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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #399398

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

Location: Range Management Research

Title: Linking canopy gap intercept to biocrust cover and composition

item SCHAEFER, ANTHONY - New Mexico State University
item PIETRASIAK, NICOLE - New Mexico State University
item Burkett, Laura
item NICHOLAS, WEBB - New Mexico State University
item McCord, Sarah
item ANDERSON, JOHN - New Mexico State University
item GABITZSCH, MAYA - New Mexico State University

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/12/2023
Publication Date: 2/16/2023
Citation: Schaefer, A., Pietrasiak, N., Burkett, L.M., Nicholas, W., McCord, S.E., Anderson, J., Gabitzsch, M. 2023. Linking canopy gap intercept to biocrust cover and composition. Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts. Abstract.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Land management depends on access to information regarding ecosystem attributes and services but raw monitoring data often cannot be readily interpreted to answer management questions. However, those data can be used to calculate ecological indicators—statistics which can provide insight regarding ecological health and function. Common ecological indicators include vegetation cover, soil stability ratings, mean vegetation heights, and gaps in foliar canopy. The R package terradactyl has been developed for the purpose of calculating ecological indicators from data in a standard but flexible way and is currently used by the Bureau of Land Management’s Assessment, Inventory, and Monitoring (AIM), the National Resources Conservation Service’s National Resources Inventory (NRI) and Conservation Effects Assessment Project-Grazing Lands (CEAP-GL), and other research programs. Previously, using terradactyl has required the user to write R code in order to process their data but now we present the Rangeland Indicator Calculator, a web application that provides a no-code interface for applying terradactyl and calculating both common and custom rangeland indicators. The Rangeland Indicator Calculator provides a point-and-click interface to terradactyl and allows a user to produce any indicators which could be achieved through coding with the package, including the standard indicators reported by AIM and CEAP-GL. The user can currently calculate indicators from multiple data collection methods: Line-point intercept, Vegetation heights, Canopy gap, and Soil stability. The tool can both accept uploaded data and download data from the Landscape Data Commons, which contains data from a number of rangeland monitoring programs. Once indicators are calculated, they can be downloaded for use in other analysis and interpretation efforts. The Rangeland Indicator Calculator will empower land managers to have greater access to the kinds of information they need to support data-informed decision making.