Application of soil physical models to predict soil deposition effects on plant establishment

TitleApplication of soil physical models to predict soil deposition effects on plant establishment
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsHerrick JE, Peters DC, Hansen N.K., Ritchie J., H. Monger C, Okin GS
Conference Name93rd Ecological Society of America Annual Meeting
Date PublishedAugust 4-8, 2008
Conference LocationMilwaukee, WI
ARIS Log Number230389
Keywordsabstract, despsition, soil erosion, water infiltration
Abstract

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.