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

  • Rangeland Ecology & Management Table of Contents Volume 71, Number 5 (2018)

    Society for Range Management (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
  • Rangeland Ecology & Management Editorial Board Volume 71, Number 5 (2018)

    Society for Range Management (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
  • Diverse Management Strategies Produce Similar Ecological Outcomes on Ranches in Western Great Plains: Social-Ecological Assessment

    Wilmer, H.; Augustine, D.J.; Derner, J.D.; Fernández-Giménez, M.E.; Briske, D.D.; Roche, L.M.; Tate, K.W.; Miller, K.E. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    Experiments investigating grazing systems have often excluded ranch-scale decision making, which has limited our understanding of the processes and consequences of adaptive management. We conducted interviews and vegetation monitoring on 17 ranches in eastern Colorado and eastern Wyoming to investigate rancher decision-making processes and the associated ecological consequences. Management variables investigated were grazing strategy, grazing intensity, planning style, and operation type. Ecological attributes included the relative abundance of plant functional groups and categories of ground cover. We examined the environmental and management correlates of plant species and functional group composition using nonmetric multidimensional scaling and linear mixed models. After accounting for environmental variation across the study region, species composition did not differ between grazing management strategy and planning style. Operation type was significantly correlated with plant community composition. Integrated cow-calf plus yearling operations had greater annual and less key perennial cool-season grass species cover relative to cow-calf − only operations. Integrated cow-calf plus yearling ranches were able to more rapidly restock following drought compared with cow-calf operations. Differences in types of livestock operations contributed to variability in plant species composition across the landscape that may support diverse native faunal species in these rangeland ecosystems. Three broad themes emerged from the interviews: 1) long-term goals, 2) flexibility, and 3) adaptive learning. Stocking-rate decisions appear to be slow, path-dependent choices that are shaped by broader social, economic, and political dynamics. Ranchers described having greater flexibility in altering grazing strategies than ranch-level, long-term, annual stocking rates. These results reflect the complexity of the social-ecological systems ranchers navigate in their adaptive decision-making processes. Ranch decision-making process diversity within these environments precludes development of a single “best” strategy to manage livestock grazing.
  • Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management Fosters Management-Science Partnerships

    Wilmer, H.; Derner, J.D.; Fernández-Giménez, M.E.; Briske, D.D.; Augustine, D.J.; Porensky, L.M. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    Rangelands of the western Great Plains of North America are complex social-ecological systems where management objectives for livestock production, grassland bird conservation, and vegetation structure and composition converge. The Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management (CARM) experiment is a 10-year collaborative adaptive management (CAM) project initiated in 2012 that is aimed at fostering science-management partnerships and data-driven rangeland management through a participatory, multistakeholder approach. This study evaluates the decision-making process that emerged from the first 4 yr of CARM. Our objectives were to 1) document how diverse stakeholder experiences, epistemologies, and resulting knowledge contributed to the CARM project, 2) evaluate how coproduced knowledge informed management decision making through three grazing seasons, and 3) explore the implications of participation in the CARM project for rangeland stakeholders. We evaluated management decision making as representatives from government agencies and conservation nongovernmental organizations, ranchers, and interdisciplinary researchers worked within the CARM experiment to 1) prioritize desired ecosystem services; 2) determine objectives; 3) set stocking rates, criteria for livestock movement among pastures, and vegetation treatments; and 4) select monitoring techniques that would inform decision making. For this paper, we analyzed meeting transcripts, interviews, and focus group data related to stakeholder group decision making. We find two key lessons from the CARM project. First, the CAM process makes visible, but does not reconcile differences between, stakeholder experiences and ways of knowing about complex rangeland systems. Second, social learning in CAM is contingent on the development of trust among stakeholder and researcher groups. We suggest future CAM efforts should 1) make direct efforts to share and acknowledge managers’ different rangeland management experiences, epistemologies, and knowledge and 2) involve long-term research commitment in time and funding to social, as well as experimental, processes that promote trust building among stakeholders and researchers over time.
  • Transhumance as Antidote for Modern Sedentary Stock Raising

