Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #397606

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

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Ecological science infrastructure for sustainability transformations in rangelands

Author
item Bestelmeyer, Brandon
item Herrick, Jeffrey - Jeff
item BROWN, JOEL - Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS, USDA)
item Browning, Dawn
item DENSAMBUU, BULGAMAA - Ministry Of Agriculture - Mongolia
item Elias, Emile
item McCord, Sarah
item PEINETTI, RAUL - Universidad Nacional De La Pampa
item Spiegal, Sheri
item WEBB, NICHOLAS - New Mexico State University
item Williamson, Jebediah

Submitted to: International Grasslands Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/10/2022
Publication Date: 1/28/2022
Citation: Bestelmeyer, B.T., Herrick, J.E., Brown, J.R., Browning, D.M., Densambuu, B., Elias, E.H., McCord, S.E., Peinetti, R., Spiegal, S.A., Webb, N., Williamson, J.C. 2022. Ecological science infrastructure for sustainability transformations in rangelands. International Grasslands Congress. Abstract.

Interpretive Summary: Sustainability transformations—deliberate and radical shifts in values, governance, and management regimes to achieve sustainability—are needed in rangelands as in other components of the Earth system. We review four concepts comprising an ecological science infrastructure to support such transformations. The foundation is standard measurement of rangeland conditions in the field, especially vegetation and soil properties that underpin the environmental aspects of sustainability. Big data resources, especially gridded spatial datasets produced by models and remote sensing, can be combined with field data and computational approaches to upscale information about rangeland conditions and produce additional indicators of ecosystem functions and services. State and transition models (STMs) linked to land types provide a means to interpret indicators and link interpretations to sustainable land management practices to manage change. Technologies for climate adaptation in rangelands also need to be linked to STM databases. Web and mobile technologies can put multifaceted science knowledge into the hands of pastoralists worldwide to support transformational changes in how rangelands are managed.

Technical Abstract: Sustainability transformations—deliberate and radical shifts in values, governance, and management regimes to achieve sustainability—are needed in rangelands as in other components of the Earth system. We review four concepts comprising an ecological science infrastructure to support such transformations. The foundation is standard measurement of rangeland conditions in the field, especially vegetation and soil properties that underpin the environmental aspects of sustainability. Big data resources, especially gridded spatial datasets produced by models and remote sensing, can be combined with field data and computational approaches to upscale information about rangeland conditions and produce additional indicators of ecosystem functions and services. State and transition models (STMs) linked to land types provide a means to interpret indicators and link interpretations to sustainable land management practices to manage change. Technologies for climate adaptation in rangelands also need to be linked to STM databases. Web and mobile technologies can put multifaceted science knowledge into the hands of pastoralists worldwide to support transformational changes in how rangelands are managed.