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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: SNOW AND HYDROLOGIC PROCESSES IN THE INTERMOUNTAIN WEST Title: Eco-geophysical imaging of watershed-scale soil patterns links with plant community spatial patterns

Authors
item Robinson, David -
item Abdu, Hiruy -
item Jones, Scott -
item Seyfried, Mark
item Lebron, Inma -
item Knight, Rosemary -

Submitted to: Vadose Zone Journal
Publication Type: Peer Reviewed Journal
Publication Acceptance Date: September 8, 2008
Publication Date: November 1, 2008
Repository URL: http://ddr.nal.usda.gov/bitstream/10113/22967/1/IND44154960.pdf
Citation: Robinson, D.A., Abdu, H., Jones, S.B., Seyfried, M.S., Lebron, I., Knight, R. 2008. Eco-Geophysical Imaging of Watershed-Scale Soil Patterns Links with Plant Community Spatial Patterns. Vadose Zone Journal, 7:1131-1138.

Interpretive Summary: The extent to which soil resource availability, nutrients or 1 moisture, control the structure, function and diversity of plant communities has aroused considerable interest in the past decade, and remains topical in light of global change. Numerous plant communities are controlled either by water or soil nutrient availability, and yet spatial patterns of subsurface resources are poorly delineated or understood. As a consequence, our understanding and interpretation of patterns and species richness is often biased toward above ground observation, or surrogate measures of soil resources, one of which is mean annual precipitation (MAP) in the case of soil water content. We report on the use of geophysical spatial imaging, in a small semi arid watershed (41 ha), as a non-invasive method of identifying and quantifying soil root-zone properties related to clay% and water content. The electrical signal from the soil, when analyzed, is used to identify and delineate soil spatial properties, which are seen here to relate to observed, above-ground, plant community patterns in the watershed.

Technical Abstract: The extent to which soil resource availability, nutrients or 1 moisture, control the structure, function and diversity of plant communities has aroused considerable interest in the past decade, and remains topical in light of global change. Numerous plant communities are controlled either by water or soil nutrient availability, and yet spatial patterns of subsurface resources are poorly delineated or understood. As a consequence, our understanding and interpretation of patterns and species richness is often biased toward above ground observation, or surrogate measures of soil resources, one of which is mean annual precipitation (MAP) in the case of soil water content. We report on the use of geophysical spatial imaging, in a small semi arid watershed (41 ha), as a non-invasive method of identifying and quantifying soil root-zone properties related to clay% and water content. The electrical signal from the soil, when analyzed, is used to identify and delineate soil spatial properties, which are seen here to relate to observed, above-ground, plant community patterns in the watershed.

Last Modified: 10/23/2014
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