MANAGEMENT TECHNOLOGIES FOR ARID RANGELANDS
Location: Range Management Research
Title: Application of soil physical models to predict soil deposition effects on plant establishment
Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: July 15, 2008
Publication Date: August 3, 2008
Citation: Herrick, J.E., Peters, D.C., Hansen, N.K., Ritchie, J.C., Monger, H., Okin, G.S. 2008. Application of soil physical models to predict soil deposition effects on plant establishment [abstract]. Ecological Society of America Abstracts. Paper No. 48-147.
Soil erosion and deposition often result in significant soil profile modifications, including soil surface texture and structure changes. These properties affect water infiltration and available water holding capacity, both of which affect plant water availability. Because plants are especially sensitive to desiccation during establishment, near-surface changes in these properties can have significant effects on plant community dynamics. The objective of this study was to quantify the effects of soil erosion and deposition on plant establishment, and to explore the patterns of shrub encroachment associated with soil deposition. A field study and a series of modeling exercises were completed at the Jornada Experimental Range in association with the Jornada LTER. The Jornada is located in the northern Chihuahuan Desert in south-central New Mexico, and receives approximately 245mm of precipitation, the majority of which arrives during the summer growing season. The field study included repeat air photo analysis, detailed mapping of plant cover, composition and spatial structure, field soil interpretation, and characterization of contemporary soil redistribution based on cesium analyses.