Table 6. Rangeland health status criteria and characteristics for the (C) fair health condition category.
I. Distribution pattern of plants across the site is patchy, with some large bare ground areas not covered by foliage.
II. Plant species composition is restricted, with some desirable species, some less desirable species, and a few undesirable species in a mature community.
III. Age-class distribution of plants is incomplete, with some age classes missing. Recruitment of young desirable plants is restricted.
IV. Plants have reduced vigor, and some show deformed growth patterns, developing close to the ground.
V. Plant roots are not present in all portions of the available soil profile but are restricted to patches.
VI. The leaf area of the plants is reduced during portions of the growing season so that rates of photosynthetic activity are insufficient to provide all the requirements for growth of leaves and roots.
VII. Litter distribution across the site is sparse and uneven, characterized by some large bare soil areas and by accumulations in depressions and around prominent grass plants.
VIII. The humic layer of decomposed organic matter is sparsely distributed and is being incorporated into the soil only in depressions or around prominent grass plants.
IX. The top layer of soil is beginning to show a fragmented distribution pattern.
X. Some soil particles, organic matter, and nutrients are being redistributed by wind or water erosion but remain on the site.
XI. Some sediment deposition of wind- or water-eroded material is evident.
XII. Recent gully formation is evident but structures are not yet well developed or integrated into a branching pattern.
XIII. Plant pedestaling is evident but is not so severe that roots are exposed.
XIV. Bare soil with scours and dunes from wind erosion is evident, but the structures are small and not well developed. Sheet erosion from water is evident on small areas after thunderstorms.
XV. Nutrient cycles and energy flow are functioning, but the distribution across the site is in the early stages of a fragmented pattern.
XVI. Plant community dynamics and processes are not sufficient to maintain productive community structure and function.
XVII. Some of the precipitation infiltrates the soil, and some runs off.