WorldWideScience

Sample records for sustainable semiarid rangelands

  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. 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...

  3. 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...

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

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Wessels, Konrad J

    2007-04-01

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

  5. 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...

  6. 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 ...

  7. 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...

  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. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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,...

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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

  20. 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...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

  9. 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

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  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. 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.

  14. 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

  15. 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.

  16. 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 ...

  17. 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.

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. 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

  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. 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...

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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.

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

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Adaptive frameworks which enhance sustainable strategic responses, and the state of art in scale dilemmas will be addressed. A hybrid session structure will be utilised: distilling wisdom from relevant posters; formal presentations; and stimulating structured debate. African Journal of Range & Forage Science 2003, 20(2): ...

  8. 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 ...

  9. 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.

  10. Sustainable Small-Scale Agriculture in Semi-Arid Environments

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Katherine A. Spielmann

    2011-03-01

    Full Text Available For at least the past 8000 years, small-scale farmers in semi-arid environments have had to mitigate shortfalls in crop production due to variation in precipitation and stream flow. To reduce their vulnerability to a shortfall in their food supply, small-scale farmers developed short-term strategies, including storage and community-scale sharing, to mitigate inter-annual variation in crop production, and long-term strategies, such as migration, to mitigate the effects of sustained droughts. We use the archaeological and paleoclimatic records from A.D. 900-1600 in two regions of the American Southwest to explore the nature of variation in the availability of water for crops, and the strategies that enhanced the resilience of prehistoric agricultural production to climatic variation. Drawing on information concerning contemporary small-scale farming in semi-arid environments, we then suggest that the risk coping and mitigation strategies that have endured for millennia are relevant to enhancing the resilience of contemporary farmers' livelihoods to environmental and economic perturbations.

  11. High resolution mapping of soil organic carbon stocks using remote sensing variables in the semi-arid rangelands of eastern Australia.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wang, Bin; Waters, Cathy; Orgill, Susan; Gray, Jonathan; Cowie, Annette; Clark, Anthony; Liu, De Li

    2018-02-23

    Efficient and effective modelling methods to assess soil organic carbon (SOC) stock are central in understanding the global carbon cycle and informing related land management decisions. However, mapping SOC stocks in semi-arid rangelands is challenging due to the lack of data and poor spatial coverage. The use of remote sensing data to provide an indirect measurement of SOC to inform digital soil mapping has the potential to provide more reliable and cost-effective estimates of SOC compared with field-based, direct measurement. Despite this potential, the role of remote sensing data in improving the knowledge of soil information in semi-arid rangelands has not been fully explored. This study firstly investigated the use of high spatial resolution satellite data (seasonal fractional cover data; SFC) together with elevation, lithology, climatic data and observed soil data to map the spatial distribution of SOC at two soil depths (0-5cm and 0-30cm) in semi-arid rangelands of eastern Australia. Overall, model performance statistics showed that random forest (RF) and boosted regression trees (BRT) models performed better than support vector machine (SVM). The models obtained moderate results with R 2 of 0.32 for SOC stock at 0-5cm and 0.44 at 0-30cm, RMSE of 3.51MgCha -1 at 0-5cm and 9.16MgCha -1 at 0-30cm without considering SFC covariates. In contrast, by including SFC, the model accuracy for predicting SOC stock improved by 7.4-12.7% at 0-5cm, and by 2.8-5.9% at 0-30cm, highlighting the importance of including SFC to enhance the performance of the three modelling techniques. Furthermore, our models produced a more accurate and higher resolution digital SOC stock map compared with other available mapping products for the region. The data and high-resolution maps from this study can be used for future soil carbon assessment and monitoring. Copyright © 2018 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.

  12. 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...

  13. 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

  14. Impact of sustained drought on a semi-arid Colophospermum ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Keywords: botany; Colophospermum mopane; composition change; drought; impact; mopane; Mopani Veld; mortality; Northern Province; perennial grass; recruitment; savanna; semi-arid; South Africa; vegetation changes; abundance; browsing; browsing pressure; combretum apiculatum; condition; decline; dominance; ...

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. Influence of livestock grazing on C sequestration in semi-arid mixed-grass and short-grass rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    J.D. Reeder; G.E. Schuman

    2001-01-01

    We evaluated the effects of livestock grazing on C content of the plant-soil system (to 60 cm) of two semi-arid grasslands: a mixed-grass prairie (grazed 12 years), and a short-grass steppe (grazed 56 years). Grazing treatments included season-long grazing at heavy and light stocking rates, and non-grazed exclosures. Significantly higher soil C (0-30cm) was measured in...

  19. Relationship between evapotranspiration and precipitation pulses in a semiarid rangeland estimated by moisture flux towers and MODIS vegetation indices

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nagler, P.L.; Glenn, E.P.; Kim, H.; Emmerich, W.; Scott, R.L.; Huxman, T. E.; Huete, A.R.

    2007-01-01

    We used moisture Bowen ratio flux tower data and the enhanced vegetation index (EVI) from the moderate resolution imaging spectrometer (MODIS) on the Terra satellite to measure and scale evapotranspiration (ET) over sparsely vegetated grassland and shrubland sites in a semiarid watershed in southeastern Arizona from 2000 to 2004. The grassland tower site had higher mean annual ET (336 mm yr-1) than the shrubland tower site (266 mm yr-1) (Pequation. The regression equation relating ET to EVI and P was used to scale ET over 25 km2 areas of grassland and shrubland around each tower site. Over the study, ratios of T to ET ranged from 0.75 to 1.0. Winter rains stimulated spring ET, and a large rain event in fall, 2000, stimulated ET above T through the following year, indicating that winter rain stored in the soil profile can be an important component of the plants' water budget during the warm season in this ecosystem. We conclude that remotely sensed vegetation indices can be used to scale ground measurements of ET over larger landscape units in semiarid ranglelands, and that the vegetation communities in this landscape effectively harvest the available precipitation over a period of years, even though precipitation patterns are variably seasonally and interannually. ?? 2007 Elsevier Ltd. All rights reserved.

  20. Sustainable semiarid dryland production in relation to tillage effects on Hydrology: 1983-2013

    Science.gov (United States)

    Semiarid dryland crop yields with no-till, NT, residue management are often greater than stubble-mulch tillage, SM, as a result of improved soil conditions or water conservation, but knowledge of long-term tillage effects on the comprehensive field hydrology and sustained crop production is needed. ...

  1. Sustainability of irrigated agriculture under salinity pressure – A study in semiarid Tunisia

    OpenAIRE

    Bouksila, Fethi

    2011-01-01

    In semiarid and arid Tunisia, water quality and agricultural practices are the major contributing factors to the degradation of soil resources threatening the sustainability of irrigation systems and agricultural productivity. Nowadays, about 50% of the total irrigated areas in Tunisia are considered at high risk for salinization. The aim of this thesis was to study soil management and salinity relationships in order to assure sustainable irrigated agriculture in areas under salin...

  2. Influence of livestock grazing on C sequestration in semi-arid mixed-grass and short-grass rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Reeder, J D; Schuman, G E

    2002-01-01

    We evaluated the effects of livestock grazing on C content of the plant-soil system (to 60 cm) of two semi-arid grasslands: a mixed-grass prairie (grazed 12 years), and a short-grass steppe (grazed 56 years). Grazing treatments included season-long grazing at heavy and light stocking rates, and non-grazed exclosures. Significantly higher soil C (0-30cm) was measured in grazed pastures compared to non-grazed exclosures, although for the short-grass steppe higher soil C was observed with the heavy grazing treatment only. Excluding grazing caused an immobilization of C in excessive aboveground plant litter, and an increase in annual forbs and grasses which lack dense fibrous rooting systems conducive to soil organic matter formation and accumulation. Our data indicate that higher soil C with grazing was in part the result of more rapid annual shoot turnover, and redistribution of C within the plant-soil system as a result of changes in plant species composition.

  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. 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-...

  5. Agricultural sustainability in the semi-arid Near East

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    F. Hole

    2007-05-01

    Full Text Available Agriculture began in the eastern Mediterranean Levantine Corridor about 11000 years ago toward the end of the Younger Dryas when aridity had diminished wild food resources. During the subsequent Climatic Optimum, agricultural villages spread rapidly but subsequent climatic changes on centennial to millennial scales resulted in striking oscillations in settlement, especially in marginal areas. Natural climate change thus alternately enhanced and diminished the agricultural potential of the land. Growing populations and more intensive land us, both for agriculture and livestock, have led to changes in the structure of vegetation, hydrology, and land quality. Over the millennia, political and economic interventions, warfare and incursions by nomadic herding tribes all impacted sustainability of agriculture and the ability of the land to supports its populations. In much of the region today, agricultural land use is not sustainable given existing technology and national priorities. The Near Eastern case is instructive because of the quality of information, the length of the record, and the pace of modern change.

  6. 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

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  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. 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.

  11. Hydrodynamic influence on reservoir sustainability in semi-arid climate: A physicochemical and environmental isotopic study.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ammar, Rawaa; Kazpard, Véronique; El Samrani, Antoine G; Amacha, Nabil; Saad, Zeinab; Chou, Lei

    2017-07-15

    Water scarcity and increasing water demand require the development of water management plans such as establishing artificial lakes and dams. Plans to meet water needs are faced by uprising challenges to improve water quality and to ensure the sustainability of hydro-projects. Environmental isotopes coupled to water physicochemical characteristics were investigated over a biennial cycle to assess both geomorphological and environmental impacts on the water quality of a reservoir situated in an intensively used agricultural watershed under a Mediterranean semi-arid climate. The particularity of the semi-arid climate and the diverse topography generate a continental and orographic rain effect on the isotopic composition of precipitation and the water recharged sources. The studied reservoir responds quickly to land-use activities and climatic changes as reflected by temporal and spatial variations of water chemistry and isotopic composition. Increasing changes in precipitation rate and dry periods significantly modified the water isotopic composition in the reservoir. During the first year, hydrogen (δD) and oxygen (δ18O) isotopes are depleted by 6 and 2‰ between dry and wet season, respectively. While a shift of -2‰ for δD and -1‰ for δ18O was detected during the second annual cycle. Environmental isotopic compositions demonstrate for the first time the occurrence of groundwater inflow to the central (Cz) and dam (Dz) zones of the Qaraaoun reservoir. The Cz and Dz can be considered as open water bodies subjected to dilution by groundwater inflow, which induces vertical mixing and reverse isotopic stratification of the water column. In the contrary, the river mouth zone acts as a closed system without groundwater intrusion, where heavy water accumulates and may act as a sink for contaminants during dry season. Groundwater influx acts as a dilution factor that renews the hypolimnion, and minimizes the perturbations induced by both internal biogeochemical

  12. 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...

  13. 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...

  14. Declining agricultural production in rapidly urbanizing semi-arid regions: policy tradeoffs and sustainability indicators

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dozier, André Q.; Arabi, Mazdak; Wostoupal, Benjamin C.; Goemans, Christopher G.; Zhang, Yao; Paustian, Keith

    2017-08-01

    In rapidly urbanizing semi-arid regions, increasing amounts of historically irrigated cropland lies permanently fallowed due to water court policies as agricultural water rights are voluntarily being sold to growing cities. This study develops an integrative framework for assessing the effects of population growth and land use change on agricultural production and evaluating viability of alternative management strategies, including alternative agricultural transfer methods, regional water ownership restrictions, and urban conservation. A partial equilibrium model of a spatially-diverse regional water rights market is built in application of the framework to an exemplary basin. The model represents agricultural producers as profit-maximizing suppliers and municipalities as cost-minimizing consumers of water rights. Results indicate that selling an agricultural water right today is worth up to two times more than 40 years of continued production. All alternative policies that sustain agricultural cropland and crop production decrease total agricultural profitability by diminishing water rights sales revenue, but in doing so, they also decrease municipal water acquisition costs. Defining good indicators and incorporating adequate spatial and temporal detail are critical to properly analyzing policy impacts. To best improve agricultural profit from production and sale of crops, short-term solutions include alternative agricultural transfer methods while long-term solutions incorporate urban conservation.

  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. Economic valuation of sheep genetic resources: implications for sustainable utilization in the Kenyan semi-arid tropics.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Omondi, I; Baltenweck, I; Drucker, A G; Obare, G; Zander, K K

    2008-12-01

    Sheep, recognised as one of the important livestock species especially in the semi-arid tropics with high genetic resource potentials, can be exploited through sustainable utilization in order to improve livestock keepers' livelihoods. This study presents the evaluation of the economic values of sheep genetic resources (SGR) in terms of the important non-market traits embedded in sheep and how this information can be utilised to improve livelihoods in semi-arid regions. The results obtained from mixed logit models results derived from stated choice data collected from 157 respondents in the semi-arid Marsabit district of Kenya reveal that disease resistance is the most highly valued trait whose resultant increment results into a welfare improvement of up to KShs.1537. Drought tolerance and fat deposition traits were found to be implicitly valued at KShs.694 and 738 respectively. The results further point out that for livestock stakeholders to effectively improve the livelihoods of poor livestock-keepers, development strategies for improving the management and/or utilisation of SGR in terms of drought tolerance, should not only be tailor made to target regions that are frequently devastated by drought but should also succeed other strategies or efforts that would first lead to the improvement of producers' economic status.

  17. 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...

  18. 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

  19. Phytostabilization of semiarid soils residually contaminated with trace elements using by-products: Sustainability and risks

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Perez-de-Mora, Alfredo, E-mail: perezdemora@gmail.com [Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia de Sevilla (IRNAS), CSIC, PO Box 1052, 41080 Sevilla (Spain); Madejon, Paula; Burgos, Pilar; Cabrera, Francisco [Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia de Sevilla (IRNAS), CSIC, PO Box 1052, 41080 Sevilla (Spain); Lepp, Nicholas W. [35, Victoria Road, Formby, Liverpool L37 7DH (United Kingdom); Madejon, Engracia [Instituto de Recursos Naturales y Agrobiologia de Sevilla (IRNAS), CSIC, PO Box 1052, 41080 Sevilla (Spain)

    2011-10-15

    We investigated the efficiency of various by-products (sugarbeet lime, biosolid compost and leonardite), based on single or repeated applications to field plots, on the establishment of a vegetation cover compatible with a stabilization strategy on a multi-element (As, Cd, Cu, Pb and Zn) contaminated soil 4-6 years after initial amendment applications. Results indicate that the need for re-treatment is amendment- and element-dependent; in some cases, a single application may reduce trace element concentrations in above-ground biomass and enhance the establishment of a healthy vegetation cover. Amendment performance as evaluated by % cover, biomass and number of colonizing taxa differs; however, changes in plant community composition are not necessarily amendment-specific. Although the translocation of trace elements to the plant biotic compartment is greater in re-vegetated areas, overall loss of trace elements due to soil erosion and plant uptake is usually smaller compared to that in bare soil. - Highlights: > By-products enhance vegetation dynamics in contaminated semiarid soils. > Depending on the situation single or repeated incorporations may be required. > The structure of the plant community established is not amendment-dependent. > Phytostabilization reduces overall loss of trace elements in semiarid soils. - Phytostabilization using by-products as amendments is a suitable approach for long-term immobilization of various trace elements in semiarid contaminated soils.

  20. When good practices by water committees are not relevant: Sustainability of small water infrastructures in semi-arid mozambique

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ducrot, Raphaëlle

    2017-12-01

    This paper explores the contradiction between the need for large scale interventions in rural water supplies and the need for flexibility when providing support for community institutions, by investigating the implementation of the Mozambique - National Rural Water Supply and Sanitation Program in a semi-arid district of the Limpopo Basin. Our results showed that coordinated leadership by key committee members, and the level of village governance was more important for borehole sustainability than the normative functioning of the committee. In a context in which the centrality of leadership prevails over collective action the sustainability of rural water infrastructure derives from the ability of leaders to motivate the community to provide supplementary funding. This, in turn, depends on the added value to the community of the water points and on village politics. Any interventions that increased community conflicts, for example because of lack of transparency or unequitable access to the benefit of the intervention, weakened the coordination and the collective action capacity of the community and hence the sustainability of the infrastructures even if the intervention was not directly related to water access. These results stress the importance of the project/program implementation pathway.

  1. Organic textile waste as a resource for sustainable agriculture in arid and semi-arid areas.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Eriksson, Bo G

    2017-03-01

    New vegetation in barren areas offers possibilities for sequestering carbon in the soil. Arid and semi-arid areas (ASAs) are candidates for new vegetation. The possibility of agriculture in ASAs is reviewed, revealing the potential for cultivation by covering the surface with a layer of organic fibres. This layer collects more water from humidity in the air than does the uncovered mineral surface, and creates a humid environment that promotes microbial life. One possibility is to use large amounts of organic fibres for soil enhancement in ASAs. In the context of the European Commission Waste Framework Directive, the possibility of using textile waste from Sweden is explored. The costs for using Swedish textile waste are high, but possible gains are the sale of agricultural products and increased land prices as well as environmental mitigation. The findings suggest that field research on such agriculture in ASAs should start as soon as possible.

  2. 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...

  3. Strategic Framework for Sustainable Management of Drainage Systems in Semi-Arid Cities: An Iraqi Case Study

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Mohammed Nanekely

    2016-09-01

    Full Text Available For the purpose of this paper, Erbil city, located in the northern part of Iraq, has been chosen as a representative case study for a large number of cities, particularly in semi-arid areas, lacking sustainable drainage systems (SuDS. The study assesses (a the role of SuDS as a measure in areas with a water shortage; (b water scarcity in decision-making processes; (c the lack of legislation to implement SuDS; (d the adverse effects of climate change on the urban drainage system; and (e the effects of an increased population on SuDS implementation. An integrated methodology that incorporates a self-administrated questionnaire, workshops, face-to-face communication and interviews, as well as electronic media interactions, were used to achieve the objectives. A generic platform that consists of thirteen pillars, supporting the short to long-term national policies and strategies towards a sustainable urban drainage system, has been developed. Results showed that environmental laws need to be introduced. Findings also indicate that a growing population, which is partly due to an increase of internally displaced people, is a major challenge to an early application of SuDS, due to a rise in land demand and a lack of financial resources.

  4. 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.

  5. 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.

  6. Adoption of sustainable agriculture practices: evidence from a semi-arid region of Ethiopia

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kassie, M.; Zikhali, P.; Manjur, K.; Edwards, S.

    2009-01-01

    In the wake of the resource constraints for external farm inputs faced by farmers in developing countries, sustainable agriculture practices that rely on renewable local or farm resources present desirable options for enhancing agriculture productivity. In this study, plot-level data from the

  7. Combining Sustainable Land Management Technologies to Combat Land Degradation and Improve Rural Livelihoods in Semi-arid Lands in Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mganga, K. Z.; Musimba, N. K. R.; Nyariki, D. M.

    2015-12-01

    Drylands occupy more than 80 % of Kenya's total land mass and contribute immensely to the national economy and society through agriculture, livestock production, tourism, and wild product harvesting. Dryland ecosystems are areas of high climate variability making them vulnerable to the threats of land degradation. Consequently, agropastoralists inhabiting these ecosystems develop mechanisms and technologies to cope with the impacts of climate variability. This study is aimed to; (1) determine what agropastoralists inhabiting a semi-arid ecosystem in Kenya attribute to be the causes and indicators of land degradation, (2) document sustainable land management (SLM) technologies being undertaken to combat land degradation, and (3) identify the factors that influence the choice of these SLM technologies. Vegetation change from preferred indigenous forage grass species to woody vegetation was cited as the main indicator of land degradation. Land degradation was attributed to recurrent droughts and low amounts of rainfall, overgrazing, and unsustainable harvesting of trees for fuelwood production. However, despite the challenges posed by climate variability and recurrent droughts, the local community is engaging in simple SLM technologies including grass reseeding, rainwater harvesting and soil conservation, and dryland agroforestry as a holistic approach combating land degradation and improving their rural livelihoods. The choice of these SLM technologies was mainly driven by their additional benefits to combating land degradation. In conclusion, promoting such simple SLM technologies can help reverse the land degradation trend, improve agricultural production, food security including access to food, and subsequently improve livelihoods of communities inhabiting dryland ecosystems.

  8. Combining Sustainable Land Management Technologies to Combat Land Degradation and Improve Rural Livelihoods in Semi-arid Lands in Kenya.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mganga, K Z; Musimba, N K R; Nyariki, D M

    2015-12-01

    Drylands occupy more than 80% of Kenya's total land mass and contribute immensely to the national economy and society through agriculture, livestock production, tourism, and wild product harvesting. Dryland ecosystems are areas of high climate variability making them vulnerable to the threats of land degradation. Consequently, agropastoralists inhabiting these ecosystems develop mechanisms and technologies to cope with the impacts of climate variability. This study is aimed to; (1) determine what agropastoralists inhabiting a semi-arid ecosystem in Kenya attribute to be the causes and indicators of land degradation, (2) document sustainable land management (SLM) technologies being undertaken to combat land degradation, and (3) identify the factors that influence the choice of these SLM technologies. Vegetation change from preferred indigenous forage grass species to woody vegetation was cited as the main indicator of land degradation. Land degradation was attributed to recurrent droughts and low amounts of rainfall, overgrazing, and unsustainable harvesting of trees for fuelwood production. However, despite the challenges posed by climate variability and recurrent droughts, the local community is engaging in simple SLM technologies including grass reseeding, rainwater harvesting and soil conservation, and dryland agroforestry as a holistic approach combating land degradation and improving their rural livelihoods. The choice of these SLM technologies was mainly driven by their additional benefits to combating land degradation. In conclusion, promoting such simple SLM technologies can help reverse the land degradation trend, improve agricultural production, food security including access to food, and subsequently improve livelihoods of communities inhabiting dryland ecosystems.

  9. 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 ...

  10. 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...

  11. Achieving Sustainability in a Semi-Arid Basin in Northwest Mexico through an Integrated Hydrologic-Economic-Institutional Model

    Science.gov (United States)

    Munoz-Hernandez, A.; Mayer, A. S.

