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Improved descriptions of herbaceous perennial growth and residue creation for RUSLE2

Permanent URL:
http://handle.nal.usda.gov/10113/54169
Abstract:
Earlier versions of the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation, version 2 (RUSLE2) calculated vegetative residue production only during periods of canopy decline or in response to management operations. This resulted in underestimation of residue amounts and overestimation of soil erosion from pasture and hay lands. To solve this problem, new vegetation routines were implemented in RUSLE2. These modifications were designed to better reflect the amount of residue added by perennial vegetation during its growth and to make it is easier to model haying and grazing scenarios. The new routines were based on the assumption that all unharvested aboveground biomass growth will die after its life span is reached, and this biomass will be added to a standing residue pool. Trained specialists can define the characteristics of a vegetation assemblage in terms of total annual potential production under good management, monthly production percentages reflecting expected fertility and irrigation levels, average vegetation lifespan, maximum canopy height, cutting height for optimal yield, and the tendency of the vegetation to thicken at lower heights (form a sod) in response to repeated defoliations. Users will specify actual harvest management and an underlying model predicts plant growth responses in terms of the amount of harvested forage and the amount of above- and belowground residues returned to the soil. The USDA-NRCS is developing extensive databases so that the new version of RUSLE2 will allow erosion estimates to be a factor considered as part of forage and grazing planning.
Author(s):
Dabney, S.M. , Yoder, D.C.
Subject(s):
Natural Resources Conservation Service , Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation , aboveground biomass , canopy , cutting , databases , decline , defoliation , forage , forage harvesters , grazing , grazing management , hay , irrigation rates , longevity , pastures , perennials , plant residues , plant response , problem solving , sodding , soil , soil erosion , vegetation
Note:
Includes references
Source:
Agronomy journal 2012 May, v. 104, no. 3
Language:
English
Year:
2012
Collection:
Journal Articles, USDA Authors, Peer-Reviewed
File:
Download [PDF File]
Rights:
Works produced by employees of the U.S. Government as part of their official duties are not copyrighted within the U.S. The content of this document is not copyrighted.