Source: UNIV OF IDAHO submitted to
VOLCANIC ASH SOILS IN THE PACIFIC NORTHWEST: DISTRIBUTION, PROPERTIES, AND MANAGEMENT
Sponsoring Institution
National Institute of Food and Agriculture
Project Status
TERMINATED
Funding Source
Reporting Frequency
Annual
Accession No.
0204040
Grant No.
(N/A)
Project No.
IDA01306
Proposal No.
(N/A)
Multistate No.
(N/A)
Program Code
(N/A)
Project Start Date
Jul 1, 2005
Project End Date
Jun 30, 2011
Grant Year
(N/A)
Project Director
McDaniel, P. A.
Recipient Organization
UNIV OF IDAHO
(N/A)
MOSCOW,ID 83843
Performing Department
PLANT SOIL & ENTOMOLOGICAL SCI
Non Technical Summary
Forest soils of the Inland Pacific Northwest region have been strongly influenced by volcanic ash. As a result, these soils possess very unique properties that influence their use and management. The purpose of this study is to learn more about the distribution and properties of volcanic ash-influenced soils of the region. This information is critical for developing sustainable management plans for the region's forested ecosystems.
Animal Health Component
50%
Research Effort Categories
Basic
50%
Applied
50%
Developmental
(N/A)
Classification

Knowledge Area (KA)Subject of Investigation (SOI)Field of Science (FOS)Percent
1010199204010%
1010199206110%
1010612204010%
1020199204010%
1020612204010%
1230199204020%
1230199206120%
1230612206110%
Goals / Objectives
The overall objective of the proposed research is to investigate the distribution and properties of volcanic ash-influenced soils of Idaho and the Inland Northwest region, especially as it applies to management. Specifically, we will: 1) Assist in the development of models that describe the distribution of volcanic ash across landscapes of the region. 2) Characterize the physical, chemical, and mineralogical characteristics of volcanic-ash influenced soils of the region. 3) Determine the effects of various management practices on the properties of soils influenced by volcanic ash.
Project Methods
We will work cooperatively with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and the Intermountain Forest Tree Nutrition Cooperative (IFTNC) to develop models that predict the occurrence of volcanic ash in landscapes of the Inland Northwest region using readily available data such as terrain attributes. We will continue to work with NRCS scientists at the National Soil Survey Center to develop and utilize an andic soils characterization database for the region. Careful examination of this database will yield considerable information about regional trends and relationships in chemical, physical, and mineralogical properties. We will examine Fe mineralogy in a suite of Andisols from the region that represent a wide range in weathering, development, and environmental settings. Spectroscopic methods will be supplemented where possible with traditional x-ray diffraction and selective dissolution procedures. We will also work with the US Forest Service, NRCS, and IFTNC to evaluate effects of management on Andisols of the region. The general approach will be to use monitoring studies to ultimately establish threshold values above which vegetation performance and soil hydrological function are adversely affected. A specific project under this objective is the continuation of studies on the ability of bracken fern to alter soil properties in a manner that adversely impacts timber regeneration. The quantities of carbon and mechanisms by which it is added to soils will be investigated in different-aged bracken fern communities.

