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    Description

    Information about the hydrology of oak ecosystems of the southwestern United States and northern Mexico is lacking (Lopes and Ffolliott 1992, Baker et al. 1995) even though the woodlands and savannas cover more than 31,000 square miles. These ecosystems generally are found between 4,000 and 7,300 feet in elevation. Precipitation occurs in the winter and summer and averages between 15 and 20 inches annually. Soils usually are shallow and rocky and many are classified as Mollisols, Alfisols, and Entisols. The lands are important for rangelands for livestock, tree products, wildlife habitats, and, increasingly, public recreation. Hydrologic information is also important to public and private land managers for planning and assessing the impacts of activities. This includes forest land management plans, landscape fire plans, and other NEPA activities. Water yield augmentation by vegetation manipulations is not feasible in most locations because of high evapotranspiration, but the impacts of past and present management on erosion and sedimentation are a major concern. Lopes and Ffolliott (1992) and Baker et al. (1995) reviewed the hydrology of oak woodlands and the Madrean Archipelago, respectively. While anecdotal information exists, formal research data are uncommon. However, hydrologic and ecological research has been initiated in the oak ecosystems of Arizona and New Mexico. The paper reviews recent published research on segments of the hydrologic cycle including interception, oak water use, runoff, and sedimentation and provides some new hydrologic information from the Cascabel watershed study.

    Publication Notes

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    Citation

    Gottfried, Gerald J.; Ffolliott, Peter F.; Neary, Daniel G. 2007. Hydrology of southwestern encinal oak ecosystems: A review and more. Hydrology and Water Resources in Arizona and the Southwest. 37: 19-30.

    Keywords

    hydrology, encinal oak ecosystems, oak woodland, Arizona, New Mexico

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