Location: Northwest Watershed Management Research
Title: Weather and climate applications for rangeland restoration planning Authors
Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2010
Publication Date: February 6, 2011
Citation: Cho, J., Hardegree, S.P., Schneider, J.M. 2011. Weather and climate applications for rangeland restoration planning. In: Abstracts of the 64th Annual Meeting, Society for Range Management, Billins, MT, Feb 6-10, 2011 (CD-ROM Abstract). Technical Abstract: Rangeland ecosystems generally have an arid or semi-arid climatology, and are characterized by relatively high variability in seasonal and annual patterns of precipitation. Weather variability during seedling establishment is universally acknowledged as a principal determinant of rangeland seeding success, but restoration planners generally only use weather information retrospectively to qualitatively explain seeding failure. Current state-and-transition models acknowledge that there are a limited set of potential trajectories for moving between undesirable and desirable vegetation states. Current ecological site descriptions include general climate information such as annual precipitation ranges, average monthly temperature minima and maxima, seasonality, and growing-season characteristics but do not address the probabilities associated with transition pathways that are influenced by weather and climate variability. Inclusion of site-specific information on weather and climate variability may improve the utility of these site descriptions and models for rehabilitation and restoration planning. We present sources of weather information for Great Basin rangeland restoration planning, modeling approaches for interpreting interactions between weather variables and the ecological processes driving succession, and general approaches for understanding how weather variability, per se, can be incorporated into alternative planning scenarios for historical, forecast and alternative future climatic regimes.