Submitted to: ASA-CSSA-SSSA Annual Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 8/22/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: Maintaining grazingland and enterprise resilience under changing climatic and economic conditions requires novel, resilience based, management strategies. State and Transition models provide a solid foundation and framework for management of grazinglands using non-equilibrium dynamics. These models explain the dynamics between site specific ecological attributes, disturbance, and management at time scales relevant to agricultural producers. The ability to translate these State and Transition models into on-site management that can increase resilience depends on having the appropriate assessment and management tools that are ecologically based and can provide management interpretations. We present an integrated grazingland (rangeland and pastureland) assessment tool that is based on land potential and can be used to generate scientifically supported data that meet the needs of a wide range of users. This improved assessment and monitoring protocol allows evaluators to assess site conditions, and to make interpretations regarding management based on site-specific attributes. We present integrated grazingland assessment data from the northern Great Plains of the US and explain how these data relate to both State and Transition models and resilience based management. Using these data to define resilience in grazingland systems and determine potential threats to sustainability will allow managers to manage more adaptively and reduce enterprise vulnerability.