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.

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Print ISSN: 0022-409x

Online ISSN: 1550-7424


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Recent Submissions

  • Are Bison Intermediate Feeders? Unveiling Summer Diet Selection at the Northern Fringe of Historical Distribution

    Leonard, J.L.; Perkins, L.B.; Lammers, D.J.; Jenks, J.A. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Bison (Bison bison) were historically distributed throughout North America with the northern edge of the distribution occurring in north-central Manitoba and surrounding provinces. Despite bison occupying the boreal zone of North America, little is known of their forage selection patterns of herbaceous plant material when occupying pastures within a densely forested aspen ecosystem. In 2015 we initiated a study to examine forage selection patterns for bison among and within summer months (June-August). We hypothesized that vegetative composition of bison diets would be consistent with availability, would shift with forage availability, and would predominately consist of grass and sedge species. We opportunistically collected adult female bison fecal samples (N = 99) and identified forage composition using the DNA barcoding method. We estimated availability of forage to the lowest taxonomical level possible using a modified Daubenmire frame. Overall, bison diets were composed of 44.3% grass, 37.7% forb, 16.3% browse, and < 2% sedge and rush. Forage availability comprised 51.2% grass, 28.3% forb, 11.0% sedge, and 7.6% rush. All analyses indicated that use and availability for grass, forb, sedge, and rush differed (P ≤ 0.05) throughout the summer. Grass and forbs were important dietary components for bison, comprising > 80% of bison diets. However, bison selected for these two dietary components independently as the summer progressed. Our results indicate that these bison consume a large portion (∼54.0%) of low-cellulose, high cell-soluble forages to meet their dietary needs. This suggests that bison may be or become intermediate foragers and are more like elk (Cervus elapus) than domestic cattle or sheep when inhabiting forested systems at the northern edge of their historical distribution. Herd managers and biologists should be cognizant of the importance of eudicots for bison and adopt a management plan that promotes a spatially heterogenous vegetative schematic. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Impacts of Feral Horse Use on Herbaceous Riparian Vegetation within a Sagebrush Steppe Ecosystem

    Boyd, C.S.; Davies, K.W.; Collins, G.H. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Feral horses inhabit rangeland ecosystems around the world, and their impacts on riparian ecosystems are poorly understood. We characterized impacts of a free-ranging horse population on the structure and composition of riparian plant communities in the sagebrush steppe ecosystem in the western United States. We used a randomized block design with single 25 × 50m exclosures and grazed plots on four study sites within Sheldon National Wildlife Refuge in northwestern Nevada. Exclosures were constructed in 2008. Herbaceous plant utilization was measured from 2009 to 2013 by clipping within excluded and grazed plots. Herbaceous production and vertical structure were measured in 2013, and plant functional group and ground cover components were estimated in 2012-2013. Herbaceous utilization ranged from 27% to 84%, and herbaceous production did not differ by grazing treatment (P = 0.472). Grazed plots had seven-fold higher bare ground cover (P < 0.001), 60% less litter cover (P < 0.001), and the basal cover index was 65% higher. Grazing increased rush density by 50% (P = 0.041) but did not affect sedge density (P = 0.514). Grazing decreased herbaceous stubble height up to 80% and visual obstruction by about 70% (P < 0.05). Deep-rooted hydrophytic plant species did not increase with grazing exclusion, but greater vertical structure in excluded plots could improve hiding and nesting habitat for some riparian-associated wildlife species. Additionally, decreased bare ground with grazing exclusion could reduce erosion potential and susceptibility to invasive plant species. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • High-Temporal Resolution Photography for Observing Riparian Area Use and Grazing Behavior

