The University of Arizona

College of Agriculture and Life Sciences

Ecology, Management, and Restoration of Rangelands

Rangelands are many things to many people. Speak the word and some will envision the home of the American cowboy, others see vast herds on the African Serengeti, and for still others the Australian Outback is synonymous with the term. Perspective aside, global rangelands have a very practical and important function; that of providing numerous ecosystem goods and services such as animal source protein, water, and carbon sequestration. Rangelands encompass approximately 50% of the land on earth and can include such areas as prairies, savannas, or chaparral. These lands often occur in arid or semi-arid regions that are remote, expansive, and diverse. Contributing to their complexity is the fact that disturbances such as drought and herbivory are often unevenly distributed in space and time. Annual production and nutrient cycles are affected by the sporadic nature of such disturbances. So to summarize, our rangelands are an extremely valuable resource. They are wild, scenic, and historic. They are valuable agriculturally, ecologically, and socially. Rangeland ecologists conduct research that helps us better understand these important places, and managers apply such science to ensure that rangelands are now, and will remain productive and healthy for generations to come. Rangeland ecology and management is interesting, challenging and rewarding.

Faculty involved in this research

Watch: Santa Rita Experimental Range