Location: Rangeland Resources & Systems ResearchTitle: Can collaborative adaptive management improve cattle production in multi-paddock grazing systems?
|BRISKE, DAVID - Texas A&M University|
|FERNANDEZ-GIMINEZ, MARIA - Colorado State University|
|RITTEN, JOHN - University Of Wyoming|
Submitted to: Rangeland Ecology and Management
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 11/11/2020
Publication Date: 12/17/2020
Publication URL: https://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/7209522
Citation: Derner, J.D., Augustine, D.J., Briske, D., Wilmer, H.N., Porensky, L.M., Fernandez-Giminez, M., Peck, D.E., Ritten, J. 2020. Can collaborative adaptive management improve cattle production in multi-paddock grazing systems? Rangeland Ecology and Management. 75:1-8. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2020.11.002.
Interpretive Summary: Managing rangelands for multiple ecosystem services in highly variable and resource scarce environments is challenging. Balancing forage availability with livestock demand is extremely difficult with rangeland managers attempting to manipulate the timing, duration, and location of livestock grazing in relation to spatially and temporally varying foraging resources. Here, we estimate the contributions of an 11-member Stakeholder Group’s Collaborative Adaptive Management decision-making for livestock production during 2016-2018 in the semiarid shortgrass steppe of the western Great Plains. Collaborative adaptive management (CAM) contributed substantially and positively to livestock production on rangelands each year through feedback and information provided by strategic and tactical monitoring to adjust within grazing season management. We quantified relative increases of 16-49% in weight gains, which added economic value for the rancher of $34.66 to $55.54 per steer across the three years. Increasing science-management partnerships with high functioning Collaborative Adaptive Management maintain working rangeland landscapes with sustainable provisioning of multiple ecosystem services, including livestock production.
Technical Abstract: Collaborative adaptive management (CAM) is hypothesized to benefit rangeland ecosystems. Despite the popularity of CAM, minimal quantification of benefits has been documented. Here, we estimate the contributions of an 11-member Stakeholder Group’s CAM decision-making for livestock production during 2016-2018 in the semiarid shortgrass steppe of the western Great Plains. Contributions attributed to CAM were persistently positive across the three years, which were dry to nearly normal for growing season precipitation. We quantified relative increases of 16-49% and absolute increases of 0.10 to 0.28 kg/steer/day for weight gains with CAM. Weight gains attributable to CAM added economic value for the rancher of $34.66 to $55.54 per steer across the three years. Quantifying the contributions of CAM to livestock production in intrinsically high intra- and inter-annual variable semiarid environments demonstrates the influence of science-management partnerships emphasizing human dimensions and decision-making to managing rangelands for sustainable livestock production.