    Nichols, M.H.; Ruyle, G.B.; Dille, P. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Observation is a simple method of acquiring information and is a critical step in the scientific method for both developing and investigating testable hypotheses. Cameras have long played a role in observation, and as technology advances, new tools and methods for collecting, interrogating, and displaying large quantities of high-resolution images have evolved. We describe an automated digital time-lapse camera system and present an example field deployment to observe the temporal and spatial patterns of riparian use by humans and animals during a 3-mo period. We also describe software tools for image interrogation and visualization, as well as new information gathered through their use. The system was tested in 2014, in a 2.4-ha site within the Apache-Sitgreaves National Forest in east central Arizona, United States where elk (Cervus elaphus nelsoni) and cattle grazed. Photographs were taken every 30 sec for 38 d, afterwhich an electric fencewas installed to restrict cattle access and the time step was increased to every 3 min. We observed that elk exhibited the unique behavior of standing in and traveling within the streamchannelwhile grazing and tended to graze and lie in close proximity to the channel. Cattle drank from, but typically did not enter, the stream channel and tended to lie away fromthe channel. Recreational use by people had the distinct impact of dispersing elk fromthe riparian corridor. Zoomable time-lapse videos allowed us to observe that in contrast to the cattle, elk grazedwhile lying down. High-temporal resolution photography is a practical tool for observing phenomena that are important for local resource management. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Analysis of Seasonal Grassland Change and Its Drivers during 1982-2006 in Xinjiang

    Duan, H.; Zhao, H.; Jiang, Y.; Li, Y. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Xinjiang is the largest inland province of China, where the ecological environment is vulnerable. The relationship between grassland growth and single climatic factor and howdistinctly the climatic factor trends have influenced grass trends is poorly understood. To address these questions, the Global Inventory Monitoring and Modeling Systems (GIMMS) Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) dataset from 1982 to 2006 is used to evaluate the seasonal changes of NDVI over progressively longer periods from 18 to 25 yr. Multiple regression analysis is used to detect the relation between NDVI and the drivers. Partial correlation analysis and Pearson correlation are used to discuss the difference between the two coefficients. Trend analysis and the Mann-Kendall test are used to detect the implication of climatic factor in the change of grass growth. The results indicate that grassland in Xinjiang represented a slight increasing trend over the 25 yr, with an increasing rate of 7.0 × 10-4 yr-1. The increase of livestock has little effect on NDVI and regional productivity. The partial correlation analysis indicates that both precipitation and temperature are important to grassland dynamics in each season. But precipitation, especially for growing season and summer, plays a more crucial role in influencing the grassland change. However, the precipitation is more influential in a 1-yr scale. In addition, there is a time lag of about 1 mo between the NDVI and precipitation fluctuation in this area. The reasons why the NDVI increases so slowly include the trend variation before and after the turning point of the growing season precipitation trend and the decrease or stalling of precipitation in some areas. The conclusions from this study provide guidance for preserving the ecosystem in inland dry areas and should be considered when carrying out vegetation countermeasures. The methodologies can be transferred to other areas with different climatic conditions. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Fire and Season of Postfire Defoliation Effects on Biomass, Composition, and Cover in Mixed-Grass Prairie

    Gates, E.A.; Vermeire, L.T.; Marlow, C.B.; Waterman, R.C. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    North American prairies are acknowledged to have evolved with grazing following fire. Given this evolutionary fire-grazing interaction, our objective was to determine whether seasonal timing of defoliation following fire alters subsequent productivity and species composition. Following the April 2013 Pautre wildfire in the Grand River National Grasslands of South Dakota, we installed exclosures in three locations along the border of the fire. Grazing exclosures were paired across the fire line to create a burned and nonburned exclosure at each location. Four plots were demarcated in each exclosure. Three plots were defoliated via mowing to 6 cm either 2, 4, or 6 mo following fire, with the fourth maintained as a control. Productivity and species composition data were collected in November 2013, June 2014, August 2014, and July 2015. Fire increased productivity 56% during the 2013 growing season following fire.During the 2014 growing season, there was a tendency for burned sites to maintain greater production. June defoliation resulted in the greatest current-year productivity in 2014 regardless of fire treatment, whereas all other treatments resulted in similar productivity. Fire and defoliation effects on productivity were undetectable in 2015. Community composition was not affected by fire in 2013. Melilotus officinalis was increased by spring defoliation in 2014 and by fire in 2015. Litter was initially reduced by fire but was similar to nonburned levels by 2015. Results indicate that positive fire effects on productivity are limited to the first two growing seasons following fire, whereas defoliation effects manifest the second growing season following fire (first growing season after defoliation). With the exception of old dead material, fire and timing of defoliation affected biomass and community composition independently. Postfire rest from grazing appears unnecessary for the maintenance of plant productivity and species composition in northern mixed-grass prairie. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Prescribed Fire Effects on Activity and Movement of Cattle in Mesic Sagebrush Steppe

