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《Acta Ecologica Sinica》 2011-11
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Soilwater deficit under different artificial vegetation restoration in the semi-arid hilly region of the Loess Plateau

YANG Lei1,2,WEI Wei1,*,MO Baoru3,CHEN Liding1 1 Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100085 2 Graduate University of Chinese Academy of Sciences,Beijing 100049 3 Institute of Forestry Sciences of Gansu Province,Lanzhou 730020  
Because of the semi-arid climate and water scarcity in China′s Loess Plateau,soil water,the effective water source for plant growth,has become a key limiting factor in vegetation restoration and ecological reconstruction in the region.However,these activities without an appropriate scientific guidance may result in excessive water consumption and soil water deficit in different soil layers,which in turn restrict significantly the local ecological restoration and environmental enhancement.Quantitative evaluation of soil water deficit and its profile distribution based on local rainfall and soil water condition is the premise and foundation for proper vegetation restoration and sustainable ecological development in the Loess Plateau,and therefore is one of the top research priorities at present with both theatrical and practical significance.In this study,we selected a typical semi-arid loess hilly catchment located in the Dingxi city of Gansu province,China,to quantify the response of soil water deficit to different artificial vegetation restoration practices.Soil water under different vegetation covers including Platycladus orientalis,Armeniaca sibirica,Pinus tabulaeformis,Caragana korshinskii,Amygdalus davidiana,Medicago sativa,Populus simonii,Solanum Tuberosum,as well as abandoned land and natural grassland were analyzed based on filed sampling and laboratory test.For comparison purpose,the background soil water content was set to the value of natural grassland covered by local climax community for a long period.Next,the Compared Soil Water Deficit Index(CSWDI) and Plot Compared Soil Water Deficit Index(PCSWDI) were calculated and analyzed to quantify soil water deficit degree and its profile distribution with different vegetation types.The comparison result shows that soil water deficit appeared in all lands with artificial vegetation covers with a different degree except Populus simonii forestland and Solanum tuberosum farmland.In addition,it was found that all artificial vegetation covers had low available soil water storage.PCSWDI of Caragana korshinskii,Pinus tabulaeformis,and Armeniaca sibirica forestland was 0.65,0.62 and 0.62,respectively.These three vegetation types have led to a serious deep soil desiccation especially in soil layers from 100 to 200 cm.This soil water deficit may last for a long time period due to the fact that water is hardly recharged below 100 cm by rainfall in this area.Soil water deficit was also found in Amygdalus davidiana shrubland and Medicago sativa grassland mostly in soil layers between 100 and 200 cm.However,soil water conditions were favorable compared to those in Caragana korshinskii,Pinus tabulaeformis and Armeniaca sibirica forestland.Soil water deficit in Platycladus orientalis forestland was found mainly in soil layers from 20 to 100 cm.Meanwhile,soil water content increased in the layers below 100 cm with a decreasing CSWDI.No significant soil water deficit was detected in Populus simonii forestland,abandoned grassland,and Solanum tuberosum farmland in top 200 cm soil layers.The results showed that soil water in these lands could be quickly replenished,especially the top 100 cm soil layers.Results of this study also indicated that the CSWDI and PCSWDI were capable of reflecting conditions of soil water deficit in different soil layers and plots.They could be used as quantitative indices for soil water deficit analysis under different vegetation covers.The results of this study suggested that for sustainable artificial vegetation restoration in the semi-arid loess hilly area,proper artificial vegetation types should be selected based on rainfall and soil water conditions.In addition,optimal control of density and productivity of vegetation community and adoption of effective management practices must be employed.
【Fund】: 国家自然科学基金项目(4092500340801041);; 公路科学研究院开放课题(GJH-2010-01)
【CateGory Index】: S152.7
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