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ARS Home » Pacific West Area » Reno, Nevada » Great Basin Rangelands Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #344260

Research Project: Integrating Ecological Process Knowledge into Effective Management of Invasive Plants in Great Basin Rangelands

Location: Great Basin Rangelands Research

Title: Towards a remote sensing based indicator of rangeland ecosystem resistance and resilience

item FALKOWSKI, MICHAEL - Colorado State University
item Newingham, Beth
item ALLRED, BRADY - University Of Montana
item JONES, MATTHEW - University Of Montana
item NAUGLE, DAVID - University Of Montana

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/28/2016
Publication Date: 1/29/2017
Citation: Falkowski, M.J., Newingham, B.A., Allred, B., Jones, M.O., Naugle, D. 2017. Towards a remote sensing based indicator of rangeland ecosystem resistance and resilience. 161-2.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Understanding ecosystem resistance and resilience to disturbance and invasive species is critical to the sustainable management of rangeland systems. In this context, resistance refers to the inherent ability of an ecosystem to resist disturbance, while resilience refers to the capacity of an ecosystem to return to its original, fully functioning state post-disturbance. Recent approaches have used biophysical properties such as soil temperature and moisture regimes to model the resistance and resilience of rangeland systems across large spatial extents. Indeed, biophysical properties interact to partially govern ecosystem resistance and resilience; however, additional characteristics such as vegetation composition and structure also have a strong impact upon how rangeland ecosystems will resist or respond to disturbance. In this study, we evaluate a remote sensing approach to map rangeland resistance and resilience across large spatial extents. Specifically, the approach leverages spatiotemporal spectral diversity indices, which are theoretically related to compositional and structural vegetation diversity, to develop an indicator of rangeland resistance and resilience. We compare this remote sensing based index to pre- and post-disturbance vegetation measurements from a variety of field sites. Our results indicate that remote sensing of vegetation compositional and structural diversity offers an effective and efficient means to characterize and monitor rangeland resistance and resilience across large spatial extents.