Submitted to: Rangelands
Publication Type: Other
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/1/2017
Publication Date: 1/1/2017
Citation: Sheley, R.L. 2017. Rangeland highlights January 2017. Rangelands. Editor.
Interpretive Summary: This issue provides an intriguing serious of manuscripts aimed at improving our ability to better manage rangelands throughout the world. The topics varied from improving ecological site descriptions, fire management, to targeted grazing to manage fuel loads. It also discusses new monitoring systems, carbon sequestration, and a discussion of ranching women of Southwest US.
Technical Abstract: This issue focuses hydrological relations in ecological site descriptions, fire and grasshoppers in the Tallgrass Prairie, and timing of burning in the Kansas Flint Hills. We also the efficacy of targeted cattle grazing to reduce fine-fuel loads in southeastern Arizona, and used a fire model to predict how this treatment would alter fire behavior. In addition, researchers quantified both methods of dispersal by cattle in Sierra foothills rangeland of California. Forbs were more likely than grasses to be dispersed through the animal’s digestive system. Invasive grasses, such as medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae), were more likely to be dispersed on the cattle hair. Our Chinese authors modified a terrestrial biogeochemical model to investigate net ecosystem productivity of Chinese grasslands under different levels of aridity from 1982 to 2008. They predict the gap of carbon sequestration between humid and arid grassland will expand. Finally, we provide narrative analysis suggesting that women are innovative managers who transfer cultural and technical ranching knowledge across generations, but who can face gendered barriers that may be especially challenging for aging ranch women.