USDA Forest Service

Pacific Southwest Research Station

 
Pacific Southwest
Research Station

800 Buchanan Street
Albany, CA 94710-0011
(510) 883-8830
United States Department of Agriculture Forest Service. USDA logo which links to the department's national site. Forest Service logo which links to the agency's national site.

Publications and Products

Title: Variation in herbaceous vegetation and soil moisture under treated and untreated oneseed juniper trees

Authors: Ramirez, Hector; Fernald, Alexander; Cibils, Andres; Morris, Michelle; Cox, Shad; Rubio, Michael

Date: 2008

Publication In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Shaw, John D.; Ford, Paulette L., compilers. 2008. Ecology, management, and restoration of pinon-juniper and ponderosa pine ecosystems: combined proceedings of the 2005 St. George, Utah and 2006 Albuquerque, New Mexico workshops. Proceedings RMRS-P-51. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 81-86

Abstract: Clearing oneseed juniper (Juniperus monosperma) may make more water available for aquifer recharge or herbaceous vegetation growth, but the effects of tree treatment on soil moisture dynamics are not fully understood. This study investigated juniper treatment effects on understory herbaceous vegetation concurrently with soil moisture dynamics using vegetation sampling, soil sampling, and automated precipitation and soil moisture data collection. The study was conducted at New Mexico State University's Corona Range and Livestock Research Center Corona, NM. We created plots under dead and live juniper trees in three cattle-grazing exclosures (CD, FG, and KI). We applied heavy defoliation clipping treatment and no defoliation in the winter months. This study reports on soil moisture from volumetric water content probes installed at 0-25 cm depth at the drip line or the outside of each plot. Understory herbaceous cover and biomass were significantly higher under dead than under living trees, while volumetric water content was lower under dead than under living trees. Water content was higher on clipped than on unclipped plots for dead and living trees. At this site, water made available by treating oneseed juniper appears to be consumed by additional herbaceous vegetation under dead trees.

Keywords: volumetric water content, P-J control, understory defoliation, soil moisture dynamics

View and print the publication (552 KB)

Citation

    Ramirez, Hector; Fernald, Alexander; Cibils, Andres; Morris, Michelle; Cox, Shad; Rubio, Michael. 2008. Variation in herbaceous vegetation and soil moisture under treated and untreated oneseed juniper trees. In: Gottfried, Gerald J.; Shaw, John D.; Ford, Paulette L., compilers. 2008. Ecology, management, and restoration of pinon-juniper and ponderosa pine ecosystems: combined proceedings of the 2005 St. George, Utah and 2006 Albuquerque, New Mexico workshops. Proceedings RMRS-P-51. Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station. p. 81-86
Last Modified: January 11, 2012