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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Nri Analysis, Assessment & Integration of State and Transition Models into Ecological Site Descriptions, and Rangeland Wemo Model

Location: Range Management Research

2013 Annual Report

1a.Objectives (from AD-416):
1) Modify NRI to increase sensitivity to conservation treatment effects through modification of sampling framework and integration and enhancement of existing air photo acquisition (higher resolution, more coordinated with ground measures) and analysis. 2) Increase state and transition model accuracy, precision and predictive capacity and integrate into NRI. Develop techniques for integrating new remote sensing technologies into NRI to facilitate CEAP practice effects estimation. 3) Increase capacity to accurately estimate conservation practice effects on wind erosion.

1b.Approach (from AD-416):
1) Remote sensing integration. Develop and test remote sensing acquisition and interpretation technologies. 2) Sampling design. Optimize statistical design to address both local and national requirements for precision. 3) Coordinate and integrate model parameter and ground-based measurements so that ground based measurements can be used to (a) generate statistics at both national and (where sufficient replication exists) local scales, (b) calibrate photo-interpretation, and (c) provide input data for models. 4) Integrate NRI with research and model results using ecological site descriptions to generate Conservation Effects Assessments at national and local scales. 5) Support changes in field technology used to sample NRI on-site field locations. 6) Modify and adapt rangeland wind erosion model (WEMO) to better estimate the impact/benefit of conservation practices for plant community associations and Ecological Sites.

3.Progress Report:

In 2013 we initiated work to improve predictions of rangeland wind erosion using the model WEMO through more precise estimates of soil erodibility. We also developed a new approach for estimating catastrophic soil loss and deposition using analysis of stereo-photographs using imagery that can be obtained with existing cameras typically contracted by the NRI, and initiated the development of a database to support the development of improved ecological site descriptions.

Last Modified: 1/27/2015
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