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ARS Home » Plains Area » Las Cruces, New Mexico » Range Management Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #230392

Title: Landscape variability in soil and vegetation response to 70-year-old restoration treatments

item Herrick, Jeffrey - Jeff
item Rango, Albert
item Duniway, Michael

Submitted to: Ecological Society of America Abstracts
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 7/15/2008
Publication Date: 8/3/2008
Citation: Baquera, N., Herrick, J.E., Monger, H., Rango, A., Throop, H.L., Duniway, M.C. 2008. Landscape variability in soil and vegetation response to 70-year-old restoration treatments [abstract]. Ecological Society of America Abstracts. Paper No. 67-159.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: During the 1930’s the Civilian Conservation Corps implemented a number of landscape restoration projects, most of which were abandoned in the early 1940’s. Although many restoration projects failed, several projects had a lasting effect on the landscape and can be used to study the long term effects of restoration treatments. Restoration treatments including soil berms were created in Las Cruces, New Mexico in the early 1930’s. Soil berms are soil barriers laid across the contours of the landscape to slow water movement resulting in water ponding and increased water infiltration. Water ponding initiates a cyclical feedback system where the establishment of vegetation (grasses) promotes soil stability and soil stability increases vegetation establishment. Soil berms mimic naturally banded vegetation. The objective of this project was to assess landscape variability in soil and vegetation response to soil berms in order to guide future restoration efforts in the Chihuahuan Desert, and better understand the ecological processes associated with soil and vegetation recovery. GIS analysis was carried out using a 1936 to 2005 chronosequence of aerial photographs. Ground measurements were completed to supplement the 2005 GIS analysis.