Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/4/2004
Publication Date: 2/15/2005
Citation: Mitchell, R., Schmer, M.R., Vogel, K.P., Vermeire, L.T., Derner, J.D. 2005. The grassland assessment tool: a new technique for monitoring grasslands. Society for Range Management Meeting Proceedings.
Technical Abstract: Most grassland assessment techniques are used to evaluate the potential of an area to meet current management objectives and maintain long-term sustainability. These techniques estimate parameters such as species composition, canopy cover, basal cover, frequency, and standing crop. The grassland assessment tool has been developed to rapidly evaluate the frequency of species or functional groups, and estimate standing crop in native and improved grasslands. The grassland assessment tool has been evaluated in Montana, Nebraska, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Wyoming, and appears to have utility in numerous grassland systems. For example, in Montana, relationships between the grassland assessment tool and the frequency grid were strong for the commonly-occurring functional groups warm-season grasses-r2 = 0.88; cool-season grasses-r2 = 0.78; annual grasses-r2 = 0.80), but relationships were poor for infrequent groups such as cacti. The grassland assessment tool is a promising technique for evaluating grasslands, and may provide producers and land managers with a rapid, user-friendly approach for grassland monitoring.