David Briske

David Briske
Texas A&M University | TAMU · Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology

Doctor of Philosophy

About

119
Publications
31,569
Reads
How we measure 'reads'
A 'read' is counted each time someone views a publication summary (such as the title, abstract, and list of authors), clicks on a figure, or views or downloads the full-text. Learn more
8,407
Citations
Introduction
Ecological function, management strategies and policy implications on global rangelands. Exposure, sensitivity and adaptive capacity of rangeland systems to future climates. Translation of science to inform natural resource managers and policy makers of opportunities and tradeoffs regarding rangeland systems.

Publications

Publications (119)
Article
Full-text available
Frequent, severe defoliation reduces grass production and can alter plant species composition in grasslands. Multipaddock rotational grazing has been proposed as a grazing strategy that may reduce the frequency and intensity of defoliation on palatable grass plants without altering stocking rates. Previous studies evaluated this hypothesis using sm...
Article
Full-text available
Bison (Bison bison) are a keystone of a conservation system, but that system is vulnerable to the effects of a changing climate projected to alter land use through the 21st century. The current bison population of North America is approximately 400,000 animals and is maintained by a self‐assembled bison management system (BMS) of various stakeholde...
Article
Full-text available
Collaborative adaptive management (CAM) is hypothesized to benefit management of rangeland ecosystems, but the presumed benefits have seldom been quantified, and never in a multipaddock rotational grazing system. Here, we evaluated average daily weight gain (ADG) of livestock (kg steer⁻¹ d⁻¹) in four grazing management treatments during the summers...
Article
Full-text available
The limited application of science to environmental management has been termed the “science‐management knowledge gap.” This gap is widely assumed to be a consequence of inefficient knowledge transfer from science to application. However, this metaphor misrepresents knowledge as a “thing” that can be readily exchanged in complex systems, rather than...
Article
Full-text available
On the Ground •Climate projections indicate the Great Plains will experience higher mean temperatures and greater interannual precipitation variability in the future. •Greater precipitation variability will challenge the economic viability of rangeland beef cattle production by further disrupting forage supply and animal demand. •Beef producers ar...
Article
Full-text available
Asymmetric climate projections throughout the U.S. Great Plains may intensify the existing latitudinal temperature gradient and magnify the longitudinal precipitation gradient. These potential changes present a unique challenge to understanding the ecological consequences of future climates in the region. Here we investigate how climate change may...
Article
Full-text available
A comprehensive understanding of multipaddock, rotational grazing management on rangelands has been slow to develop, and the contribution of adaptive management (Briske et al. 2011) and sufficient scale (Teague and Barnes 2017) have been identified as key omissions. We designed an experiment to compare responses of vegetation and cattle in an adapt...
Article
Full-text available
The vulnerability of rangeland beef cattle production to increasing climate variability in the U.S. Great Plains has received minimal attention in spite of potentially adverse socioeconomic and ecological consequences. Vulnerability was assessed as the frequency and magnitude of years in which net primary production (NPP) deviated >± 25% from mean...
Article
Full-text available
This Review assesses the adequacy of current stewardship strategies to address the accelerating challenges confronting global rangeland systems. The assessment was conducted through the lens of the rangeland ecology debate that was initiated in the late 1980s to determine whether equilibrial or nonequilibrial models more accurately represented the...
Article
Full-text available
The Great Plains provide a major portion of US beef cattle production, and beef cattle represent the largest sector of the regional agricultural economy. Cattle producers regularly contend with climate variability, but the consequences of this variability are less well understood than for cropping systems. A retrospective analysis of US Department...
Article
On the Ground • We assessed diet quality and livestock weight gains for shortgrass steppe pastures dominated by Loamy Plains or Sandy Plains ecological sites. • When growing season precipitation is “normal,” livestock gains are higher on Sandy Plains ecological sites, and diet quality is not limiting livestock production. • Conversely, when growin...
Article
Full-text available
Learning is recognized as central to collaborative adaptive management (CAM), yet few longitudinal studies examine how learning occurs in CAM or apply the science of learning to interpret this process. We present an analysis of decision-making processes within the collaborative adaptive rangeland management (CARM) experiment, in which 11 stakeholde...
