Welcome to the Rangeland Ecology & Management archives. The journal Rangeland Ecology & Management (RE&M; v58, 2005-present) is the successor to the Journal of Range Management (JRM; v. 1-57, 1948-2004.) The archives provide public access, in a "rolling window" agreement with the Society for Range Management, to both titles (JRM and RE&M), from v.1 up to five years from the present year.

The most recent years of RE&M are available through membership in the Society for Range Management (SRM). Membership in SRM is a means to access current information and dialogue on rangeland management.

Your institution may also have access to current issues through library or institutional subscriptions.

Print ISSN: 0022-409x

Online ISSN: 1550-7424


Contact the University Libraries Journal Team with questions about these journals.

Recent Submissions

  • Supplying Carbon Sequestration From West African Rangelands: Opportunities and Barriers

    Lipper, Leslie; Dutilly-Diane, Celine; McCarthy, Nancy (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    The emergence of markets for mitigation of climate change presents new opportunities for increasing economic and ecological returns to rangelands in developing countries. Improving rangeland management is a potentially significant source of mitigation from sequestration. It is appealing due to the likely links to sustainable agricultural development and poverty reduction. Many of the changes needed to sequester carbon are also associated with improved rangeland productivity and incomes. We provide an overview of the key issues that arise in determining the potential of carbon markets to support improved rangeland management focusing on West Africa, an area where pastoralism is a major economic activity with extensive rangelands that offer considerable potential for sequestering carbon. Estimates of the potential for increasing sequestration through improved rangeland management are summarized. Per hectare amounts are low, but aggregate potential is high. Carbon emission reductions are generated by reducing or avoiding land degradation, rehabilitating degraded lands, and increasing native carbon stocks by increasing aboveground and belowground biomass. Avoiding degradation and rehabilitating lightly degraded lands are the least costly and can generate significant carbon emission reductions. Carbon offsets from agricultural sources are currently limited under regulatory cap and trade regimes, and prices in voluntary markets are relatively low. Low returns to carbon offsets per hectare mean that significant co- benefits in the form of increased rangeland productivity and incomes would be necessary to induce participation. High transactions costs can be a problem in carbon markets and in adopting improved rangeland management practices, highlighting the need for institutions to provide effective coordination, monitoring, and enforcement. Evidence from Burkina Faso suggests the potential for existing local-level institutions to play an important role in future carbon payment programs, should they emerge. 
  • Improving Estimates of Rangeland Carbon Sequestration Potential in the US Southwest

    Brown, Joel; Angerer, Jay; Salley, Shawn W.; Blaisdell, Robert; Stuth, Jerry W. (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    Rangelands make an important contribution to carbon dynamics of terrestrial ecosystems. We used a readily accessible interface (COMET VR) to a simulation model (CENTURY) to predict changes in soil carbon in response to management changes commonly associated with conservation programs. We also used a subroutine of the model to calculate an estimate of uncertainty of the model output based on the similarity between climate, soil, and management history inputs and those used previously to parameterize the model for common land use (cropland to perennial grassland) and management (stocking rate reductions and legume addition) changes to test the validity of the approach across the southwestern United States. The conversion of small grain cropland to perennial cover was simulated acceptably (< 20% uncertainty) by the model for soil, climate, and management history attributes representative of 32% of land area currently in small grain production, while the simulation of small grain cropland to perennial cover + legumes was acceptable on 73% of current small grain production area. The model performed poorly on arid and semiarid rangelands for both management (reduced stocking) and restoration (legume addition) practices. Only 66% of land area currently used as rangeland had climate, soil, and management attributes that resulted in acceptable uncertainty. Based on our results, it will be difficult to credibly predict changes to soil carbon resulting from common land use and management practices, both at fine and coarse scales. To overcome these limitations, we propose an integrated system of spatially explicit direct measurement of soil carbon at locations with well-documented management histories and climatic records to better parameterize the model for rangeland applications. Further, because the drivers of soil carbon fluxes on rangelands are dominated by climate rather than management, the interface should be redesigned to simulate soil carbon changes based on ecological state rather than practice application. 
  • Managing Sources and Sinks of Greenhouse Gases in Australia’s Rangelands and Tropical Savannas

