Soil Moisture Regimes on Some Rangelands of Southeastern Idaho1
- Mark E. Jensen2
Soil temperature and moisture were measured in 1981 and 1982 on 24 rangeland sites of the Caribou National Forest in southeastern Idaho. Those sites have aridic moisture regimes within cryic soil temperature regimes. Soil Taxonomy does not recognize this combination of soil climatic parameters, although they are probably extensive throughout the higher elevation areas of the Intermountain Region. The sagebrush-grass and mountain brush vegetative types studied have a mean of 44 d in which moisture is held in the soil moisture control section at < 1.5 MPa (15 bars) suction when the soil temperature at the 0.5-m depth exceeds 5°C, i.e., growing period. A knowledge of the mean growing period on a site provides the range manager an alternative tool for determinations of range readiness. Soil temperature and moisture monitoring facilitates prediction of range readiness dates and may be used to approximate range readiness over a potentially broader area than site-specific visual assessment of plant phenology allows.Please view the pdf by using the Full Text (PDF) link under 'View' to the left.
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