Southeastern Section - 57th Annual Meeting (1011 April 2008)
Paper No. 31-9
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM

INFILTRATION AND MOISTURE MOVEMENT IN NATIVE RIVER CANE STANDS, WESTERN NORTH CAROLINA

MOORE, Andrew W. and KINNER, David A., Geosciences and Natural Resource Management, Western Carolina University, Cullowhee, NC 28723, andrewmoore444@gmail.com

River cane (arudinaria gigantea), a bamboo native to western North Carolina, is an important part of the cultural heritage of the Eastern Band of the Cherokee Indians (EBCI). The River Cane Restoration Project is an effort to understand the ecological and geological conditions that maximize its growth, largely by examining existing river cane stands. River cane is classified as a facultative wetland species but grows in the mountains in well-drained (approximate hydraulic conductivity 1 x 10-4 to 1 x 10-3 cm/sec), silty-sand, floodplain soils. Our study objective is to understand moisture movement through the soil profile and, specifically, the impact of the extensive rhizome network on moisture movement. Fundamentally, we are asking how river cane stands maximize moisture availability in sandy soils. Bulk density and grain size data were collected at five locations from 0-100 cm depth on a monotypic cane stand in western North Carolina. Bulk density generally increases with depth down from the root zone. However, the peak bulk density is associated with a gleyed soil layer approximately 60-100 cm from the surface. Three soil moisture sensors were installed in a vertical profile in the stand. The upper soil moisture sensor (6 cm depth) responds rapidly to rainfall events, while the lower sensor (63 cm) shows little to no response to the same events. Precipitation data were collected both inside the cane stand and in an adjacent open area. Much of the oncoming rainfall is intercepted by the river cane canopy.

Southeastern Section - 57th Annual Meeting (1011 April 2008)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 31--Booth# 20
Undergraduate Research Session (Posters) II
Hilton Charlotte University Place: University Lake Ballroom Suites A, B, C
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Friday, 11 April 2008

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 40, No. 4, p. 74

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