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.

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Print ISSN: 0022-409x

Online ISSN: 1550-7424


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Recent Submissions

  • Rangeland Ecology & Management Table of Contents Volume 71, Number 3 (2018)

    Society for Range Management (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
  • Rangeland Ecology & Management Editorial Board Volume 71, Number 3 (2018)

    Society for Range Management (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
  • Longer-Term Evaluation of Revegetation of Medusahead-Invaded Sagebrush Steppe

    Davies, K.W.; Boyd, C.S. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    Medusahead (Taeniatherum caput-medusae [L.] Nevski) and other exotic annual grasses have invaded millions of hectares of sagebrush (Artemisia L.) steppe. Revegetation of medusahead-invaded sagebrush steppe with perennial vegetation is critically needed to restore productivity and decrease the risk of frequent wildfires. However, it is unclear if revegetation efforts provide long-term benefits (fewer exotic annuals and more perennials). The limited literature available on the topic questions whether revegetation efforts reduce medusahead abundance beyond 2 or 3 yr. We evaluated revegetation of medusahead-invaded rangelands for 5 yr after seeding introduced perennial bunchgrasses at five locations. We compared areas that were fall-prescribed burned immediately followed by an imazapic herbicide treatment and then seeded with bunchgrasses 1 yr later (imazapic-seed) with untreated controls (control). The imazapic-seed treatment decreased exotic annual grass cover and density. At the end of the study, exotic annual grass cover and density were 2-fold greater in the control compared with the imazapic-seed treatment. The imazapic-seed treatment had greater large perennial bunchgrass cover and density and less annual forb (predominately exotic annuals) cover and density than the untreated control for the duration of the study. At the end of the study, large perennial bunchgrass density average 10 plant ∙ m− 2 in the imazapic-seed treatment, which is comparable with intact sagebrush steppe communities. Plant available soil nitrogen was also greater in the imazapic-seed treatment compared with the untreated control for the duration of the study. The results of this study suggest that revegetation of medusahead-invaded sagebrush steppe can provide lasting benefits, including limiting exotic annual grasses.
  • Incorporating Seeds in Activated Carbon Pellets Limits Herbicide Effects to Seeded Bunchgrasses When Controlling Exotic Annuals

    Davies, K.W. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    Revegetation of exotic annual grass − invaded rangeland with preemergent herbicides is challenging because seeding is delayed until herbicide toxicity has diminished, but at this time, exotic annuals can be reinvading. Incorporating seeds into activated carbon pellets may allow seeding to occur at the same time as exotic annuals are controlled with a preemergent herbicide because activated carbon can neutralize the herbicide in the microsite around seeds. I evaluated using activated carbon pellets with six species seeded at the same time imazapic was applied to control exotic annual grasses at two sites. Two of the six species establish enough at one site to evaluate the effects of pellets. These two bunchgrasses had greater density and growth (height, leaf length, number of stems and leaves) when incorporated into activated carbon pellets compared with seeded as bare seed. This demonstrates activated carbon pellets can be used to protect seeded bunchgrasses from imazapic applied to control exotic annuals.
  • Factors Affecting Efficacy of Prescribed Fire for Western Juniper Control

    Clark, P.E.; Williams, C.J.; Pierson, F.B. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis Hook.) is a tree species occurring on 3.6 million ha in the northern Great Basin. This native species can be quite invasive, encroaching into sagebrush-grassland vegetation, forming woodlands, and dominating extensive landscapes. Control of encroaching juniper is often necessary and important. Efficacy of prescribed fire for western juniper control depends on many factors for which our understanding is still quite incomplete. This knowledge gap makes fire management planning for western juniper control more difficult and imprecise. Natural resource managers require a fire efficacy model that accurately predicts juniper mortality rates and is based entirely on predictors that are measurable prefire. We evaluated efficacy models using data from a fall prescribed fire conducted during 2002 in southwestern Idaho on mountain big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. vaseyana [Rydb.] Beetle) rangelands with early to midsuccessional juniper encroachment. A logistic regression model, which included vegetation cover type, tree height, fire type, and bare ground as predictors, accurately predicted (area under the receiver operating characteristic [ROC] curve [AUC] = 0.881 ± 0.128 standard deviation [SD]) the mortality rate for a random sample of western juniper trees marked and assessed prefire and 5 yr post fire. Trees occurring in an antelope bitterbrush (Purshia tridentata [Pursh] DC.) type, which had a heavy fuel load, were 8 times more likely to be killed by fire than trees in a mountain big sagebrush type, where loading was typically lighter. Probability of mortality decreased by 28.8% for each 1-meter increase in tree height. Trees exposed to head fire were 3 times as likely to be killed as those exposed to backing fire. Findings from this case study suggest that with just four factors which are readily quantifiable prefire, managers can accurately predict juniper mortality rate and thus make better informed decisions when planning prescribed fire treatments.
  • Eighty Years of Grazing by Cattle Modifies Sagebrush and Bunchgrass Structure