Article
Full-text available
This paper analyses Uganda’s rangeland policies and their ecological and socio-economic consequences, beginning in pre-colonial times. The paper interrogates what informed these policies, their objectives and outcomes that have been realized. Policy actions are recommended to correct the deficiencies identified in the analysis. This analysis shows...
Article
Full-text available
Projections of greater interannual and intrannual climate variability, including increasing temperatures, longer and more intense drought periods, and more extreme precipitation events, present growing challenges for agricultural production in the Southern Plains of the USA. We assess agricultural vulnerabilities within this region to support ident...
Article
Full-text available
The Northern Great Plains (NGP) region of the USA—which comprises Montana, Wyoming, Colorado, North Dakota, South Dakota, and Nebraska—is a largely rural area that provides numerous ecosystem services, including livestock products, cultural services, and conservation of biological diversity. The region contains 25% of the Nation’s beef cattle and a...
Article
Rangelands of the western Great Plains of North America are complex social-ecological systems where management objectives for livestock production, grassland bird conservation, and vegetation structure and composition converge. The Collaborative Adaptive Rangeland Management (CARM) experiment is a 10-year collaborative adaptive management (CAM) pro...
Article
Full-text available
Experiments investigating grazing systems have often excluded ranch-scale decision making, which has limited our understanding of the processes and consequences of adaptive management. We conducted interviews and vegetation monitoring on 17 ranches in eastern Colorado and eastern Wyoming to investigate rancher decision-making processes and the asso...
Chapter
Full-text available
This book describes the conceptual advances in scientific and management knowledge regarding global rangelands in the past 25 years. This knowledge originated from a substantial shift in underlying ecological theory and a gradual progression of natural resource management models. The progression of management models reflects a shift from humans as...
Chapter
Full-text available
Nonequilibrium ecology and resilience theory have transformed rangeland ecology and management by challenging the traditional assumptions of ecological stability and linear successional dynamics. These alternative interpretations indicate that ecosystem dynamics are strongly influenced by disturbance, heterogeneity, and existence of multiple stable...
Article
Full-text available
http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/eap.1544/full Quantification of rates and patterns of community dynamics is central for understanding the organization and function of ecosystems. These insights may support a greater empirical understanding of ecological resilience, and the application of resilience concepts toward ecosystem management....
Book
Full-text available
This book is open access under a CC BY-NC 2.5 license. This book provides an unprecedented synthesis of the current status of scientific and management knowledge regarding global rangelands and the major challenges that confront them. It has been organized around three major themes. The first summarizes the conceptual advances that have occurred i...
Article
Full-text available
Vegetation dynamics in rangelands and other ecosystems are known to be mediated by topoedaphic properties. Vegetation monitoring programs, however, often do not consider the impact of soils and other sources of landscape heterogeneity on the temporal patterns observed. Ecological sites (ES) comprise a land classification system based on soil, topog...
Article
Full-text available
The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) was created in response to a request from the Office of Management and Budget that the U.S. Department of Agriculture - Natural Resource Conservation Service (USDA – NRCS) document the societal benefits anticipated to accrue from a major increase in conservation funding authorized by the 2002 Farm...
Article
Full-text available
Successful natural resource management is dependent on effective knowledge exchange and utilization. Local/traditional/indigenous knowledge derived from place-based experience and scientific knowledge generated by systematic inquiry are the most commonly recognized knowledge domains. However, we propose that many natural resource decisions are not...
Article
The ecological consequences of climate change are predicted to vary greatly throughout US rangelands. Projections show warming and drying in the southern Great Plains and the Southwest, warmer and drier summers with reduced winter snowpack in the Northwest, and warmer and wetter conditions in the northern Great Plains. Primarily through their combi...
Article
Full-text available
Semi-nomadic pastoralism was replaced by sedentary pastoralism in Inner Mongolia during the 1960's in response to changes in land use policy and increasing human population. Large increases in numbers of livestock and pastoralist households (11- and 9-fold, respectively) during the past 60 yrs have variously degraded the majority of grasslands in I...
