SAGEBRUSH AND RANGELAND HEALTH IN WESTERN SOUTH DAKOTA GRASSLANDS.

Author: 
Walker, Jennifer N.
Publisher: 
Society for Range Management
Publication Year: 
2016
Description: 
Due to the need to provide habitat for the Greater Sage-Grouse, sagebrush cover and density have become important objectives in management of rangelands across the western United States. For grassland ecosystems of western South Dakota, however, sagebrush-dominated plant communities may represent a departure from the historical range of variability. This project aims to explore the relationship between sagebrush density and rangeland health in this area. The hope is to help land managers to develop vegetation objectives that successfully balance the habitat needs of the Greater Sage-Grouse with healthy ecological function. To help determine healthy parameters for sagebrush communities in western South Dakota grasslands, areas with various densities of Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata ssp. Wyomingensis) are compared at different scales to determine the relative degrees of ecological function. At the broad scale, vegetation and soil moisture indices calculated from LandSat imagery are correlated to sagebrush cover. At the fine scale, adjacent plots with and without sagebrush are intensively sampled and compared in terms of soil quality indicators including infiltration, bulk density, soil surface aggregate stability, soil respiration, soil nitrate, total organic matter content, micronutrient and active soil carbon as well as ground-measured NDVI, perennial grass and forb cover, height, and diversity.
Conference Name: 
SRM Corpus Christi, TX
Conference Date: 
Sunday, January 31, 2016
Resource Type: 
Text
Document Type: 
Conference Proceedings
Society for Range Management

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