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Research Project: Improved Management to Balance Production and Conservation in Great Plains Rangelands

Location: Rangeland Resources & Systems Research

2019 Annual Report


1a. Objectives (from AD-416):
Objective 1. Develop adaptive grazing management strategies for rangelands that balance objectives for improving livestock production and enhancing other ecosystem services under a variety of climatic conditions. Objective 2: Develop science-based decision-support tools for rangelands to aid land managers in enhancing livestock production and other ecosystem goods and services at ecological site and landscape levels. Objective 3: As part of the LTAR network, and in concert with similar long-term, land-based research infrastructure in the Central Great Plains Region, use the Central Plains Experimental Range LTAR to improve the observational capabilities and data accessibility of the LTAR network, to support research to sustain or enhance agricultural production and environmental quality in agroecosystems characteristic of the Central Great Plains, as per the LTAR site responsibilities and other information outlined in the 2011 USDA Long- LTAR Network Request for Information (RFI) to which the location successfully responded. Expand plant trait data collection and synthesis across the LTAR sites to provide more robust mechanistic explanations of plant responses to management strategies and climate change. Objective 4: WEPS: Validate untested science incorporated into WEPS for simulations of dryland crop rotations, tillage/no-tillage, organic soils, and residue cover, including the effects of within-field variability, against experimental data, and adjust algorithms where needed. Provide technology transfer of WEPS via data stewardship, data and algorithm documentation, and continual dialogue with NRCS. Objective 5: Survey and document grazing land model decision support functions requested by ranchers and public land managers; assess the ability of currently available models to reliably and accurately provide those functions using LTAR data; and outline a strategy to achieve a highly reliable, spatially-explicit, and high temporal resolution grazing land model that will meet the requested decision support needs.


1b. Approach (from AD-416):
Planned research is designed to address 1) improved management to balance livestock production and conservation (e.g., wildlife habitat) in Great Plains rangelands and 2) combine decades of prior experimental data with recent advances in plant trait research to better predict which plant species will thrive as climate (directional trends in warming, length of growing season and elevated carbon dioxide) and management (grazing and fire) change. Research will largely be conducted in semiarid rangelands of the western Great Plains, with a north-south environmental gradient from sagebrush grasslands of northeastern Wyoming (Thunder Basin National Grassland), northern mixed-grass prairie of southeastern Wyoming (High Plains Grasslands Research Station), and shortgrass steppe of northern Colorado (Central Plains Experimental Range – a Long-Term Agro-Ecosystem Research, LTAR network site). Field experiments will include (1) a new collaborative adaptive grazing management experiment involving an eleven member Stakeholder Group at the Central Plains Experimental Range, (2) evaluating the influence of black-tailed prairie dogs interacting with soil texture, topography and precipitation on livestock weight gains in shortgrass steppe at the Central Plains Experimental Range, (3) determinations of effects of management and conservation practices (prescribed fire, grazing management) and other disturbances (prairie dogs, wildfire) on vegetation and soil responses for seven major ecological sites using targeted field-based sampling in sagebrush grasslands (Thunder Basin National Grassland). For LTAR, will 1) refurbish 4 existing microwatersheds with new flumes, instrumentation, soil water devices and rain gauges, 2) install soil water monitoring in areas with biomass production plots, 3) expand GPS and pedometer monitoring of livestock grazing behavior, 4) increase sampling of phenology, plant traits and net primary productivity, and 5) install at least 2 Eddy Covariance towers for energy, water and carbon flux/balance measurements. Will develop science-based, region-specific information and technologies for agricultural and natural resource managers that enable climate-smart decision-making and where possible provide assistance to enable land managers to implement those decisions with work conducted as the Northern Plains USDA Climate Change Hub. Will predict how climate will interact with management to influence species composition and function using >25 plant functional traits of 60 species in two grassland ecosystems as plant species composition is the basis for production potential and most ecosystem services derived from rangeland ecosystems. We will then combine trait data with existing species composition data from long-term experiments to determine how management and climate will influence functional traits and therefore ecosystem services in western Great Plains rangelands.


