Desatoya Mountains Project and the Porter Canyon Experimental Watershed
Great Basin Rangelands Research
Project Number: 5370-22000-023-08
Interagency Reimbursable Agreement
Start Date: Sep 01, 2013
End Date: Sep 30, 2015
Piñon (Pinus spp.) and juniper (Juniperus spp.) (PJ) currently occupy approximately 19 million ha in the Intermountain West and prior to 1860 approximately 66% of what is now woodland occurred as sagebrush plant communities. This watershed scale (˜2400 ha) project will document the impact of PJ treatments in formerly sagebrush steppe communities on understory vegetation composition, hydrologic function, and surface runoff and soil erosion at the landscape scale. The specific objective of this proposal is to expand the snow monitoring component to understand snow dynamics and timing of plant phenology in cut and uncut treatments and secure funding for a UNR post-doctoral associate to analyze existing datasets.
We will expand the existing sensor network to measure snow depth and soil moisture and soil temperature in currently cut areas and compare them to our non-cut experimental plots, thus assessing effects of the cutting treatment in 2009. Additionally, in future years half of the control plots will be cut and these sensors will be used to assess the effects of a recent cut.