    Clark, P.E.; Nielson, R.M.; Lee, J.; Ko, K.; Johnson, D.E.; Ganskopp, D.C.; Chigbrow, J.; Pierson, F.B.; Hardegree, S.P. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Prescribed fire has long been used worldwide for livestock and wildlife management. Prescribed fire effects on activity budgets and movement path characteristics of grazing animals, however, remain largely unknown. We evaluated whether prescribed-fire treatments in mesic sagebrush steppe affect cattle behaviors, which could influence foraging efficiency and, ultimately, impact animal productivity.Mature, lactating beef cows grazing within two study areas located in the Owyhee Mountains of southwestern Idaho, United States were tracked with Global Positioning System collars for 2 yr before and 5 yr after fall prescribed fire. Tracking data were then classified into stationary, foraging, and traveling activity types on the basis of movement distance and velocity thresholds. After fire, cattle in burned sites tended to increase their foraging activity budgets, bout durations, bout counts, and path lengths relative to prefire and cattle in unburned sites. Fire did not affect steepness of cattle foraging paths. Prescribed fire in mesic sagebrush steppe can be used to create opportunities for cattle to improve foraging efficiency by altering their activity budgets and movement path characteristics. Any consequent improvements in foraging efficiency could, in turn, promote increased rates of weight gain, better body condition, enhanced reproductive success, and ultimately, more pounds of beef for market. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Whole-Ranch Unit Analysis of Multipaddock Grazing on Rangeland Sustainability in North Central Texas

    Becker, W.; Kreuter, U.; Atkinson, S.; Teague, R. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    The relevance of broad-spectrumadvocacy of rotational grazing is often questioned becausemany research data do not support the practice, yet it is supported by on-ranch level indicators, ranch-level research, and government agencies that provide technical assistance to private land owners and managers. It is theorized that whole-ranch systems differ from experimental plots because of the use of adaptive management. The purpose of our study was to understand the perceptions of ranchers on impacts of ranch-scalemultipaddock grazing, especially as it relates to rangeland sustainability in six North Central Texas counties. Sustainability was identified by three indices: land health sustainability, economic sustainability, and social sustainability. Four categories of grazing systems were identified: continuous, 2-4 paddocks, 4-8 paddocks, and 8 or more paddocks. Data were collected using a self-assessment mail survey. Analysis of respondent data indicated that increasing the number of paddocks may improve land health sustainability indicators on commercial ranches in North Central Texas, especially when respondents use eight or more paddocks. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Plant Community Composition after 75 Yr of Sustained Grazing Intensity Treatments in Shortgrass Steppe

    Porensky, L.M.; Derner, J.D.; Augustine, D.J.; Milchunas, D.G. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Plant community responses to livestock grazing lack conformity across studies, even those conducted within similar ecosystems. Variability in outcomes can often be traced back to short-termor mid-termweather patterns, differences in grazing timing or intensity, or interactive effects of management and weather. Long-term experimental data are needed to determine howgrazing intensity affects plant community composition in semiarid ecosystems where precipitation is low and highly variable. However, long-term grazing intensity experiments, particularly experiments with more than two grazing intensity treatment levels, are quite rare. We capitalized on one of the longest-term grazing studies, with 75 yr of sustained stocking rate treatments (none, light, moderate, and heavy), to identify long-term effects of livestock grazing on plant community composition in shortgrass steppe. Plant community compositionwas similar betweenmoderately and heavily grazed pastures after 75 yr of continuous, season-long (May to October) grazing treatments, and heavy grazing did not extirpate cool-season perennial graminoids. These findings support the long-termsustainability of livestock grazing in the shortgrass steppe, which has high resistance to season-long heavy grazing. Conversely, ungrazed and lightly grazed pastures experienced relatively large shifts in plant community composition, especially in the past 25 yr. Light or no grazing was associated with increased abundance of cool-season perennial graminoids, as well as several weedy and invasive species. Moreover, across most grazing treatments, several aspects of plant community composition have been shifting directionally during the past 25 yr, which recent experiments in this grassland suggest may be a response to increasing atmospheric (CO2). The shortgrass steppe is not only tolerant of fairly high grazing intensities but also likely requires some level of grazing to resist invasion byweedy annuals and to maintain cover of blue grama, a highly drought-tolerant species. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Targeted Grazing Impacts on Invasive and Native Plant Abundance Change with Grazing Duration and Stocking Density

