• Hydrologic Effects of Soil Surface Micro-Flora

      Faust, William F.; Water Resources Research Center, The University of Arizona, Tucson (Arizona-Nevada Academy of Science, 1971-04-23)
      Previous studies have indicated that blue-green algae may affect runoff, infiltration and erosion at soil surfaces. Using soil plots upon which blue-green algae were grown under an artificial wetting regime, studies were made using simulated rainfall. A 30% clay content Pima soil and a contrasting 8% clay content river-bottom anthony soil were used. Scytonema hoffmanii and Microcoleus vaginatus grew on the pima soil while Schizothrix calcicola developed on the Anthony soil. The results showed that blue-green algal growths significantly reduced the amount of suspended soil material in runoff water as compared with bare soils. Differences in runoff suspended sediments were also related to differences in soil type and simulated rainfall intensity. An analysis of variance of the effects of these 3 factors and their interactions showed that the smaller differences in suspended sediment production on the Anthony soil due to the microvegetation treatment was verified by a highly significant soils-microvegetation interaction, probably because the finer pima soils wash away more easily without stabilizing microvegetation. Also, less vegetation seems to grow on the Anthony soil. Differences in runoff and infiltration volumes and in settleable sediment amounts were not detected.