    Cook, Garry D.; Williams, Richard J.; Stokes, Christopher J.; Hutley, Lindsay B.; Ash, Andrew J.; Richards, Anna E. (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    Rangelands and savannas occupy 70% of the Australian continent and are mainly used for commercial grazing of sheep and cattle. In the center and north, where there are extensive areas of indigenous land ownership and pastoral production is less intensive, savanna burning is frequent. Greenhouse gas emissions from rangelands have been overwhelmingly from land clearing and methane production by livestock. Reductions in the rate of land clearing have substantially reduced Australia’s greenhouse gas emissions, but these have been controversial with the reduced potential pasture production being of concern to many land managers. Reductions in direct livestock emissions are possible through manipulation of the genetics, rumen flora, or diet of animals. However, the greatest potential benefit is a whole-property approach with improved animal husbandry and attention to other aspects of property management such as fossil fuel consumption. Focus on emissions per unit of land area is likely to have other ecological benefits for land condition and to capture the effects of changes in carbon stocks in vegetation and soils. In much of northern and central Australia, changes in settlement patterns have led to more frequent and intense fires than under indigenous management regimes before European settlement. The implementation of more benign regimes of savanna burning has great potential benefit for greenhouse abatement, biodiversity, and livelihoods of indigenous people in remote settlements. 
  • Soil Carbon Pools in California’s Annual Grassland Ecosystems

    Silver, Whendee L.; Ryals, Rebecca; Eviner, Valerie (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    Rangeland ecosystems cover approximately one-third of the land area in the United States and half of the land area of California. This large land area, coupled with the propensity of grasses to allocate a considerable proportion of their photosynthate belowground, leads to high soil carbon (C) sequestration potential. Annual grasslands typical of the Mediterranean climates of the western United States differ in their life history strategies from the well-studied perennial grasslands of other regions and thus may also differ in their soil C pools and fluxes. In this study we use the literature to explore patterns in soil C storage in annual grass-dominated rangelands in California. We show that soil C is highly predictable with depth. Cumulative soil C content increased to 2-3-m depth in rangelands with a woody component and to at least 1-m depth in open rangelands. Soil C within a given depth varied widely, with C content in the top 1-m depth spanning almost 200 Mg C ha-1 across sites. Soil C pools were not correlated with temperature or precipitation at a regional scale. The presence of woody plants increased C by an average of 40 Mg ha-1 in the top meter of soil. Grazed annual grasslands had similar soil C content as ungrazed grassland at all depths examined, although few details on grazing management were available. Soil C pools were weakly positively correlated with clay content and peaked at intermediated levels of aboveground net primary production. Our results suggest that annual grasslands have similar soil C storage capacity as temperate perennial grasslands and offer an important resource for mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions and climate change. 
  • Nutrient Limitations of Carbon Uptake: From Leaves to Landscapes in a California Rangeland Ecosystem

    Houlton, Benjamin Z.; Field, Christopher B. (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    Nutrient controls of ecosystem pattern and process have been widely studied at the Jasper Ridge Biological Preserve, a well-studied California rangeland ecosystem. Here we review these studies, from leaf to landscape scales, with the intention of developing a deeper understanding of carbon (C)-nutrient interactions in such an ecosystem. At the leaf scale, several studies conducted on diverse plant species have revealed a strong positive relationship between leaf nitrogen (N) concentrations and maximal rates of photosynthesis. This relationship, which has subsequently been observed globally, can be explained by the nutritional requirements of photosynthetic machinery. Consistent with this local physiological constraint, N availability has been shown to limit carbon uptake of California rangeland ecosystems. In some cases phosphorus (P; and N plus P) limits productivity, too—particularly in serpentine soils, pointing to the importance of parent material in regulating CO2 uptake at landscape scales. Nutrient dynamics are also affected by herbivory, which seems to accelerate N and P cycles over the short term (years), but may lead to nutrient limitation of plant production over the longer term (decades). Simulated global change experiments at Jasper Ridge have also provided insight into C-nutrient interactions in grasslands. In particular, several field- based experiments have shown that CO2 doubling does not necessarily simulate productivity of California grasslands; rather, the strength and sign of net primary productivity (NPP) responses to CO2 doubling varies across years and conditions. Although simulated N deposition stimulates NPP, N plus CO2 combinations do not necessarily increase productivity beyond N treatments singly. Poorly understood feedbacks between plants, microbes, and P availability may underlie variation in the response of California grasslands to increasing atmospheric CO2 concentrations. We conclude that interactions between C, N, and P appear especially vital in shaping plant productivity patterns in California rangelands and the capacity of this ecosystem to store additional C in the future. 
  • Pathways of Grazing Effects on Soil Organic Carbon and Nitrogen

