Plant-Damage Assessment Technique for Evaluating Military Vehicular Impacts to Vegetation in the Mojave Desert

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A new plant damage assessment technique was developed by plant ecologists from Bechtel Nevada at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Security Administration Nevada Operations Office and funded by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Project CS-1131 in cooperation with the U.S. Army's National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California. The technique establishes linear transects the width of vehicle tracts from evidence of vehicle tracks in the soil (usually during a prior training rotation period of 30 days or since the last rain or wind storm), and measures vegetation within the tracks to determine the area of plant ... continued below

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Hansen, D. J. & Ostler, W. K. September 2001.

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A new plant damage assessment technique was developed by plant ecologists from Bechtel Nevada at the U.S. Department of Energy's National Security Administration Nevada Operations Office and funded by the Strategic Environmental Research and Development Program Project CS-1131 in cooperation with the U.S. Army's National Training Center (NTC) at Fort Irwin, California. The technique establishes linear transects the width of vehicle tracts from evidence of vehicle tracks in the soil (usually during a prior training rotation period of 30 days or since the last rain or wind storm), and measures vegetation within the tracks to determine the area of plant parts being run over, the percent of the impacted parts damaged, and the percent of impacted parts expected to recover. It documents prior-damage classes based on estimated of damage that plants have apparently experienced previously (as assessed from field indicators of damage such as plant shape and height). The technique was used to evaluate different vehicle types (rubber-tire wheels vs. tracks) in six area at the NTC with different soils and training intensity levels. The technique provides tabular data that can be sorted and queried to show a variety of trends related to military vehicular impacts. The technique also appears suitable for assessing other non-military off-road traffic impacts. Findings report: (1) differences in plant sensitivity of different vehicular impacts, (2) plant cover and density by species and training area, (3) the degree to which wheels have less impact than tracks, and (4) the mean percent survival is inversely proportional to the degree of prior damage received by the vegetation (i.e., plants previously impacted have lower survival than plants not previously impacted).

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OSTI as DE00795704

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  • Other Information: PBD: 1 Sep 2001

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  • Report No.: DOE/NV/11718--613
  • Grant Number: AC08-96NV11718
  • DOI: 10.2172/795704 | External Link
  • Office of Scientific & Technical Information Report Number: 795704
  • Archival Resource Key: ark:/67531/metadc742486

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Office of Scientific & Technical Information Technical Reports

Reports, articles and other documents harvested from the Office of Scientific and Technical Information.

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  • September 2001

Added to The UNT Digital Library

  • Oct. 19, 2015, 7:39 p.m.

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  • Feb. 15, 2016, 11:46 a.m.

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Hansen, D. J. & Ostler, W. K. Plant-Damage Assessment Technique for Evaluating Military Vehicular Impacts to Vegetation in the Mojave Desert, report, September 2001; Nevada. (digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc742486/: accessed December 10, 2017), University of North Texas Libraries, Digital Library, digital.library.unt.edu; crediting UNT Libraries Government Documents Department.