Wind erodibility of soils at Fort Irwin, California (Mojave Desert), USA, before and after trampling disturbance: implications for land management

TitleWind erodibility of soils at Fort Irwin, California (Mojave Desert), USA, before and after trampling disturbance: implications for land management
Publication TypeJournal Article
Year of Publication2007
AuthorsBelnap J, Phillips S.L., Herrick JE, Johansen J.R.
JournalEarth Surface Porcesses and Landforms
Volume32
Pagination75-84
Date Published04/2007
ARIS Log Number159608
AbstractWe compared short-term effects of lug-soled-boot-trampling disturbance on water infiltration and soil erodibility on coarse-textured soils in the Mojave Desert. Trampling significantly reduced final infiltration rate and total infiltration and increased sediment generation from small (0.5 m2) rainfall simulation plots (p<0.01). Trampling had no effect on time to runoff or time to peak runoff. Trampling also significantly reduced surface gravel cover. Trampling had similar effects at sites with both low and high chlorophyll a content, where chlorophyll a is used as an index of the level of microbiotic crust development. We concluded that trampling effects are relatively independent of the presence of microbiotic crusts in this environment. Instead, trampling appears to reduce infiltration by reducing gravel and coarse sand cover, facilitating the development of a sieving crust during rainfall simulation.
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