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close this bookThe Improvement of Tropical and Subtropical Rangelands (BOSTID)
close this folderPart I
close this folderSite evaluation
View the document(introduction...)
View the documentAn ecosystem perspective
View the documentA systems approach to site evaluation
View the documentEvaluation of abiotic and biotic components
View the documentIntegrated evaluations
View the documentReferences

A systems approach to site evaluation

A systems approach should be adapted in a site evaluation for assessing potentials for range improvements. Otherwise, the effort might simply be a collection of discrete, often incomplete, and generally unrelated exercises in measurement.

A systems approach to problem solving, regardless of its nature, generally involves a holistic study of the interacting elements that function simultaneously for an explicit purpose, emphasizing the connections among the various parts that constitute this whole. The interacting elements of concern function in "driving" the ecosystem processes. By its very nature, a systems approach to designing a comprehensive site evaluation involves several disciplines, including meteorology, soil sciences, and biology.

It may be impractical (or unnecessary) to measure all of the parts of an ecosystem in a particular site evaluation because, in many instances, only a relatively small number of limiting components may be related to the success of the range improvements. With a systems approach, however, the probability of overlooking important, possibly constraining, attributes will be greatly lessened.