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Application of spatial pedotransfer functions to understand soil modulation of vegetation response to climate

Matthew R. Levi, Marcel G. Schaap and Craig Rasmussen
Application of spatial pedotransfer functions to understand soil modulation of vegetation response to climate
Vadose Zone Journal (September 2015) 14 (9)

Abstract

A fundamental knowledge gap in understanding land-atmosphere interactions is accurate, high-resolution spatial representation of soil physical and hydraulic properties. We present a novel approach to predict hydraulic soil parameters by combining digital soil mapping techniques with pedotransfer functions (PTFs) and demonstrate that simple derived quantities are related to observed spatial patterns in ecosystem production during the North American Monsoon. Landsat reflectance and elevation data were used to predict physical soil properties at a 5-m spatial resolution for a semiarid landscape of 6265 ha using regression kriging. Resulting soil property maps were applied to the Rosetta PTF to predict saturated hydraulic conductivity and water retention parameters from which approximate water residence times were derived. Estimated idealized residence time for water lost to the deeper vadose zone and evapotranspiration corresponded to vegetation response. Antecedent precipitation was more important for explaining the relationships between modeled soil properties and vegetation response than the amount of monsoon precipitation. Increased spring precipitation before the monsoon produced stronger negative correlations with hydraulic conductivity and stronger positive correlations with plant available water. Modeled water residence times explained the patterns of vegetation and landscape morphology validating our approach as a method of producing functional spatial PTFs. Linking digital soil mapping with Rosetta led to predictions of hydraulic soil properties that were more closely related to vegetation dynamics than the data available in the Soil Survey Geographic (SSURGO) soil database.


ISSN: 1539-1663
Serial Title: Vadose Zone Journal
Serial Volume: 14
Serial Issue: 9
Title: Application of spatial pedotransfer functions to understand soil modulation of vegetation response to climate
Affiliation: U. S. Department of Agriculture, Jornada Experimental Range, Las Cruces, NM, United States
Published: 201509
Text Language: English
Publisher: Soil Science Society of America, Madison, WI, United States
Number of pages: 14
References: 76
Accession Number: 2015-112769
Categories: Environmental geologySoils
Document Type: Serial
Bibliographic Level: Analytic
Illustration Description: illus. incl. 4 tables, sketch map
N32°32'60" - N32°37'60", W110°19'60" - W109°40'00"
Secondary Affiliation: University of Arizona, USA, United States
Country of Publication: United States
Secondary Affiliation: GeoRef, Copyright 2017, American Geosciences Institute. Abstract, Copyright, Soil Science Society of America. Reference includes data from GeoScienceWorld, Alexandria, VA, United States
Update Code: 201548
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