National Assessment and Critiques of State-and-Transition Models: The Baby with the Bathwater

Bestelmeyer, Brandon T.
Society for Range Management
Publication Year: 
On the Ground• Ecological site descriptions and state-and-transitionmodels are national-level tools for organizing anddelivering information about landscape dynamicsand management.• Recent papers criticized state-and-transition modelsbecause they overemphasize grazing, are inconsistentlypresented, and do not address climate change.• I argue that the analysis of Twidwell et al. does notsupport an overemphasis on grazing, that inconsistentpresentation is a necessary consequence of earlymodel development efforts and immature scienceconcepts, and that climate change effects should notbe addressed in site-level models without evidence.• Improving these important tools requires fair critique, butalso the strong commitment of scientists and funders.Keywords: ecological site descriptions, regime shifts,grazing, thresholds, climate change.
Document Type: 
Journal Issue/Article
Society for Range Management

Rangelands, a publication of the Society for Range Management, serves as a forum for the presentation and discussion of facts, ideas, and philosophies pertaining to the study, management, and use of rangelands. The journal features scientific and historical articles as well as Society news. It provides readers with scientifically accurate information in a user-friendly format, placed in context of the world we live in today. Rangelands is a practical (non-technical) counterpart of Rangeland Ecology & Management (formerly the Journal of Range Management). The Global Rangelands collection includes articles from Rangelands up to 3 years from the current year. Access to more recent content is available by subscription from BioOne and the Society for Range Management and may also be available at your local university library. 
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