7. Rangeland health status criteria and characteristics for the (D)
poor health condition category.
of plants across the site is clumped or fragmented, with numerous large
bare ground areas not covered by foliage.
||Plant species composition
is restricted, with few desirable species, many less desirable species,
and many undesirable species in a developing community.
of plants is restricted, with predominantly old or deteriorated plants.
Recruitment of young desirable plants is nearly absent.
||Plants are weak, and
many plants show deformed growth patterns, developing close to the ground.
||Plant roots occupy
only a small portion of the available soil profile.
||The leaf area of the
plants is greatly reduced during portions of the growing season so that
photosynthetic activity is restricted to rates too low to provide much of
the energy or many of the nutrients required for growth of leaves and roots.
across the site is sparse or absent, with numerous large bare soil areas.
||The humic layer of
decomposed organic matter is sparse or absent from most of the site.
||The top layer of soil
is sparse or absent from large areas of the site or is present only in association
with depressions or prominent obstructions.
||Soil degradation resulting
from soil particle, organic matter, and nutrient removal from the site by
wind or water is evident.
||Deposition of wind-
or water-eroded material is evident, appearing as large bare deposits, as
dunes, or in association with prominent plants.
||Recent gully formation
is evident, and structures are well developed, active, and integrated into
a branching pattern.
||Plant pedestaling is
severe enough that roots are exposed.
||Bare soil with scours
and dunes from wind erosion is evident. The structures are active and well
developed. Sheet erosion from water is evident on large areas after thunderstorms.
||Nutrient cycles and
energy flow are decelerated, and the distribution pattern is fragmented,
with numerous large bare areas between fragments.
||Plant community dynamics
and processes are not sufficient to maintain viable community structure
||Only a small amount
of the precipitation infiltrates the soil, and most runs off.