    2008-12-01

    The hydrologic systems in Northwest Mexico are at risk of over exploitation due to poor management of the water resources and adverse climatic conditions. The purpose of this work is to create and Integrated Hydrologic-Economic-Institutional Model to support future development in the Yaqui River basin, well known by its agricultural productivity, by directing the water management practices toward sustainability. The Yaqui River basin is a semi-arid basin with an area of 72,000 square kilometers and an average precipitation of 527 mm per year. The primary user of water is agriculture followed by domestic use and industry. The water to meet user demands comes from three reservoirs constructed, in series, along the river. The main objective of the integrated simulation-optimization model is to maximize the economic benefit within the basin, subject to physical and environmental constraints. Decision variables include the water allocation to major users and reservoirs as well as aquifer releases. Economic and hydrologic (including the interaction of the surface water and groundwater) simulation models were both included in the integrated model. The surface water model refers to a rainfall-runoff model created, calibrated, and incorporated into a MATLAB code that estimates the monthly storage in the main reservoirs by solving a water balance. The rainfall-runoff model was coupled with a groundwater model of the Yaqui Valley which was previously developed (Addams, 2004). This model includes flow in the main canals and infiltration to the aquifer. The economic benefit of water for some activities such as agricultural use, domestic use, hydropower generation, and environmental value was determined. Sensitivity analysis was explored for those parameters that are not certain such as price elasticities or population growth. Different water allocation schemes were created based on climate change, climate variability, and socio-economic scenarios. Addams L. 2004. Water resource

  12. Integrated assessment of policy interventions for promoting sustainable irrigation in semi-arid environments: a hydro-economic modeling approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Blanco-Gutiérrez, Irene; Varela-Ortega, Consuelo; Purkey, David R

    2013-10-15

    Sustaining irrigated agriculture to meet food production needs while maintaining aquatic ecosystems is at the heart of many policy debates in various parts of the world, especially in arid and semi-arid areas. Researchers and practitioners are increasingly calling for integrated approaches, and policy-makers are progressively supporting the inclusion of ecological and social aspects in water management programs. This paper contributes to this policy debate by providing an integrated economic-hydrologic modeling framework that captures the socio-economic and environmental effects of various policy initiatives and climate variability. This modeling integration includes a risk-based economic optimization model and a hydrologic water management simulation model that have been specified for the Middle Guadiana basin, a vulnerable drought-prone agro-ecological area with highly regulated river systems in southwest Spain. Namely, two key water policy interventions were investigated: the implementation of minimum environmental flows (supported by the European Water Framework Directive, EU WFD), and a reduction in the legal amount of water delivered for irrigation (planned measure included in the new Guadiana River Basin Management Plan, GRBMP, still under discussion). Results indicate that current patterns of excessive water use for irrigation in the basin may put environmental flow demands at risk, jeopardizing the WFD's goal of restoring the 'good ecological status' of water bodies by 2015. Conflicts between environmental and agricultural water uses will be stressed during prolonged dry episodes, and particularly in summer low-flow periods, when there is an important increase of crop irrigation water requirements. Securing minimum stream flows would entail a substantial reduction in irrigation water use for rice cultivation, which might affect the profitability and economic viability of small rice-growing farms located upstream in the river. The new GRBMP could contribute

  13. Effect of sustainable land management practices on soil aggregation and stabilization of organic carbon in semiarid mediterranean ecosystems

    Science.gov (United States)

    Garcia-Franco, Noelia; Albaladejo, Juan; Almagro, María; Wiesmeier, Martin; Martínez-Mena, María

    2016-04-01

    Arid and semiarid regions represent about 47% of the total land area of the world (UNEP, 1992). At present, there is a priority interest for carbon (C) sequestration in drylands. These areas are considered as very fragile ecosystems with low organic carbon (OC) saturation, and potentially, high capacity for soil OC sequestration. In addition, the restoration of these areas is one of the major challenges for scientists, who will be able to identify and recommended the best land uses and sustainable land management (SLM) practices for soil conservation and mitigation of climate change in these environments. In this regard, in semiarid Mediterranean ecosystems there is an urgent need for the implementation of SLM practices regardless of land-use type (forest, agricultural and shrubland) to maintain acceptable levels of soil organic matter (SOM) and the physico-chemical protection of the OC. Long- and short-term effects of SLM practices on soil aggregation and SOC stabilization were studied in two land uses. The long-term experiment was conducted in a reforestation area with Pinus halepensis Mill., where two afforestation techniques were implemented 20 years ago: a) mechanical terracing with a single application of organic waste of urban soil refuse, and b) mechanical terracing without organic amendment. An adjacent shrubland was considered as the reference plot. The short-term experiment was conducted in a rain-fed almond (Prunus dulcis Mill., var. Ferragnes) orchard where two SLM practices were introduced 4 years ago: a) reduced tillage plus green manure, and b) no tillage. Reduced tillage was considered as the reference plot given that it is the habitual management practice. Four aggregate size classes were differentiated by sieving (large and small macroaggregates, microaggregates, and the silt plus clay fraction), and the microaggregates occluded within small macroaggregates (SMm) were isolated. In addition, different organic C fractions corresponding with active

  14. Spatial and temporal estimation of soil loss for the sustainable management of a wet semi-arid watershed cluster.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rejani, R; Rao, K V; Osman, M; Srinivasa Rao, Ch; Reddy, K Sammi; Chary, G R; Pushpanjali; Samuel, Josily

    2016-03-01

    The ungauged wet semi-arid watershed cluster, Seethagondi, lies in the Adilabad district of Telangana in India and is prone to severe erosion and water scarcity. The runoff and soil loss data at watershed, catchment, and field level are necessary for planning soil and water conservation interventions. In this study, an attempt was made to develop a spatial soil loss estimation model for Seethagondi cluster using RUSLE coupled with ARCGIS and was used to estimate the soil loss spatially and temporally. The daily rainfall data of Aphrodite for the period from 1951 to 2007 was used, and the annual rainfall varied from 508 to 1351 mm with a mean annual rainfall of 950 mm and a mean erosivity of 6789 MJ mm ha(-1) h(-1) year(-1). Considerable variation in land use land cover especially in crop land and fallow land was observed during normal and drought years, and corresponding variation in the erosivity, C factor, and soil loss was also noted. The mean value of C factor derived from NDVI for crop land was 0.42 and 0.22 in normal year and drought years, respectively. The topography is undulating and major portion of the cluster has slope less than 10°, and 85.3% of the cluster has soil loss below 20 t ha(-1) year(-1). The soil loss from crop land varied from 2.9 to 3.6 t ha(-1) year(-1) in low rainfall years to 31.8 to 34.7 t ha(-1) year(-1) in high rainfall years with a mean annual soil loss of 12.2 t ha(-1) year(-1). The soil loss from crop land was higher in the month of August with an annual soil loss of 13.1 and 2.9 t ha(-1) year(-1) in normal and drought year, respectively. Based on the soil loss in a normal year, the interventions recommended for 85.3% of area of the watershed includes agronomic measures such as contour cultivation, graded bunds, strip cropping, mixed cropping, crop rotations, mulching, summer plowing, vegetative bunds, agri-horticultural system, and management practices such as broad bed furrow, raised sunken beds, and harvesting available water

  15. 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...

  16. Drought and rangelands.

    Science.gov (United States)

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. Genetic characterization of Kyrgyzstan fine-leaved Festuca valesiaca germplasm for use in semi-arid low-maintenance turf applications

    Science.gov (United States)

    Fine-leaved Festuca valesiaca Shleidcher ex. Gaudin (2n = 2x-4x) is native to heavily grazed, cold, semi-arid, Asian rangelands. However, its potential for low-maintenance turf applications in the semi-arid western United States and its relatedness to other agriculturally important Festuca species ...

  1. 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...

  2. Implications of deep drainage through saline clay for groundwater recharge and sustainable cropping in a semi-arid catchment, Australia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    W. A. Timms

    2012-04-01

    Full Text Available The magnitude and timing of deep drainage and salt leaching through clay soils is a critical issue for dryland agriculture in semi-arid regions (<500 mm yr−1 rainfall, potential evapotranspiration >2000 mm yr−1 such as parts of Australia's Murray-Darling Basin (MDB. In this rare study, hydrogeological measurements and estimations of the historic water balance of crops grown on overlying Grey Vertosols were combined to estimate the contribution of deep drainage below crop roots to recharge and salinization of shallow groundwater. Soil sampling at two sites on the alluvial flood plain of the Lower Namoi catchment revealed significant peaks in chloride concentrations at 0.8–1.2 m depth under perennial vegetation and at 2.0–2.5 m depth under continuous cropping indicating deep drainage and salt leaching since conversion to cropping. Total salt loads of 91–229 t ha−1 NaCl equivalent were measured for perennial vegetation and cropping, with salinity to ≥ 10 m depth that was not detected by shallow soil surveys. Groundwater salinity varied spatially from 910 to 2430 mS m−1 at 21 to 37 m depth (N = 5, whereas deeper groundwater was less saline (290 mS m−1 with use restricted to livestock and rural domestic supplies in this area. The Agricultural Production Systems Simulator (APSIM software package predicted deep drainage of 3.3–9.5 mm yr−1 (0.7–2.1% rainfall based on site records of grain yields, rainfall, salt leaching and soil properties. Predicted deep drainage was highly episodic, dependent on rainfall and antecedent soil water content, and over a 39 yr period was restricted mainly to the record wet winter of 1998. During the study period, groundwater levels were unresponsive to major rainfall events (70 and 190 mm total, and most piezometers at about 18 m depth remained dry. In this area, at this time, recharge appears to be negligible due to low

  3. Ecosystem services, land-cover change, and stakeholders: finding a sustainable foothold for a semiarid biodiversity hotspot

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Reyers, B

    2009-01-01

    Full Text Available of ecosystem services, providing knowledge useful for mainstreaming ecosystem services into local land- use planning. Below we detail the study area and its stakeholders, describe the assessment process, present our results, and then discuss... to this study is a map of vegetation types mapped at a 1:50 000 scale (Vlok et al. 2005). This map was developed in order to inform decision making about conservation, sustainable commercial farming, and land-use planning matters in the region. Accordingly...

  4. 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

  5. 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

  6. The challenges of rehabilitating denuded patches of a semi-arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The challenges of rehabilitating denuded patches of a semi-arid environment in Kenya. ... In Kenya, grass reseeding technology has been used to combat land degradation. However ... A questionnaire was administered to capture farmer perceptions on failures on rangeland rehabilitation using grass reseeding technology.

  7. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2012-01-01

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

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

    invasion process. The increasing practice of crop cultivation on the rangelands was identified as a serious threat to future livestock production and traditional resource management practices. Suggestions for possible interventions to improve the productivity and sustainable use of these rangelands are made.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. Desert Affairs Program: An initiative on integrating research, education and application for sustainable development in arid and semi-arid lands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ye, Qian; Glantz, Michael H.; Pan, Xiaoling; Gao, Wei; Ma, Yingjun

    2003-07-01

    By recognizing the issues related with drought, desertification, diversity and development (i.e., the 4Ds) in arid and semi-arid lands in Central and Western Asia, The need of developing an interdisciplinary and environment-oriented education and training program, named "Desert Affairs Program", is discussed. Its aim is to train present and future researchers, policymakers and educators for dealing with issues related to environmental science, impacts, policy, economy and ethics in arid and semi-arid lands in Central and Western Asia.

  16. Impact and sustainability of low-head drip irrigation kits, in the semi-arid Gwanda and Beitbridge Districts, Mzingwane Catchment, Limpopo Basin, Zimbabwe

    Science.gov (United States)

    Moyo, Richard; Love, David; Mul, Marloes; Mupangwa, Walter; Twomlow, Steve

    Resource-poor smallholder farmers in the semi-arid Gwanda and Beitbridge districts face food insecurity on an annual basis due to a combination of poor and erratic rainfall (average 500 mm/a and 345 mm/a, respectively, for the period 1970-2003) and technologies inappropriate to their resource status. This impacts on both household livelihoods and food security. In an attempt to improve food security in the catchment a number of drip kit distribution programmes have been initiated since 2003 as part of an on-going global initiative aimed at 2 million poor households per year. A number of recent studies have assessed the technical performance of the drip kits in-lab and in-field. In early 2005 a study was undertaken to assess the impacts and sustainability of the drip kit programme. Representatives of the NGOs, local government, traditional leadership and agricultural extension officers were interviewed. Focus group discussions with beneficiaries and other villagers were held at village level. A survey of 114 households was then conducted in two districts, using a questionnaire developed from the output of the interviews and focus group discussions. The results from the study showed that the NGOs did not specifically target the distribution of the drip kits to poor members of the community (defined for the purpose of the study as those not owning cattle). Poor households made up 54% of the beneficiaries. This poor targeting of vulnerable households could have been a result of conditions set by some implementing NGOs that beneficiaries must have an assured water source. On the other hand, only 2% of the beneficiaries had used the kit to produce the expected 5 harvests over the 2 years, owing to problems related to water shortage, access to water and also pests and diseases. About 51% of the respondents had produced at least 3 harvests and 86% produced at least 2 harvests. Due to water shortages during the dry season 61% of production with the drip kit occurred during

  17. 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.

  18. Sustainability of land reclamation measures in erosional badlands: A comparative perspective on semi-arid landscapes of South Morocco and Central India

    Science.gov (United States)

    Marzolff, Irene; Pani, Padmini; Mohapatra, Surya; Ghafrani, Hassan; Aït Hssaine, Ali

    2015-04-01

    Semi-arid regions around the world, where gully erosion is a major land-degradation process, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of population growth and land-use change. In regions with high pressure on land as a resource - either due to population pressure or to agricultural intensification or both - erosion-affected areas are increasingly being reclaimed as agricultural land in an endeavour to turn marginal or unused land into fields, plantations, greenhouses or even building ground. Depending on the severity and depth of the erosion processes, this may be done by ploughing (for ephemeral gullying), land-levelling with bulldozers (for permanent gullies and badlands) or infilling with ex situ material (for large and deep gullies and badlands). The success of such measures, which also depends on subsequent soil-erosion protection, varies strongly and is not yet well researched. The little developed part of Lower Chambal Valley (Madhya Pradesh) is one of the four regions most badly affected by gully and badland erosion in India. Around 80% of the rural population are dependent on agriculture, an estimated 5000 km² are affected by gullies and badlands as deep as 80 m. Various land reclamation measures have been conducted on widely different spatial scales both by governmental and non-governmental agencies and individual farmers. However, the reclamation strategies of rich and poor farmers also exhibit significant differences, and agricultural use that often is based on short-term economic needs of households leads to inefficient land-use practices particularly in land-levelled and reclaimed areas. Although set in rural surroundings as well, the Souss Valley (South Morocco) is characterized by highly dynamic land-use changes with transformations from traditional agriculture to vast agro-industrial plantations of citrus fruits, bananas and vegetables. These plantations, as well as other arable land, are threatened by gullies and other forms of soil erosion

  19. 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.

  20. 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...

  1. Proposal for regional sustainable development in semi-arid promoted by agents of the electric sector; Proposta de desenvolvimento regional sustentavel no semi-arido promovido por agente do setor eletrico

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Polizel, L.H.; Tahan, C.M.V.; Pelegrini, M.A.; Soares, B.F. [Universidade de Sao Paulo (ENERQ/USP), SP (Brazil). Centro de Estudo em Regulacao e Qualidade de Energia; Takeno, H.K. [Companhia Energetica de Petrolina (CEP), PE (Brazil); Silva, O.C. da; Monteiro, B.; Velazquez, S.M.S.G. [Universidade de Sao Paulo (CENBIO/USP), SP (Brazil). Centro Nacional de Referencia em Biomassa; Drumond, M.A.

    2006-07-01

    This paper shows a thoroughly analysis of a biodiesel production model tailored to insert in the production chain communities near fossil fuels fired power plants located in the northeast Brazilian semi-arid. Such insertion would be conduced by the replacement of diesel by a diesel-bio diesel mixture, the last produced by local families. Among the factors analyzed on this small scale bio diesel production chain are: the castor oil extraction, transesterification process, efficiency and adequacy in power plants. The aim is to turn thermal power plants into a sustainable development vector, considering social, economical and environmental aspects such as local employment and income boost, settlement increase on rural areas, decrease of green house gases emissions, clean energy production and so forth. (author)

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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 ...

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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: ...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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

    the decision maker towards the respective objective. Fuzzy logic is closer to intuitive thinking used by decision makers, making it a user-friendly approach for them to select alternatives. The proposed approach was applied in a study area of approximately 40,000 hectares in semiarid Patagonian rangelands where extensive, continuous sheep grazing for wool production is the main land use. Multi- and hyper-spectral data were combined with ancillary data within a GIS environment, and used to derive maps of forage production, guanacos density, soil organic carbon and soil erosion. Different scenarios, with different objectives weights were evaluated. Results showed that under scenario 1, where livestock production is predicted to have the highest values, guanaco numbers decrease substantially as well as soil carbon sequestration, and soil erosion exhibit the highest values. On the other hand, when guanaco population is prioritized, livestock production has the lowest value. A compromise alternative resulted from a scenario where variables are assigned same weight; under this condition, high livestock production is predicted, while conservation of guanaco population is sustainable, carbon sequestration is maximized and soil erosion minimized.

  10. 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

  11. Changes in the pastoral sheep systems of semi-arid Mediterranean areas: association with common agricultural policy reform and implications for sustainability

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Paula M. Toro-Mujica

    2015-06-01

    Full Text Available The dynamics of sheep systems the Mediterranean region have been influenced by reforms coming from the Common Agricultural Policy, and the general economic evolution of markets. The aim of this study was the analysis of the structural changes that occurred between 1999 and 2009, and the identification of future implications for the sheep systems in Andalusia region, Spain. Analysis of the structural changes allowed the generation of strategic information, identified trends that should suggest new rural policies and changes that are likely to have social and environmental impacts, and lastly, prioritize future research. The application of multivariate methodology allowed clustering the farm population into four groups. The typology of these systems was determined by variables related to the sheep subsystem, by the set of agricultural activities, and by changes in swine husbandry, within a context of changes in land tenure and the drive for agricultural intensification. Major modifications of extant systems included a 42% reduction in the number of farms, a decrease in sheep numbers, replacement of native rangelands with improved pastures, olive trees and orchards, a reduction of traditional extensive pastoral activities, and increases in hog production in Dehesa grasslands. Given the historical economic and social importance of the sheep-cereal system, the observed substantial modifications of land use suggest a need to assess their consequences in terms of social and environmental impacts, as well as their implications for climate change.

  12. Changes in the pastoral sheep systems of semi-arid Mediterranean areas: association with common agricultural policy reform and implications for sustainability

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Toro-Mujica, P.M.; Aguilar, C.; Vera, R.; Barba, C.; Rivas, J.; García-Martínez, A.

    2015-07-01

    The dynamics of sheep systems the Mediterranean region have been influenced by reforms coming from the Common Agricultural Policy, and the general economic evolution of markets. The aim of this study was the analysis of the structural changes that occurred between 1999 and 2009, and the identification of future implications for the sheep systems in Andalusia region, Spain. Analysis of the structural changes allowed the generation of strategic information, identified trends that should suggest new rural policies and changes that are likely to have social and environmental impacts, and lastly, prioritize future research. The application of multivariate methodology allowed clustering the farm population into four groups. The typology of these systems was determined by variables related to the sheep subsystem, by the set of agricultural activities, and by changes in swine husbandry, within a context of changes in land tenure and the drive for agricultural intensification. Major modifications of extant systems included a 42% reduction in the number of farms, a decrease in sheep numbers, replacement of native rangelands with improved pastures, olive trees and orchards, a reduction of traditional extensive pastoral activities, and increases in hog production in Dehesa grasslands. Given the historical economic and social importance of the sheep-cereal system, the observed substantial modifications of land use suggest a need to assess their consequences in terms. (Author)

  13. 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

  14. 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.

  15. Semiarid hillslope processes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Cammeraat, E.L.H.; Shroder, J.F.

    2013-01-01

    Semiarid environments show specific hydrological responses and geomorphological processes. Semiarid environments are characterized by dry conditions that do not allow for a full but, instead, only for a partial vegetation cover. The vegetation cover is generally patterned in a heterogeneous mosaic

  16. 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.

  17. Sustainability of Smallholder Agriculture in Semi-Arid Areas under Land Set-aside Programs: A Case Study from China’s Loess Plateau

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qirui Li

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available This article analyzes agricultural sustainability in the context of land degradation, rural poverty and social inequality, taking China’s Loess Hills as an example. The analysis attempts to understand the multi-dimensionality of sustainability at the farm level and its relationship with physical-socio-economic-infrastructural-technological framework conditions in the context of the land set-aside program viz. the Grain for Green Project (GGP. We developed composite indices of sustainability and its environmental, economic and social dimensions using a principal component analysis (PCA-based weighting scheme. Regression analyses were conducted to examine the relationship between the estimated sustainability indicators and the variables representing framework conditions of knowledge, demographics, resource endowment and production techniques. The stated analysis was conducted on a dataset collected by means of household surveys in 2014 in valleys and flood plain areas in Yanhe Township. Findings reveal hidden correlations among the indicators of environmental, economic, and social pillars of sustainability. The ratio of land under the conservation program to actual farmland emerged as a key determinant of overall agricultural sustainability and its social dimension, which reaches the maximum when the ratio is around 0.56 and 0.64, respectively. The results also show that there is need to balance off-farm and on-farm income diversification as well as highlight the role of women in ensuring the sustainability of farming households. The core achievement of the article is the definition of the thresholds for the land set-aside program and the identification of major determinants of agricultural sustainability in the rural Chinese context in particular and in rural farming communities in general.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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 ...

  8. 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...

  9. 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.

  10. 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...

  11. 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

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2010-08-01

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

  13. Trophy Hunting and Sustainability: Temporal Dynamics in Trophy Quality and Harvesting Patterns of Wild Herbivores in a Tropical Semi-Arid Savanna Ecosystem.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Victor K Muposhi

    Full Text Available The selective nature of trophy hunting may cause changes in desirable phenotypic traits in harvested species. A decline in trophy size of preferred species may reduce hunting destination competitiveness thus compromising the sustainability of trophy hunting as a conservation tool. We explored the trophy quality and trends in harvesting patterns (i.e., 2004-2015 of Cape buffalo (Syncerus caffer, African elephant (Loxodonta africana, greater kudu (Tragelaphus strepsiceros and sable (Hippotragus niger in Matetsi Safari Area, northwest Zimbabwe. We used long-term data on horn and tusk size, age, quota size allocation and offtake levels of selected species. To analyse the effect of year, area and age on the trophy size, quota size and offtake levels, we used linear mixed models. One sample t-test was used to compare observed trophy size with Safari Club International (SCI minimum score. Trophy sizes for Cape buffalo and African elephant were below the SCI minimum score. Greater kudu trophy sizes were within the minimum score threshold whereas sable trophy sizes were above the SCI minimum score between 2004 and 2015. Age at harvest for Cape buffalo, kudu and sable increased whilst that of elephant remained constant between 2004 and 2015. Quota size allocated for buffalo and the corresponding offtake levels declined over time. Offtake levels of African elephant and Greater kudu declined whilst the quota size did not change between 2004 and 2015. The quota size for sable increased whilst the offtake levels fluctuated without changing for the period 2004-2015. The trophy size and harvesting patterns in these species pose a conservation and management dilemma on the sustainability of trophy hunting in this area. We recommend: (1 temporal and spatial rotational resting of hunting areas to create refuge to improve trophy quality and maintenance of genetic diversity, and (2 introduction of variable trophy fee pricing system based on trophy size.

  14. Cyclic use of saline and non-saline water to increase water use efficiency and soil sustainability on drip irrigated maize in a semi-arid region

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Hassanli, M.; Ebrahimian, H.

    2016-07-01

    Use of saline water for irrigation is a strategy to mitigate water shortage. The objective of this study was to investigate the impact of the cyclic and constant use of saline and non-saline water on drip irrigated maize yield and irrigation water use efficiency (IWUE). Nine field treatments were laid out based on alternative irrigation management of non-saline and saline water combinations. The treatments were: two salinity levels of 3.5 and 5.7 dS/m and freshwater (0.4 dS/m) application in every one, three and five saline water application (1:1, 3:1 and 5:1, respectively). Results showed that the 1:1 combination management was the best in terms of crop yield and IWUE. In this treatment, salt concentration at the end of growing season was not significantly changed compared to its initial condition. If off-season precipitation or leaching was available, the 3:1 and 5:1 treatments were appropriated. Highest and lowest values of IWUE were 15.3 and 8.7 kg/m3 for the 1:1 management using water salinity of 3.5 dS/m and the treatment of constant irrigation with water salinity of 5.7 dS/m, respectively. Under low off-season precipitations, artificial leaching is essential for land sustainability in most treatments.

  15. 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.

  16. Assessing the Sustainability of Different Small-Scale Livestock Production Systems in the Afar Region, Ethiopia

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Ngufor L Atanga; Anna C Treydte; Regina Birner

    2013-01-01

    .... Hence, ecological and socio-economically sustainable rangeland management is crucial. Our study aimed at selecting operational economic, environmental and social sustainability indicators for three main pastoral (P), agro-pastoral (AP...

  17. 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

  18. Improved understanding of hydrology and erosion processes and enhanced application of the Rangeland Hydrology and Erosion Model (RHEM) for disturbed rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Large-scale disturbances such as fire and woodland encroachment continue to plague the sustainability of semi-arid regions around the world. Land managers are challenged with predicting and mitigating such disturbances to stabilize soil and ecological degradation of vast landscapes. Scientists fro...

  19. 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...

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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

  4. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-12-01

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

  6. Biodigestor for validation of the productive system self-sustainable in the Brazil semi-arid; Biodigestor para validacao de sistema produtivo auto-sustentavel no semi-arido

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Carvalho, Paulo C.M. [Universidade Federal do Ceara (UFCE), Fortaleza, CE (Brazil). Dept. de Engenharia Eletrica; Silveira Neto, Jose W.; Diniz, Magilce M.N. [Instituto Joazeiro de Desenvolvimento Sustentavel, Fortaleza, CE (Brazil); Canafistula, Francisco J.F. [Universidade Federal do Ceara (UFCE), Fortaleza, CE (Brazil). Dept. de Engenharia Agricola

    2004-07-01

    The present paper shows the first phase of a project about the use of digester adapted to the conditions of the semi-arid areas of the Brazilian Northeast region. The project aims to analyze the technical, economical, financial and environmental viability of a production system based on the use of digesters. (author)

  7. 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.

