Evaluation of the health status of rangeland ecosystems

TitleEvaluation of the health status of rangeland ecosystems
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2003
AuthorsHerrick JE, Melgoza A.M., Pyke D.A., Shaver P., Pellant M.
Conference NameProceedings of the Memorias del 1er Simposio Internacional de Manejo de Pastizales y Curso-taller Sobre Salud de Ecosistemas de Pastizales
Volume23
Number of Volumes6
Pagination22-30
Date PublishedDecember 1, 2003
Conference LocationAguascalientes, Mexico
ARIS Log Number159618
AbstractRangeland health refers to the maintenance of complex ecological processes during a particular period of time. A manual, 'Interpreting Indicators of Rangeland Health,' was developed with the objective of providing a system for rapidly evaluating rangeland health. This method uses 17 indicators to evaluate three attributes: soil and site stability, hydrologic function and biotic integrity. In Version 3.0, Ecological Site Descriptions and reference sites served as the reference for the evaluation. In Version 4.0, these two options were replaced with a single Ecological Reference Sheet that provides a semi-quantitative description of the normal range of variability for each indicator for areas with similar soils and climate with the potential to support similar types and amounts of vegetation. The ecological reference sheet is completed by a group of experts with a knowledge of the variability in soils, hydrology and biology expected. Once the normal range of variability has been established, the experts must also define the four categories of deviation from the expected for each indicator. In this way, countries that do not have Ecological Sites or Ecological Site Descriptions can use this manual to develop their own reference sheets.