This section explores tools available to land managers for adopting resistance and resilience concepts. Scroll down the page to read each sub-section, or click the Land Management Tools drop-down navigation to go directly to a sub-section.
To begin, watch Jeanne Chambers discuss how Resistance and Resilience science can help make better management decisions.
By overlapping the breeding habitat model with three levels of Resistance and Resilience, you create a 9-cell Sage-Grouse Habitat Resistance and Resilience Matrix that provides a decision tool for minimizing fire and cheatgrass risks and provides suggestions on treatment types and opportunities (Chambers et al. 2017, Table 8). Rows show the ecosystem’s relative Resilience to disturbance and Resistance to invasive annual grasses:
Columns show the landscape-scale sage-grouse breeding habitat probability from the breeding habitat model:
Potential landscape scale management strategies can be determined by considering:
Effective conservation of sagebrush habitat, Greater Sage-Grouse, and other sagebrush obligate species requires an approach that prioritizes the best management practices in the most appropriate places. Chambers et al.
(2017) describe an approach for targeting areas for management. This approach is applicable to conservation of sagebrush obligate species that require large extents of intact sagebrush habitat.
The approach is based on four types of data:
A key intermediate product in this step is shown at right (Chambers et al. 2017, Figure 38) which is the overlay of Resilience and Resistance categories with the probability of suitable habitat for the land planning unit. Note that these are the same nine categories as defined in the Sage-Grouse Habitat Resistance and Resilience Matrix. This intersection provides information on how areas that can support focal species/resources will respond to both disturbance and management treatments, specifically the likelihood of recovery and risk of conversion to undesirable states; this helps target areas for management.
Some examples of how this analysis could be used
(from Chambers et al. 2017):
Click Play to learn specific suggestions from Jeanne Chambers on the management and restoration of low Resilience and Resistance areas that may already be converted to invasive annual grasses.
The emphasis at the scale of the land planning area or management planning unit is on maintaining or increasing large contiguous areas of sage-grouse breeding habitat with values in the moderate (50-75%) and especially high (> 75%) probability categories. Resilience to disturbance and Resistance to annual invasive grasses as indicated by soil temperature and moisture regimes is used to determine the most appropriate activities within the different breeding habitat categories. Once target areas and overarching priorities have been identified, more specific management strategies can be determined. Potential treatment areas can be assessed to determine the suitability of an area for treatment and the appropriate treatment methods. Different treatment options exist depending on the resilience and resistance of an area and the predominant threats (Chambers et al. 2017).
This Table illustrates different scenarios which might occur within the matrix, and possible management strategies which could apply to each scenario.
|Resilience and Resistance Category||A (Low)||B (Moderate)||C (High)|
Scenario 1: phase II juniper encroachment w/ healthy herbaceous understory
Scenario 2: post-fire community w/ healthy native herbaceous composition
High sagebrush cover but very limited herbaceous community
Mountain shrub community, mountain sagebrush community
|2 (Moderate)||Low sagebrush cover due to energy disturbances
||Invasive species interspersed with sagebrush, lower sagebrush cover due to equine use
||Cool and dry Wyomingensis community
|3 (Low)||Wyomingensis site 2 months post-fire; Cheatgrass and mustard monoculture
||Wyomingensis – grazing effects; low stubble height, patches of annual grassland within sagebrush matrix
||Wyomingensis, native grass and forb
The Resistance and Resilience matrix can also be used to inform what monitoring is to be conducted in which areas. For example, in this figure (right), given a set of variables, there’s an opportunity to calculate time and costs for improving habitat quality from cell 2A to 2B, or the potential risk of an area classified as a 3C to transition back to a 3B, and so forth. Examples of this evaluation may shed light on the long-term sustainability of restored areas after intensive efforts have subsided (or no actions in the case of natural succession). In addition, areas can be identified that are lost or degraded as a result of disturbance (anthropogenic and natural) and transition to a lower quality cell versus areas that have met habitat requirements either through natural succession (cells 1A, 1B, 1C), or through intensive and proactive restoration actions (such as reseeding).
Monitoring across all cells of this matrix will be important for determining the effects of landscape-scale changes and influences of these changes as patches transition between prioritization cell categories.
However, here are some key points from Mike Pellant’s “Restoration of Sagebrush Ecosystems” course to take into consideration:
This score sheet is a tool for a rapid site evaluation of Resilience and Resistance and for an area-of-concern that is based largely on three key attributes: soil temperature, available moisture, and pre-fire vegetation. These three attributes are primary drivers of resilience to disturbance or vegetation management and resistance to invasives and are a function of climate, topography, and soils. Scores are based on soil temperature and moisture indicators, pre-fire plant composition, and estimated fire severity.