Herbaceous production as influenced by juniper canopy cover in west Texas

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Title: Herbaceous production as influenced by juniper canopy cover in west Texas
Author: Racher, Brent James
Abstract: Juniper encroachment and subsequent density and canopy cover increases on rangeland reduce herbaceous production beneath and outside of the canopy area . Associated problems are decreased water yield , reduced carrying capacity , higher erosion , and difficult livestock handling . The objective of this study was to quantify and correlate aerial phytomass production with different levels of redberry juniper {Juniperus pinchotii Sudw . ) canopy cover , density , and canopy volume in west Texas . The Texas Tech Experimental Ranch (Borden County , TX ) study sites were on a deep hardland range site with Olton clay loam soils . The Pitchfork Ranch (Dickens County , TX ) sites were on a mixedland range site with very fine sand soils . The Stone Ranch (Tom Green County , TX ) sites were on a clay loam range site with Angelo clay loam soils . The Triangle Ranch (Foard and Hardeman Counties , TX ) sites were on a deep hardland range site with Tilhnan clay loam soils . Juniper canopy cover was measured with both line transects and belt transects . Aerial phytomass yield and relative frequency of grass species were estimated by clipping 0 .25 -m quadrats . Dominant grass species differed among locations . Line intercept canopy cover of redberry juniper was more highly correlated with herbaceous yield than the canopy cover estimates obtained with belt transects . Yield was reduced an average of 1 ,000 kg /ha as juniper canopy cover increased from 0 to 35 % . Regression analysis predicted a yield reduction 33 .5 % and 50 % at 20 % and 40 % juniper canopy cover , respectively . Yield reductions at 20 % juniper canopy cover were greater on the two deep hardland range sites compared to the clay loam and mixedland ranges sites , but at 40 % canopy cover , yield reductions were about equal across range sites . The largest decreases m yield occurred as juniper canopy cover increased from 0 to 15 % , contrary to prior beliefs .
URI: http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /14884
Date: 1998-12

Citation

Herbaceous production as influenced by juniper canopy cover in west Texas. Master's thesis, Texas Tech University. Available electronically from http : / /hdl .handle .net /2346 /14884 .

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