    Starrs, P.F. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    Few grazing themes so endure yet are so difficult for outsiders to document with certainty as historical and current-day livestock grazing routes: stock driveways. Excursions from one biome, ecotone, or landscape to another—in general, undertaken to seasonal cues — allow livestock owners and their hired herders to exploit different environments that offer notable advantages in terms of freeing livestock from unvarying diet, overtaxed grazing grounds, common diseases, and cycles of drought or drenching rain. Movement at whatever scale permits herders or shepherds an escape from monotony when they shift grazing grounds to montane-woodlands or back to lowland environments in travel that benefits both jaded humans and husbanded animals. Significant economic and ecological advantages accrue from the shifts of seasonal silvopastoralism, but the terrain, and in particular the routes animals travel, often stretch across varied land ownerships, and sifting out rights of passage is an ethnographic adventure requiring longstanding observation and consistent fieldwork. Formal scholarship about the road between is less established than literature of “the trail,” which is a staple feature of folklore, film, and fiction. As concern grows about the energy costs of using highways or railroads to move livestock, attention returns to traditional practices and legal accommodations that make possible trailing livestock under their own power. Across Europe are 4 million ha of land associated with livestock driveways, once widespread in the United States as an item of Spanish-Mexican heritage. This synthesis focuses on livestock driveway establishment in two landscapes: Spain and, secondarily, the western United States of America, with an overarching theme of how stock driveways can connect ecosystems and, by sustaining customary use, knit together silvopastoral society.
  • Progress in Identifying High Nature Value Montados: Impacts of Grazing on Hardwood Rangeland Biodiversity

    Pinto-Correia, T.; Guiomar, N.; Ferraz-de-Oliveira, M.I.; Sales-Baptista, E.; Rabaça, J.; Godinho, C.; Ribeiro, N.; Sá, Sousa, P.; Santos, P.; Santos-Silva, C.; et al. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    Due to their complex structure and traditional low-intensity management, Portuguese oak woodland rangelands known as montados are often considered high nature value (HNV) farming systems, and as such, they may be deemed eligible for subsidies and incentives by governmental and nongovernmental agencies. Too little is known about how the HNV concept might be applied to conserve complex silvopastoral systems. These systems, due to their structural and functional complexity at multiple scales, tend to support high levels of biodiversity. Montados are in sharp decline as a result of the rapid specialization of land management that, through simplification, undermines multifunctionality. Understanding how changes in management influence these systems and their biodiversity is needed for prioritizing conservation efforts and for ensuring they remain HNV systems. On the basis of a field survey in 58 plots distributed among 29 paddocks on 17 farms, we conducted an integrated analysis of the relationship between grazing intensity and biodiversity in montados of similar biophysical and structural characteristics. Data on management were obtained through interviews, and biodiversity data (vegetation, macrofungi, birds, herpetofauna) were obtained through specific field protocols. Additional spatial data, such as soil characteristics, slope, land cover, and linear landscape elements, were also analyzed. The results show no overall biodiversity variation as a result of different management practices. However, different groups of species react differently to specific management practices, and within a pasture, grazing impacts are heterogenous. In low grazing intensity plots, macrofungi species richness was found to be higher, while bird species richness was lower. Using tree regeneration as proxy for montado sustainability, results show less tree regeneration in areas with higher forage quality and more intense grazing. Pathways for future progress are proposed, including creating areas within a paddock that attract grazing away from where regeneration is desired.
  • Post Hoc Assessment of Stand Structure Across European Wood-Pastures: Implications for Land Use Policy

    Roellig, M.; Costa, A.; Garbarino, M.; Hanspach, J.; Hartel, T.; Jakobsson, S.; Lindborg, R.; Mayr, S.; Plieninger, T.; Sammul, M.; et al. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    Europe's woodland and savanna rangelands, often part of silvopastoral systems known as wood-pastures, are deteriorating because of abandonment that leads to return to a forested state or lack of tree regeneration from overgrazing or tree and shrub removal. Despite numerous local studies, there has been no broader survey of the stand structure of European wood-pastures showing which systems are at risk of losing their semiopen character. This overview aims to 1) show some of the differences and similarities in wood-pastures from landscapes across Europe and 2) identify which of these wood-pastures are at risk of losing their semiopen character. We collated a dataset of 13 693 trees from 390 plots in wood-pastures from eight different European regions (western Estonia, eastern Greece, northern Germany, Hungary, northern Italy, southern Portugal, central Romania, and southern Sweden), including tree diameters at breast height, tree density, management type, and tree species composition. On the basis of their structural characteristics, we classified wood-pastures using principal component analysis (PCA) and cluster analysis. The PCA showed a gradient from dense wood-pastures with high levels of regeneration (e.g., in Estonia) to sparse wood-pastures with large trees but a lack of regeneration (e.g., in Romania). Along this gradient, we identified three main groups of wood-pastures: 1) sparse wood-pastures with mostly big trees; 2) dense wood-pastures composed of small trees, and 3) wood-pastures containing a wide range of tree ages. Our results show a large structural gradient in European wood-pastures, as well as regeneration problems varying in their severity, highlighting the importance of social-ecological context for wood-pasture conditions. To maintain the ecological and cultural integrity of European wood-pastures, we suggest 1) more comprehensively considering them in European policies such as the Common Agricultural Policy and EU Habitats Directive, while 2) taking into account their structural characteristics and social-ecological backgrounds.
  • Land Manager Perceptions of Opportunities and Constraints of Using Livestock to Manage Invasive Plants