Progress 07/01/05 to 06/30/11

Outputs
OUTPUTS: Volcanic ash-influenced soils support the most productive forests in the Inland Pacific Northwest region. However, relatively little comprehensive information exists about the distribution of these soils across the region, and many areas have not been subject to detailed soil inventory. In addition, there is much to be learned about the response of these soils to management. Cooperative studies with the US Forest Service and NRCS examined dynamic soil properties in volcanic ash-influenced forest soils of northern Idaho and the region. This cooperation resulted in a regional conference entitled Volcanic Ash-Cap Forest Soils of the Inland Northwest: Properties and Implications for Management and Restoration, and publication of the conference proceedings. To help address the issue of spatial distribution of volcanic ash soils, we developed a landscape model using LiDAR data to predict the occurrence of soils variably affected by volcanic ash. Results from this work were published in a major soil science journal and presented at three international and national meetings. Our Hatch project also included cooperative work with NRCS to understand soil formation and weathering processes in relatively young, cool, dry volcanic landscapes at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. This work resulted in three refereed publications and seven abstracts and presentations. Finally, we worked with the National Soil Survey Center and the National Geospatial Development Center to incorporate archived soil data stored at various land-grant institutions in the US into the national database. This effort has increased the size of the National Soil Survey Database, including considerable data from volcanic ash-influenced soils of Inland Northwest forests. PARTICIPANTS: University of Idaho: Paul Gessler, Geospatial Laboratory for Environmental Dynamics; Anita Falen, Research Associate; Thomas Barrett, Graduate Research Assistant; Karen Vaughan, Graduate Research Assistant; Robert Brown, Graduate Research Assistant; Jason Jimenez, Graduate Research Assistant; Mitchell Valerio, Graduate Research Assistant. USDA-Forest Service - Intermountain Research Station, Moscow, ID. USDA-Natural Resources Conservation Service, MLRA43a Office, Moscow, ID. USDA-NRCS, National Soil Survey Center, Lincoln, NE; USDI-National Park Service, Craters of the Moon, Arco, ID TARGET AUDIENCES: Not relevant to this project. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
Compilation of existing information coupled with results from various components of this Hatch project has provided new resources for scientists and forest managers. Results published in refereed journals and presented at scientific meetings have helped inform scientists and identified knowledge gaps and new research questions related to volcanic soils and their management. Our work has demonstrated that effects of timber harvest practices on volcanic soil properties can persist for several decades. We have developed models to describe the distribution of soils variably influenced by volcanic ash and the development of soils on volcanic landscapes in cool, dry environments. This information has been used to supplement on-going soil survey activities in the region. We have expanded the National Soil Characterization Database with approximately 250 ash-influenced forest soils, and this information is now available in electronic form. Collectively, these projects have served to improve the quality and completeness of regional soil survey information, which is used extensively in the development of informed management strategies. These strategies, in turn, provide the basis for ensuring long-term sustainability of the region's forests. During the course of this Hatch project from 2005-2011, five graduate students have received professional training and graduate degrees while working on various research aspects of the project.

Publications

  • Baker, L.L., Strawn, D.G., Nickerson, R.D., and McDaniel, P.A. 2011. X-ray absorption spectroscopy of Fe-substituted allophane and imogolite. American Geophysical Union Annual Meetings. San Francisco, CA. Dec. 5-9, 2011.
  • Brown, R.A., McDaniel, P.A., and Gessler, P.E. 2012. Terrain attribute modeling of volcanic ash distributions in northern Idaho. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 76: 179-187.
  • McDaniel, P.A., Lowe, D.J., Arnalds, O., and Ping, C.L. 2011. Andisols. pp. 33-29 - 33-48 In P.M. Huang, Y. Li, and M.E. Sumner (Eds.) Handbook of Soil Science. 2nd ed. CRC Press, Boca Raton, FL.
  • Strawn, D., Baker, L., and McDaniel, P. 2011. Speciation of iron in nano-crystalline aluminosilicates. Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX. Oct. 16-19, 2011.
  • Baker, L.L., Strawn, D.G., McDaniel, P.A., Nickerson, R.D., Bishop, J.L., Ming, D.W., and Morris, R.V. 2011. Poorly crystalline, iron-bearing aluminosilicates and their importance on Mars. 42nd Lunar and Planetary Science Conference. The Woodlands, TX. March 7-11, 2011.


