This field experiment examined soil properties including bulk density, infiltration, and hydraulic conductivity, and the hydrology and water quality of three small watersheds composed of perennial vegetation with no history of soil disturbance (tillage). After two years, one of the watersheds was converted to row crop production. A fourth agricultural reference watershed with a long history of row crop production was also monitored. The perennial vegetation on undisturbed soils had much lower bulk density and higher infiltration and hydraulic conductivity rates than the newly converted and reference row crop fields. Soil properties were significantly changed in the first two years after conversion. Runoff did not occur from the perennial vegetation on undisturbed soils under non-frozen soil conditions, however, runoff did occur from the row crop fields in June. The perennial vegetation reduced runoff volumes, and had lower nutrient and sediment yields compared to the row crop.
University of Minnesota M.S. thesis.May 2016. Major: Land and Atmospheric Science. Advisors: Jeffrey Strock, Adam Birr. 1 computer file (PDF); ix, 207 pages.
Soil Properties, Hydrology, and Water Quality of Perennial Vegetation on Undisturbed Soil in Southwestern Minnesota.
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