    Shapero, M.W.K.; Huntsinger, L.; Becchetti, T.A.; Mashiri, F.E.; James, J.J. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    The ecological impacts of rangeland invasive plants have been widely documented, but the social aspects of how managers perceive their impacts and options for control have been relatively understudied, and successful, long-term invasive plant management programs are limited. In particular, though a growing body of research has identified livestock grazing as the most practical and economical tool for controlling invasive rangeland plants, to date there has not been a systematic assessment of the challenges and opportunities producers and other land managers see as most important when considering using livestock to manage invasive plants. In-depth, semistructured interviews with California annual grass and hardwood rangeland ranchers, public agency personnel, and nongovernmental organization land managers were used to address this need. Although interviewees broadly agreed that grazing could be an effective management tool, differences emerged among the three groups in how they prioritized invasive plant control, the amount of resources devoted to control, and the grazing strategies employed. Interviewees identified key challenges that hinder broad-scale adoption of control efforts, including the potential incompatibility of invasive plant management and livestock production; a lack of secure, long-term access to land for many ranchers; incomplete or insufficient information, such as the location or extent of infestations or the economic impacts to operations of invasive plants; and the temporal and spatial variability of the ecosystem. By identifying key socioecological drivers that influence the degree to which livestock are used to manage invasive plants, this study was able to identify potential pathways to move our growing understanding of the science of targeted grazing into practice. Research, extension, and grazing programs that address these barriers should help increase the extent to which we can effectively use livestock to slow and perhaps reverse the spread of some of our most serious rangeland weeds.
  • Forum: Social-Ecological System Archetypes for European Rangelands

    Hartel, T.; Fagerholm, N.; Torralba, M.; Balázsi, Á.; Plieninger, T. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    Rangelands in Europe are imprinted by livestock production and embedded in mosaic landscapes of grasslands, croplands, woodlands, and settlements. They developed as social-ecological systems: People managed rangelands in order to maintain or enhance their ecosystem services, which in turn supported their well-being. The appreciation of ecosystem services provided by rangelands depends on the broad, socioeconomic aspirations and abilities of the managers and the capital available to achieve these aspirations. Here we propose four archetypical social-ecological system representations for European rangelands along the dimensions of socioeconomic aspirations (i.e., oriented toward conventional or sustainable production) and available financial capital (i.e., low or high) to employ farming technologies on rangelands. The four archetypes are aspiration misfit, pockets of sustainability, techno-dependence, and money dependent sustainability. We describe the landscape physiognomy, ecosystem service appreciation, and management-related synergies and trade-offs in ecosystem services supply related to each archetype and formulate a number of research questions to document and further understand them as social-ecological systems. We include the importance of urbanization, land grabbing, and institutional networks in shaping the social-ecological archetypes of rangelands and the relationship between our social-ecological archetypes and the resilience and transformability of rangelands.
  • Exploring Current and Future Situation of Mediterranean Silvopastoral Systems: Case Study in Southern Spain

    Palomo-Campesino, S.; Ravera, F.; González, J.A.; García-Llorente, M. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    Extensive range-based livestock production has suffered a sharp decrease in Mediterranean Spain in recent decades due to two opposing trends in land use: progressive abandonment of practices in marginal rural areas and land use intensification in more productive areas. In this study, we explored the visions of key stakeholders on the current and future situation of silvopastoral systems in the Sierra Morena mountain range of southern Spain, where extensive livestock grazing is declining because of competition with other more profitable activities, such as intensive olive groves and game hunting. We performed a discourse analysis using Q methodology and evaluated the existing relationships of information exchange and conflict among local institutions such as farmer's associations, the provincial council, and conservation organizations using social network analysis. Semistructured interviews were conducted with key stakeholders representing local formal and nonformal institutions involved in extensive livestock production. Results showed three distinct discourses among stakeholders related to profitability, conservation, and modernization. There was a strong consensus on the management strategies that should be promoted to support extensive livestock production and preserve the associated silvopastoral systems. Social networks revealed high cohesion and communication exchange and a low level of conflict among stakeholders, with few exceptions. The low influence of livestock producers on policy decision making largely hinders the development of participatory management schemes. Nevertheless, similarities among the visions and opinions of different institutions suggest that new possibilities might emerge for silvopastoral systems through the collaboration among the different socioeconomic sectors present in the area.
  • Complex Rangeland Systems: Integrated Social-Ecological Approaches to Silvopastoralism

