Peer-reviewed study demonstrates the efficacy of the Ecological Health Index––a component of the Ecological Outcome Verification protocol––for quickly and affordably measuring grazing land function.
A new study was published last month in the journal Environments, co-authored by Savory Hub leaders Dr. Jason Rowntree (Michigan State University, USA) and Pablo Borrelli (Ovis 21, Argentina).
The paper, titled "Ecological Health Index: A Short Term Monitoring Method for Land Managers to Assess Grazing Lands Ecological Health", compared ecological outcomes on 44 properties in Argentina using both established/quantifiable metrics and the new Ecological Health Index (EHI). Strong correlations demonstrate that EHI can be a useful methodology for measuring ecosystem function of grazing lands.
"Within this manuscript we present an ecological monitoring strategy, the Ecological Health Index (EHI), which has been developed over a 20-year period and practiced on 2 million ha of land in Argentina. The objective of EHI is to provide land users a quick, inexpensive method that uses biological indicators that have predictive value of ecosystem function namely biodiversity, energy flow and the mineral and water cycles.
[...] the EHI is a visual assessment method encompassing field indicators which are closely related to ecosystem processes and can also be quickly measured (requiring about five minutes per checkpoint). Moreover, the selected indicators for EHI, such as the species richness (the number of species in the checkpoint), are simple in scope and thus hopefully more apt to be adopted by farmers and managers."
Environments 2019, 6(6), 67; https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6060067
EHI is one component of the larger Ecological Outcome Verification (EOV) protocol, the central monitoring methodology behind Savory's Land to Market (L2M) program. For more information on how Land to Market is helping verify ecological outcomes for brands and producers, click here.
Read the full study: https://doi.org/10.3390/environments6060067