3. Progress Report:
Research project 3012-21610-002-00D is the bridging research project that extended the prior project, which in turn resulted from a merger of two previous units and research projects: the Rangeland Resources Research Unit (project 3018-21610-001-00D) and Agricultural Systems Research Unit (project 3012-61660-007-00D). The objectives include four carried forward from the previous research projects (Objectives 1-3 from project 3018-21610-001-00D, and Objective 4 from project 3012-61660-007-00D), as well as a fifth objective added in the Spring of 2017. The first objective is centered on the Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management (CARM) experiment where a stakeholder group, comprised of 11 individuals (ranchers, extension, non-governmental conservation organizations, and land managers on state/federal lands), developed an Adaptive Grazing Management Plan with the following components: objectives for livestock, vegetation and wildlife; desired outcomes; monitoring needs; and rangeland management practices. Results have generated key insights about the tradeoffs and synergies among desired ecosystem services. First, management at a 10-fold greater stocking density significantly reduced cattle weight gains (by 11-16%) relative to the traditional grazing management at a moderate stocking rate each year for the first five years of this experiment. Second, CARM increased vegetation structural heterogeneity (a key aspect of wildlife habitat quality) among pastures but did not alter the composition or abundance of cool-season perennial grasses. Third, results have been mixed regarding pulse grazing and enhancing diverse grassland bird habitat for shortgrass-associated species (particularly McCown’s longspur) and taller-structure associated species (grasshopper sparrows, lark buntings). Quantifying tradeoffs between grazing management strategies for grassland birds and cattle weight gains provides an opportunity to estimate the economic costs of enhancing grassland bird habitat. A second adaptive grazing experiment is focused on early-season, targeted grazing of cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum) at two sites. This experiment aims to quantify cattle preference for cheatgrass relative to native perennial cool-season species over time and assist producers with decision-making related to timing of grazing for invasive plant control. Key results after three years include (1) high proportions of cheatgrass in cattle diets early in the grazing season suggest that cattle select for cheatgrass, and that selectivity varies among years, (2) annual and seasonal differences in selectivity appear to be related to differences in the timing of cheatgrass maturation, (3) early season grazing can reduce cheatgrass seed set by up to 80% within a growing season, and (4) early season forage, and cheatgrass in particular, provide a high quality diet and reasonable livestock weight gains without any protein or energy supplementation. The second objective is centered on research in the Thunder Basin region of northeastern Wyoming (convergence area of sagebrush grassland with shortgrass steppe and northern mixed-grass prairie) for improvement in decision support tools, principally state-and-transition models. In 2013 a collaborative research program was initiated under the leadership of a new scientist. Key results include (1) extensive sampling of the long-term effects of historical wildfires on plant community composition and ecosystem function demonstrated that wildfires do not promote cheatgrass invasion in this system, but they do lead to long-term ecosystem change via removal of shrubs and shifts in dominance from cool-season grasses to warm-season grasses and forbs, and (2) impacts of long-term livestock grazing and rest on plant communities and forage production revealed that 50+ years of rest led to shifts in grass dominance from warm-season perennials and native annuals to cool-season perennials and exotic annual grasses, but did not impact the abundance or size of sagebrush shrubs. Data from a manipulative experiment started in 2015 revealed that prairie dogs and historical wildfires shaped vegetation structure more than did two years of rest from livestock or ungulate grazing in this ecosystem. Prairie dogs were associated with shorter structure vegetation, more shrub browsing, and higher quality herbaceous forage throughout the growing season. Prairie dog effects on total plant biomass varied with spring precipitation and colonies had less plant biomass than uncolonized areas during drought years but not during average to wet years. Research efforts also explored the impacts of different management strategies and disturbances on habitat of multiple grassland bird species utilizing this ecotonal region. Sites that were burned, sites colonized by prairie dogs, and undisturbed shrublands all supported different groups of bird species. Sites colonized by prairie dogs were shown to uniquely provide breeding habitat for the mountain plover (Charadrius montanus) which is a species of conservation concern in the region. These findings emphasize the importance of heterogeneity in vegetation structure for increasing grassland bird diversity. The third objective is focused on the USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub and the Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network. Since its creation in 2014, the USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub has worked to better prepare livestock producers and other rangeland managers for increasing weather variability