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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Title: Effects of pinyon and juniper expansion on watershed hydrology and vegetation response

Authors
item Snyder, Keirith
item Stringham, Tamzen -
item Weltz, Mark
item Wilson, John -

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: October 1, 2011
Publication Date: N/A

Technical Abstract: Pinyon and Juniper (P-J) woodlands have been expanding into areas formerly dominated by sagebrush steppe vegetation. This can produce changes in understory vegetation, fire regimes, erosion potential and hydrology. Porter Canyon was a unique opportunity for agencies, university researchers and private landowners to work together to understand the effects of P-J expansion and treatment techniques on watershed hydrology, plant water-use, erosion potential and how these processes interact with vegetation community composition and structure. The goal of Porter Canyon is to have a fully instrumented watershed to determine the effects of tree felling on the water budget and plant communities. The watershed is instrumented with vegetation transects to monitor changes in plant community, sapflux sensors to measure tree water use, soil moisture probes, NRCS scan weather station, a network of groundwater monitoring pressure transducers, spring boxes and detailed vegetation transects. Detailed experiments on tree canopy interception of rainfall, stemflow generation and plant water use, and soil erosion potential are also being conducted. We plan on installing flumes in 2012 to quantify stream flow. This collaborative effort can enhance our understanding of land management practices on ecosystem function.

Last Modified: 10/1/2014
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