Promoting Resilience-based Management for Rangeland Ecosystems
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Conduct a comprehensive assessment of slow variables, feedback mechanisms, and legacies of vegetation response to ecological events and management actions to inform and support thestate-and-transition model framework framework.Effective interpretation and application of resilience within these models is dependent upon insightful assessment of vegetation and soil dynamics in response to natural events and management actions. Collectively, this information determines the effectiveness with which reversible vegetation change is interpreted within existing stable states (i.e., community phase dynamics) and the ability to anticipate and minimize thresholds between stable states. This information enables managers to identify communities possessing a high probability of crossing a threshold to form alternative stable states (i.e., at-risk communities) and communities that represent a high probability of state transition back to a pre-threshold state with appropriate management intervention (i.e., restoration pathways).Rangelands represent ecologically diverse arid and semiarid systems characterized by low plant productivity and high precipitation variability, including frequent drought. The vulnerability of rangeland-based livelihoods to climate change provides a strong justification for acceleration of planning and implementation of adaptation strategies.adaptations will not only be required to minimize the adverse consequences of climate change (southern regions especially), but also to capture or optimize opportunities as represented by the extended growing season in the northern region.