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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: A Cost-Effective Soil and Vegetation Monitoring Protocol for Adaptive Management

Authors
item Herrick, Jeffrey
item Rango, Albert
item Havstad, Kris

Submitted to: International Rangeland Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: July 26, 2003
Publication Date: July 26, 2003
Citation: HERRICK, J.E., RANGO, A., HAVSTAD, K.M. A COST-EFFECTIVE SOIL AND VEGETATION MONITORING PROTOCOL FOR ADAPTIVE MANAGEMENT. PROCEEDINGS OF THE VIITH INTERNATIONAL RANGELAND CONGRESS. 2003. P. 704-706.

Technical Abstract: Rangeland monitoring is frequently limited by high costs and low relevance to management. Furthermore, most protocols continue to focus on the average status of a single ecosystem property, such as forage production, while our evolving understanding of nonequilibrium dynamics and local threshold responses require information on how complex ecosystem processes vary across the landscape over time (National Research Council 1994; Society for Range Management 1995). We describe a simple, quantitative monitoring protocol designed to be used in conjunction with state and transition models to increase management effectiveness at multiple spatial and temporal scales (Herrick et al. 2003). The protocol integrates ground-based soil and vegetation measurements with simple remote sensing technologies (e.g., aerial photographs). This approach allows relatively large areas to be monitored while focusing most of the effort on those areas with the highest probability of change. The protocol also clearly distinguishes between long-term and short-term indicators. Long-term indicators are used to monitor relatively persistent management effects, while short-term indicators are used to adjust management on a daily to seasonal basis.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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