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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Tucson, Arizona » SWRC » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #138557


item Marsett, Robert
item QI, J.
item Biedenbender, Sharon
item Heilman, Philip - Phil
item WALLACE, O.
item WANG, C.

Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2002
Publication Date: 11/1/2002
Citation: Marsett, R.C., Qi, J., Biedenbender, S.H., Heilman, P., Wallace, O., Wang, C. 2002. Geospatial range management tools. Ecological Soc. of Am. and Soc. for Ecological Restoration Annual Meeting, Aug. 4-9, Tucson, AZ, Oral Presentation Abstracts, p. 202.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Range managers deal with the difficult task of overseeing the use of important and often brittle ecosystems in the face of conflicting pressures. Not only are range managers responsible for effectively exploiting a valuable resource to the advantage of the public and the livestock producer, they are also responsible for maintaining or improving the range condition. Often the range manager finds him/herself caught between the apparently conflicting requirements of ranchers and environmentalists. The purpose of the RANGES (Rangeland Analysis Utilizing Geospatial Science) project is to develop management tools to assist range managers. We developed these tools using remote sensing in conjunction with extensive ground reconnaissance. We have developed new indices that quantify green as well as senescent herbaceous biomass. We do this by using the imagery to quantify the canopy cover and the vegetation height, thereby providing volume, which we convert to weight per unit area. The imagery-derived results checked against ground reconnaissance data reveal a high level of accuracy with regression coefficients greater than 0.89. The high level of accuracy and objectively of this information should provide unbiased decision support for land management.