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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Sampling Near-Surface Dynamic Soil Properties for Soil Surveys, Assessment and Monitoring and State-and-Transition Models

Authors
item Tugel, Arlene - USDA-NRCS
item Andrews, Susan - USDA-NRCS
item Loomis, Lynn - USDA-NRCS
item Herrick, Jeffrey
item Peacock, George - USDA-NRCS
item Biggam, Pete - USDI NATL PARK SERVICE

Submitted to: Society for Range Management Meeting Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: January 15, 2004
Publication Date: January 25, 2004
Citation: TUGEL, A.J., ANDREWS, S., LOOMIS, L., HERRICK, J.E., PEACOCK, G., BIGGAM, P. SAMPLING NEAR-SURFACE DYNAMIC SOIL PROPERTIES FOR SOIL SURVEYS, ASSESSMENT AND MONITORING AND STATE-AND-TRANSITION MODELS. 57TH ANNUAL MEETING, SOCIETY FOR RANGE MANAGEMENT. 2004. ABSTRACT NO. 367.

Technical Abstract: Interpreting function-based assessments and monitoring of rangelands requires information about the temporal dynamics of indicators. Reference values for indicators that reflect primary ecological processes can be used to evaluate changes in the soil's capacity to function. However, soil survey databases do not provide information about the historical or expected dynamics of soil properties in response to management and disturbances. Sampling methods for bulk density, salinity, pH, soil surface stability, canopy cover and canopy gap were tested during soil survey activities at Big Bend National Park. State-and-transition models for ecological sites were used to select sampling sites. Soil surface stability, bulk density and electrical conductivity differed significantly among ecological states. However, differences for bulk density and salinity were not functionally significant. The soil survey map unit component can serve as the data carrier for soil information related to changes in function and to states within an ecological site. Inclusion of state-dependent dynamic soil property values provides reference values that can be used to interpret assessments and evaluate monitoring trends. Soil survey enhancements for dynamic soil properties and soil function will benefit assessment and monitoring activities, enhance information on soil-vegetation dynamics within ecological site descriptions, add value to soil surveys, and increase our knowledge of soil change.

Last Modified: 11/22/2014