Kenneth W Tate

Kenneth W Tate
University of California, Davis | UCD · Department of Plant Sciences

Rangeland Scientist

About

149
Publications
28,119
Reads
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3,794
Citations
Introduction
Our research and outreach focuses on the diverse managed ecosystems that comprise rangelands. We study and promote management to support the multitude of services that rangelands provide to society. We believe that the application of sound science, adaptive range management, and excellent stewardship enhances water quality, soil quality, stream and floodplain function, aquatic and terrestrial habitat, native plant and wildlife species, and agricultural productivity.
Education
September 1991 - March 1995
Oklahoma State University - Stillwater
Field of study
  • Water Resources
September 1989 - May 1991
Oklahoma State University - Stillwater
Field of study
  • Range Ecology and Management
September 1987 - May 1989
Oklahoma State University - Stillwater
Field of study
  • Range Ecology and Management

Publications

Publications (149)
Article
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1. In disturbance‐adapted ecosystems, the removal of disturbance can lead to losses of diversity and sometimes irreversible changes in community composition. It is important to identify the thresholds at which these changes can occur, and to understand the reversibility of these shifts. We examined this question in a vernal pool ecosystem that evol...
Article
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Rangelands support nearly one-third of Earth's population and provide a multitude of ecosystem services. Land managers and society face increasing pressures to sustainably intensify rangeland food systems; therefore, the time is ripe for thoughtful approaches to simultaneously produce more food, provide economic opportunities for livestock-dependen...
Article
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Background: Globally, vegetation in riparian zones is frequently the target of restoration efforts because of its importance in reducing the input of eroded sediment and agricultural nutrient runoff to surface waters. Here we examine the potential of riparian zone restoration to enhance carbon sequestration. We measured soil and woody biomass carb...
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Contamination of surface waters with microbial pollutants from fecal sources is a significant human health issue. Identification of relative fecal inputs from the mosaic of potential sources common in rural watersheds is essential to effectively develop and deploy mitigation strategies. We conducted a cross-sectional longitudinal survey of fecal in...
Article
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Working rangelands and natural areas span diverse ecosystems and face both ecological and economic threats from weed invasion. Restoration practitioners and land managers hold a voluminous cache of place-based weed management experience and knowledge that has largely been untapped by the research community. We surveyed 260 California rangeland mana...
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Optimising the spatial distribution of free-ranging livestock is a significant challenge in expansive, grazed landscapes across the globe. Grazing managers use practices such as herding (i.e. droving), strategic placement of off-stream livestock drinking water and nutritional supplements, and strategic fencing in attempts to distribute livestock aw...
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Coastal areas support multiple important resource uses including recreation, aquaculture, and agriculture. Unmanaged cattle access to stream corridors in grazed coastal watersheds can contaminate surface waters with fecal-derived microbial pollutants, posing risk to human health via activities such as swimming and shellfish consumption. Improved ma...
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We used the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) to evaluate how different residual forage dry matter (RDM) levels affect erosion potential in rangelands across California. The model was adapted to operate in a geographic information system (GIS) to model 14.8 million acres (6.0 million hectares) of land. Average erosion potential was low a...
Article
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Grazing lands support the livelihoods of millions of people across nearly one-half of the globe. Soils are the backbone of stability and resilience in these systems. To determine livestock grazing impacts on soil health, we conducted a global meta-analysis of soil organic carbon (SOC), total N, C/N ratio, and bulk density responses to grazing strat...
Article
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Few studies have considered how methylmercury (MeHg, a toxic form of Hg produced in anaerobic soils) production in rice (Oryza sativa L.) fields can affect water quality, and little is known about MeHg dynamics in rice fields. Surface water MeHg and total Hg (THg) imports, exports, and storage were studied in two commercial rice fields in the Sacra...
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Policymakers and scholars agree that the aging and declining number of ranchers is a serious problem for the future of ranching and range management. Studies show that recruiting and retaining new ranchers is difficult due to a complex mix of start-up costs, knowledge and skill requirements, and regulatory barriers. While research suggests that fir...
