Hydrologic Characteristics of Vegetation Types as Affected by Livestock Grazing Systems, Edwards Plateau, Texas

T. L. Thurow, W. H. Blackburn, C. A. Taylor
1986 Journal of range management  
Infiltration rate and sediment production were assessed in oak, bunchgrass and sodgrass vegetation types in moderate continuous (MCG), heavy continuous (HCG), and intensive rotation (shortduration, SDG) grazing systems and in a livestock exclosure (LEX). Infiltration rate was related to the total organic cover and bulk density characteristics of the site (RJ = 36). The amount of cover was more important than type, indicating that protection of soil structure from direct raindrop impact was the
more » ... rop impact was the primary function of cover on infiltration. The SDG and HCG pastures had lower total organic cover with correspondingly lower infihration rates compared to the MCG and LEX pastures. Bulk density, an indicator of soil structure, was significantly lower in oak mottes than in the grass interspace, but there was no significant difference between pastures. Sediment production was related to the total aboveground biomass and the bunchgrass cover of the site (P q .79). Obstruction to overland sediment transport and protection from the disaggregating effect of direct raindrop impact were the primary functions of the total aboveground biomass and bunchgrass cover. Total aboveground biomass was greatest in the oak motte and least in the sodgrass interspace, consequently the sodgrass interspace had the greatest amount of sediment production and the oak mottes had the least sediment production. Midgrass cover and total aboveground biomass in the MCG and LEX pastures was significantly greater than in the SDG and HCG pastures; thus sediment production from the MCG and LEX pastures was significantly lower than from the SDG and HCG pastures. The authors are presently range research scientist,
doi:10.2307/3898758 fatcat:nihy72uk3nh6von4ze63kebs4e