Landscape variability in soil and vegetation response to 70-year-old restoration treatments

TitleLandscape variability in soil and vegetation response to 70-year-old restoration treatments
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2008
AuthorsBaquera N., Herrick JE, H. Monger C, Rango A., Throop H.L., Duniway M.C.
Conference Name93rd Ecological Society of America Annual Meetings
Date PublishedAugust 4-8, 2008
Conference LocationMilwaukee, WI
ARIS Log Number230392
KeywordsCCC, Civilian Conservation Corps, restoration
AbstractDuring the 1930’s the Civilian Conservation Corps implemented a number of landscape restoration projects, most of which were abandoned in the early 1940’s. Although many restoration projects failed, several projects had a lasting effect on the landscape and can be used to study the long term effects of restoration treatments. Restoration treatments including soil berms were created in Las Cruces, New Mexico in the early 1930’s. Soil berms are soil barriers laid across the contours of the landscape to slow water movement resulting in water ponding and increased water infiltration. Water ponding initiates a cyclical feedback system where the establishment of vegetation (grasses) promotes soil stability and soil stability increases vegetation establishment. Soil berms mimic naturally banded vegetation. The objective of this project was to assess landscape variability in soil and vegetation response to soil berms in order to guide future restoration efforts in the Chihuahuan Desert, and better understand the ecological processes associated with soil and vegetation recovery. GIS analysis was carried out using a 1936 to 2005 chronosequence of aerial photographs. Ground measurements were completed to supplement the 2005 GIS analysis.