Article
The transport of oxytetracycline, chlortetracycline, and ivermectin from manure was assessed via surface runoff on irrigated pasture. Surface runoff plots in the Sierra Foothills of Northern California were used to evaluate the effects of irrigation water application rates, pharmaceutical application conditions, vegetative cover, and vegetative fil...
Article
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Riparian meadows occupy a small proportion of the public lands in the western United States but they provide numerous ecosystem services, including the production of high-quality forage for livestock grazing. Modern conservation management strategies (e.g., reductions in livestock stocking rates and adoption of new riparian grazing standards) have...
Article
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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...
Article
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Understanding the efficacy of passive (reduction or cessation of environmental stress) and active (typically involving planting or seeding) restoration strategies is important for the design of successful revegetation of degraded riparian habitat, but studies explicitly comparing restoration outcomes are uncommon. We sampled the understory herbaceo...
Data
Detrended correspondence analysis. (EPS)
Article
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Policy makers and practitioners are in need of useful tools and models for assessing ecosystem service outcomes and the potential risks and opportunities of ecosystem management options. We utilize a state-and-transition model framework integrating dynamic soil and vegetation properties to examine multiple ecosystem services—specifically agricultur...
Article
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Policy makers and practitioners are in need of useful tools and models for assessing ecosystem service outcomes and the potential risks and opportunities of ecosystem management options. We utilize a state-and-transition model framework integrating dynamic soil and vegetation properties to examine multiple ecosystem services specifically agricultur...
Article
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Methylmercury (MeHg) is a bioaccumulative pollutant produced in and exported from flooded soils, including those used for rice (Oriza sativa L.) production. Using unfiltered aqueous MeHg data from MeHg monitoring programs in the Sacramento River watershed from 1996 to 2007, we assessed the MeHg contribution from rice systems to the Sacramento River...
Article
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Invasive weed species in California's rangelands can reduce herbaceous diversity, forage quality and wildlife habitat. Small-scale studies (5 acres or fewer) have shown reductions of medusahead and yellow starthistle using prescribed grazing on rangelands, but little is published on the effects of pasture-scale (greater than 80 acres) prescribed gr...
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Grazed rangeland ecosystems encompass diverse global land resources and are complex social-ecological systems from which society demands both goods (e.g., livestock and forage production) and services (e.g., abundant and high-quality water). Including the ranching community’s perceptions, knowledge, and decision-making is essential to advancing the...
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Considerable debate remains over the efficacy of rotational grazing systems to enhance conservation and agricultural production goals on rangelands. We analyzed responses to grazing management questions in the Rangeland Decision Making Surveys of 765 California and Wyoming ranchers in order to characterize on-ranch grazing strategies and identify v...
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To assess the relative ecological risks of trenbolone acetate (TBA) use in agro-ecosystems, we evaluated the spatio-temporal dynamics of TBA metabolite transport during irrigation and rainfall events. Within a pasture, TBA-implanted heifers (40 mg TBA, 8 mg estradiol) were briefly penned (24 hr) at high stocking densities (500 animal units (AU)/ha)...
Conference Paper
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Background / Purpose: Enhancing adaptive capacity to climate change and variability is critical to sustaining rangeland social‐ecological systems (SES). To better understand individual decision‐making and drought adaptation strategies, we conducted a mail survey and semi‐structured interviews with ranchers and land managers across California. Ma...
Article
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Although studies have evaluated the ecotoxicity and fate of trenbolone acetate (TBA) metabolites, namely 17α-trenbolone (17α-TBOH), 17β-trenbolone (17β-TBOH), and trendione (TBO), their environmental transport processes remain poorly characterized with little information available to guide agricultural runoff management. Therefore, we evaluated TBA...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods California’s grassland ecosystems experience strong seasonality of both temperature and rainfall, which results in temporal variability in plant production and soil nutrients. Livestock grazing can accentuate or dampen these seasonal patterns in soil nutrient availability, which in turn, can govern the extent of plant...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods Point Blue Conservation Science (PBCS) is collaborating with the USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), cooperating ranchers, and several partners in an effort to improve soil, vegetation (forage) and wildlife habitat on foothill rangeland watersheds in California’s Great Valley. By applying prescribed (pl...
