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International Affairs Committee

2008 Symposium Presentations
Presentations from a symposium on:
Livestock Management in Shrub-dominated Semi-arid Rangelands: A Comparison of Landscape Histories and Pattern Use in the Mediterranean and Southwestern North America
January 31, 2008
61st Meeting of the Society for Range Management
Louisville, KY
Ruminants are very important to the world’s food supply, in large part because of their ability to utilize fibrous materials that are not readily available to people. Grazing and browsing provide the greatest amount and least expensive source of energy in ruminant production systems. Ruminants have had a significant impact in rangeland ecosystems around the world. Mixed herds have grazed the rangelands of the Mediterranean region for millennia. Vegetation from these lands has been used as a source of fuel, building materials, medicine and spices. Traditional intensive use has degraded the primeval forest cover but at the same time has increased productivity and biodiversity. In the Southern region of North America, continuous livestock grazing had a net effect of degrading rangeland ecosystems by decreasing herbaceous vegetation, grass diversity, and increasing bare ground, erosion, and density of unwanted species. Today, more than ever before, sustainable utilization of these shrub-dominated rangelands by livestock and wildlife has proved to be a serious challenge world-wide. Recent developments in animal and rangeland research methodologies have opened up new avenues for approaching the problems of animal performance and environmentally acceptable utilization of rangelands.
The goal of the symposium is to bridge the knowledge in two similar regions of the world focusing on 2 themes: (1) Landscape histories and their resulting spatial patterns and processes in the Mediterranean and the Southwestern North American regions, and (2) Research methodologies that integrate rangelands ecological processes, livestock behavioral processes, and human decision-making to improve animal performance and rangelands biodiversity and function. The symposium will consist of 7 invited speakers from 5 different countries (Israel, Italy, Morocco, Spain, and the United States) who will each present a 25-minute talk on a topic that addresses the theme of the symposium. Invited speakers are nationally or internationally recognized scientists in landscape ecology, animal behavior, and range science. Invited symposium speakers will also prepare a publishable manuscript that will be part of a special issue in an internationally recognized peer-reviewed journal.
Change in landscape pattern and vegetation succession in response to herder's settlement.
A. El Aich, C. Lopez Alados, D. Dean, M. Laituri, and R. Boone (Morocco)
Landscape histories, livestock management, and mesquite expansion in the Chihuahuan Desert of New Mexico.
E. Frederickson, J. Herrick, H.R. Peinetti, and A. Laliberte (United States)
State-of the-art methodologies to monitor behavior in rangelands.
M. Barbari, L. Conti, and S. Simonini (Italy).
Man as a super-engineer in Mediterranean ecosystems: past evidence and future role.
E. Ungar and A. Perevolotsky (Israel).
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