Research application of ecological sites and their further development

TitleResearch application of ecological sites and their further development
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2005
AuthorsHavstad K
Conference NameSociety for Range Management, 58th Annual Meeting and Trade Show
Date PublishedFebruary 5, 2005
Conference LocationFort Worth, TX
ARIS Log Number178297
Keywordsecological sites, models, rangeland research, research application, site descriptions
AbstractA general science paradigm for rangeland research includes three basic elements: (1) identification of key basic principles of the biophysical world, (2) development of testable explanations (e.g., models) of the biophysical world based on those principles, and (3) experimentally gathered, georeferenced information to expand and apply explanations to management relevant problems at scales that operate in real time. Within this paradigm is the recognition of three key properties of rangelands relevant to current research questions: rangelands (1) exhibit threshold behaviors in response to various drivers, (2) exhibit temporal and spatial variability in these responses, and (3) exhibit these responses within a landscape context. An ecological site basis for field research provides a useful framework for both acknowledging the importance of these principles and adhering to this paradigm. Spatially relevant and ecologically robust site descriptions of a research landscape provide a clear and repeatable basis for evaluating measured responses and a means to extrapolate those responses to similar conditions and landscapes in other areas.