Progress 01/01/10 to 12/31/10

Outputs
OUTPUTS: This research project is focused on soils that have been influenced by volcanic ash. Under this project, we have developed a landscape model for the occurrence of soils variably affected by volcanic ash. This model will be published in a major soil science journal. We are continuing a cooperative project with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to examine formation and distribution of podzolized volcanic ash-influenced soils in forests of the Northern Rocky Mountains. These soils are important because the chemistry root-zone environment is significantly more acidic from those of other soils of the region and may influence biological processes. As part of this project, 2 students described and sampled 75 sites in the Selkirk, Purcell, and Cabinet Mountains of northern Idaho. Results will be used to model the spatial distribution of these podzolized soils using terrain attributes such as elevation and solar insolation that serve as proxies for effective soil moisture. This model can then be incorporated into the existing NRCS database for the region. We completed a cooperative project with the US Forest Service and NRCS focusing on dynamic soil properties in volcanic ash-influenced forest soils of northern Idaho. We documented significant differences in soil hydrologic properties in soils 45 years post harvest. I continued in my role as the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station representative the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) program. In this role, I provided limited laboratory support to the ongoing NCSS projects in Idaho and participated in field reviews in 2010. PARTICIPANTS: Anita Falen, Research Associate, University of Idaho; Mitch Valerio, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Idaho; Paul Gessler, Professor, University of Idaho; Thomas Barrett, Graduate Research Assistant, University of Idaho; Bruce Knapp, MLRA-SSO leader, NRCS TARGET AUDIENCES: Not relevant to this project. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
Volcanic ash-influenced soils support the most productive forests in the Inland Pacific Northwest region. However, relatively little comprehensive information exists about the distribution of volcanic ash-influenced soils across the region, and many areas have not been subject to detailed soil inventory. Compilation of existing information has provided a major resource for forest managers and scientists, and has identified knowledge gaps and new research questions. This research project has focused on the distribution of volcanic-ash influenced soils in mountainous landscapes. We have developed a model to describe the distribution of soils variably influenced by volcanic ash. We are also in the process of developing a terrain attribute-based model that predicts the distribution of podzolized (very strongly acid) volcanic ash soils at higher elevations where detailed soil inventory is lacking. These products will assist the various soil mapping projects within the region and can easily be incorporated into existing soil maps. In addition, our cooperative work with the National Soil Survey Center has resulted in the expansion of the National Soil Characterization Database. Data for approximately 250 pedons, predominantly ash-influenced forest soils, has been added to the national database and are now available in electronic form. Collectively, these projects will help improve the quality and completeness of regional soil survey information, which is extensively used in development of informed management strategies. These strategies, in turn, provide the basis for ensuring long-term sustainability of the region's forests.

Publications

  • Baker, L.L., Strawn, D.G, Vaughan, K.L., and McDaniel, P.A. . 2010. XAS study of Fe mineralogy in a chronosequence of soil clays formed in basaltic cinders. Clays and Clay Minerals 58: (in press).
  • Valerio, M., McDaniel, P., Gessler, P., and Knapp, B. 2010. Modeling Spodosol Distributions Along Environmental Gradients In Northern Idaho. Electronic Conference Proceedings (abstract), Soil Science Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting. Long Beach, CA. November 2010.


Progress 01/01/09 to 12/31/09

Outputs
OUTPUTS: This project focuses on soils that have been influenced by volcanic ash. We have developed a new cooperative project with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to examine formation and distribution of podzolized volcanic ash-influenced soils in forests of the Northern Rocky Mountains. These soils are important because the chemistry root-zone environment is significantly more acidic from those of other soils of the region and may influence biological processes. We are attempting to model the spatial distribution of these soils using terrain attributes such as elevation and solar insolation that serve as proxies for effective soil moisture. This model can then be incorporated into the existing NRCS database for the region. We are also continuing a cooperative project with the US Forest Service and NRCS focusing on dynamic soil properties in volcanic ash-influenced forest soils of northern Idaho. We are documenting changes in soil properties (bulk density and infiltration) that are easily altered by timber harvesting activities. I continued in my role as the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station representative the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) program. In this role, I provided limited laboratory support to the ongoing NCSS projects in Idaho and participated in field reviews in 2009. PARTICIPANTS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. TARGET AUDIENCES: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Nothing significant to report during this reporting period.

