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Soil Microtopography on Grazing Gradients in Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands

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Abstract: We tested the hypothesis that one of the significant impacts of livestock in the creation of
piospheres centered on water points is the loss of soil microtopography. The size, height, and spatial distribution of micromounds and surrounding depressions were measured by a modified erosion bridge at three distances (50 m, 450 m, and 1050 rn) from water points in desert grassland pastures in the Jornada Basin, N. M.. Plots at 50 m had fewer n-iieromounds and the mounds were smaller than those recorded on the more distant plots. Microtopography of plots at 450 m from water was not significantly different from that recorded at 50rn. Microtopography of plots that were 1050 m frorn water points was significantly different from that of plots nearer water points. Loss of rnicrotopography from the impacts of livestock in piospheres exacerbates erosion processes and contributes to decertification.
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Citation:Nash, M. S., E. Jackson, and W. G. Whitford. Soil Microtopography on Grazing Gradients in Chihuahuan Desert Grasslands. JOURNAL OF ARID ENVIRONMENTS 55(1):181-192, (2003).
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Contact: Chris Siebert - (702) 798-2234 or siebert.christopher@epa.gov
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Division: Environmental Sciences Division
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Branch: Landscape Ecology Branch
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Product Type: Journal
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Published: 05/20/2003
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Related Entries:
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Bullet Item Development of Landscape Indicators for Use in Regional Ecological Risk Assessments
spacer Relationship Reason:   A Project of the Product
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