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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

Walker River Basin Project

Water

PlantSoil

Interactions

integrated components
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
objectives
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???

objectives4
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

agricultural treatments
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%)
site locations
Site Locations
  • Flood Irrigation Site
  • Wildlife Management Sites
  • Well Site
site locations7
Site Locations
  • 5C Cottonwood – Vacant Lot
  • Ranch Sites
  • Valley Vista – Alfalfa Field
site locations8
Site Locations
  • Walker River Riparian Habitat:
    • One site located in Wildlife Management Area
where we are today
Where we are today.
  • Cool and warm season crops and native plants have been seeded
  • Have begun irrigation and weed control management
monitoring
Monitoring
  • Soil Erosion: Dust Collectors
    • Installed Spring 2008
    • Collect from 4 heights
      • 4”, 15”, 25”, & 41”
monitoring11
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
monitoring12
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
monitoring13
Monitoring
  • Soil Temperature: Fiber optic cable
    • Installed Dec. 2007
    • Valley View Ranch & Wildlife Management Well Sites
monitoring14
Monitoring
  • Groundwater Nutrients:
    • Installed 7 shallow groundwater wells which are sampled regularly
  • Installed 6 bore holes to measure denitrification
baseline data are being processed
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.
baseline data
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.
baseline data17
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.
baseline data18
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.
still to come
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