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Walker River Basin Project. Water Plant Soil Interactions. Alternative Agriculture What are the agricultural practices and cost/benefits associated with alternative low water use crops? What are the best species and methods for native habitat restoration?.

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Walker River Basin Project

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Walker river basin project l.jpg

Walker River Basin Project

Water

PlantSoil

Interactions


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Alternative Agriculture

What are the agricultural practices and cost/benefits associated with alternative low water use crops?

What are the best species and methods for native habitat restoration?

Plant, Soil & Water Interactions (PSW)

How do different agricultural and restoration practices affect PSW interactions?

Do changes in site-specific interactions affect other ecosystems adjacent the Walker River?

Integrated Components


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Monitor

Soil erosion

Salinity / salt profile

Soil nutrient input & output

Soil organic matter

Soil moisture

Soil temperature

Invasive species along Walker River

Groundwater nutrient input & output

Native plant varieties along Walker River

Evapotranspiration and crop production functions

Objectives

How do we answer these questions???


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Objectives

  • ULTIMATE GOAL!!!

    • Combine data collected into a model

    • Ask model which land is best suited for alternative agricultural or restoration practices.

Best Land for Change


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Agricultural Treatments

  • Alternative Low Water Use Crops

    • 15 vegetation types (alternative grains and potential bio-fuels)

    • 4 water treatments (50%, 75%, & 100%)

  • Native Revegetation/Restoration

    • 10 vegetation types (native grasses and shrubs)

    • 2 water treatments (0% & 25%)


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Site Locations

  • Flood Irrigation Site

  • Wildlife Management Sites

  • Well Site


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Site Locations

  • 5C Cottonwood – Vacant Lot

  • Ranch Sites

  • Valley Vista – Alfalfa Field


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Site Locations

  • Walker River Riparian Habitat:

    • One site located in Wildlife Management Area


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Where we are today.

  • Cool and warm season crops and native plants have been seeded

  • Have begun irrigation and weed control management


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Monitoring

  • Soil Erosion: Dust Collectors

    • Installed Spring 2008

    • Collect from 4 heights

      • 4”, 15”, 25”, & 41”


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Monitoring

  • Soil Salinity & Nutrients

    • Soil Sampling

      • Agricultural Sites

        • Collected ~1300 soil samples

      • Riparian Site

        • 42 soil samples

      • Sample Depths

        • 0-6”, 6-12”, 12-24”, 24-36”, 36-48”, & 48-60”

      • Running soil water extracts through Ion Chromatograph to analyze for common nutrients

        • N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg, Na

      • Rings installed for monitoring nutrient movement in gas form

      • Initial CO2 readings taken


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Monitoring

  • Soil Organic Matter

    • Surface soils tested for percent loss on combustion of organic matter

  • Soil Moisture

    • Samples taken pre- and post-irrigation to monitor water movement through soil

    • Sample 4 depths: 0-6”, 6-12”, 12-24”, & 24-36”

  • Invasive Species and Plant Varieties:

    • Vegetation surveys are ongoing


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Monitoring

  • Soil Temperature: Fiber optic cable

    • Installed Dec. 2007

    • Valley View Ranch & Wildlife Management Well Sites


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Monitoring

  • Groundwater Nutrients:

    • Installed 7 shallow groundwater wells which are sampled regularly

  • Installed 6 bore holes to measure denitrification


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Baseline data are being processed!

  • Valley View Ranch Site

    • Texture: Loamy Sand

    • Infiltration Capacity: 7.0 ± 2.4 in/hr

    • Bulk Density: 1.40 ± 0.12 g/cm3

    • Sodium Adsorption Ratio (SAR): 1.24 ± 0.38

    • May be phosphorus (P) limited as detectable P is variable

    • Soil wets down 2-3 feet, and significant increase in soil moisture is still seen 24 hours after irrigation.


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Baseline Data

  • 5C Ranch Site

    • Texture: Sand

    • Infiltration Capacity: 4.0 ± 1.9 in/hr

    • Bulk Density: 1.34 ± 0.17 g/cm3

    • SAR: 2.21 ± 7.91

    • Does not retain soil moisture – have found no significant difference in moisture content of non-irrigated and irrigated plots within 24 hours of irrigation.


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Baseline Data

  • Wildlife Management Well Site

    • Texture: Silty Clay Loam

    • Infiltration Capacity: 3.2 ± 1.5 in/hr

    • Bulk Density: 1.07 ± 0.07 g/cm3

    • SAR: Pending…

    • Soil wets down 2-3 feet, and significant increase in soil moisture is still seen 1 week after irrigation.


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Baseline Data

  • Wildlife Management Flood Site

    • Texture: Silty Clay Loam

    • Infiltration Capacity: 3.4 ± 1.4 in/hr

    • Bulk Density: 1.18 ± 0.05 g/cm3

    • SAR: 29.35 ± 22.37 …Sodic Soil!

    • May be P limited as there is no detectable P

    • Soil wets down only within first 6 inches, but significant increase in soil moisture is still seen 1 week after irrigation.


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Still to Come!

  • More nutrient description and moisture profile analysis as sites change with vegetation growth

  • Water table monitoring in wildlife management sites

  • Results from ongoing studies

    • Dust collection

    • Nutrient gas input/output

    • Groundwater nutrients

    • Soil temperature relative to soil moisture

    • Soil organic matter

    • Vegetative surveys


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SUMMARY


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