The University of Arizona

Disturbance Response Grouping of Ecological Sites Increases Utility of Ecological Sites and State-and- Transition Models for Landscape Scale Planning in the Great Basin

Tamzen K. Stringham, Patti Novak-Echenique, Devon K. Snyder, Sarah Peterson, Keirith A. Snyder

Abstract


• Ecological sites often occur at scales too small for application in planning large-scale vegetation treatments or post-fire rehabilitation.
• Disturbance Response Groups (DRGs) are used to scale up ecological sites by grouping ecological sites based on their responses to disturbances.
• A state-and-transition model (STM) is created for the DRGand refined through field investigations for each ecological site thereby creatingSTMs that function at both DRG and ecological site scales.
• The limited availability of ecological site descriptions hinders their use in large-scale management planning and may be a factor associated with the observed lack of application of available STMs
• Standardization of ecological site mapping tools for GIS platforms would increase the utility of DRGs, STMs, and ecological site descriptions for many land managers in the western United States.

Keywords: ecological site, state-and-transition model, disturbance response group, landscape-scale management, GIS.


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