• Variations in Soil Moisture Under Natural Vegetation

      Sammis, T. W.; Weeks, D. L.; Agricultural Engineering Department, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces; Experimental Statistics, New Mexico State University, Las Cruces, New Mexico (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1977-04-16)
      Soil water content was measured every two weeks during 1974-1975, using a neutron probe, at selected locations around the desert plant species creosote (Larria divaricata), bursage (Ambrosia deltoidea), and in an open space. The purpose of taking the measurements was to enable one to estimate the evapotranspiration rate of the desert plants by measuring soil moisture depletion. The sampling problem associated with measuring soil moisture, using neutron access tubes, is the number, location, and installation depth of the tubes. Analyses of the total soil moisture beneath the creosote plant showed greater variability between access tubes located near different plants the same distance from the crown of the plant than between tubes located around the same plant. Because of the size of the bursage plant, the variability in total soil moisture beneath the plant was greater among tubes around the same plant than between tubes at the same location at different plants.