Special Issue "Sustainable Rangeland Management to Protect Habitat and Livelihoods"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 15 August 2022 | Viewed by 6478

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Becky Chaplin-Kramer
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
1. Natural Capital Project, Woods Institute for the Environment, Stanford University, 327 Campus Drive, Stanford, CA 94305, USA
2. Institute on the Environment, University of Minnesota, 325 Learning & Environmental Sciences, 1954 Buford Ave, St. Paul, MN 55108, USA
Interests: ecosystem services modeling and remote-sensing; landscape ecology; rangelands and working landscapes; land use change scenario assessment; spatial prioritization
Dr. Ginger Allington
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Department of Geography, The George Washington University, Washington, DC, USA
Interests: rangelands; remote-sensing; land use change; systems modeling; biodiversity

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Rangelands, covering up to a third of the earth’s ice-free surface, provide livelihoods and food security for 800 million people, as well as critical habitat for wildlife. If sustainably managed as coupled human–natural systems, rangelands provide win-wins for people and nature, balancing human well-being and wildlife conservation. However, many rangelands worldwide are being degraded due to overgrazing and climate change, which undermines the productivity of these systems for wildlife and livestock and increases the vulnerability of people to livelihood insecurity and poverty. Global and national efforts are underway to promote restoration of degraded rangelands, via investments in economic development, sustainable management, and social programs.

We invite papers for a Special Issue to showcase evidence of coupled social and environmental benefits from innovative management in rangelands and tested strategies for making a transition to regenerative approaches. This Special Issue seeks to move beyond theory and anecdotes toward evidence for sustainable rangeland management, in terms of what works and why. We welcome field-based experiments testing mechanisms or enabling conditions for sustainable or regenerative systems, case studies showcasing ecological and/or social outcomes of novel policy, incentive structures or other catalysts for systems change, or socio-ecological modeling testing new hypotheses or providing new techniques for monitoring and managing for sustainability.

Dr. Becky Chaplin-Kramer
Dr. Ginger Allington
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Land is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • regenerative or sustainable grazing
  • combatting desertification and degradation
  • decision-support
  • climate adaptation and resilience
  • sustainable development

Published Papers (4 papers)

