• 'Umatilla' snow buckwheat for rangeland restoration in the interior Pacific Northwest

      Tiedemann, A. R.; Lambert, S. M.; Carlson, J. R.; Perry, C. J.; Shaw, N. L.; Welch, B. L.; Driver, C. H. (Society for Range Management, 1997-06-01)
    • Unanimity—Our Key to Progress in Range Management

      Stoddart, L. A. (Society for Range Management, 1953-05-01)
    • Unbiased Systematic Sampling Plans for the Line Intercept Method Vegetation, Forest Floor

      Butler, S. A.; McDonald, L. L. (Society for Range Management, 1983-07-01)
      Experimentors have been using cost-efficient systematically located transects in the line intercept method for some time with little support from mathematical statistics. In this paper, it is shown that for rectangular regions the usual line intercept estimators for cover, density, and other attributes are unbiased for certain systematic sampling plans. The estimators are approximately unbiased for "large" irregularly shaped study regions.
    • Uncertainty, Impermanence Syndrome, and Public Land Ranching

      Parry, Samuel F.; Skaggs, Rhonda (Society for Range Management, 2014-04-01)
      On the Ground • Impermanence syndrome involves farmer apprehension or uncertainty about the future and leads to disinvestment in an agricultural operation as well as erosion of producer confidence. • We explored impermanence syndrome among New Mexico public rangeland cattle producers in order to assess perceptions of impermanence syndrome impact factors in the region. • Urban fringe effects, proximity to the US-Mexico border, multiple-use of public rangelands, public perception of public land ranching, as well as economic and government agency issues were identified as causes of ranching impermanence syndrome. • Mitigation of uncertainty and perceived impermanence threats to ranching would promote management and investments that promote longhaul planning for and enhancement of rangeland Health.
    • Uncommon Occurrence in Buffalograss

      Burr, R. (Society for Range Management, 1951-07-01)
    • Undergraduate Range Management Exam: 1999-2014

      Derner, Justin D.; Crowder, Jessica; Smith, Mae; Plechaty, Tami (Society for Range Management, 2015-12-01)
      On the Ground • The Undergraduate Range Management Exam (URME) has been administered to undergraduate students at the Annual Meeting of the Society for Range Management since 1983, with students demonstrating their higher order learning skills and synthesis knowledge of the art and science of rangeland management. • The multiple-choice exam is composed of six subject categories: 1) Range Ecology; 2) Grazing Management; 3) Range Improvements; 4) Range Regions; 5) Range Inventory and Analysis; and 6) Multiple-use Relationships on Rangelands. • Topics of changing climate and weather variability (including extreme events), and the associated adaptive management strategies employed by land managers to reduce risk and increase resilience will be highlighted in future years. Increasing emphasison ecosystem restoration (including mechanisms, processes and pathways), animal grazing behavior, pyric herbivory (patch burn grazing), soil microorganisms, greenhouse gases, and human dimensions should be expected as well.
    • Understanding cause/effect relationships in stocking rate change over time

      Rowan, R. C.; White, L. D.; Conner, J. R. (Society for Range Management, 1994-09-01)
      Decisions made by Texas ranchers over a 10 year period (1980-1990) concerning stocking rate levels were dominated by perceptions about weather. A regression model explained 64% of the variability in stocking rate change over time, with the rainfall/drought variable explaining the majority of variability. As ranchers' perception of a positive rainfall effect increased, so did stocking rates, and vice versa. Although the presence or absence of rainfall cannot be managed per se, proactive stocking decisions should include a strategy for adjusting stocking levels in response to changing environmental conditions. Other factors with significant (alpha = 0.05), albeit trivial, path coefficients on stocking rate change were age, grazing rights (owned vs. leased), traditional stocking rate factors, traditional grazing program factors, and weed/brush information factors. Older ranchers (> 65 years) and ranchers who leased all of their rangeland tended to decrease stocking rates over time. Rangeland operators indicated they considered "improved livestock performance" as the most important benefit from initiating a grazing program. Evidence also suggested that ranchers who rely on their neighbors for advice about weed/brush decisions are not benefitting from the latest technology information. Adoption of economic factors (cost/benefits) for selection of weed/brush technology did not have a significant impact on stocking rates over the 10 year period.
    • Understanding Change: Integrating Rancher Knowledge Into State-and-Transition Models

