An integrated framework for multi-objective inventory, assessment, and monitoring

TitleAn integrated framework for multi-objective inventory, assessment, and monitoring
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsHerrick JE, Alexander R., Bash D., Bestelmeyer BT, Biggam P., Brown J., Havstad K, Laliberte, Andrea S., Toledo D., Tugel A.J.
Conference NameSixth Symposium on the Natural Resources of the Chihuahuan Desert Region
Date PublishedOctober 15, 2004
Conference LocationAlpine, TX
ARIS Log Number171305
Keywordsassessment, ecosystem properties, integrated framework, inventory, land management, monitoring, multi-objective
AbstractScience-based land management requires quantification of ecosystem properties (inventory), the status of these properties relative to their potential (assessment), and changes in these properties over time (monitoring). Unique datasets are typically generated to address different management objectives, including livestock production, watershed conservation, wildlife habitat protection, military training, and other land uses and values. We describe an integrated framework for inventory, assessment, and monitoring. This framework is based on three components: (1) Ecological site descriptions (which are based on soil surveys) and the National Resource Inventory provide standardized, nationwide inventory data. These data, related information, and expert knowledge are used to generate a standardized, ecological site-specific reference for a qualitative assessment protocol, which is used to rapidly assess current status. (2) Selected measurements from a flexible, quantitative monitoring protocol are used to generate indicators that supplement the qualitative assessments. (3) These indicators are subsequently used to monitor changes in ecosystem function. More specific management objectives are addressed using additional indicators calculated from the basic measurements. Additional measurements included in the monitoring "toolbox" can also be included. In many cases, however, multiple management objectives can be addressed by monitoring a very few key properties, such as the amount and spatial distribution of bare ground and the cover of a few key species. This framework is designed to facilitate the integration of multi- and cross-scale approaches, including remote sensing, as they are developed.