    James, J.J.; Davy, J.; Doran, M.P.; Becchetti, T.; Brownsey, P.; Laca, E.A. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    The science underpinning targeted grazing has been advancing for decades, supporting a major paradigm shift concerning the role of grazing in addressing critical natural resource management challenges across the globe. A next step for expanding adoption is to understand how conservation benefits derived from this practice may change depending on howthe components of a targeted grazing strategy change. Using two studies on California annual rangeland, onewith heifers and one with ewes, we evaluated how two stocking attributes that underpin a targeted grazing plan, animal density and grazing duration, influence the ability of livestock to reduce the abundance of the invasive annual grass medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski) and increase the abundance of native plants. Across studies, conservation benefits tended to be higher (lower invasive plant abundance and greater native plant abundance) under higher stocking density and shorter stocking duration, but we also found evidence that stocking density could be relaxed in some situations, allowing some conservation benefits to be achieved by grazing fewer animals over a longer duration. For California annual rangelands where most vegetation growth occurs over a period of a few short weeks, the potential to achieve similar conservation benefits by extending grazing duration and using fewer animals represents a major opportunity to apply targeted grazing over larger areas in one season with a set number of grazing animals. These initial findings provide justification formore extensive research in how changes in targeted grazing strategies may alter conservation benefits from grazing. Such insight is essential for understanding the range of cost-benefit trade-offs thatmay occur with this practice. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Mesquite Pod Removal by Cattle, Feral Hogs, and Native Herbivores

    Ansley, R.J.; Pinchak, W.E.; Owens, M.K. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    The dispersal of woody plant seeds by livestock has been implicated as one of the causes of woody plant encroachment in semiarid ecosystems worldwide. In the southern Great Plains, United States, cattle are suspected to have increased encroachment of the woody legume honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa Torr.) because they are effective consumers of mesquite pods and pass viable seed from those pods through their digestive systems. Since other animal species also consume or gather mesquite pods and seeds, our objective was to compare the removal of mesquite pods by cattle, other vertebrate herbivores, and insects. Mature pods were collected from trees in late summer and placed within each level of a hierarchical exclusion design using fences and cages that blocked cattle; other large vertebrates (deer, feral hogs); smaller vertebrates (rabbits, birds, rodents); and insects at replicate sites in north and south Texas locations. Pod removal was quantified during 60-d trials in the fall of each of 3 yr. The treatment that allowed cattle to have access to pods had the greatest or tied for the greatest pod removal at trial end in all trials. Final pod removal in the feral hog and white-tailed deer treatments was numerically lower but statistically similar (P ≤ 0.05) to cattle. However, the rate of pod removal during the first 20 d in several of the trials was greatest (P ≤ 0.05) in the cattle treatment at both locations. Pod removal by rodents was high in 1 yr at both locations, which we attributed to high growing season precipitation at both locations during that year. Results may have implications regarding seed-centric grazing management decisions and keeping cattle out of pastures when mesquite pods are abundantly present on the ground. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Seed Bank Depletion: The Key to Long-Term Downy Brome (Bromus tectorum L.) Management

    Sebastian, D.J.; Nissen, S.J.; Sebastian, J.R.; Beck, K.G. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Invasive winter annual grasses such as downy brome (Bromus tectorum L.) are a threat to native ecosystems throughout the United States. Downy brome is able to exploit moisture and nutrients throughout the fall and early spring before native plants break dormancy. This results in decreased native species abundance and development of monotypic downy brome stands. Short-termdowny brome management has been shown to be effective; however, the soil seed reserve has often been overlooked, although it's the mechanismresponsible for rapid reestablishment. This field study was conducted at two sites in Colorado to evaluate the longevity of the downy brome soil seed reserve and its implications on long-termdowny brome control. Glyphosate plus adjuvant applications were made for 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, or 5 consecutive years. Downy brome and perennial grass biomass harvests were conducted yearly to determine changes in species composition. In addition, soil cores were collected to evaluate the yearly variation and depletion of the downy brome soil seed bank in response to consecutive glyphosate applications. We found that 1-3 yr of consecutive glyphosate treatments were insufficient to deplete the downy bromesoil seed bank. Downy brome biomass and the soil seed bank recoveredwithin 1-2 yr after glyphosate treatmentswere terminated; however, 4 and 5 consecutive yr of glyphosate applications were sufficient to control downy brome through depletion of the soil seed bank. Managing downy brome for 4-5 consecutive yr resulted in a 4- to 9-fold increase in perennial grass biomass. These data suggest that long-term management of downy brome is dependent on eliminating the soil seed bank using a multiyear approach. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Understory Responses to Tree Thinning and Seeding Indicate Stability of Degraded Pinyon-Juniper Woodlands

