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Barton Springs Salamander - Nursery/Ornamental

Metadata

NASS data for 2002 (Table 5) indicate that outside acreage for reported ornamental crops in Hays and Travis Counties is negligible relative to indoor acreage (< 0.1% total indoor and outdoor acreage). The majority of acreage for nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, mushrooms, sod, and vegetable seeds in both years and both counties was grown under glass or other protection. Three confirmed outdoor nursery operations reside within the BSS (Kathy Shay, personal communication; Andrea DeLong-Amaya, personal communication); all three are within the Travis county portion of the BSS. Total outside wholesale nursery production in the BSS is approximately three acres.

For the purposes of modeling a nursery/ornamental operation in the BSS, one of the nurseries* was used to conceptualize a facility that is representative of one located within the BSS. Communications with a staff member were used to parameterize the model. The nursery of interest has indoor and outdoor areas for growing and maintaining plants. Outdoor plants include cacti, annuals, perennials, shrubs, and trees. Outdoor plants are maintained on either weed control mat or on gravel. Plants are kept in pots of various sizes, ranging from 4" to multiple gallons, depending upon the type of plant kept within. Irrigation is carried out daily with either hose or sprinkler systems. Plants are maintained outside year-round, with some becoming dormant in the winter and some remaining green. Spring and fall represent the busiest times for plant production and sales for this nursery (personal communication with nursery employee).

Based on the above information, several assumptions were made to parameterize the model. First, it was assumed that the area that would yield the greatest runoff potential would be from a bare surface that would be represented by the walkways between the potted plants. These areas could potentially receive direct applications of pesticides sprayed on potted plants. Therefore, the surface of the soil was conceptualized as being gravel or dirt (area under weed mats). This was an assumption that affected selection of curve numbers, USLE C and Manning's N. Second, it was assumed that pesticide runoff of potted soil would not degrade or adsorb and would therefore, be applied directly to the soil. In order to model this, AMXDR was set to 0. Third, it was assumed that other crop specific parameters (HTMAX, COVMAX and CINTCP) were relevant to influencing the application of the pesticide to the soil.

A soil was selected based on the overlap between the nursery of interest the soil extents (USDA 2006). Aerial photography was used to identify the location of the nursery operation and the locations of the outdoor areas of production. Only one soil type overlapped with the nursery operation: Tarrant soils and urban land. Therefore, it was determined that this soil type was a representative soil that an outdoor nursery operation in the BSS would reside upon. Tarrant is a Hydrologic Group D soil, with a USLE K factor of 0.32 (USDA 2006). Slopes range from 1 to 8 percent for this series (USDA 1997), but for the portion that overlaps with the nursery, the slope range is 0 to 2 percent. Since all three outdoor nursery operations in the BSS are located within Travis County, soil parameters were obtained soil data mart information pertaining to Travis County (USDA 2006).

The meteorological station selected for this scenario is located in Austin, Texas. This station is the closest available weather station that includes data required for PRZM.

*The identity and location of the nursery of interest has been intentionally left out of the metadata for privacy. More information can be obtained from SRC report submitted with this metadata.

Table 1
PRZM 3.12 Climate and Time Parameters for Barton Springs, TX
ParameterValue Source/Comments
Starting DateJan. 1, 1961 Meteorological File from Austin, TX (W13958)
Ending DateDec. 31, 1990 Meteorological File from Austin, TX (W13958)
Pan Evaporation Factor (PFAC)0.69 PRZM Manual Figure 5.1 (EPA 1998).
Snowmelt Factor (SFAC)0.36 PRZM Manual, Table 5.1 (EPA 1998).
Minimum Depth of Evaporation (ANETD)25 Mid point of range (20-30), PRZM Manual, Figure 5.2 (EPA 1998).

Table 2 Notes
Table 2
PRZM 3.12 Erosion and Landscape Parameters for Barton Springs Nursery/Ornamental
ParameterValue Source/Comments
Method to Calculate Erosion
(ERFLAG)
4 (MUSS) Default value.
USLE K Factor
(USLEK)
0.32 tons EI-1* Tarrant soils and urban land, Travis County (USDA 2006).
USLE LS Factor
(USLELS)
0.20 Calculated according to Haan and Barfield (1978) equation:
LS = ((λ/72.6)m)((430x2 + 30x + 0.43)/6.613),
where λ = slope length, x = SLP/100 and m = constant.
In this case, λ = 400 m (default value) and m = 0.3 (EPA 2004).
USLE P Factor
(USLEP)
1 Assumption that there is no contour plowing.
Field Area
(AFIELD)
10 ha Default value for Pond (EPA, 2004)
NRCS Hyetograph
(IREG)
4 PRZM Manual, Figure 5.12 (EPA, 1998).
Slope
(SLP)
1 % Midpoint value for Tarrant soils and urban land Soil Slope range 0-2% (USDA 2006).

