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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #365372

Research Project: Science and Technologies for the Sustainable Management of Western Rangeland Systems

Location: Range Management Research

Title: A decision support system for incorporating land potential information in the evaluation of restoration outcomes

item KIMITI, DAVID - Lewa Wildlife Conservancy
item GANGULI, AMY - New Mexico State University
item Herrick, Jeffrey - Jeff
item KARL, JASON - University Of Idaho
item BAILEY, DEREK - New Mexico State University

Submitted to: Ecological Restoration
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/23/2020
Publication Date: 6/1/2020
Citation: Kimiti, D., Ganguli, A., Herrick, J.E., Karl, J., Bailey, D. 2020. A decision support system for incorporating land potential information in the evaluation of restoration outcomes. Ecological Restoration. 38:94-104.

Interpretive Summary: This paper describes a decision support system that improves the value and accuracy of land restoration monitoring systems. The system guides users through the process of determining the restoration potential of the land as a basis for establishing restoration targets, and selecting both monitoring locations and controls. It can be applied before (ideally) or after restoration areas have been selected and treatments applied. It also helps users select appropriate indicators. The system is designed to be used by anyone interested in monitoring the impacts of a restoration project and can be applied to both field and remote sensing-based monitoring.

Technical Abstract: Regular monitoring and evaluation of rangeland restoration outcomes is necessary for accountability, adaptive management throughout the restoration process, and informing future project design. Monitoring and evaluating restoration outcomes can help restoration practitioners and land managers identify restoration successes and failures. Collecting information about differences in potential vegetation productivity in restored areas can help understand and predict these different outcomes. Here, we provide a decision-tree based framework for designing monitoring programs for restoration projects. We emphasize the need to collect land potential information to help evaluate and contextualize restoration outcomes. We then highlight a mobile phone application that can be used to collect basic land potential information with minimal time and training requirements.