The University of Arizona

Range condition analysis: comparison of 2 methods in southern New Mexico desert grasslands.

E. Tedonkeng, R.D. Pieper, R.F. Beck


Interest in evaluating theoretical considerations in traditional methods of determining range condition have increased recently with application of different analytical techniques. In this study, the traditional quantitative climax approach was compared to a cluster analysis method on range sites in desert grassland in southern New Mexico. Both methods identified 3 classes that corresponded to successional stages or range condition classes. The cluster analysis approach provided a more precise procedure than the quantitative climax approach, as evaluated by multiple discriminate analysis. However, the cluster analysis is a much more complex analytical procedure than the quantitative climax approach, and may be limited for management purposes.


cluster analysis;quantitative climax approach;deserts;land classification;secondary succession;spatial variation;climax communities;grasslands;plant ecology;ecological succession;pastures;biomass production;botanical composition;rangelands;New Mexico;forage

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