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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 ...

  11. 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...

  12. 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 ...

  13. 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...

  14. 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,...

  15. Hydrologic Connectivity: a Framework to Understand Threshold Behaviour in Semi-Arid Landscapes.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Saco, Patricia; Rodriguez, Jose; Keesstra, Saskia; Moreno-de las Heras, Mariano; Sandi, Steven; Baartman, Jantiene; Cerdà, Artemi

    2017-04-01

    Anthropogenic activities and climate change are imposing an unprecedented pressure on arid and semi-arid ecosystems, where shortage of water can trigger shifts in landscapes' structures and function leading to degradation and desertification. Hydrological connectivity is a useful framework for understanding water redistribution and scaling issues associated to runoff and sediment production, since human and/or natural disturbances alter the surface water availability and pathways increasing/decreasing connectivity. In this presentation, we illustrate the use of the connectivity framework for several examples of dryland systems that are analysed at a variety of spatial and temporal scales. In doing so, we draw particular attention to the analysis of co-evolution of system structures and function, and how they drive threshold behaviour leading to desertification and degradation. We first analyse the case of semi-arid rangelands, where feedbacks between decline in vegetation density and landscape erosion reinforces degradation processes driven by changes in connectivity until a threshold is crossed above which the return to a functional system is unlikely. We then focus on semi-arid wetlands, where decreases in water volumes promotes dryland vegetation encroachment that changes drainage conditions and connectivity potentially reinforcing redistribution of flow paths to other wetland areas. The examples presented highlight the need to incorporate a co-evolutionary framework for the analysis of changing connectivity patterns and the emergence of thresholds in arid and semi-arid systems.

  16. 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.

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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

  20. Improving Access to Livestock Markets for Sustainable Rangeland ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    inefficiencies such as middlemen rent-seeking behavior, government taxes and fees imposed on cattle trekkers, high transport costs, lack of market infrastructure, financial and ...... Let Them Eat Sugar: Life and Livelihood in Kenya's Tana Delta. In H. Healy, J. Martínez-Alier, L. Temper, M. Walter, & J. F. Gerber (Eds.), ...

  1. Rangeland degradation in semi-arid Swaziland: effects of dip-tanks ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    This study investigated dip-tank use effects on herbaceous vegetation and soil, and relationships between environmental and species variables. Eight dip-tanks, three each in sandy (DPBS) and loamy (DYRL) soils, and two in stony (ROSG) soils were used. Data were collected at 50, 100, 150, 300, 500, 700 and 900 m from ...

  2. 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.

  3. Climate and topographic controls on pasture production in a semiarid Mediterranean watershed with scattered tree cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano-Parra, J.; Maneta, M. P.; Schnabel, S.

    2013-12-01

    Natural grasses in semiarid rangelands constitute an effective protection against soil erosion and degradation, are a source of natural food for livestock and play a critical role in the hydrologic cycle by contributing to the uptake and transpiration of water. However, natural pastures are threatened by land abandonment and the consequent encroachment of shrubs and trees as well as by changing climatic conditions. In spite of their ecological and economic importance, the spatio-temporal variations of pasture production at the decadal to century scales over whole watersheds are poorly known. We used a physics-based, spatially-distributed ecohydrologic model applied to a 99.5 ha semiarid watershed in western Spain to investigate the sensitivity of pasture production to climate variability. The ecohydrologic model was run using a 300 yr long synthetic daily climate dataset generated using a stochastic weather generator. The data set reproduced the range of climatic variations observed under current climate. Results indicated that variation of pasture production largely depended on factors that also determined the availability of soil moisture such as the temporal distribution of precipitation, topography, and tree canopy cover. The latter is negatively related with production, reflecting the importance of rainfall and light interception, as well as water consumption by trees. Valley bottoms and flat areas in the lower parts of the catchment are characterized by higher pasture production. A quantitative assessment of the quality of the simulations showed that ecohydrologic models are a valuable tool to investigate long term (century scale) water and energy fluxes, as well as vegetation dynamics, in semiarid rangelands.

  4. 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...

  5. 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.

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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...

  9. 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

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  12. Estimation of surface roughness in a semiarid region from C-band ERS-1 synthetic aperture radar data

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    E. E. Sano

    1999-12-01

    Full Text Available In this study, we investigated the feasibility of using the C-band European Remote Sensing Satellite (ERS-1 synthetic aperture radar (SAR data to estimate surface soil roughness in a semiarid rangeland. Radar backscattering coefficients were extracted from a dry and a wet season SAR image and were compared with 47 in situ soil roughness measurements obtained in the rocky soils of the Walnut Gulch Experimental Watershed, southeastern Arizona, USA. Both the dry and the wet season SAR data showed exponential relationships with root mean square (RMS height measurements. The dry C-band ERS-1 SAR data were strongly correlated (R² = 0.80, while the wet season SAR data have somewhat higher secondary variation (R² = 0.59. This lower correlation was probably provoked by the stronger influence of soil moisture, which may not be negligible in the wet season SAR data. We concluded that the single configuration C-band SAR data is useful to estimate surface roughness of rocky soils in a semiarid rangeland.

  13. Nitrogen flows and balances as affected by water and nutrient management in a sorghum cropping system of semi-arid Burkina Faso

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Zougmoré, R.; Mando, A.; Stroosnijder, L.; Guillobez, S.

    2004-01-01

    Efficient use of external inputs and water conservation are a prerequisite of sustainable agricultural productivity in semiarid West Africa. A field experiment was carried out during 3 years (2000–2002) at Saria in semiarid Burkina Faso (800 mm of annual rainfall, PET of 2000 mm per year) to assess

  14. 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...

  15. 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...

  16. 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

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. Appropriate technology for sustainable family agriculture in the semi-arid: solar water pumping for located irrigation; Tecnologia apropriada para a agricultura familiar sustentavel do semi-arido brasileiro: bombeamento solar de agua para irrigacao localizada

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Costa, Heitor Scalambrini [Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (NAPER/UFPE), Recife, PE (Brazil). Nucleo de Apoio a Projetos de Energias Renovaveis], Email: naper@ufpe.br

    2006-07-01

    Water and energy are the physic factor, which are most influential on the life conditions in the semi-arid rural environment as a whole and in the agriculture production systems in particular. Water is a resource, which - even though not rare - is found in limited quantities and not always is available on the ground surface, meaning that it should be retrieved through either proper wells or deep holes excavated into ground. Therefore, its use should be optimized. In the rural environment to turn water into an available resource in a sufficient amount in order to improve the population life conditions is still a challenge. In the rural semi-arid regions the electric energy distribution is small compared to the other regions of the country. Nevertheless the geographic position of the Brazilian Northeast - close to the equator - adds to this region high levels of insolation - something close to 3,000 hours of sunshine per year - turning this energy resource into a very abundant one. It is known that the use of solar energy, among the use of other resources, has increased the most worldwide in the last decade. The use of photovoltaic cells has increased around 17% per year in the 90's. In the last years several applications, which had the sun as their electric energy resource, were implemented in the rural areas of many countries. The Brazilian Northeast region was the preferred target of programs and projects aiming at the dissemination of the photovoltaic solar technology. Water pumping is one among the most noble applications of the photovoltaic solar technology. There are many pumping systems configurations for either deep or shallow wells, which use either superficial, immerse or floating motor-pumps, which in turn can be driven by either continuum or alternate current. In this work the usage of water pumped with solar energy from Amazon wells (also called 'cacimboes') for small family-based areas of localized irrigation (less than 1 ha), whose main

  20. Estimation of overland flow metrics at semiarid condition: Patagonian Monte

    Science.gov (United States)

    Rossi, M. J.; Ares, J. O.

    2012-05-01

    Water infiltration and overland flow (WIOF) processes are relevant in considering water partition among plant life forms, the sustainability of vegetation and the design of sustainable hydrological management. WIOF processes in arid and semiarid regions present regional characteristic trends imposed by the prevailing physical conditions of the upper soil as evolved under water-limited climate. A set of plot-scale field experiments at the semi-arid Patagonian Monte (Argentina) was performed in order to estimate infiltration-overland descriptive flow parameters. The micro-relief of undisturbed field plots at z-scale depression storage intensity. The experimental procedure presented supplies plot-scale estimates of overland flow and infiltration intensities at various intensities of water input which can be incorporated in larger-scale hydrological grid-models of arid regions. Findings were: (1) Overland flow velocities as well as infiltration-overland flow mass balances are consistently modelled by considering variable infiltration rates corresponding to depression storage and/or non-ponded areas. (2) The statistical relations presented allow the estimation of theoretical hydrodynamic parameters (Chezy's frictional C, average overland flow depth d*) through measurable characteristics of the surface soil and overland flow kinetics. (3) A protocol of field experiments and coupled time-distributed modelling to 1-2 above is described. The methodology and results obtained in this study are probably relevant to similar arid-semiarid areas of the world.

  1. 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.

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. 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.

  6. Climate and topographic controls on simulated pasture production in a semiarid Mediterranean watershed with scattered tree cover

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lozano-Parra, J.; Maneta, M. P.; Schnabel, S.

    2014-04-01

    Natural grasses in semiarid rangelands constitute an effective protection against soil erosion and degradation, are a source of natural food for livestock and play a critical role in the hydrologic cycle by contributing to the uptake and transpiration of water. However, natural pastures are threatened by land abandonment and the consequent encroachment of shrubs and trees as well as by changing climatic conditions. In spite of their ecological and economic importance, the spatiotemporal variations of pasture production at the decadal-century scales over whole watersheds are poorly known. We used a physically based, spatially distributed ecohydrologic model applied to a 99.5 ha semiarid watershed in western Spain to investigate the sensitivity of pasture production to climate variability. The ecohydrologic model was run using a 300-year-long synthetic daily climate data set generated using a stochastic weather generator. The data set reproduced the range of climatic variations observed under the current climate. Results indicated that variation of pasture production largely depended on factors that also determined the availability of soil moisture such as the temporal distribution of precipitation, topography, and tree canopy cover. The latter is negatively related with production, reflecting the importance of rainfall and light interception, as well as water consumption by trees. Valley bottoms and flat areas in the lower parts of the catchment are characterized by higher pasture production but more interannual variability. A quantitative assessment of the quality of the simulations showed that ecohydrologic models are a valuable tool to investigate long-term (century scale) water and energy fluxes, as well as vegetation dynamics, in semiarid rangelands.

  7. 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...

  8. 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.

  9. Woody plants in agro-ecosystems of semi-arid regions

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Breman, H.; Kessler, J.J.

    1995-01-01

    A quantitative analysis of the role of woody plants in semi-arid regions, focusing on the Sahel and Sudan zones in West-Africa, is given for the assessment of their benefits in agro-sylvopastoral land-use systems with productive and sustainability objectives.

  10. The Soil-Land use System in a Sand Spit Area in the Semi-Arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    The development and sustainability of a horticultural system at the Keta sand spit in south-eastern Ghana is described and discussed. The main crop is shallot grown on pure sandy soils in a semi-arid climate. It is a cash crop system highly dependent on a substantial input of manure and irrigation water from a shallow ...

  11. Comparison of groundwater recharge estimation methods for the semi-arid Nyamandhlovu area, Zimbabwe

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Sibanda, T.; Nonner, J.C.; Uhlenbrook, S.

    2009-01-01

    The Nyamandhlovu aquifer is the main water resource in the semi-arid Umguza district in Matebeleland North Province in Zimbabwe. The rapid increase in water demand in the city of Bulawayo has prompted the need to quantify the available groundwater resources for sustainable utilization. Groundwater

  12. Soil and water conservation in semi-arid areas of Tanzania: national ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    ... farmers have directed their efforts to the effective management of rainwater for the production of high water-demanding but high-value crops such as rice and vegetables. It is proposed that sustainable adoption of soil and water conservation practices in semi-arid areas of Tanzania requires policies and strategies that: (i) ...

  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. 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 ...

  20. 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...

  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. 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. 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...

  15. 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...

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2011-01-01

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

  17. 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 ...

  18. 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 ...

  19. 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...

  20. Climate variability, agricultural livelihoods and food security in Semiarid Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Patrícia S. Mesquita

    2016-12-01

    Full Text Available Climate change and variability are among the main threats to socio-ecological sustainability in many semi-arid regions of the world and are of special concern to resource-poor family farmers. In the Brazilian semi-arid region, high levels of social vulnerability in addition to predicted climate events can adversely affect subsistence crops and other cultivated areas with serious consequences for rural food security. An extreme drought that started in 2010 left 174 (of 184 municipalities in the northeastern state of Ceará, Brazil, in a situation of emergency in 2012. During the period of drought, we studied household production characteristics, sources of water for domestic consumption, perception of temperature change and the relationship of those variables with perceived food security. Food security was associated to the presence of piped water and to the diversity of livestock owned by the household. In addition to the importance of observing the role of those variables in public policies related to food security and regional development in the semi-arid region of Brazil, we also highlight the need of understanding the local context where those policies are implemented and the types of local adaptations being performed during periods of shock, which will be recurrent in a scenario of climate change.

  1. 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.

  2. In-filled reservoirs serving as sediment archives to analyse soil organic carbon erosion – Taking a closer look at the Karoo rangelands

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Krenz, Juliane; Greenwood, Philip; Kuhn, Brigitte

    The semi-arid rangelands of the Great Karoo region in South Africa, which are nowadays characterized by badlands on the foot slopes of upland areas and complex gully systems in valley bottoms, have experienced a number of environmental changes. With the settlement of European farmers in the late ......th century agricultural activities increased, leading to overgrazing which probably acted as a trigger to land degradation. As a consequence of higher water demands and shifting rainfall patterns, many dams and small reservoirs have been constructed to provide drinking water for cattle...... of analytical methods that include drone imagery, landscape mapping, erosion modelling and sediment analysis have been employed to trace back the sediment origin and redistribution within the catchment, setting a special focus on the carbon history. Sediment deposits from a silted-up reservoir were analysed...

  3. 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...

  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. 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.

  6. Institutional Aspects of Sustainability for Irrigated Agriculture in Arid and Semi-Arid Regions Aspectos Institucionales para la Sustentabilidad de la Agricultura de Riego en Regiones Áridas y Semi-Áridas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Iván del Callejo

    2009-12-01

    Full Text Available Concerns, arguments, and approaches to sustainability are exposed in both scientific and technical irrigation literature which is based on the priority of food production and water preservation as a basic resource. Different approaches related to sustainable irrigated agriculture are identified beyond the technical considerations of irrigation as dealt with by very specialized scientific literature. These focus on socio-economic and institutional aspects of irrigation management. In this chapter, four main approaches are discussed: “New institutionalism” is an approach which emphasizes economic and financial issues such as cost recovery and the role of the market in water rights reallocation. A second approach, “Common pool resources management” highlights the role of local organizations and institutions with respect to collective water management, and the possibilities to design “robust institutions” considering the involvement of different stakeholders, not only (state authorities. A third is identified as the “Empowerment approach”. In this approach, topics such as power relations, autonomy, gender relations, as well as water rights and access are considered as key elements configuring water management practices in irrigation systems. Finally, there is the “Post-institutional approach”. It outlines concepts such as “institutional bricolage”, uncertainty, and legal pluralism used as analytical elements to understand the dynamics and complexities of irrigation development. In conclusion, different levels to analyze sustainability are discussed from an institutional perspective by identifying key knowledge gaps and the need to integrate some of the elements found in the different approaches.En la literatura científica y técnica sobre riego se han planteado diferentes preocupaciones, argumentos y enfoques que contribuyan a su sostenibilidad, basados en la prioridad dada a la producción de alimentos y a la preservaci

  7. Interdisciplinary approach on evaluation and sustainable usage of the water resources in the semi-arid Northwest Mexico to counter the imbalance of water: Case study Valle de Guadalupe, Baja California

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kretzschmar, T.; Hernandez, R.; Valenzuela, C.; Cabello, A.

    2012-12-01

    In the Baja California peninsula are several watersheds present, of which the hydrogeological conditions are of great importance to communities in the area. The Valle de Guadalupe watershed, for instance has a wine industry of national importance. Irrigation of crops is carried out exclusively with water from the aquifer, which consists of Quaternary sediments filling this depression of Post-Miocene age. Apart from the use of the aquifer by the wine industry, the water utility of Ensenada operates 10 drinking water wells with a total capacity of 320 L/s or 42% of supply in the valley. In the arid northern Mexico mountain front recharge is an important recharge source to the aquifers. Other important recharge sources are related to direct infiltration of the precipitation, recharge from runoff into streams (mountain block recharge) and the provision by active faults. The knowledge of the aquifer is crucial to maintain sustainable management of water resources in the Valle de Guadalupe. This intense use of water resources is reflected in a degradation of the aquifer water quality and reduced water table. The integrated approach for a sustainable evaluation and usage of the aquifer includes besides the hydrogeological evaluation, the determination of the water stress on the vineyards as well as the usage of treated waste water as alternative resource as well the evaluation of the effects of climatic variations and measurement and modeling of the vegetation, the main interface between atmosphere and soil, affecting the hydrology in the process of interception, infiltration, runoff and evapotranspiration. With these detailed ongoing studies we expect to identify and counter imbalance of water in the study area. This requires 1) modeling and hydrogeological studies for the determination of the present and future imbalance 2) estimation of the impacts of industrial activities on water resources 3) characterization of alternative water sources, 4) optimization of the water

  8. Large-scale hydrological modelling in the semi-arid north-east of Brazil

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Guentner, A.

    2002-09-01

    Semi-arid areas are characterized by small water resources. An increasing water demand due to population growth and economic development as well as a possible decreasing water availability in the course of climate change may aggravate water scarcity in future in these areas. The quantitative assessment of the water resources is a prerequisite for the development of sustainable measures of water management. For this task, hydrological models within a dynamic integrated framework are indispensable tools. The main objective of this study is to develop a hydrological model for the quantification of water availability over a large geographic domain of semi-arid environments. The study area is the Federal State of Ceara in the semi-arid north-east of Brazil. Surface water from reservoirs provides the largest part of water supply. The area has recurrently been affected by droughts which caused serious economic losses and social impacts like migration from the rural regions. (orig.)

  9. State Transitions in Semiarid Landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Phillips, J. D.

    2012-04-01

    The U.S. Department of Agriculture has developed a large number of state-and-transition models (STM) to predict and interpret changes in vegetation communities in drylands of the southwestern U.S. These are represented as box-and-arrow models indicating potential changes in response to various combinations of management practices and environmental forcings. Analysis of the 320 STMs developed for areas within the state of Texas reveals two important aspects of environmental change in semiarid environments. First, the STMs are highly local—they are specific to very particular combinations of landform, soil, and climate. This is consistent with the perfect landscape concept in geomorphology, which emphasizes the irreducible importance of geographically and historically contingent local factors in addition to universal laws or principles in determining the state or condition of landscapes. Second, analysis of the STMs using algebraic graph theory shows that a majority of them have structures that tend to amplify effects of change and disturbances. In many cases the STMs represent a form of self-organization characterized by the potential of divergent behavior rather than convergence toward a dominant pattern or outcome. These results indicate that geomorphic, hydrologic, and ecological responses to climate and land use change are likely to be highly variable and idiosyncratic, both within and between semiarid landscapes of Texas.

  10. 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...

  11. Land use change and carbon cycle in arid and semi-arid lands of East and Central Asia

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Togtohyn Chuluun; Dennis Ojima [Colorado State University, Fort Collins, CO (USA). Natural Resource Ecology Laboratory

    2002-07-01

    Dramatic changes in land use have occurred in arid and semi-arid lands of Asia during the 20th century. Grassland conversion into croplands and ecosystem degradation is widespread due to the high growth rate of human population and political reforms of pastoral systems. Rangeland degradation made many parts of this region vulnerable to environmental and political changes. The collapse of the livestock sector in some states of central Asia, expansion of livestock in China and intensive degradation of grasslands in China are examples of the responses of pastoral systems to these changes over the past decades. Carbon dynamics in this region is highly variable in space and time. Land use/cover changes with widespread reduction of forest and grasslands increased carbon emission from the region.

  12. Elevated CO2 and warming effects on CH4 uptake in a semiarid grassland below optimum soil moisture

    Science.gov (United States)

    Dijkstra, Feike A.; Morgan, Jack A.; von Fischer, Joseph C.; Follett, Ronald F.

    2011-03-01

    Semiarid rangelands are a significant global sink for methane (CH4), but this sink strength may be altered by climate change. Methane uptake is sensitive to soil moisture showing a hump-shaped relationship with a distinct optimum soil moisture level. Both CO2 and temperature affect soil moisture, but the direction of CH4 uptake response may depend on if the system is below or above the soil moisture optimum. Most climate change studies on CH4 uptake have been conducted in mesic environments with soil moisture levels typically above optimum, but little is known about responses in drier systems with suboptimal soil water. We studied effects of atmospheric CO2 (ambient versus 600 ppm), and temperature (ambient versus 1.5/3.0°C warmer day/night) on CH4 uptake during two growing seasons in a full factorial semiarid grassland field experiment in Wyoming, United States. We observed typical hump-shaped relationships between CH4 uptake and water filled pore space. Averaged over a range of soil moisture conditions, CH4 uptake was not affected by elevated CO2, but significantly decreased with warming in both seasons (25% in the first and 13% in the second season). Warming showed the strongest reduction and elevated CO2 showed the strongest increase in CH4 uptake when soils were below optimum moisture, indicating that these effects are particularly strong when soils are dry. Thus, directional effects of elevated CO2 and warming on CH4 uptake in semiarid grasslands can be opposite to their effects in mesic ecosystems because semiarid grasslands are often below optimum soil moisture for methane uptake.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2013-12-24

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

  14. 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

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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 ...

  1. 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...

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. Assessing Herbivore Foraging Behavior with GPS Collars in a Semiarid Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Justin D. Derner

    2013-03-01

    Full Text Available Advances in global positioning system (GPS technology have dramatically enhanced the ability to track and study distributions of free-ranging livestock. Understanding factors controlling the distribution of free-ranging livestock requires the ability to assess when and where they are foraging. For four years (2008–2011, we periodically collected GPS and activity sensor data together with direct observations of collared cattle grazing semiarid rangeland in eastern Colorado. From these data, we developed classification tree models that allowed us to discriminate between grazing and non-grazing activities. We evaluated: (1 which activity sensor measurements from the GPS collars were most valuable in predicting cattle foraging behavior, (2 the accuracy of binary (grazing, non-grazing activity models vs. models with multiple activity categories (grazing, resting, traveling, mixed, and (3 the accuracy of models that are robust across years vs. models specific to a given year. A binary classification tree correctly removed 86.5% of the non-grazing locations, while correctly retaining 87.8% of the locations where the animal was grazing, for an overall misclassification rate of 12.9%. A classification tree that separated activity into four different categories yielded a greater misclassification rate of 16.0%. Distance travelled in a 5 minute interval and the proportion of the interval with the sensor indicating a head down position were the two most important variables predicting grazing activity. Fitting annual models of cattle foraging activity did not improve model accuracy compared to a single model based on all four years combined. This suggests that increased sample size was more valuable than accounting for interannual variation in foraging behavior associated with variation in forage production. Our models differ from previous assessments in semiarid rangeland of Israel and mesic pastures in the United States in terms of the value of different

  6. Assessing herbivore foraging behavior with GPS collars in a semiarid grassland.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Augustine, David J; Derner, Justin D

    2013-03-15

    Advances in global positioning system (GPS) technology have dramatically enhanced the ability to track and study distributions of free-ranging livestock. Understanding factors controlling the distribution of free-ranging livestock requires the ability to assess when and where they are foraging. For four years (2008-2011), we periodically collected GPS and activity sensor data together with direct observations of collared cattle grazing semiarid rangeland in eastern Colorado. From these data, we developed classification tree models that allowed us to discriminate between grazing and non-grazing activities. We evaluated: (1) which activity sensor measurements from the GPS collars were most valuable in predicting cattle foraging behavior, (2) the accuracy of binary (grazing, non-grazing) activity models vs. models with multiple activity categories (grazing, resting, traveling, mixed), and (3) the accuracy of models that are robust across years vs. models specific to a given year. A binary classification tree correctly removed 86.5% of the non-grazing locations, while correctly retaining 87.8% of the locations where the animal was grazing, for an overall misclassification rate of 12.9%. A classification tree that separated activity into four different categories yielded a greater misclassification rate of 16.0%. Distance travelled in a 5 minute interval and the proportion of the interval with the sensor indicating a head down position were the two most important variables predicting grazing activity. Fitting annual models of cattle foraging activity did not improve model accuracy compared to a single model based on all four years combined. This suggests that increased sample size was more valuable than accounting for interannual variation in foraging behavior associated with variation in forage production. Our models differ from previous assessments in semiarid rangeland of Israel and mesic pastures in the United States in terms of the value of different activity

  7. 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...

