy content is proportional to the logarithm of time. Aside from many other limitations, the model does not allow for evolution of the efficiency of energy intake. This might have a dramatic effect on the conclusions.

  10. Terrestrial ecosystems and climatic change

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Emanuel, W.R. (Oak Ridge National Lab., TN (USA)); Schimel, D.S. (Colorado State Univ., Fort Collins, CO (USA). Natural Resources Ecology Lab.)

    1990-01-01

    The structure and function of terrestrial ecosystems depend on climate, and in turn, ecosystems influence atmospheric composition and climate. A comprehensive, global model of terrestrial ecosystem dynamics is needed. A hierarchical approach appears advisable given currently available concepts, data, and formalisms. The organization of models can be based on the temporal scales involved. A rapidly responding model describes the processes associated with photosynthesis, including carbon, moisture, and heat exchange with the atmosphere. An intermediate model handles subannual variations that are closely associated with allocation and seasonal changes in productivity and decomposition. A slow response model describes plant growth and succession with associated element cycling over decades and centuries. These three levels of terrestrial models are linked through common specifications of environmental conditions and constrain each other. 58 refs.

  11. Controls on winter ecosystem respiration in temperate and boreal ecosystems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Ciais, P.; Wang, T.; Piao, S.L.; Ottlé, C.; Brender, P.; Moors, E.J.

    2011-01-01

    Winter CO2 fluxes represent an important component of the annual carbon budget in northern ecosystems. Understanding winter respiration processes and their responses to climate change is also central to our ability to assess terrestrial carbon cycle and climate feedbacks in the future. However, the

  12. Controls on winter ecosystem respiration in temperate and boreal ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    T. Wang; P. Ciais; S.L. Piao; C. Ottle; P. Brender; F. Maignan; A. Arain; A. Cescatti; D. Gianelle; C. Gough; L Gu; P. Lafleur; T. Laurila; B. Marcolla; H. Margolis; L. Montagnani; E. Moors; N. Saigusa; T. Vesala; G. Wohlfahrt; C. Koven; A. Black; E. Dellwik; A. Don; D. Hollinger; A. Knohl; R. Monson; J. Munger; A. Suyker; A. Varlagin; S. Verma

    2011-01-01

    Winter CO2 fluxes represent an important component of the annual carbon budget in northern ecosystems. Understanding winter respiration processes and their responses to climate change is also central to our ability to assess terrestrial carbon cycle and climate feedbacks in the future. However, the factors influencing the spatial and temporal...

  13. Digital soil mapping using remote sensing indices, terrain attributes, and vegetation features in the rangelands of northeastern Iran.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mahmoudabadi, Ebrahim; Karimi, Alireza; Haghnia, Gholam Hosain; Sepehr, Adel

    2017-09-11

    Digital soil mapping has been introduced as a viable alternative to the traditional mapping methods due to being fast and cost-effective. The objective of the present study was to investigate the capability of the vegetation features and spectral indices as auxiliary variables in digital soil mapping models to predict soil properties. A region with an area of 1225 ha located in Bajgiran rangelands, Khorasan Razavi province, northeastern Iran, was chosen. A total of 137 sampling sites, each containing 3-5 plots with 10-m interval distance along a transect established based on randomized-systematic method, were investigated. In each plot, plant species names and numbers as well as vegetation cover percentage (VCP) were recorded, and finally one composite soil sample was taken from each transect at each site (137 soil samples in total). Terrain attributes were derived from a digital elevation model, different bands and spectral indices were obtained from the Landsat7 ETM+ images, and vegetation features were calculated in the plots, all of which were used as auxiliary variables to predict soil properties using artificial neural network, gene expression programming, and multivariate linear regression models. According to R 2 RMSE and MBE values, artificial neutral network was obtained as the most accurate soil properties prediction function used in scorpan model. Vegetation features and indices were more effective than remotely sensed data and terrain attributes in predicting soil properties including calcium carbonate equivalent, clay, bulk density, total nitrogen, carbon, sand, silt, and saturated moisture capacity. It was also shown that vegetation indices including NDVI, SAVI, MSAVI, SARVI, RDVI, and DVI were more effective in estimating the majority of soil properties compared to separate bands and even some soil spectral indices.

  14. Parameterization of the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) Using Dynamic Landsat-Based Foliar Cover Estimates

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kautz, M. A.; Holifield Collins, C.; Guertin, D. P.; Goodrich, D. C.; Van Leeuwen, W. J. D.

    2016-12-01

    Changes in watershed vegetative cover from natural and anthropogenic causes including, climatic fluctuation, wildfires and land management practices, can result in increased surface water runoff and erosion. Hydrologic models play an important role in the decision support process for managing these landscape alterations. However, model parameterization requires quantified measures of watershed biophysical condition to generate accurate results. These inputs are often obtained from nationally available land cover data sets that are static in terms of vegetation condition and phenology. Obtaining vegetative data for model input of sufficient spatiotemporal resolution for long-term, watershed-scale change analysis has been a challenge. The purpose of this research was to assess the implications of parameterizing the event-based, Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) with dynamic, remotely sensed foliar cover data. The study was conducted on a small, instrumented grassland watershed within the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed surrounding Tombstone, Arizona. A time series of foliar cover rasters was produced by calibrating Landsat-based Soil-Adjusted Total Vegetation Index (SATVI) scenes with field transect measurements. Estimates of basal and litter cover were calculated using allometric relationships derived from the transect data. RHEM was parameterized using these remotely sensed inputs for all recorded runoff events from 1996-2014. Model performance was improved using the dynamic foliar cover compared to using a static, long-term mean foliar cover value. Significant (plitter cover. The integration of Landsat-based vegetative data into RHEM allows for modelling on a broadened spatiotemporal scale, resulting in improved landscape characterization and the ability to track watershed response to long-term vegetation changes.

