Monitoring grassland, shrubland and savanna ecosystems: LCTA versus an integrated soil and vegetation monitoring protocol

TitleMonitoring grassland, shrubland and savanna ecosystems: LCTA versus an integrated soil and vegetation monitoring protocol
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2001
AuthorsBurkett L.M., Herrick JE, Remmenga M.D., Reiser H.
Conference Name86th Annual Meeting, Ecological Society of America
Date PublishedAugust 5-10, 200
Conference LocationMadison, WI
ARIS Log Number129784
AbstractThe Land Condition-Trend Analysis (LCTA) program is the U.S. Army's protocol for monitoring trends in land condition on Army installations. We compared the LCTA vegetation monitoring methods with a new integrated soil and vegetation rangeland monitoring protocol that was developed specifically for grasslands, shrublands and savannas. Data were collected by applying both methods to previously established LCTA transects. We the evaluated the cost (time efficiency) of the two protocols. In addition, we assessed the ability of both methods to produce indicators that relay meaningful information about ecosystem function and the effects of disturbance at each site. Specifically, we compared each protocol's ability to detect changes in three ecosystem attributes: soil and site stability, hydrologic function and biotic integrity. Preliminary comparisons indicated the new methods are more sensitive to changes in soil land site stability and hydrologic function. This is due to the new protocol's inclusion of soil measurements and measurements of spatial patterns in vegetation. The new methods also address a broader range of biotic integrity indicators through the inclusion of soil measurements.