Hydrologic impact of grazing on infiltration: A critical review

  • Gifford G
  • Hawkins R
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Abstract

The hydrologic importance of grazing is receiving increased attention on rangelands in the United States. The literature on this topic is fragmented. This paper explores the available literature for information useful in understanding the hydrologic impacts of grazing intensity as related primarily to infiltration and runoff. Generally, data relative to range condition are not adequate for evaluating hydrologic impacts. Data relating grazing intensity to infiltration rates are available, yet distinct limitations are evident. These limitations are discussed in terms of identifying future research needs. The greatest need appears to be a detailed definition of the long-term effects of grazing (by year and season) on infiltration rates as a function of site, range condition, and grazing intensity. Once obtained, infiltration rates must be coupled with an appropriate method for generating runoff volumes, storm hydrographs, and long-term water yields.

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Authors

  • Gerald F. Gifford

  • Richard H. Hawkins

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