Title: Hoof, teeth and fire: the effects of different simulated forms of disturbance on wind erosion in a desert scrub grassland Authors
Submitted to: International Conference on Aeolian Research
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: April 20, 2010
Publication Date: July 9, 2010
Citation: Baddock, M.C., Zobeck, T.M., D'Odorico, P., Van Pelt, R.S., Ravi, S., Bhattachan, A. 2010. Hoof, teeth and fire: the effects of different simulated forms of disturbance on wind erosion in a desert scrub grassland[abstract]. International Conference on Aeolian Research. July 5-9, 2010, Santa Rosa, La Pampa, Argentina. p. 108. Technical Abstract: Disturbance to and removal of vegetation is a major cause of increased aeolian erodibility for many natural surfaces. This study in the extreme northern Chihuahuan Desert used a portable wind tunnel to examine the impact of grazing, trampling and fire on dust emission from grassland in the Sevilleta National Wildlife Refuge, central New Mexico, USA. In an area of homogenous soil properties, on three plots for each treatment, animal grazing was simulated by manual clipping and removal of grass. Another set of grass clipped plots was also traversed with specially designed clogs to mimic animal trampling. Finally, a controlled burn was conducted on a further group of ungrazed grass plots. This paper will report the differences in measured dust emissions between the study surfaces for i) the initial blow-off of readily entrainable sediment as the wind tunnel flow accelerates to a target velocity, ii) the observed steady state emission rate produced by the different surfaces when under constant wind flow and bombardment by a sustained, introduced saltation flux. Data from a continually monitoring laser particle size analyzer also show the variation in dust emission over time, revealing differences in the dynamics of dust release between the study treatments. These time series of emission primarily reflect changing availability of suspension sized sediment, which in turn can be related to the surface conditions.