Thursday, October 19, 2017 at 12:20pm to 1:10pm
Our international team has developed recipes for jumpstarting the restoration of desertified ag/grasslands based on the use of coarse woody organic amendments. The high productivity of natural grasslands in semi-arid regions depended in part on deep organic soils. Through microcosm experiments and field studies conducted in Ningxia, China and in the Great Plains, we have successfully demonstrated that incorporation of coarse wood chips into degraded soils can improve rainfall capture and storage, increasing water availability for days to weeks between rain events. Based on a comprehensive soil health assessment, a complete recipe of ingredients can be designed to improve overall ecosystem health and plant productivity. Additionally, re-establishing grass communities can augment scarce rain events through successful capture of condensation.