      Knapp, Corrine Noel; Fernandez-Gimenez, Maria E. (Society for Range Management, 2009-11-01)
      Arid and semiarid rangelands often behave unpredictably in response to management actions and environmental stressors, making it difficult for ranchers to manage for long-term sustainability. State-and-transition models (STMs) depict current understanding of vegetation responses to management and environmental change in box-and-arrow diagrams. They are based on existing knowledge of the system and can be improved with long-term ecological monitoring data, histories, and experimentation. Rancher knowledge has been integrated in STMs; however, there has been little systematic analysis of how ranchers describe vegetation change, how their knowledge informs model components, and what opportunities and challenges exist for integrating local knowledge into STMs. Semistructured and field interviews demonstrated that rancher knowledge is valuable for providing detailed management histories and identifying management-defined states for STMs. Interviews with ranchers also provided an assessment of how ranchers perceive vegetation change, information about the causes of transitions, and indicators of change. Interviews placed vegetation change within a broader context of social and economic history, including regional changes in land use and management. Despite its potential utility, rancher knowledge is often heterogeneous and partial and can be difficult to elicit. Ranchers’ feedback pointed to limitations in existing ecological site-based approaches to STM development, especially issues of spatial scale, resolution, and interactions among adjacent vegetation types. Incorporating local knowledge into STM development may also increase communication between researchers and ranchers, potentially yielding more management-relevant research and more structured ways to document and learn from the evolving experiential knowledge of ranchers. 
    • Understanding Diet Selection in Temperate Biodiverse Pasture Systems

      Vilalba, Juan J.; Soder, Kathy J.; Laca, Emilio A. (Society for Range Management, 2009-09-01)
      The first decade of the 21st century has been dominated by unprecedented environmental challenges. These challenges are associated with intense public awareness and interest in constructive environmental solutions. There is increasing interest by both consumers and producers of agricultural products in the development of a more sustainable agriculture system, with less dependence on external finite resources. Biodiverse pasture systems have the potential to serve agriculture in this regard. Thus, a symposium addressing contemporary, interdisciplinary research on plant-herbivore interactions, animal responses, and grazing management in temperate biodiverse pasture systems was sponsored by the American Society of Animal Science at the annual meetings of the society in July 2007. The resulting articles appear in this Special Feature of Rangeland Ecology Management. 
    • Understanding Landscape Use Patterns of Livestock as a Consequence of Foraging Behavior

      Launchbaugh, Karen L.; Howery, Larry D. (Society for Range Management, 2005-03-01)
      Many grazing-management challenges stem from poor livestock distribution resulting in overuse of some areas and low utilization of others. Managing livestock-distribution patterns requires knowledge of pasture characteristics and animal behavior patterns. Behavioral patterns result from recognizable processes that include inherited attributes, individual and social learning systems, cue-consequence specificity, predispositions toward novel stimuli, and spatial memory. Through these behavioral mechanisms, animals form and revise preferences and aversions for specific locations in their foraging landscape. To accomplish habitat selection, domestic herbivores use sight and sound cues to seek and return to high-quality foraging locations. Nested within habitat selection are learned diet preferences and aversions by which ungulate herbivores associate taste with positive or negative postingestive feedback. The deliberate and careful modification of animal attributes and habitat characteristics could yield options for adaptive rangeland management. In this article, we describe the basic principles that underlie how animals make decisions about where to forage and how long to stay in a particular habitat. We also suggest management practices designed to modify animal behavior and alter habitat-use patterns. 
    • Understanding Learning Styles in Order to Meet Educational Objectives

      Ford, John E. (Society for Range Management, 2007-04-01)
    • Understanding Mediterranean Pasture Dynamics: General Tree Cover vs. Specific Effects of Individual Trees

