766-1 Understanding Global Warming Impacts to Forest and Rangeland Landscapes with Benchmark Ecological Sites.

Wednesday, 8 October 2008
George R. Brown Convention Center, Exhibit Hall E
William Ypsilantis1, Michael Karl1, Tim Bottomley1, Pete Biggam2, Anthony O'Geen3, Curtis Talbot4, Lyn Townsend5, Brandon Bestelmeyer6, Randy Davis7, Wendell Gilgert5, Jeff Dibenedetto8 and James Renthal9, (1)Denver Fed.Ctr Bldg 50, Bureau of Land Management, Denver, CO
(2)USDI-NPS, Denver, CO
(3)University of California-Davis, Davis, CA
(4)NRCS, Lincoln, NE
(5)NRCS, Portland, OR
(6)ARS, Las Cruces, NM
(7)USDA-FS (Forest Service), Washington, DC
(8)U.S. Forest Service, Billings, MT
(9)Bureau of Land Management, Washington, DC
A benchmark ecological site is one that has the greatest potential to yield data and information about ecological functions, processes, and the effects of management or climate change that can apply to a broad area or critical ecological zone. A benchmark ecological site represents other similar sites in a major land resource area (MLRA). Information gathered about benchmark ecological sites can address many different ecological, social, and resource management issues.    One of the purposes of designating benchmark ecological sites is to promote greater understanding of the potential impacts of global climate change on rangeland and forest ecosystem dynamics and soils.  Measures of ecosystem change against reliable benchmarks will allow land managers to use adaptive management to provide for sustainability of natural resources on these landscapes.  Examples of resource issues that could be addressed include impacts of climate change and management actions on threatened, endangered, and other plant and animal species of concern; soil erosion, sedimentation, and runoff; soil ecology; plant community composition and productivity; and habitat reclamation potential.