Event Title

Assessing Ungulates’ Role in Riparian Hummocking on Three National Forests in Southern Utah

Presenter Information

Collin Smith

Location

Ellen Eccles Conference Center

Event Website

https://forestry.usu.edu/htm/video/conferences/restoring-the-west-conference-2014/

Abstract

Very little research has been conducted on the role of ungulates in the development of hummocks. This survey evaluates over twenty-five hummocked and non-hummocked wet meadows and riparian areas on the Dixie, Fishlake and Manti-La Sal National Forests in southern Utah. The survey explores the variability in location, morphology, and vegetation communities of hummocked areas in order to better understand the mechanisms of formation at play. A better understanding of hummock formation, exacerbation and decay will better direct how federal land managers approach wetland protection and mitigation. The study outlines types of hummocks observed on the forests. It then identifies indicators that a hummocked area is formed or exacerbated by ungulates. Indicators of ungulate influence include truncation of soil horizons, elongated and serpentine-shaped hummocks, and shearing on the sides of hummocks,. The lack of suitable ungrazed reference areas compounds the difficulty of determining ungulate impact, however the study uses locations where exclosures or lighter grazing regimes present different hummock morphology.

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Oct 21st, 10:30 AM Oct 21st, 10:40 AM

Assessing Ungulates’ Role in Riparian Hummocking on Three National Forests in Southern Utah

Ellen Eccles Conference Center

Very little research has been conducted on the role of ungulates in the development of hummocks. This survey evaluates over twenty-five hummocked and non-hummocked wet meadows and riparian areas on the Dixie, Fishlake and Manti-La Sal National Forests in southern Utah. The survey explores the variability in location, morphology, and vegetation communities of hummocked areas in order to better understand the mechanisms of formation at play. A better understanding of hummock formation, exacerbation and decay will better direct how federal land managers approach wetland protection and mitigation. The study outlines types of hummocks observed on the forests. It then identifies indicators that a hummocked area is formed or exacerbated by ungulates. Indicators of ungulate influence include truncation of soil horizons, elongated and serpentine-shaped hummocks, and shearing on the sides of hummocks,. The lack of suitable ungrazed reference areas compounds the difficulty of determining ungulate impact, however the study uses locations where exclosures or lighter grazing regimes present different hummock morphology.

https://digitalcommons.usu.edu/rtw/2014/Posters/5