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The information from this study is important for helping promote a more sustainable use of resources, such as grasses and shrubs, and in increasing an understanding of the utilization dynamics and their impact on potential recovery in the study area and beyond.
This study contributes insight toward ensuring the achievement of conservation measures outside protected areas to restore biodiversity in degraded habitats, through comparing the plant characteristics between a protected and unprotected site.
This study substantiates other findings, which suggest that using protected areas is one of several strategies that need to be adopted for recovering lost biodiversity and ensure their effective management.
This study improves our understanding of how shifts in vegetation characteristics resulting from land use change and management can modify the recovery of, in the case of Cholistan, previously grazed vegetation.
We used photography-based grid point intercept (GPI) analysis and Daubenmire to assess ecosystem services in high-shrub rangelands.
Cover estimates were higher for some functional groups when using Daubenmire, likely because Daubenmire frames were situated below the shrub canopy and thus included subcanopy cover, whereas GPI photographs taken above the canopy could not eliminate shrubs that obscured subcanopy attributes.
Choice of methods affected assessment of two ecosystem services: sage-grouse habitat quality and site biodiversity; each was higher when using Daubenmire.
Understanding cover-estimate differences that stem from using GPI photo plots versus Daubenmire will allow practitioners to decide if GPI methods address project objectives.