and a changing climate, by actively engaging stakeholders in co-development of interactive learning experiences and social networks. For example, the Climate Hub’s collaborative efforts with Cooperative Extension have included several multi-state projects, which were highlighted at the March 2019 AgroClimate Outreach Exchange conference: (1) scenario planning for resilient beef systems, (2) Climate Smart Agriculture curriculum for Extension, (3) connecting agricultural producers to early adopters of adaptation strategies for weather and extreme events, (4) an AgriTools app and Hail Know website for crop producers in Nebraska, (5) wildfire lessons learned and kits for ranchers, and (6) Climate Learning laboratory – youth activities. In collaboration with Colorado State University, University of Arizona, National Drought Mitigation Center, and USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), the USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub developed Grass-Cast, a grassland production forecasting tool for the entire Great Plains, and made it easily available to stakeholders through a new website (http://grasscast.agsci.colostate.edu/) which the team enhanced in its second year based on user feedback. Research efforts associated with the LTAR network have focused on: (1) development and implementation of the aspirational agriculture common network experiment (which includes the CARM experiment, above), (2) completion of fully-automated and real-time available soil moisture (to 3 feet depth) monitoring network across the 15,500 acre Central Plains Experimental Range, (3) construction and operation of eddy covariance towers to continuously measure carbon, water, and energy fluxes in different grazing management strategies, (4) renovation and operation of four microwatersheds to determine runoff from different grazing management strategies, (5) determining the influence of ecological sites on fecal nutrient quality and livestock gains, (6) quantification of grazing behavior and use patterns with GPS collars, (7) collection of vegetation cover, composition, density, and structure across 448 spatially-explicit locations, and (8) determining contributions of adaptive management to livestock gain and economic returns. For the fourth objective, a new version of the Wind Erosion Prediction System (WEPS) model is being tested for public and NRCS release. Interface improvements include an additional satellite layer to allow a user to select a field’s location from a map, an additional Management/Crop Rotation Editor crop interval display and automated updating of WEPS management files with the current operation and crop/residue records. Data enhancements include updated climate and wind databases and revisions to the operation and crop/residue records. Significant progress was made on incorporating the Universal Plant Growth Model into WEPS. In addition, progress is being made in the development of a new multi-subregion interface. ARS researchers continued collaboration with the National Wind Erosion Research Network, operating a rangeland site and establishing a new dryland cropland site. For the fifth objective, we published a comprehensive literature review of rangeland models for simulating ecosystem services and environmental impacts across LTAR. The APEX (Agricultural Policy/Environmental eXtender Model) and GPFARM (Great Plains Framework for Agricultural Resource Management) models were selected for comparing grazing management practices (traditional vs adaptive grazing management) at the Central Plains Experimental Range, following adaptation of the models for plant species and livestock weight gain.


4. Accomplishments
1. Engaging stakeholders in participatory research brings valuable, real-world perspectives. Engaging stakeholders in participatory research brings valuable, real-world perspectives. Engagement of stakeholders with diverse perspectives on agricultural production systems and environmental issues—as co-developers and co-participants in agricultural research, from discovery to application to outreach—holds promise for advancing sustainable agricultural intensification. ARS scientists from Fort Collins, Colorado, and Cheyenne, Wyoming - in collaboration with scientists from the University of Wyoming, Colorado State University, and Texas A&M University, and an 11-member Stakeholder Group representing a diverse membership of ranchers, state and federal land managers, and non-government conservation organizations - initiated a novel, participatory research project in 2011. The project evaluated the efficacy of adaptive management for sustaining livestock production, wildlife habitat, and economics of ranches and rural communities in the western Great Plains. Lessons learned from this project have been implemental locally by ranchers and the U.S. Forest Service, and extended regionally by outreach engagement through the USDA Northern Plains Climate Hub, the USDA Long-Term Agroecosystem Research (LTAR) network, and the University of Nebraska, and even internationally. With its emphasis on human dimensions and social-ecological systems, this project has been showcased by the Group of Twenty (G-20) Agroecosystem Living Laboratories effort as the primary U.S. example of stakeholder engagement in participatory research. The project generated practical and impactful improvements in management of complex agroecosystems, increased engagement of ranchers with conservation and environmental groups and researchers, and provided a model for co-production of trans-disciplinary research to address contemporary societal issues.

