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2002

RANGELAND EXCLOSURES : PLANT & SOIL DIVERSITY IN SEMI-ARID SHRUBLANDS OF WYOMING

Etats Unis

United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Research, Education & Economics Information System (REEIS)

Identification : WYO-354-00

Pays : Etats Unis

Durée : Jan 1, 2002 à Sep 30, 2004

Domaine : Management of Range Resources ; - Desert and semidesert shrub land and shinnery

Partenaire : UNIVERSITY OF WYOMING 1000 E UNIVERSITY AVE DEPARTMENT 3434 LARAMIE,WY 82071-2000

Objectifs

Compare soil and vegetative characteristics of adjacent grazed and comparable exclosure sites that have been ungrazed since the early sixties. Specifically, we will initiate monitoring of soil microbial community characteristics and nutrient cycling in shrublands. Demographic characterization of the shrub community will be conducted to assess long-term site dynamics by 1. Locating and identifying original grazing exclosures established prior to 1970 that have not been breached since the last monitoring effort ; 2. Selecting exclosures containing shrub-steppe species that are representative of salt desert and sagebrush steppe shrublands of Wyoming ; 3. Reinventorying vegetative characteristics documented by earlier researchers both within and outside of selected exclosures ; 4. Installing more detailed monitoring of major shrub species to determine age class patterns within and outside of the exclosures ; 5. Establishing new monitoring to evaluate cryptogamic soil crusts, soil microbial diversity and biomass, and carbon and nitrogen mineralization rates both within and outside ; and 6. Comparing ungrazed exclosures to currently grazed surrounding areas for productivity, biological diversity and ecosystem function using the monitored ecosystem parameters.

Descriptif

This project will include reconnaissance efforts to locate and document remaining intact exclosures in the state, repeat prior monitoring efforts and establish additional long-term monitoring directed at shrub demography, soil crusts, and soil processes. Efforts to identify intact exclosures throughout the state will assess whether exclosures have been breached since the last monitoring effort. We will contact individuals in public agencies, consult university expertise and examine early records to assist in finding intact exclosures. Exclosure visits will be required to verify that livestock have not compromised their value in recent years. A summary of intact exclosures and their characteristics will be used to select a subset of exclosures in shrublands for evaluation. We will repeat standardized techniques formerly used to document vegetataive characteristics of each selected site. Data collection will include aerial and basal vegetative cover by species, shrub density, and below ground diversity, presence of exotics, and disturbance factors.

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