Effects of vegetation cover on the tendency of soil to crust in South Africa

A.J. Mills, Martin Fey

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

    30 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Tendency to crust is a potentially useful index for assessing soil degradation and for assisting land use planning in South Africa. In this study, the influence of land use, geology and vegetation cover on the tendency of soil to form a surface crust was investigated in six vegetation types. Crusting at all sites was greater in exposed soils than soils under vegetation, as determined by infiltration rate, water dispersible clay and modulus of rupture. In Renosterveld, crusting was markedly greater in exposed soil than vegetation covered soil (mean infiltration 16 vs 44 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 2.6 vs 2.2%; modulus of rupture 121 vs 64 kPa). Greater crusting in exposed soil was attributed to lower soluble salt and labile carbon (C) contents and an associated increase in the dispersion of clay. In Karoo, crusting of exposed, shale-derived soils was greater than that of exposed, dolerite-derived soils (infiltration 40 vs 83 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 2 vs 1.2%), and a similar pattern was evident in Tall Grassveld (infiltration 18 vs 36 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 1.2 vs 0.9%; modulus of rupture 31 vs 21 kPa). In Upland Grassland, cultivation of maize and rye enhanced crusting. In Thicket, crusting was greater in soils from open, degraded vegetation than intact, densely wooded sites (infiltration 19 vs 51 mm h(-1); modulus of rupture 16 vs 34 kPa), probably due to lower content of soil C. In Bushveld, crusting was greater in annually burnt plots than unburnt plots (infiltration 109 vs 163 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 0.9 vs 0.6% on granite-derived soils; and infiltration 56 vs 72 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 1.5 vs 1.3% on basalt-derived soils). Greater crusting of soil from burnt plots was ascribed to a reduction in soil C and soluble salts as well as a greater exchangeable sodium percentage.
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)308-317
    JournalSoil Use and Management
    Volume20
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2004

    Fingerprint

    vegetation cover
    South Africa
    crust
    Soils
    Infiltration
    soil
    infiltration
    Clay
    clay
    infiltration (hydrology)
    modulus of rupture
    rupture
    effect
    Africa
    vegetation
    Land use
    salt
    salts
    Salts
    exchangeable sodium

    Cite this

    Mills, A.J. ; Fey, Martin. / Effects of vegetation cover on the tendency of soil to crust in South Africa. In: Soil Use and Management. 2004 ; Vol. 20, No. 3. pp. 308-317.
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    abstract = "Tendency to crust is a potentially useful index for assessing soil degradation and for assisting land use planning in South Africa. In this study, the influence of land use, geology and vegetation cover on the tendency of soil to form a surface crust was investigated in six vegetation types. Crusting at all sites was greater in exposed soils than soils under vegetation, as determined by infiltration rate, water dispersible clay and modulus of rupture. In Renosterveld, crusting was markedly greater in exposed soil than vegetation covered soil (mean infiltration 16 vs 44 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 2.6 vs 2.2{\%}; modulus of rupture 121 vs 64 kPa). Greater crusting in exposed soil was attributed to lower soluble salt and labile carbon (C) contents and an associated increase in the dispersion of clay. In Karoo, crusting of exposed, shale-derived soils was greater than that of exposed, dolerite-derived soils (infiltration 40 vs 83 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 2 vs 1.2{\%}), and a similar pattern was evident in Tall Grassveld (infiltration 18 vs 36 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 1.2 vs 0.9{\%}; modulus of rupture 31 vs 21 kPa). In Upland Grassland, cultivation of maize and rye enhanced crusting. In Thicket, crusting was greater in soils from open, degraded vegetation than intact, densely wooded sites (infiltration 19 vs 51 mm h(-1); modulus of rupture 16 vs 34 kPa), probably due to lower content of soil C. In Bushveld, crusting was greater in annually burnt plots than unburnt plots (infiltration 109 vs 163 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 0.9 vs 0.6{\%} on granite-derived soils; and infiltration 56 vs 72 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 1.5 vs 1.3{\%} on basalt-derived soils). Greater crusting of soil from burnt plots was ascribed to a reduction in soil C and soluble salts as well as a greater exchangeable sodium percentage.",
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    Effects of vegetation cover on the tendency of soil to crust in South Africa. / Mills, A.J.; Fey, Martin.

    In: Soil Use and Management, Vol. 20, No. 3, 2004, p. 308-317.

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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    AU - Fey, Martin

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    AB - Tendency to crust is a potentially useful index for assessing soil degradation and for assisting land use planning in South Africa. In this study, the influence of land use, geology and vegetation cover on the tendency of soil to form a surface crust was investigated in six vegetation types. Crusting at all sites was greater in exposed soils than soils under vegetation, as determined by infiltration rate, water dispersible clay and modulus of rupture. In Renosterveld, crusting was markedly greater in exposed soil than vegetation covered soil (mean infiltration 16 vs 44 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 2.6 vs 2.2%; modulus of rupture 121 vs 64 kPa). Greater crusting in exposed soil was attributed to lower soluble salt and labile carbon (C) contents and an associated increase in the dispersion of clay. In Karoo, crusting of exposed, shale-derived soils was greater than that of exposed, dolerite-derived soils (infiltration 40 vs 83 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 2 vs 1.2%), and a similar pattern was evident in Tall Grassveld (infiltration 18 vs 36 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 1.2 vs 0.9%; modulus of rupture 31 vs 21 kPa). In Upland Grassland, cultivation of maize and rye enhanced crusting. In Thicket, crusting was greater in soils from open, degraded vegetation than intact, densely wooded sites (infiltration 19 vs 51 mm h(-1); modulus of rupture 16 vs 34 kPa), probably due to lower content of soil C. In Bushveld, crusting was greater in annually burnt plots than unburnt plots (infiltration 109 vs 163 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 0.9 vs 0.6% on granite-derived soils; and infiltration 56 vs 72 mm h(-1); dispersible clay 1.5 vs 1.3% on basalt-derived soils). Greater crusting of soil from burnt plots was ascribed to a reduction in soil C and soluble salts as well as a greater exchangeable sodium percentage.

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