    Davies, K.W.; Boyd, C.S.; Bates, J.D. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    Grazing by cattle is ubiquitous across the sagebrush steppe; however, little is known about its effects on sagebrush and native bunchgrass structure. Understanding the effects of long-term grazing on sagebrush and bunchgrass structure is important because sagebrush is a keystone species and bunchgrasses are the dominant herbaceous functional group in these communities. To investigate the effects of long-term grazing on sagebrush and bunchgrass structure, we compared nine grazing exclosures with nine adjacent rangelands that were grazed by cattle in southeast Oregon. Grazing was moderate utilization (30 − 45%) with altering season of use and infrequent rest. Long-term grazing by cattle altered some structural aspects of bunchgrasses and sagebrush. Ungrazed bunchgrasses had larger dead centers in their crowns, as well as greater dead fuel depths below and above the crown level compared with grazed bunchgrasses. This accumulation of dry fuel near the meristematic tissue may increase the probability of fire-induced mortality during a wildfire. Bunchgrasses in the ungrazed treatment had more reproductive stems than those in the long-term grazed treatment. This suggests that seed production of bunchgrasses may be greater in ungrazed areas. Sagebrush height and longest canopy diameter were 15% and 20% greater in the ungrazed compared with the grazed treatment, respectively. However, the bottom of the sagebrush canopy was closer to the ground in the grazed compared with the ungrazed treatment, which may provide better hiding cover for ground-nesting avian species. Sagebrush basal stem diameter, number of stems, amount of dead material in the canopy, canopy gap size, and number of canopy gaps did not differ between ungrazed and grazed treatments. Moderate grazing does not appear to alter the competitive relationship between a generally unpalatable shrub and palatable bunchgrasses. Long-term, moderate grazing appears to have minimal effects to the structure of bunchgrasses and sagebrush, other than reducing the risk of bunchgrass mortality during a fire event.
  • Contrasting Effects of Long-Term Fire on Sagebrush Steppe Shrubs Mediated by Topography and Plant Community

    Mata-González, R.; Reed-Dustin, C.M.; Rodhouse, T.J. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    The role of fire in restoration of sagebrush plant communities remains controversial mainly because of paucity of information from long-term studies. Here, we examine 15-year post-fire responses of big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp wyomingensis) and broom snakeweed (Gutierrezia sarothrae), the two most abundant native shrubs at the John Day Fossil Beds National Monument, a protected area in north-central Oregon, USA. Fire effects were studied along gradients of topography and community type through time post-burn. Community types were distinguished as brush, plots dominated by big sagebrush and woodland, plots with a significant presence of Western juniper (Juniperus occidentalis) trees. Fire reduced big sagebrush cover in brush plots up to 100% and in woodland plots up to 86%. Broom snakeweed cover declined by 92% and 73% in brush plots and woodland plots, respectively. Big sagebrush did not show signs of recovery 15 years after burning regardless of topography and community type while broom snakeweed populations were clearly rebounding and prospering beyond pre-burn levels. Our results showed that an area initially dominated by big sagebrush (cover of big sagebrush 10-20%, cover of broom snakeweed 2-4%) dramatically shifted to an area dominated by broom snakeweed (cover of big sagebrush < 1%, cover of broom snakeweed 5%) in brush-dominated plots. Our results indicated that brush-dominated plots at lower elevation and southern exposures are the least post-fire resilient. We also observed a declining population of big sagebrush on unburned areas, suggesting the lack of post-fire recovery on burned areas was perhaps a result of low seeding potential by extant populations. Although more years of observation are required, these data indicate that recovery time, the encroachment of opportunistic competing shrubs, and the initial condition of vegetation are essential considerations by land managers when prescribing fire in big sagebrush communities.
  • Simulation of Pastoral Management in Mongolia: An Integrated System Dynamics Model

