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Title: Soil water response to slope aspect and grazing in silvopasture during drought

Author
item Boyer, Douglas
item Neel, James - Jim

Submitted to: North American Agroforestry Conference
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 2/2/2011
Publication Date: 6/6/2011
Citation: Boyer, D.G., Neel, J.P. 2011. Soil water response to slope aspect and grazing in silvopasture during drought. In: Agroforestry: A Profitable Land Use, Proceedings of the 12th North American Agroforestry Conference, June 4-9, 2011, Athens, GA. p. 258.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Silvopasture is receiving increasing attention as a robust management system for production of forage for livestock grazing on the diverse landscapes of the Appalachian region. Little knowledge about soil water response to slope aspect and grazing pressure in silvopasture systems of the Region is available. The summer to fall climatological drought experienced in central Appalachia in 2010 provided an opportunity to study drought effects on soil water variations on various slope aspects under two different grazing pressures. Soil water was also monitored in conventional pasture at the same time. Soil water content was continuously monitored at soil depths of 15 and 30 cm. Soil water recession curves for the nearly rainless period running from mid-August to end of September were developed and analyzed. Few differences were found in soil water contents or the recession curve coefficients between any of the studied factors (aspect, grazing pressure, management system) at the two soil depths. There was no evidence that competition between trees and forage in silvopasture had any effect on soil water content. Silvopasture might be moderating the slope aspect effect on soil water content that is often reported for conventional pasture.