Port-a-PIment Watershed Soil Root Depth: LDSF results
Across the landscape the average depth to rooting restriction was observed at 35 cm. The average depth did not vary by slope but there were significant differences (P < 0.001) by LULC and by slope at lower elevation (P<0.001, Figure 52 and 53 in the LDSF report). Forest areas had the most severe restrictions at 9 cm followed by rock with an average of 22 cm. Cropland, agroforestry, pasture and barren land had the deepest soils at 39, 34, 34, and 33 cm respectively.
These average depths are unlikely to impede crop production but there was substantial variation within plots that may be indicative of areas that have severe restrictions. In many cases a plot would have three subplots with no restrictions and then one that had only a few cm of soil if any. This was particularly apparent on the steepest slops. It may be that forests remain uncultivated because of their shallow soils, whereas all of the landscapes with soils with depths suitable for production are being used as such. The lower watershed had deeper soils, with an average of 38 cm, than the upper watershed which averaged a depth of 31 cm.
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