    Oniki, S.; Shindo, K.; Yamasaki, S.; Toriyama, K. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    High grazing density has given rise to concerns about grassland degradation in periurban areas in Mongolia. Moreover, whether livestock can increase without harming the vegetation in these areas in Mongolia and what types of policy measures should be implemented is not documented. As such, this study develops an integrated simulation model of grassland biomass, animal growth, and livestock management for a forest-steppe area in northern Mongolia and conducts a simulation on long-term changes. The simulations show that, under current conditions, the number of animals will continue to increase, while the grassland biomass will decrease. Cooperative grassland management would lead to an increase in grassland biomass and higher incomes for herders. Furthermore, herders’ population changes would have a significant impact on animal density adjustments, while the effects of conventional economic measures, such as a tax on animals, would be limited if all other conditions remain constant. Consequently, the synergistic effects of herder population changes and cooperative management can contribute toward maintaining the herders’ income while preserving the grassland ecosystem.
  • Relationships Between Cattle and Biodiversity in Multiuse Landscape Revealed by Kenya Long-Term Exclosure Experiment

    Young, T.P.; Porensky, L.M.; Riginos, C.; Veblen, K.E.; Odadi, W.O.; Kimuyu, D.M.; Charles, G.K.; Young, H.S. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    On rangelands worldwide, cattle interact with many forms of biodiversity, most obviously with vegetation and other large herbivores. Since 1995, we have been manipulating the presence of cattle, mesoherbivores, and megaherbivores (elephants and giraffes) in a series of eighteen 4-ha (10-acre) plots at the Kenya Long-term Exclosure Experiment. We recently (2013) crossed these treatments with small-scale controlled burns. These replicated experimental treatments simulate different land management practices. We seek to disentangle the complex relationships between livestock and biodiversity in a biome where worldwide, uneasy coexistence is the norm. Here, we synthesize more than 20 yr of data to address three central questions about the potentially unique role of cattle in savanna ecology: 1) To what extent do cattle and wild herbivores compete with or facilitate each other? 2) Are the effects of cattle on vegetation similar to those of wildlife, or do cattle have unique effects? 3) What effects do cattle and commercial cattle management have on other savanna organisms? We found that 1) Cattle compete at least as strongly with browsers as grazers, and wildlife compete with cattle, although these negative effects are mitigated by cryptic herbivores (rodents), rainfall, fire, and elephants. 2) Cattle effects on herbaceous vegetation (composition, productivity) are similar to those of the rich mixture of ungulates they replace, differing mainly due to the greater densities of cattle. In contrast, cattle, wild mesoherbivores, and megaherbivores have strongly guild-specific effects on woody vegetation. 3) Both cattle and wild ungulates regulate cascades to other consumers, notably termites, rodents, and disease vectors (ticks and fleas) and pathogens. Overall, cattle management, at moderate stocking densities, can be compatible with the maintenance of considerable native biodiversity, although reducing livestock to these densities in African rangelands is a major challenge.
  • Nondestructive Estimation of Standing Crop and Fuel Moisture Content in Tallgrass Prairie

    Sharma, S.; Ochsner, T.E.; Twidwell, D.; Carlson, J.D.; Krueger, E.S.; Engle, D.M.; Fuhlendorf, S.D. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    Accurate estimation of standing crop and herbaceous fuel moisture content (FMC) are important for grazing management and wildfire preparedness. Destructive sampling techniques have been used to accurately estimate standing crop and FMC, but those techniques are laborious and time consuming. Existing nondestructive methods for estimating standing crop in tallgrass prairie have limitations, and few studies have examined nondestructive estimation techniques for FMC in this environment. Therefore, our objective was to develop robust models for nondestructive estimation of standing crop and FMC in tallgrass prairie. We calibrated and validated stepwise multiple linear regression (SMLR) and artificial neural network (ANN) models for standing crop and FMC using data collected in tallgrass prairies near Stillwater, Oklahoma. Day of year (DOY), canopy height (CH), Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI), and percent reflectance in five wavelength bands were candidate input variables for the models. The study spanned two growing seasons and nine patches located within three pastures under patch burn management, and the resulting data set with > 3 000 observations was split randomly with 85% for model calibration and 15% withheld for validation. Standing crop ranged from 0 to 852 g m− 2, and FMC ranged from 0% to 204%. With DOY, CH, and NDVI as predictors, the SMLR model for standing crop produced a root mean squared error (RMSE) of 119 g m− 2 on the validation data, while the RMSE of the corresponding ANN model was 116 g m− 2. With the same predictors, the SMLR model for FMC produced an RMSE of 26.7% compared with 23.8% for the corresponding ANN model. Thus, the ANN models provided better prediction accuracy but at the cost of added computational complexity. Given the large variability in the underlying datasets, the models developed here may prove useful for nondestructive estimation of standing crop and FMC in other similar grassland environments. © 2018 Society for Range Management
  • Management Tools to Reduce Carnivore-Livestock Conflicts: Current Gap and Future Challenges

