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Livestock Modify Ground Surface Microtopography and Penetration Resistance in a Semi-Arid Shrubland
Year:
2009
Source of publication :
Arid Land Research and Management
Authors :
Ungar, Eugene David
;
.
Volume :
23
Co-Authors:
Stavi, I., Laboratory of Soil and Geomorphology, Department of Geography and Environment, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
Ungar, E.D., Department of Agronomy and Natural Resources, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization-The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel
Lavee, H., Laboratory of Soil and Geomorphology, Department of Geography and Environment, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
Sarah, P., Laboratory of Soil and Geomorphology, Department of Geography and Environment, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
Facilitators :
From page:
237
To page:
247
(
Total pages:
11
)
Abstract:
Ground surface microtopography and soil penetration resistance play a major role in the geomorphic processes that occur on the hillsides of semi-arid rangelands. Although these two features are known to be impacted by the occurrence of shrub vegetation, the role of livestock remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of livestock on microtopography and penetration depth associated with patches of Sarcopoterium spinosum, a dominant shrub in the northern Negev region of Israel. Soil surface slope and penetration depth were determined for five segments along shrub-centered transects on the hillside axis: under the shrub canopy; upslope (US) and downslope (DS) of the central stem cluster; immediately upslope of the shrub (TR); upper intershrub (UI; above TR); and lower intershrub (LI; below DS). The effect of livestock was determined by comparing values obtained inside and outside 10-year-old exclosures. Livestock presence reduced soil penetration depth from 14.9 to 10.6 mm at segment UI, from 16.9 to 5.9 mm at segment TR, and from 15.2 to 9.9 mm at segment LI. The presence of livestock sharpened the step-like microtopographic profile along the transect: it reduced the incline from 10.2 to 5.7° at segment TR, and from 12.8 to 9.2° at segment US, whereas it increased the incline from 17.8 to 21.2° at segment DS. Such changes increase the spatial discontinuity of the hillside surface and can be expected to influence the spatial redistribution of water and soil resources, and thereby ecosystem functioning and productivity. These results lend credence to the view that livestock can function as physical ecosystem engineers by modulating resource availability to other organisms. © 2009 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Note:
Related Files :
ecosystem engineering
Israel
Negev
Negev desert
Sarcopoterium spinosum
shrub
Shrubland
soil erosion
trampling routes
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Related Content
More details
DOI :
10.1080/15324980903028371
Article number:
Affiliations:
Database:
Scopus
Publication Type:
article
;
.
Language:
English
Editors' remarks:
ID:
23745
Last updated date:
02/03/2022 17:27
Creation date:
17/04/2018 00:02
Scientific Publication
Livestock Modify Ground Surface Microtopography and Penetration Resistance in a Semi-Arid Shrubland
23
Stavi, I., Laboratory of Soil and Geomorphology, Department of Geography and Environment, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
Ungar, E.D., Department of Agronomy and Natural Resources, Institute of Plant Sciences, Agricultural Research Organization-The Volcani Center, Bet Dagan, Israel
Lavee, H., Laboratory of Soil and Geomorphology, Department of Geography and Environment, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
Sarah, P., Laboratory of Soil and Geomorphology, Department of Geography and Environment, Bar Ilan University, Ramat Gan, Israel
Livestock Modify Ground Surface Microtopography and Penetration Resistance in a Semi-Arid Shrubland
Ground surface microtopography and soil penetration resistance play a major role in the geomorphic processes that occur on the hillsides of semi-arid rangelands. Although these two features are known to be impacted by the occurrence of shrub vegetation, the role of livestock remains unclear. The purpose of this study was to determine the impact of livestock on microtopography and penetration depth associated with patches of Sarcopoterium spinosum, a dominant shrub in the northern Negev region of Israel. Soil surface slope and penetration depth were determined for five segments along shrub-centered transects on the hillside axis: under the shrub canopy; upslope (US) and downslope (DS) of the central stem cluster; immediately upslope of the shrub (TR); upper intershrub (UI; above TR); and lower intershrub (LI; below DS). The effect of livestock was determined by comparing values obtained inside and outside 10-year-old exclosures. Livestock presence reduced soil penetration depth from 14.9 to 10.6 mm at segment UI, from 16.9 to 5.9 mm at segment TR, and from 15.2 to 9.9 mm at segment LI. The presence of livestock sharpened the step-like microtopographic profile along the transect: it reduced the incline from 10.2 to 5.7° at segment TR, and from 12.8 to 9.2° at segment US, whereas it increased the incline from 17.8 to 21.2° at segment DS. Such changes increase the spatial discontinuity of the hillside surface and can be expected to influence the spatial redistribution of water and soil resources, and thereby ecosystem functioning and productivity. These results lend credence to the view that livestock can function as physical ecosystem engineers by modulating resource availability to other organisms. © 2009 Taylor & Francis Group, LLC.
Scientific Publication
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