Soil Physicochemical Changes Following Buffelgrass Establishment in Mexico

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Arid Soil Research and Rehabilitation





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Clearing brush from rangeland and seeding it to buffelgrass (Cenchrus ciliaris L.) is a popular range improvement practice in Mexico, but no data are available on the effects of these practices on soil properties. Twenty-nine study sites were randomly selected across 3 major climatic regions in Mexico: 13 in the northwest, 11 in the northeast, and 5 in the southeast. Soils under buffelgrass stands more than 10 years old and on adjacent virgin rangelands were sampled at 0-10, 10-20, and 20-30 cm depths to quantify sand, silt, clay, organic C, total N, pH, EC, CEC, available P, and exchangeable Ca2+, Mg2+, Na+, and K+.Because soil variables were not significantly (P 0.05) different among depths, only data from the surface horizon received further analysis. Soils in the northwest had higher (P 0.05) sand content and were particularly low in total N (0.08%), Ca2+, and K+, while soils of wetter and warmer southeast Mexico were significantly (P 0.05) higher than the other two regions in measures of soil fertility such as organic C (10 times higher), total N, and CEC (both at least 3 times higher)...