Submitted to: International Rangeland Congress
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/19/1999
Publication Date: N/A
Interpretive Summary: SPUR is a computer simulation model, released by ARS in 1987, designed as a tool for aiding rangeland decisions. The model predicts how vegetation, soil, surface hydrology and management activities interact and affect the landscape. Since 1987, considerable work has continued to enhance SPUR's capability to accurately represent rangeland ecosystems and response to management actions. Model improvements include: how plants compete for soil water and nutrients, how plants grow under different climates, how animals graze and affect the landscape under different grazing systems, how animals gain weight, and how soil carbon and nitrogen cycle through the ecosystem. Current activities under a USDA, ARS and NRCS cooperative effort are aimed at improving how soil and plant characteristics affect surface hydrology and erosion, how plants take up water, how snow accumulates and melts under different environments and improving the interactive usability of the model by land managers. he
Technical Abstract: SPUR is a physically based model, released in 1987, designed as a tool for aiding rangeland management decisions. The model simulates the interactions vegetation, soil, surface hydrology and management activities. Since 1987, considerable work has continued to enhance SPUR's capability to accurately represent rangeland ecosystems and response to management actions. Modifications include: plant species competition for soil water, improved plant growth model applicable to more diverse climates, upgraded plant-anim interface to provide greater flexibility for grazing systems, addition of a cow-calf beef cattle model, and upgraded soil carbon and nitrogen cycling processes by adding the CENTURY model. Current activities under a USDA, AR and NRCS cooperative effort are aimed at incorporating the physically based surface hydrology and erosion technology available through WEPP, strengthen the plant-hydrology linkage, updating the evapotranspiration and snow hydrology modules, upgrading the climate generator, and developing a comprehensive user interface.