    Moreira-Arce, D.; Ugarte, C.S.; Zorondo-Rodríguez, F.; Simonetti, J.A. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    Predation on domestic animals by carnivores is a persistent problem wherever carnivores and livestock co-occur. A wide range of management tools to reduce predation has been invoked. However, the evidence of their effectiveness is still limited for a broader range of species and conditions. Using a global analysis of domestic animal predation by native carnivores under a “before-after/control-impact” framework, we assessed the effectiveness of management techniques used to reduce domestic animal predation identifying knowledge gaps and research needs. We reviewed 291 predation cases in 149 studies published between 1990 and 2017 involving 47 carnivores. Lethal control is the most common method to reduce predation in comparison with nonlethal techniques. Yet the effectiveness of both approaches remains poorly evaluated (30.1% of study cases) and largely based on producers’ perceptions (70% of cases where effectiveness was evaluated). Lethal control and night confinement of domestic animals would have no effect on reducing predation, whereas the use of livestock-guarding dogs, fencing, or herdsmen may significantly reduce domestic animal losses. When the effectiveness of each technique to reduce predation was assessed by large and mesocarnivores, fencing significantly reduced predation of domestic animals by the former. Despite little scientifically published material, our findings indicate lethal control would have no effect in reducing animal predation by native carnivores when compared with nonlethal techniques. Our study also indicates the effectiveness may vary depending on the type of carnivore involved in the conflict with livestock activity. The use of an evidence-based framework to measure and assess the differential effectiveness of nonlethal techniques and the use of complementary tools at different spatial and temporal scales must be research priorities to prevent livestock predation while promoting the conservation of carnivores in production-oriented lands as encouraged by the Convention of Biological Diversity.
  • How Perceptions About Naturalness Affect Science in Yellowstone National Park

    Keigley, R.B. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    This paper describes a history of science and management on the Northern Range of Yellowstone National Park (YNP). In 1983 YNP began to shape public perceptions about management issues. In this case study, YNP shaped public perceptions to cause an unnatural condition (the appearance of the Northern Range was due to the extermination of wolves) to be portrayed as a natural condition (the appearance was due to climate change). Perception shaping can adversely affect the quality of science and influence the role of science in resource management. Perception shaping can have devastating ecologic consequences.
  • Evaluating Mechanical Treatments and Seeding of a Wyoming Big Sagebrush Community 10 Yr Post Treatment

    Summers, D.D.; Roundy, B.A. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    Increased cover of perennial grasses and forbs would increase the wildlife and forage value of many Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. wyomingensis Beetle & Young) communities, as well as increase their resistance to weeds. We compared six mechanical treatments in conjunction with seeding a Wyoming big sagebrush community in northern Utah over a 10-yr period. The treatments included disk plow followed by land imprinter, one-way Ely chain, one- and two-way pipe harrow, all applied in fall, and meadow aerator applied in fall and spring. A mixture of native and introduced grasses and forbs was broadcast seeded at 18.3 kg PLS ha− 1 after the disk and before the imprinter and all other treatments. The experiment was installed in three randomized blocks, and density and cover data were collected before treatment in 2001 and 1, 2, 5, and 10 yr after treatment. All treatments initially reduced sagebrush and residual herbaceous cover and increased seeded species cover compared with the untreated control. By 10 yr after treatment, sagebrush cover was 24.5% ± 0.35% on the control, 1.6% ± 0.28% on the disk imprinter treatment, and 11.7% ± 0.79% on all other treatments. At that time, seeded grass cover was 16.5% ± 1.22% on the disk imprinter treatment and an average of 2% ± 0.1% on all other mechanical treatments. Sagebrush seedlings were recruited in all of the mechanical treatments, but least in the disk imprinter treatment. After 10 yr, the untreated control was dominated by decadent sagebrush and rabbitbrush, the disk imprinter treatment was dominated by seeded perennial grasses, and the other mechanical treatments shared dominance of sagebrush and native perennial grasses. Mechanical treatments changed the composition of this community while retaining sagebrush, but greatest understory increases were associated with greatest control of sagebrush and establishment of seeded species by disk imprinting.
  • Do Abrasion- or Temperature-Based Techniques More Effectively Relieve Physical Dormancy in Seeds of Cold Desert Perennials?

