Controlled experiments on soil compaction produced by off-road vehicles in the Mojave Desert, California.

Published online
01 Jan 1983
Content type
Journal article
Journal title
Journal of Applied Ecology

Adams, J. A. & Endo, A. S. & Stolzy, L. H. & Rowlands, P. G. & Johnson, H. B.

Publication language
USA & California


Vehicle tracks were made by up to 100 motorcycle and four-wheel drive passes in the Mojave Desert of California on a Typic Haplargid and a Typic Torripsamment soil. Soil strength increased with increasing number of passes, down to 25 cm depth. The four-wheel drive vehicle produced greater increases in soil strength than the motorcycle, and increases were greater on wet soil than on dry soil. Soil strength increased at a greater rate in drying compacted soil than in drying uncompacted soil. The relationship between soil compaction and reduced growth of desert annual plants is discussed.

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