    Plieninger, T.; Huntsinger, L. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    Crossing disciplinary boundaries, particularly between social and ecological sciences, challenges those seeking to contribute to solving complex and multidimensional environmental problems on rangelands. In this Special Issue we present a set of 13 papers that to varying degrees attempt to integrate, or bring together, diverse approaches across disciplines to understand silvopastoral systems. The papers are about rangelands in numerous countries and regions, including Spain, Estonia, Greece, Germany, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Romania, the United States, Latin America, and Sweden. Silvopastoral systems provide ecosystem goods and services important to communities, cultures, and society. Management deliberately exploits the diversity fostered by rangeland systems that mix woody species with a well-developed herbaceous understory, offering a greater diversity of products, species, vegetation structural characteristics, and habitat components than either grassland or forest. Biodiversity often peaks at the intermediate levels of tree and shrub cover characteristic of silvopastoral systems. We introduce the papers grouped by four overarching topics: 1) typologies and scales, 2) social-ecological interactions, 3) integrated management, and 4) multiple knowledge systems. Unfortunately, silvopastoral systems often run afoul of ongoing intensification and simplification trends in agricultural production that reduce their economic and ecological resilience. Privately owned systems, the most common in this issue, are subject to the need for owner income. Finding ways to support the benefits of these systems for the public is difficult, as management traditions must be conserved as well as the land. We hope this issue illustrates the value of multifunctional systems and offers insights into how they work.
  • Shrub Encroachment Under the Trees Diversifies the Herb Layer in a Romanian Silvopastoral System

    Tölgyesi, C.; Bátori, Z.; Gallé, R.; Urák, I.; Hartel, T. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    Rangelands with scattered trees are complex and dynamic systems with a long history in Europe. Generally referred to as “wood-pastures,” they are considered to have outstanding conservation value. Thorny shrubs are important for supporting the biodiversity of these wooded rangelands, as well as facilitating the regeneration of trees by acting as nurse species. We assess the direct effects of temporary shrub encroachment under the cover of mature sparse trees on overall plant and habitat diversity. We surveyed the herb layer of the main landscape features of a wood-pasture: open pasture, trees with a grass understory, trees with shrubs, and adjacent forest edges. The herb layer under trees with shrubs resembled that of forest edges more than open pastures and trees with grass. Trees with grass had a higher cover of ruderal species than trees with shrubs, while forest edges and open pastures had a lower cover of them. Forest species were absent from open pastures but were well represented in the other sites. The herb layer of trees with shrubs and forest edges had similar cover values, while trees with grass had a significantly lower cover of herbs than the other types. Trees with shrubs had higher species richness than any of the other three landscape features and had a much higher proportion of diagnostic species. We conclude that the scattered trees and shrubs of the studied silvopastoral system have additive facilitative effects on their understory, probably through modifying the microenvironment and grazing pressure, leading to the formation of temporary diversity hot spots with distinct vegetation. Thus maintaining a moderate level of shrub-encroachment under sparse trees is recommended for not only creating safe havens for tree recruitment but also increasing the overall species and habitat diversity of wood-pastures.
  • Precondition for Integration: In Support of Stand-alone Social Science in Rangeland and Silvopastoral Research

    Sherren, K.; Darnhofer, I. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    Most agree that social and ecological approaches should be integrated to ensure sustainable management of natural resources. However, an analysis of the content of three problem-based journals shows that if social sciences are included at all, they are typically subservient to natural sciences, and that quantitative approaches are privileged. We argue that true integration is achievable only if natural sciences and social sciences are each robust and if they meet eye to eye. We call for more openness to stand-alone social science research in problem-based journals, especially to research using qualitative methods. We highlight the potential insights derived from studying decision makers at the microlevel: the pastoralists, farmers, ranchers, and foresters who make final management choices. We argue that publishing such qualitative social sciences promotes dialogue across disciplines, strengthens integration, and increases the real-world impact of research.
  • Exploring the Role of Management in the Coproduction of Ecosystem Services from Spanish Wooded Rangelands

