Infiltration, soil erosion, nitrogen loss and soil profile characteristics of Oregon lands occupied by three subspecies of Artemisia tridentata Public Deposited

http://ir.library.oregonstate.edu/concern/graduate_thesis_or_dissertations/8p58pg52c

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  • Infiltration, soil erosion, nitrogen loss and soil profile characteristics were measured on 36 sites representing land occupied by Artemisia tridentata ssp. tridentate, wyomingensis, and vaseyana. Infiltration, soil erosion, and nitrogen loss were strongly correlated but highly variable. Soil loss, but not infiltration or nitrogen loss was significantly different between subspecies. At Frenchglen infiltration rates were higher and soil erosion and nitrogen loss rates were lower for A.t. ssp. vaseyana sites than for A.t. ssp. wyomingensis sites. Infiltration rate decreased between plots as mean soil particle size decreased, organic ground cover decreased, bulk density increased, and extractable sodium increased. Infiltration rate was especially low on sites with vesicular porosity in the surface soil. Soil loss, and for the most part, percent nitrogen in the runoff water increased between plots as bare ground increased, and vesicular porosity in the surface soil increased, but soil and nitrogen loss was negatively correlated with medium and coarse sand and coarse fragments in the surface soil, and with organic ground cover. Aridisols lost more soil than Mollisols, but only if sites dominated by surficial tephra were omitted from the analysis, did Aridisols show significantly lower infiltration rates. The nitrogen lost in the simulation does not appear to be large in comparison with either capital or yearly flux. Nearly all characteristics of the soil profile show either no significant differences between subspecies or they show a significant interaction between location and subspecies. The Frenchglen location had the greatest elevational differences between subspecies and most of the significant physical and chemical differences between subspecies, including greater depth of maximum illuviation, greater rooting depth, and in the surface soil, lower ph, higher organic matter, higher cation exchange capacity, lower base saturation and lower percent exchangeable sodium on higher elevation A.t. ssp. vaseyana sites than on A.t. ssp. wuomingensis sites and/or A.t. ssp. tridentata sites. In the deeper soil horizons at Frenchglen, A.t. ssp. vaseyana sites had lower ph and lower base saturation than A.t. ssp. tridentata sites.
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