Development of the Rangeland Vegetation Simulator: A module of the Forest Vegetation Simulator

This report discusses development of the Rangeland Vegetation Simulator (RVS) and new models for estimating understory conditions in forested landscapes. The RVS is calibrated on 112 unique sites and enables simulation of ecological dynamics, production and fuels in either a spatially explicit manner or as a processor of inventory data much like the FVS. Validation of the RVS, in this inaugural development, suggests significant promise for its use to describe vegetation and fuel data when the structure and composition are given, but its ability to describe succession is limited and in some cases unrealistic.

The premier outputs of the vegetation simulator are:
1) Standing biomass, carbon, and annual production of herbs and shrubs (including
standing dead herbaceous material).
2) Vegetation structure, composition, and seral stage
3) Fuelbed properties (1, 10, 100, 1000 hr fuel) and fire behavior fuel models
4) Response of these attributes to herbivory and fire