Rangeland conservation programs are growing. The number of acres of land in the Western United States enrolled in conservation easements has outpaced land development since 1997. Understanding why ranchers ...
The Rangelands Partnership's insight:
Summary and comments on the article “Conservation Program Participation and Adaptive Rangeland Decision-Making” in the November 2013 issue of Rangeland Ecology and Management (Vol. 66, No. 6).
IT'S difficult to imagine Australia's rangelands soils teeming with microbes, especially in the current severe drought, but they are - and if they go, the productivity of the rangelands goes with them.
UI grad helps neighboring ranchers monitor rangeland Capital Press SALMON, Idaho — Seth McFarland has put his college degree to work for his father, neighboring ranchers and even the federal government, providing them concrete data about how...
"In semi-arid rangelands, intact communities of native browsing ungulates ... provide a critical ecosystem service by regulating woody cover, and their removal (or extinction) from these systems can lead to rapid woody encroachment."
10 October 2013, Forbes -- "In the lead up to the 2013 Borlaug Dialogue, the Skoll World Forum is featuring several keynote speakers writing at the nexus of three subjects central to the global challenges we face in the 21st century: biotechnology, sustainability, and climate volatility. ..."
Juergen Voegele, Ph. D., was appointed Director of the Agriculture and Environmental Services Department (AES) of the World Bank on October 1, 2012. He leads the department in pioneering a landscape approach to sustainable development and the alignment of agriculture and environmental practices.
...Ironically, while agriculture is a primary victim of climate change, it is also one of the main culprits: food system emissions contribute roughly 30% of total greenhouse gas emissions, directly and through associated changes in land use from deforestation. Emissions from livestock are expected to increase 70% by 2050. If deforestation continues as projected, forests will diminish dramatically by 2100, with grave associated consequences in terms of carbon release and biodiversity loss.
The good news is that there are steps we can take to make agriculture part of the solution. For example, agriculture is the only sector that can suck carbon out of the atmosphere. It has the potential to sequester 20% of global carbon dioxide emissions annually in the soils of croplands, grazing lands and rangelands. ..."
Dorpers perform better than merinos under rangeland conditions in western NSW because of their wider diet selection and their ability to digest low quality feed. (Ford V Holden. Dorpers V merinos. Dorpers come out in front.
The Rangelands Partnership's insight:
"...the dorper is a 'rangeland vacuum cleaner'..."!
Introduction: The “Development and Adoption of a Strategic Action Programme for Balancing Water Use and Sustainable Natural Resource Management in the Orange-Senqu River Basin” Project supports the Commission in ...
Rangelands to lose fertility under climate change ABC Online Global trends show arid rangeland soils are set to lose fertility, carbon and nitrogen with hotter drier weather. Rangeland soils are defined as grazing country and national parks.
ABANDONED bilby burrows on rangeland restoration sites at Lorna Glen are proving to have multiple be
ABANDONED bilby burrows on rangeland restoration sites at Lorna Glen are proving to have multiple benefits for the landscape.
Bilbies (Macrotis lagotis) being prolific foragers and diggers, play a pivotal role in arid and resource-scarce environments by creating burrows which can improve soil microclimates.
The study by Department of Parks and Wildlife’s (DPaW) Fauna Conservation Program found the burrows acted like regulators to temperature and humidity in the arid and barren climate.
“The more moderate and stable microclimate in the burrows at night may provide two potential benefits,” DPaW research scientist Dr Tamra Chapman says.
“Firstly, other fauna seeking to use the burrows for nocturnal refuges and feeding habitats might be favoured by the lower energetic costs of thermoregulation and foraging.
“Secondly, seeds in the burrows and on the surface soil of the control micro sites would be subject to different temperature and humidity regimes while stored in the seed bank and during germination, which may increase plant diversity, ” Dr Chapman says.
The study was conducted at Pink Lake on bilby burrows that were abandoned shortly after being dug, giving Dr Chapman an opportunity to unobtrusively investigate their impact.
The inside of the relic burrows were higher in soil moisture, pH, exchangeable magnesium, exchangeable potassium, mineral nitrogen, total cation exchange capacity, and significantly lower in bio-available aluminium than the surrounding soil.
The results also revealed an accumulation of mineral nitrogen in the burrows—an element particularly scarce in rangeland environments but likely helpful for arid-zone plant growth.
Given that bilbies do not defecate inside their burrows, soil mineral nitrogen could have been increased by the Birch effect—an increase in mineral nitrogen observed after periods of drying and rewetting of soil in arid climates.
However, “the role of humidity [inside the burrow] in this process is beyond the scope of this study, but it may be hypothesised that the mineralisation of nitrogen would be enhanced by the relatively favourable microclimate in the burrows,” Dr Chapman says.
Dr Chapman says nitrogen accumulation can be achieved by furrowing activity and the reintroduction of soil-modifying fauna like bilbies would increase this.
“Reintroducing bilbies not only restores our natural heritage but, as this and other studies have shown, may also restore our ecosystems, by moderating micro-climate conditions and increasing resource availability, thereby creating more suitable habitats for the establishment and productivity of other species.”
Both of these scenarios, if applicable at Lorna Glen, would contribute to ecosystem productivity and potentially, restoration.
Lorna Glen, in the northern Goldfields, is home to one of the world’s most extensive and groundbreaking arid zone wildlife reconstruction projects, Operation Rangelands Restoration. This project aims to restore 600,000 hectares of former pastoral lease land purchased by the State Government for conservation at Lorna Glen (Matuwa) and Earaheedy (Kurrara Kurrara) to its natural state by 2020.