Disintegration of cattle hoof prints in cracking-clay soils of the arid South Australian stony plains region during a wet period

Helen P Waudby, Sophie Petit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

Abstract

Recovery of clay-soil microtopography from trampling by cattle was assessed over 247 days in the Stony Plains region of South Australia during La Ni a conditions. Hoof prints took 96 to 247 days to disintegrate. Several prints were still visible nearly seven months after initial measurement. Print volume and area declined more-or-less uniformly over time, but were still considerable for prints present at the end of the study. Rain may facilitate the surface recovery of cracking-clay soils from trampling via shrink-swell processes. In dry years, microtopography might take longer to recover. Considering the threatened and endemic species that these soils support, and their value to the pastoral industry, land managers should consider recovery time from trampling when implementing grazing management strategies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5-12
Number of pages7
JournalSouth Australian Geographical Journal
Volume113
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Grant Number

  • Cattle
  • Hoofs
  • Footprints
  • Measurement
  • clay soils--Analysis
  • Land use--management

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