Submitted to: Secheresse
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/17/2005
Publication Date: 9/1/2006
Citation: Herrick, J.E., Moya, E., Willms, W., Bestelmeyer, B.T., Sundt, P., Barnes, W. 2006. Arid and semiarid rangeland monitoring in North America. Secheresse. 17(1-2):235-241.
Interpretive Summary: This article summarizes the recent history and current status of rangeland monitoring in North America. Canada, the United States and Mexico all have developed extensive databases, but none has developed either standardized protocols. This in part explains why there are no nationwide databases. Attempts increasingly being made to standardize protocols, and new protocols increasingly focus on monitoring ecological processes.
Technical Abstract: Canada, the United States and Mexico all have a long history of rangeland monitoring. However none have developed a nationwide database or even standardized set of protocols. The lack of standardization, inadequately developed relationships between management objectives and monitoring protocols, and an emphasis on data collection rather than analysis and interpretation have limited the value of past monitoring efforts. The future of monitoring is bright in all three countries. New policies reward ranchers who can document positive changes on their land. Non-equilibrium theory developed in Europe, Africa, Australia and North America increase the value of monitoring data. New protocols increasingly focus monitoring on ecological processes.