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1 November 2017 Using State and Transition Models to Show Economic Interdependence of Ecological Sites at the Ranch Level
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Abstract

US government agencies are adopting state and transition models (STMs) for rangeland evaluation, monitoring, and management. This research demonstrates advantages of combining STMs and ranch economic models. A dynamic optimization framework casts management decisions—stocking rates and brush control—in the context of ranch profitability over a suite of ecological sites. Markov processes characterize the likelihood of state transitions.

The ranch model shows economic interdependence of multiple ecological sites. Ecological site combinations producing the most forage are not the most economically advantageous. The state of one ecological site influences the forage value elsewhere and ultimately the intensity at which a ranch is stocked. Likewise, brush control benefits depend importantly on the state of all ecological sites.

© 2017 The Society for Range Management. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.
John Ritten , María E. Fernández-Giménez , James Pritchett , Emily Kachergis , and Willow Hibbs "Using State and Transition Models to Show Economic Interdependence of Ecological Sites at the Ranch Level," Rangeland Ecology and Management 70(6), 666-674, (1 November 2017). https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rama.2017.05.008
Received: 28 July 2016; Accepted: 1 May 2017; Published: 1 November 2017
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