2. Altering the date when cattle are removed from grazing pasture can improve ranching sustainability in the western Great Plains. Altering the date when cattle are removed from grazing pasture can improve ranching sustainability in the western Great Plains. Economic vitality of beef production in semiarid environments is increasingly challenged by a changing climate and highly variable precipitation, within and across-years. In an effort to maximize economic return, ranchers are faced each year with the decision of when to move cattle off of rangeland and on to feedlots for finishing. ARS scientists in Cheyenne, Wyoming, and Fort Collins, Colorado, in collaboration with scientists from Argentina and the University of Wyoming, designed a long-term research project (2003-2017) to establish a scientific basis for this critical decision. The project used livestock gain and economic (market) data from this 15-year period that included a range of weather conditions, including drought, to quantify among-year variability in net revenue based on the date cattle were delivered for finishing. Results showed that livestock gains were negligible from early September to the end of the grazing season. Thus, removing cattle from pastures in early September instead of October, which is traditionally done, can increase mean net revenue and generate ecological advantages for western Great Plains grasslands such as great plant residue for soil cover and a longer rest period for the vegetation. Further, results highlighted extreme variability in net revenue from beef production, which presents difficult challenges to economic sustainability for individual ranching operations and rural economies in this region.


Review Publications
Connell, L., Porensky, L.M., Chalfoun, A., Scasta, J. 2019. Black-tailed prairie dog Cynomys ludovicianus (Sciuridae), metapopulation response to novel sourced conspecific signals. Journal of Animal Behavior. 150:189-199. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.anbehav.2019.02.004.
Sima, N.Q., Andales, A.A., Harmel, R.D., Ma, L., Trout, T.J. 2019. Evaluating RZWQM2-CERES-Maize and water production functions for predicting irrigated maize yield and biomass in eastern Colorado. Transactions of the ASABE. 62(1):1-11. https://doi.org/10.13031/trans.13045.
Wilmer, H.N., Porensky, L.M., Fernandez-Gimenez, M., Derner, J.D., Ritten, J., Peck, D.E. 2019. Community-engaged research builds a natureculture of hope on multifunctional North America Great Plains rangelands. Social Sciences. 8(1):22. https://doi.org/10.3390/socsci8010022.
Ling, B., Goodin, D., Raynor, E.J., Joem, A. 2019. Hyperspectral analysis of leaf pigments and nutritional elements in tallgrass prairie vegetation. Frontiers in Plant Science. 10(142):1-13. https://doi.org/10.3389/fpls.2019.00142.
Lynn, S., Newman, G., Kaplan, N.E., Newman, S., Scarpino, R. 2019. Designing a platform for ethical citizen science: A case study of CitSci.org. Citizen Science: Theory and Practice. 4(1):1-15. https://doi.org/10.5334/cstp.227.
Soper, J.M., Raynor, E.J., Wienhold, C., Schacht, W.H. 2019. Evaluating composition and conservation value of roadside plant communities in a grassland biome. Environmental Management. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00267-019-01154-x.
Duchardt, C., Porensky, L.M., Augustine, D.J., Beck, J. 2018. Disturbance shapes avian communities on a grassland-sagebrush ecotone. Ecosphere. 9:e02483. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2483.
Young, T.P., Porensky, L.M., Riginos, C., Veblen, K.E., Odadi, W.O., Kimuyu, D.M., Charles, G.K., Young, H.S. 2019. Relationships between cattle and biodiversity in multiuse landscape revealed by Kenya long-term exclosure experiment. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 71:281-291. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2018.01.005.
Riginos, C., Porensky, L.M., Veblen, K.E., Young, T.P. 2017. Herbivory and drought generate short-term stochasticity and long-term stability in a savanna understory community. Ecological Applications. 28(2):323-335. https://doi.org/10.1002/eap.1649.
Connell, L., Porensky, L.M., Scasta, J. 2019. Prarie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus) influence on forage quantity and quality in a grazed grassland-shrubland ecotone. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 72:360-373. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2018.10.004.