Article
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Extreme droughts like the recent 2011-2013 drought impacting the central and western United States present a challenge to sustaining livestock ranching operations and the ecosystem goods and services they produce. Wyoming ranchers manage half of this drought-prone state and are at the forefront of this challenge. We examined Wyoming ranchers' droug...
Article
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We examined long-term (10 years) meadow plant community responses to (1) livestock grazing under riparian grazing utilization limits; (2) suspension of livestock grazing; and (3) meadow site wetness and precipitation on the Inyo National Forest, California. Observed trends in meadow plant species richness, diversity, and frequency of soil stabilizi...
Article
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Several studies have documented the occurrence and fate of trenbolone acetate (TBA) metabolites in soil and water. However, considerable uncertainty still exists with respect to TBA risk in agro-ecosystems because limited data are available to quantify excretion, transformation, and leaching processes. To address these uncertainties, we used experi...
Article
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In a previous article, Beschta et al. (Environ Manag 51(2):474-491, 2013) argue that grazing by large ungulates (both native and domestic) should be eliminated or greatly reduced on western public lands to reduce potential climate change impacts. The authors did not present a balanced synthesis of the scientific literature, and their publication is...
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The removal of conifers through commercial timber harvesting has been successful in restoring aspen, however many aspen stands are located near streams, and there are concerns about potential aquatic ecosystem impairment. We examined the effects of management-scale conifer removal from aspen stands located adjacent to streams on water quality, sola...
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Amphibians are experiencing a precipitous global decline, and population stability on public lands with multiple uses is a key concern for managers. In the Sierra Nevada Mountains (California, USA), managers have specifically identified livestock grazing as an activity that may negatively affect Yosemite toads due to the potential overlap of grazin...
Article
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This paper analyzes rancher participation in conservation programs in the context of a social-ecological framework for adaptive rangeland decision-making. We argue that conservation programs are best understood as one of many strategies of adaptively managing rangelands in ways that sustain livelihoods and ecosystem services. The framework hypothes...
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Quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michaux) stands are important for biodiversity in conifer-dominated forest landscapes. Our goal was to quantify the consequences of conifer succession on understory diversity and litter quality, as well as asso-ciated changes in aspen stand condition. We studied aspen stands on national park land in the transition...
Article
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The use of veterinary pharmaceuticals in beef cattle has led to concerns associated with the development of antibiotic resistance in bacteria and endocrine disruption in aquatic organisms. Despite the potential negative consequences, data on the transport and mitigation of pharmaceuticals in grazed watersheds with irrigated pasture are scarce. The...
Article
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There is substantial concern that microbial and nutrient pollution by cattle on public lands degrades water quality, threatening human and ecological health. Given the importance of clean water on multiple-use landscapes, additional research is required to document and examine potential water quality issues across common resource use activities. Du...
Data
Mean, median, and maximum fecal coliform (FC) and E. coli concentrations for 743 stream water samples collected across 155 sample sites on 12 U.S. Forest Service grazing allotments in northern California. All concentrations are reported as colony forming units per 100 ml of sample water (cfu 100 ml−1). (DOCX)
Data
Geographic characteristics, study year precipitation, cattle grazing management, and water quality sample collection sites and sample numbers for 12 U.S. Forest Service grazing allotments in northern California enrolled in this cross-sectional longitudinal study of stream water quality between June and November 2011. (DOCX)
Article
Full-text available
Monitoring water quality is a major issue on California's rangeland watersheds, and there is limited published data to guide these efforts. We used stream-flow and water-quality data from experimental rangeland watersheds to demonstrate the temporal variability of water quality at the storm, season and annual time scales. The timing and frequency o...
Article
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Aspen (Populus tremuloides Michx.) is a disturbance-dependent, fire-resilient, shade-intolerant, clonal species that is in decline throughout western North America. The objective of this study was to examine the effects of intensity and season of browsing on annual height growth of aspen suckers. The goal was to aid development of livestock grazing...
Article
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In coniferous forested landscapes, quaking aspen (Populus tremuloides Michaux.) contribute disproportionately to ecosystem services and functions by supporting habitat heterogeneity and biodiversity, accelerating nutrient cycling rates, and increasing water yields. However, aspen are an early successional, clonal species with a relatively short ste...
