An integrated framework for science-based arid land management

TitleAn integrated framework for science-based arid land management
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsHerrick JE, Bestelmeyer BT, Archer SR, Tugel A.J., Brown J.
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Date Published2006
Accession NumberJRN00438
ARIS Log Number179552
Keywordsarid, ecosystems, land mangement, science-based, semiarid

Our objective is to develop a science-based management framework for arid and semiarid ecosystems. This framework must facilitate the integration of new knowledge about linkages among landscape units across scales. Science is frequently touted as the solution to dryland management problems, yet most management decisions are, of necessity, based primarily on expert knowledge and experience. This paper describes an integrated framework for organizing, synthesizing, and applying our growing understanding of dryland ecosystems using a flexible, multi-objective assessment, monitoring, and management approach. The framework is dual-purpose: (1) to coordinate the use of existing tools, resources, and diffuse knowledge, and (2) to facilitate the integration and application of new knowledge as it is developed. The framework includes five elements: (1) an ecological, site-based approach for categorizing land based on soils and climate; (2) a repository for organizing existing data and knowledge about each ecological site; (3) conceptual models that organize information on the impacts of management and climate variability; and, protocols for (4) assessing and (5) monitoring key ecosystem attributes fundamental to a variety of management objectives. Within this framework, basic and applied research are explicitly linked to management of arid and semiarid ecosystems to more effectively articulate research questions and set research priorities.