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Rangeland Resource Science


Reference materials serve a variety of purposes and can sometimes be used effectively in searching the scientific literature. Reference materials can be used to:

  • define terminology--dictionaries
  • locate accepted knowledge and topical overviews--encyclopedias, handbooks and reviews
  • find factual information--directories and statistical compilations
  • identify research on specific topics--reviews and bibliographies
  • locate standard methods and procedures--handbooks and manuals

Following are reference materials of interest to the range scientist and manager, arranged by category of reference material.

Laws and Regulations

For legal resources of interest to range scientists and managers see:

Dictionaries and Encyclopedias

These resources provide definitions of discipline- specific terminology and/or general introductions to topics and concepts in rangeland resource science. Most encyclopedias include references to important references in the "primary" literature.

  • Encyclopedia of Agricultural Science (Arntzen) 1994 (ref S 411 E713) 5 volumes

  • Encyclopedia of American Forest and Conservation History (Davis) 1983 (ref SD 143 E53)

  • A Glossary of Terms Used in Range Management: a Defintion of Terms Commonly Used in Range Managment (Society for Range Management Glossary Update Task Group) 1998 (ref SF 85 G56)

Handbooks and Manuals

Handbooks and manuals typically fall into two basic categories--1) works that contain data and descriptive information compiled from the "primary" literature and organized into tables or expository articles that can be used to answer many basic and factual questions; and 2) works that contain procedures for experimental analysis in the field or laboratory.

  • Aims and Methods of Vegetation Ecology (Mueller-Dombois & Ellenburg) 1974 (QK 901 M8)

  • Analysis in Behavioral Ecology: A Manual for Lab and Field (Brown) 1988 (QL 751 B727 1988)

  • Biological Monitoring of the Environment: A Manual of Methods (Salanki, Jeffrey, & Hughes) 1994 (QH 541.15 M64 B565 1994)

  • Biology Data Book (Altman) 1972-1974 (ref QH 301 A39)

  • Botanical Survey and Monitoring Methods for Grasslands (Smith, Wells, & Welsh) 1985 (QK 306 S55)

  • CRC Handbook of Census Methods for Terrestrial Vertebrates (Davis) 1982 (QL 752 C7 1982)

  • Ecological Diversity and its Measurement (Magurran) 1988 (QL 75 M32)

  • Environmental Biology (Altman) 1966 (ref QH 310 A395)

  • Field and Laboratory Methods for Grassland and Animal Production Research (Mannetje and Jones) 2000 (SB 199 F44 2000)

  • Forestry Handbook (Society of American Foresters) 1984 (ref SD 373 F58 1984)

  • Guidelines for Managing California's Hardwood Rangelands (Standiford, Tinnin and Adams) 1996 (HD 241 G85 1996)

  • Handbook of Animal Science (Putnam) 1991 (SF 65.2 H36 1991)

  • Handbook of Biological Techniques (Wyoming Game & Fish Department) 1982 (QH 352 W95 1982)

  • Handbook of Ecological Monitoring (Clarke) 1986 (QH 541.15 M64 H36 1986)

  • Handbook of Hydrology (Maidment) 1992 (ref GB 662.5 H35)

  • Handbook of Plant Ecophysiology Techniques (Reigosa Roger) 2001(QK 717 H36 2001)

  • Handbook of Reference Methods for Plant Analysis (Kalra) 1998 (QK 865 H26 1998)

  • Introduction to Vegetation Analysis: Principles, Practice, and Interpretation (Causton) 1988 (QK 901 C33 1988)

  • Laboratory Guide for Conducting Soil Tests and Plant Analysis (Jones) 2001 (S 593 J615 2001)

  • Manual of Vegetation Analysis (Cain & Castro) 1959 (QK 911 C3)

  • Measurements for Terrestrial Vegetation (Bonham) 1989 (QK 911 B57 1989)

  • Methods in Ecological and Agricultural Entomology (Dent & Walton) 1997 (SB 933.3 M47 1997)

  • Monitoring for Conservation and Ecology (Goldsmith) 1991 (QH 541.15 M64 M66 1991)

  • Monitoring Plant and Animal Populations (Elzinga, Salzer, Willoughby and Gibbs) 2001 (QH 541.15 M64 M72 2001)

  • New Ranch Handbook: a Guide to Restoring Western Rangelands (Sayre) 2001 (SF 85.35 S88 S29 2001) Focus of this handbook is on how livestock ranching and conservation values can be compatible and how ranchers and environmentalists can work together to benefit rangelands.

