Jornada Basin LTER Research

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Dataset: Transect Soil Disturbance

   Download data: File trandist.dat
   File description including attribute definitions: data_JornadaStudy_374_transect_soil_disturbance
   Original Investigator: Walter G Whitford
   Data contact: John Anderson
   Duration: 1986 - 1986
   Dataset ID: 210374001

Contains areas of disturbances on soil/surface for different categories of animal (for example, Novomesser ant). To be used to calculate % disturbance and soil disturbance density by animal.

   Additional information:

In the spring of 1982, as part of the establishment of the Jornada Long-Term Ecological Research site in southern New Mexico, a 135 ha portion of a 1500 ha, internally drained, watershed was exclosed from grazing by domestic livestock. Prior to exclosure the watershed, as well as the rest of the Jornada basin, had been moderately to heavily grazed for the past 100 years. Concurrent with grazing, the vegetation had undergone a dramatic change from desert grassland, with an almost continuous cover of C4 perennial grasses, to isolated patches of the original grassland in a mosaic with desert shrub dominated plant communities (Buffington and Herbel, 1965). The exclosure lies along a northeast facing piedmont slope at the base of a steep isolated mountain peak, and covers a variety of component landforms from the foot of the mountain to the basin floor. The northeast side of the exclosure is immediately upslope of the College Playa located near the NMSU College Ranch. Three parallel transects (2.7 km in length) run from the middle of the College Playa up into the foot of Mt. Summerford. The Control transect is to the west, the Treatment transect on the east side of the Control transect, and the Alternate Control to the east of the Treatment transect. Each transect is 30 meters wide with a 45 meter buffer zone between each transect. The Treatment transect was treated annually until 1987 with NHNO3 in a concentration equal to 10g N/m2. The station markers at 30 meter intervals along each transect.


Field data sheets


Area between matching stakes of 2 transects (e.g. T9-T10 and C9- C10) was examined for significant soil disturbance of animal origin. Disturbance axes (2) were measured (in cm.) and classified according to presumed animal activity (e.g. kangaroo rat mound).


One time