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Study shows woody plant encroachment has increased stream flow in the Edwards Plateau
Date:3/4/2010

pes are recovering, but they've also converted to woody plants," he said. "We're also seeing large-scale increases in the amount of spring flows. This is opposite of what everybody is presuming the trees are there and they are sucking up all of this water. The trees are actually allowing the water to infiltrate. There's is a broad perception that the trees are making these natural springs disappear. This is definitely not the case."

The results of the study suggest that the Edwards Aquifer recharge is "higher than it used to be."

"I think the results from this study are pretty strong evidence that this is the case," Wilcox said.

Wilcox said what hasn't been researched is if woodlands were restored back to well-managed savannas, if there might be further increases in spring flow.

The increasing spring flows should be seen as evidence that well-managed rangelands can result in an increase in groundwater recharge and spring flow, he said.


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Contact: Dr. Brad Wilcox
bwilcox@tamu.edu
979-458-1899
Texas A&M AgriLife Communications
Source:Eurekalert

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