Submitted to: Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/13/2004
Publication Date: 6/13/2004
Citation: Brown, J., Bestelmeyer, B.T. 2004. Key concepts to improve the utility of ecological site descriptions. In: Proceedings of the 2004 USDAD-NRCS Western Region Cooperative Soil Survey Conference, June 13-18, 2004, Jackson, Wyoming. 2004 CDROM.
Interpretive Summary: Not required for proceedings.
Technical Abstract: Ecological Site Descriptions (ESDs) represent a major change in the format and conceptual basis for interpreting observed changes on range, pasture and forest lands and for providing technical and financial support for the application of land management practices. With the acceptance of the possibility of multiple stable states and multiple pathways among those states, basic relationships between plants should become an important organizing factor in determining how fundamental soil units are grouped together and interpreted for management. In this paper, we propose that changes to soil-plant interactions, especially feedbacks, should be considered as important organizing factors in determining which soil properties are the basis of ESD organization. Although there are few accepted guidelines for making these decisions, realistic hypotheses and rigorous testing is possible to resolve many of the uncertainties.