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United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) 2021

CAN DROUGHT RESPONSE STRATEGIES INFORM RANGELAND MANAGEMENT ?

Drought Rangeland

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Institute of Food and Agriculture

Titre : CAN DROUGHT RESPONSE STRATEGIES INFORM RANGELAND MANAGEMENT ?

Identification : 1024988

Pays : Etats Unis

Durée : START : 01 JUN 2021 TERM : 31 MAY 2025

Résumé
Drought is a critical threat to the productivity and management of rangeland systems. Drier and more variable rainfall patterns compared to the last century will have significant impacts on these communities, with strong implications for ranching. Rangeland management frequently includes re-seeding or planting in areas that have been degraded by a range of natural and man-made factors, such as drought, fire, or invasion by weed species. With increasingly dry conditions looming, managers may want to consider planting species or varieties that tolerate drought. However, despite decades of research, ecologists cannot accurately predict which species will tolerate drought, or how drought will influence outcomes that producers care about, such as productivity and forage quality.The goal of this research is to develop a better understanding of how rangeland plants respond to drought. We know that drought response is strongly influenced by plant traits (e.g., leaf and root characteristics), but most theory was developed on woody plants, not herbaceous ones. In order to manage rangeland systems in a future, drier climate, we need a comprehensive study of how traits inform drought response in herbaceous plants. We will work in five ecologically distinct and economically important rangelands along a precipitation gradient in California. We will first determine which species occur in each of the five rangeland systems. Based on these data, we will establish field plots at a common site and subject plants to drought over two years. Plant traits will be measured in addition to plant mortality, and two ecosystem services (productivity, forage quality). This research will be a strong empirical test of trait-based ecological theories in ecosystem management, and will allow rangeland managers to use increasingly available plant trait data to tailor restorations to both site conditions and desired ecosystem services.

Performing Institution : UNIVERSITY OF CALIFORNIA, DAVIS
Investigator : Funk, J. L. AWARD TOTAL : $481,273

Présentation : USDA (NIFA)

Page publiée le 2 décembre 2021