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Title: Rangeland management for multiple outcomes: Explicity integrating ecosystem services into management models

item Roche, Leslie
item O'geen, Anthony
item Eviner, Valerie
item Derner, Justin
item Tate, Kenneth

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/5/2012
Publication Date: 1/29/2012
Citation: Roche, L., O'Geen, A.T., Eviner, V., Derner, J.D., Tate, K.W. 2012. Rangeland management for multiple outcomes: Explicity integrating ecosystem services into management models. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts No 157.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: In recent decades, there has been increased interest in ecosystem services among landowners, and a growing diversity of stakeholders on rangelands. Given these changes, management cannot focus solely on maximizing ranch proceeds, but must also incorporate ecosystem service goals to sustain resources and dependent ranch enterprises. Across the California oak woodland-annual rangeland, there has been a historical focus on large-scale removal of woody species for agricultural production goals. Although these practices have increased carrying capacities, provisioning of other potentially desirable ecosystem services has likely been diminished. We utilized state-and-transition models as a framework to explicitly incorporate multiple ecosystem service-based goals, allowing for assessing tradeoffs and synergies. To compare differences among vegetation-based states in ecosystem services provisioning (e.g., water supply, carbon sequestration), we surveyed indicators of multiple services over a gradient of oak woodland management. Ecosystem service integration revealed mixed results in terms of functional differences. Infiltration capacity was ~10X greater in woodland states than in open grassland states; however, even the lowest infiltration rates exceeded the 1 hour, 100 year rainfall depth by a factor of 4, indicating no real functional differences for water supply. Plant diversity and total carbon in oak woodlands were ~1.5X and 1.7X greater, respectively, than in open grasslands. However, agricultural productivity was 2.5X greater in open grassland relative to woodland states. Explicit incorporation of ecosystem service goals into management models will be valuable to both landowners interested in managing for multiple outcomes, and government agencies responsible for assessing outcomes of conservation practices and allocating funds.