• Seedling Survival on Erosion Control Treatments in a Salt Desert Area

      Wein, R. W.; West, N. E. (Society for Range Management, 1971-09-01)
      Counts of seeded crested wheatgrass (Agropyron cristatum) and volunteer species were made on gully plugs and contour furrows in the spring to determine emergence and in the summer to determine survival rates. Soil surface moisture was measured 2 and 7 days following summer rain storms. Many seedlings emerged in the spring in response to winter and early spring precipitation. This moisture was quickly depleted. The retention of moisture from summer storms determined the seedling survival pattern around the structures. Drowning was apparent in gully plug bottoms, while slopes of the structures retained little water during the storms. The combination of irregular rainfalls, high evaporation rates, and poor soil infiltration rates reduced the effectiveness of summer rains. Only at the high water line of the gully plug retention dam and at the bottom of the furrows was there enough soil moisture to benefit seedlings.