Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » Lubbock, Texas » Cropping Systems Research Laboratory » Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #371003

Research Project: Optimizing Water Use Efficiency for Environmentally Sustainable Agricultural Production Systems in Semi-Arid Regions

Location: Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research

Title: Analyzing seedbanks to determine the effectiveness of stock-piling topsoil and native grass seeding in disturbed areas in south Texas

item GOLEMBIEWSKI, D - Texas A&M University
item FALK, TONY - Texas A&M University
item RIDEOUT-HANZAK, S - Texas A&M University
item Acosta-Martinez, Veronica
item WEST, D - Texas A&M University

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 1/15/2020
Publication Date: 1/15/2020
Citation: Golembiewski, D.A., Falk, T., Rideout-Hanzak, S., Acosta Martinez, V., West, D.B. 2020. Analyzing seedbanks to determine the effectiveness of stock-piling topsoil and native grass seeding in disturbed areas in south Texas. Meeting Abstract. Presentation. Corpus Christi, TX, February 13-15, 2020.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: Prior to beginning oil and gas extraction practices, it is commonly recommended that topsoil stock-piles be set aside for future restoration of plant communities. Topsoil is collected using heavy machinery, piled in a nearby location, and re-applied when the energy extraction process is completed, often years later. Our goal with this study is to quantitatively assess the use of stock-piled topsoil following soil disturbance in semiarid regions. Our study area, a retired fracking pond, was restored in 2017 with 5-yr old stock-piled topsoil collected prior to construction. We segregated the existing stock-pile into 3 layers that were 1-1.5 m in thickness and distributed these layers (along with a non-amended surface) in separate strips over the pond. Each surface layer was split into 15 plots, each receiving one of three seeding treatments: (1) 13 native grasses, (2) 13 native grasses plus an annual warm-season grass cover crop, or (3) non-seeded. We are conducting a greenhouse study to examine seedbank dynamics as affected by surface and seeding treatment. Composite soil samples were collected from each plot, spread out evenly over 9 cm of coarse, clean sand in 30 × 36 cm trays, and randomly organized in blocks in the greenhouse. Emergence date and identity of all seedlings will be recorded. We will compare species composition, species richness, and seedling density of the different surface layers to assess overall seedbank characteristics of each restored surface. These data will help determine if stock-piling topsoils and supplemental seeding amendments provide sustainable seedbanks over time.