The Ecohydrological Implications of a Restored Rangeland in Central Texas
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Military training lands are among the most degraded rangelands in the United States. Tracked vehicle training represents the largest source of soil disturbance on these rangelands (Fang et al. 2002). Training activities facilitate changes in vegetation composition towards alternate floral communities characteristic of highly disturbed soils (Johnson 1982). The Department of Defense (DoD) manages the land to mitigate disturbance, however the effectiveness of their mitigation and restoration strategies are not well known. Furthermore, the long-term effects of intensive training activities on the ecohydrology of the landscape are not well understood. This study uses large-scale rainfall simulation to develop an understanding of the dynamic relationships between rainfall, runoff, and erosion. Simulations were conducted on two areas of interest: (1) a degraded grassland that underwent a conversion to a mesquite woodland and was restored via mechanical brush removal and (2) a highly degraded hillslope will little to no topsoil. Data suggests that: (1) runoff is rapid when no topsoil or vegetation is present; (2) runoff velocity is significantly lower after restoration, and (3) sediment loads do not move across the landscape in large flushes following restoration.
cowhouse creek watershed
tracked vehicle training
Haley, Patrick 1989- (2012). The Ecohydrological Implications of a Restored Rangeland in Central Texas. Honors and Undergraduate Research. Available electronically from