Arid and Semiarid Soils: Characteristics and Challenges for Revegetation, Reclamation, and Mitigation

Wednesday, May 17, 2017
12:00 - 1:00 PM Central

Education Track: Erosion & Sediment Control
Audience Level: All
Price: $50 Members/ $65 Non-Members
Credit: 1 Professional Development Hour

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Revegetation, reclamation, and mitigation become increasingly difficult as water becomes the most limiting factor for plant growth. These problems often are compounded in semiarid and arid regions by salinity, which further restricts plant growth, and sodicity, which destroys soil structure. The inability to establish surface vegetative cover exacerbates problems with both wind and water erosion. This presentation will address which soil and climate properties to evaluate to predict the success of revegetation efforts, and identify methods to address the specific management challenges encountered in working with arid and semiarid region soils.

Attendees of the webinar will come away with an improved understanding of the challenges of working in waterways as well as new tools and approaches to address these challenges.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Discuss primary limiting factors to revegetation in arid/semiarid regions.
  2. Provide measures and characteristics of saline and sodic soils.
  3. Identify plant salinity tolerance and potential mitigation strategies for revegetation and erosion control.

Presented by Clay Robinson, CPSS, CCA

Soil is the foundation for all terrestrial ecosystems, and because it is always underfoot, it is almost always overlooked, and too often underappreciated. Dr. Clay Robinson has worked with soils in arid and semiarid regions for 25 years as a professor of soil science, and as an environmental consultant. Clay often has been invited to speak and write about the Dust Bowl, and the climatic factors, and agricultural practices, and political policies that contributed to it. His soil and water conservation course focused on BMPs to limit both wind and water erosion, and methods to maintain adequate surface cover to decrease evaporation to improve water availability for plant growth. His soil fertility course addressed the characteristics, mitigation, and reclamation of saline and sodic soils. He conducted research on revegetation in the right-of-way of highways in semiarid and arid regions in Texas to evaluate the performance of the DOT standard recommendations. He also did soil and land classification in the Colorado Plateau and Chihuahuan Desert in New Mexico, and used electromagnetic induction as a non-invasive technique to assess salinity on large areas in limited time.

IECA is the foremost organization for those involved in or concerned about soil erosion control. Membership (in IECA) tells others you take erosion control seriously and you want to help make a difference.

Scott Velting, CPESC, Grand Rapids, Michigan, USA