    Kildisheva, O.A.; Erickson, T.E.; Merritt, D.J.; Madsen, M.D.; Dixon, K.W.; Vargas, J.; Amarteifio, R.; Kramer, A.T. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    Seed dormancy can present a significant barrier to restoration outcomes in dryland systems. Physical and combinational (physical + physiological) dormancy are prevalent among seeds of many herbaceous perennials used in restoration of drylands throughout the western United States. Although many techniques designed to alleviate these dormancy traits exist, their efficacy is species specific, may result in embryo damage, and may have limited large-scale application. To identify the most effective means of dormancy alleviation with the potential to be used on an operational scale, we examined the effects of 16 temperature-based techniques (altering temperature and duration of wet heat, freezing and wet heat, and freeze-thaw cycles) and 6 abrasion-based techniques (altering pneumatic scarification length or using a single duration of manual scarification) on the enhancement of seed permeability among two physically dormant (western prairie clover [Dalea ornata {Douglas} Eaton & Wright] and Munro's globemallow [Sphaeralcea munroana {Douglas} Spach]) and two combinationally dormant species (basalt milkvetch [Astragalus filipes Torr. ex A. Gray] and longspur lupine [Lupinus arbustus {Douglas} ex Lindl.]). We first assessed seed imbibition following exposure to all temperature- and abrasion-based techniques to identify those most successful at promoting seed permeability and then evaluated the effectiveness of those techniques through a series of germination experiments. For combinationally dormant species, we also tested whether exposure to GA3 enhanced germination. Abrasion-based techniques were more effective than temperature-based techniques at improving water uptake across all species. Pneumatic scarification significantly improved germination, but optimal treatment durations were species specific. GA3 did not enhance germination under the tested conditions. We conclude that pneumatic scarification is a fast, safe, and effective method for alleviating physical seed dormancy with a potential to be scaled up for operational use in restoration.
  • Biophysical Factors and Canopy Coupling Control Ecosystem Water and Carbon Fluxes of Semiarid Sagebrush Ecosystems

    Reed, D.E.; Ewers, B.E.; Pendall, E.; Naithani, K.J.; Kwon, H.; Kelly, R.D. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    The sagebrush-steppe ecosystem covers much of western North America, and its productivity is sensitive to warming and increasingly variable precipitation. Interannual variation in precipitation has been shown to be the most significant factor controlling biogeochemical cycling while both soil and atmospheric drought are dominant factors of ecosystem fluxes. We show that plant canopies can also act to limit water losses through stomatal and aerodynamic control. We use 4 data-yr from 2 sites (2 069 and 2 469 m above sea level elevation, respectively) to evaluate control of carbon and water fluxes and to calculate the degree to which the ecosystem canopy and atmosphere are decoupled. Environmental conditions were similar between the two sites, although the lower elevation site was slightly warmer (1.8°C higher temperature) and drier (0.2 kPa higher vapor pressure deficit). Ecosystem responses of net ecosystem exchange (NEE) and evapotranspiration (ET) to environmental drivers were similar between sites and years, with the wet site-yr 2009 having the largest ET and NEE fluxes. Canopy leaf area led to divergent behavior of the canopy-atmosphere decoupling parameter under high (> 11% by volume) soil moisture conditions. During low (< 11%) soil moisture periods, both sites had tight ecosystem stomatal control on ET with little NEE activity. This study highlights how semiarid ecosystems can alter their canopy leaf area in order to control how decoupled semi-arid canopies are to the atmosphere, potentially moderating impacts of climate change.
  • Is Microcredit a Form of Risk for Pastoral Households of Inner Mongolia's Semiarid Rangelands?