      De Miguel, José Manuel; Acosta-Gallo, Belén; Gómez-Sal, Antonio (Society for Range Management, 2013-03-01)
      The study investigated the effect of general and homogeneous tree cover on grassland composition on an extensive Mediterranean rangeland with sparse oak trees in central Spain. We analyzed this effect together with other significant factors identified in this type of rangeland: topography and plowing. Data were collected in the 1984 growing season and they form part of a historical database on the characteristics of vegetation and livestock behavior; these data refer to grasslands below and away from the tree crowns of 91 individual trees, located in different topographical positions and in areas that were last plowed at different times. We used multivariate analyses to identify the main compositional trends of variation in pasture communities. The results indicate that the herbaceous community below tree crowns was more similar to that of the lowland areas than to the nearby areas away from the tree. This result supports the idea of tree cover in semiarid rangelands as a factor attenuating the effects on pastures of environmental conditions typical of high and intermediate topographical positions—generally presenting low soil moisture and fertility. Coupled with this, we also found effects of some individual trees related with the way livestock uses them as shelter and resting places. Our results indicate that the role played by dispersed trees in the management of this type of rangeland should be analyzed at two complementary spatial scales: the overall effect of tree cover as a factor acting at landscape scale and the specific effect of some individual trees acting at a more detailed scale.
    • Understanding Variability in Adaptive Capacity on Rangelands

      Marshall, Nadine A.; Smajgl, Alex (Society for Range Management, 2013-01-01)
      The art and science of developing effective policies and practices to enhance sustainability and adapt to new climate conditions on rangelands and savannas are typically founded on addressing the ‘‘average’’ or ‘‘typical’’ resource user. However, this assumption is flawed since it does not appreciate the extent of diversity among resource users; it risks that strategies will be irrelevant for many people and ignored, and that the grazing resource itself will remain unprotected. Understanding social heterogeneity is vital for effective natural resource management. Our aim was to understand the extent to which graziers in the northern Australian rangelands varied in their capacity to adapt to climate variability and recommended practices. Adaptive capacity was assessed according to four dimensions: 1) the perception of risk, 2) skills in planning, learning and reorganising, 3) financial and emotional flexibility, and 4) interest in adapting. We conducted 100 face-to-face interviews with graziers in their homes obtaining a 97% response rate. Of the 16 possible combinations that the four dimensions represent, we observed that all combinations were present in the Burdekin. Any single initiative to address grazing land management practices in the region is unlikely to address the needs of all graziers. Rather, policies could be tailored to type-specific needs based on adaptive capacity.Efforts to shift graziers from very low, low, or moderate levels of adaptive capacity are urgently needed. We suggest some strategies.
    • Understory Biomass Response to Microsite and Age of Bedded Slash Pine Plantations

      Ball, M. J.; Hunter, D. H.; Swindel, B. F. (Society for Range Management, 1981-01-01)
      Understory standing crop biomass was studied on three culturally imposed microsites (bed, furrow, and flat) bedded slash pine (Pinus elliottii) plantations in north Florida. Biomass was clipped in the late spring of 1977 on plantations 2, 5, and 10 years old and separated into five classes: grass, forb, sedge, shrub, and litter (including standing dead). After an initial abundance following site preparation sedges and forbs dropped to relatively low levels within the first 5 years of plantations development. Grasses were the dominant live vegetation in two-year-old plantations. Shrubs became dominant by the fifth year and remained so through the 10th year. Litter, as a result of the lack of cultural treatments designed to remove accumulated dead vegetation, was the major biomass class (more than 8,000 kg/ha by the fifth year following pine establishment). Total live understory biomass increased from the second to the fifth year after which it decreased. Grass standing crop biomass was highest on the flats, lowest in furrows. Hence, forage inventories should be stratified by microsite. Prescribed burning on a properly managed cattle operation may prevent high accumulations of litter while effectively improving the availability of palatable forage. Forage may also be increased by decreasing the proportion of land occupied by the less productive microsites, namely the furrows and beds.
    • Understory Cover Responses to Piñon-Juniper Treatments Across Tree Dominance Gradients in the Great Basin

