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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: Disaggregation of Soil Map Units for Improved Ecological Site and Vegetation Mapping: a Soil Systems Approach to Landscape Management in Rangelands

Location: Range Management Research

Project Number: 3050-11210-007-31
Project Type: Interagency Reimbursable Agreement

Start Date: Sep 25, 2013
End Date: Sep 30, 2015

Objective:
The overarching goal is to improve management decisions and develop a systematic basis for predicting trajectories of ecological degradation (e.g., desertification, woody plant encroachment) and restoration in heterogeneous landscapes. (Specific objectives detailed in proposal.)

Approach:
Utilize surface reflectance and elevation data to derive indices of soil, geology, vegetation, and landform to extract soil-landscape relationships relevant for both disaggregating existing soil survey polygons and developing soil prediction models for physical soil properties. Apply the predicted soil properties to a pedotransfer function for the estimation of hydraulic soil parameters important for understanding vegetation dynamics. Incorporate remotely sensed vegetation indices, vegetation monitoring data, climate data, management history, etc. to understand how and why vegetation changes across the landscape and develop models to predict how future environmental and anthropogenic drivers will affect vegetation patterns for improving management decisions.

Last Modified: 10/20/2014
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