Water Retention/Filtration and Soil Development


Well-Known Member
Time for some more math....
"The soil water balance is calculated for the effective rooting depth as:

θi = θi−1 + (Pi−ROi) + Iwi − ETci − DPi + GWi /1000zri

where, in addition to the symbols used before, DPi represents deep percolation [mm], GWi is groundwater contribution [mm], and zr i is the rooting depth [m], all referred to day i. DP is often estimated as DPi = 0 when θiθFC and DPi = 1000 (θiθFC) zr i otherwise. GW is estimated from soil hydraulic properties and the water table depth. zr i can be predicted assuming a linear variation from planting to maximum rooting. "---L.S. Pereira, I. Alves, in Reference Module in Earth Systems and Environmental Sciences, 2013

So we know certain plants and plot rotations help develop improved soil in our fields by their manipulation of nutrients and deposition of complexities within the soils improving water retention , flltration, and evacuation. This all improves in part the soils by change in macro and micro dynamics which translates in to improved nutrition for animals including the deer we love. All of which makes for a more healthy ecosystem.
Drought occurs, and the soil retain more water, monsoon follows and the soil allows passage of excess away from the saturation.

In fields we notice this well, but I want you to pay attention on your walkabouts within the woods as how you can improve soils long term just by the manipulations you are probably already doing. Simple example is the side affect long term of your ongoing hinge cutting or timber management. As you stroll along , notice the logs laying on the ground and how they have developed minor water control barriers, which in turn collects debris ( leaf litter, seeds, twigs, soil) which as it builds its humus is also improving and building soils in a very minute way which leads to more flora of plant and animal. All this makes for healthier soils which leads to better forests, and if done like wise within our fields, improves that communitity also. Picture in you mind the years of buildup in the understory of the mature precolonial forests that once existed and interpolate that to you present day forest management.

Don't ignore, no matter how insignificant our land management may seem, the actual improvement you are making to the environment. And In addition, give thot to how you can improve these areas of filtration within your forests and fields. The mighty Mississippi floods not from the water that falls on its banks, but from the beginnings of filtrated water of my stream that sections my land and many more like it. Notice these pics. See the uphill side and its work in retaining debris which restricts water, which with time will improve the existing soil which will one day allow a mature tree to grow.
Don't ignore that which is beneath your feet. Just the before bedtime ramblings of a crazy mountain man.


“My favorite quote: The land ethic simply enlarges the boundaries of the community to include soils, waters, plants, and animals, or collectively: the land... In short, a land ethic changes the role of Homo sapiens from conqueror of the land-community to plain member and citizen of it. It implies respect for his fellow-members, and also respect for the community as such.”
― Aldo Leopold