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Tree clearing and dryland salinity hazard in the Upper Burdekin Catchment of North Queensland

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Williams, J., Bui, E.N., Gardner, E.A., Littleboy, M. and Probert, M.E. (1997) Tree clearing and dryland salinity hazard in the Upper Burdekin Catchment of North Queensland. Australian Journal of Soil Research, 35 (4). pp. 785-802. ISSN 0004-9573


Article Link: https://doi.org/10.1071/S96083


This paper provides experimental data on the effect of tree clearing, introduction of perennial Stylosanthes based pastures, and the use of native grasses on the water balance of a red earth soil in the Upper Burdekin Catchment near Charters Towers. The water balance simulation models SWIM and PERFECT are used to extend the results and estimate deep drainage for this and other soils in this tropical environment. The analysis illustrates that the soil/climate interaction in the wet/dry tropics has a similarity with the winter-dominant rainfall zone where vegetation change can substantially increase deep drainage beyond the root-zone. Salt distribution in the soil/landscapes of the Upper Burdekin suggests that there is a salinity hazard, should a significant shift in the water balance occur as a result of tree clearing. Therefore, in the Upper Burdekin Catchment of North Queensland, indiscriminate tree clearing is a hazardous form of land management and should only proceed after the risks of dryland salinity have been evaluated and shown to be negligible.

Item Type:Article
Keywords:soil water balance, deep drainage, dryland salinity hazard, Burdekin Catchment
Subjects:Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Soils. Soil science > Soil and crops. Soil-plant relationships. Soil productivity
Agriculture > Agriculture (General) > Soil conservation and protection
Forestry > Forest soils
Live Archive:26 Mar 2024 03:48
Last Modified:26 Mar 2024 03:48

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