    Piñero, Gervasio; Paruelo, José M.; Oesterheld, Martín; Jobbágy, Esteban G. (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    Grazing modifies the structure and function of ecosystems, affecting soil organic carbon (SOC) storage. Although grazing effects on some ecosystem attributes have been thoroughly reviewed, current literature on grazing effects on SOC needs to be synthesized. Our objective was to synthesize the effects of grazing on SOC stocks in grasslands, establishing the major mechanistic pathways involved. Additionally, and because of its importance for carbon (C) biogeochemistry, we discuss the controls of soil organic nitrogen (N) stocks. We reviewed articles analyzing grazing effects on soil organic matter (SOM) stocks by comparing grazed vs. ungrazed sites, including 67 paired comparisons. SOC increased, decreased, or remained unchanged under contrasting grazing conditions across temperature and precipitation gradients, which suggests that grazing influences the factors that control SOC accumulation in a complex way. However, our review also revealed some general patterns such as 1) root contents (a primary control of SOC formation) were higher in grazed than in their ungrazed counterparts at the driest and wettest sites, but were lower at sites with intermediate precipitation (<400 mm to 850 mm); 2) SOM C:N ratios frequently increased under grazing conditions, which suggests potential N limitations for SOM formation under grazing; and 3) bulk density either increased or did not change in grazed sites. Nearly all sites located in the intermediate precipitation range showed decreases or no changes in SOC. We grouped previously proposed mechanisms of grazing control over SOC into three major pathways that can operate simultaneously: 1) changes in net primary production (NPP pathway), 2) changes in nitrogen stocks (nitrogen pathway), and 3) changes in organic matter decomposition (decomposition pathway). The relative importance of the three pathways may generate variable responses of SOC to grazing. Our conceptual model suggests that rangeland productivity and soil carbon sequestration can be simultaneously increased by management practices aimed at increasing N retention at the landscape level. 
  • Carbon Stocks and Fluxes in Rangelands of the Río de la Plata Basin

    Paruelo, José M.; Piñeiro, Gervasio; Baldi, Germán; Baeza, Santiago; Lezama, Felipe; Altesor, Alice; Oesterheld, Martín (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    Grasslands are one of the most modified biomes on Earth. Land use changes had a large impact on carbon (C) stocks of grasslands. Understanding the impact of land use/land cover changes on C stocks and fluxes is critical to evaluate the potential of rangeland ecosystem as C sinks. In this article we analyze C stocks and fluxes across the environmental gradients of one of the most extensive temperate rangeland areas: the R ́ıo de la Plata Grasslands (RPG) in South America. The analysis summarizes information provided by field studies, remote sensing estimates, and modeling exercises. Average estimates of aboveground net primary production (ANPP) ranged from 240 to 316 g C m-2 yr-1. Estimates of belowground NPP (BNPP) were more variable than ANPP and ranged from 264 to 568 g C m-2 yr-1. Total Carbon ranged from 5 004 to 15 008 g C m-2. Plant biomass contribution to Total Carbon averaged 13% and varied from 9.5% to 27% among sites. The largest plant C stock corresponded to belowground biomass. Aboveground green biomass represented less than 7% of the plant C. Soil organic carbon (SOC) was concentrated in the slow and passive compartments of the organic matter. Active soil pool represented only 6.7% of the SOC. The understanding of C dynamics and stocks in the RPG grasslands is still partial and incomplete. Field estimates of ANPP and BNPP are scarce, and they are not based on a common measurement protocol. Remotely sensed techniques have the potential to generate a coherent and spatially explicit database on ANPP. However, more work is needed to improve estimates of the spatial and temporal variability of radiation use efficiency. The absence of a flux tower network restricts the ability to track seasonal changes in C uptake and to understand fine-scale controls of C dynamics. 
  • Land Use Influences Carbon Fluxes in Northern Kazakhstan

