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The Ecohydrology of the Soil Vegetation System Restoration in Arid Zones:A Review

LI Xin-rong,ZHANG Zhi-shan,WANG Xin-ping,LIU Li-chao,HUANG Lei(Shapotou Desert Research and Experiment Station,Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute,Chinese Academy of Sciences,Lanzhou 730000,China)  
Arid zones,which cover approximately 40 percent of the earth's land surface,support complicated and widely varied ecological systems.As such,arid zones are an important composition of the global terrestrial ecosystem,and water is the key and abiotic limited factor in ecosystem-driven processes in these areas.Ecohydrology is a new cross discipline that provides,in an objective and comprehensive manner,novel ideas and approaches to the evaluation of the interaction and feedback mechanisms involved in the soil vegetation systems in arid zones.In addition,ecohydrology provides a theoretical basis of ecological restoration that is centered on vegetation construction.In this paper,long-term monitoring and local observations in the transitional belt between a desertified steppe and a steppified desert at the Shapotou Desert Research and Experiment Station,Tengger Desert,in northern China,were evaluated.The primary achievements and related research progress regarding ecohydrology in arid zones were analyzed and summarized,as a keystone,and the response of soil ecohydrological processes to the changes in the species composition,structure,and function of sandland vegetation was discussed.Meanwhile,the long-term ecological effects and mechanism of regulation of vegetation on soil habitat and on water-cycling were considered.As a vital participant in the ecohydrological processes of soil vegetation systems,the studies on biological soil crusts was also summarized,and related theoretical models of restoration based on the water balance was reviewed.
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