David Tomashefski's Defense Seminar
David Tomashefski, MS Candidate in Ecological Restoration, will present An Erodibility Assessment of Central Ohio Cropland Soils in his Graduate Defense Seminar in 333 Kottman Hall.
Soil erosion is one of the primary causes of land degradation worldwide. Topsoil carried away by wind and water is rich in organic matter and is vital to providing a number of essential ecosystem services. Soil supplies nutrients and water to plant life, buffers the landscape against hydrologic extremes, filters contaminants, and supports diverse biological communities. Human activities which are disruptive to soil cause heightened organic decomposition and thereby lead to soil structural breakdown and erosional losses. Soil susceptibility to erosion, or erodibility, may be assessed through measuring a number of fundamental soil properties.
This research project attempts to quantify soil erodibility by measuring several related properties and combining the outcomes into a single erodibility rating. Properties selected for measurement involve aspects of soil structural integrity such as resistance to disintegration, ability to conduct water, bulk density, organic carbon content, and others. All measurements employ readily assembled equipment and are carried out upon varying landscape positions under differing agricultural management scenarios (i.e., intensive tillage and no tillage). It is hoped that this project provides enhanced insight into the mechanisms of erosion operating in our immediate environment, and also demonstrates some novel means of assessing erodibility.