Correlation and Causality: Science in Crisis?

Holistic Management practitioners have long known that reductionism makes for poor land management.  When one relies too heavily on a search for single causes of a problem, or has a myopic perspective on farm/ranch priorities, this can lead to financial … Continue reading

Shipping Containers as Farms? (Updated)

After reading an article on Treehugger, I just learned about a Kickstarter Project that is attempting to modify recycled shipping containers with the tools to grow fruits and vegetables in an urban environment. Is this a good idea?

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Epigenetics, Allergies, and Microbiology

If these beneficial microbes fail to colonize our guts early in life, or if they succumb to a course of antibiotics, then switches don’t get flipped and the immune system can become hypersensitive, attacking harmless microbes and other substances such as pollen, pet dander or shellfish.

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Holistic Planned Grazing Improves Soil Moisture

Article: Effect of grazing on soil-water content in semiarid rangelands of southeast Idaho Authors: Weber, K.T. Gokhale, B.S. Published: Journal of Arid Environments 75 (2011) 464-470 This article is a first for the Holistic Management community in a number of … Continue reading

The Decline in Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Densities

Article: Declining Fruit and Vegetable Nutrient Composition: What is the Evidence? Author: Davis, D.R. Publication: HortScience Vol. 44(1) February 2009 We often hear claims that minerals in both our food supply and our soil have been declining for the past … Continue reading

Phenological Grazing Planning (Part II)

As noted in a previous post, the further development of collaborative monitoring tools for plant phenology will be critical to developing the concept of phenological grazing planning.  Implementing a phenology monitoring program is the first step in phenological grazing planning, … Continue reading

Phenological Grazing Planning

According to Wikipedia1, “phenology is the study of periodic plant and animal life cycle events and how these are influenced by seasonal and inter-annual variations in climate.”  The discipline of phenology is often attributed to the great naturalist and author … Continue reading

Species Composition Changes in Response to Grazing

Article: Quantitative effects of grazing on vegetation and soils over a global range of environment Authors: Milchunas, D.G. and Lauenroth, W.K. Published: Ecological Monographs, 63(4). 1993. pp. 327-366 This is the second post dealing directly with the article under consideration.  … Continue reading

The Effects of Grazing on Ecosystem Productivity

Article: Quantitative effects of grazing on vegetation and soils over a global range of environment Authors: Milchunas, D.G. and Lauenroth, W.K. Published: Ecological Monographs, 63(4). 1993. pp. 327-366 We have given significant consideration to Samuel McNaughton’s grazing optimization hypothesis.  Essentially, … Continue reading

The Natural Cycles of Grazing Ungulates

Article: Ecology of a Grazing Ecosystem: The Serengeti Authors: McNaughton, S.J. Journal: Ecological Monographs, 55(3) 1985, pp. 259-294 In previous posts, we have analyzed research dealing with spatial heterogeneity on the landscape.  Sometimes spatial heterogeneity is a desirable management objective, … Continue reading

Utilization and Multi-Species Grazing in the African Serengeti

Article: Ecology of a Grazing Ecosystem: The Serengeti Authors: McNaughton, S.J. Journal: Ecological Monographs, 55(3) 1985, pp. 259-294 McNaughton’s research also sheds light on the proportions of utilization and the effects of multiple ungulate species harvesting biomass from the same … Continue reading

Plant Productivity and Compensatory Growth

Article: Ecology of a Grazing Ecosystem: The Serengeti Authors: McNaughton, S.J. Journal: Ecological Monographs, 55(3) 1985, pp. 259-294 As noted, the relationships between grazers, grasses, and other biota are complex and highly connected.  The research of Samuel J. McNaughton has … Continue reading

Grazing ungulates, plant biomass concentrations, and nutrient cycling

The evolutionary ecologist S.J. McNaughton is well-known as a strong advocate of the grazing optimization hypothesis.  Essentially, this hypothesis is summarized as follows: …grazing benefits many grasses and other plants in grassland ecosystems… moderate grazing promotes the productivity of many … Continue reading

The Grazing Optimization Hypothesis

Article: Compensatory plant growth as a response to hervibory Author: McNaughton, S.J. Journal: Oikos 40: 329-336 1983 The relationship between grasses and grazers is a complex one influenced by a number of biotic and abiotic factors.  Some researchers and theorists … Continue reading

Grazing Systems, Exclosures, Increasers, and Decreasers

Article: The Vegetative Response under Various Grazing Management Systems in the Edwards Plateau of Texas Authors: Reardon, Patrick O.; Merrill, Leo B. Published:  Journal of Range Management (1976), Volume 29 (3) This article describes a twenty year study conducted in … Continue reading

Dan Dagget: An Audio-Visual Presentation

Below is a series of videos featuring author, environmentalist, journalist, and ecosystem restorer Dan Dagget. In this series Dan shares with us a series of slides showing the on the ground techniques of active ecosystem restorers. Featured is a discussion … Continue reading