      Roundy, B. A.; Miller, R. F.; Tausch, R. J.; Young, K.; Hulet, A.; Rau, B.; Jessop, B.; Chambers, J. C.; Eggett, D. (Society for Range Management, 2014-09)
      Piñon (Pinus spp.) and juniper (Juniperus spp.) trees are reduced to restore native vegetation and avoid severe fires where they have expanded into sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt.) communities. However, what phase of tree infilling should treatments target to retain desirable understory cover and avoid weed dominance? Prescribed fire and tree felling were applied to 8-20-ha treatment plots at 11 sites across the Great Basin with a tree-shredding treatment also applied to four Utah sites. Treatments were applied across a tree infilling gradient as quantified by a covariate tree dominance index (TDI=tree cover/tree+shrub+tall perennial grass cover). Mixed model analysis of covariance indicated that treatment×covariate interactions were significant (P<0.05) for most vegetation functional groups 3 yr after treatment. Shrub cover was most reduced with fire at any TDI or by mechanical treatment after infilling resulted in over 50% shrub cover loss (TDI>0.4). Fire increased cheatgrass (Bromus tectorum L.) cover by an average of 4.2% for all values of TDI. Cutting or shredding trees generally produced similar responses and increased total perennial herbaceous and cheatgrass cover by an average of 10.2% and 3.8%, at TDIs ≥0.35 and ≥0.45. Cheatgrass cover estimated across the region was <6% after treatment, but two warmer sites had high cheatgrass cover before (19.2% and 27.2%) and after tree reduction (26.6% and 50.4%). Fuel control treatments are viable management options for increasing understory cover across a range of sites and tree cover gradients, but should be accompanied by revegetation on warmer sites with depleted understories where cheatgrass is highly adapted. Shrub and perennial herbaceous cover can be maintained by mechanically treating at lower TDI. Perennial herbaceous cover is key for avoiding biotic and abiotic thresholds in this system through resisting weed dominance and erosion. © 2014 The Society for Range Management.
    • Understory dynamics in cut and uncut western juniper woodlands

      Bates, J. D.; Miller, R. F.; Svejcar, T. J. (Society for Range Management, 2000-01-01)
      Expansion of western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis spp. occidentalis Hook.) woodlands in the sagebrush steppe has the potential to change composition, structure, and productivity of understory vegetation. Cutting of western juniper woodland can potentially restore understory productivity and diversity. Understory responses were assessed after cutting a juniper woodland in southeastern Oregon in 1991. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with eight, 0.8 ha sized blocks and 2 treatments, cut and uncut woodland. Understory cover, density, diversity, biomass, and nitrogen (N) status were compared between treatments after cutting Plants were separated into S functional groups: bluegrass (Poa spp.), perennial bunchgrass, perennial forte, annual forte, and annual grass. Cutting of juniper reduced below ground interference for soil water and N. Leaf water potentials were less negative (p < 0.01) and understory N concentration and biomass N were greater (p < 0.05) in the cut versus woodland treatment. Cutting of juniper trees was effective in increasing total understory biomass, cover, and diversity. In the second year post-cutting total understory biomass and N uptake were nearly 9 times greater in cut versus woodland treatments. Perennial plant basal cover was 3 times greater and plant diversity was 1.6 times greater in the cut versus woodland treatments. In the cut, perennial bunchgrass density increased by 1 plant m-2 in both duff and interspace zones and bluegrass increased by 3 plants m-2 in interspaces. Plant succession was dominated by pants present on the site prior to juniper cutting suggesting that pre-treatment floristics may be useful in predicting early successional understory response. Early plant dynamics on this site supports the multiple entrance point model of succession as perennial grasses and bluegrass made up the majority of total herbaceous biomass and cover.
    • Understory Herbage Production as a Function of Rocky Mountain Aspen Stand Density

