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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #223370

Title: Soil, resilience, and state and transition models

item Herrick, Jeffrey - Jeff
item Wills, Skye
item Peters, Debra
item Bestelmeyer, Brandon

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/30/2007
Publication Date: 1/26/2008
Citation: Herrick, J.E., Wills, S.A., Peters, D.C., Tugel, A., Bestelmeyer, B.T. 2008. Soil, resilience, and state and transition models [abstract]. Society for Range Management Meeting, Building Bridges: Grasslands to Rangelands, January 26-31, 2008, Louisville, Kentucky. p. 1514. 2008 CDROM.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: State and transition models are based on the assumption that less resilient systems are more susceptible to state changes. The objective of this paper is to show how two different types of soil properties contribute to resilience through their direct and indirect effects on ecosystem processes, and through feedbacks with plants, and how this information can be used to guide the sampling of dynamic soil properties. Relatively static soil and topographic properties including texture, mineralogy, depth, slope and aspect determine, together with climate, the ecological site potential. This potential is realized through the establishment of plant and soil biotic communities, and through the subsequent modification of dynamic properties throughout the soil profile including infiltration and water holding capacity and nutrient availability. We will present results of new analyses of variability in soil properties at multiple spatial scales that illustrate both the interactions between relatively static and dynamic soil properties, and the appropriate scales for sampling. We will conclude with the results of a modeling exercise showing how changes in a relatively static soil property (soil surface texture) generated by a state change in an upwind ecological site can trigger soil-plant feedbacks resulting in changes in both dynamic soil properties and plant community composition, and discuss the application of an understanding of changes in relatively static and dynamic soil properties to assessment and monitoring of the effects of conservation practices (including CEAP).