  15. Evaluation of the IceTag leg sensor and its derivative models to predict behaviour, using beef cattle on rangeland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ungar, E D; Nevo, Y; Baram, H; Arieli, A

    2017-06-02

    There is interest in using animal-mounted sensors to provide the detailed timeline of domesticated ruminant behaviour on rangelands. Working with beef cattle, we evaluated the pedometer-like IceTag device (IceRobotics, Edinburgh, Scotland) that records step events, leg movement and body position (upright versus lying). We used partition analysis to compare behaviour as inferred from the device data with true behaviour as coded at high resolution from carefully synchronized video observations of 5-min duration. Malfunctions reduced the target dataset by 7%. The correspondence between IceTag and video-coded step counts was excellent (r 2 =0.97), and the device's indications of upright or lying corresponded well (error rate=1.4%) to the video-coded values. However, the proportion of steps that could be matched individually was relatively low (65% at a tolerance of 0.5s), and the indicated start of a lying bout was often triggered by leg movements of an upright animal. Partition analysis of Grazing versus Not-Grazing yielded an overall error rate of 22%. In both three- and four-way classifications of behaviour (Graze, Rest, Travel; Graze, Stand, Lie, Travel) error rates were low for non-graze behaviours, but only 25% of Graze observations were correctly classified; the overall error rate was 22%. The IceTag device performed well in mapping the diurnal patterns of animal position and step rate, but less well in separating grazing from upright resting. Our results suggest that pedometry is not the ideal method for classifying behaviour when grazing is of paramount interest. Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  16. Nutritive Value of Grasses in Semi-arid Rangelands of Ethiopia: Local Experience Based Herbage Preference Evaluation versus Laboratory Analysis

    Science.gov (United States)

    Keba, Habtamu T.; Madakadze, I. C.; Angassa, A.; Hassen, A.

    2013-01-01

    We examined the nutritive value of common grass species in the semi-arid rangelands of Borana in southern Ethiopia using local experience based herbage preference (LEBHP) perception and laboratory techniques. Local pastoralists in the study area were asked to identify common grass species and rank them according to the species’ preferences and palatability to cattle. The pastoralists listed a total of 15 common grass species which were then sampled during the main rain and cold dry seasons and analyzed for crude protein (CP), Neutral Detergent Fiber (NDF), Acid Detergent Fiber (ADF) and ash content to verify pastoralists’ claim regarding the quality of individual species. The relative feed value (RFV) and dry matter digestibility (DMD) were also calculated using NDF and ADF contents. Spearman’s rank correlation was used to examine possible relationships between laboratory results and pastoralists’ experience on grass quality. Cenchrus ciliaris, Chrysopogon aucheri, Digitaria milanjiana, Eragrostis papposa and Panicum maximum were the top five species based on LEBHP perception. There were indications of inconsistency in terms of LEBHP perception among the different pastoral communities. The chemical composition of all grass species showed significant (prangelands were in the range of 8.7% in the main rain season to 5.1% for the cold dry season. The fiber constituents were relatively low in the main rain season compared to the cold dry season. Overall, Digitaria milanjiana had the highest CP (16.5%) content, while the least was recorded with Heteropogon contortus (10.8) and Aristida adoensis (9.8%) during the main rain season. It seems that the spatial variability of landscapes within the wider geographical regions, soil properties and texture, and land-use patterns probably contributed to site differences in species quality. Generally, the RFV of individual grass species was significantly (prangeland forage species for sustainable animal production. PMID

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2001-01-01

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

  18. Pepperweed's Ecosystem Impacts in Suisun Marsh: Methods for Control

    OpenAIRE

    Whitcraft, Christine R

    2010-01-01

    Perennial pepperweed (Lepidium latifolium) is an aggressive, non-native herbaceous weed displacing native vegetation in marshes, floodplains, prairies and rangeland throughout California. You can even find it growing along roadsides and highways. But does the plant’s ubiquity really mean it is an ecological problem warranting costly eradication efforts?

  19. Northwest plant names and symbols for ecosystem inventory and analysis.

    Science.gov (United States)

    G.A. Garrison; J.M. Skovlin; C.E. Poulton; A.H. Winward

    1976-01-01

    This paper is basically an alpha code and name listing of forest and rangeland grasses, sedges, rushes, forbs, shrubs, and trees of Oregon, Washington, and Idaho. The code expedites recording of vegetation inventory data and is especially useful to those processing their data by contemporary computer systems. Editorial and secretarial personnel will find the name and...

  20. Mapping monetary values of ecosystem services in support of developing ecosystem accounts

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sumarga, Elham; Hein, Lars; Edens, Bram; Suwarno, Aritta

    2015-01-01

    Ecosystem accounting has been proposed as a comprehensive, innovative approach to natural capital accounting, and basically involves the biophysical and monetary analysis of ecosystem services in a national accounting framework. Characteristic for ecosystem accounting is the spatial approach