National assessment and critiques of state-and-transition models: The baby with the bathwater

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Abstract

On the Ground Ecological site descriptions and state-and-transition models are national-level tools for organizing and delivering information about landscape dynamics and management. Recent papers criticized state-and-transition models because they overemphasize grazing, are inconsistently presented, and do not address climate change. I argue that the analysis of Twidwell et al. does not support an overemphasis on grazing, that inconsistent presentation is a necessary consequence of early model development efforts and immature science concepts, and that climate change effects should not be addressed in site-level models without evidence. Improving these important tools requires fair critique, but also the strong commitment of scientists and funders.

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Bestelmeyer, B. T. (2015). National assessment and critiques of state-and-transition models: The baby with the bathwater. Rangelands, 37(3), 125–129. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rala.2015.03.004

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