You are here

Tapping soil survey information for rapid assessment of sagebrush ecosystem resilience and resistance

Posted date: August 30, 2016
Publication Year: 
2016
Authors: Maestas, Jeremy D.; Campbell, Steven B.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pellant, Mike; Miller, Richard F.
Publication Series: 
Scientific Journal (JRNL)
Source: Rangelands. doi: 10.1016/j.rala.2016.02.002.

Abstract

A new ecologically-based approach to risk abatement has emerged that can aid land managers in grappling with escalating impacts of large-scale wildfire and invasive annual grasses in sagebrush ecosystems, particularly in the Great Basin. Specifically, ecosystem resilience and resistance (R&R) concepts have been more fully operationalized from regional to site scales to help reduce fire and invasive species risks in priority habitats for sagebrush-dependent species, like the greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus). Resilience refers to the ability of ecosystems to reorganize after disturbances like wildfire without crossing thresholds to alternative states with different structure and function, while resistance is the capacity of an ecosystem to remain largely unchanged despite disturbances or pressure from invasive species, like cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum). Resilience and resistance concepts help managers better understand key drivers of ecosystem change, identify relative risks of crossing thresholds to undesired states, and design appropriate management actions to promote desired ecosystem trajectories.

Citation

Maestas, Jeremy D.; Campbell, Steven B.; Chambers, Jeanne C.; Pellant, Mike; Miller, Richard F. 2016. Tapping soil survey information for rapid assessment of sagebrush ecosystem resilience and resistance. Rangelands. doi: 10.1016/j.rala.2016.02.002.