Submitted to: Society for Ecological Restoration Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 6/3/1996
Publication Date: N/A
Technical Abstract: We have formed a partnership with local ranchers, environmental groups and government agencies to develop restoration technologies for desertified arid lands. The USDA-Agricultural Research Service, Jornada Experimental Range is a 78,266 hectare desert laboratory located in the northern Chihuahuan Desert. During the last 100 years much of this area has undergone a transition from desert grasslands to desertified shrub lands, trend that is occurring in most of the world's arid lands. In addition to research examining basic ecosystem function we have set aside 8,259 hectares to be managed by ranchers working with local environmental organizations. Presently this group is using knowledge of desert ecosystems to create low-cost restoration technologies for arid lands. Current projects are designed to promote natural restoration processes and include: 1) targeted application or organic waste to enhance soil stability yand productivity, 2) placement of watering points that provide a seed source while attracting seed-dispersing wildlife, 3) creation of predator habitat to reduce herbivore pressure during vegetation establishment.