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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: DISTURBANCE ASSESSMENT AND MITIGATION OF GREAT BASIN RANGELAND Title: Assessment of range planting as a conservation practice

Authors
item Hardegree, Stuart
item Roundy, B - BYU
item Shaw, Nancy - USFS
item Moffet, Corey
item Monaco, Thomas
item Jones, Thomas
item Redente, E - CSU

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: September 1, 2008
Publication Date: February 8, 2009
Citation: Hardegree, S.P., B.A. Roundy, N.L. Shaw., C.A. Moffet, T.A. Monaco, T.A. Jones and E.F. Redente. 2009. Assessment of range planting as a conservation practice. In: Abstracts of the 62nd Annual Meeting, Society for Range Management, Albuquerque, NM, Feb 8-12, 2009 (CD-ROM Abstract).

Interpretive Summary: NRCS range-planting Conservation Practice standards are used to develop management recommendations for improving vegetation composition and productivity of grazed plant communities. Individual Conservation Practice recommendations are implemented within a Conservation-Management-System in areas where the existing plant-community attributes are insufficient to meet management goals for productivity and species composition, and where natural recovery toward a more desirable State is not expected to occur. It is assumed that a change in State to a more desirable plant community will be associated with the following Conservation Effects: improved forages for livestock and wildlife; improved water quality and quantity; reduced wind or water erosion; limited weed invasion and dominance; decreased catastrophic fire; and increased carbon sequestration. Successful Conservation-Practice implementation is significantly affected by species selection, seeding rate, seeding depth, seedbed preparation, planting season, post-planting management and weed control practices, all of which are also affected by weather conditions in the years before, during and after specific management actions. Assessment of the range-planting literature must, therefore, be separated into evaluation of the literature documenting: individual Conservation-Practice effects on the trajectory between alternative States; Conservation Effects associated with different States; and climatic impacts on the success of individual Conservation Practices. Weather and climate effects drive specific management recommendations for species selection, seedbed preparation practices and other conservation-management strategies. Future studies should consider modifications to their experimental design that would better accommodate meta-analysis of specific Conservation Practices. Future research should also be conducted to incorporate long-term and very-long-term (3-6 month) weather-forecast probabilities into current Conservation Practice management recommendations.

Technical Abstract: NRCS range-planting Conservation Practice standards are used to develop management recommendations for improving vegetation composition and productivity of grazed plant communities. Individual Conservation Practice recommendations are implemented within a Conservation-Management-System in areas where the existing plant-community attributes are insufficient to meet management goals for productivity and species composition, and where natural recovery toward a more desirable State is not expected to occur. It is assumed that a change in State to a more desirable plant community will be associated with the following Conservation Effects: improved forages for livestock and wildlife; improved water quality and quantity; reduced wind or water erosion; limited weed invasion and dominance; decreased catastrophic fire; and increased carbon sequestration. Successful Conservation-Practice implementation is significantly affected by species selection, seeding rate, seeding depth, seedbed preparation, planting season, post-planting management and weed control practices, all of which are also affected by weather conditions in the years before, during and after specific management actions. Assessment of the range-planting literature must, therefore, be separated into evaluation of the literature documenting: individual Conservation-Practice effects on the trajectory between alternative States; Conservation Effects associated with different States; and climatic impacts on the success of individual Conservation Practices. Weather and climate effects drive specific management recommendations for species selection, seedbed preparation practices and other conservation-management strategies. Future studies should consider modifications to their experimental design that would better accommodate meta-analysis of specific Conservation Practices. Future research should also be conducted to incorporate long-term and very-long-term (3-6 month) weather-forecast probabilities into current Conservation Practice management recommendations.

Last Modified: 12/18/2014
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