  8. Preface paper to the Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere (SALSA) Program special issue

    Science.gov (United States)

    Goodrich, D.C.; Chehbouni, A.; Goff, B.; MacNish, B.; Maddock, T.; Moran, S.; Shuttleworth, W.J.; Williams, D.G.; Watts, C.; Hipps, L.H.; Cooper, D.I.; Schieldge, J.; Kerr, Y.H.; Arias, H.; Kirkland, M.; Carlos, R.; Cayrol, P.; Kepner, W.; Jones, B.; Avissar, R.; Begue, A.; Bonnefond, J.-M.; Boulet, G.; Branan, B.; Brunel, J.P.; Chen, L.C.; Clarke, T.; Davis, M.R.; DeBruin, H.; Dedieu, G.; Elguero, E.; Eichinger, W.E.; Everitt, J.; Garatuza-Payan, J.; Gempko, V.L.; Gupta, H.; Harlow, C.; Hartogensis, O.; Helfert, M.; Holifield, C.; Hymer, D.; Kahle, A.; Keefer, T.; Krishnamoorthy, S.; Lhomme, J.-P.; Lagouarde, J.-P.; Lo, Seen D.; Luquet, D.; Marsett, R.; Monteny, B.; Ni, W.; Nouvellon, Y.; Pinker, R.; Peters, C.; Pool, D.; Qi, J.; Rambal, S.; Rodriguez, J.; Santiago, F.; Sano, E.; Schaeffer, S.M.; Schulte, M.; Scott, R.; Shao, X.; Snyder, K.A.; Sorooshian, S.; Unkrich, C.L.; Whitaker, M.; Yucel, I.

    2000-01-01

    The Semi-Arid Land-Surface-Atmosphere Program (SALSA) is a multi-agency, multi-national research effort that seeks to evaluate the consequences of natural and human-induced environmental change in semi-arid regions. The ultimate goal of SALSA is to advance scientific understanding of the semi-arid portion of the hydrosphere-biosphere interface in order to provide reliable information for environmental decision making. SALSA approaches this goal through a program of long-term, integrated observations, process research, modeling, assessment, and information management that is sustained by cooperation among scientists and information users. In this preface to the SALSA special issue, general program background information and the critical nature of semi-arid regions is presented. A brief description of the Upper San Pedro River Basin, the initial location for focused SALSA research follows. Several overarching research objectives under which much of the interdisciplinary research contained in the special issue was undertaken are discussed. Principal methods, primary research sites and data collection used by numerous investigators during 1997-1999 are then presented. Scientists from about 20 US, five European (four French and one Dutch), and three Mexican agencies and institutions have collaborated closely to make the research leading to this special issue a reality. The SALSA Program has served as a model of interagency cooperation by breaking new ground in the approach to large scale interdisciplinary science with relatively limited resources.

  9. 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.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. Rangelands management in Spanish Natura 2000 sites.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hernando Gallego, A.; Tejera Gimeno, R.; Velázquez Saornil, J.; Núñez Martí, V.; Grande Vega, M.

    2009-04-01

    features such as vital functions, restoration, floral richness and structure. Finally, the implemented management plan proposes a sustainable solution to restore the habitat and maintain the livestock. Conversion by thinning on coppice forest to high forest is a popular recommendation by expert managers. It is proposed in high polewood (with B: inconvenient conservation status), sapling (A) and coppice tall shrubs (C) during the first fifteen years. Low-intensity thinning on sprouts, less than 35% of the basal area. Besides, the cattle will be led to these areas to control the sprouts. Low polewood (C) is left to grow with livestock and only the best trees will survive. Oak shrubland will be tested. The main purpose is avoiding the whole forest to become a coppice forest (C) without acorn regeneration. Therefore oak shrubland will be fenced and different measures tested (brush out, bulldozer scalping, intensive and medium thinning and no treatment) in order to choose the most suitable one for future management. In conclusion, the proposed selvicultural measures use the livestock as a part of the solution to ensure biodiversity.

  13. 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

  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. 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.

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

    Science.gov (United States)

    McAbee, Kathryn; Reinhardt, Keith; Germino, Matthew 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.

  17. Groundwater Recharge Rates and Surface Runoff Response to Land Use and Land Cover Changes in Semi-arid Environments

    Science.gov (United States)

    Owuor, Steven; Butterbach-Bahl, Klaus; Guzha, Alphonce; Rufino, Mariana; Pelster, David; Díaz-Pinés, Eugenio; Breuer, Lutz; Merbold, Lutz

    2017-04-01

    Conclusive evidence and understanding of the effects of land use and land cover (LULC) on both groundwater recharge and surface runoff is critical for effective management of water resources in semi-arid region as those heavily depend on groundwater resources. However, there is limited quantitative evidence on how changes to LULC in semi-arid tropical and subtropical regions affect the subsurface components of the hydrologic cycle, particularly groundwater recharge. In this study, we reviewed a total of 27 studies (2 modelling and 25 experimental), which reported on pre- and post-land use change groundwater recharge or surface runoff magnitude, and thus allowed to quantify the response of groundwater recharge rates and runoff to LULC. Restoration of bare land induces a decrease in groundwater recharge from 42 % of precipitation to between 6 and 12 % depending on the final LULC. If forests are cleared for rangelands, groundwater recharge increases by 7.8 ± 12.6 %, while conversion to cropland or grassland results in increases of 3.4 ± 2.5 and 4.4 ± 3.3 %, respectively. Rehabilitation of bare land to cropland results in surface runoff reductions of between 5.2 and 7.3 %. The conversion of forest vegetation to managed LULC shows an increase in surface runoff from 1 to 14.1 % depending on the final LULC. Surface runoff is reduced from 2.5 to 1.1 % when grassland is converted to forest vegetation. While there is general consistency in the results from the selected case studies, we conclude that there are few experimental studies that have been conducted in tropical and subtropical semi-arid regions, despite that many people rely heavily on groundwater for their livelihoods. Therefore, there is an urgent need to increase the body of quantitative evidence given the pressure of growing human population and climate change on water resources in the region.

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. Monitoring the variations of evapotranspiration due to land use/cover change in a semiarid shrubland

    Science.gov (United States)

    Gong, Tingting; Lei, Huimin; Yang, Dawen; Jiao, Yang; Yang, Hanbo

    2017-02-01

    Evapotranspiration (ET) is an important process in the hydrological cycle, and vegetation change is a primary factor that affects ET. In this study, we analyzed the annual and inter-annual characteristics of ET using continuous observation data from eddy covariance (EC) measurement over 4 years (1 July 2011 to 30 June 2015) in a semiarid shrubland of Mu Us Sandy Land, China. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) was demonstrated as the predominant factor that influences the seasonal variations in ET. Additionally, during the land degradation and vegetation rehabilitation processes, ET and normalized ET both increased due to the integrated effects of the changes in vegetation type, topography, and soil surface characteristics. This study could improve our understanding of the effects of land use/cover change on ET in the fragile ecosystem of semiarid regions and provide a scientific reference for the sustainable management of regional land and water resources.

  1. 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...

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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...

  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. From Source to Sink: Carbon Sequestration and Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Potential of Using Composted Manure and Food Waste on California's Rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Vergara, S.; Silver, W. L.

    2016-12-01

    That anthropogenic climate change is irreversible, except in the case of sustained net removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, compels the scientific community to search for terrestrial carbon sinks. The soil is a promising sink: it currently stores more carbon than do the atmosphere and the vegetation combined, and most managed lands are degraded with respect to carbon. The application of compost to rangelands has been shown to enhance carbon uptake by soils, and the production of compost avoids greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from waste management. Though these two mitigation pathways have been well studied, emissions from the composting process - which should be quantified in order to estimate the net carbon sequestration achieved by applying compost to rangelands - have not. We present a novel approach to quantifying emissions from composting, which we have deployed in Marin County, CA: a micrometerological mass balance set up, using a system of gas and wind towers surrounding a series of composting windrow piles. Real-time greenhouse gas emissions (CO2, N2O, CH4) from the composting waste are measured by a laser spectrometer, and a system of sensors measure conditions within the pile, to identify biogeochemical drivers of those emissions. Understanding these drivers improves our knowledge of the processes governing the production of short-lived climate pollutants, and provides guidance to municipalities and states seeking to minimize their greenhouse gas emissions.

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. Analysis of rainfall in the Brazilian semiarid

    Science.gov (United States)

    Teixeira, Nivaldo; Vide, Javier; Nery, Jonas

    2014-05-01

    The Brazilian semiarid sub region is located in the Northeast and a small part of the territory of the Southeast region of Brazil. The study area lies between latitudes 3º to 18º S and between longitudes 35° to 46° W. According to the Köppen classification, semi-arid climate BSh and BSk is dominated, and the mean annual temperatures is between 26 and 28 ºC. In total nine units are incorporated in the federation, eight Northeast and a small portion of the southeast region. The land area is 982,563.3 km² with 22,598,318 inhabitants residents, nearly 12% of the national population, divided into 1,133 municipalities. The sub region has population density of 23.06 inhabitants per km2. Northeast Brazil is characterized by precipitation variability and irregularity in its spatiotemporal distribution, which make it to be under a severe water shortage. This study is aimed to analyze the rainfall variability through anomalies for El Niño and La Niña years (severe, moderate and weak), calculation the values of the Concentration Index, and numbers of irregular rainy days. The first part is concerning in analyzing the consistency and standardization of rainfall, using R-Package CLIMATOL. The work was achieved using daily rainfall data, during the period 1970-2012, based on the 104 series long enough rainfall observatories in the Brazilian semiarid region. Study of daily rainfall events, may contribute in improving land use and regional economic development, based on the water, the source of life of living beings. Results show rainfall anomalies, especially in the strong El Niño years, such as 1983 and 1992, a large variability appears in precipitation semiarid region, especially in the northern part. This study also shows a sever precipitation variability between years. The semiarid area has years of drought and years with rainfall above the climatological average normal. The stronger are the events, the more erratic rainfall, ie intense El Niño events cause intense

  11. Remediation of metalliferous mines, revegetation challenges and emerging prospects in semi-arid and arid conditions.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Nirola, Ramkrishna; Megharaj, Mallavarapu; Beecham, Simon; Aryal, Rupak; Thavamani, Palanisami; Vankateswarlu, Kadiyala; Saint, Christopher

    2016-10-01

    Understanding plant behaviour in polluted soils is critical for the sustainable remediation of metal-polluted sites including abandoned mines. Post-operational and abandoned metal mines particularly in semi-arid and arid zones are one of the major sources of pollution by soil erosion or plant hyperaccumulation bringing ecological impacts. We have selected from the literature 157 species belonging to 50 families to present a global overview of 'plants under action' against heavy metal pollution. Generally, all species of plants that are drought, salt and metal tolerant are candidates of interest to deal with harsh environmental conditions, particularly at semi-arid and arid mine sites. Pioneer metallophytes namely Atriplex nummularia, Atriplex semibaccata, Salsola kali, Phragmites australis and Medicago sativa, representing the taxonomic orders Caryophyllales, Poales and Fabales are evaluated in terms of phytoremediation in this review. Phytoremediation processes, microbial and algal bioremediation, the use and implication of tissue culture and biotechnology are critically examined. Overall, an integration of available remediation plant-based technologies, referred to here as 'integrated remediation technology,' is proposed to be one of the possible ways ahead to effectively address problems of toxic heavy metal pollution. Graphical abstract Integrated remediation technology (IRT) in metal-contaminated semi-arid and arid conditions. The hexagonal red line represents an IRT concept based on remediation decisions by combination of plants and microbial processes.

  12. 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

  13. 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.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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

  17. Modelling annual evapotranspiration in a semi-arid, African savanna ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Modelling annual evapotranspiration in a semi-arid, African savanna: functional convergence theory, MODIS LAI and the Penman–Monteith equation. ... and, when used independently of the eddy covariance data, ETMODIS predicted an annual ET of 378 mm in 2007 for the semi-arid savanna around the Skukuza flux site.

  18. Vegetation pattern formation in semi-arid grazing systems

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    HillerisLambers, R.; Rietkerk, M.G.; Bosch, F. van den; Prins, H.H.T.; Kroon, H. de

    2001-01-01

    Hypotheses about the origin of vegetation pattern formation in semi-arid areas around the world almost all include a common feature of semi-arid areas: the presence of a positive feedback between plant density and water infiltration. We investigate whether this positive feedback and the spatial

  19. 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

  20. 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

  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. 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)

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. 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...

  10. 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...

  11. 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...

  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. 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 ...

  15. 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...

  16. 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...

  17. 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...

  18. 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...

  19. 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...

  20. 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....

  1. 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...

  2. 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 ...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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...

  7. 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...

  8. 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...

  9. Modeled Impacts of Chronic Wasting Disease on White-Tailed Deer in a Semi-Arid Environment.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Foley, Aaron M; Hewitt, David G; DeYoung, Charles A; DeYoung, Randy W; Schnupp, Matthew J

    2016-01-01

    White-tailed deer are a culturally and economically important game species in North America, especially in South Texas. The recent discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD) in captive deer facilities in Texas has increased concern about the potential emergence of CWD in free-ranging deer. The concern is exacerbated because much of the South Texas region is a semi-arid environment with variable rainfall, where precipitation is strongly correlated with fawn recruitment. Further, the marginally productive rangelands, in combination with erratic fawn recruitment, results in populations that are frequently density-independent, and thus sensitive to additive mortality. It is unknown how a deer population in semi-arid regions would respond to the presence of CWD. We used long-term empirical datasets from a lightly harvested (2% annual harvest) population in conjunction with 3 prevalence growth rates from CWD afflicted areas (0.26%, 0.83%, and 2.3% increases per year) via a multi-stage partially deterministic model to simulate a deer population for 25 years under four scenarios: 1) without CWD and without harvest, 2) with CWD and without harvest, 3) with CWD and male harvest only, and 4) with CWD and harvest of both sexes. The modeled populations without CWD and without harvest averaged a 1.43% annual increase over 25 years; incorporation of 2% annual harvest of both sexes resulted in a stable population. The model with slowest CWD prevalence rate growth (0.26% annually) without harvest resulted in stable populations but the addition of 1% harvest resulted in population declines. Further, the male age structure in CWD models became skewed to younger age classes. We incorporated fawn:doe ratios from three CWD afflicted areas in Wisconsin and Wyoming into the model with 0.26% annual increase in prevalence and populations did not begin to decline until ~10%, ~16%, and ~26% of deer were harvested annually. Deer populations in variable environments rely on high adult

  10. Modeled Impacts of Chronic Wasting Disease on White-Tailed Deer in a Semi-Arid Environment.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Aaron M Foley

    Full Text Available White-tailed deer are a culturally and economically important game species in North America, especially in South Texas. The recent discovery of chronic wasting disease (CWD in captive deer facilities in Texas has increased concern about the potential emergence of CWD in free-ranging deer. The concern is exacerbated because much of the South Texas region is a semi-arid environment with variable rainfall, where precipitation is strongly correlated with fawn recruitment. Further, the marginally productive rangelands, in combination with erratic fawn recruitment, results in populations that are frequently density-independent, and thus sensitive to additive mortality. It is unknown how a deer population in semi-arid regions would respond to the presence of CWD. We used long-term empirical datasets from a lightly harvested (2% annual harvest population in conjunction with 3 prevalence growth rates from CWD afflicted areas (0.26%, 0.83%, and 2.3% increases per year via a multi-stage partially deterministic model to simulate a deer population for 25 years under four scenarios: 1 without CWD and without harvest, 2 with CWD and without harvest, 3 with CWD and male harvest only, and 4 with CWD and harvest of both sexes. The modeled populations without CWD and without harvest averaged a 1.43% annual increase over 25 years; incorporation of 2% annual harvest of both sexes resulted in a stable population. The model with slowest CWD prevalence rate growth (0.26% annually without harvest resulted in stable populations but the addition of 1% harvest resulted in population declines. Further, the male age structure in CWD models became skewed to younger age classes. We incorporated fawn:doe ratios from three CWD afflicted areas in Wisconsin and Wyoming into the model with 0.26% annual increase in prevalence and populations did not begin to decline until ~10%, ~16%, and ~26% of deer were harvested annually. Deer populations in variable environments rely on high

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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...

  14. 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

  15. Permafrost distribution modelling in the semi-arid Chilean Andes

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Azócar, Guillermo F; Brenning, Alexander; Bodin, Xavier

    2017-01-01

    ...; this kind of model approach has never been applied for a large portion of the Andes. In the present study, this methodology is applied to map permafrost favourability throughout the semi-arid Andes of central Chile (29–32...

  16. Global synthesis of groundwater recharge in semiarid and arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, B.R.; Keese, K.E.; Flint, A.L.; Flint, L.E.; Gaye, C.B.; Edmunds, W.M.; Simmers, I.

    2006-01-01

    Global synthesis of the findings from ???140 recharge study areas in semiarid and arid regions provides important information on recharge rates, controls, and processes, which are critical for sustainable water development. Water resource evaluation, dryland salinity assessment (Australia), and radioactive waste disposal (US) are among the primary goals of many of these recharge studies. The chloride mass balance (CMB) technique is widely used to estimate recharge. Average recharge rates estimated over large areas (40-374000 km2) range from 0.2 to 35 mm year-1, representing 0.1-5% of long-term average annual precipitation. Extreme local variability in recharge, with rates up to ???720 m year-1, results from focussed recharge beneath ephemeral streams and lakes and preferential flow mostly in fractured systems. System response to climate variability and land use/land cover (LU/LC) changes is archived in unsaturated zone tracer profiles and in groundwater level fluctuations. Inter-annual climate variability related to El Nin??o Southern Oscillation (ENSO) results in up to three times higher recharge in regions within the SW US during periods of frequent El Nin??os (1977-1998) relative to periods dominated by La Nin??as (1941-1957). Enhanced recharge related to ENSO is also documented in Argentina. Climate variability at decadal to century scales recorded in chloride profiles in Africa results in recharge rates of 30 mm year-1 during the Sahel drought (1970-1986) to 150 mm year-1 during non-drought periods. Variations in climate at millennial scales in the SW US changed systems from recharge during the Pleistocene glacial period (??? 10 000 years ago) to discharge during the Holocene semiarid period. LU/LC changes such as deforestation in Australia increased recharge up to about 2 orders of magnitude. Changes from natural grassland and shrublands to dryland (rain-fed) agriculture altered systems from discharge (evapotranspiration, ET) to recharge in the SW US. The

  17. Global synthesis of groundwater recharge in semiarid and arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, Bridget R.; Keese, Kelley E.; Flint, Alan L.; Flint, Lorraine E.; Gaye, Cheikh B.; Edmunds, W. Michael; Simmers, Ian

    2006-10-01

    Global synthesis of the findings from 140 recharge study areas in semiarid and arid regions provides important information on recharge rates, controls, and processes, which are critical for sustainable water development. Water resource evaluation, dryland salinity assessment (Australia), and radioactive waste disposal (US) are among the primary goals of many of these recharge studies. The chloride mass balance (CMB) technique is widely used to estimate recharge. Average recharge rates estimated over large areas (40-374 000 km2) range from 0.2 to 35 mm year-1, representing 0.1-5% of long-term average annual precipitation. Extreme local variability in recharge, with rates up to 720 m year-1, results from focussed recharge beneath ephemeral streams and lakes and preferential flow mostly in fractured systems. System response to climate variability and land use/land cover (LU/LC) changes is archived in unsaturated zone tracer profiles and in groundwater level fluctuations. Inter-annual climate variability related to El Niño Southern Oscillation (ENSO) results in up to three times higher recharge in regions within the SW US during periods of frequent El Niños (1977-1998) relative to periods dominated by La Niñas (1941-1957). Enhanced recharge related to ENSO is also documented in Argentina. Climate variability at decadal to century scales recorded in chloride profiles in Africa results in recharge rates of 30 mm year-1 during the Sahel drought (1970-1986) to 150 mm year-1 during non-drought periods. Variations in climate at millennial scales in the SW US changed systems from recharge during the Pleistocene glacial period (10 000 years ago) to discharge during the Holocene semiarid period. LU/LC changes such as deforestation in Australia increased recharge up to about 2 orders of magnitude. Changes from natural grassland and shrublands to dryland (rain-fed) agriculture altered systems from discharge (evapotranspiration, ET) to recharge in the SW US. The impact of LU

  18. In-filled reservoirs serving as sediment archives to analyse soil organic carbon erosion - Taking a closer look at the Karoo rangelands

    Science.gov (United States)

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

    2016-04-01

    The semi-arid rangelands of the Great Karoo region in South Africa, which are nowadays characterized by badlands on the foot slopes of upland areas and complex gully systems in valley bottoms, have experienced a number of environmental changes. With the settlement of European farmers in the late 18th century agricultural activities increased, leading to overgrazing which probably acted as a trigger to land degradation. As a consequence of higher water demands 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. Most of these dams are now filled with sediment and many have become breached, revealing sediment archives that can be used to analyse land use changes as well as carbon erosion and deposition during the last ca. 100 years. In this ongoing project, a combination of analytical methods that include drone imagery, landscape mapping, erosion modelling and sediment analysis have been employed to trace back the sediment origin and redistribution within the catchment, setting a special focus on the carbon history. Sediment deposits from a silted-up reservoir were analysed for varying physicochemical parameters, in order to analyse erosional and depositional patterns. A sharp decrease in total carbon content with decreasing depth 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. A combination of erosion modelling and sediment analysis will be used to determine the source areas of the depositional material and might clarify the question if land degradation in the Karoo has resulted in its return from being a net sink of carbon into a net source of carbon.

  19. 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.

  20. Enhanced cold-season warming in semi-arid regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    J. Huang

    2012-06-01

    Full Text Available This study examined surface air temperature trends over global land from 1901–2009. It is found that the warming trend was particularly enhanced, in the boreal cold season (November to March over semi-arid regions (with precipitation of 200–600 mm yr−1 showing a temperature increase of 1.53 °C as compared to the global annual mean temperature increase of 1.13 °C over land. In mid-latitude semi-arid areas of Europe, Asia, and North America, temperatures in the cold season increased by 1.41, 2.42, and 1.5 °C, respectively. The semi-arid regions contribute 44.46% to global annual-mean land-surface temperature trend. The mid-latitude semi-arid regions in the Northern Hemisphere contribute by 27.0% of the total, with the mid-latitude semi-arid areas in Europe, Asia, and North America accounting for 6.29%, 13.81%, and 6.85%, respectively. Such enhanced semi-arid warming (ESAW imply drier and warmer trend of these regions.

  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. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. 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.

  5. 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

  6. 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...

  7. 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.

  8. 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 ...