    Torralba, M.; Oteros-Rozas, E.; Moreno, G.; Plieninger, T. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    The wood pastures or hardwood rangelands of the southwestern Iberian Peninsula are complex social-ecological systems created from the long-term interaction of society and the landscape. Dehesa, oak woodlands managed for grazing, cropping, and other forms of production, is the most common rangeland system and one of the most distinctive landscapes. Traditionally characterized by multifunctional low-intensity management that enhances a wide range of ecosystem services, current management has shifted from the traditional toward more intensified models. This paper assesses the coproduction of ecosystem services on dehesa properties by exploring the relationship between biophysical and sociocultural factors and dehesa management practices. Based on 42 surveys we analyze 16 quantitative indicators using multivariate techniques. The results indicate that there are four main dehesa types as defined by their characteristics and management: large heterogeneous operations with diverse products; small and homogeneous operations focused on a reduced number of products; medium-large properties focused on crop production; and midsized properties with easy public access. Management is the result of the dynamics of interacting biophysical and sociocultural factors that influence manager priorities and investments. Management decisions group around the degree of multifunctionality of the operation, the relative importance of crop production, the degree of grazing pressure in the system, and how restrictive public access policy is. We find that in the study area, interactions between all the previously mentioned elements covary consistently, generating bundles of ecosystem services associated with each of three management models based on the intensity of management.
  • Assessing Knowledge Production for Agrosilvopastoral Systems in South America

    Soler, R.; Peri, P.L.; Bahamonde, H.; Gargaglione, V.; Ormaechea, S.; Huertas, Herrera, A.; Sánchez, Jardón, L.; Lorenzo, C.; Martínez-Pastur, G.J. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    In recent decades agroforestry has undergone significant development in Latin America. South America generates the most scientific research on the topic in the region. We conducted a comprehensive review and analysis of knowledge production for South American agroforestry that includes livestock grazing, known as agrosilvopastoralism (AS), examining how different sociopolitical factors such as sources of funding, institutional priorities, and international cooperation can bias the direction and objectives of scientific research. We assessed the major attributes of scientific publications on the topic (25 articles per country; overall n = 210) and the potential factors underlying the processes of research and development in the region. The tree component was the most studied, while the livestock component received less attention. Studies were mainly focused on the production of goods and services (monetary or nonmonetary approaches), except in Brazil, where conservation was the major study objective. Stakeholders were involved in more than half of the studies (60%), and they were mostly ranchers and local producers. More than half (70%) of the studies offered recommendations based on their results, and such recommendations were mostly concerned with the management of agrosilvopastoral system components. In general, studies were led just as often by local as foreign first authors and coauthored by more than three people as part of interinstitutional working groups. Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, and Chile had more frequent cooperation among institutions and countries but mainly used their own funding. In contrast, Bolivia, Ecuador, and Peru had almost 100% of their studies supported by foreign countries (North America and Europe). Countries with greater internal funding of research generated more long-term studies. Besides this, two clear trends were detected: 1) conservation and social aspects were mainly supported by sources from external countries led by foreign principal investigators, and 2) production issues were supported from sources within countries and supported high levels of cooperation among institutions.
  • Contributions of Iberian Silvo-Pastoral Landscapes to the Well-Being of Contemporary Society

    Surová, D.; Ravera, F.; Guiomar, N.; Martínez, Sastre, R.; Pinto-Correia, T. (Society for Range Management, 2018-09)
    Assessments of society's perceptions of rangeland systems offer insights into the motivations, cultural beliefs, and values that can support landscape conservation and the everyday decisions of landowners. Silvo-pastoral landscapes, the grazed oak woodlands known as montado in Portugal and dehesa in Spain, are the main rangelands of southwestern Iberia. At the interface of complex interactions between natural processes and human activities, they have potential to deliver multiple services at the ecosystem level. However, the actual rendering of their potential to the well-being of contemporary society has not been comprehensively documented. This paper aims to enrich research perspectives and identify benefits and challenging aspects of silvo-pastoral landscapes through the lens of society well-being. An integrated socioecological perspective is used to examine one case study in Portugal and one in Spain. To better understand their context, montado and dehesa are assessed relative to other landscape types in the studied areas. A qualitative approach assesses tangible but also intangible aspects. The interviewed stakeholders include members of rural communities, public authorities, land managers, and researchers. Results reveal similar benefits and challenges in montado and dehesa. Interviewees considered them to have numerous sociocultural and environmental benefits. These were mainly regulatory services but also intangible benefits such as cultural identity, aesthetic qualities, and local knowledge. Nevertheless, a rendering of their full potential to society well-being has numerous challenges. These systems were believed to struggle economically, due to the low prices for the goods produced and a high dependence on subsidies. Their environmental vulnerability was also highlighted. Critical challenges for future research and policy interventions are identified for both case studies. Moreover, we encourage the wider application of approaches to rangelands focusing on well-being, as they provide a complement to ecological and economic perspectives that can improve understanding of social-ecological systems.