    Perez-Quezada, Jorge F.; Saliendra, Nicanor Z.; Akshalov, Kanat; Johnson, Douglas A.; Laca, Emilio (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    A mobile, closed-chamber system (CC) was used to measure carbon and water fluxes on four land-use types common in the Kazakh steppe ecoregion. Land uses represented crop (wheat or barley, WB), abandoned land (AL), crested wheatgrass (CW), and virgin land (VL). Measurements were conducted during the growing season of 2002 in northern Kazakhstan at three locations (blocks) 15-20 km apart. The CC allowed the measurement of the carbon flux components of net ecosystem exchange (NEE), ecosystem respiration (RE) and soil respiration (RS), together with evapotranspiration (ET). Nonlinear regression analyses were used to model gross primary production (GPP) and ET as a function of photosynthetically active radiation (Q); RE and RS were modeled based on air (Tair) and soil (Ts) temperature, respectively. GPP, RE, RS, and ET were estimated for the entire year with the use of continuous 20-min means of Q, Tair, and Ts. Annual NEE indicated that AL gained 536 g CO2 m-2, WB lost – 191 g CO2 m-2, CW was near equilibrium (–14g CO2 m-2), and VL exhibited considerable carbon accumulation (153g CO2 m-2). The lower GPP values of the land-use types dominated by native species (CW and VL) compared to WB and AL were compensated by positive NEE values that were maintained during a longer growing season. As expected, VL and CW allocated a larger proportion of their carbon assimilates belowground. Non-growing-season RE accounted for about 19% of annual RE in all land-use types. The results of this landscape-level study suggest that carbon lost by cultivation of VLs is partially being restored when fields are left uncultivated, and that VLs are net sinks of carbon. Estimations of carbon balances have important management implications, such as estimation of ecosystem productivity and carbon credit certification. 
  • Net Carbon Fluxes Over Burned and Unburned Native Tallgrass Prairie

    Bremer, Dale J.; Ham, Jay M. (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    Prescribed burning of aboveground biomass in tallgrass prairie is common and may influence dynamics and magnitudes of carbon (C) movement between the surface and atmosphere. Carbon dioxide (CO2) fluxes were measured for 2 yr using conditional sampling systems on two adjacent watersheds in an ungrazed tallgrass prairie near Manhattan, Kansas. One watershed was burned annually (BA) and the other biennially (BB). Leaf and soil CO2 fluxes were measured in the source area. Net ecosystem exchange (NEE) of CO2 reached a maximum daily gain of 26.4 g CO2 m-2 d-1 (flux toward surface is positive) in July 1998 (year when both sites were burned and precipitation was above normal); gains were similar between sites in 1998. The maximum daily NEE loss of CO2 was 221.8 g CO2 m-2 d-1 from BA in September 1997 (year when only BA was burned and precipitation was below normal). When data were integrated over the two years, both sites were net sources of atmospheric CO2; NEE was –389 g C m-2 2 yr-1 on BA and –195 g C m-2 2 yr-1 on BB. Burning increased canopy size and photosynthesis, but the greater photosynthesis was offset by corresponding increases in respiration (from canopy and soil). Carbon losses from fire represented 6-10% of annual CO2 emissions (bulk came from soil and canopy respiration). Data suggest that annual burning promotes C loss compared to less-frequently burned tallgrass prairie where prairie is not grazed by ungulates. Greater precipitation in 1998 caused large increases in biomass and a more positive growing season NEE, indicating that C sequestration appears more likely when precipitation is high. Because C inputs (photosynthesis) and losses (canopy and soil respiration) were large, small measurement or modeling errors could confound attempts to determine if the ecosystems are long-term CO2 sources or sinks. 
  • Diurnal and Seasonal Patterns in Ecosystem CO2 Fluxes and Their Controls in a Temperate Grassland

    Risch, Anita C.; Frank, Douglas A. (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    There is considerable interest in understanding processes of carbon dioxide (CO2) uptake and release in grasslands and the factors that control them. Many studies have investigated how CO2 fluxes vary over time (monthly, seasonally, annually). However, with the exception of net ecosystem CO2 exchange (NEE) and ecosystem respiration (Reco), little information is available on diurnal flux patterns, despite their importance in determining total ecosystem CO2 gains and losses. To better understand these variations, we measured CO2 fluxes (NEE, Reco, soil respiration [Rsoil], canopy respiration [Rcanopy], plant assimilation [assimilation]) with a climate-controlled closed-chamber system over 24 h once a month from May to September during the 2005 growing season in a mesic grassland in Yellowstone National Park. We also assessed how environmental factors (photosynthetic active radiation [PAR], air temperature, soil temperature, soil moisture) were associated with these diurnal and seasonal flux patterns to identify the main drivers of the fluctuations in CO2. Measurements were conducted simultaneously on two plots: one irrigated, the other unirrigated. Absolute values of all fluxes were greatest in midsummer (June-July), and lowest in spring and fall (May, September) at both plots. Variation in soil moisture as a result of irrigation did not lead to pronounced differences in seasonal CO2 fluxes and did not influence the diurnal patterns of CO2 uptake and release. Instead, the diurnal and seasonal variations of our ecosystem fluxes were related to PAR and temperature (air/soil) and soil moisture and temperature (air/soil), respectively, at both plots. Thus, continued anthropogenic increases in greenhouse gas emissions that are expected to change the intensity of radiation, temperature, and precipitation may strongly affect the diurnal and seasonal patterns in CO2 uptake and release. Such chamber-based information combined with the measurement of environmental variables could be important for modeling CO2 budgets when no continuous measurements are available or affordable. 
  • New Parameterization of a Global Vegetation Model for Steppe Ecosystem From Southern Siberian In Situ Measurements