      Woods, R. F.; Betters, D. R.; Mogren, E. W. (Society for Range Management, 1982-05-01)
      The effects of aspen overstory basal area on herbaceous understory production on the Bears Ears District of the Routt National Forest in northwest Colorado were investigated. Using regression, a coefficient of determination of .61 was found between herbage production and overstory basal area. For overstory basal areas less than 10.0 meter2}/hectare, herbaceous understory production varied considerably and was often double that found at higher densities of overstory basal area. Herbage production at higher densities (10.0 to 18.9 $m2/ha) showed less variation with an average production of 1100 kilograms/hectare. The best opportunities for herbaceous understory production in unmanaged, pure aspen stands occur at overstory basal areas less than 10.0 m2/ha.
    • Understory Herbage Production of Major Soils within the Black Hills of South Dakota

      Bennett, D. L.; Lemme, G. D.; Evenson, P. D. (Society for Range Management, 1987-03-01)
      Two-year understory production was determined on 6 major forest soils across 2 geomorphic regions in the Black Hills of South Dakota. Stepwise multiple regression was used to determine those variables best explaining yield variability. Canopy cover, basal area, soils, May-June precipitation, and soil × cover interactions further improved the models, which accounted for 65 to 76% of the variability in herbage production. Footslope, nonskeletal soils had the highest herbage production (yielding 1,800 kg/ha at 0% canopy cover). The least developed, backslope, skeletal soil had the lowest herbage production (producing only 550 kg/ha at 0% canopy cover) from comparable areas of the Black Hills. Developed models can be used in conjunction with soil survey reports to estimate the forage potential of a given soil mapping unit. Results from this study emphasize the importance of considering the understory vegetation production potential of individual soil series when developing grazable woodland management plans. Soil-related production differences were most strongly expressed under conditions of limited overstory canopy cover.
    • Understory plant response to site preparation and fertilization of loblolly and shortleaf pine forests

      Brockway, D. G.; Wolters, G. L.; Pearson, H. A.; Thill, R. E.; Baldwin, V. C.; Martin, A. (Society for Range Management, 1998-01-01)
      In developing an improved understanding of the dynamics of understory plant composition and productivity in Coastal Plain forest ecosystems, we examined the influence of site preparation and phosphorus fertilization on the successional trends of shrubs and herbaceous plants growing on lands of widely ranging subsoil texture in Arkansas, Louisiana, and Texas which are managed for southern pine production. Burn-inject, chop-burn, chop-burn-disk, double-chop, shear-burn, shear-windrow, and shear-windrow-disk site preparation methods were applied in a completely randomized split-plot design to sites with subsoil textures consisting of loam, gravelly-clay, silt, silty-clay, and clay, both fertilized with 73.4 kg P/ha and unfertilized. Site preparation method, subsoil texture, and fertilization influenced production of paspalums and other forbs the first growing season following treatment, but no treatment combination affected plant groups in subsequent years. Total herbaceous production increased 24 to 35-fold over pretreatment levels the first growing season after treatment. While site preparation methods had little influence on herbaceous biomass, subsoil texture affected herbaceous production the first year after treatment, with loam subsoils being most productive. Although annual composites were the most abundant herbaceous group the first year after treatment, they were largely replaced by perennial grasses by the third post-treatment growing season. By the seventh growing season following treatment, herbaceous production declined on all subsoil textures with composition and yield approximating pretreatment estimates. Subsoil texture influenced shrub density only in the first and third growing seasons after treatment. During the first few years after site preparation, herbaceous production appeared inversely related to shrub density. In the first and third post-treatment growing seasons, fertilization significantly increased total herbaceous production and biomass of composites and legumes. But 7 years after application, total herbaceous production and biomass of bluestems, other grasses, and sedges was greater on unfertilized areas. The absence of differences among treatments by the seventh post-treatment growing season indicates an overall long-term similarity in the degree of disturbance caused by application of each method in this ecosystem.
    • Understory Response Three Years After Thinning Pine

      McConnell, B. R.; Smith, J. G. (Society for Range Management, 1965-05-01)
      Understory yield was greater on thinned than on unthinned plots. When pine canopy exceeded 45 percent, forbs produced more than grasses; below 45 percent, grasses were superior producers.