Agricultural Productivity of Four Different Physiographic Zones in the Lower Río Verde Valley, Oaxaca, Mexico: Using the Current Landscape as a Means to Facilitate an Understanding of Past Productivity
As part of the larger Río Verde Settlement Project (RVSP), soil sampling of different physiographic zones was conducted during the spring of 2016 in the lower Río Verde Valley. The major goal of this sampling program was to assess variation in soil fertility across the region, as related specifically to maize agriculture. The lower Verde Valley was broadly divided into four physiographic zones (floodplain, coastal plain, piedmont, and secondary valleys). Previous studies identified the floodplain as the most agriculturally productive zone, but only broad-based environmental data were previously available. Our study sought to capture large-scale soil variation between physiographic zones as well as smaller-scale variation within each zone. Samples were therefore taken in different microenvironments within each physiographic zone. Efforts focused on surface soil samples, but paleosols were also sampled whenever possible to calibrate for changes in landscape fertility between the prehispanic past and the present. Samples were tested for several major chemical indices representing requirements for maize agriculture (e.g., phosphorous and nitrogen levels as well as CEC). These data will be used to develop a GIS model of agricultural productivity in the lower Verde Valley and to help explain diachronic changes in settlement patterns.
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Agricultural Productivity of Four Different Physiographic Zones in the Lower Río Verde Valley, Oaxaca, Mexico: Using the Current Landscape as a Means to Facilitate an Understanding of Past Productivity. Raymond Mueller, Jessica Hedgepeth Balkin, Arthur Joyce. Presented at The 81st Annual Meeting of the Society for American Archaeology, Vancouver, British Columbia. 2017 ( tDAR id: 431056)
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min long: -107.271; min lat: 12.383 ; max long: -86.353; max lat: 23.08 ;
Abstract Id(s): 14839