OOS 10 - Science-Based Management Strategies and the Future of Grasslands, Shrublands, and Savannas in North America

Tuesday, August 9, 2011: 8:00 AM-11:30 AM
12A, Austin Convention Center
Organizer: Kristine Metzger
Co-organizers: Nicole M. DeCrappeo , Brandon T. Bestelmeyer and David A. Pyke
Moderator: Kristine Metzger
Understanding, adapting to, and mitigating the impacts of global change will require coordinated science-based decision making in order to manage competing demands on land and sustain ecosystem services and biodiversity. Such stewardship will require the integration of natural and social scientific knowledge with the development of natural resources policy, planning, and management actions. In this symposium, we consider the science and practice of stewardship in grassland, shrubland, and savanna ecosystems of North America in light of anticipated changes in climate and land use. These ecosystems, collectively known as rangelands, occupy 31% of the land area of the U.S. and sizeable portions of Mexico and Canada. Because they are marginally suited for intensive agriculture, rangelands have been historically used for livestock grazing and maintained largely as natural ecosystems or wildlands. Dramatic changes in climate and land use, however, are underway. Aridity, already a challenge in many areas, is expected to become more severe. Rangeland plant, animal, and soil communities have been inadvertently transformed through species invasions and soil degradation. As the human population increases, water conflicts, urbanization and energy development will follow, leading to greater stresses on these systems. Nonetheless, rangeland areas are expected to continue to provide refuge for biodiversity, water for agricultural and urban uses, recreational spaces, and traditional livestock agriculture. In this symposium, we gather ecologists and social scientists working at the interface of science, management, and policy to: 1) describe current projections for future conditions in rangeland and related landscapes, 2) explore stewardship solutions to challenges in light of those changes, and 3) illustrate how collaborative science can provide a general approach to face those challenges, followed by a synthesis. The speakers’ common goal will be to establish direct linkages between the variety of ecological processes, ecosystem services, and management policies that prevail in North American rangelands. The more general emphasis, however, will be on stewardship strategies for rapidly changing environments and, therefore, appeal to participants interested in the interface of science, management and policy of natural resources.
8:00 AM
Overview: Revolutionary land and land-use changes in grasslands, shrublands, and savannas
Jeffrey E. Herrick, USDA Agricultural Research Service; John N. Quinton, Lancaster University; German Baldi, Universidad Nacional de San Luis; David E. Naugle, University of Montana
8:20 AM
Soil degradation legacies and soil restoration as a basis for grassland and shrubland stewardship
Nicole M. DeCrappeo, U.S. Geological Survey, DOI Northwest Climate Science Center; David A. Pyke, U.S. Geological Survey
8:40 AM
9:20 AM
The conservation-production interface in rangelands: Acknowledging tradeoffs and moving toward win-win solutions
David J. Augustine, USDA-ARS; Justin D. Derner, Rangeland Resources Research Unit
9:40 AM
10:10 AM
Connecting local knowledge and research: Strategies for promoting collaboration between managers and scientists
Carolyn M. Malmstrom, Michigan State University; Richard Harrison, Pete's Valley Cattle; H. Scott Butterfield, The Nature Conservancy
10:30 AM
Grassland, shrubland, and savanna stewardship: Where do we go from here
Nathan Sayre, University of California; Brandon T. Bestelmeyer, USDA Agricultural Research Service
10:50 AM
Bird response to enhanced vegetation diversity in the Spring Run Complex of Northwestern Iowa
Rolf R. Koford, Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit; Jennifer A. Vogel, Iowa State University; David L. Otis, Iowa Cooperative Fish and Wildlife Research Unit
11:10 AM
Consequences of declining snow accumulation for semiarid intermountain ecosystem water balance
Daniel R. Schlaepfer, University of Basel; William K. Lauenroth, University of Wyoming; John B. Bradford, U.S. Geological Survey
See more of: Organized Oral Session
Copyright © . All rights reserved.
Banner photo by Flickr user greg westfall.