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Rangeland Inventory & Monitoring

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  1. Rangeland Inventory & Monitoring

  2. INVENTORY Defined as the collection, assemblage, interpretation, and analysis of natural resource data Inventories are conducted on different site locations MONITORING Used to quantify the effects of management or environmental variations over a period of time Monitoring occurs on the same site over a period of time Inventory vs. Monitoring

  3. Rangeland Inventory • Rangeland Trend - Direction of Change • Rangeland Similarity Index – Current vs. a Standard or Desired (Range Condition = HCPC) • Rangeland Health - Process Oriented - How well are the Ecological Processes Operating

  4. Rangeland Monitoring • Change Over Time • Rangeland Trend • Rangeland Similarity Index • Photo Points • Line-Point Intercept

  5. Inventory & Monitoring Rangeland Trend

  6. Apparent Trend • An Ecological Rating of the Direction of Change that is Occurring on the Site • Reference Plant Community • Toward • Not Apparent • Away From

  7. Trend Indicators • Composition Changes • Abundance of Seedlings or New Plants • Plant Residues • Plant Vigor • Condition of the Soil Surface

  8. 1. Composition Change • Changes taking place that lead the plant community toward or away from the desired plant community

  9. 2. Abundance of Seedlings or New Plants • Evidence of reproduction and recruitment of plants • Invasion of unwanted plants as well as desirable plants

  10. 3. Plant Residues • Litter and other plant residue that will protect the soil surface and effect micro-climate

  11. 4. Plant Vigor • Size • Age • Color • Growth Form

  12. 5. Condition of the Soil Surface • Erosion • Crusting • Runoff • Hummocking

  13. Inventory Rangeland Similarity Index

  14. Rangeland Similarity Index • Similarity Index compares the present plant community to the historic climax plant community (by weight) for that site or to a desired plant community that is one of the site’s potential vegetation states

  15. Rangeland Similarity Index • Existing plant community inventoried by recording weight of each species present • Production of each species is reconstructed to reflect total annual production. • Compare current weight of each species to weight listed for reference plant community.

  16. Rangeland Similarity Index • Total Annual Air-Dry Production • Species Composition by Weight • Reported as an Index Number in Percentages (0% - 100%) • “Roughly” Equivalent to Percent Range Condition

  17. Inventory Rangeland Health

  18. Rangeland Health How Ecological Processes are Functioning? • Soil/Site Stability • Water Cycle and Hydrology • Nutrient Cycle • Energy Flow • Plant Species Functional Diversity

  19. Applying the Technique • Determine Soil and Ecological Site • Obtain or develop Reference Worksheet • Rate 17 indicators • Evaluate the 3 Rangeland Health Attributes

  20. Rills Water Flow Patterns Pedestals/Terracettes Bare Ground Gullies Wind Scour & Deposition Areas Litter Movement Resistance to Erosion Loss of Soil Surface Plant/Infiltration Effects Compaction Layer Functional/Structural Groups Plant Mortality/Decadence Litter Amount Annual Production Invasive Plants Reproductive Capability Indicators

  21. Attributes • Soil and Site Stability • Hydrologic Function • Integrity of The Biotic Community SSS HF BI

  22. Attributes Affected: SSS, HF 1. Rills • Small erosional rivulets that are generally linear and do not necessarily follow the micro topography (unlike water flow patterns)

  23. Attributes Affected: SSS, HF 2. Water Flow Patterns • The path that water takes (i.e. accumulates) as it moves across the soil surface during overland flow • These areas are not necessarily eroding, and may be well defined or almost invisible.

  24. Attributes Affected: SSS, HF 3. Pedestals or Terracettes • Pedestals are rocks or plants that appear elevated as a result of soil loss by wind or water erosion • Terracettes are benches of soil deposition behind obstacles caused by water movement

  25. Attributes Affected: SSS, HF 4. Bare Ground • Exposed Soil • Soil covered by gravels, biological crust, litter, woody debris or live or standing dead vegetation is not bare ground

  26. Attributes Affected: SSS, HF 5. Gullies • Channel cut into the soil by the action of running water. Natural flow patterns that have never eroded are not gullies

  27. Attributes Affected: SSS 6. Wind Scoured, Blowout and Depositional Areas • Evidence of wind erosion more than expected for the site

  28. Attributes Affected: SSS 7. Litter Movement • The degree and amount of litter (dead plant material that is in contact with the soil surface), movement (redistribution), and size of litter moved

  29. Attributes Affected: SSS, HF, BI 8. Soil Surface Resistance To Erosion • Soil surfaces are stabilized by soil organic matter being incorporated into aggregates at the soil surface, adhesion of decomposing organic matter to the soil surface, and biological crusts

  30. Attributes Affected: SSS, HF, BI 9. Soil Surface Loss Or Degradation • The surface of the soil where organic matter accumulation and decomposition begin • The two primary soil properties used to make this evaluation are the organic matter content and the structure of the surface layer

  31. Attributes Affected: HF 10. Plant Community Composition & Distribution Relative To Infiltration And Runoff • The ability of the plant community to capture the precipitation. • Composition changes can influence (positively or negatively) the ability of a site to capture and store precipitation

  32. Attributes Affected: SSS, HF, BI 11. Compaction Layer • A near surface layer of dense soil caused by repeated impacts on or disturbances of the soil surface. It can also occur below the surface at the bottom of a tillage layer • Does not include soil textural changes

  33. Attributes Affected: BI 12. Functional/Structural Groups • Characterization of the plant community in terms of photosynthetic pathways, plant size and structure, rooting depth and structure, longevity, etc. • Where relevant includes biological crusts.

  34. Attributes Affected: BI 13. Plant Mortality/Decadence • The proportion of dead or decadent (e.g., moribund, dying) to young or mature plants in the community, relative to that expected for the site under normal disturbance regimes

  35. Attributes Affected: HF, BI 14. Litter Amount • Litter is any dead plant material (from both native and exotic plants) that is detached from the plant and in contact with the soil surface • Departure from expected associated with too much or too little litter

  36. Attributes Affected: BI 15. Annual Production • Total annual production of above ground plant material. It is the net quantity of above-ground vascular plant material produced within a year

  37. State-listed noxious weed- Knapweed Invasive exotic- Cheatgrass Invasive native- Juniper Attributes Affected: BI 16. Invasive Plants • May or may not be noxious or exotic • Plants that will continue to increase on a site and become dominant on the site, regardless of management

  38. Attributes Affected: BI 17. Perennial Plant Reproductive Capability • The ability of native or seedednon-invasive plants to produce seed, seedlings, or vegetative reproduction, if the weather conditions allow • The presence or absence of young plants and seedlings is not considered

  39. Rangeland Health • Multi-Indicator - Multi-Attribute • Not One Health Rating • Stability • Hydrologic Function • Biotic Integrity