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Research

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Article
Vegetation Drastically Reduces Wind Erosion: An Implementation of the RWEQ in the Mongolian Gobi Steppe
Land 2022, 11(8), 1204; https://doi.org/10.3390/land11081204 - 30 Jul 2022
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Abstract
Soil loss prevention is an important ecosystem service for protecting human and environmental health. Using spatiotemporal climate and environmental data of the Eastern Gobi Steppe, a region missing from previous studies of Mongolian wind-based soil erosion, we implemented the Revised Wind Erosion Equation [...] Read more.
Soil loss prevention is an important ecosystem service for protecting human and environmental health. Using spatiotemporal climate and environmental data of the Eastern Gobi Steppe, a region missing from previous studies of Mongolian wind-based soil erosion, we implemented the Revised Wind Erosion Equation (RWEQ) model to estimate soil loss. A replicable pipeline was developed to perform these computations, and made available openly. Soil loss was estimated on a monthly basis to analyze seasonal variations. The results show that the annual total soil loss was 61 × 1010 kg over an area of 69.3 × 103 km2, which is about 90 tonnes per hectare. Increasing fractional vegetation coverage to a uniform 50% coverage (doubling current vegetation coverage in every 1 km2) could reduce soil loss by 60%, highlighting the importance of protecting and increasing vegetation coverage in ecosystem service preservation. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rangeland Management to Protect Habitat and Livelihoods)
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Article
Assessing Controversial Desertification Prevention Policies in Ecologically Fragile and Deeply Impoverished Areas: A Case Study of Marginal Parts of the Taklimakan Desert, China
Land 2021, 10(6), 641; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10060641 - 16 Jun 2021
Cited by 4 | Viewed by 890
Abstract
Overgrazing plays an important role in the grassland desertification in global drylands. The effectiveness of policies related to grazing directly affects efforts to combat desertification and sustainable rangeland management. However, there remain questions around how the interplay of grassland desertification and poverty affects [...] Read more.
Overgrazing plays an important role in the grassland desertification in global drylands. The effectiveness of policies related to grazing directly affects efforts to combat desertification and sustainable rangeland management. However, there remain questions around how the interplay of grassland desertification and poverty affects the implementation of policies. To reveal the effectiveness of the desertification prevention policy that delineates national key ecological function areas (NKEFAs), the main objective was to perform a sustainability assessment and on-site investigation in Northwest China. A parallel index system, which integrates the indices for economic input–output and material supply–demand to represent sustainability, and the indices for interview records from managers and questionnaires from residents to represent the effectiveness of NKEFA policy, was proposed to comprehensively judge the performance of NKEFA policy, and the underlying causes behind undesirable effects were further analyzed. The results indicate that (1) the performance of desertification control policy is related to socioeconomic conditions—a few counties with increased socioeconomic and land resource sustainability (SLS) are peri-urban or resource-rich; (2) the fact that the socioeconomic benefits of the NKEFA policy are not obvious to impoverished farmers greatly reduces their enthusiasm for preventing desertification; and (3) the livelihood needs and defective ecological compensation force residents with underdeveloped comprehensive quality to overdevelop or use grassland resources even though they have received subsidies for conserving grassland. It is concluded that poverty and grassland desertification interact to influence potential policy performance. Our analysis can help decision makers to formulate desertification control policies with multiple goals to achieve sustainable performance in an economy–ecology system. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rangeland Management to Protect Habitat and Livelihoods)
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Article
Modeling Integrated Impacts of Climate Change and Grazing on Mongolia’s Rangelands
Land 2021, 10(4), 397; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10040397 - 10 Apr 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 1809
Abstract
Mongolia contains some of the largest intact grasslands in the world, but is vulnerable to future changes in climate and continued increases in the number of domestic livestock. As these are two major drivers of change, it is important to understand interactions between [...] Read more.
Mongolia contains some of the largest intact grasslands in the world, but is vulnerable to future changes in climate and continued increases in the number of domestic livestock. As these are two major drivers of change, it is important to understand interactions between the impact of climate and grazing on productivity of Mongolia’s rangelands and the livelihoods they sustain. We use a gridded, spatially explicit model, the Rangeland Production Model (RPM), to explore the simultaneous and interacting effects of climate and management changes on Mongolia’s rangeland and future livestock production. Comparing the relative impact of temperature, precipitation, and grazing intensity, varied individually and in combination, we find that climatic factors dominate impacts on forage biomass and animal diet sufficiency. Site rainfall strongly mediates the impact of grazing on standing biomass, such that more productive or higher-rainfall sites are more vulnerable to increases in grazing pressure. Gridded simulations covering Mongolia’s Gobi-Steppe ecoregion show that while rangeland biomass is generally predicted to increase under future climate conditions, interactions among spatially varying drivers create strong heterogeneity in the magnitude of change. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rangeland Management to Protect Habitat and Livelihoods)
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Review

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Review
Maintaining the Many Societal Benefits of Rangelands: The Case of Hawaiʻi
Land 2021, 10(7), 764; https://doi.org/10.3390/land10070764 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2505
Abstract
Well-managed rangelands provide important economic, environmental, and cultural benefits. Yet, many rangelands worldwide are experiencing pressures of land-use change, overgrazing, fire, and drought, causing rapid degradation. These pressures are especially acute in the Hawaiian Islands, which we explore as a microcosm with some [...] Read more.
Well-managed rangelands provide important economic, environmental, and cultural benefits. Yet, many rangelands worldwide are experiencing pressures of land-use change, overgrazing, fire, and drought, causing rapid degradation. These pressures are especially acute in the Hawaiian Islands, which we explore as a microcosm with some broadly relevant lessons. Absent stewardship, land in Hawaiʻi is typically subject to degradation through the spread and impacts of noxious invasive plant species; feral pigs, goats, deer, sheep, and cattle; and heightened fire risk. We first provide a framework, and then review the science demonstrating the benefits of well-managed rangelands, for production of food; livelihoods; watershed services; climate security; soil health; fire risk reduction; biodiversity; and a wide array of cultural values. Findings suggest that rangelands, as part of a landscape mosaic, contribute to social and ecological health and well-being in Hawaiʻi. We conclude by identifying important knowledge gaps around rangeland ecosystem services and highlight the need to recognize rangelands and their stewards as critical partners in achieving key sustainability goals, and in bridging the long-standing production-conservation divide. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Sustainable Rangeland Management to Protect Habitat and Livelihoods)
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