Impacts
Volcanic ash-influenced soils are the most productive forest soils in the Inland Pacific Northwest region. However, relatively little comprehensive information exists about either the distribution of or management effects on these soils. Compilation of existing management information has provided a major resource for forest managers and scientists, as well as identifying knowledge gaps and new research questions. Our research into the landscape distribution of volcanic-ash influenced soils is aiding the various soil mapping projects and databases for the region. A terrain attribute-based model that predicts the distribution of podzolized volcanic ash soils can easily be incorporated into existing soil maps. This will help ensure the quality and completeness of soil survey information, which provides a basis for development of management strategies that ensure long-term sustainability of the region's forests.

Publications

  • McDaniel, P.A., and Hipple, K.W. 2009. Mineralogy of less and volcanic ash mantles in Pacific Northwest (USA) landscape. Geoderma, doi:10.1016/j.geoderma.2008.12.023
  • Vaughan, K.L., and P.A. McDaniel. 2009. Organic soils on basaltic lava flows in a cool, dry environment. Soil Science Society of America Journal, 73: 1510-1518.
  • Baker, L., Strawn, D., Vaughan, K., and McDaniel, P. 2009. XAS Study of Fe Mineralogy of Soil Colloids Formed in Basaltic Tephra Under Cold, Dry Conditions. Electronic Conference Proceedings (abstract), Soil Science Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA. November, 2009.
  • McDaniel, P., Brown, R., Gardner, B., Gessler, P., and Falen, A. 2009. Volcanic Ash Mantles in Northern Idaho: What Do They Tell Us about Forest Disturbance Electronic Conference Proceedings (abstract), Soil Science Soil Science Society of America Annual Meeting, Pittsburgh, PA. November, 2009.


Progress 01/01/08 to 12/31/08

Outputs
OUTPUTS: This project focuses on soils that have been influence by volcanic ash. Over the past year, we completed a cooperative project with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to examine formation and properties of volcanic ash-influenced soils in the cool, dry environment at Craters of the Moon. We developed a new model of soil formation that describes the transformation from bare lava to lava that supports scattered plant communities. Information from this study has been submitted to research journals. We also completed another project modeling and predicting volcanic ash distribution using digital elevation data and various other terrain attributes derived from a higher-resolution (1-2 m) LiDAR dataset. Elevation is the single most-important terrain attribute related to the presence or absence of an ash mantle. In cooperation with the US Forest Service and NRCS, we are continuing a study on dynamic soil properties in volcanic ash-influenced forest soils of northern Idaho. This project will document changes in soil properties that are easily altered by timber harvesting activities. I continued in my role as the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station representative the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) program. In this role, I provided limited laboratory support to the ongoing NCSS projects in Idaho and participated in field reviews in 2008. I spent a 6-month sabbatical leave (July 1 - Dec. 31) at the University of Waikato in New Zealand studying management of volcanic ash soils under a variety of intensive land uses (forestry, dairy, sheep and beef production, urban). These uses occur on the North Island where soils formed in volcanic ash are extensive. These soils are being increasingly used for successful treatment of wastewater, including both dairy and urban waste effluent. High nitrate and phosphate sorption capacity and good physical properties associated with volcanic ash soils contribute to the success of this practice. PARTICIPANTS: Natural Resources Conservation Service, Soil Survey Division; US Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station TARGET AUDIENCES: Not relevant to this project. PROJECT MODIFICATIONS: Not relevant to this project.

Impacts
Volcanic ash-influenced soils are the most productive forest soils in the Inland Pacific Northwest region. However, relatively little comprehensive information exists about either the distribution of or management effects on these soils. Compilation of existing management information has provided a major resource for forest managers and scientists, as well as identifying knowledge gaps and new research questions. Our research into the landscape distribution of volcanic-ash influenced soils is aiding the various soil mapping projects throughout the region. A better understanding of the distribution and properties of these soils will provide a basis for development of management strategies that ensure long-term sustainability of the region's forests. The new model that has been developed for soil and plant community evolution at Craters of the Moon impacts the manner in which these lands are being mapped. While previously considered non-soil, our work documents the importance of these areas for forage production and wildlife habitat in dry rangelands of southern Idaho. This information is being incorporated into the soil survey of the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve. Finally, several of the lessons learned about management of volcanic ash soils in New Zealand have applicability to the Pacific Northwest region.

