Chemistry of Surface Runoff during Rain Events at the Jornada Experimental Range,1988-1990

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This dataset quantities dissolved nutrients in water surface runoff from natural rainfall events at experimental hydrology plots on the New Mexico State University Ranch and USDA Jornada Experimental Range. Chemical analyses include F, Cl, NO3, SO4 by ion chromatography, NH4 by autoanalyzer, Ca, Mg, Na, K by atomic absorption spectrophotometry, and total N and P by auto- analyzer.  Nutrient losses from shrubland plots were greater than from grassland plots. The greater nutrient losses in shrublands were due to higher runoff, rather than higher nutrient concentrations in runoff. This study is complete. Refer to:

Schlesinger, W. H., T. J. Ward, and J. Anderson. 2000. Nutrient losses in runoff from grassland and shrubland habitats in southern New Mexico II: Field plots. Biogeochemistry 49: 69-86.

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lab data sheets

Runoff plots of 2X2 m dimension were established in each of the four areas. Each plot consists of a metal frame that bounds the three upslope sides and excludes overland flow from entering the plots. The lower slope consists of a trough, which collects the runoff generated locally on the plot. The runoff is shunted into a large collecting carboy. After each rainfall, a sample of the supernate solution is taken from the carboy, preserved with phenylmercuric acetate (PMA) and shipped to Duke University for analysis. The volume of the remaining runoff solution is measured and the mass of sediment and suspended solids is estimated and recorded in other data sets (Bolton and Ward). At Duke University each sample is filtered through a 0.45 millipore filter and analyzed for F, Cl, NO3, SO4 by ion chromatography, NH4 by auto- analyzer, Ca, Mg, Na, K by atomic absorption spectrophotometry, and total N and P by autoanalyzer following persulvated digestion (D'Elia et al. 1977), Limnology and Oceanography 22:760-764. Beginning in 1990, samples were centrifuged at New Mexico State University before shipment to Duke.

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Creosotebush zone plots (C)  area located in Caliche area (CALI) about 40 meters upslope from C-CALI NPP site, and in area of termite studies (TERM) located about 300 meters west of Upper Trailer. Grassland (G) plots are located at Mt. Summerford (SUMM) upslope of powerline, and about 50 meters east of LTER-I Alternate Control Transect, and about 30 meters west of the southwest corner of the IBP exclosure on the USDA Jornada Experimental Range. Contact the data manager ( for more information.


Sampling occurred at each runoff event during the study period. This study is complete.

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