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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR ARID RANGELANDS Title: The regional ecology of alternative states and thresholds: Strategies for ecological site descriptions

Authors
item Bestelmeyer, Brandon
item Tugel, Arlene - USDA NRCS
item Peacock, Geroge - USDA NRCS
item Robinett, D - CONSULTANT
item Briske, D - TEXAS A&M
item Stringham, T - OREGON STATE UNIV
item Shaver, Pat - USDA NRCS
item Brown, J - USDA NRCS
item Herrick, Jeffrey
item Sanchez, H - USDA NRCS
item Havstad, Kris

Submitted to: International Rangeland Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: June 1, 2008
Publication Date: June 30, 2008
Citation: Bestelmeyer, B.T., Tugel, A.J., Peacock, G., Robinett, D., Briske, D., Stringham, T.K., Shaver, P., Brown, J.R., Herrick, J.E., Sanchez, H., Havstad, K.M. 2008. The regional ecology of alternative states and thresholds: Strategies for ecological site descriptions. In: Proceedings Multifunctional Grasslands in a Changing World. XXI International Grassland Congress, VIII International Rangeland Congress. June 30-July 5, 2008, Hohhot, China. p. 644.

Technical Abstract: Land dynamics, ecosystem resilience, and the interaction of management decisions with them vary significantly across space. One-size-fits-all applications across distinct land types have been responsible for many failures in rangeland management. Ecological Site Descriptions (ESDs) and similar land unit classification systems specify the characteristics of different land areas associated with variation in rangeland potential, ecological dynamics, vulnerabilities, and monitoring needs. State-and-transition models (STMs) embedded within ESDs specify the plant community phases, alternative states, and characteristics of thresholds observed within particular land areas. In spite of considerable conceptual advances with regard to general STM structure and mechanisms, strategies for data-driven development of ESDs and STMs have been poorly developed.

Last Modified: 12/20/2014
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