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Soil Properties in Relation to Cryptogamic Groundcover in Canyonlands National Park

Edgar F. Kleiner and K. T. Harper
Journal of Range Management
Vol. 30, No. 3 (May, 1977), pp. 202-205
DOI: 10.2307/3897470
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3897470
Page Count: 4
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Abstract

A comparative study was made of the soils of a virgin grassland and an adjacent grazed area in Canyonlands National Park. Soils from the virgin site were finer textured than those of the grazed area, and the surface 5 cm contains a significantly lower amount of calcium. In addition, the surface 5 cm of the virgin site contains significantly greater amounts of phosphorus, potassium, and organic matter. Subsurface soils in the two parks are less dissimilar. Cryptogams on the virgin grassland appear to have an important influence on chemical characteristics of the surface 5 cm of soil. The difference in surface soils between the parks may be related to the presence of these species. Data point strongly to light winter grazing as a disturbing influence that has contributed to the differences in the surface soil and in vegetational characteristics between the sites.

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