  9. Groundwater Diffuse Recharge and its Response to Climate Changes in Semi-Arid Northwestern China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lin Deng

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Understanding the processes and rates of groundwater recharge in arid and semi-arid areas is crucial for utilizing and managing groundwater resources sustainably. We obtained three chloride profiles of the unsaturated-zone in the desert/loess transition zone of northwestern China and reconstructed the groundwater recharge variations over the last 11, 21, and 37 years, respectively, using the generalized chloride mass balance (GCMB method. The average recharge rates were 43.7, 43.5, and 45.1 mm yr-1, respectively, which are similar to those evaluated by the chloride mass balance (CMB or GCMB methods in other semi-arid regions. The results indicate that the annual recharge rates were not in complete linear proportion to the corresponding annual precipitations, although both exhibited descending tendencies on the whole. Comparisons between the daily precipitation aggregate at different intensity and recharge rates reveal that the occurrence of relatively heavy daily precipitation per year may contribute to such nonlinearity between annual precipitation and recharge. The possible influences of vegetation cover alterations following precipitation change cannot be excluded as well. The approximately negative correlation between the average annual recharge and temperature suggests that changes in temperature have had significant influences on recharge.

  10. Performance of fenugreek bioinoculated with Rhizobium meliloti strains under semi-arid condition.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Singh, N K; Patel, D B

    2016-01-01

    Rhizobium meliloti strains were isolated from the fields of S.D. Agricultural University (Gujarat, India) and were maintained in the Congo Red Yeast Extract Mannitol Agar medium. These strains were tested for their effectiveness for fenugreek crop grown under semi-arid condition. Among the six Rhizobium strains, FRS-7 strain showed best plant growth parameters like shoot length, shoot dry weight, shoot total nitrogen, root length, root dry weight, root total nitrogen, seed yield, 1000 grain weight, number of root nodules, and nodules fresh and dry weight. The performance of this strain was better as compared to 20 kgN ha(-1) treatment through urea and was even far better over control plot. Seed yields obtained with FRS-7 during two years were 10.14 and 9.66 q ha(-1); which was about 36.8% and 45.9% high over control. This strain resulted in saving of about 20 kgN ha(-1) accompanied with better crop yield and soil health. Results of the present experiments can be utilized in integrated nutrient management for cultivation of fenugreek in semi-arid areas to provide sustainability to agricultural productivity in such regions.

  11. Climate change mitigation by carbon stock - the case of semi-arid West Africa

    Science.gov (United States)

    Lykke, A. M.; Barfod, A. S.; Tinggaard Svendsen, G.; Greve, M.; Svenning, J.-C.

    2009-11-01

    Semi-arid West Africa has not been integrated into the afforestation/reforestation (AR) carbon market. Most projects implemented under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) have focused on carbon emission reductions from industry and energy consumption, whereas only few (only one in West Africa) have been certified for AR carbon sequestration. A proposed mechanism, Reducing Emissions from Deforestation and Degradation (REDD) to be discussed under COP15 aims to reduce emissions by conserving already existing forests. REDD has high potential for carbon stocking at low costs, but focuses primarily on rain forest countries and excludes semi-arid West Africa from the preliminary setup. African savannas have potential to store carbon in the present situation with degrading ecosystems and relatively low revenues from crops and cattle, especially if it is possible to combine carbon stocking with promotion of secondary crops such as food resources and traditional medicines harvested on a sustainable basis. Methods for modelling and mapping of potential carbon biomass are being developed, but are still in a preliminary state. Although economic benefits from the sale of carbon credits are likely to be limited, carbon stocking is an interesting option if additional benefits are considered such as improved food security and protection of biodiversity.

  12. Sustainable Food & Sustainable Economics

    OpenAIRE

    Alvarez, Mavis Dora

    2012-01-01

    Cuba today is immersed in a very intense process of perfecting its agricultural production structures with the goal of making them more efficient and sustainable in their economic administration and in their social and environmental management. Agricultural cooperatives in Cuba have the responsibility of producing on 73% of the country's farmland. Their contributions are decisive to developing agricultural production and to ensuring more and better food for the population, in addition to redu...

  13. Spatial upscaling of green aboveground biomass derived from MODIS-based NDVI in arid and semiarid grasslands

    Science.gov (United States)

    Xue, Juanjuan; Ge, Yonghui; Ren, Hongrui

    2017-11-01

    Accurate estimation of green aboveground biomass is important for sustainable use of grassland resources in arid and semiarid grasslands. Nevertheless, it is difficult to achieve spatial upscaling of green aboveground biomass estimation using traditional spatial upscaling methods in arid and semiarid grasslands due to its inherent heterogeneity. In the study, a new spatial upscaling algorithm was proposed to estimate green aboveground biomass in the desert steppe of Inner Mongolia. The algorithm was successfully employed for spatial upscaling of green aboveground biomass estimation from MOD13Q1 NDVI (fine resolution) to MOD13A2 NDVI (coarse resolution) based on field measurements in the desert steppe. Results showed that, the correlation between distributed green aboveground biomass (obtained from fine resolution) and lumped green aboveground biomass (obtained from coarse resolution) was improved, and root mean squared error and relative error decreased after upscaling. Statistical analyses performing on the slopes and intercepts of the fitted lines between distributed green aboveground biomass and lumped green aboveground biomass demonstrated that, there was no significant difference (P > 0.05) between the fitted line and the 1:1 line after upscaling, and there was significant difference (P < 0.05) between the fitted line and the 1:1 line before upscaling. These indicated that, lumped green aboveground biomass after upscaling was much closer to distributed aboveground green biomass than lumped green aboveground biomass before upscaling. The algorithm proposed in the study could play an important role in large-scale green aboveground biomass investigation in arid and semiarid grasslands.

  14. 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.

  15. 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.

  16. 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.

  17. 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.

  18. Estimating semiarid vegetation height from GLAS Data

    Science.gov (United States)

    Spaete, L. P.; Glenn, N. F.; Shrestha, R.; Mitchell, J.

    2010-12-01

    The Geoscience Laser Altimeter System (GLAS) aboard the Ice, Cloud and land Elevation Satellite (ICESat), operational from 2003-2009, was the first space-borne light detection and ranging (LiDAR) system capable of providing full waveform large-footprint LiDAR data at a near-global scale. GLAS was designed primarily for ice information measurement, but has been widely used to characterize vegetation structure and estimate canopy heights and biomass over a range of forest types and topography. GLAS data, however, have not been used to estimate semiarid vegetation, with typically low height stature. We investigate the ability of GLAS data to estimate vegetation height and density at the Idaho National Laboratory (INL) in southeastern Idaho, an area of very low topographic relief, minimizing within-footprint topographic and vegetation variation. Vegetation derivatives obtained from GLAS data are compared to airborne LiDAR data collected over the same area in 2006 for uncertainty estimates. Accurate vegetation canopy characterization with GLAS will provide large-scale biomass estimates, along with roughness estimates for surface energy balance models and weather forecasting.

  19. INFLUENCE OF SEMIARID SUMMER BROWSING ON CHEMICAL

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Claudia Puga

    2009-06-01

    Full Text Available A group (A of 20 female French Alpine goats (50 ± 5 Kg BW were fed on summer semiarid vegetation in Querétaro, México. Other group (B with similar characteristic was fed in full confinement with Lucerne hay and concentrate of cereals. Four kids of cheese were prepared: 1 browsed-raw (BR, 2 browsed-pasteurized (BP, 3 indoor-raw (IR and 4 indoor-pasteurized (IP; using 30 kg of milk per group, 15 kg each group were proceed in raw and 15 kg each were pasteurized. Moisture, energy, protein, ash, lipids, cholesterol, fatty acids profile and CLA were determined in the cheeses; the results were analyzed with a variance analysis in a 2x2 factorial arrangement. Energy, fat and ash did not affect for feeding system and heat treatment. Protein content was higher in IP cheese compared with BR and BP cheeses. BR cheese had a lowest cholesterol value in relation to BP, IR and IP cheeses. The browed cheeses had the highest concentration of CLA, EPA and DHA acids in relation to indoor cheeses. Pasteurization did not have effect in cheese quality. Browsing increased concentration of compounds with a beneficial effect on human health, factor that could add revenue to the small farmer’s income.

  20. Damage caused to the environment by reforestation policies in arid and semi-arid areas of China.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cao, Shixiong; Tian, Tao; Chen, Li; Dong, Xiaobin; Yu, Xinxiao; Wang, Guosheng

    2010-06-01

    Traditional approaches to ecosystem restoration have considered afforestation to be an important tool. To alleviate land degradation in China, the Chinese government has therefore invested huge amounts of money in planting trees. However, the results of more than half a century of large-scale afforestation in arid and semi-arid China have shown that when the trees are not adapted to the local environment, the policy does not improve the environment, and may instead increase environmental degradation. When precipitation is lower than potential evaporation, surface soil moisture typically cannot sustain forest vegetation, and shrubs or steppe species replace the forest to form a sustainable natural ecosystem that exists in a stable equilibrium with the available water supply. The climate of much of northwestern China appears to be unsuitable for afforestation owing to the extremely low rainfall. Although some small-scale or short-term afforestation efforts have succeeded in this region, many of the resulting forests have died or degraded over longer periods, so policymakers must understand that these small-scale or short-term results do not support an inflexible policy of large-scale afforestation throughout arid and semi-arid northwestern China. Rather than focusing solely on afforestation, it would be more effective to attempt to recreate natural ecosystems that are better adapted to local environments and that thus provide a better chance of sustainable, long-term rehabilitation.

  1. Initial hydrological modelling to assess impacts of different land uses on process hydrology in a small-scale semi-arid catchment in the Western Cape Province, South Africa

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Steudel, T

    2010-06-01

    Full Text Available shown that hydrological process dynamics are strongly influenced by the given land use practice. Since semi-arid regions suffer from water scarcity, an optimized land use practice is important for sustainable management of limited water resources...) Refe renc e Initial hydrological modelling to assess impacts of different land uses on process hydrology in a small-scale semi-arid catchment in the Western Cape Province, South Africa Thomas Steudel1, Willem De Clercq2, Richard Bugan2,3, Nebo...

  2. Hydrological Effects of Vegetation Cover Degradation and Environmental Implications in a Semiarid Temperate Steppe, China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Lei Sun

    2017-02-01

    Full Text Available Studying the impact of vegetation dynamics on hydrological processes is essential for environmental management to reduce ecological environment risk and develop sustainable water management strategies under global warming. This case study simulated the responses of streamflow to vegetation cover degradation under climate variations in the Xilin River Basin in a semi-arid steppe of northern China. The snowmelt and river ice melting processes in the Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT were improved to estimate the changes in streamflow under multiple scenarios. Results showed that the improved SWAT simulations matched well to the measured monthly streamflow for both calibration (determination coefficient R2 = 0.75 and Nash–Sutcliffe ENS = 0.67 and validation periods (R2 = 0.74 and ENS = 0.68. Simulations of vegetation change revealed that obvious changes occurred in streamflow through conversion between high and low vegetation covers. The reductions in vegetation cover can elevate streamflow in both rainfall and snowmelt season, but the effects are most pronounced during the rainfall seasons (i.e., the growing seasons and in drier years. These findings highlight the importance of vegetation degradation on modifying the hydrological partitioning in a semi-arid steppe basin. We conclude that in a particular climate zone, vegetation cover change is one of the important contributing factors to streamflow variations. Increases in streamflow in water-limited regions will likely reduce the effective water content of soil, which in turn leads to further degradation risk in vegetation. Therefore, vegetation cover management is one of the most effective and sustainable methods of improving water resources in water-constrained regions.

  3. Climate change in semi-arid Malawi: Perceptions, adaptation strategies and water governance

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Miriam K. Joshua

    2016-03-01

    Full Text Available Climate change and variability are a threat to sustainable agricultural production in semi-arid areas of Malawi. Overdependence on subsistence rain-fed agriculture in these areas calls for the identification of sustainable adaptation strategies. A study was therefore conducted in Chikwawa, a semi-arid district in southern Malawi, to: (1 assess community’s perception of a changing climate against empirical evidence, (2 determine their local adaptive measures, (3 evaluate the potential of irrigated agriculture as an adaptive measure in household food security and (4 challenges over access to available water resources. The study employed focus group discussions and key informant interviews to assess people’s perceptions of climate change and variability and their desired interventions. To validate the people’s perceptions, rainfall and temperature data for the period 1960–2010 were analysed. A participatory complete randomised experimental design in both rain-fed and dry season–irrigated conditions was conducted to assess a maize cropping system that would improve adaptation. The study established persistent declining yields from rain-fed production in part because of perennial rainfall failure. In response, the community has shifted its focus to irrigation as an adaptation strategy, which has in turn triggered water conflicts in the community over the control of the resource. Water legislation however fails to adequately provide for rules governing sharing of water resources between various stakeholders. This article therefore recommends development of an appropriate institutional framework that forms a strong basis for equitable distribution of water for irrigation in areas most vulnerable to extreme climate events – including droughts and floods.Keywords: Food Security; Climate Change and Variability; Rainfall Variability; Irrigation; Water Resources; Governance Crisis

  4. 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...

  5. 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 ...

  6. Integrated catchment modelling in a Semi-arid area

    CSIR Research Space (South Africa)

    Bugan, Richard DH

    2010-09-01

    Full Text Available optimization, statistical and sensitivity analyses are also included in the model. exAMple oF ApplIcAtIon the J2000 process model was applied to the Sandspruit seasonal tributary of the Berg river, in the semi-arid climate (300-400 mm a-1 precipitation... Catchment Modelling in a Semi-arid Area RDH BUGAN AND NZ JOVANOVIC CSIR Natural Resources and the Environment, PO Box 320, Stellenbosch, 7599, South Africa Email: rbugan@csir.co.za – www.csir.co.za IntroductIon Water management in South Africa...

  7. Sustainable agriculture

    National Research Council Canada - National Science Library

    Lichtfouse, Eric

    2009-01-01

    ... : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : 9 Part I CLIMATE CHANGE Soils and Sustainable Agriculture: A Review : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : : Rattan Lal 15 Soils and Food Sufficiency...

  8. Sustainable Marketing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dam, van Y.K.

    2017-01-01

    In this article, three different conceptions of sustainable marketing are discussed and compared. These different conceptions are referred to as social, green, and critical sustainable marketing. Social sustainable marketing follows the logic of demand-driven marketing management and places the

  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. 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

  11. 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

  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. 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

  14. optimization of water resources allocation in semi-arid region

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Eng Obi Ibeje

    Semi-arid regions are characterized by long, dry seasons and short mild wet seasons. They face periods of water shortages due to high demand and inconsistent supply. Water allocation is often the primary tool of water managers in semi- arid regions (Haten–Moussallen et al, 1999). “Water allocation is a means of dividing ...

  15. Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies | IDRC ...

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

    How can populations become resilient to climate change while pursuing economic growth? This question is at the heart of a research project designed to support climate-resilient economic development in semi-arid lands. It will do so by addressing the conditions for economic growth and considering the needs of women ...

  16. Pathways to Resilience in Semi-Arid Economies (PRISE)

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

    rlarbey

    should adaptation be integrated into economic development policies? 3. What are the new opportunities for and threats to markets in SALs arising from climate change in semi-arid areas, and how is the private sector adapting? 4. How do natural resource management policies condition vulnerability and resilience in.

  17. Uses of tree legumes in semi-arid regions

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Felker, P.

    1980-01-01

    Uses of tree legumes in semi-arid and arid regions are reviewed. This review is divided into sections according to the following general use categories: fuels; human food; livestock food; to increase yields of crops grown beneath their canopies;and control of desertification. (MHR)

  18. Response of two semiarid grasslands to a second fire application

    Science.gov (United States)

    Carleton S. White; Rosemary L. Pendleton; Burton K. Pendleton

    2006-01-01

    Prescribed fire was used in two semiarid grasslands to reduce shrub cover, promote grass production, and reduce erosional loss that represents a potential non­point-source of sediment to degrade water quality. This study measured transported soil sediment, dynamics in soil surface microtopography, cover of the woody shrub, grass, and bare ground cover classes, and soil...

  19. Adaptation at Scale in Semi-Arid Regions | IDRC - International ...

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

    People living in Africa and South Asia's semi-arid regions face challenges that hinder their economic growth and development. This project seeks to find proactive, longer-term approaches to climate change adaptation in these vulnerable regions, while helping locals manage existing risks. Short-term focus must shift. So far ...

  20. Conserving the Brazilian semiarid (Caatinga) biome under climate change

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Oliveira, Guilherme de; Bastos Araujo, Miguel; Rangel, Thiago Fernado

    2012-01-01

    The Caatinga is a semiarid biome of the northeast of Brazil with only 1 % of its territory currently conserved. The biome’s biodiversity is highly threatened due to exposure to land conversion for agricultural and cattle ranch. Climate forecasts predict increases in aridity, which could pose addi...

  1. Aboveground biomass production of a semi-arid southern African ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Following a field campaign to determine the species composition, canopy cover, aboveground annual production and leaf area index (LAI) of the semi-arid savanna of north-western Namibia, we present a production model that can be used by graziers to determine the livestock carrying capacity. The model predicts the ...

  2. Mixed livestock grazing in diverse temperate and semi-arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Concerns for product quality, uniformity and continuity and for animal welfare will increasingly drive production processes. In this paper, the potential of mixed grazing for higher output of quality animal products, within these constraints, is assessed under both temperate and semi-arid conditions. Complementary ...

  3. Integrated landscape/hydrologic modeling tool for semiarid watersheds

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mariano Hernandez; Scott N. Miller

    2000-01-01

    An integrated hydrologic modeling/watershed assessment tool is being developed to aid in determining the susceptibility of semiarid landscapes to natural and human-induced changes across a range of scales. Watershed processes are by definition spatially distributed and are highly variable through time, and this approach is designed to account for their spatial and...

  4. Paclobutrazol biodegradation in unsaturated soil in the Semi-Arid ...

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Paclobutrazol (PBZ) is a plant growth regulator, increasing flowe ring and yield that is widely used in mango cultivation in the semi-arid northeastern Brazil. PBZ remains active in the soil for several years. However, it can severely affect the growth and development of subsequent crops, mainly by reducing vegetative vigor.

  5. REPRODUCTIVE ADAPTATIONS OF THE GREEN IGUANA ON A SEMIARID ISLAND

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    LICHTENBELT, WDV; ALBERS, KB

    1993-01-01

    Reproductive cycle and clutch size were studied in the green iguana (Iguana iguana) on the semiarid Caribbean island of Curacao. The reproductive cycle is correlated with seasonality in rainfall. Mating is in the first half of the dry season, egg laying in the second part of the dry season, and

  6. Salma Hegga: Identifying adaptation strategies for semi-arid regions ...

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

    2015-02-18

    Feb 18, 2015 ... Together with teams from Southern, Western, and Eastern Africa, and India, she is working to assess vulnerability and adaptation to climate change in semi-arid regions. The research aims to identify adaptation strategies in these areas and determine which are the most effective. This research will also ...

  7. Rainwater harvesting in arid and semi-arid zones

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Boers, T.M.

    1994-01-01

    In arid and semi-arid regions, the scarcity of water can be alleviated by rainwater harvesting, which is defined as a method of inducing, collecting, storing, and conserving local surface runoff for agriculture. Rainwater harvesting can be applied with different

  8. Reservoir in a Semi-Arid Region of Kenya

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    a catchment devoid of roads in semi-arid region. Introduction due to the torrential nature of the rains. Formanyyears ... study took place, underground reservoirs serve as the main source of water for both domestic and ... slope steepness and the widths ofthe drains along the roads on the catchment as well as the valley which ...

  9. 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.

  10. Social Technology as a Sustainable Public Policy: The Mandalla Project in Ceará

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Josimar Souza Costa

    2013-04-01

    Full Text Available Environmental degradation in semi-arid Northeast has been a great challenge for the Brazilian government. The need to generate employment and income, justifies the establishment of productive activities competitive and covering the dimensions of sustainability. In this context, there is the movement of Social Technology (ST, aimed at social inclusion and development through the appropriation of simple technologies, inexpensive and consolidated in the culture of the community benefit. As a public policy of the government of Ceará, appeared the Mandalla Project, using irrigated agriculture and agribusiness production system, which includes the creation of small animals from natural methods. This study aims to analyze the ST Mandalla as a public policy that promotes sustainable development. The results show that this technology, contributes significantly to the sustainable development of semi-arid and improving the quality of life of communities served when examined against the dimensions of Sustainable Development model of Sachs (2002.

  11. Sustainable Disruptions

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Friis, Silje Alberthe Kamille; Kjær, Lykke Bloch

    2016-01-01

    Since 2012 the Sustainable Disruptions (SD) project at the Laboratory for Sustainability at Design School Kolding (DK) has developed and tested a set of design thinking tools, specifically targeting the barriers to economically, socially, and environmentally sustainable business development....... The tools have been applied in practice in collaboration with 11 small and medium sized companies (SMEs). The study investigates these approaches to further understand how design thinking can contribute to sustainable transition in a business context. The study and the findings are relevant to organizations...... invested in the issue of sustainable business development, in particular the leaders and employees of SMEs, but also to design education seeking new ways to consciously handle and teach the complexity inherent in sustainable transformation. Findings indicate that the SD design thinking approach contributes...

  12. Computational sustainability

    CERN Document Server

    Kersting, Kristian; Morik, Katharina

    2016-01-01

    The book at hand gives an overview of the state of the art research in Computational Sustainability as well as case studies of different application scenarios. This covers topics such as renewable energy supply, energy storage and e-mobility, efficiency in data centers and networks, sustainable food and water supply, sustainable health, industrial production and quality, etc. The book describes computational methods and possible application scenarios.

  13. Understanding runoff processes in a semi-arid environment through isotope and hydrochemical hydrograph separations

    Science.gov (United States)

    Camacho Suarez, V. V.; Saraiva Okello, A. M. L.; Wenninger, J. W.; Uhlenbrook, S.

    2015-10-01

    The understanding of runoff generation mechanisms is crucial for the sustainable management of river basins such as the allocation of water resources or the prediction of floods and droughts. However, identifying the mechanisms of runoff generation has been a challenging task, even more so in arid and semi-arid areas where high rainfall and streamflow variability, high evaporation rates, and deep groundwater reservoirs may increase the complexity of hydrological process dynamics. Isotope and hydrochemical tracers have proven to be useful in identifying runoff components and their characteristics. Moreover, although widely used in humid temperate regions, isotope hydrograph separations have not been studied in detail in arid and semi-arid areas. Thus the purpose of this study is to determine whether isotope hydrograph separations are suitable for the quantification and characterization of runoff components in a semi-arid catchment considering the hydrological complexities of these regions. Through a hydrochemical characterization of the surface water and groundwater sources of the catchment and two- and three-component hydrograph separations, runoff components of the Kaap catchment in South Africa were quantified using both isotope and hydrochemical tracers. No major disadvantages while using isotope tracers over hydrochemical tracers were found. Hydrograph separation results showed that runoff in the Kaap catchment is mainly generated by groundwater sources. Two-component hydrograph separations revealed groundwater contributions of between 64 and 98 % of total runoff. By means of three-component hydrograph separations, runoff components were further separated into direct runoff, shallow and deep groundwater components. Direct runoff, defined as the direct precipitation on the stream channel and overland flow, contributed up to 41 % of total runoff during wet catchment conditions. Shallow groundwater defined as the soil water and near-surface water component (and

  14. Effects of Large Scale Poplar Plantations on the Hydrology of Semiarid Areas in Inner Mongolia

    Science.gov (United States)

    Wilske, B.; Lu, N.; Chen, S.; Liu, C.; Xu, W.; Noormets, A.; Wei, L.; Lin, G.; Miao, H.; Wei, Y.; Zhang, Z.; Chen, J.; Zha, T.; Ni, J.; Sun, G.; Guo, K.; McNulty, S.; John, R.; Chen, J.