    Vuichard, Nicolas; Ciais, Philippe; Belelli-Marchesini, Luca; Valentini, Riccardo (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    This article presents a new parameterization of the global vegetation organizing carbon and hydrology in dynamic ecosystems (ORCHIDEE) model, modifying the assimilation, allocation, and phenology processes for a steppe ecosystem. It aims 1) to improve the modeled growth primary production (GPP) based on both in situ CO2 flux measurements and remote-sensing data of the fraction of absorbed photosynthetic radiation, and 2) to evaluate how GPP improvement results in better-modeled fluxes for ecosystem respiration, net ecosystem exchange, and latent heat. This new parameterization leads to a realistic annual GPP (comparable to the data within 10%), and a realistic seasonal variability of GPP (R2 = 0.80). Further, we found that improving GPP into ORCHIDEE immediately brings ecosystem respiration and net ecosystem exchange fluxes into better agreement with the eddy-covariance data, both on seasonal but also on interannual time scales. This result suggests that the response of this steppe ecosystem to interannual climate variations can be well reproduced from the response to seasonal variation, and that biotic effects are not interannual. This indicates the potential ability to reproduce climate-induced changes in the carbon balance of steppes with the use of a generic process-oriented vegetation model such as ORCHIDEE. 
  • Climate-Driven Interannual Variability in Net Ecosystem Exchange in the Northern Great Plains Grasslands

    Zhang, Li; Wylie, Bruce K.; Ji, Lei; Gilmanov, Tagir G.; Tieszen, Larry L. (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    The Northern Great Plains grasslands respond differently under various climatic conditions; however, there have been no detailed studies investigating the interannual variability in carbon exchange across the entire Northern Great Plains grassland ecosystem. We developed a piecewise regression model to integrate flux tower data with remotely sensed data and mapped the 8-d and 500-m net ecosystem exchange (NEE) for the years from 2000 to 2006. We studied the interannual variability of NEE, characterized the interannual NEE difference in climatically different years, and identified the drought impact on NEE. The results showed that NEE was highly variable in space and time across the 7 yr. Specifically, NEE was consistently low (–35 to 32 g C m-2 yr-1) with an average annual NEE of –2 +/- 24 g C m-2 yr-1 and a cumulative flux of –15 g C m-2. The Northern Great Plains grassland was a weak source for carbon during 2000-2006 because of frequent droughts, which strongly affected the carbon balance, especially in the Western High Plains and Northwestern Great Plains. Comparison of the NEE map with a drought monitor map confirmed a substantial correlation between drought and carbon dynamics. If drought severity or frequency increases in the future, the Northern Great Plains grasslands may become an even greater carbon source. 
  • Productivity, Respiration, and Light-Response Parameters of World Grassland and Agroecosystems Derived From Flux-Tower Measurements

