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


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South Australian Geographical Journal

Royal Geographical Society of South Australia

Subject: Environmental Studies, Geography, Geosciences, Planning & Development, Political Science, Urban Studies


ISSN: 1030-0481





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


Citation Information : South Australian Geographical Journal. Volume 113, Pages 5-12, DOI: https://doi.org/10.21307/sagj-2016-003

License : (CC BY 4.0)

Published Online: 25-October-2017



Recovery of clay-soil microtopography from trampling by cattle was assessed over 247 days in the Stony Plains region of South Australia during La Niña 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.

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