  • Pacific Northwest Weed Control Handbook (Oregon State University) annual (ref SB 611 P27)

  • Range Development and Improvements (Vallentine) 1989 (SB 193 V28 1989) Core textbook and reference manual that includes both principles and practices for range improvement. Includes over 50 pages of references.

  • Range Improvement Handbook (Bleier) 1987 (SF 85 B54)

  • Range Research: Basic Problems and Techniques (Cook and Stubbendieck) 1986 (SF 85.3 R35 1986) Reference guide for range research methodology, including problems inherent to range research; methodologies used in research; and descriptions of their use, limitations and suitabilities. Chapters cover habitat assessment, vegetation, root habits and development, herbage and browse utilization, livestock selectiona and management, hydrology, and economics.

  • Research and Management Techniques for Wildlife and Habitats (Bookhout) 1996 (SK 355 R47 1996) Revised edition of Wildlife Management Techniques Manual.

  • Sampling Design and Statistical Methods for Environmental Biologists (Green) 1979 (QH 541.15 S72 G73)

  • Stockman's Handbook (Ensminger) 1992 (SF 61 E53 1992)

  • Techniques for Wildlife Habitat Management of Uplands (Payne and Bryant) 1994 (SK 355 P39 1994) Compilation of techniques for natural and cultural habitat improvements to enhance wildlife biodiversity on forestlands, rangelands and farmlands.

  • Vegetation Description and Analysis: A Practical Approach (Kent & Coker) 1992 (QK 901 K37 1992)

Scientific Reviews

Scientific reviews or "state-of-the-art" papers critically survey a narrow topic in a discipline. Review papers identify and evaluate research which has appeared in the "primary" literature and include extensive bibliographies. Scientific reviews typically appear in annual publications entitled "Annual review of ..." or "Advances in ...", as well as in research journals, especially those which have "review" as part of the title. As part of a search strategy review papers are an excellent "research tool" to use since they pull together information on the existing state-of-knowledge on a specific topic.

There are several ways to locate scientific reviews:

  1. Many annual review series have cumulative indexes.
  2. Individual review papers are commonly indexed in databases listed in Articles and Databases: Rangeland Resource Science. Create a search that includes the keyword "review" as part of your search strategy.
  3. The "Annual Review of ..." publication series has a cumulative index which searches all reviews published from 1930 to the present.

Annual reviews of interest in rangeland resource management include the following. Use the Journal and Newspaper Finder for determine format and location.

  • Advances in Agronomy
  • Advances in Ecological Research
  • Advances in Soil Science
  • Advances in the Study of Behavior
  • Annual Review of Ecology and Systematics
  • Annual Review of Plant Physiology

Species and Natural Community Accounts

Species accounts include natural history and life history information on individual species. Topics typically covered include description, taxonomy, distribution, life history, habitat, status, and management considerations. Natural community or habitat accounts typically characterize their natural environment.

  • Biology and Management of Noxious Rangeland Weeds (Sheley and Petroff) 1999 (SB 612 W47 B564) The first part contains chapters reviewing the current knowledge on rangeland weed ecology and management. This is followed by scholarly accounts on 29 of the most serious weeds in the western states. Accounts include information on weed identification; origin, history and distribution; invasion potentials; biology and ecology; and management options.

  • Common Western Range Plants: their Fundamental Structure, Growth, Value and Management (Stechman) 1986 (SB 193.3 U5 S73 1986) Practical guide to common range plants subdivided into natural groups--grasses, grass-like plants, legumes, forbs, poisonous plants, and shrubs and trees. Includes introductory material on rangelands, range plant growth and development, and forage value.

  • North American Wildland Plants: A Field Guide (Stubbendieck, Hatch, and Landholt) 2003 (SB 193.3 N67 S88 2003) Sixth edition of North American Range Plants. Includes descriptions of the 200 most important range, riparrian and wetlant plants of North America selected because of their abundance, desirability, or poisonous properties. The list of plant species was developed over the course of 50 years by faculty from colleges and universities with rangeland management and ecology programs and the contents are now serve as the Master List fo the International Range Plant Identification Contest sponsored by the Society for Range Management. Each plant species account includes characteristics for identification; an illustration of the plant, with enlarged parts; a general distribution map; nomenclature; life span; origin; season of growth; inflorescence characteristics; vegetative characteristics; and growth characteristics. Brief notes are also included on habitat; livestock losses; forage value; and historic, food, and medicinal uses.

