A piosphere is the spatial distribution of how grazing animals will utilize a landscape. For example, limitations like distance from water and slope, will affect the size and the shape of a piosphere. ORC has created an interactive tool called the Piosphere Tool that predicts piospheres across a given landscape. This tool helps to provide predictions that are economical and consistent through time, space and between individual projects. Using these predictions we have been able to create scenarios/estimates that account for variable water conditions (drought vs wet years, ephemeral vs reliable water), future water developments, and populate AUM estimates by combining the availability of the landscape to cattle with the underlying plant communities.
This map illustrates the change in piospheres before and after water developments. The graph quantifies in AUMs that the water developments provide.