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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #368068

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

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Monitoring can be more than an expensive rain gauge

item Bestelmeyer, Brandon

Submitted to: Popular Publication
Publication Type: Popular Publication
Publication Acceptance Date: 10/31/2018
Publication Date: 11/1/2018
Citation: Bestelmeyer, B.T. 2018. Monitoring can be more than an expensive rain gauge. Malpai Newsletter, Malpai Borderlands Group, November 2018. pg. 4.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Monitoring ican detect trends in vegetation that should be important to land managers. Careful measurement is needed because gradual vegetation trends are otherwise difficult to perceive accurately. Yet monitoring results are often unsatisfying. The data are expensive to gather and analyze. The results often reflect the overriding influence of annual weather on rangeland vegetation. This has led to the infamous assertion that monitoring is “an expensive rain gauge”, since monitoring data teach us little more than what we learn from cumulative rainfall—that it was a wet year or a dry year.