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Land imprinting specifications for ecological weed suppression and ecosystem restoration.
Dixon, Robert*,1, Carr, Ann1, 1 The Imprinting Foundation, Tucson, AZ
ABSTRACT- The no-till method for seeding called land imprinting has been under development in Tucson, Arizona since 1976. Through ecological weed control, land imprinting has restored perennial grasses to 20,000 hectares of degraded rangeland in southern Arizona since 1980. Imprinting accelerates the secondary succession of plant types past the weed stage through superior control of rainwater at the soil surface. Early imprinters were massive machines with large diameter rollers that were designed to operate on the rocky, brushy terrain of southwestern deserts. Newly designed imprinters have smaller diameter rollers and are easier to transport. Some can work on 2:1 slopes and even steeper. Simple seeders, directly driven from the imprinting roller, deliver complex mixes of native seeds to the roller top where they are carried forward, dropped on the soil surface and then imbedded in the imprint surfaces. V-shaped imprints funnel resources downward where they can work in concert to germinate seeds and establish seedlings. Based on more than 2 decades of field experience, land imprinting specifications have been developed for ecological restoration and sustainable agriculture. These include general imprinter and seeder design specifications that will help to insure success of revegetation projects. Also, experienced fabricators can use these specifications as a guide for constructing state-of-the-art seeding imprinters.
KEY WORDS: Arid Lands Restoration, Agroecology, Invasive Species Control, Water Relations