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Keyword: semi-arid ecosystems

Climate variability, carbon, drought and fire, in arid-semi-arid ecosystems

Science Spotlights Posted on: August 01, 2019
Using the best available science and tools, we can project the effects of today’s management actions on tomorrow’s non-forest vegetation assemblage, carbon, and productivity while considering changing climates. 

A tool for projecting rangeland vegetation response to management and climate

Publications Posted on: July 01, 2019
New technologies may enhance management by enabling quantitative testing of assumptions of vegetation response to climate and management. State-and-transition simulation models can keep track of interactions that are too complicated for us to comprehend using only conceptual models. This tool takes conceptual state-and-transition models to the next level, fostering greater communication and dialogue with stakeholders.

Don’t bust the biological soil crust: Preserving and restoring an important desert resource

Publications Posted on: February 23, 2017
Biological soil crusts are a complex of microscopic organisms growing on the soil surface in many arid and semi-arid ecosystems. These crusts perform the important role of stabilizing soil and reducing or eliminating water and wind erosion. One of the largest threats to biological soil crusts in the arid and semi-arid areas of the western United States is mechanical disturbance from vehicle traffic and grazing.

Meadow management and treatment options [chapter 8]

Publications Posted on: September 22, 2011
Restoration and management objectives and approaches are most effective when based on an understanding of ecosystem processes and the long- and short-term causes of disturbance (Wohl and others 2005). As detailed in previous chapters, several factors are critical in developing effective management strategies for streams and their associated meadow ecosystems in the central Great Basin.

Charcterization of meadow ecosystems based on watershed and valley segment/reach scale characteristics [chapter 7]

Publications Posted on: September 22, 2011
Great Basin riparian meadows are highly sensitive to both natural and anthropogenic disturbance. As detailed in earlier chapters, streams in the central Great Basin have a natural tendency to incise due to their geomorphic history (Miller and others 2001, 2004).

Meadow-stream processes and aquatic invertebrate community structure [chapter 6]

Publications Posted on: September 22, 2011
Riparian areas make up less than 1 percent of the total area of the Great Basin, yet they provide many critical ecosystem services, and they support a disproportionately large percentage of the regional biodiversity (Hubbard 1977; Saab and Groves 1992).

Meadow sensitivity to natural and anthropogenic disturbance [chapter 5]

Publications Posted on: September 22, 2011
Investigations of geomorphic responses to natural and anthropogenic disturbances have revealed marked differences in the rate, magnitude, and nature by which different watersheds, or components of a given watershed, adjust to perturbations. These differences in response are often characterized using the concept of landform sensitivity. The term sensitivity has been defined by different investigators in different ways.

Hydrologic processes influencing meadow ecosystems [chapter 4]

Publications Posted on: September 22, 2011
The hydrologic regime exerts primary control on riparian meadow complexes and is strongly influenced by past and present geomorphic processes; biotic processes; and, in some cases, anthropogenic activities. Thus, it is essential to understand not only the hydrologic processes that operate within meadow complexes but also the interactions of meadow hydrology with other processes that affect these ecosystems.

Geomorphic processes affecting meadow ecosystems [chapter 3]

Publications Posted on: September 22, 2011
Three geomorphic processes are of primary concern with respect to the current and future state of wet meadow ecosystems: channel incision, avulsion (the abrupt movement of the channel to a new location on the valley floor), and gully formation. Gully formation often is accompanied by upvalley headcut migration and a phenomenon referred to as "groundwater sapping" that is defined as erosion of bank materials by groundwater flow.

Controls on meadow distribution and characteristics [chapter 2]

Publications Posted on: September 22, 2011
Meadow complexes are located in distinct geomorphic and hydrologic settings that allow groundwater to be at or near the ground surface during at least part of the year. Meadows are manifestations of the subsurface flow system, and their distribution is controlled by factors that cause localized zones of groundwater discharge.

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