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National Assessment and Critiques of State-and-Transition Models: The Baby with the Bathwater
- Bestelmeyer, Brandon T.
- Rangelands 2015 v.37 no.3 pp. 125-129
- climate, databases, ecosystem services, erosion control, forage, grazing, landscape position, livestock, models, plant communities, range management, rangelands, soil, stocking rate, vegetation, weather, wildlife habitats, woody plants, United States
- Ecological site descriptions and state-and-transition models are national-level tools for organizing and delivering information about landscape dynamics and management. Recent papers criticized state-and-transition models because they overemphasize grazing, are inconsistently presented, and do not address climate change. I argue that the analysis of Twidwell et al. does not support an overemphasis on grazing, that inconsistent presentation is a necessary consequence of early model development efforts and immature science concepts, and that climate change effects should not be addressed in site-level models without evidence. Improving these important tools requires fair critique, but also the strong commitment of scientists and funders.