The nursery land is flat, with no slopes (nursery employee)

Hydraulic Length
(HL)
356 m Default value for Pond (EPA, 2004)
Irrigation Flag
(IRFLAG)
1 1 = year round (nursery employee).
Irrigation Type
(IRTYP)
4

4 = over canopy sprinkler and flood.
Irrigation Guidance for developing PRZM Scenario, Table 3; (June 15, 2005).

Sprinkler and hose irrigation are used daily.
Irrigation continues until soil in pots is saturated and water flows out of the pots (nursery employee).

Leaching Factor
(FLEACH)
0.1 Default value.
Irrigation Guidance for developing PRZM Scenario, Table 3; (June 15, 2005).
Fraction of Water Capacity when Irrigation is Applied
(PCDEPL)
1.0 Set to one to model daily irrigation.
Irrigation Guidance for developing PRZM Scenario, Table 3; (June 15, 2005).
Maximum Rate at which Irrigation is Applied
(RATEAP)
0.1 Default value.
Irrigation Guidance for developing PRZM Scenario, Table 3; (June 15, 2005).

Table 3
PRZM 3.12 Crop Parameters for Barton Springs Nursery/Ornamental
ParameterValue Source/Comments
Initial Crop
(INICRP)
1 Default value
Initial Surface Condition
(ISCOND)
1 1 = fallow. Assumption: gravel surfaces kept clear of plant debris.
Number of Different Crops
(NDC)
1 Set to number of crops in simulation. Default value.
Number of Cropping Periods
(NCPDS)
30 Set to weather data in meteorological file: Austin, TX (W13958).
Maximum rainfall interception storage of crop
(CINTCP)
0.1 Table 5-4 PRZM manual, light density crops (EPA, 1998).
Maximum Active Root Depth
(AMXDR)
0 cm Plants are kept in pots so roots are above the soil.
Maximum Canopy Coverage
(COVMAX)
30 % This value was estimated based on assumptions of presence of walkways between plant rows and presence of single plants in pots, which decreases plant density.
Soil Surface Condition After Harvest
(ICNAH)
1 1 = fallow. Assumption: gravel surfaces kept clear of plant debris.
Date of Crop Emergence
(EMD, EMM, IYREM)
01/01/61 Set to model continuous maturity.

During the winter season, some outdoor plants senesce and some remain green (cold hearty perennials) year-round (nursery employee)

Date of Crop Maturity
(MAD, MAM, IYRMAT)
02/01/61
Date of Crop Harvest
(HAD, HAM, IYRHAR)
31/12/61
Maximum Dry Weight
(WFMAX)
0.0 Not used in scenario.
Maximum Canopy Height
(HTMAX)
61 cm Heights of plants range from a couple of inches (forbes) to ten feet (trees). The average height range for plants is 1-2' (nursery employee). 2' was chosen for HTMAX since this value is more representative of the overall plant stock.
SCS Curve Number
(CN)
89, 89, 89 TR-55 (Table 2-2a). CN for open space, poor condition (grass cover < 50%); as well as impervious dirt areas (USDA 1986).
Manning's N Value
(MNGN)
0.011 Value appropriate for gravel. Table 3-1 (USDA 1986).
USLE C Factor
(USLEC)
0 Assumption that gravel layer will impede soil loss.