Goheen, J., Augustine, D.J., Veblen, K., Kimuyu, D., Palmer, T., Porensky, L.M., Pringle, R., Ratnam, J., Sankaran, M., Charles, G. 2018. Conservation lessons from large-mammal manipulations in East African savannas: the KLEE, UHURU, and GLADE experiments. Annals of the New York Academy of Sciences. https://doi.org/10.1111/nyas.13848.
Duchardt, C.J., Augustine, D.J., Beck, J.L. 2019. Threshold responses of grassland and sagebrush birds to patterns of disturbance created by an ecosystem engineer. Landscape Ecology. 34(4):895-909. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10980-019-00813-y.
Wigley, B., Coetsee, C., Augustine, D.J., Ratnam, J., Hattas, D., Sankaran, M. 2019. A thorny issue: Woody plant defense and growth rates in an East African savanna. Journal of Ecology. 107:1839-1851. https://doi.org/10.1111/1365-2745.13140.
Delgado, J.A., Vandenberg, B.C., Kaplan, N.E., Neer, D.L., Wilson, G.J., D Adamo, R.E., Carter, J.D., Ogan, L., Grow, N.O., Marquez, R.D., Arthur, D.K., Eve, M.D., Del Grosso, S.J., Johnson, J.M., Karlen, D.L., Durso, L.M., Finley, J.W., Acosta Martinez, V., Harmel, R.D., Derner, J.D. 2018. Agricultural Collaborative Research Outcomes System: AgCROS - An emerging network of networks for national food and environmental security and human health. Journal of Soil and Water Conservation. 73(6):158A-164A. https://doi.org/10.2489/jswc.73.6.158A.
Irisarri, G., Derner, J.D., Ritten, J.P., Peck, D.E. 2018. Beef production and net revenue variability from grazing systems on semiarid grasslands of North America. Livestock Science. 220:93-99. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.livsci.2018.12.009.
Tatarko, J., Wagner, L.E., Fox, F.A. 2019. The wind erosion prediction system and its use in conservation planning. In: Wendroth, O., Lascano, L., Ma, L., Wendroth, R.J. Lascano, L. Ma, editors. Bridging Among Disciplines by Synthesizing Soil and Plant Processes, Advances in Agricultural Systems Modeling 8, 2019. 8th edition. Madison, WI. American Society of Agronomy, Crop Science Society of America, and Soil Science Society of America, Inc. p. 71-109. https://doi.org/10.2134/advagricsystmodel8.2017.0021.
Diaz-Nigenda, E., Tatarko, J., Mendez, Z., Morales, W., Iglesias, H., Ibarquengoitia, M. 2018. Measurement and modeling air quality impacts of dust emissions from unpaved roads in Tuxtla Gutierrez, Chiapas. Geosciences. 8:284. https://doi.org/10.3390/geosciences8080284.
Gonzales, H., Tatarko, J., Casada, M.E., Maghirang, R., Hagen, L.J., Barden, C. 2019. Dust reduction efficiency of a single row vegetative barrier (Maclura pomifera). Transactions of the ASABE. 61(6):1907-1914. https://doi.org/10.13031/trans.12879.
Gu, C., Mu, X., Gao, P., Zhao, G., Sun, W., Tan, X., Tatarko, J. 2018. Influence of vegetation restoration on soil physical properties in the Loess Plateau, China. Journal of Soils and Sediments. 19:716-728. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11368-018-2083-3.
Porensky, L.M., Perryman, B.L., Madsen, M., Williamson, M.A., Leger, E.A. 2019. Combining active restoration and targeted grazing to establish native plants and reduce fuel loads in invaded ecosystems. Ecology and Evolution. 8:12533-12546. https://doi.org/10.1002/ece3.4642.
Connell, L., Scasta, J., Porensky, L.M. 2018. Prairie dogs and wildfires shape vegetation structure in a sagebrush grassland more than does rest from ungulate grazing. Ecosphere. 9(8):e02390. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2390.
Porensky, L.M., Derner, J.D., Pellatz, D.W. 2018. Plant community responses to historical wildfire in a shrubland-grassland ecotone reveal hybrid disturbance response. Ecosphere. 9(8):302363. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2363.
