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Hydrologic interactions in piñón-juniper woodlands.

TitleHydrologic interactions in piñón-juniper woodlands.
Publication TypeConference Paper
Year of Publication2014
AuthorsOchoa, CG, Fernald, AG, Cram, D, Almalki, Y
Conference NameSociety for Range Management - Annual Meeting
Date Published01/2014
Conference LocationOrlando, FL

One of the main objectives of the study presented is to characterize the hydrologic response to overstory removal in piñón-juniper woodlands of the southwestern United States. The relationships between precipitation-soil moisture-runoff processes is being evaluated in six 1 to 1.3 ha semiarid watersheds near Santa Fe, NM. The ongoing study that began in 2003 includes seven years of baseline data collection in all six watersheds followed by overstory removal in 2010 in three of the watersheds. Data from different parameters including rainfall, soil moisture, and ephemeral stream runoff are being used to assess pre and post treatment hydrologic interactions. In particular, the relationships between soil moisture and runoff generation and the dynamics of rainfall intensity and stream runoff in ephemeral streams are being assessed. Also, overstory and understory vegetation dynamics pre and post treatment are being documented. Study results indicate that rainfall intensity of 5mm/15min is generally the minimum precipitation required to generate channel runoff. Also, antecedent soil moisture seems to play an important role in the mechanisms of runoff generation in these semiarid watersheds with ephemeral streams.