    Huffman, D.W.; Stoddard, M.T.; Springer, J.D.; Crouse, J.E. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Depauperate understory plant communities resulting from intensive livestock grazing in pinyon-juniper woodlands of the western United States may represent degraded stable states, resistant to ecological restoration treatments. In this study, we analyzed 10-yr understory plant community responses to restoration treatments that included tree thinning to approximate historical densities of pinyon pine (Pinus edulis) and juniper (Juniperus osteosperma), scattering of thinning slash to improve soil conditions, and seeding at two woodland sites (Craig Ranch and Goose Pond) in northwestern Arizona. Results showed that thinning resulted in significant reductions in tree density at both sites, as well as reductions in tree basal area at the Goose Pond site. Boles, branches, and tops of the thinned trees scattered across the study sites resulted in few changes to woody surface fuel loading. Thinning and addition of woody material, along with seeding, resulted in only minor changes in understory cover and species richness at both sites. However, plant cover and species richness were both negatively correlated with tree density. Degraded conditions at the sites appeared to be stable, and we suggest that treatments implemented in our studies may have not been intensive enough to produce significant understory responses and meet restoration objectives. Managers aiming to restore understory diversity at similar sites may be required to use heavier thinning prescriptions and repeated seeding. More work is needed to test new restoration approaches that are designed to drive degraded pinyon-juniper woodlands over resilience thresholds toward more diverse understory communities. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
  • Resource Selection by Greater Sage-Grouse Reveals Preference for Mechanically-Altered Habitats

    Baxter, J.J.; Baxter, R.J.; Dahlgren, D.K.; Larsen, R.T. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Effective conservation requires an understanding of how species respond to management actions. For species of conservation concern such as greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus), this understanding is urgently needed. We developed resource selection functions to assess the influence of mechanical treatments of mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata vaseyana) on habitat selection by greater sage-grouse during the critical brooding period. We measured multiple vegetation components, including shrub, grass, and forb cover, at random locations before and after sagebrush treatments. We then used model selection and a 19-yr telemetry data set (1998-2016) to evaluate response of greater sage-grouse to treatments. Statistical models were built using 418 locations from 72 females with broods (333 locations, 61 females pretreatment; 85 locations, 11 females post treatment). Using a difference in means comparison, we found shrub canopy cover decreased (mean ± SE) from 31.81% ± 0.70% to 16.16% ± 0.89% following mechanical treatment. Grass cover increased from 12.02%± 0.51% to 31.33% ± 1.52% after treatment. Post-treatment forb cover (12.58% ± 1.23%) did not differ from pretreatment estimates (12.39% ± 0.61%). Overall, greater sage-grouse selected areas that were 1) distant from trees, paved roads, and powerlines; 2) high in elevation; 3) near treatment edges; and 4) consisting of gentle slopes. Post-treatment sage-grouse showed stronger selection for treatments and treatment edges than did pretreatment sage-grouse. Maps predicting probability of selection by brood-rearing sage-grouse showed increased use in and around mechanically treated areas. This altered pattern of selection by sage-grouse with broods suggests mechanical treatments may be a suitable way to increase use of mountain big sagebrush during the brooding period. © 2017 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Effects of Selection for Seedling Vigor on the Genetic Variation in Leymus cinereus