    2007-12-01

    Tree plantation is widely practiced to counteract desertification. It often involves planting forests in semiarid and arid areas, which are naturally dominated by grass- or shrub steppe. Severe land degradation has been observed in the vast grasslands of Inner Mongolia, China. Under drying climates vegetation may naturally change from grass- to open shrub land. Current programs aim at a large number of poplar plantations to compose a super-scale shelterbelt to curb soil erosion, dust storms, and further loss of vegetation cover. However, the water consumption of poplar plantations can be expected to exceed the water use of grass- or shrub steppe. Hence, large-scale poplar plantation may significantly alter the water budget in the semiarid region. We compared Eddy- Covariance-derived evapotranspiration (ET) of a young poplar plantation and an adjacent shrub land south of the Yellow River in Inner Mongolia. In addition, ET from the semiarid site was compared with ET from an older poplar plantation growing under semi-humid conditions south of Beijing. In spite of 33% lower precipitation, ET was 6% higher from the young poplar plantation (236.52 mm) than from the natural shrub land (223.02 mm) based on the five-month period May- September 2006. The difference was mainly because of higher ET from the poplar plantation during the drier periods of the growing season. Further comparison with the older plantation outlined future potential of the poplars to exceed ET of the shrub land by 100-200%. To highlight potential hydrological consequences of large scale poplar plantations, ET values were set in relation to the total size of plantations projected for the area and the stream flow of the nearby Yellow River. Additional groundwater discharge by mature poplar plantations may equal 6.5-15% of the Yellow River mean stream flow. Thus, the water expenditure of poplar plantations renders them a questionable tool in sustainable arid-land management, particularly as climate

  15. Hydrologic feasibility of artificial forestation in the semi-arid Loess Plateau of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    T. T. Jin

    2011-08-01

    Full Text Available Hydrologic viability, in terms of moisture availability, is fundamental to ecosystem sustainability in arid and semi-arid regions. In this study, we examine the spatial distribution and after-planting variations of soil moisture content (SMC in black locust tree (Robinia pseudoacacia L. plantings in the Loess Plateau of China at a regional scale. Thirty sites (5 to 45 yr old were selected, spanning an area of 300 km by 190 km in the northern region of the Shaanxi Province. The SMC was measured to a depth of 100 cm at intervals of 10 cm. Geographical, topographic and vegetation information was recorded, and soil organic matter was evaluated. The results show that, at the regional scale, SMC spatial variability was most highly correlated with rainfall. The negative relationship between the SMC at a depth of 20–50 cm and the stand age was stronger than at other depths, although this relationship was not significant at a 5 % level. Watershed analysis shows that the after-planting SMC variation differed depending upon precipitation. The SMC of plantings in areas receiving sufficient precipitation (e.g., mean annual precipitation (MAP of 617 mm may increase with stand age due to improvements in soil water-holding capacity and water-retention abilities after planting. For areas experiencing water shortages (e.g., MAP = 509 mm, evapotranspiration may cause planting soils to dry within the first 20 yr of growth. It is expected that, as arid and semi-arid plantings age, evapotranspiration will decrease, and the soil profile may gradually recover. In extremely dry areas (e.g., MAP = 352 mm, the variation in after-planting SMC with stand age was found to be negligible. The MAP can be used as an index to divide the study area into different ecological regions. Afforestation may sequentially exert positive, negative and negligible effects on SMCs with a decrease in the MAP. Therefore, future restoration measures should correspond to the local climate

  16. Sustainable transformation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Andersen, Nicolai Bo

    This paper is about sustainable transformation with a particular focus on listed buildings. It is based on the notion that sustainability is not just a question of energy conditions, but also about the building being robust. Robust architecture means that the building can be maintained and rebuilt...... theoretical lenses. It is proposed that three parameters concerning the ꞌtransformabilityꞌ of the building can contribute to a more nuanced understanding of sustainable transformation: technical aspects, programmatic requirements and narrative value. It is proposed that the concept of ꞌsustainable...

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

  19. 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.

  20. 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.

  1. Microbial Functional Diversity, Biomass and Activity as Affected by Soil Surface Mulching in a Semiarid Farmland.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Yufang Shen

    quality of the soil and its sustainability in the rainfall-limited semiarid region.

  2. 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...

  3. 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...

  4. 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...

  5. 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...

  6. 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.

  7. 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...

  8. 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

  9. 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...

  10. 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.

  11. 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...

  12. 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...

  13. Sustainable Transportation

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hall, Ralph P.; Gudmundsson, Henrik; Marsden, Greg

    2014-01-01

    that relate to the construction and maintenance of transportation infrastructure and the operation or use of the different transportation modes. The concept of sustainable transportation emerged in response to these concerns as part of the broader notion of sustainable development. Given the transportation...

  14. Sustaining dairy

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Villarreal Herrera, Georgina

    2017-01-01

    Dairy in Europe has undergone many changes in the last few years—the abolition of milk production quotas being a fundamental one. This study explores these changes in relation to the sustained social and environmental viability of the sector and how dairy processors' sustainability

  15. Sustainable Universities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Grindsted, Thomas Skou

    2011-01-01

    . Declarations tend to have impact on three trends. Firstly, there is emerging international consensus on the university’s role and function in relation to sustainable development; secondly, the emergence of national legislation, and thirdly, an emerging international competition to be leader in sustainable...... campus performance....

  16. Sustainable Transition

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Hansen, Ole Erik; Søndergård, Bent

    2014-01-01

    of agendas/vision, technologies, actors and institutions in the emergent design of an urban mobility system based on an electric car sharing system. Why. Designing for sustainability is a fundamental challenge for future design practices; designers have to obtain an ability to contribute to sustainable...

  17. Sustainable Learning

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cadwell, Louise; Dillon, Robert

    2011-01-01

    Green schools have moved into a new era that focuses on building a culture of sustainability in every aspect of learning in schools. In the early stages of sustainability education, the focus was on recycling and turning off the lights. Now, students and adults together are moving into the areas of advocacy and action that are based on a deep…

  18. Soil carbon and nitrogen stocks in traditional agricultural and agroforestry systems in the semiarid region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    José Augusto Amorim Silva do Sacramento

    2013-06-01

    Full Text Available In the semiarid region of Brazil, inadequate management of cropping systems and low plant biomass production can contribute to reduce soil carbon (C and nitrogen (N stocks; therefore, management systems that preserve C and N must be adopted. This study aimed to evaluate the changes in soil C and N stocks that were promoted by agroforestry (agrosilvopastoral and silvopastoral and traditional agricultural systems (slash-and-burn clearing and cultivation for two and three years and to compare these systems with the natural Caatinga vegetation after 13 years of cultivation. The experiment was carried out on a typical Ortic Chromic Luvisol in the municipality of Sobral, Ceará, Brazil. Soil samples were collected (layers 0-6, 6-12, 12-20, 20-40 and 40-60 cm with four replications. The plain, convex and concave landforms in each study situation were analyzed, and the total organic C, total N and densities of the soil samples were assessed. The silvopastoral system promoted the greatest long-term reductions in C and N stocks, while the agrosilvopastoral system promoted the smallest losses and therefore represents a sustainable alternative for soil C and N sequestration in these semiarid conditions. The traditional agricultural system produced reductions of 58.87 and 9.57 Mg ha-1 in the organic C and total N stocks, respectively, which suggests that this system is inadequate for these semiarid conditions. The organic C stocks were largest in the concave landform in the agrosilvopastoral system and in the plain landform in the silvopastoral system, while the total N values were highest in the concave landform in the native, agrosilvopastoral and silvopastoral systems.

  19. A pollution fate and transport model application in a semi-arid region: Is some number better than no number?

    Science.gov (United States)

    Özcan, Zeynep; Başkan, Oğuz; Düzgün, H Şebnem; Kentel, Elçin; Alp, Emre

    2017-10-01

    Fate and transport models are powerful tools that aid authorities in making unbiased decisions for developing sustainable management strategies. Application of pollution fate and transport models in semi-arid regions has been challenging because of unique hydrological characteristics and limited data availability. Significant temporal and spatial variability in rainfall events, complex interactions between soil, vegetation and topography, and limited water quality and hydrological data due to insufficient monitoring network make it a difficult task to develop reliable models in semi-arid regions. The performances of these models govern the final use of the outcomes such as policy implementation, screening, economical analysis, etc. In this study, a deterministic distributed fate and transport model, SWAT, is applied in Lake Mogan Watershed, a semi-arid region dominated by dry agricultural practices, to estimate nutrient loads and to develop the water budget of the watershed. To minimize the discrepancy due to limited availability of historical water quality data extensive efforts were placed in collecting site-specific data for model inputs such as soil properties, agricultural practice information and land use. Moreover, calibration parameter ranges suggested in the literature are utilized during calibration in order to obtain more realistic representation of Lake Mogan Watershed in the model. Model performance is evaluated using comparisons of the measured data with 95%CI for the simulated data and comparison of unit pollution load estimations with those provided in the literature for similar catchments, in addition to commonly used evaluation criteria such as Nash-Sutcliffe simulation efficiency, coefficient of determination and percent bias. These evaluations demonstrated that even though the model prediction power is not high according to the commonly used model performance criteria, the calibrated model may provide useful information in the comparison of the

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. 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

  5. Sustainable consumption

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Prothero, Andrea; Dobscha, Susan; Freund, Jim

    2011-01-01

    This essay explores sustainable consumption and considers possible roles for marketing and consumer researchers and public policy makers in addressing the many sustainability challenges that pervade our planet. Future research approaches to this interdisciplinary topic need to be comprehensive...... and systematic and will benefit from a variety of different perspectives. There are a number of opportunities for future research, and three areas are explored in detail. First, the essay considers the inconsistency between the attitudes and behaviors of consumers with respect to sustainability; next, the agenda...... is broadened to explore the role of individual citizens in society; and finally, a macro institutional approach to fostering sustainability is explored. Each of these areas is examined in detail and possible research avenues and public policy initiatives are considered within each of these separate...

  6. Stabilizing Sustainability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Reitan Andersen, Kirsti

    The publication of the Brundtland Report in 1987 put the topic of sustainable development on the political and corporate agenda. Defining sustainable development as “a development that meets the needs of the future without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs......” (WCED, 1987, p. 43), the Report also put a positive spin on the issue of sustainability by upholding capitalist beliefs in the possibility of infinite growth in a world of finite resources. While growth has delivered benefits, however, it has done so unequally and unsustainably. This thesis focuses...... on the textile and fashion industry, one of the world’s most polluting industries and an industry to some degree notorious for leading the ‘race to the bottom’ in global labour standards. Despite being faced with increasing demands to practise sustainability, most textile and fashion companies continue to fail...

  7. Sustainability reporting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kolk, A.

    2005-01-01

    This article gives an overview of developments in sustainability (also sometimes labelled corporate social responsibility) reporting. The article will first briefly indicate how accountability on social and environmental issues started, already in the 1970s when social reports were published.

  8. Sustainable Cities

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Georg, Susse; Garza de Linde, Gabriela Lucía

    Judging from the number of communities and cities striving or claiming to be sustainable and how often eco-development is invoked as the means for urban regeneration, it appears that sustainable and eco-development have become “the leading paradigm within urban development” (Whitehead 2003......), urban design competitions are understudied mechanisms for bringing about field level changes. Drawing on actor network theory, this paper examines how urban design competitions may bring about changes within the professional field through the use of intermediaries such as a sustainable planning....../assessment tool. The context for our study is urban regeneration in one Danish city, which had been suffering from industrial decline and which is currently investing in establishing a “sustainable city”. Based on this case study we explore how the insights and inspiration evoked in working with the tool...

  9. Sustainable responsibilities?

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Lystbæk, Christian Tang

    2015-01-01

    This working paper analyzes the conceptions of corporate responsibility for sustainable development in EU policies on CSR. The notion of corporate responsibility has until recently been limited to economical and legal responsibilities. Based on this narrow conception of corporate responsibility.......e. a combination of destruction and construction, this chapter will deconstruct conceptions of responsibility for sustainable development in these EU documents on CSR. A deconstructive conceptual analysis involves destructing dominant interpretations of a text and allowing for constructions of alternative...... such as sustainability actually means, but on what the concept says and does not say. A deconstructive analysis of EU policies on CSR, then, pinpoints that such policies are sites of conceptual struggles. This kind of analysis is suitable for studying conceptions of corporate responsibility for sustainable development...

  10. Agriculture: Sustainability

    Science.gov (United States)

    Sustainability creates and maintains the conditions under which humans and nature can exist in productive harmony, that permit fulfilling the food, feed, and fiber needs of our country and the social, economic and other requirements.

  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. Sustainable finance

    OpenAIRE

    Boersma-de Jong, Margreet F.

    2012-01-01

    Presentation for Springschool of Strategy, University of Groningen, 10 October 2012. The role of CSR is to stimulate ethical behaviour, and as a result, mutual trust in society. Advantage of CSR for the company and the evolution of CSR. From CSR to Sustainable Finance: how does CSR influence Sustainable Business Administration & Management Accounting, Financial Leadership and what is the importance of CSR in the financial sector

  13. Interaction of water components in the semi-arid Huasco and Limarí river basins, North Central Chile

    Science.gov (United States)

    Strauch, G.; Oyarzún, R.; Reinstorf, F.; Oyarzún, J.; Schirmer, M.; Knöller, K.

    2009-10-01

    For sustainable water resource management in semi-arid regions, sound information is required about interactions between the different components of the water system: rain/snow precipitation, surface/subsurface run-off, groundwater recharge. Exemplarily, the Huasco and Limarí river basins as water stressed river catchments have been studied by isotope and hydrochemical methods for (i) the origin of water, (ii) water quality, (iii) relations of surface and groundwater. Applying the complex multi-isotopic and hydrochemical methodology to the water components of the Huasco and Limarí basins, a differentiation of water components concerning subsurface flow and river water along the catchment area and by anthropogenic impacts are detected. Sulphate and nitrate concentrations indicate remarkable input from mining and agricultural activities along the river catchment. The 2H-18O relations of river water and groundwater of both catchments point to the behaviour of river waters originated in an arid to semi-arid environment. Consequently, the groundwater from several production wells in the lower parts of the catchments is related to the rivers where the wells located, however, it can be distinguished from the river water. Using the hydrological water balance and the isotope mixing model, the interaction between surface and subsurface flows and river flow is estimated.

  14. Variations of Near Surface Energy Balance Caused by Land Cover Changes in the Semiarid Grassland Area of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Qun’ou Jiang

    2014-01-01

    Full Text Available This study applies the Dynamics of Land System (DLS model to simulating the land cover under the designed scenarios and then analyzes the effects of land cover conversion on energy flux in the semiarid grassland area of China with the Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF model. The results indicate that the grassland will show a steadily upgrowing trend under the coordinated environmental sustainability (CES scenario. Compared to the CES scenario, the rate of increase in grassland cover is lower, while the rate of increase in urban land cover will be higher under the rapid economic growth (REG scenario. Although the conversion from cropland to grassland will reduce the energy flux, the expansion of urban area and decreasing of forestry area will bring about more energy flux. As a whole, the energy flux of near surface will obviously not change under the CES scenario, and the climate therefore will not be possible to be influenced greatly by land cover change. The energy flux under the REG scenario is higher than that under the CES scenario. Those research conclusions can offer valuable information for the land use planning and climate change adaptation in the semiarid grassland area of China.

  15. Agave proves to be a low recalcitrant lignocellulosic feedstock for biofuels production on semi-arid lands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Li, Hongjia; Pattathil, Sivakumar; Foston, Marcus B; Ding, Shi-You; Kumar, Rajeev; Gao, Xiadi; Mittal, Ashutosh; Yarbrough, John M; Himmel, Michael E; Ragauskas, Arthur J; Hahn, Michael G; Wyman, Charles E

    2014-01-01

    Agave, which is well known for tequila and other liquor production in Mexico, has recently gained attention because of its attractive potential to launch sustainable bioenergy feedstock solutions for semi-arid and arid lands. It was previously found that agave cell walls contain low lignin and relatively diverse non-cellulosic polysaccharides, suggesting unique recalcitrant features when compared to conventional C4 and C3 plants. Here, we report sugar release data from fungal enzymatic hydrolysis of non-pretreated and hydrothermally pretreated biomass that shows agave to be much less recalcitrant to deconstruction than poplar or switchgrass. In fact, non-pretreated agave has a sugar release five to eight times greater than that of poplar wood and switchgrass . Meanwhile, state of the art techniques including glycome profiling, nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR), Simon's Stain, confocal laser scanning microscopy and so forth, were applied to measure interactions of non-cellulosic wall components, cell wall hydrophilicity, and enzyme accessibility to identify key structural features that make agave cell walls less resistant to biological deconstruction when compared to poplar and switchgrass. This study systematically evaluated the recalcitrant features of agave plants towards biofuels applications. The results show that not only does agave present great promise for feeding biorefineries on semi-arid and arid lands, but also show the value of studying agave's low recalcitrance for developments in improving cellulosic energy crops.

  16. Chemical composition and potential ethanol yield of Jerusalem artichoke in a semi-arid region of China

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zu Xin Liu

    2015-03-01

    Full Text Available The study was aimed to evaluate the potential of existing genotypes of Jerusalem artichoke (Helianthus tuberosus L. as biomass feedstock for ethanol production. We investigated the biomass productivity and chemical composition of twenty-six Jerusalem artichoke clones grown in a semi-arid region of China. Jerusalem artichoke was demonstrated to be a sustainable feedstock for bioethanol production. All structural and non-structural carbohydrates in whole plant of Jerusalem artichoke could be 5000 L/ha. The above-ground biomass of Jerusalem artichoke could be a promising feedstock for cellulosic ethanol. The ethanol potential yield from cellulose and hemicellulose in aboveground biomass were 1821 to 5930 L/ha, contributing 29.8-66.4% of the total ethanol yield, which could be as high as that from switchgrass and sweet sorghum stem. Large variation among the investigated genotypes for carbohydrates makes it possible to select suitable clones to be used in bioethanol production in semiarid regions. Clones HB-3, HEN-3, IM-1, SC-1, SHX-3, SX-2 and ZJ-2 yielded tuber total soluble sugar higher than 4.0 t/ha. Clones BJ-4, HUB-2, HUN-2, QH-1, SD-2 and SHH-1 produced more than 5.0 t/ha cellulose and hemicellulose in above-ground biomass. Clones BJ-4 and HUB-2 have the highest ethanol potential based on structural carbohydrates. These clones were promising material if used as biofuel feedstock in this growth condition.

  17. Biophysical and sociocultural factors underlying spatial trade-offs of ecosystem services in semiarid watersheds

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Marina García-Llorente

    2015-09-01

    Full Text Available Biophysical and social systems are linked to form social-ecological systems whose sustainability depends on their capacity to absorb uncertainty and cope with disturbances. In this study, we explored the key biophysical and socio-cultural factors underlying ecosystem service supply in two semiarid watersheds of southern Spain. These included variables associated with the role that freshwater flows and biodiversity play in securing the system's capacity to sustain essential ecosystem services and their relationship with social demand for services, local water governance, and land-use intensification. Our results reveal the importance of considering the invisible dimensions of water and biodiversity, i.e. green freshwater flows and trait-based indicators, because of their relevance to the supply of ecosystem services. Furthermore, they uncover the importance of traditional irrigation canals, a local water governance system, in maintaining the ecosystems' capacity to supply services. The study also highlights the complex trade-offs that occur because of the spatial mismatch between ecosystem service supply (upstream and ecosystem service demand (downstream in watersheds. Finally, we found that land-use intensification generally resulted in losses of the biophysical factors that underpin the supply of some ecosystem services, increases in social demand for less diversified services, and the abandonment of local governance practices. Attempts to manage social-ecological systems toward sustainability at the local scale should identify the key biophysical and socio-cultural factors that are essential for maintaining ecosystem services and should recognize existing interrelationships between them. Land-use management should also take into account ecosystem service trade-offs and the consequences resulting from land-use intensification.

  18. Environmental and socioeconomic benefits and limitations of water harvesting techniques in semiarid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Díaz-Pereira, Elvira; Asunción Romero-Díaz, María; de Vente, Joris

    2016-04-01

    Under climate change, sustainable management of soil and water resources is increasingly important, especially in rainfed agroecosystems of semiarid environments. Water harvesting refers to a range of techniques for the collection and management of flood or rainwater for domestic and agricultural use and for water retention in natural ecosystems. Water harvesting represents a good example of sustainable management of water resources that contribute to water and food security. However, there are often environmental and socioeconomic constraints for implementation of water harvesting techniques, so each condition asks for a specific solution. Here we aim to highlight the environmental and socioeconomic benefits, requirements and limitations of different water harvesting techniques and to characterize their implications for provisioning, regulating, supporting, and cultural ecosystem services. We reviewed 62 water harvesting techniques for semiarid regions extracted from the WOCAT (World Overview of Conservation Approaches and Technologies) database. We discuss aspects related to: i) human and environmental characteristics, ii) cost-benefit ratio during implementation and maintenance phases, iii) socioeconomic and environmental impacts at local and regional scales, and, iv) impacts on ecosystem services. Our review reveals that water harvesting represents very diverse methods of collecting and managing floodwaters and surface runoff. We grouped techniques as 'floodwater harvesting', 'macro-catchment water harvesting', 'micro-catchment water harvesting', and 'rooftop and courtyard' water harvesting. Almost half of all technologies originates from traditional knowledge. The implementation of water harvesting is generally positive on the short-term, to very positive on the long-term, while its maintenance is very positive at short and long-term. However, perception depends on the type of water harvesting and local conditions. Most relevant socioeconomic benefits from

  19. SUSTAINABLE TRANSPORTATION

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Linda STEG

    2007-01-01

    Full Text Available This paper discusses possible contributions of psychologists to sustainable transportation. It is argued that in order to reach sustainable transportation, among others, behaviour changes of individual car users are needed. As transport policies will be more effective if they target important antecedents of travel behaviour, first, factors influencing such behaviour are discussed. It is argued that car use is very attractive and sometimes even necessary for many different reasons. This implies that a combination of policies is called for, each targeting different factors that support car use and hinder the use of more sustainable modes of transport. Next, the paper elaborates on policy strategies that may be employed to achieve sustainable transportation by changing car use. Increasing the attractiveness of sustainable transport modes by means of pull measures seems not sufficient to reduce the level of car use. Besides, car use should be made less attractive by means of push measures to force drivers to reconsider their travel behaviour. The acceptability of such policies may be increased by clearly communicating the aim of these policies, and the expected positive consequences (e.g., less congestion, improved environmental quality. Moreover, possible negative effects for individual freedom may be compensated by implementing additional policies aimed at facilitating the use of sustainable transport modes.

  20. Sustainable markets for sustainable energy

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Millan, J.; Smyser, C.

    1997-12-01

    The author discusses how the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB) is involved in sustainable energy development. It presently has 50 loans and grants for non conventional renewable energy projects and ten grants for efficiency programs for $600 and $17 million respectively, representing 100 MW of power. The IDB is concerned with how to create a sustainable market for sustainable energy projects. The IDB is trying to work with government, private sector, NGOs, trading allies, credit sources, and regulators to find proper roles for such projects. He discusses how the IDB is working to expand its vision and objectives in renewable energy projects in Central and South America.

  1. 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

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. Organic amendments as restoration techniques in degraded arid and semiarid systems: A review

    Science.gov (United States)

    Hueso-González, Paloma; Muñoz-Rojas, Miriam

    2017-04-01

    There is an increasing concern at the global scale about interrelated environmental problems such as soil degradation, desertification, erosion, and climate change impacts (Hueso-Gonzalez et al., 2014). Indiscriminate use of agro-chemicals, excessive and deep tillage, excessive irrigation, among many others factors, have largely contributed to soil degradation, particularly in arid and semi-arid areas (Lal, 2008). Soil is an essential non-renewable resource with extremely slow formation and regeneration potential (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016a and c, Martínez-Murillo et al., 2016). The decline in organic matter content of many soils is becoming a major cause of soil degradation, particularly in dryland regions (Muñoz-Rojas et al., 2016b) where low soil fertility cannot maintain sustainable production in many cases (Hueso-González et al., 2015). The use of soil organic amendments is a common practice in agricultural management and land restoration that can help to improve physical and chemical soil properties, soil structure, temperature and humidity conditions, as well as nutrient contents which are essential for plant growth (Guerrero et al., 2001). Under degraded conditions, several studies have shown their benefits for improving soil physical, chemical and biological properties (Jordan et al., 2010 and 2011). However, there are many research gaps in the knowledge of the effects of climatic conditions on their application, as well as the adequate types of amendment and doses and decomposition rates, (Hueso-Gonzalez,2016). All these factors are crucial for the success in their application. Here, we review long-term experiments worldwide studying the benefits associated with the application of organic materials, particularly, in restoration of arid and semiarid ecosystems together with the possible threats and risks that can result from their use. We will specifically adress: (1) type of amended and benefits arising from their use, (2) application methods and more

  5. Rice cultivation in the farming systems of Sukumaland, Tanzania : a quest for sustainable production under structural adjustment programmes

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Meertens, H.C.C.

