Watershed research examines rangeland management effects on water quality
AuthorsRandy A. Dahlgren
Kenneth W. Tate
David J. Lewis
Edward R. Atwill
John M. Harper
Barbara H. Allen-Diaz
Authors AffiliationsR.A. Dahlgren is Professor, Soils and Biogeochemistry Program, UC Davis; K.W. Tate is Rangeland Watershed Specialist, Department of Agronomy and Range Science, UC Davis; D.J. Lewis is Watershed Management Advisor, UC Cooperative Extension (UCCE), Sonoma County; E.R. Atwill is Environmental Animal Health Specialist, School of Veterinary Medicine, UC Davis; J.M. Harper is Livestock and Natural Resources Advisor, UCCE Mendocino County; B.H. Allen-Diaz is Professor and Associate Dean, College of Natural Resources, UC Berkeley.
Hilgardia 55(6):64-71. DOI:10.3733/ca.v055n06p64. November 2001.
Oak- and annual grass-dominated rangelands in California occupy 7.4 million acres, often occurring at the state's urban, wildland and agricultural interface. Rapidly changing land uses in these ecosystems have watershed-scale impacts that are the subject of intense debate among policy-makers, environmentalists and landowners. Watershed research conducted at the UC Hopland Research and Extension Center (HREC) between the 1950s and 1980s provided valuable information for predicting the effects of watershed management activities — such as converting oak and chaparral to grasslands — on water quantity and quality, slope stability and erosion. The research illustrated that conversion from woodland to grassland significantly impacts the hydrology and sediment dynamics of watersheds, suggesting that land-use changes such as vineyards and urban expansion must be evaluated carefully. Preliminary data from a new series of watershed studies initiated at HREC in 1998 indicate that livestock grazing does not significantly increase nutrient and sediment levels in stream water, but that current fecal coliform standards may be exceeded during storm events.
Bosch JM, Hewlett JD. A review of catchment experiments to determine the effect of vegetation changes on water yield and evapotranspiration. J Hydrol. 1982. 55:2-23. https://doi.org/10.1016/0022-1694(82)90117-2
Burgy RH. Hydroiogical Studies and Watershed Management on Brushlands. Annu Rep No 8 to Calif Dept Water Resources and UC Water Resources Ctr 1968. 22.
Burgy RH, Papazifiriou ZG. Effects of vegetation management on slope stability, Hopland Experimental Watershed II at Hopland Field Sta. Abstr for Water Resources Ctr Adv Council Meeting. 1971a. 10.
Burgy RH, Papazifiriou ZG. Vegetative management and water yield relationships. Proc. 3rd Intern Seminar for Hydrology Professors. Purdue Univ 1971b. pp.315-31.
Burgy RH, Pomeroy CR. Interception losses in grassy vegetation. Trans Amer Geophysical Union. 1958. 39:1095-100.
Murphy AH. Watershed management increases rangeiand productivity. Cal Ag. 1976. 30(7):16-21.
Also in this issue:Activity levels of genetically manipulated and wild strains of Metaseiulus occidentalis (Nesbitt) (Acarina: Phytoseiidae) compared as a method to assay quality
UC Research and Extension Centers: Statewide system provides local answers to local needs
Hopland celebrates 50 years of rangeland research
European grapes tested in North Coast vineyards
Research on animal-borne parasites and pathogens helps prevent human disease
Sheep research offers alternatives to improve production
Callipyge meat a tough sell
Is there a sire-dam interaction in sperm fertilizing potential?
Sheep-killing coyotes a continuing dilemma for ranchers
Targeting alphas can make coyote control more effective and socially acceptable
Agroforestry is promising for previously cleared hardwood rangelands
Monitoring shows vegetation change at multiple scales
Carefully timed burning can control barb goatgrass
Animals and fungi can affect goatgrass establishment
Plant species provide vital ecosystem functions for sustainable agriculture, rangeland management and restoration
Australian varieties improve pasture in long-term annual legume trials