Table 4
PRZM 3.12 Tarrant soils and urban land Soil Parameters for Barton Springs, TX Nursery/Ornamental
ParameterValue Source/Comments
Total Soil Depth
(CORED)
20 cm Tarrant soils and urban land, 0-2% slopes, Travis County, TX.
NRCS Soil Data Mart Database (Exit EPA Disclaimer http://soildatamart.nrcs.usda.gov/).
Number of Horizons
(NHORIZ)
2 Additional data were listed for a 3rd HORIZN.
However, these were not included in this soil profile since the 3rd HORIZN is composed of bedrock.
Horizon Thickness
(THKNS)
  • 10 cm (HORIZN=1)
  • 10 cm (HORIZN=2)
Bulk Density
(BD)
  • 1.25 g/cm3 (HORIZN=1)
  • 1.25 g/cm3 (HORIZN=2)
Initial Water Content
(THETO)
  • 0.229 cm3/cm3 (HORIZN=1)
  • 0.229 cm3/cm3 (HORIZN=2)
Compartment Thickness
(DPN)
  • 0.1 cm (HORIZN=1)
  • 5.0 cm (HORIZN=2)
PRZM Scenario Guidance (2004).
Field Capacity
(THEFC)
  • 0.229cm3/cm3 (HORIZN=1)
  • 0.229cm3/cm3 (HORIZN=2)
Wilting Point
(THEWP)
  • 0.166 cm3/cm3 (HORIZN=1)
  • 0.166 cm3/cm3 (HORIZN=2)
Organic Carbon Content
(OC)
  • 2.61 (HORIZN=1)
  • 2.61 (HORIZN= 2)
Adjusted using the relationship % OC = % Organic Matter/1.724 (Doucette 2000).

Table 5 Notes
Table 5
NASS 1997/2002 census of agriculture for ornamental production for open areas versus under glass
in Hays and Travis Counties, Texas (USDA 1997, 2002)
Crop HAYSTRAVIS
1997 Total Acres2002 Total Acres 1997 Total Acres2002 Total Acres
Nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, aquatic plants, mushrooms, flower seeds, vegetable seeds, sod harvested, total In open x 65 x 111
Nursery, greenhouse, floriculture, aquatic plants, mushrooms, flower seeds, vegetable seeds, sod harvested, total Under glass (not applicable for modeling) x 407,925 x 115,274
Nursery, floriculture, vegetable and flower seed crops, sod harvested, etc., grown in the open, irrigated 26 36 99 106
Floriculture crops - bedding/garden plants, cut flowers and cut florist greens, foliage plants, and potted flowering plants, total , in open x 14 23 x
Bedding/garden plants, in open 4 x 6 4
Nursery stock, in open 2 27 73 90
Other nursery and greenhouse crops, in open x 25 x x

Sensitive Parameter Uncertainties

USLE C Factor and Manning's N Value

The RUSLE Project was not used for determining the USLE C and Manning's N values. No appropriate scenarios existed in the project for modeling a gravel surface.

Soil Data

Only one nursery was used to identify a soil type.

References

EPA. 1998. Carsel, R.F., J.C. Imhoff, P.R. Hummel, J.M. Cheplick, and A.S. Donigian, Jr. PRZM-3, A Model for Predicting Pesticide and Nitrogen Fate in the Crop Root and Unsaturated Soil Zones: Users Manual for Release 3.0. National Exposure Research Laboratory, Office of Research and Development, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Athens, GA.

EPA. 2004. Pesticide Root Zone Model (PRZM) Field and Orchard Crop Scenarios: Guidance for Selecting Field Crop and Orchard Scenario Input Parameters. November 15, 2001; Revisions July 2004.

EPA. 2005. Irrigation Guidance for developing PRZM Scenario. June 15, 2005.

Haan, C.T. and B.J. Barfield. 1978. Hydrology and Sedimentology of Surface Mined Lands. Office of Continuing Education and Extension, College of Engineering, University of Kentucky, Lexington, Kentucky 40506. pp. 286.

Martinez, R. 2006. NRCS officer for Travis County. Personal Conversation, March 22, 2006.

Nursery employee. Personal conversation, 23 March 2006.

USDA. 1997. 1997 Census of Agriculture. U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Accessed March 2006.
Online at: Exit EPA Disclaimer http://www.nass.usda.gov/index.asp.

USDA. 2002. 2002 Census of Agriculture. U.S. Department of Agriculture, National Agricultural Statistics Service. Accessed March 2006.
Online at: Exit EPA Disclaimer http://www.nass.usda.gov/index.asp.

USDA. 2006. Soil Survey Areas of Hays Counties, Texas. U.S. Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS), Soil Data Mart. March 1, 2006.
Online at: Exit EPA Disclaimer http://soildatamart.nrcs.usda.gov.

USDA. 1986. Urban Hydrology for Small Watersheds. United States Department of Agriculture, Natural Resources Conversation Service. Technical Release 55.

USDA. 1997. Official Series Description. Tarrant Series.
Information from the website: https://soilseries.sc.egov.usda.gov/OSD_Docs/T/TARRANT.html.

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