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Soil Loss, Runoff, and Water Quality of Seeded and Unseeded Steep Watersheds following Prescribed Burning

Henry A. Wright, Francis M. Churchill and W. Clark Stevens
Journal of Range Management
Vol. 35, No. 3 (May, 1982), pp. 382-385
DOI: 10.2307/3898324
Stable URL: http://www.jstor.org/stable/3898324
Page Count: 4
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Since scans are not currently available to screen readers, please contact JSTOR User Support for access. We'll provide a PDF copy for your screen reader.
Soil Loss, Runoff, and Water Quality of Seeded and Unseeded Steep Watersheds following Prescribed Burning
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Abstract

Seeding of steep slopes (37 to 61%) after burning on the Edwards Plateau in central Texas reduced soil losses 78 to 93%. Moreover, the major impact of burning on soil losses was significantly reduced in 3 months on burned and seeded watersheds, but not for 15 to 18 months on unseeded watersheds. Stability (soil losses comparable to pretreatment levels) was reached in 6 months on burned and seeded watersheds. Soil loss rates stabilized when cover (live vegetation plus litter) reached 64 to 72% during normal to wet years or 53 to 60% during dry years. Thus, amount of precipitation and cover are closely tied to soil losses. Overland flow stabilized in 4 to 5 years on unseeded watershed and in 1 to 2 years on seeded watersheds. Water quality, lowered slightly by burning, returned to preburn levels within 2 years after seeding. Without seeding it took 4 years to reach preburn levels. Overall, water quality change following burning was not considered to be serious.

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