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Fine gravel controls hydrologic and erodibility responses to trampling disturbance for coarse-textured soils with weak cyanobacterial crusts

Catena

By:
, , , ,
DOI: 10.1016/j.catena.2010.08.007

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Abstract

We compared short-term effects of lug-soled boot trampling disturbance on water infiltration and soil erodibility on coarse-textured soils covered by a mixture of fine gravel and coarse sand over weak cyanobacterially-dominated biological soil crusts. Trampling significantly reduced final infiltration rate and total infiltration and increased sediment generation from small (0.5m2) rainfall simulation plots (p<0.01). Trampling had no effect on time to runoff or time to peak runoff. Trampling had similar effects at sites with both low and very low levels of cyanobacterial biomass, as indicated by chlorophyll a concentrations. We concluded that trampling effects are relatively independent of differences in the relatively low levels of cyanobacterial biomass in this environment. Instead, trampling appears to reduce infiltration by significantly reducing the cover of gravel and coarse sand on the soil surface, facilitating the development of a physical crust during rainfall events. The results of this study underscore the importance of carefully characterizing both soil physical and biological properties to understand how disturbance affects ecosystem processes. ?? 2010.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Article
Publication Subtype:
Journal Article
Title:
Fine gravel controls hydrologic and erodibility responses to trampling disturbance for coarse-textured soils with weak cyanobacterial crusts
Series title:
Catena
DOI:
10.1016/j.catena.2010.08.007
Volume
83
Issue:
2-3
Year Published:
2010
Language:
English
Larger Work Type:
Article
Larger Work Subtype:
Journal Article
Larger Work Title:
Catena
First page:
119
Last page:
126
Number of Pages:
8