Agronomy and Horticulture Department


Date of this Version



Published in Ecology, Vol. 16, No. 1 (Jan., 1935), pp. 1-12. Copyright 1935 Ecological Society of America. Used by permission.


That run-off water and soil erosion have become problems of both local and national importance is widely recognized. In fact soil erosion over at least half of the United States has reached the proportions of a national menace. To study quantitatively the amount of run-off and erosion from different topographical areas and types of soil under various climates as well as the quantities of soil lost under different methods of cropping, terracing, etc., the government has established Federal erosion stations. These are located in various widely separated areas. The accumulated results obtained at these stations are now finding an important place in the literature. Similar studies by certain agricultural experiment stations are also of great value. Results obtained by Duley and Miller ('23) in Missouri over a period of several years are indicative of the effect of herbaceous cover on run-off and erosion. The U. S. Forest Service has made similar extensive and commendable studies in relation to grazing. For example, a study of surface run-off and erosion in relation to overgrazing has been carried on for a long period of years on the Manti National Forest, in Utah (Sampson and Weyl, '18; Forsling, '31). Bates and Zeasman ('30), using erosion traps in Wisconsin, made a study of run-off rates under different conditions of forest, pasture, and cultivated fields.