    1999-01-01

    This thesis investigates options for sustainable rice cultivation and general agricultural development in the Mwanza and Shinyanga regions in northwestern Tanzania, often called Sukumaland due to the predominance of Wasukuma people. Generally Sukumaland has a semi-arid climate; agriculture

  6. Food resources used by three species of fish in the semi-arid region of Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Márcio J. da Silva

    2010-01-01

    Full Text Available Temporary and semi-permanent aquatic habitats in semi-arid Brazil have been reported as important sites supporting a diverse fish fauna. As such, they must be able to trophically sustain fish species that feed at different trophic levels. This study aims to describe the diets of Astyanax aff. bimaculatus, Hoplias malabaricus and Prochilodus brevis in aquatic systems in semi-arid Brazil, providing evidence of the importance of these habitats as supporters of large consumers like fish. The diet of the three species studied was diverse, feeding on a range of food items, from microalgae to fish. Despite that, a few items were more important to each of the study species. These results and the relatively high rates of stomach fullness indicate that a diverse and abundant food range is available in the study sites, but species seem to select some food resources. The present study provides evidence that despite being highly variable, intermittent and semi-permanent aquatic systems in semi-arid Brazil are able to trophically sustain large consumers.Os ambientes aquáticos temporários e semi-permanentes do semiárido brasileiro tem sido mostrados como importantes sítios que possuem uma diversa fauna de peixes. Desta forma, esses ambientes devem ser capazes de sustentar, do ponto de vista trófico, populações de peixes que se alimentam em diversos níveis tróficos. O presente estudo tem como objetivo descrever o hábito alimentar de Astyanax aff. bimaculatus, Hoplias malabaricus e Prochilodus brevis em ambientes aquáticos do semiárido brasileiro, fornecendo evidências da importância desses habitats para manutenção da diversidade de consumidores como os peixes. A composição da dieta das espécies estudadas foi diversificada, já que alimentaram-se de uma variedade de classes de itens, desde microalgas até peixes. Apesar disso, alguns itens foram mais importantes para cada uma das três espécies. Estes resultados, e as altas taxas de reple

  7. Application of Bayesian Decision Networks for sustainable groundwater resources management in semi-arid regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Mohajerani, Hadis; Casper, Markus; Kholghi, Majid; Mosaedi, Abolfazl; Farmani, Raziyeh; Saadoddin, Amir; Meftah Halaghi, Mehdi

    2017-04-01

    This paper presents management of groundwater resource using a Bayesian Decision Network (BDN). The Kordkooy region in North East of Iran has been selected as study area. The region has been divided to three parts based on Transmissivity (T) and Electrical Conductivity (EC) values. The BDN parameters (prior probabilities and Conditional Probability Tables (CPTs) have been identified for each of the three zones. Three groups of management scenarios have been developed based on the two decision variables including "Crop pattern" and "Domestic water demand" across the three zones of the study area: 1) status quo management for all three zones representing current conditions. 2) the effect of change in cropping pattern on management endpoints and 3) the effect of increasing domestic water demand on management endpoints in the future. The outcomes arising from implementing each scenario have been predicted using the BDN for each of the zones. Results reveal that probability of drawdown in groundwater levels of southern areas is relatively high compared with other zones. Groundwater withdrawal from northern and northwestern areas of the study area should be limited due to the groundwater quality problems associated with shallow groundwater of these two zones. The ability of the Bayesian Decision Network to take into account key uncertainties in natural resources and performing a meaningful analysis in cases where there is not vast amount of information and observed data available -even based partly on expert opinion- emphasizes the advantage of this approach in groundwater resources management process, as limited data availability was a serious problem faced by groundwater resources of the study area.

  8. Roundtabling Sustainability

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Ponte, Stefano

    2014-01-01

    The willingness of public authority to delegate social and environmental regulation to the private sector has varied from sector to sector, but has often led to the establishment of ‘voluntary’ standards and certifications on sustainability. Many of these have taken the form of ‘stewardship...... councils’ and ‘sustainability roundtables’ and have been designed around a set of institutional features seeking to establish legitimacy, fend off possible criticism, and ‘sell’ certifications to potential users. The concept of ‘roundtabling’ emphasizes the fitting a variety of commodity......-specific sustainability situations into a form that not only ‘hears more voices’ (as in ‘multi-stakeholder’), but also portrays to give them equal standing at the table of negotiations (roundtable), thus raising higher expectations on accountability, transparency and inclusiveness. In this article, I examine to what...

  9. Sustainability Evaluation.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Stichnothe, Heinz

    2017-03-17

    The long-term substitution of fossil resources can only be achieved through a bio-based economy, with biorefineries and bio-based products playing a major role. However, it is important to assess the implications of the transition to a bio-based economy. Life cycle-based sustainability assessment is probably the most suitable approach to quantify impacts and to identify trade-offs at multiple levels. The extended utilisation of biomass can cause land use change and affect food security of the most vulnerable people throughout the world. Although this is mainly a political issue and governments should be responsible, the responsibility is shifted to companies producing biofuels and other bio-based products. Organic wastes and lignocellulosic biomass are considered to be the preferred feedstock for the production of bio-based products. However, it is unlikely that a bio-based economy can rely only on organic wastes and lignocellulosic biomass.It is crucial to identify potential problems related to socio-economic and environmental issues. Currently there are many approaches to the sustainability of bio-based products, both quantitative and qualitative. However, results of different calculation methods are not necessarily comparable and can cause confusion among decision-makers, stakeholders and the public.Hence, a harmonised, globally agreed approach would be the best solution to secure sustainable biomass/biofuels/bio-based chemicals production and trade, and to avoid indirect effects (e.g. indirect land use change). However, there is still a long way to go.Generally, the selection of suitable indicators that serve the purpose of sustainability assessment is very context-specific. Therefore, it is recommended to use a flexible and modular approach that can be adapted to various purposes. A conceptual model for the selection of sustainability indicators is provided that facilitates identifying suitable sustainability indicators based on relevance and significance in a

  10. 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

  11. 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...

  12. An integrative approach to characterize hydrological processes and water quality in a semi-arid watershed in Northeastern Brazil

    Science.gov (United States)

    Franklin, M. R.; Fernandes, N.; Veiga, L. H. S.; Melo, L. R.; Santos, A. C. S.; Araujo, V. P.

    2014-12-01

    Arid and semi-arid regions face serious challenges in the management of scarce water resources. This situation tends to become worse with the increasing population growth rates and consequently increasing water demand. Groundwater is the most important water resource in these areas and, therefore, the sustainability of its use depends on the effectiveness in which it is managed, both in terms of quantity and quality. The Caetité Experimental Basin (CEB), located in a semi-arid region of Northeastern Brazil, faces not only the challenges associated with water scarcity, but also changes in landscape and potential contamination processes due to mining activity. The only active uranium production center in Brazil (URA) is located in this watershed and the sustainability of mining and milling operations as well as the survival of the local community are highly dependent on the availability of groundwater resources. Hydrogeological studies in this area are scarce, and the potential contamination and overexploitation of groundwater can not be ruled out. Therefore, a national project was launched in order to improve the understanding and quantification of the interaction between the hydrogeological system and human health. The methodological approach involved hydrological and geochemical monitoring and characterization of the CEB, use of isotopic techniques, groundwater modeling, water quality diagnosis and human health risk assessment due to water ingestion. The results suggested that the groundwater in the CEB are not totally connected, with evidence of a mixture of recent and old waters. The Na-Ca-HCO3-Cl is the dominant water type (50%) followed by Ca-Na-HCO3-Cl water type (17%). The relevant non-radioactive contaminants are Mn, F, NO3 and Ba, mostly from natural origin, with the exception of NO3 that could be associated with the livestock activities. The estimated effective doses due to groundwater ingestion containing radionuclides are below the recommended

  13. Conservation tillage of rainfed maize in semi-arid Zimbabwe: A review

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Nyakudya, I.W.; Stroosnijder, L.

    2015-01-01

    Food security in Sub-Saharan Africa, particularly in semi-arid tropics (41% of the region; 6 months of dry season) is threatened by droughts, dry spells and infertile soils. In Zimbabwe, 74% of smallholder farming areas are located in semi-arid areas mostly in areas with soils of low fertility and

  14. Soil Chemistry after Irrigation with Treated Wastewater in Semiarid Climate

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Pedro Carlos Pacheco de Oliveira

    2016-01-01

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT Soil irrigation using treated wastewater in the Brazilian semiarid region is a promising practice as this area currently faces water scarcity and pollution of water resources by domestic sewage. The aim of this study was to evaluate the use of treated wastewater in drip irrigation and its effect on the chemistry of soil cultivated with squash (Cucurbita maxima Duch. Coroa IAC and to verify whether there was an increase in soil salinity under a semiarid climate. The experiment was conducted for 123 days on a farm close to the sewage treatment plant, in a randomized block design with five treatments and four replications. The treatments consisted of two irrigation water depths (100 and 150 % of the evapotranspiration, two applications of gypsum to attenuate wastewater sodicity (0 and 5.51 g per plant, and a control treatment with no application of wastewater or gypsum. During the experiment, treated wastewater and soil gravitational water, at a depth of 0.40 m, were collected for measurement of Na+, K+, Ca2+, Mg2+, NO−3, NH4+, Cl− , alkalinity, electrical conductivity, pH and sodium adsorption ratio. At the end of the experiment, soil samples were collected at depths of 0.00-0.10, 0.10-0.20, and 0.20-0.40 m; and pH, total N, organic C, exchangeable cations and electrical conductivity of the saturation extract (CEs were analyzed. Besides an increase in pH and a reduction in total N, the irrigation with wastewater reduces soil salinity of the naturally salt-rich soils of the semiarid climate. It also led to soil sodification, in spite of the added gypsum, which indicates that irrigation with wastewater might require the addition of greater quantities of gypsum to prevent physical degradation of the soil.

  15. Flood monitoring in a semi-arid environment using spatially high resolution radar and optical data.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Seiler, Ralf; Schmidt, Jana; Diallo, Ousmane; Csaplovics, Elmar

    2009-05-01

    The geographic term "Niger Inland Delta" stands for a vast plain of approximately 40,000 km(2), which is situated in the western Sahel (Republic of Mali). The Inland Delta is affected by yearly inundation through the variable water levels of the Niger-Bani river system. Due to a good availability of (surface) water, the ecosystem at the Niger Inland Delta serves as resting place stop-over for many migrating birds and other wildlife species as well as economic base for farmers and pastoral people. To foster the sustainable usage of its natural resources and to protect this natural heritage, the entire Niger Inland Delta became RAMSAR site in 2004. This paper aims to test to which extent texture analysis can improve the quality of flood monitoring in a semi-arid environment using spatially high resolution ASAR imaging mode data. We found the Gray Level Dependence Method (GLDM) was most suitable proceeding for our data. Several statistical parameters were calculated via co-occurrence matrices and were used to classify the images in different gradation of soil moisture classes. In a second step we used additional information from spatially high resolution optical data (ASTER) to improve the separability of open water areas from moisture/vegetated areas.

  16. Spider fauna of semiarid eastern Colorado agroecosystems: diversity, abundance, and effects of crop intensification.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Kerzicnik, Lauren M; Peairs, Frank B; Cushing, Paula E; Draney, Michael L; Merrill, Scott C

    2013-02-01

    Spiders are critical predators in agroecosystems. Crop management practices can influence predator density and diversity, which, in turn, can influence pest management strategies. Crop intensification is a sustainable agricultural technique that can enhance crop production although optimizing soil moisture. To date, there is no information on how crop intensification affects natural enemy populations, particularly spiders. This study had two objectives: to characterize the abundance and diversity of spiders in eastern Colorado agroecosystems, and to test the hypothesis that spider diversity and density would be higher in wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) in crop-intensified rotations compared with wheat in conventional rotations. We collected spiders through pitfall, vacuum, and lookdown sampling from 2002 to 2007 to test these objectives. Over 11,000 spiders in 19 families from 119 species were captured from all sampling techniques. Interestingly, the hunting spider guild represented 89% of the spider fauna captured from all sites with the families Gnaphosidae and Lycosidae representing 75% of these spiders. Compared with European agroecosystems, these agroecosystems had greater diversity, which can be beneficial for the biological control of pests. Overall, spider densities were low in these semiarid cropping systems, and crop intensification effects on spider densities were not evident at this scale.

  17. Design of municipal solid waste incinerator for use in semi-arid regions

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    M. B. Oumarou

    2012-08-01

    Full Text Available The paper treats the design of a municipal solid waste incinerator suited to the semiarid regions with northern Nigeria and Niger Republic in West Africa as the study area. Proximate and ultimate analyses results from the solid waste were used as basis for calculations, using standard formulas and correlations. The calorific value of the solid waste samples in the study area is not high enough to sustain an incineration process and it ranges from 5.024 MJ/kg to 5.867 MJ/kg. For these types of low calorific value fuels, the parallel flow concept was found to be the appropriate type of incinerator. The solid waste to be fed in the incinerator needs to be mixed with 50% of supplementary fuel in the form of readily available bagasse to make it up to the required lower calorific value. Major characteristics of the designed municipal solid waste incinerator were: total volume of incinerator chamber: 82.5 m3, length of the incinerator bed: 11m; width of the incinerator bed: 3m and height of the incinerator chamber: 2.5 m, while the suitable adiabatic flame temperature was found to be 1,587 K.

  18. Ecological and functional adaptations to water management in a semiarid agroecosystem: a soil metaproteomics approach.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Starke, Robert; Bastida, Felipe; Abadía, Joaquín; García, Carlos; Nicolás, Emilio; Jehmlich, Nico

    2017-08-31

    Climate change models point to a decrease in water availability in semiarid areas that would compromise the maintenance of sustainable agriculture. Here, we used a grapefruit agroecosystem model to evaluate the responses of the active soil microbial community - as a microbial subset directly involved in soil functionality- undergoing strategies to cope with the low water availability in south-east Spain. For this purpose, we tested the impacts of: (i) water quality: transfer-water from a river (TW) or reclaimed-water from a wastewater-treatment plant (RW); and (ii) water quantity: continuous optimal amount of water or reduced irrigation (RDI) in the temporal frame when the crop is less sensitive; and their interactions. Metaproteomics revealed that the phylogenetic diversity of the active community and its functional diversity were lowered in soils with RW. RDI lowered soil respiration and functional diversity while the phylogenetic diversity remained constant. The reestablishment of full irrigation after RDI led to a recovery of soil respiration that was accompanied by an enhanced abundance of resilient bacterial populations. Bacterial populations displayed molecular mechanisms against water stress that have been conserved evolutionarily in plants. Protein-based studies shed light on ecological and functional mechanisms that govern the adaptive responses of soil microbial communities to climate-change friendly water management.

  19. Sustainable Soesterkwartier

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Abrahams, H.; Goosen, H.; Jong, de F.; Sickmann, J.; Prins, D.

    2010-01-01

    The municipality of Amersfoort wants to construct an endurable and sustainable eco-town in the Soesterkwartier neighbourhood, by taking future climate change into account. The impact of climate change at the location of the proposed eco-town was studied by a literature review.

  20. Sustainable agriculture

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

    New farming techniques, better food security. Since 1970, IDRC-supported research has introduced sustainable agricultural practices to farmers and communities across the devel- oping world. The result: higher productivity, less poverty, greater food security, and a healthier environment. Opportunities grow on trees in ...

  1. Sustainable Development

    African Journals Online (AJOL)

    Tsegai Berhane Ghebretekle

    Abstract. This article examines the concept of sustainable development after the Post-. 2015 Paris Climate Change Agreement with particular emphasis on Ethiopia. Various African countries are vulnerable to climate change, as is evidenced by recent droughts. Ethiopia is selected as a case study in light of its pace in.

  2. Sustainable machining

    CERN Document Server

    2017-01-01

    This book provides an overview on current sustainable machining. Its chapters cover the concept in economic, social and environmental dimensions. It provides the reader with proper ways to handle several pollutants produced during the machining process. The book is useful on both undergraduate and postgraduate levels and it is of interest to all those working with manufacturing and machining technology.

  3. Architecture Sustainability

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Avgeriou, Paris; Stal, Michael; Hilliard, Rich

    2013-01-01

    Software architecture is the foundation of software system development, encompassing a system's architects' and stakeholders' strategic decisions. A special issue of IEEE Software is intended to raise awareness of architecture sustainability issues and increase interest and work in the area. The

  4. Sustainability reporting

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Kolk, A.

    2005-01-01

    This article gives an overview of developments in sustainability (also sometimes labelled corporate social responsibility) reporting. It The article will first briefly indicate how accountability on social and environmental issues started, already in the 1970s when social reports were published.

  5. Exergy sustainability.

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Robinett, Rush D. III (.; ); Wilson, David Gerald; Reed, Alfred W.

    2006-05-01

    Exergy is the elixir of life. Exergy is that portion of energy available to do work. Elixir is defined as a substance held capable of prolonging life indefinitely, which implies sustainability of life. In terms of mathematics and engineering, exergy sustainability is defined as the continuous compensation of irreversible entropy production in an open system with an impedance and capacity-matched persistent exergy source. Irreversible and nonequilibrium thermodynamic concepts are combined with self-organizing systems theories as well as nonlinear control and stability analyses to explain this definition. In particular, this paper provides a missing link in the analysis of self-organizing systems: a tie between irreversible thermodynamics and Hamiltonian systems. As a result of this work, the concept of ''on the edge of chaos'' is formulated as a set of necessary and sufficient conditions for stability and performance of sustainable systems. This interplay between exergy rate and irreversible entropy production rate can be described as Yin and Yang control: the dialectic synthesis of opposing power flows. In addition, exergy is shown to be a fundamental driver and necessary input for sustainable systems, since exergy input in the form of power is a single point of failure for self-organizing, adaptable systems.

  6. Sustainable processing

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Kristensen, Niels Heine

    2004-01-01

    Kristensen_NH and_Beck A: Sustainable processing. In Otto Schmid, Alexander Beck and Ursula Kretzschmar (Editors) (2004): Underlying Principles in Organic and "Low-Input Food" Processing - Literature Survey. Research Institute of Organic Agriculture FiBL, CH-5070 Frick, Switzerland. ISBN 3-906081-58-3...

  7. Sustainable finance

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    dr. Margreet F. Boersma-de Jong

    2012-01-01

    Presentation for Springschool of Strategy, University of Groningen, 10 October 2012. The role of CSR is to stimulate ethical behaviour, and as a result, mutual trust in society. Advantage of CSR for the company and the evolution of CSR. From CSR to Sustainable Finance: how does CSR influence

  8. Assessing the Sustainability of Different Small-Scale Livestock Production Systems in the Afar Region, Ethiopia

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ngufor L. Atanga

    2013-12-01

    Full Text Available Livestock production is a key income source in eastern Africa, and 80% of the total agricultural land is used for livestock herding. Hence, ecological and socio-economically sustainable rangeland management is crucial. Our study aimed at selecting operational economic, environmental and social sustainability indicators for three main pastoral (P, agro-pastoral (AP, and landless intensive (LI small scale livestock production systems for use in sustainability assessment in Ethiopia. Quantitative and qualitative data were collected through grey literature and semi-structured interviews, assessing livestock and feed resources, production technology, land tenure, financial and gender issues. Our results suggested that feed shortages (FS are directly related to grazing pressure (G and inversely related to grass recovery rates (R. According to our indicators, AP was the most sustainable while P and LI were only conditionally sustainable production systems. 93% of 82 interviewees claimed that private land ownership was the best land tenure incentive for efficient rangeland management. Farmers perceived Prosopis juliflora expansion, sporadic rainfall, and disease infestation as the most significant causes for decreasing livestock productivity. Landless intensive farmers had the highest equality in income distribution (Gini Index: GI = 0.4, followed by P and AP (each with a GI = 0.5. Neither educational background nor income seemed to determine grazing species conservation efforts. We claimed that sustainability indicators are valuable tools to highlight shortcomings and strengths of the three main livestock production systems and help with future livestock management in Ethiopia. Selecting suitable indicators, however, is crucial as data requirements and availability can vary across livestock systems.

  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. SUSTAINABLE CORPORATE AND SUSTAINABLE DEVELOPMENT

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    DORU CÎRNU

    2017-06-01

    Full Text Available In recent decades, the image of the international business environment has changed significantly. Studies conducted by UNCTAD shows that corporate phenomenon developments in the world economy is growing. Without claiming to present an exhaustive topic so vast we tried to capture some "facets" of sustainable development from the perspective of multinational corporations, given the expansion of these economic entities and strengthening their power in the global economy. We present more negative aspects of the actions of multinational corporations in terms of sustainable development, it is very important to know both sides of the coin, which will not only help transnational giants including release. Based on issues such as corporate social responsibility, environmental pollution and workers' rights, we sought to counter official statements. The conclusion is that these economic entities are real forces that can not be ignored in today's world and the obvious problem of sustainable development can not be addressed independently of the phenomenon, context we also identified some possible solutions to conflict of corporations and essence of the concept of sustainable development.

  12. Multifaceted Impacts of Sustainable Land Management in Drylands: A Review

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria Jose Marques

    2016-02-01

    Full Text Available Biophysical restoration or rehabilitation measures of land have demonstrated to be effective in many scientific projects and small-scale environmental experiments. However circumstances such as poverty, weak policies, or inefficient scientific knowledge transmission can hinder the effective upscaling of land restoration and the long term maintenance of proven sustainable use of soil and water. This may be especially worrisome in lands with harsh environmental conditions. This review covers recent efforts in landscape restoration and rehabilitation with a functional perspective aiming to simultaneously achieve ecosystem sustainability, economic efficiency, and social wellbeing. Water management and rehabilitation of ecosystem services in croplands, rangelands, forests, and coastlands are reviewed. The joint analysis of such diverse ecosystems provides a wide perspective to determine: (i multifaceted impacts on biophysical and socio-economic factors; and (ii elements influencing effective upscaling of sustainable land management practices. One conclusion can be highlighted: voluntary adoption is based on different pillars, i.e. external material and economic support, and spread of success information at the local scale to demonstrate the multidimensional benefits of sustainable land management. For the successful upscaling of land management, more attention must be paid to the social system from the first involvement stage, up to the long term maintenance.

  13. Periphytic algae dynamics in lentic ecosystems in the Brazilian semiarid.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Cordeiro, R S; Barbosa, J E L; Lima, G Q; Barbosa, L G

    2017-01-01

    The hydrological periods drive the structure and organization of aquatic communities in semiarid regions. We hypothesize that a decrease of the precipitation during the dry period will favor the development of the periphytic algal community, leading to higher richness and density in this period. To test this hypothesis, we investigated the changes in the periphytic algal community structure in three shallow and eutrophic ecosystems of the Brazilian semiarid. The sampling was performed between 2007 and 2010 at two-mensal intervals. The sampling of periphytic algal was performed in aquatic macrophytes and rocks. The abiotic variables were analyzed simultaneously. Dominance in diatoms, cyanobacteria and chlorophytes, respectively, was observed in two periods. In the dry period, waters were alkaline and had high concentrations of nitrate and total phosphorus associated with the highest densities of Bacillariophyceae. In the rainy period the water was warmer, oxygenated and high concentrations of ammonia and soluble reactive phosphorus with diatoms remained dominant but with reduced density, while cyanobacteria and chlorophytes increased. Overall, periphytic algal community composition no responded to changes in the hydrological periods. However, the hydrological periods altered the dynamics of periphytic algal community, supported by the alternation of the most representative classes (diatoms and cyanobacteria) between the hydrologic periods. Our data suggest that the morphometric and chemical and physical characteristics of lentic aquatic ecosystems studied were more important in the dynamics of periphytic algal community than the hydrological periods and types of substrates.

  14. Using NDVI to measure precipitation in semi-arid landscapes

    Science.gov (United States)

    Birtwhistle, Amy N.; Laituri, Melinda; Bledsoe, Brian; Friedman, Jonathan M.

