Browsing Journal of Range Management, Volume 53, Number 6 (November 2000) by Subjects
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Tracked vehicle effects on vegetation and soil characteristicsA 3-year experiment to evaluate tracked vehicle effects on vegetation and soil characteristics was established on the Gilbert C.Grafton South State Military Reservation (CGS) in North Dakota. Study objectives were to evaluate the effects of 3 tracked vehicle use intensity treatments on plant species cover and frequency, and soil compaction. The 3 treatments evaluated include heavy use (74 passes), moderate use (37 passes) and no use. The moderate use treatment represents a typical use of 1 battalion unit at CGS with the heavy use treatment classified as 2 battalion units. This land area comprised a 50 by 150 meter block subdivided into three, 50 by 50 meter blocks. Each 50 by 50 meter block was subdivided into three, 16.7 by 50 meter blocks with each block treated with 1 of the 3 treatments. Soil bulk density increased (P < 0.05) on the moderate and heavy use treatments in the 0 to 15, 30 to 45, and 45 to 60 cm soil depths. Kentucky blue-grass (Poa pratensis L.) cover (P < 0.05) decreased in 1996 on both the moderate and heavy use treatments but was not (P >0.05) different among all treatments in 1997. The tracked vehicle use on the heavy and moderate treatments did not change species composition or litter amounts after 2 years; however, bulk density and bare ground increased on both treatments in 1996 and 1997.