Conference Paper
In multispecies systems, facilitation and complementarity can offset some of the negative effects of interspecies competition. This can lead to more efficient use of resources by the plant community as a whole, resulting in an increase in productivity. Overyielding, a phenomenon whereby plant production in mixture exceeds that of production in mono...
Article
Full-text available
This commentary summarizes the evidence supporting holistic management (HM) and intensive rotational grazing (IRG) to demonstrate the extent to which Sherren and coauthors (2012) have overstated their policy endorsement of HM for rangeland application. Five major points are presented – distinction between HM and IRG, insufficient evaluation of the...
Article
The sole objective of our critique of Mr Savory’s TED video published in Rangelands1 was to “fact check” a portion of the extraordinary claims that he had made relative to science- based information. It is incumbent upon a professional disci- pline to evaluate the relevant evidence and potential viability of proposed management strategies and polic...
Article
Full-text available
The article presents a counter response to Allan Savory's statement that his planned grazing method was necessary to reverse desertification and climate change in the video 'How to green the world's deserts and reverse climate change' that was presented in session 7 at the 2013 TED (Technology, Entertainment, Design) Conference on February 27, 2013...
Article
Recent climatic trends and climate model projections indicate that climate change will modify rangeland ecosystem functions and the services and livelihoods that they provision. Recent history has demonstrated that climatic variability has a strong influence on both ecological and social components of rangeland systems and that these systems posses...
Article
Full-text available
The amplified ‘‘greenhouse effect’’ associated with increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases has increased atmospheric temperature by 18C since industrialization (around 1750), and it is anticipated to cause an additional 28C increase by midcentury. Increased biospheric warming is also projected to modify the amount and distribution of annual...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Crop rotations during the heat of Texas’ summers are limited due to the poor availability of crops that can withstand the high temperatures. Additionally, management practices that enhance or sustain soil and crop productivity while reducing inputs can increase producer profit and reduce the potential for nutrient runo...
Article
Full-text available
Resilience‐based approaches are increasingly being called upon to inform ecosystem management, particularly in arid and semi‐arid regions. This requires management frameworks that can assess ecosystem dynamics, both within and between alternative states, at relevant time scales.We analysed long‐term vegetation records from two representative sites...
Article
Savanna tree-grass interactions may be particularly sensitive to climate change. Establishment of two tree canopy dominants, post oak (Quercus stellata) and eastern redcedar (Juniperus virginiana), grown with the dominant C4 perennial grass (Schizachyrium scoparium) in southern oak savanna of the United States were evaluated under four climatic sce...
Article
Full-text available
On the Ground •The Conservation Effects Assessment Project (CEAP) is a multi-agency effort to quantify the environmental effects of conservation practices and programs and develop the science base for managing the agricultural landscape for environmental quality. •The rangeland CEAP review evaluated the scientific literature on seven core NRCS con...
Article
Full-text available
The social and ecological contexts for rangeland management are changing rapidly, prompting a reevaluation of science, management, and their relationship. We argue that progression from steady-state management to ecosystem management has served the rangeland profession well, but that further development toward resilience-based management is require...
Article
Full-text available
Tussock grasses are characterized by a compact spatial arrangement of tillers that contributes to intense intratussock competition. This investigation was designed to directly assess the magnitude of competition among autonomous subunits of tillers within individual tussocks (i.e., integrated physiological units) to further define the mechanisms of...
Article
Full-text available
Resilience-based frameworks, including state-and-transition models (STM), are being increasingly called upon to inform policy and guide ecosystem management, particularly in rangelands. Yet, multiple challenges impede their effective implementation: (1) paucity of empirical tests of resilience concepts, such as alternative states and thresholds, an...
Conference Paper
Increasing concentrations of greenhouse gases are projected to elevate global surface air temperatures by 1.1 to 6.4°C by the end of the century, and potentially magnify the intensity and variability of seasonal precipitation distribution. The mid-latitude grasslands and savannas of North America are predicted to experience a shift towards drier su...
