The effects of dune stabilization on the spatiotemporal distribution of soil moisture resources, Northern Great Plains, Canada

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Koenig, Daniel Edgar
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Lethbridge, Alta. : University of Lethbridge, Dept. of Geography, c2012
In dryland environments, the availability of soil moisture is the primary control on plant species’ distributions. In the sandhill regions of the northern Great Plains, vegetation establishment has transformed highly mobile, desert-like dune fields into stabilized landscapes covered by mixed-grassland prairie. This study examines how dune stabilization has modified the spatiotemporal distribution of soil moisture resources. An ergodic (space-for-time) approach was used, comparing soil moisture dynamics on active and vegetation-stabilized dunes in the Bigstick Sand Hills of southwestern Saskatchewan. Results indicate that while dune stabilization has enhanced near-surface soil moisture availability, deeper profile soil moisture recharge is reduced. Through better understanding how vegetation has modified soil moisture dynamics in stabilizing sandhill regions, better management practices may be implemented to maintain water resource availability and ecosystem health.
xii, 97 leaves : ill., maps ; 29 cm
Sand dunes -- Saskatchewan -- Bigstick Sand Hills , Sand dune ecology -- Saskatchewan -- Bigstick Sand Hills , Soil moisture -- Saskatchewan -- Bigstick Sand Hills -- Measurement , Sand dune plants -- Ecology -- Saskatchewan -- Bigstick Sand Hills , Prairie ecology -- Saskatchewan -- Bigstick Sand Hills , Grassland ecology -- Saskatchewan -- Bigstick Sand Hills , Dissertations, Academic