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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #229093

Title: The regional ecology of alternative states and thresholds: Strategies for ecological site descriptions

item Bestelmeyer, Brandon
item Tugel, Arlene
item Peacock, Geroge
item Robinett, D
item Briske, D
item Stringham, T
item Shaver, Pat
item Brown, J
item Herrick, Jeffrey - Jeff
item Sanchez, H
item Havstad, Kris

Submitted to: International Rangeland Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/1/2008
Publication Date: 6/30/2008
Citation: Bestelmeyer, B.T., Tugel, A.J., Peacock, G., Robinett, D., Briske, D., Stringham, T.K., Shaver, P., Brown, J.R., Herrick, J.E., Sanchez, H., Havstad, K.M. 2008. The regional ecology of alternative states and thresholds: Strategies for ecological site descriptions. In: Proceedings Multifunctional Grasslands in a Changing World. XXI International Grassland Congress, VIII International Rangeland Congress. June 30-July 5, 2008, Hohhot, China. p. 644.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Land dynamics, ecosystem resilience, and the interaction of management decisions with them vary significantly across space. One-size-fits-all applications across distinct land types have been responsible for many failures in rangeland management. Ecological Site Descriptions (ESDs) and similar land unit classification systems specify the characteristics of different land areas associated with variation in rangeland potential, ecological dynamics, vulnerabilities, and monitoring needs. State-and-transition models (STMs) embedded within ESDs specify the plant community phases, alternative states, and characteristics of thresholds observed within particular land areas. In spite of considerable conceptual advances with regard to general STM structure and mechanisms, strategies for data-driven development of ESDs and STMs have been poorly developed.