Article
M aintaining purple needlegrass populations re-quires informed grazing management but defoliation or grazing effects on native peren-nial grasses in California's annual-dominated rangelands have received little attention because they were not the dominant or key species for management. These native pe-rennial grasses begin vegetative growth in the...
Article
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Spanning 12 million hectares, Wyoming rangelands produce food and provide other vital ecosystem services. However, the decision-making process of the ranchers who steward these lands is complex and poorly understood. In cooperation with the Wyoming Stock Growers Association (WSGA)—a predominant agricultural organization in the state—we asked WSGA p...
Article
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Mediterranean oak woodlands serve as working landscapes and biodiversity hotspots. These landscapes have undergone dramatic land conversion, which continues to threaten their conservation. Shifting focus from traditional management practices to a balance of conservation and production goals is a key challenge on working landscapes, and evaluating p...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods A recent publication in rangeland ecology literature identify four rotational grazing strategies. Each is purported to increase economic returns to ranchers while improving environmental quality compared to continuous grazing. However, there is little experimental evidence that rotation offers any added production valu...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods The increasing role of conservation easements on rangelands in the western US makes it especially important to understand the drivers and/or barriers to rancher participation. A commonly held perception is that basic social values like views on private property rights and trust in government will influence decisions by...
Conference Paper
Background/Question/Methods California’s oak woodlands and savannas, also known as hardwood rangelands, are among the state’s most valuable land resources, providing food, fiber, and other key ecosystem services. Historically, rangeland science and management have focused on agricultural production with little explicit incorporation of conservati...
Article
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The effects of grazing and oak tree removal on soil quality and fertility were examined in a blue oak (Quercus douglasii) woodland in the northern Sierra Nevada foothills. Low to moderate grazing intensity has little affect on soil quality; however, oak tree removal resulted in a decrease in most soil quality parameters investigated (carbon, nitrog...
Article
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A study was initiated during summer 1994 to evaluate the effect of season and intensity of grazing on erosion along intermittent streams at the San Joaquin Experimental Range. Five treatments (no grazing, dry season moderate, dry season heavy, wet season moderate, and wet season heavy) were applied on three different streams. Change in channel cros...
Article
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From 1994 to 1998 we documented sediment transport dynamics and sources in a 137 ha grazed hardwood rangeland watershed on granitic soils at the San Joaquin Experimental Range in Madera County. Sediment transport for this watershed was determined by measuring total suspended solids, bedload and flow at an H-flume installed in 1994. Sediment movemen...
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World-wide population declines have sharpened concern for amphibian conservation on working landscapes. Across the Sierra Nevada's national forest lands, where almost half of native amphibian species are considered at risk, permitted livestock grazing is a notably controversial agricultural activity. Cattle (Bos taurus) grazing is thought to degrad...
Article
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Rice field outflow can contain high concentrations of dissolved organic carbon (DOC), which plays a crucial role in drinking water quality and aquatic ecosystem processes. This study examined the relationship between potential determining factors (i.e. rice area, outflow, drainwater reuse, soil properties, and time, measured as the day in the growi...
Article
Exclusion of cattle by fencing has been proposed to alleviate possible negative grazing impacts on hydrologic, water quality, and cover habitat conditions within Sierra Nevada meadows used by Yosemite toads (Bufo canorus Camp) for breeding. Our objectives were to: 1) determine associations between breeding pool habitat conditions and use of potenti...
Article
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We surveyed montane meadows in the northern Sierra Nevada and southern Cascades for two field seasons to compare commonly used aquatic and terrestrial-based assessments of meadow condition. We surveyed (1) fish, (2) reptiles, (3) amphibians, (4) aquatic macroinvertebrates, (5) stream geomorphology, (6) physical habitat, and (7) terrestrial vegetati...
Article
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Though typically limited in aerial extent, soils of high-elevation riparian wetlands have among the highest density of soil carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) of terrestrial ecosystems and therefore contribute disproportionally to ecosystem services such as water retention, forage production, wildlife habitat, and reactive N removal. Because much soil C a...