thumbnail

Effects of converting sagebrush cover to grass on the hydrology of small watersheds at Boco Mountain, Colorado

Water Supply Paper 1532-J

By:

Links

Abstract

Changes in runoff and sediment yield caused by changing sagebrush cover to grass cover were studied at four small watersheds in western Colorado during a 9-year period, from 1965 to 1978. Measurements of runoff and sediment yield from the four watersheds were made for 8 years, at which time two watersheds were plowed and seeded to beardless bluebunch wheatgrass. The same measurements were then continued for an additional 6 years. Measurements indicated that conversion to grass caused a reduction in runoff from summer rainstorms of about 75 percent. Runoff from spring snowmelt increased about 12 percent, and annual runoff from treated watersheds decreased about 20 percent when compared to control watersheds. Sediment yield from the seeded watersheds was reduced by about 80 percent; most of this reduction is related to the decrease in runoff from summer rainstorms. The size of barren interspaces between plants was reduced on the converted water- sheds to about 30 percent of those on the untreated watersheds. Linear regression analysis indicates that a reduction of 38 percent in the amount of bare soil resulting from planting grass would result in a decrease of 73 percent in sediment concentration.

Additional Publication Details

Publication type:
Report
Publication Subtype:
USGS Numbered Series
Title:
Effects of converting sagebrush cover to grass on the hydrology of small watersheds at Boco Mountain, Colorado
Series title:
Water Supply Paper
Series number:
1532
Chapter:
J
Edition:
-
Year Published:
1979
Language:
ENGLISH
Publisher:
U.S. Govt. Print. Off.,
Description:
iv, 36 p. :ill., fold. map (in pocket) ;24 cm. --