Skip to main content
U.S. flag

An official website of the United States government

A simple graphical approach to quantitative monitoring of rangelands

January 1, 2011

The article reviews graphical interpretation of the four monitoring methods that can be used to generate a variety of indicators of rangeland ecosystem function. Data for all four of the monitoring methods can be recorded on a single data sheet that is designed to be usable by somebody with minimal literacy. Indicators of plant and ground cover are central to most long-term monitoring systems. Plant and ground-cover data inform managers about forage availability, plant community composition and structure, and risk of runoff and erosion. The spatial arrangement of plants at a site in addition to the percent of the ground that is covered by plants is an important determinant of erosion potential. Vertical vegetation structure can be monitored by capturing data on maximum plant height at each stick location. Plant density method can provide an early indicator of future changes in plant cover, forage, quality, and habitat structure.

Publication Year 2011
Title A simple graphical approach to quantitative monitoring of rangelands
DOI 10.2111/1551-501X-33.4.6
Authors C. Riginos, J. E. Herrick, S.R. Sundaresan, C. Farley, J. Belnap
Publication Type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Series Title Rangelands
Index ID 70036729
Record Source USGS Publications Warehouse
USGS Organization Southwest Biological Science Center