    Zhang, J.; Huntsinger, L.; Li, Y.; Li, W. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    Microcredit loans are now common for Inner Mongolian pastoralists and are encouraged by government policy on the basis of their previous success for poverty alleviation. However, the effects of the highly variable weather characteristics of many semiarid rangelands on the efficacy of microcredit have not been fully examined. Pastoralists in our study area are often trapped in a vicious cycle of borrowing more each year to pay for previous debt and the next year's production. Instead of helping to maintain herds through bad years, microcredit has often led to reduced herds and assets. To understand why, a qualitative, interview-based approach was used to determine the kinds of loans taken out and why they are taken out, as well as to assess household livestock sales, income, and costs in three villages. In poor years, 82% of households used loans to purchase winter forage. However, borrowers sold more livestock because the standard 1-yr loan term, combined with weather and market conditions, often forced sales for repayment. Weather and market variation made annual income and costs difficult to anticipate. Loans became an added household risk, another way that environment can influence the social and economic interactions of a rangeland social-ecological system. Longer-term loans could smooth the uncertainty of weather and market conditions, and supplementary measures such as government subsidies or forage insurance could buffer the inevitable but unpredictable bad years. Globally, study of the impacts of nonequilibrial ecological dynamics on economic and policy institutions would help to understand why many development initiatives have failed in such systems.
  • Rainfall Interception by Singleleaf Piñon and Utah Juniper: Implications for Stand-Level Effective Precipitation

    Stringham, T.K.; Snyder, K.A.; Snyder, D.K.; Lossing, S.S.; Carr, C.A.; Stringham, B.J. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    The expansion of piñon and juniper trees into sagebrush steppe and the infilling of historic woodlands has caused a reduction in the cover and density of the understory vegetation. Water is the limiting factor in these systems; therefore, quantifying redistribution of water resources by tree species is critical to understanding the dynamics of these formerly sagebrush-dominated rangelands. Tree canopy interception may have a significant role in reducing the amount of rainfall that reaches the ground beneath the tree, thereby reducing the amount of available soil moisture. We measured canopy interception of rainfall by singleleaf piñon (Pinus monophylla Torr. & Frém.) and Utah juniper (Juniperus osteosperma [Torr.] Little) across a gradient of storm sizes. Simulated rainfall was used to quantify interception and effective precipitation during 130 rainfall events ranging in size from 2.2 to 25.9 mm hr− 1 on 19 trees of each species. Effective precipitation was defined as the sum of throughfall and stemflow beneath tree canopies. Canopy interception averaged 44.6% (± 27.0%) with no significant difference between the two species. Tree allometrics including height, diameter at breast height, stump diameter, canopy area, live crown height, and width were measured and used as predictor variables. The best fit predictive model of effective precipitation under canopy was described by stump diameter and gross precipitation (R2 = 0.744, P < 0.0001). An alternative management model based on canopy area and gross precipitation predicted effective precipitation with similar accuracy (R2 = 0.741, P < 0.0001). Canopy area can be derived from various remote sensing techniques, allowing these results to be extrapolated to larger spatial scales to quantify the effect of increasing tree canopy cover on rainfall interception loss and potential implications for the water budget.
  • Simulating Runoff from Small Grazed Pasture Watersheds Located at North Appalachian Experimental Watershed in Ohio

    Gautam, S.; Mbonimpa, E.; Kumar, S.; Bonta, J. (Society for Range Management, 2018-05)
    Runoff from grazing pasture lands can impact water quality in receiving streams if not well managed. Management consists of conservation practices to reduce runoff and pollutants transport. Simulation models have been effectively used to design and implement these conservation practices. The Agricultural Policy Environmental Extender (APEX), a process-based hydrologic model, was used in this study to simulate the management impacts on surface runoff from three small grazed pasture watersheds located at the North Appalachian Experimental Watersheds near Coshocton, Ohio. Specific objectives of this study were to 1) calibrate the APEX model and test runoff predictions against measured runoff and 2) simulate the long-term impacts of different management scenarios on surface runoff. Results show that the APEX model simulated surface runoff reasonably well with the coefficient of determination (R2) and Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency values varying from 0.49 to 0.72 and from 0.25 to 0.60 for calibration and validation, respectively. After validation, the APEX model was run for 37 yr (1975 − 2011) for long-term scenarios to analyze the impacts of soil properties and management on surface runoff. Data from this study indicated that keeping the watershed land use as a hay meadow instead of grazing significantly reduced cumulative runoff by 58 − 67%. Buffer strips of perennial grasses resulted in decreased simulated runoff. To simulate the impacts of soils on runoff, the surface (0 − 5 cm) soil properties of the toe position were applied to the entire grazed watershed. Subsequently, the increase in soil richness resulted in reduction (≤ 5%) in surface runoff. The simulation results from the present study demonstrate the benefits of hayed meadow over grazed pasture and further predict the decreased trend of runoff due to soil properties change and buffer strips.