Publications

  • Brown, R. 2008. Volcanic ash in a mountainous landscape of northern Idaho: Digital modeling and mapping. MS Thesis, Soil & Land Resources, Univ. of Idaho.
  • Hickey, P.J., McDaniel, P.A. and Strawn, D.G.. 2008. Characterization of iron- and manganese-cemented redoximorphic aggregates in wetland soils contaminated with mine wastes. Journal of Environmental Quality 37: 2375-2385.
  • Kimsey, M.J., Moore, J. and McDaniel, P.A.. 2008. A geographically weighted regression analysis of Douglas-fir site index in north central Idaho. Forest Science 54: 356-366.
  • Lin, H.S., Brooks,E., McDaniel, P. and J. Boll. 2008. Hydropedology and Surface/Subsurface Runoff Processes. In M. G. Anderson (Editor-in-Chief) Encyclopedia of Hydrologic Sciences. John Wiley & Sons, Ltd. DOI: 10.1002/0470848944.hsa306.
  • Vaughan, K. 2008. Pedogenesis at Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve, Idaho, USA. PhD Dissertation, Soil & Land Resources, Univ. of Idaho.


Progress 01/01/07 to 12/31/07

Outputs
OUTPUTS: This project focuses on soils that have been influenced by volcanic ash. Over the past year, we have continued a cooperative project with the Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) to examine formation and properties of volcanic ash-influenced soils in the cool, dry environment at Craters of the Moon. We have developed a new model of soil formation that describes the transformation from bare lava to lava that supports scattered plant communities. This information was presented at a field day at Craters of the Moon in June, and we are currently writing a manuscript to be submitted to a research journal. We are continuing to work to develop models that predict volcanic ash distribution using digital elevation data and various other terrain attributes. We are examining the effect of using a higher-resolution (1-2 m) LiDAR-derived dataset to model ash distribution. Elevation is the single most-important terrain attributes that is related to the presence or absence of an ash mantle. In cooperation with the US Forest Service and NRCS, we initiated a study on dynamic soil properties in volcanic ash-influenced forest soils of northern Idaho. Field data were collected at 4 research sites by a team of scientists representing various agencies and are currently being processed and analyzed. This project will document changes in soil properties that are easily altered by timber harvesting activities. In cooperation with the US Forest Service, a comprehensive document of management of volcanic ash soils was published in 2007. This document examines the characteristics of volcanic ash soils using a large regional National Soil Survey Center Soil Characterization database and describes current state-of-knowledge of management and restoration in the Inland Northwest Region. I continue to serve as the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station representative the National Cooperative Soil Survey (NCSS) program. In this role, I provided limited laboratory support to the ongoing NCSS projects in Idaho and participated in field reviews in 2007. I also organized a field trip in September to the Panhandle National Forest to show NRCS and USFS scientists examples of the high-elevation soils influenced by volcanic ash. This information will be incorporated into upcoming soil surveys of these areas. PARTICIPANTS: US Forest Service, Panhandle National Forest, Coeur d'Alene, ID. Arlene Tugel, Natural Resources Conservation Service, liaison to Agricultural Research Service, Las Cruces, NM. Intermountain Forest Tree Nutrition Cooperative, College of Natural Resources, University of Idaho, Moscow.

