UC Davis Department of Plant Sciences



Yosemite toad

California Rancher Decision Making Survey

We collaborated with California Cattlemen's Association, California Farm Bureau Federation and UC Cooperative Extension to conduct a survey of over 500 California beef cattle ranchers who manage rangelands. California's rangelands provide for forage and livestock production, drinking and irrigation water, open space, and are one of the most biologically diverse ecosystems in the state and nation. >>More


Yosemite toad

Meadow Conditions on National Forest Grazing Allotments

The US Forest Service Region 5 Range Program initiated a region-wide, long-term meadow monitoring program to assess baseline meadow condition and trends in condition following the implementation of livestock use standards and guidelines for riparian areas. Our lab has teamed up with USFS Region 5 to begin analysis of this monitoring dataset. >>More


Yosemite toad

Water Quality on U.S. Forest Service Public Grazing Allotments

We developed a program that will evaluate water quality conditions, sources of water pollution, and guide management to improve water quality where needed in order to address concerns regarding nutrient and fecal indicator bacteria concentrations in U.S. Forest Service grazing allotments in the Sierra Nevada. >>More


Yosemite toad

Cattle Grazing, Mountain Meadows, and Yosemite Toad

We investigated factors determining temporal and spatial patterns of cattle grazing across Sierra Nevada mountain meadows to asses potential management risks/compatabilites for sensitive species such as the Yosemite toad. >>More



Forest and Grazing Management to Restore Aspen

Aspen are a keystone species, supporting significant diversity across the Sierra Nevada and southern Cascade landscape. Many stands are in decline due to altered fire regimes and grazing pressures. We are examining the unique niche aspen fill in this landscape, trends in stand condition, and the restoration of stand condition. >>More


public lands grazing

Ecosystem Service-based State and Transition Models

California's oak-grassland ecosystems perform critical services, but current state and transition models (STMs) designed to guide ecosystem management are based solely on plant community structure. Within the context of woody species management, we are integrating ecosystem services into STM formulation to support management for multiple outcomes. >>More



Grazing and Prescribed Fire affects Water Quality at the Watershed Scale

Oak woodlands and chaparral provide many ecosystem services, including clean water. Grazing and fire are key management activities on these watersheds. We are conducting a long-term evaluation of water quality response to livestock grazing intensity and prescribed fire on 11 oak woodland and chaparral catchments. >>More


mountain stream

Restoration and Grazing Management on Mountain Meadows and Streams

Ecological concerns about livestock grazing include impacts on riparian vegetation, stream channel stability, and aquatic species. We surveyed over 100 rangeland streams and riparian areas, so we could identify grazing management tools to enhance aquatic habitat, hydrologic function, and biological integrity. >>More


rangeland stream

What is the Quality of Water in Rangeland Streams?

Rangeland streams provide water for drinking, irrigation, and recreation. We conducted a water quality survey of streams across California’s major rangeland vegetation, geologic, and climatic zones. >>More


vegetation and wetlands filter pollutants in runoff

Vegetation and Wetlands Filter Pollutants in Runoff

The management of vegetation to trap waterborne pollutants is referred to as a vegetative “buffer” or “filter” strip. Small wetlands can also serve this function. We have conducted numerous studies to evaluate how well buffers and wetlands filter pathogens, nutrients, and sediments from pasture runoff. >>More


microbial water quality indicators

Are Microbial Water Quality Indicators Really Sentinels of Safe Water?

Surface water contamination with pathogens is a major human health concern. Pathogens of concern include Cryptosporidium parvum, Giardia, Salmonella, and E. coli O157:H7. Water quality standards focus on indicators such as fecal coliform. Our results from surveys of major grazing watersheds in the Sierra Nevada cast doubt on the utility of indicator bacteria. >>More


determining stream water temperature

Many Factors Work Together to Determine Stream Water Temperature Dynamics

Maintaining cool water is important in many rangeland streams to support cold water fishes. To advise range managers on how to reduce stream temperatures, we examined stream and air temperatures, shade from riparian vegetation, streamflow, and topography on several rangeland watersheds. >>More



Irrigated Pasture and Meadow Management to Improve Water Quality

Recent regulatory developments have brought increasing focus on the quality of water discharged from irrigated pastures and meadows in California. We conducted a survey of irrigated pasture systems to identify management to reduce pollutants in runoff, and evaluate associated impacts on livestock production. >>More


© 2011-2012 UC Davis | California Rangeland Watershed Laboratory | One Shields Ave | Davis, CA 95616 | Last update: November 18, 2015