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Vegetation and Soils Data from Grazed and Ungrazed Watersheds in the Badger Wash Study Area, Colorado, USA

September 21, 2018

In 2004 U.S. Geological Survey biologists recorded vegetation and biological soil crust (BSC) cover by species as well as measured soil stability and compaction data along 85 transects at the Badger Wash study area in western Colorado. Soil samples were collected and processed for chemistry and texture. Using analysis of variance and nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) we assessed the cover of vegetation and BSC both grouped by plant physiognomy and dynamic soil properties (soil chemistry/nutrients and stability and compaction) as influenced by the effects of grazing history and soil group (which varied by slope, topographic wetness index and soil properties). Vegetation and BSC cover data were also compared to plant cover measurements collected in the same experimental watersheds by Lusby et al. in 1953, 1963, and 1972. Data used for all these analyses are contained within this data file. These data were compiled to accompany the publication, Insights from Long-term Ungrazed and Grazed Watersheds in a Salt Desert Colorado Plateau Ecosystem.