    Robins, J.G.; Bushman, B.S.; West, M.S. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Basin wildrye (Leymus cinereus [Scribn. & Merr. Á. Löve]) is a perennial grass native to western regions of North America. Despite its importance for rangelands, stand establishment of basin wildrye is difficult due to its poor seedling vigor. We undertook to increase the seedling vigor of the basinwildrye cultivar "Trailhead" by using selection for emergence fromdeep seeding depth. We carried out two cycles of selection in two select populations and included two random populations, in which no direct selection occurred. We characterized the indirection effect of the selection on biomass, seed production, and stand percentage in these populations under field conditions. We used amplified fragment length polymorphic (AFLP)markers to identify regions of the genome associated with the selection by identifying allele frequency changes between the base population and the select and random populations. The second cycle select population and the first cycle random population possessed the highest total emergence from deep seeding (60% and 59%, respectively) compared with the base population (26%). The field evaluations showed no differences in genetic variation among the base, select, and random populations for biomass, seed production, and stand percentage. On the basis of the analysis of the AFLPmarkers, diversity increased slightly among the random populations and decreased slightly among the select populations. In the select populations, band frequencies increased for aggcac403, actcag185, and aggcac208. The band frequencies of aggctg212 and actctc66 decreased in both random and selected cycles. The results indicate that targeted selection for trait improvement in this native grass can be successfully completed with minimal effect on population genetic diversity. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • Genecology of Thurber's Needlegrass (Achnatherum thurberianum [Piper] Barkworth) in the Western United States

    Johnson, R.C.; Leger, E.A.; Vance-Borland, K. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Thurber's needlegrass (Achnatherum thurberianum [Piper] Barkworth) is a key restoration species in the Great Basin and surrounding areas, yet comprehensive studies of how climate relates to genetic variation and seed zones for restoration projects are lacking. Potentially adaptive phenotypic traits of 66 diverse populations of Thurber's needlegrass were measured in common gardens at Central Ferry, Washington and Reno, Nevada in 2012 and 2013. Extensive genetic variation was observed among phenology, morphology, and production traits (P &lt; 0.01), and canonical correlation was used to relate traits to source climate variables. Only with the first two canonical variates were F values significant (P &lt; 0.05), explaining 42% and 18% of the variation, respectively. For variates 1 and 2, strong canonical correlations of 0.97 and 0.94 linked genetic variationwith source climates, providing evidence for climate-driven evolution. Pearson linear correlations indicated that populations from warmer, drier locations generally had earlier blooming and longer awns than those from cooler, wetter locations. Plants from warmer, drier locations also had higher survival at Central Ferry and higher leaf length to width (narrower leaves) at Reno in 2012. Regression of the canonical variates 1 and 2 for traits with source climate variables produced very strongmodels, explaining 94% and 87% of the variation in plant traits. Thesemodelswere used to map 12 seed zones encompassing 465 079 km2 in the Great Basin and surrounding areas with six seed zones representing 90% of the mapped area. We recommend using these seed zones to guide restoration of Thurber's needlegrass. © Published by Elsevier Inc. on behalf of The Society for Range Management.
  • The Contribution of Amenities to Landowner Income: Cases in Spanish and Californian Hardwood Rangelands

    Oviedo, J.L.; Huntsinger, L.; Campos, P. (Society for Range Management, 2017)
    Rangeland economists have noted that people tend to pay far more for ranches and rangelands than can be justified by the potential income from livestock operations alone. This gap in price can be explained when the value of the amenity benefits from owning a ranch and the capital gains from the rangeland investment are integrated as part of the "income" accruing to the landowner. In this paper, we apply an accounting framework that takes such values into account, the Agroforestry Accounting System, to three hardwood rangeland case studies in Andalucía (southern Spain) and three in California. We estimate how commercial operations, private amenities consumed by the landowner, and capital gains contribute to landowner income and rangeland investment profitability in these case studies. Results show that private amenity consumption and capital gains make the greatest contribution to landowner income.When these income components are included in the estimations, total real profitability ranges from 2.7% to 4.5% in the Spanish cases and from 4.5% to 7.8% in the California cases, rates that are competitive with alternative investments. Our results suggest that conservation programs may be strengthened by enhancing or building on amenity benefits to landowners, motivating them to engage in and continue with these programs. In addition, landowner willingness to pay for amenities may increase the costefficiency of programs that would enhance the provision of these, or of closely related, amenities. © 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.