Impacts
Volcanic ash-influenced soils are the most productive forest soils in the Inland Pacific Northwest region. However, relatively little comprehensive information exists about either the distribution of or management effects on these soils. Compilation of existing management information has provided a major resource for forest managers and scientists, as well as identifying knowledge gaps and new research questions. Our research into the landscape distribution of volcanic-ash influenced soils is aiding the various soil mapping projects throughout the region. A better understanding of the distribution and properties of these soils will provide a basis for development of management strategies that ensure long-term sustainability of the region's forests. The new model that we have developed for soil and plant community evolution at Craters of the Moon impacts the manner in which these lands are being mapped and inventoried. While previously considered non-soil, our work documents the importance of these areas for wildlife habitat. This information is being incorporated into the soil survey of the Craters of the Moon National Monument and Preserve.

Publications

  • McDaniel, P.A., Regan, M.P., Brooks, E., Boll, J., Barndt, S., Falen, A.L., Young, S.K.,and Hammel, J.E. 2007. Linking fragipans, perched water tables, and catchment-scale hydrological processes. Catena. doi:10.1016/j.catena.2007.05.011
  • Page-Dumroese,D., Ferguson, D.E., McDaniel, P.A., and Johnson-Maynard, J. 2007. Chemical Changes Induced by pH Manipulations of Volcanic Ash-Influenced Soils. pp. 185-202 In Page-Dumroese et al. (eds.) Volcanic-ash-derived forest soils of the inland Northwest: Properties and implications for management and restoration. 9-10 November 2005; Coeur d'Alene, ID. Proceedings RMRS-P-44; Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.
  • McDaniel, P.A., and Wilson, M.A. 2007. Physical and chemical characteristics of ash-influenced soils of Inland Northwest forests. pp. 31-45 In Page-Dumroese et al. (eds.) Volcanic-ash-derived forest soils of the inland Northwest: Properties and implications for management and restoration. 9-10 November 2005; Coeur d'Alene, ID. Proceedings RMRS-P-44; Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.
  • Ferguson, D.E., Johnson-Maynard, J., and McDaniel, P.A. 2007. The Grand Fir Mosaic ecosystem-History and Management Impacts. pp. 175-184 In Page-Dumroese et al. (eds.) Volcanic-ash-derived forest soils of the inland Northwest: Properties and implications for management and restoration. 9-10 November 2005; Coeur d'Alene, ID. Proceedings RMRS-P-44; Fort Collins, CO: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Rocky Mountain Research Station.


Progress 01/01/06 to 12/31/06

Outputs
This project focuses on soils that have been influence by volcanic ash. We are working with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) personnel to develop models that predict volcanic ash distribution using digital elevation data and various other terrain attributes. We are examining the effect of using a higher-resolution (1-2 m) LiDAR-derived dataset to model ash distribution. Elevation and aspect are two primary terrain attributes that show significant correlation with volcanic ash thickness. Over the past year, we have continued a cooperative project with NRCS to examine development and characteristics of volcanic ash-influenced soils in the cool, dry environment at Craters of the Moon. We have found that organic soils represent an important stage in early soil formation on lava flows of the area. In cooperation with the US Forest Service, we are continuing to look at the changes in volcanic ash-influenced forest soils of northern Idaho. Following harvest, successional plant communities dominated by bracken fern can quickly alter chemical properties of these soils, thereby limiting their suitability for sustained timber production. We continue to investigate a variety of laboratory techniques to assess the quantity and quality of carbon accumulation in soils supporting bracken fern, and its role in the alteration of soil properties. We continued to work with Forest Service personnel to assemble a comprehensive document of management of volcanic ash soils, and publication is scheduled for early 2007. Ongoing work with the NRCS examines the characteristics of volcanic ash soils using a large regional National Soil Survey Center Soil Characterization database. This database provides the baseline information necessary to better assess impacts of soil management. We continue to examine the taxonomic placement of these soils in Soil Taxonomy and the international World Reference Base for Soil Resources. I continue to serve as the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station representative the National Cooperative Soil Survey program.