Gaffney, R.M., Porensky, L.M., Gao, F.N., Irisarri, J., Durante, M., Derner, J.D., Augustine, D.J. 2018. Using APAR to predict aboveground plant productivity in semi-arid rangelands: Spatial and temporal relationships differ. Remote Sensing. 10:1474. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs10091474.
Wilmer, H.N., Derner, J.D., Fernandez-Gimenez, M., Augustine, D.J., Briske, D., Porensky, L.M. 2018. Collaborative adaptive rangeland management fosters management-science partnerships. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 71:646-657. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2017.07.008.
Derner, J.D., Smart, A., Toombs, T.P., Larsen, D., McCulley, R., Goodwin, J., Sims, S., Roche, L.M. 2018. Soil health as a transformational change agent for U.S. grazing lands management. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 1(4):403-408. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2018.03.007.
Joyce, L.A., Bentrup, G., Cheng, S., Kolb, P., Schoeneberger, M., Derner, J.D. 2017. Native and agricultural forests at risk to a changing climate in the Northern Plains. Climatic Change. 146:59-74. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10584-017-2070-5.
Elias, E.H., McVey, D.S., Peters, D.C., Derner, J.D., Pelzel-McCluskey, A., Schrader, T.S., Rodriguez, L.L. 2018. Contributions of hydrology to Vesicular Stomatitis Virus emergence in the western United States. Ecosystems. 22:416-433. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-018-0278-5.
Rigby, C.W., Jensen, K.B., Creech, J.E., Thacker, E.T., Waldron, B.L., Derner, J.D. 2018. Establishment and trends in persistence of selected perennial cool-season grasses in the western United States. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 71(6):681-690. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2018.06.008.
Peters, D.C., Burruss, N., Rodriguez, L.L., McVey, D.S., Elias, E.H., Pelzel-McCluskey, A.M., Derner, J.D., Schrader, T.S., Yao, J., Pauszek, S.J., Lombard, J., Archer, S.R., Bestelmeyer, B.T., Browning, D.M., Brungard, C., Hatfield, J.L., Hanan, N.P., Herrick, J.E., Okin, G.S., Sala, O.E., Savoy, H., Vivoni, E.R. 2018. An integrated view of complex landscapes: A big data-model integration approach to transdisciplinary science. Bioscience. 68:653-669. https://doi.org/10.1093/biosci/biy069.
Fernandez-Gimenez, M., Augustine, D.J., Wilmer, H.N., Porensky, L.M., Derner, J.D., Briske, D., Stewart, M. 2019. Complexity fosters learning in collaborative adaptive management. Ecology and Society. 24(2):29. https://doi.org/10.5751/ES-10963-240229.
Bergstrom, B.J., Sensenig, R.L., Augustine, D.J., Young, T.P. 2018. Searching for cover: soil enrichment and herbivore exclusion, not fire, enhance African savanna small-mammal abundance. Ecosphere. 9(11):e02519. https://doi.org/10.1002/ecs2.2519.
Griffin-Nolan, R.J., Ocheltree, T.W., Mueller, K.E., Blumenthal, D.M., Kray, J.A., Knapp, A.K. 2019. Extending the osmometer method for assessing drought tolerance in herbaceous species. Oecologia. 189(2):353-363. https://doi.org/10.1007/s00442-019-04336-w.
Hoover, D.L., Koriakin, K., Albrigsten, J., Ocheltree, T. 2019. Comparing water-related plant functional traits among dominant grasses of the Colorado Plateau: Implications for drought resistance. Plant and Soil. https://doi.org/10.1007/s11104-019-04107-9.
Winkler, D., Belnap, J., Hoover, D.L., Reed, S., Duniway, M. 2019. Shrub persistence and increased grass mortality in response to drought in dryland systems. Global Change Biology. 25:3121-3135. https://doi.org/10.1111/gcb.14667.
