The University of Arizona

Generalizing Ecological Site Concepts of the Colorado Plateau for Landscape-Level Applications

Michael C. Duniway, Travis W. Nauman, Jamin K. Johanson, Shane Green, Mark E. Miller, Jeb C. Williamson, Brandon T. Bestelmeyer


• Numerous ecological site descriptions in the southern Utah portion of the Colorado Plateau can be difficult to navigate, so we held a workshop aimed at adding value and functionality to the current ecological site system.
• We created new groups of ecological sites and drafted state-and-transition models for these new groups.
• We were able to distill the current large number of ecological sites in the study area (ca. 150) into eight ecological site groups that capture important variability in ecosystem dynamics.
• Several inventory and monitoring programs and landscape scale planning actions will likely benefit from more generalized ecological site group concepts.

Keywords: drylands, land classification, MLRA 35, grazing, biological soil crusts, erosion.

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