Islands of hydrologically enhanced biotic productivity in natural and managed arid ecosystems

TitleIslands of hydrologically enhanced biotic productivity in natural and managed arid ecosystems
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2006
AuthorsRango A., Tartowski, Sandy L., Laliberte, Andrea S., Wainwright J., Parsons A.
JournalJournal of Arid Environments
Volume65
Pagination235-252
Date PublishedApril 1, 2006
Accession NumberJRN00445
ARIS Log Number174010
Keywordsenhanced biotic productivity, heterogeneity, rangeland, remediation, run-on, runoff, water ponding dikes
Abstract

The objective of this paper is to examine the spatial variability of islands of enhanced hydrologic
activity and its application to remediation of degraded arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Factors
causing high spatial variability of water in arid regions include precipitation, soil, physiography, and
vegetation. Inherent heterogeneity of arid lands causes areas of runoff and run-on which lead to
development of islands of hydrologically enhanced biotic productivity. These hydrologic islands are
observed at the individual plant scale as well as in large area patterns of banded vegetation, playettes and playas, and beaded drainage networks where run-on and infiltration stimulate vegetation
growth. To remediate degraded rangeland, it may be prudent to mimic nature by diverting water to
target areas to create patterns similar to natural islands of hydrologically enhanced biotic
productivity. Installation of structures such as water ponding dikes can promote changes to natural
vegetation patterns at a landscape scale.
 

URL/files/bibliography/06-009.pdf
DOI10.1016/j.jaridenv.2005.09.002