    Gilmanov, Tagir G.; Airess, L.; Barcza, Z.; Baron, V. S.; Belelli, L.; Beringer, J.; Billesbach, D.; Bonal, D.; Bradford, J.; Ceschia, E.; et al. (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    Grasslands and agroecosystems occupy one-third of the terrestrial area, but their contribution to the global carbon cycle remains uncertain. We used a set of 316 site-years of CO2 exchange measurements to quantify gross primary productivity, respiration, and light-response parameters of grasslands, shrublands/savanna, wetlands, and cropland ecosystems worldwide. We analyzed data from 72 global flux-tower sites partitioned into gross photosynthesis and ecosystem respiration with the use of the light-response method (Gilmanov, T. G., D. A. Johnson, and N. Z. Saliendra. 2003. Growing season CO2 fluxes in a sagebrush-steppe ecosystem in Idaho: Bowen ratio/energy balance measurements and modeling. Basic and Applied Ecology 4:167-183) from the RANGEFLUX and WORLDGRASSAGRIFLUX data sets supplemented by 46 sites from the FLUXNET La Thuile data set partitioned with the use of the temperature-response method (Reichstein, M., E. Falge, D. Baldocchi, D. Papale, R. Valentini, M. Aubinet, P. Berbigier, C. Bernhofer, N. Buchmann, M. Falk, T. Gilmanov, A. Granier, T. Grünwald, K. Havránková, D. Janous, A. Knohl, T. Laurela, A. Lohila, D. Loustau, G. Matteucci, T. Meyers, F. Miglietta, J. M. Ourcival, D. Perrin, J. Pumpanen, S. Rambal, E. Rotenberg, M. Sanz, J. Tenhunen, G. Seufert, F. Vaccari, T. Vesala, and D. Yakir. 2005. On the separation of net ecosystem exchange into assimilation and ecosystem respiration: review and improved algorithm. Global Change Biology 11:1424-1439). Maximum values of the quantum yield (a = 75 mmol mol-1), photosynthetic capacity (Amax = 3.4 mg CO2 m-2 s-1), gross photosynthesis (Pg, max = 116 g CO2 m-2 d-1), and ecological light-use efficiency (eecol = 59 mmol mol-1) of managed grasslands and high-production croplands exceeded those of most forest ecosystems, indicating the potential of nonforest ecosystems for uptake of atmospheric CO2. Maximum values of gross primary production (8 600 g CO2 m-2 yr-1), total ecosystem respiration (7 900 g CO2 m-2 yr-1), and net CO2 exchange (2 400 g CO2 m-2 yr-1) were observed for intensively managed grasslands and high-yield crops, and are comparable to or higher than those for forest ecosystems, excluding some tropical forests. On average, 80% of the nonforest sites were apparent sinks for atmospheric CO2, with mean net uptake of 700 g CO2 m-2 yr-1 for intensive grasslands and 933 g CO2 m-2 d-1 for croplands. However, part of these apparent sinks is accumulated in crops and forage, which are carbon pools that are harvested, transported, and decomposed off site. Therefore, although agricultural fields may be predominantly sinks for atmospheric CO2, this does not imply that they are necessarily increasing their carbon stock. 
  • Soil Carbon Sequestration in Grazing Lands: Societal Benefits and Policy Implications

    Follett, Ronald F.; Reed, Debbie A. (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    This forum manuscript examines the importance of grazing lands for sequestering soil organic carbon (SOC), providing societal benefits, and potential influences on them of emerging policies and legislation. Global estimates are that grazing lands occupy, 3.6 billion ha and account for about one-fourth of potential carbon (C) sequestration in world soils. They remove the equivalent of < 20% of the carbon dioxide (CO2) released annually into the earth’s atmosphere from global deforestation and land-use changes. Atmospheric CO2 enters grazing lands soils through photosynthetic assimilation by green plants, subsequent cycling, and sequestration of some of that C as SOC to in turn contribute to the ability of grazing lands to provide societal (environmental and economic) benefits in every country where they exist. Environmental benefits provided include maintenance and well-being of immediate and surrounding soil and water resources, air quality, human and wildlife habitat, and esthetics. Grazing lands contribute to the economic well-being of those living on the land, to trade, and to exchange of goods and services derived from them at local, regional, or national levels. Rates of SOC sequestration vary with climate, soil, and management; examples and conditions selected from US literature illustrate the SOC sequestration that might be achieved. Public efforts, policy considerations, and research in the United States illustrate possible alternatives that impact grazing lands. Discussion of US policy issues related to SOC sequestration and global climate change reflect the importance attached to these topics and of pending legislative initiatives in the United States. Addressing primarily US policy does not lessen the importance of such issues in other countries, but allows an in-depth analysis of legislation, US Department of Agriculture program efforts, soil C credits in greenhouse gas markets, and research needs. 
  • Global Grazinglands and Greenhouse Gas Fluxes

    Laca, Emilio A.; McEachern, Mary-Brooke; Demment, Montague W. (Society for Range Management, 2010-01-01)
    Grazinglands, vegetated land that is grazed or has the potential to be grazed by wild and/or domestic ungulates, occupy about half of the world’s surface, provide livelihoods to almost one billion people, and constitute a major component of the global carbon stock and cycle. Grazinglands have significant potential for mitigation of climate change in the short term, and management practices that lead to mitigation are fairly well known. However, the degree to which this mitigation potential is realized pivots on our ability to design cost-effective protocols to promote the implementation of such management practices. In order to create efficient protocols we need a deeper and more precise knowledge of the processes and factors that affect greenhouse gas (GHG; mainly CO2, N2O, and CH4) fluxes and carbon (C) stocks in grazinglands.