    2016-01-01

    Measuring precipitation in semi-arid landscapes is important for understanding the processes related to rainfall and run-off; however, measuring precipitation accurately can often be challenging especially within remote regions where precipitation instruments are scarce. Typically, rain-gauges are sparsely distributed and research comparing rain-gauge and RADAR precipitation estimates reveal that RADAR data are often misleading, especially for monsoon season convective storms. This study investigates an alternative way to map the spatial and temporal variation of precipitation inputs along ephemeral stream channels using Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) derived from Landsat Thematic Mapper imagery. NDVI values from 26 years of pre- and post-monsoon season Landsat imagery were derived across Yuma Proving Ground (YPG), a region covering 3,367 km2 of semiarid landscapes in southwestern Arizona, USA. The change in NDVI from a pre-to post-monsoon season image along ephemeral stream channels explained 73% of the variance in annual monsoonal precipitation totals from a nearby rain-gauge. In addition, large seasonal changes in NDVI along channels were useful in determining when and where flow events have occurred.

  15. Contamination of semiarid potiguar reservoirs by harmful bacteria

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Ermeton Duarte do Nascimento

    2016-04-01

    Full Text Available Water contamination in the semi-arid section of Northeast Brazil is a current concern for the country’s researchers, since this region is considered one of the poorest in Brazil and the water in these locations is a primary vehicle for disease transmission. We collected physical and chemical data as well as water samples from four semiarid potiguar reservoirs during the dry and rainy seasons of 2013 and 2014. These samples were prepared in a laboratory at the Federal University of Rio Grande do Norte (UFRN and their physical, chemical and microbiological characteristics were evaluated. The procedures of microbial isolation and identification followed the Standard Methods for Examinations of Water and Wastewater. Then Vitek II system (Bio-Merieux® was used to identify the microbial specimens and we calculated the frequency of specimens’ occurrence. Altogether, 168 bacteria were isolated and identified; 97% were Gram-negative and only 3% were Gram-positive. Within the Gram negatives, 73.2% were identified as belonging to the Enterobacteriaceae family and, in general terms, the most constant genera in the water reservoirs were Vibrio and Aeromonas. Among the Enterobacteriaceae family, the species Escherichia coli, Enterobacter cloacae complex and Klebsiella pneumoniae were the most frequent. There was no statistical difference between the number or morphotype groups found in the periods, p=0.255 and p=0.237, respectively. The analyzed data indicate possible contamination of these water reservoirs by human and/or animal fecal material.

  16. Pythiosis in dogs in the semiarid region of Northeast Brazil

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Maria T.S. Frade

    Full Text Available ABSTRACT: We describe the epidemiological, clinical and pathological features of five cases of pythiosis in dogs in northeast semiarid. The disease occurred in dogs with age between one and three years, females and males of different breeds. The dogs were created in urban areas, but were occasionally taken to the countryside and then had contact with wetlands. The main clinical signs were weight loss, vomiting, diarrhea and tenesmus. Macroscopically there were intestinal wall thickening with irregular firm masses with yellowish granular areas interspersed with a whitish tissue, involving the duodenum, colon and rectum, extending to the lymph nodes and pancreas, and the vagina and liver. In the skin there were areas of alopecia and irregular ulcerations, some containing small cavitations with serosanguineous secretion. Microscopically there were pyogranulomatous inflammation and in one case also there were eosinophilic necrosis associated with negative images tubuliformes by hematoxylin and eosin, strongly stained by GMS and weakly by PAS. Hyphae were strongly marked by immunohistochemistry with polyclonal anti-Pythium insidiosum. The disease occurs sporadically in dogs in the semiarid Northeast, however should be included in the differential diagnosis of chronic diseases and proliferative aspect of the gastrointestinal system, and front skin lesions of difficult treatment.

  17. Soil Respiration in Semiarid Temperate Grasslands under Various Land Management.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Zhen Wang

    Full Text Available Soil respiration, a major component of the global carbon cycle, is significantly influenced by land management practices. Grasslands are potentially a major sink for carbon, but can also be a source. Here, we investigated the potential effect of land management (grazing, clipping, and ungrazed enclosures on soil respiration in the semiarid grassland of northern China. Our results showed the mean soil respiration was significantly higher under enclosures (2.17 μmol.m(-2.s(-1 and clipping (2.06 μmol.m(-2.s(-1 than under grazing (1.65 μmol.m-(2.s(-1 over the three growing seasons. The high rates of soil respiration under enclosure and clipping were associated with the higher belowground net primary productivity (BNPP. Our analyses indicated that soil respiration was primarily related to BNPP under grazing, to soil water content under clipping. Using structural equation models, we found that soil water content, aboveground net primary productivity (ANPP and BNPP regulated soil respiration, with soil water content as the predominant factor. Our findings highlight that management-induced changes in abiotic (soil temperature and soil water content and biotic (ANPP and BNPP factors regulate soil respiration in the semiarid temperate grassland of northern China.

  18. Irrigation requirements for seed production of two Eriogonum species in a semiarid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clinton C. Shock; Erik B. G. Feibert; Alicia Rivera; Lamont D. Saunders; Nancy Shaw; Francis F. Kilkenny

    2017-01-01

    Seeds of native plants are needed for rangeland restoration in the Intermountain West. Many of these plants are rarely cultivated and relatively little is known about the cultural practices required for their seed production. Irrigation trials were conducted over multiple years for two perennial Eriogonum species, Eriogonum umbellatum Torr. and Eriogonum heracleoides...

  19. Irrigation requirements for seed production of five Lomatium species in a semiarid environment

    Science.gov (United States)

    Clinton C. Shock; Erik B. G. Feibert; Alicia Rivera; Lamont D. Saunders; Nancy Shaw; Francis F. Kilkenny

    2016-01-01

    Seeds of native plants are needed for rangeland restoration in the Intermountain West. Many of these plants are rarely cultivated and relatively little is known about the cultural practices required for their seed production. Irrigation trials were conducted for five perennial Lomatium species over multiple years. Lomatium species grown at the Oregon State University...

  20. 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

  1. 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

  2. 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

  3. 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

  4. Sustainable Consumption

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Røpke, Inge

    2015-01-01

    in wider social, economic and technological frameworks is emphasised. In particular, the chapter is inspired by practice theory and transition theory. First, various trends in consumption are outlined to highlight some of the challenges for sustainability transitions. Then, it is discussed how consumption...... patterns are shaped over time and what should be considered in sustainability strategies. While discussions on consumption often take their point of departure in the perspective of the individual and then zoom to the wider context, the present approach is the opposite. The outline starts with the basic...... biophysical, distributional and economic conditions for high consumption in rich countries and then zooms in on the coevolution of provision systems and consumption, and how consumption is shaped by practices and projects in everyday life. Furthermore, the paper discusses whether and how transition...

  5. Sustainable Buildings

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Tommerup, Henrik M.; Elle, Morten

    The scientific community agrees that: all countries must drastically and rapidly reduce their CO2 emissions and that energy efficient houses play a decisive role in this. The general attitude at the workshop on Sustainable Buildings was that we face large and serious climate change problems that ...... that need urgent action. The built environment is an obvious area to put effort into because of the large and cost-effective energy saving potential and potential for Renewable Energy-based supply systems for buildings.......The scientific community agrees that: all countries must drastically and rapidly reduce their CO2 emissions and that energy efficient houses play a decisive role in this. The general attitude at the workshop on Sustainable Buildings was that we face large and serious climate change problems...

  6. Cost/benefit analysis of biomass energy supply options for rural smallholders in the semi-arid eastern part of Shinyanga Region in Tanzania

    Energy Technology Data Exchange (ETDEWEB)

    Wiskerke, W.T.; Dornburg, V.; Faaij, A.P.C. [Department of Science, Technology and Society, Utrecht University, Heidelberglaan 2, 3584 CS, Utrecht (Netherlands); Rubanza, C.D.K. [Tanzania Forestry Research Institute (TAFORI)/National Forest Resource Management and Agroforestry Centre (NACRAF), P.O. Box 1257, Shinyanga (Tanzania); Malimbwi, R.E. [Faculty of Forestry and Natural Resources, Sokoine University, P.O. Box 3010, Morogoro (Tanzania)

    2010-01-15

    This study analyzes the economic feasibility of sustainable smallholder bio-energy production under semi-arid conditions. The eastern part of Shinyanga region in Tanzania was chosen as a case study area. Three different sustainable biomass energy supply systems were compared by means of cost/benefit analysis: a small-scale forestation project for carbon sequestration, a short rotation woodlot and a Jatropha plantation, thereby using the produced Jatropha oil as a substitute for fuelwood or diesel. Rotational woodlots are most profitable with a Net Present Value of up to US${sub 2007} 1165/ha, a return on labour of up to US${sub 2007} 6.69/man-day and a fuelwood production cost of US${sub 2007} 0.53/GJ, compared to a local market price of US${sub 2007} 1.95/GJ. With a production cost of US${sub 2007} 19.60/GJ, Jatropha oil is too expensive to be used as an alternative for fuelwood. Instead it can be utilized economically as a diesel substitute, at an observed diesel cost of US${sub 2007} 1.49/l. The mean annual biomass increment (MAI) in semi-arid East Shinyanga is too low to collect sufficient benefits from trading forestation carbon credits under the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) to cover the costs of forestation and forest management. (author)

  7. ENSO elicits opposing responses of semi-arid vegetation between Hemispheres

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Anzhi; Jia, Gensuo; Epstein, Howard E.; Xia, Jiangjiang

    2017-01-01

    Semi-arid ecosystems are key contributors to the global carbon cycle and may even dominate the inter-annual variability (IAV) and trends of the land carbon sink, driven largely by the El Niño–Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The linkages between dynamics of semi-arid ecosystems and climate at the hemispheric scale however are not well known. Here, we use satellite data and climate observations from 2000 to 2014 to explore the impacts of ENSO on variability of semi-arid ecosystems, using the Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition method. We show that the responses of semi-arid vegetation to ENSO occur in opposite directions, resulting from opposing controls of ENSO on precipitation between the Northern Hemisphere (positively correlated to ENSO) and the Southern Hemisphere (negatively correlated to ENSO). Also, the Southern Hemisphere, with a robust negative coupling of temperature and precipitation anomalies, exhibits stronger and faster responses of semi-arid ecosystems to ENSO than the Northern Hemisphere. Our findings suggest that natural coherent variability in semi-arid ecosystem productivity responded to ENSO in opposite ways between two hemispheres, which may imply potential prediction of global semi-arid ecosystem variability, particularly based on variability in tropical Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures. PMID:28181570

  8. ENSO elicits opposing responses of semi-arid vegetation between Hemispheres.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Zhang, Anzhi; Jia, Gensuo; Epstein, Howard E; Xia, Jiangjiang

    2017-02-09

    Semi-arid ecosystems are key contributors to the global carbon cycle and may even dominate the inter-annual variability (IAV) and trends of the land carbon sink, driven largely by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO). The linkages between dynamics of semi-arid ecosystems and climate at the hemispheric scale however are not well known. Here, we use satellite data and climate observations from 2000 to 2014 to explore the impacts of ENSO on variability of semi-arid ecosystems, using the Ensemble Empirical Mode Decomposition method. We show that the responses of semi-arid vegetation to ENSO occur in opposite directions, resulting from opposing controls of ENSO on precipitation between the Northern Hemisphere (positively correlated to ENSO) and the Southern Hemisphere (negatively correlated to ENSO). Also, the Southern Hemisphere, with a robust negative coupling of temperature and precipitation anomalies, exhibits stronger and faster responses of semi-arid ecosystems to ENSO than the Northern Hemisphere. Our findings suggest that natural coherent variability in semi-arid ecosystem productivity responded to ENSO in opposite ways between two hemispheres, which may imply potential prediction of global semi-arid ecosystem variability, particularly based on variability in tropical Pacific Sea Surface Temperatures.

  9. Land Degradation Management in the Lawra District of Ghana: Present Practices and Opportunities for Rural Farmers in Semi-Arid Areas

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Issaka Kanton Osumanu

    2016-08-01

    Full Text Available This study contends that land degradation is depriving rural farmers and other agriculture-dependent poor people in semi-arid areas of sub-Saharan Africa of their traditional means of sustainable livelihood. The study sought to assess present trends in land degradation and management practices and examine the potential for redress based on the perspective of rural farmers in the Lawra District of the Upper West Region of Ghana. Using a mixed-method approach, the study revealed that inappropriate land use practices, such as bush burning, over cultivation and tree cutting, are taking over the resources of the ecosystems of the community, thereby affecting sustainable means of crop production. The study points out that interventions targeted at improving land productivity for livelihood improvement in the study area are producing positive results and recommends scaling up interventions by refocusing attention on inappropriate land use practices that frequently lead to land degradation.

  10. 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.

  11. 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.

  12. 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

    INTRODUCTION Rangelands in the Iberian Peninsula occupy more than 90,000 km2. These rangelands were created from the former Mediterranean oak forests, mainly composed of holm oak and cork oak (Quercus ilex rotundifolia and Quercus suber), by clear-cutting shrubs, removing selected trees and cultivating. These man-made landscapes are called 'dehesas' in Spain and 'montados' in Portugal. Between 1955 and 1981, more than 5,000 km2 of dehesas was converted from pastureland to cultivated land. This process has been accelerated since 1986 owing to subsidies from the European Common Agricultural Policy (Parras-Alcántara et al., 2015a). The role that natural rangelands play in the global carbon cycle is extremely important, accounting for 10-30% of the world's total soil organic carbon (SOC), in addition, SOC concentration is closely related to soil quality and vegetation productivity (Brevik, 2012). Therefore, to study the land use and management changes is important, particularly in Mediterranean soils, as they are characterized by low organic carbon content, furthermore, the continuous use of ploughing for grain production is the principal cause of soil degradation. Therefore, land use decisions and management systems can increase or decrease SOC content and stock (Corral-Fernández et al., 2013; Parras-Alcántara et al., 2014, 2015a and 2015b; Parras-Alcántara and Lozano-García, 2014) MATERIAL AND METHODS A field study was conducted to determine the land use change (Mediterranean evergreen oak woodland to olive grove and cereal, all of them managed under conventional tillage and under conservationist practices) effects on SOC stocks and the soil quality (Stratification Ratio) in Los Pedroches valley, southern Spain. RESULTS Results for the present study indicate that management practices had little effect on SOC storage in dehesas. The stratification ratio was >2 both under conventional tillage and under organic farming, so, soils under dehesa had high quality

  13. SUSTAINABLE CHEMISTRY FOR SUSTAINABLE INDUSTRY

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    G. Rizzuto

    2015-01-01

    Full Text Available Foundry Alfe Chem is an industrial reality working in the field of lubrication and chemical auxiliaries for industrial processes, which falls within the framework of the emerging and increasingly important «green chemistry». The goal of the company is to develop products that are more environmentally friendly by using raw materials from renewable sources; specifically, Foundry Alfe Chem has a program of self-sustainability that contemplates, for the foreseeable future, the direct production of renewable raw materials. The company has developed a new dedicated product line, Olitema, whose purpose is to offer highly technological solutions with complete environmental sustainability. In this context, Foundry Alfe CHEM has created a new product which represents a breakthrough in the class of HFC hydraulic fluids: Ecosafe Plus is a biodegradable fire-resistant hydraulic fluid with high engineering and technological performances, high environmental sustainability and the best security guarantees in workplaces. Its formulation is glycols-free, and it allows for easier disposal of the exhausted fluid, compared to a traditional water/ glycol-based HFC hydraulic fluid. For what concern the technological properties, Ecosafe Plus has been tested by accredited laboratories with tribological trials (4 Ball wear test ASTM D 4172, Ball on disc test ASTM 6425, Brugger test DIN 51347, Vickers test ASTM D 2882, with elastomer compatibility test (ASTM D 471 and biodegradability test (OECD 310 F.

  14. Sustainable Procurement

    DEFF Research Database (Denmark)

    Telles, Pedro; Ølykke, Grith Skovgaard

    2017-01-01

    and within it how sustainable requirements have increased the level of compliance required, particularly regulatory compliance. Compliance was already present in previous EU public procurement frameworks, but its extent on Directive 2014/24/EU leads the authors to consider the current legal framework...... as subject to substantial regulatory compliance obligations external to the process of procurement. In short, procurement has been transformed in a way to enforce regulatory obligations that are not intrinsic to the process of buying. This leads to the conclusion that questions such as the cost and trade...

  15. Sustainable consumption and marketing

    NARCIS (Netherlands)

    Dam, van Y.K.

    2016-01-01

    Sustainable development in global food markets is hindered by the discrepancy between positive consumer attitudes towards sustainable development or sustainability and the lack of corresponding sustainable consumption by a majority of consumers. Apparently for many (light user) consumers the

  16. Building resilience to social-ecological change through farmers' learning practices in semi-arid Makueni County Kenya

    Science.gov (United States)

    Ifejika Speranza, Chinwe; Kiteme, Boniface; Kimathi Mbae, John; Schmude, Miron

    2015-04-01

    Social-ecological change is resulting in various risks and opportunities to farmers, which they address through complex multi-strategies to sustain their agricultural-based livelihoods and agricultural landscapes. This paper examines how various stakeholders such as research and government organisations, local and international non-governmental organisations, private companies, farmer groups, individual actors and farmers draw on scientific, external and localised knowledge to address the needs of farmers in sustainable land management and food production. What is the structure of collaboration between the various actors and how does this influence the potential for learning, not only for the farmers but also for other stakeholders? How does the supplied knowledge meet farmers' knowledge needs and demands for sustainable land management and food production? To what extent and how is knowledge co-produced among the various stakeholders? What different types of learning can be identified and what are their influences on farmers' sustainable land management practices? How does farmer learning foster the resilience of agricultural landscapes? Answers to these questions are sought through a case study in the semi-arid areas of Makueni County, Kenya. Particular environmental risks in the study area relate to recurrent droughts and flooding, soil erosion and general land degradation. Opportunities in the study area arise short-term due to more conducive rainfall conditions for crop and vegetation growth, institutional arrangements that foster sustainable land management such as agroforestry programmes and conservation agriculture projects. While farmers observe changes in their environment, they weigh the various risks and opportunities that arise from their social-ecological context and their own capacity to respond leading to the prioritization of certain adaptations relative to others. This can mean that while certain farmers may have knowledge on sustainable land

  17. Controls on Extreme Droughts and Adaptation Strategies in Semiarid Regions

    Science.gov (United States)

    Scanlon, B. R.; Cook, C.; Fernando, D. N.; LeBlanc, M.

    2012-12-01

    Increasing vulnerability to droughts with reduced per capita water storage, particularly in semiarid regions, underscores the need for predictive understanding of drought controls and development of adaptation strategies for water resources management. In this study we evaluate causes of major droughts in southwest and southcentral US (California and Texas) and southeast Australia (Murray Darling Basin). Impacts of climate cycles (ENSO, PDO, AMO, NAO, IOD) and atmospheric circulation on drought initiation and persistence are examined. Effects of drought on surface water reservoir storage, groundwater storage, irrigation, and crop production are compared. Adaptation strategies being evaluated include water transfers among sectors, particularly from irrigated agriculture to other groups, increasing storage using managed aquifer recharge, water reuse, and development of new water sources (e.g. seawater desalination). It is critical to develop a broad portfolio of water sources to increase resilience to future droughts.

  18. Aridity modulates N availability in arid and semiarid Mediterranean grasslands.

    Science.gov (United States)

    Delgado-Baquerizo, Manuel; Maestre, Fernando T; Gallardo, Antonio; Quero, José L; Ochoa, Victoria; García-Gómez, Miguel; Escolar, Cristina; García-Palacios, Pablo; Berdugo, Miguel; Valencia, Enrique; Gozalo, Beatriz; Noumi, Zouhaier; Derak, Mchich; Wallenstein, Matthew D

    2013-01-01

    While much is known about the factors that control each component of the terrestrial nitrogen (N) cycle, it is less clear how these factors affect total N availability, the sum of organic and inorganic forms potentially available to microorganisms and plants. This is particularly true for N-poor ecosystems such as drylands, which are highly sensitive to climate change and desertification processes that can lead to the loss of soil nutrients such as N. We evaluated how different climatic, abiotic, plant and nutrient related factors correlate with N availability in semiarid Stipa tenacissima grasslands along a broad aridity gradient from Spain to Tunisia. Aridity had the strongest relationship with N availability, suggesting the importance of abiotic controls on the N cycle in drylands. Aridity appeared to modulate the effects of pH, plant cover and organic C (OC) on N availability. Our results suggest that N transformation rates, which are largely driven by variations in soil moisture, are not the direct drivers of N availability in the studied grasslands. Rather, the strong relationship between aridity and N availability could be driven by indirect effects that operate over long time scales (decades to millennia), including both biotic (e.g. plant cover) and abiotic (e.g. soil OC and pH). If these factors are in fact more important than short-term effects of precipitation on N transformation rates, then we might expect to observe a lagged decrease in N availability in response to increasing aridity. Nevertheless, our results suggest that the increase in aridity predicted with ongoing climate change will reduce N availability in the Mediterranean basin, impacting plant nutrient uptake and net primary production in semiarid grasslands throughout this region.

  19. Aridity modulates N availability in arid and semiarid Mediterranean grasslands.

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Manuel Delgado-Baquerizo

    Full Text Available While much is known about the factors that control each component of the terrestrial nitrogen (N cycle, it is less clear how these factors affect total N availability, the sum of organic and inorganic forms potentially available to microorganisms and plants. This is particularly true for N-poor ecosystems such as drylands, which are highly sensitive to climate change and desertification processes that can lead to the loss of soil nutrients such as N. We evaluated how different climatic, abiotic, plant and nutrient related factors correlate with N availability in semiarid Stipa tenacissima grasslands along a broad aridity gradient from Spain to Tunisia. Aridity had the strongest relationship with N availability, suggesting the importance of abiotic controls on the N cycle in drylands. Aridity appeared to modulate the effects of pH, plant cover and organic C (OC on N availability. Our results suggest that N transformation rates, which are largely driven by variations in soil moisture, are not the direct drivers of N availability in the studied grasslands. Rather, the strong relationship between aridity and N availability could be driven by indirect effects that operate over long time scales (decades to millennia, including both biotic (e.g. plant cover and abiotic (e.g. soil OC and pH. If these factors are in fact more important than short-term effects of precipitation on N transformation rates, then we might expect to observe a lagged decrease in N availability in response to increasing aridity. Nevertheless, our results suggest that the increase in aridity predicted with ongoing climate change will reduce N availability in the Mediterranean basin, impacting plant nutrient uptake and net primary production in semiarid grasslands throughout this region.

  20. Relationship between Soil Properties and Plant Diversity in Semiarid Grassland

    Directory of Open Access Journals (Sweden)

    Melda Dölarslan

    2017-07-01

    Full Text Available In ecological studies, soil-plant interaction is an important environmental factor. Soil chemical and physical properties affect plant richness and diversity. This study was carried out to investigate the relationship between soil physical and chemical properties, and plant diversity indexes (Shannon-Weiner and Simpson in semiarid grassland. Plant diversity indexes and soil properties were determined using 34 quadrats (5x5m on different parent materials (chrome, marble, serpentine, red chalk and red chalk mostra in semiarid grasslands in the Central Anatolia Region in Turkey. Plant samples were collected and recorded periodically from April to September (the vegetation period in 2014 for each quadrat. In order to determine the plant richness and diversity indexes, 3 sub-quadrats (1x1m were randomly added into each of 34 (5x5 m quadrats. To evaluate the relationship between plant diversity indexes and soil properties, composite soil samples were collected from the four corners, and the center of each quadrat 0-30 cm in depth, and which was mixing of those subsamples. Soil sand-silt-clay contents, soil reaction (pH, bulk density (BD, electrical conductivity (EC, CaCO3 and soil organic matter (SOM contents were measured. Relationship between plant diversity indexes measured in different months during vegetation period and soil properties of different parent material was statistically analysed using correlation analysis in SPSS 20.0. Modest correlation coefficient was found between the Simpson diversity index and SOM content, sand-silt-clay content, pH and EC for different months in vegetation period.