Next Article in Journal
Effect of Aeration Rates and Filter Media Heights on the Performance of Pollutant Removal in an Up-Flow Biological Aerated Filter
Previous Article in Journal
Influence of Land and Water Rights on Land Degradation in Central Asia
Previous Article in Special Issue
Single Session of Chiseling Tillage for Soil and Vegetation Restoration in Severely Degraded Shrublands
Article Menu
Issue 9 (September) cover image

Export Article

Open AccessArticle
Water 2018, 10(9), 1243; https://doi.org/10.3390/w10091243

Soil Moisture, Grass Production and Mesquite Resprout Architecture Following Mesquite Above-Ground Mortality

1
Natural Resource Ecology and Management Department, Oklahoma State University, Stillwater, OK 74078, USA
2
Texas A&M AgriLife Research and Extension Center, Vernon, TX 76384, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 17 July 2018 / Revised: 5 September 2018 / Accepted: 11 September 2018 / Published: 14 September 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Ecohydrology of Woodlands and Savannas)
Full-Text   |   PDF [3551 KB, uploaded 14 September 2018]   |  

Abstract

Honey mesquite (Prosopis glandulosa) is an invasive native woody plant in the southern Great Plains, USA. Treatments used to slow the invasion rate have either killed the plant (“root-kill”) or killed above-ground tissue (“top-kill”). Top-killing provides temporary suppression, but stimulates multi-stemmed regrowth. This study from north central Texas quantified soil moisture, grass production and mesquite resprout architecture following a mechanical clearing treatment that top-killed mesquite (cleared) compared to untreated mesquite woodland (woodland) over a 10-year period. During an extreme drought at 5 and 6 years post-clearing, soil moisture at 60-cm depth became lower in cleared than in woodland, suggesting that, as early as 5 years after top-kill, water use by regrowth mesquite could be greater than that by woodland mesquite. Perennial grass production was greater in cleared treatments than in woodland treatments in all years except the extreme drought years. Mesquite regrowth biomass increased numerically each year and was independent of annual precipitation with one exception. During the year 5 and 6 drought, mesquite stopped lateral expansion of larger stems and increased growth of smaller stems and twigs. In summary, top-killing mesquite generated short-term benefits of increased grass production, but regrowth created potentially negative consequences related to soil moisture. View Full-Text
Keywords: biomass; brush management; coppice; drought; leaf area index; relative growth rate; resprouting; Texas; woody plant encroachment; woody plant growth biomass; brush management; coppice; drought; leaf area index; relative growth rate; resprouting; Texas; woody plant encroachment; woody plant growth
Figures

Figure 1

This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
SciFeed

Share & Cite This Article

MDPI and ACS Style

Ansley, R.J.; Zhang, T.; Cooper, C. Soil Moisture, Grass Production and Mesquite Resprout Architecture Following Mesquite Above-Ground Mortality. Water 2018, 10, 1243.

Show more citation formats Show less citations formats

Note that from the first issue of 2016, MDPI journals use article numbers instead of page numbers. See further details here.

Related Articles

Article Metrics

Article Access Statistics

1

Comments

[Return to top]
Water EISSN 2073-4441 Published by MDPI AG, Basel, Switzerland RSS E-Mail Table of Contents Alert
Back to Top