Sediment losses and gains across a gradient of livestock grazing and plant invasion in a cool, semi-arid grassland, Colorado Plateau, USA
Large sediment fluxes can have significant impacts on ecosystems. We measured incoming and outgoing sediment across a gradient of soil disturbance (livestock grazing, plowing) and annual plant invasion for 9 years. Our sites included two currently ungrazed sites: one never grazed by livestock and dominated by perennial grasses/well-developed biocrusts and one not grazed since 1974 and dominated by annual weeds with little biocrusts. We used two currently grazed sites: one dominated by annual weeds and the other dominated by perennial plants, both with little biocrusts. Precipitation was highly variable, with years of average, above-average, and extremely low precipitation. During years with average and above-average...