Rangeland Ecology & Management

Journal Information
ISSN / EISSN : 1550-7424 / 1551-5028
Current Publisher: Elsevier BV (10.1016)
Former Publisher: Elsevier BV (10.2111)
Total articles ≅ 1,564
Current Coverage
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Latest articles in this journal

Caleb P. Roberts, Victoria M. Donovan, Craig R. Allen, David G. Angeler, Chris Helzer, David Wedin, Dirac Twidwell
Published: 2 October 2020
Rangeland Ecology & Management; doi:10.1016/j.rama.2020.09.002

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Steven D. Warren, Roger Rosentreter, Nicole Pietrasiak
Published: 22 September 2020
Rangeland Ecology & Management; doi:10.1016/j.rama.2020.08.010

Biological soil crusts (BSCs), or biocrusts, are composed of fungi, bacteria, algae, and bryophytes (mosses, etc.) that occupy bare soil, entwining soil particles with filaments or rootlike structures and/or gluing them together with polysaccharide exudates to form a consolidated surface crust that stabilizes the soil against erosion. BSCs are common in arid and semiarid regions where vascular plant cover is naturally sparse, maximizing the exposure of surface-dwelling organisms to direct sunlight. Although less prominent and less studied there, BSC organisms are also present in more mesic areas such as the Great Plains where they can be found in shortgrass and mixed-grass prairie, in the badlands of several states, where burrowing animals have created patches of bare soil, on damaged road-cuts, strip-mines, gas and oil drill pads, military training areas, heavily grazed areas, and burn scars. Even where BSCs are not readily visible to the naked eye, many of the organisms are still present. BSC organisms are passively dispersed to the Great Plains as airborne organismal fragments, asexual diaspores, or sexual spores that accompany wind-blown dust from as far away as northern China and Mongolia. BSCs can best be studied and managed by 1) acknowledging their presence; 2) documenting their diversity, abundance, and functional roles; and 3) minimizing unnecessary disturbance, particularly when the soils are dry. This paper describes the current knowledge of Great Plains BSCs in an effort to heighten awareness of these cryptic but crucial ecosystem components and to encourage new research initiatives to better understand and manage them in this biome. Some specific actions may include refined taxonomic and ecologic studies of BSC organisms in underexplored areas, particularly those previously less or not recognized as BSC habitat, and incorporation of techniques to sample airborne organisms.
Brice B. Hanberry, Sandra J. DeBano, Thomas N. Kaye, Mary M. Rowland, Cynthia R. Hartway, Donna Shorrock
Published: 16 September 2020
Rangeland Ecology & Management; doi:10.1016/j.rama.2020.08.006

Recent global declines of pollinator populations have highlighted the importance of pollinators, which are undervalued despite essential contributions to ecosystem services. To identify critical knowledge gaps about pollinators, we describe the state of knowledge about responses of pollinators and their foraging and nesting resources to historical natural disturbances and new stressors in Great Plains grasslands and riparian ecosystems. In addition, we also provide information about pollinator management and research needs to guide efforts to sustain pollinators and by extension, flowering vegetation, and other ecosystem services of grasslands. Although pollinator responses varied, pollinator specialists of disturbance-sensitive plants tended to decline in response to disturbance. Management with grazing and fire overall may benefit pollinators of grasslands, depending on many factors; however, we recommend habitat and population monitoring to assess outcomes of these disturbances on small, isolated pollinator populations. The influences and interactions of drought and increasingly variable weather patterns, pesticides, and domesticated bees on pollinators are complex and understudied. Nonetheless, habitat management and restoration can reduce effects of stressors and augment floral and nesting resources for pollinators. Research needs include expanding information about 1) the distribution, abundance, trends, and intraregional variability of most pollinator species; 2) floral and nesting resources critical to support pollinators; 3) implications of different rangeland management approaches; 4) effects of missing and reestablished resources in altered and restored vegetation; and 5) disentangling the relative influence of interacting disturbances and stressors on pollinator declines. Despite limited research in the Great Plains on many of these topics, consideration of pollinator populations and their habitat needs in management plans is critical now to reduce future pollinator declines and promote recovery.
Brett B. Roper, W. Carl Saunders
Published: 15 September 2020
Rangeland Ecology & Management; doi:10.1016/j.rama.2020.08.009

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Ricardo Mata-González, Mohamed A.B. Abdallah, Carlos G. Ochoa
Published: 14 September 2020
Rangeland Ecology & Management; doi:10.1016/j.rama.2020.08.008

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Kristine M. Dahl, Edward W. Bork, John R. Parkins, Kate Sherren
Published: 7 September 2020
Rangeland Ecology & Management; doi:10.1016/j.rama.2020.08.007

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 2 September 2020
Rangeland Ecology & Management; doi:10.1016/j.rama.2020.08.003

The publisher has not yet granted permission to display this abstract.
Published: 1 September 2020
Rangeland Ecology & Management, Volume 73; doi:10.1016/s1550-7424(20)30091-9

Kirk W. Davies, Jon D. Bates, Chad S. Boyd
Published: 1 September 2020
Rangeland Ecology & Management, Volume 73, pp 629-635; doi:10.1016/j.rama.2020.05.002

Restoration of non-sprouting shrubs after wildfire is increasingly becoming a management priority. In the western U.S., Wyoming big sagebrush (Artemisia tridentata Nutt. ssp. wyomingensis Beetle & Young) restoration is a high priority, but sagebrush establishment from seed is sporadic. In contrast, planting seedlings often successfully restores sagebrush, but is expensive and time consuming. After planting, hence, there is a need to protect the investment from disturbances such as fire that will erase gains in sagebrush recovery. Grazing is likely the only tool that can be applied feasibly across the landscape to decrease wildfire probability, but there are concerns that grazing and associated activities (e.g. trampling) may negatively impact sagebrush seedlings. We investigated effects of grazing by cattle, applied as a fine fuel management strategy, on planted sagebrush seedlings at five blocks for five years. Grazing substantial reduced exotic annual grasses, large perennial bunchgrasses, and total herbaceous cover, thus achieving fuel management goals. Sagebrush cover and reproductive efforts were almost 2-fold greater in grazed compared to non-grazed areas in the final year of the study. This suggests that grazing favored sagebrush, a generally unpalatable shrub, recovery, likely by reducing competition from highly palatable herbaceous vegetation. Density of sagebrush, however, was similar between grazed and non-grazed areas. This research demonstrates that grazing can be strategically applied to reduce the probability of wildfire in areas with planted sagebrush seedlings; thereby, protecting the investment in sagebrush recovery. With more refinement, it also appears that grazing can be utilized to accelerate the recovery of sagebrush and potentially other woody vegetation habitat by modifying the competitive relationship between herbaceous and woody vegetation.
Published: 1 September 2020
Rangeland Ecology & Management, Volume 73; doi:10.1016/s1550-7424(20)30090-7

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