• Soil Moisture and Temperature Changes Following Sagebrush Control

      Fisser, H. G. (Society for Range Management, 1968-09-01)
      Soil moisture and temperature were measured for a five-year period on a mesic foothill grassland and on an arid cold desert shrub-type in western Wyoming. Herbage production increased on both the arid and mesic sites following the sagebrush and grazing control treatment with the greatest increase occurring on the mesic site. Average annual soil temperature was greatest at the arid site and was warmest in the shrub-dominated areas at both sites. Soil moisture recharge during the spring period was greatest at the mesic site under the non-use treatment but at the arid site grazing treatment did not significantly influence moisture accumulation. Under the shrub control treatment, soil moisture recharge was little influenced at the mesic site and at the arid site greatest soil moisture recharge occurred in the non-controlled shrub area. Soil moisture withdrawal was similar at both the arid and mesic sites in that the least amounts of moisture were taken from the soil under the grazed and non-controlled shrub treatments. Soil moisture accumulation during the spring period was greatest at the mesic site from 24 to 60 inches below the soil surface and the greatest values occurred in the shrub controlled grassland area. At the arid site high moisture levels occurred only down to the 12-inch depth.