Malone, R.W., Herbstritt, S., Ma, L., Richard, T., Cibin, R., Gassman, P., Zhang, H., Karlen, D.L., Hatfield, J.L., Obrycki, J., Helmers, M., Jaynes, D.B., Kaspar, T.C., Parkin, T.B. 2019. Corn stover harvest and N losses in central Iowa. Science of the Total Environment. 663:776-792. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.scitotenv.2019.01.328.
Zhang, H., Malone, R.W., Ma, L., Ahuja, L.R., Anapalli, S.S., Marek, G.W., Gowda, P.H., Evett, S.R., Howell, T.A. 2018. Modeling evapotranspiration and crop growth of irrigated and non-irrigated corn in the Texas high plains using RZWQM. Transactions of the ASABE. 61(5):1653-1666. https://doi.org/10.13031/trans.12838.
Ling, E.J., Raynor, E.J., Goodin, D., Joem, A. 2019. Effects of fire and large herbivores on canopy nitrogen in a tallgrass prairie. Remote Sensing. 11:1364. https://doi.org/10.3390/rs11111364.
Rakkar, M.K., Blanco-Canqui, H., Tatarko, J. 2019. Predicting soil wind erosion potential under different corn residue management scenarios in the central Great Plains. Geoderma. 353:25-34. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.geoderma.2019.05.040.
Gersie, S., Augustine, D.J., Derner, J.D. 2019. Cattle grazing distribution in shortgrass steppe: Influences of topography and saline soils. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 72:602-614. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2019.01.009.
Carrillo, Y., Dijkstra, F.A., Lecain, D.R., Blumenthal, D.M., Pendall, E. 2018. Elevated CO2 and warming cause interactive effects on soil carbon and shifts in carbon use by bacteria. Ecology Letters. 21(11):1639-1648. https://doi.org/10.1111/ele.13140.
Hovenden, M., Leuzinger, S., Newton, P., Fletcher, A., Fatichi, S., Hofmockel, K., Reich, P.B., Andresen, L.S., Beier, C., Blumenthal, D.M. 2019. Globally consistent influences of seasonal precipitation limit grassland biomass response to elevated CO2. Nature. 5:167-173. https://doi.org/10.1038/s41477-018-0356-x.
Nelson, L., Blumenthal, D.M., Williams, D., Pendall, E. 2017. Digging into the roots of belowground carbon cycling following seven years of Prairie Heating and CO2 Enrichment (PHACE), Wyoming USA. Soil Biology and Biochemistry. 115:169-177. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.soilbio.2017.08.022.
Ghajar, S., Fernandez-Giminez, Wilmer, H.N. 2019. Home on the digital range: Ranchers' web access and use. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 72:711-720. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2018.12.009.
Derner, J.D., Augustine, D.J., Frank, D. 2018. Does grazing matter for soil organic carbon sequestration in the western North American Great Plains? Ecosystems. 22(5):1088-1094. https://doi.org/10.1007/s10021-018-0324-3.
Peck, D.E., Derner, J.D., Parton, W., Hartman, M., Fuchs, B. 2019. Flexible stocking with Grass-Cast: A new grassland productivity forecast to translate climate outlooks with ranchers. Western Agricultural Economics Association. 17(1):24-39.
Windh, J.L., Ritten, J.P., Derner, J.D., Paisley, S.L., Lee, B.P. 2019. Economic cost analysis of continuous-season-long versus rotational systems. Western Agricultural Economics Association. 17(1):62-72.
McMaster, G.S., Edmunds, D.A., Marquez, R., Haley, S.D., Buchleiter, G.W., Bryne, P.F., Green, T.R., Erskine, R.H., Lighthart, N.P., Kipka, H., Fox, F.A., Wagner, L.E., Tatarko, J., Maragues, M., Ascough II, J.C. 2019. Winter wheat phenology simulations improve when adding responses to water stress. Agronomy Journal. 3:1-11. https://doi.org/10.2134/agronj2018.09.0615.
Wilmer, H.N., Augustine, D.J., Derner, J.D., Fernandez-Giminez, M., Briske, D., Miller, K. 2018. Diverse management strategies produce similar ecological outcomes on ranches in the Western Great Plains: A social-ecological assessment. Rangeland Ecology and Management. 71:626-636. https://doi.org/10.1016.j.rama.2017.08.001.
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