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The Role of Biomass in Erosional and Soil Strength Influences Under Military Land Management
Published by the American Society of Agricultural and Biological Engineers, St. Joseph, Michigan www.asabe.orgCitation: International Symposium on Erosion and Landscape Evolution (ISELE), 18-21 September 2011, Anchorage, Alaska 711P0311cd Paper #11055.
Authors: Heidi R Howard, Niels G Svendsen, Timothy J Cary, Daniel J Koch, George X Gertner, Philip B Woodford, Robert M Lacey, Alan B Anderson, Andrew Fulton
Keywords: Military, Army, Vehicle, Biomass, Soil strength, Control burn, Haying, Grazing
Multiple anthropogenic activities occur concurrently on Army training lands, in addition to training. These activities can include forestry operations, agricultural out-leasing, and even recreational activities. This inevitably leads to natural resource disturbances and potential conflicts with training activities. The focus of this research is on the responses of vegetation and soil strength to these multiple land uses on military lands, with a goal of exploring ways to re-focus historic land management practices for erosion reduction and improved military carrying capacity. Much research has been conducted on single controlled systems such as controlled grazing or burning. Although this single system research does not always apply to how military lands are used it has historically been the basis for contemporary military land management. The Engineering Research and Development Center’s (ERDC) new focus is on determining how the interactions of land management in the presence of vehicle impacts can be expressed in relation to above and below ground biomass responses. The research presented here includes preliminary results of a long-term program with a series of field experiments to determine the effects of trafficking (Figure 1), burning, and haying/cutting on vegetated soil strength. The research program is developing algorithms to relate vegetated soil strength to biomass and the impacts of co-occurring land use influences on above and below ground biomass.