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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SEMIARID RANGELAND ECOSYSTEMS: THE CONSERVATION-PRODUCTION INTERFACE

Location: Rangeland Resources Research

Title: Managing for Biodiversity and Livestock: A Scale-Dependent Approach for Promoting Vegetation Heterogenity in Western Great Plains Grasslands

Authors
item Toombs, Theodore - ENVIRONMENTAL DEFENSE FND
item Derner, Justin
item Augustine, David
item Krueger, Bryce - WYOMING GAME AND FISH
item Gallagher, Seth - ROCKY MTN BIRD OBS

Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: April 6, 2010
Publication Date: June 15, 2010
Repository URL: http://parking.nal.usda.gov/shortterm/21483_67.Toombsetal2010Rangelands.pdf
Citation: Toombs, T.P., Derner, J.D., Augustine, D.J., Krueger, B., Gallagher, S. 2010. Managing for Biodiversity and Livestock: A Scale-Dependent Approach for Promoting Vegetation Heterogenity in Western Great Plans Rangelands. Rangelands. 32(3):10-15.

Interpretive Summary: Grasslands that differ in structure and composition of vegetation can support a greater number of plant and animal species. Management strategies should strive to maintain (or increase) differences in structure and composition of vegetation to increase habitat diversity for wildlife, improve overall grassland health, and help recover declining grassland bird populations. We outline an approach that assists with decision making for land managers at different spatial scales to maintain or improve differences in structure and composition of vegetation. Our approach can help land managers identify appropriate scales at which to address differences in structure and composition of vegetation, and suggest important management considerations, and indentify land management practices that can improve structure and composition of vegetation at the different spatial scales.

Technical Abstract: Grasslands with heterogeneous vegetation structure and composition support a greater number of plant and animal species. To increase habitat diversity for wildlife, improve overall grassland health, and help recover declining grassland bird populations, management strategies should maintain or maximize inherent vegetation heterogeneity. We outline a scale-dependent approach to facilitate grassland management decisions that maintain or improve vegetation heterogeneity. Our approach can help land managers identify appropriate scales at which to address vegetation heterogeneity, suggest important management considerations at each scale, and identify land management practices that can improve vegetation heterogeneity at each scale.

Last Modified: 8/29/2014
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