Cattle as ecosystem
New grazing management enhances rangeland biodiversity
By Justin D. Derner, David J. Augustine and Emily J. Kachergis
Climate, soils, topography, grazing, and fire have shaped the composition and structure of vegetation on rangelands in the American West. Collectively, the many possible combinations of these different factors should lead to diverse plant communities and associated diverse wildlife species. Differences in vegetation structure (i.e., how tall above the soil surface the plants are) and composition (kind
and amounts of different plants) are both important for biodiversity.
To read entire article click here
CO-LABS 2010 Govonor's Award for High-Impact Research
ARS scientist Dr. Jack Morgan recognized for his work in Global Change Research. Watch video of the award that the Colorado Labs put on YouTube.
RESULTS of the RANGELAND DECISION-MAKING SURVEY
Wyoming rangelands encompass diverse lands across the state, from prairie to sagebrush to mountain forests. These lands are managed for livestock production as well as a variety of other goals such as wildlife, energy, water, and open space. How management decisions are made on these diverse lands was the central question for the Rangeland Decision-Making Survey, a collaborative effort among the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA), the USDA-Agricultural Research Service, the University of Wyoming and the University of California-Davis. The survey asked WSGA producer members about their goals, ranch characteristics, and management practices. A total of 307 ranchers (50%) responded. Fact Sheet
For more information on the survey contact : Emily Kachergis
New Approaches to Managing Semi-arid Grasslands: Promoting Habitat Diversity While Supporting Livestock Production
Ted Toombs, Environmental Defense FundRangeland Resources Research Unit
David Augustine, USDA-ARS,
Justin Derner, USDA-ARS, Rangeland Resources Research Unit
Seth Gallagher, Rocky Mountain Bird Observatory
Bryce Kruger, Wyoming Game and Fish Department
Drought Management Workshop
Drought is a normal part of Nebraska climate. It is not a question of if drought will occur, but rather when it will occur, how long it will last, and are you prepared. This one-day workshop offered a variety of speakers from Nebraska, Wyoming and Colorado as well as a variety of topics that will help ranchers to better prepare for and respond to future drought. A presentation by Justin Derner(ARS Cheyenne, WY) and Jack Morgan(ARS Fort Collins, CO) discussed climate change and its potential management impacts for Rangelands of the Great Plains.
Drought Presentation (3.79 MB)
ARS News Makers
A whole new meaning–or rather, an old one–to “going viral”:
The latest issue of our quarterly online newsletter Healthy Animals offers surprising news from microbiologist Julia Ridpath at our ARS National Animal Disease Center at Ames, Iowa, on just how much cattle persistently infected with bovine viral diarrhea virus could be costing producers, and more on that strange grasshopper-plant-cattle virus connection from microbiologist Barbara Drolet at our ARS Arthropod-Borne Animal Diseases Research Laboratory in Laramie, Wyo., and research rangeland management specialist Justin Derner at our ARS High Plains Grassland Research Station in Cheyenne, Wyo. (4/14)
The secret of their success:
New research by ecologist Dana Blumenthalat our ARS Rangeland Resources Research Unit in Fort Collins, CO, has shown that two key causes of plant invasion--escape from natural enemies, and increases in plant resources--act in concert, and that global change is likely to exacerbate invasion by exotic plants. (4/30)
Article published in Cow Country -- Winter 2009.
Article written about Gobal change research done by the RRRU.
Health and Environment Reporter
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