Impacts
Volcanic ash-influenced soils are the most productive forest soils in the Inland Pacific Northwest region. However, relatively little comprehensive information exists about either the distribution of or management effects on these soils. Compilation of existing management information will provide a major resource for forest managers and scientists, as well as to identify knowledge gaps and new research questions. Research into the soil-based processes that accompany bracken fern establishment will provide insights into the reasons for forest productivity loss. In particular, increases in belowground carbon accumulation appear to be a key part of this phenomenon. Through a better understanding of the role of carbon in these processes, it will be possible to devise management strategies that ensure long-term sustainability of forests of the region.

Publications

  • Brooks, E.S., Boll, J. and McDaniel, P.A. 2006. Distributed and integrated response of a GIS-based hydrologic model in the eastern Palouse region, Idaho. Hydrological Processes: DOI 10.1002/hyp.6230.
  • Briggs, C., Busacca, A.J. and McDaniel, P.A. 2006. Pedogenic processes and soil-landscape relationships in North Cascades National Park, Washington. Geoderma 137:192-204.
  • Dechert, T.V., McDaniel, P.A., Pierce, K.L., Falen, A.L. and Fosberg, M.A. 2006. Late Quaternary Stratigraphy, Idaho National Laboratory, Eastern Snake River Plain, Idaho. Idaho Geological Survey Tech. Rep. 06-1. ISBN 1-555765-512-X. 17 pp.
  • Wilson, M.A., Bare, S.H. and McDaniel, P.A. 2006. Southwick soil of the Idaho Palouse. Soil Survey Horizons 47:3-4.


Progress 07/01/05 to 12/31/05

Outputs
This project focuses on soils that have been influence by volcanic ash. We are working with Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) personnel to develop models that predict volcanic ash distribution using digital elevation data and various other terrain attributes. Using 10- or 30-m-resolution topographical data, elevation and vegetation appear to be the best predictors of ash distribution. We are also examining the effect of using the greater resolution of a LiDAR-derived digital elevation model to model ash distribution. Over the past year, we entered into a cooperative project with NRCS to examine development and characteristics of volcanic ash-influenced soils in the cool, dry environment at Craters of the Moon. In cooperation with the US Forest Service, we are continuing to look at the changes in volcanic ash-influenced forest soils of northern Idaho. Following harvest, successional plant communities dominated by bracken fern can quickly alter chemical properties of these soils, thereby limiting their suitability for sustained timber production. We are focusing on the quantity and quality of carbon accumulation in soils supporting bracken fern, and its role in the alteration of soil properties. We continue to work with Forest Service personnel to assemble a comprehensive document of management of volcanic ash soils, and publication is scheduled for 2006. Ongoing work with the NRCS examines the characteristics of volcanic ash soils using a large regional National Soil Survey Center Soil Characterization database. This information is needed to better assess impacts of soil management. We are also examining and comparing the taxonomic placement of these soils in Soil Taxonomy and the international World Reference Base for Soil Resources. I continue to serve as the Idaho Agricultural Experiment Station representative the National Cooperative Soil Survey program.

Impacts
Volcanic ash-influenced soils are the most productive forest soils in the Inland Pacific Northwest region. However, relatively little comprehensive information exists about either the distribution of or management effects on these soils. Compilation of existing management information will provide a major resource for forest managers and scientists, as well as to identify knowledge gaps and new research questions. Research into the soil-based processes that accompany bracken fern establishment will provide insights into the reasons for forest productivity loss. In particular, increases in belowground carbon accumulation appear to be a key part of this phenomenon. Through a better understanding of the role of carbon in these processes, it will be possible to devise management strategies that ensure long-term sustainability of forests of the region.

Publications

  • Jimenez, J. 2005. Bracken fern communities of the grand fir mosaic: Biomass allocation and influence on selected soil properties. MS thesis. University of Idaho, Moscow.
  • Kimsey, M.J., McDaniel, P.A., Strawn, D.G. and Moore, J. 2005. Fate of applied sulfate in volcanic ash-influenced forest soils. Soil Sci. Soc. Am. J. 69:1507-1515.