Optimizing Wet-Dry Precipitation Probabilities for Improving Plant Establishment

by Gary W. Frasier,
Fatima Lopez,

Document Type: Proceeding Paper

Part of: Watershed Planning and Analysis in Action


Studies have shown that the chances of achieving successful seedling establishment in arid and semiarid regions is dependent upon the pattern of favorable wet-dry precipitation sequences. A daily rainfall simulation model based on a first-order Markov chain was used to generate wet-dry-wet precipitation sequence probabilities based on parameters estimated from 22 years of daily precipitation data in southern Arizona. These simulated data were used to indicate an optimum seeding time that maximizes the probability of a favorable wet-dry sequence following seeding. Based on a premise that a favorable sequence consists of wet periods of 1 to 3 days or less, the results indicate that the optimum time to seed in southern Arizona is after 1 August. This is two to three weeks later than the normal start of the rainy season.

Subject Headings: Precipitation | Probability | Light rail transit | Rainfall | Arid lands | Markov process | Parameters (statistics) | Agriculture | Arizona | United States

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