Plant species provide vital ecosystem functions for sustainable agriculture, rangeland management and restoration
AuthorsValerie T. Eviner
F. Stuart Chapin
Authors AffiliationsV.T. Eviner is Ph.D. Candidate, Department of Integrative Biology, UC Berkeley; F.S. Chapin III is Professor, Institute of Arctic Biology, University of Alaska.
Hilgardia 55(6):54-60. DOI:10.3733/ca.v055n06p54. November 2001.
Plants respond to and change their environments, actively altering factors such as soil stability, nutrient and water availability, and the distribution of pests and beneficial organisms. By identifying the functions associated with different species and the effects they have on their ecosystems, managers can use plants as tools in agriculture, range management and restoration, since they will be able to choose plants more effectively and anticipate unintended consequences of vegetation changes. Because cover crops have been used in agricultural settings for years, much is known about their functioning and response to environmental conditions and management practices. Much less is known about plants in natural systems, yet this information can be critical to range management and restoration. We compare what is known about grassland plant functions in California by reviewing the extensive research that has been undertaken at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center.
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UC Research and Extension Centers: Statewide system provides local answers to local needs
Hopland celebrates 50 years of rangeland research
European grapes tested in North Coast vineyards
Research on animal-borne parasites and pathogens helps prevent human disease
Sheep research offers alternatives to improve production
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Watershed research examines rangeland management effects on water quality