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ARS Home » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #335583

Title: Weather and climate tools for planning and assessment on rangelands

item Moffet, Corey
item Hardegree, Stuart
item BRUNSON, MARK - Utah State University
item ABATZOGLOU, JOHN - University Of Idaho

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Proceedings
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/1/2016
Publication Date: N/A
Citation: N/A

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: A primary abiotic driver of many rangeland processes is the weather. When assessing the efficacy of a treatment it is important that these assessments be made within the context of the weather conditions that occurred during the treatment assessment. For example, rangeland-seeding practices, especially in the Intermountain West of the United States, are typically implemented in a single planting season for the purposes of Emergency Stabilization and Rehabilitation (ESR) after a wildfire. This situation links the restoration activity and rehabilitation success to the probability that this single year will provide sufficiently favorable microclimatic conditions for desirable plant establishment. Analysis of climatic data may suggest that by, for example, shifting the planned planting date, managers could alter the probability of achieving a successful restoration. Field research studies in rangeland restoration are also typically of limited duration, with few seeding events, and published results may not represent the full spectrum of climatic conditions likely to occur at a given site. Location-specific and temporal weather-analysis may enhance the interpretation of historical results, support expanded inferences from short-term field studies, and facilitate meta-analysis of diverse field studies for rangeland treatments, such as restoration. We describe access and use of new databases and tools that can be used for this purpose, and suggest some standard graphs and weather metrics to establish a longer-term perspective for the interpretation of rangeland-restoration field results.