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Discussion papers
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-182
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.
https://doi.org/10.5194/essd-2019-182
© Author(s) 2019. This work is distributed under
the Creative Commons Attribution 4.0 License.

Submitted as: data description paper 27 Nov 2019

Submitted as: data description paper | 27 Nov 2019

Review status
This discussion paper is a preprint. It is a manuscript under review for the journal Earth System Science Data (ESSD).

Vegetation, ground cover, soil, rainfall simulation, and overland flow experiments before and after tree removal in woodland-encroached sagebrush steppe: the hydrology component of the Sagebrush Steppe Treatment Evaluation Project (SageSTEP)

C. Jason Williams1, Frederick B. Pierson2, Patrick R. Kormos3, Osama Z. Al-Hamdan4, and Justin C. Johnson1,5 C. Jason Williams et al.
  • 1Southwest Watershed Research Center, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Tucson, AZ, USA
  • 2Northwest Watershed Research Center, USDA Agricultural Research Service, Boise, ID, USA
  • 3Colorado Basin River Forecast Center, USDC National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration – National Weather Service, Salt Lake City, UT, USA
  • 4Department of Civil and Architectural Engineering, Texas A&M University‐Kingsville, Kingsville, TX, USA
  • 5School of Natural Resources and the Environment, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ, USA

Abstract. Rainfall simulation and overland-flow experiments enhance understanding of surface hydrology and erosion processes, quantify runoff and erosion rates, and provide valuable data for developing and testing predictive models. We present a unique dataset (1021 experimental plots) of rainfall simulation (1300 plot runs) and overland flow (838 plot runs) experimental plot data paired with measures of vegetation, ground cover, and surface soil physical properties spanning point to hillslope scales. The experimental data were collected at three sloping sagebrush (Artemisia spp.) sites in the Great Basin, USA, each subjected to woodland-encroachment and with conditions representative of intact wooded-shrublands and 1–9 yr following wildfire, prescribed fire, and/or tree cutting and shredding tree-removal treatments. The methodologies applied in data collection and the cross-scale experimental design uniquely provide scale-dependent, separate measures of interrill (rainsplash and sheetflow processes) and concentrated overland-flow runoff and erosion rates along with collective rates for these same processes combined over the patch scale (tens of meters). The dataset provides a valuable source for developing, assessing, and calibrating/validating runoff and erosion models applicable to diverse plant community dynamics with varying vegetation, ground cover, and surface soil conditions. The experimental data advance understanding and quantification of surface hydrologic and erosion processes for the research domain and potentially for other patchy-vegetated rangeland landscapes elsewhere. Lastly, the unique nature of repeated measures spanning numerous treatments and time scales delivers a valuable dataset for examining long-term landscape vegetation, soil, hydrology, and erosion responses to various management actions, land use, and natural disturbances. The dataset is available from the National Agricultural Library at https://data.nal.usda.gov/search/type/dataset (DOI: https://doi.org/10.15482/USDA.ADC/1504518; Pierson et al., 2019).

C. Jason Williams et al.
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C. Jason Williams et al.
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Vegetation, rainfall simulation, and overland flow experiments before and after tree removal in woodland-encroached sagebrush steppe: the SageSTEP hydrology study Pierson, Frederick B.; Williams, C. Jason; Kormos, Patrick R.; Al-Hamdan, Osama Z.; Johnson, Justin C. https://doi.org/10.15482/USDA.ADC/1504518

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Latest update: 13 Dec 2019
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Short summary
Data were collected at 3 sites over 10 yr to evaluate ecologic impacts of tree encroachment on rangelands and to assess impacts of tree-removal practices on vegetation, surface conditions, and hydrologic/erosion processes. The dataset includes 1300 rainfall simulation and 838 overland flow experiments paired with vegetation, surface cover and soil data across point to hillslope scales. The data advance understanding of hydrology/erosion processes and are a source for model development/testing.
Data were collected at 3 sites over 10 yr to evaluate ecologic impacts of tree encroachment on...
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