Using resilience and resistance concepts to manage persistent threats to sagebrush ecosystems and greater sage-grouse

Rangeland Ecology and Management
By: , and 

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Abstract

Conservation of imperiled species often demands addressing a complex suite of threats that undermine species viability. Regulatory approaches, such as the US Endangered Species Act (1973), tend to focus on anthropogenic threats through adoption of policies and regulatory mechanisms. However, persistent ecosystem-based threats, such as invasive species and altered disturbance regimes, remain critical issues for most at-risk species considered to be conservation-reliant. We describe an approach for addressing persistent ecosystem threats to at-risk species based on ecological resilience and resistance concepts that is currently being used to conserve greater sage-grouse (Centrocercus urophasianus)and sagebrush ecosystems. The approach links biophysical indicators of ecosystem resilience and resistance with species-specific population and habitat requisites in a risk-based framework to identify priority areas for management and guide allocation of resources to manage persistent ecosystem-based threats. US federal land management and natural resource agencies have adopted this framework as a foundation for prioritizing sage-grouse conservation resources and determining effective restoration and management strategies. Because threats and strategies to address them cross-cut program areas, an integrated approach that includes wildland fire operations, postfire rehabilitation, fuels management, and habitat restoration is being used. We believe this approach is applicable to species conservation in other largely intact ecosystems with persistent, ecosystem-based threats.

Additional publication details

Publication type Article
Publication Subtype Journal Article
Title Using resilience and resistance concepts to manage persistent threats to sagebrush ecosystems and greater sage-grouse
Series title Rangeland Ecology and Management
DOI 10.1016/j.rama.2016.08.005
Volume 70
Issue 2
Year Published 2017
Language English
Publisher Elsevier
Contributing office(s) Forest and Rangeland Ecosystem Science Center
Description 16 p.
First page 149
Last page 164
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