  • Reference Handbook on the Deserts of North America (Bender) 1982 (GB 612 R43 1982) Includes chapters that characterize the natural environment of the following deserts: Great Basin, Northern Great Basin, Mojave, Sonoran, Chihuahuan, and Arctic.

  • Toxic Plants of North America (Burrows and Tyrl) 2000 (ref QK 100 N6 B87 2000) Includes 75 chapters organized by plant family that include infomation on plant morphology and distribution; associated disease problems; toxicants and their mechanisms of actions; clinical signs and pathologic changes of intoxications; and treatment approaches.

Environmental Reviews, Assessments & Plans

Environmental reviews typicaly provide an analysis of environmental issues along with accompanying statistical data. For broader reviews see Environmental Reviews listed in the HSU Library Environmental Science research guide. Reviews, assessments, and plans of interest to the range scientist and manager include the following. For background information see Rangeland Health: New Methods to Classify, Inventory, and Monitor Rangelands (Committee on Rangeland Classification, Board on Agriculture, National Research Council) 1994 (print copy available in SF85.3 R36 1994 (see link below).

  • Assessment of Rangeland Condition and Trend of the United States, 1989 (Society for Range Management) 1989 (SF 85.3 A88 1989)

Geospatial Resources: Atlases, Maps, GIS, Imagery, Telemetry

See the Geospatial Resources research guide for additional print and digital geospatial resources available in the HSU Library and on the Internet, including those for California.

  • BLM Maps (U.S. Bureau of Land Management) (Docs I 53.11) Collection of national, state, and resource area maps received as part of the the HSU federal depository.

  • Surface Management Status (US Bureau of Land Management) (Map G 3701 G51 s100 U5) Series of maps at a scale of 1:100,000 showing US land ownership by federal agency.

Images and Sounds

In addition to the following resources of interest to range scientists and managers one can use general Internet image search databases to find images on the web.

Statistical and Data Compilations

Sources that include range and livestock data and statistics are listed below.

Related Guides

For reference resources on California rangelands see California Environment Information Sources--Forests, Woodlands and Rangelands.

See also the related research guides on public land management, wildlife and soil science.

Guides to Reference Resources

In addition to this research guide the following sources discuss the organization of research literature in rangeland resource science and list reference materials.

  • "Animal Science and Livestock Production" (Kasasaki) In Using the Agricultural, Environmental and Food Literature (Hutchinson and Greider) 2002 (ref S 494.5 A39 U75 2002) pp. 135-156

  • Guide to Sources for Agricultural and Biological Research (Blanchard & Farrell) 1981 (ref S 493 G85) Includes sections on "Animal Sciences" and "Plant Sciences".

  • "Literature Review" IN Inventory and Monitoring of Wildlife Habitat (Cooperider) 1986 (Docs I 53.2:IN8/3)

  • Range Science: A Guide to Information Sources (Vallentine) 1980 (ref SF 85 V35) An older guide on how to conduct a literature search in range management along with a selected list of key range literature.


These are commonly alphabetical or subject listings of people, organizations, places, or animals. In addition to those listed below many of the Internet Directories/Portals/Gateways in Rangeland Resource Science list additional Internet-based directories.

  • Federal Regulatory Directory (Congressional Quarterly) Biennial (ref KF 5408 A15 F4) Comprehensive guide to federal regulatory agencies. Includes laws under which agencies derive their regulatory responsibilities.

Bibliographies and Literature Databases

  • Annotated Bibliography on the Interaction of Range Management (Livestock Grazing, Brush Management, and Prescribed Burning) or Nonmanagement with Wildlife Habitat and Wildlife(Kozicky) 1991 (SF 85 K69 1991)
  • Annotated Bibliography on Mineral Requirements of Ungulates and Range Nutrition (Chemical Composition of Forage Plants) (Stanlake) 1978 (SF 98 M5 S73)
  • Selected Annotated Bibliography on Grazing Hydrology (Gifford and Springer) 1980 (SF 85 S45) Includes 217 references on grazing hydrology with author and subject indexes.
  • U.S.-Canadian Range Management: A Selected Bibliography on Ranges, Pastures, Wildlife, Livestock, and Ranching, 1935-1977 (Vallentine) 1978 (ref SF 85.2 V34) Contains 20,500 references found in government publications, and 50 core range journals. The 1978-1980 Supplement (ref SF 85.3 V342) includes 3,800 additional references.