Key concepts to improve the utility of ecological site descriptions

TitleKey concepts to improve the utility of ecological site descriptions
Publication TypeConference Proceedings
Year of Publication2004
AuthorsBrown J., Bestelmeyer BT
Conference Name2004 West Regional Soil Survey Conference
Date PublishedJune 13-18, 2004
Conference LocationJackson, WY
ARIS Log Number167016
AbstractEcological Site Descriptions (ESDs) represent a major change in the format and conceptual basis for interpreting observed changes on range, pasture and forest lands and for providing technical and financial support for the application of land management practices. With the acceptance of the possibility of multiple stable states and multiple pathways among those states, basic relationships between plants should become an important organizing factor in determining how fundamental soil units are grouped together and interpreted for management. In this paper, we propose that changes to soil-plant interactions, especially feedbacks, should be considered as important organizing factors in determining which soil properties are the basis of ESD organization. Although there are few accepted guidelines for making these decisions, realistic hypotheses and rigorous testing is possible to resolve many of the uncertainties.