Article
Full-text available
State-and-transition models (STMs) are being developed for many areas in the United States and represent an important tool for assessing and managing public and private rangelands. Substantial resources have been invested in model development, yet minimal efforts have been made to evaluate the utility of STMs for rangeland assessment and management...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Plant functional classification schemes arrange plants according to their patterns of morphological, physiological, and phenological traits and they attempt to establish response functional groups by aggregating those species with the same behavior in response to environmental disturbances such as grazing. Plant traits...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Resilience-based ecological frameworks, including state-and-transition models (STM), are being increasingly called upon to guide ecosystem management and inform natural resource policy. Yet multiple challenges continue to impede their application, including limited empirical assessments of non-equilibrium theory, infre...
Article
Full-text available
The debate regarding the benefits of rotational grazing has eluded resolution within the US rangeland profession for more than 60 yr. This forum examines the origin of the debate and the major reasons for its persistence in an attempt to identify common ground for resolution, and to search for meaningful lessons from this central chapter in the his...
Article
The State-and-transition models (STM) are usually developed alongside ecological site concepts because STMs help to define differences among sites. Information from published research, interviews, and field inventory data is used to develop the diagram and narratives for each component of the STM for each ecological site. Model development involvin...
Article
Full-text available
Research reported in this feature identifies a convergence of interpretations regarding the threshold dynamics of complex ecological systems. This convergence has arisen from a diverse set of investigations addressing rangeland ecosystem dynamics, disease transmission, and fluctuations in the populations of insect pests. Effective application of th...
Article
Full-text available
The contributions to this special feature focus on several conceptual and operational applications for understanding non-linear behavior of complex systems with various ecological criteria at unique levels of organization. The organizing theme of the feature emphasizes alternative stable states or regimes and intervening thresholds that possess gre...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Climate change is predicted to alter tree establishment in savannas as tree and grass species differentially respond to warming and altered rainfall patterns. Yet, tree-grass interactions and linkages to tree establishment in response to climate change drivers remain largely unknown, but key to predicting vegetation chan...
Article
Full-text available
Climate warming and drought may alter tree establishment in savannas through differential responses of tree seedlings and grass to intermittent rainfall events. We investigated leaf gas exchange responses of dominant post oak savanna tree (Quercus stellata and Juniperus virginiana) and grass (Schizachyrium scoparium, C4 grass) species to summer rai...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Southern oak savanna may be especially responsive to rainfall redistribution and climate warming during tree establishment as tree and grass species compete for water and other resources. Quercus stellata (post oak) and Juniperus virginiana (juniper) are the dominant C3 trees and Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods We measured soil respiration rates to study effects of tree-grass interactions and climate change on root and soil microbial activity in southern oak savanna. Quercus stellata (post oak, deciduous) and Juniperus virginiana (juniper, evergreen) are the dominant C3 trees and Schizachyrium scoparium (little bluestem) the d...
Article
This article was submitted without an abstract, please refer to the full-text PDF file.
Article
Amplification of the hydrological cycle as a consequence of global warming is forecast to lead more extreme intra-annual precipitation regimes. characterized by larger rainfall events and longer intervals between events. We present a conceptual framework, based on past investigations and ecological theory, for predicting the consequences of this un...
Article
Full-text available
The objective of this paper is to recommend conceptual modifications for incorporation in state-and-transition models (STMs) to link this framework explicitly to the concept of ecological resilience. Ecological resilience describes the amount of change or disruption that is required to transform a system from being maintained by one set of mutually...
Article
Full-text available
In spite of overwhelming experimental evidence to the contrary, rotational grazing continues to be promoted and implemented as the only viable grazing strategy. The goals of this synthesis are to 1) reevaluate the complexity, underlying assumptions, and ecological processes of grazed ecosystems, 2) summarize plant and animal production responses to...
Article
Full-text available
In spite of overwhelming experimental evidence to the contrary, rotational grazing continues to be promoted and implemented as the only viable grazing strategy. The goals of this synthesis are to 1) reevaluate the complexity, underlying assumptions, and ecological processes of grazed ecosystems, 2) summarize plant and animal production responses to...