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1. chinaXiv:202005.00092 [pdf]

Land cover change and eco-environmental quality response of different geomorphic units on the Chinese Loess Plateau

SONG Yongyong; XUE Dongqian; DAI Lanhai; WANG Pengtao; HUANG Xiaogang; XIA Siyou
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Applied botany

Land cover in the Chinese Loess Plateau has undergone dramatic changes since the late 1980s. Revealing the trend in land cover change and eco-environmental quality response of different geomorphic units in this stage is a realistic requirement for promoting sustainable development of the Chinese Loess Plateau. Based on the data of geomorphic units and land cover in 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2018 of the Chinese Loess Plateau, we studied the trend of land cover change and eco-environmental quality response of different geomorphic units by using a significance index of land cover change, a proportion index of land cover change and an eco-environmental response model. The results indicated that from 1990 to 2018, the areas of forestland and construction land substantially increased, whereas those of cropland, grassland, wetland and unused land considerably decreased. Land cover change exhibited large geomorphic differences, and the main conversion of land cover was from cropland into other land types. Unstable trend of land cover change in the loess tablelands and sandy loess hills declined, whereas the unstable trends in the other geomorphic units enhanced. Eco-environmental quality varied among different geomorphic units. The expansion of construction land and degradation of forestland, grassland and wetland resulted in the deterioration of eco-environmental quality. The conversion of cropland and unused land into forestland and grassland, and the conversion of grassland into forestland were the main factors that drove the improvement of eco-environmental quality. The findings of this study may provide theoretical reference and support decision making for the optimization of land use structure and the improvement of eco-environmental quality on the Chinese Loess Plateau.

submitted time 2020-05-31 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits7780Downloads488 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:201903.00234 [pdf]

Effects of spring fire and slope on the aboveground biomass, and organic C and N dynamics in a semi-arid grassland of northern China

ZHAO Xiang; HU Shuya
Subjects: Agriculture, Forestry,Livestock & Aquatic Products Science >> Soil Science

The aboveground primary production is a major source of carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) pool and plays an important role in regulating the response of ecosystem and nutrient cycling to natural and anthropogenic disturbances. To explore the mechanisms underlying the effect of spring fire and topography on the aboveground biomass (AGB) and the soil C and N pool, we conducted a field experiment between April 2014 and August 2016 in a semi-arid grassland of northern China to examine the effects of slope and spring fire, and their potential interactions on the AGB and organic C and total N contents in different plant functional groups (C3 grasses, C4 grasses, forbs, Artemisia frigida plants, total grasses and total plants). The dynamics of AGB and the contents of organic C and N in the plants were examined in the burned and unburned plots on different slope positions (upper and lower). There were differences in the total AGB of all plants between the two slope positions. The AGB of grasses was higher on the lower slope than on the upper slope in July. On the lower slope, spring fire marginally or significantly increased the AGB of C3 grasses, forbs, total grasses and total plants in June and August, but decreased the AGB of C4 grasses and A. frigida plants from June to August. On the upper slope, however, spring fire significantly increased the AGB of forbs in June, the AGB of C3 grasses and total grasses in July, and the AGB of forbs and C4 grasses in August. Spring fire exhibited no significant effect on the total AGB of all plants on the lower and upper slopes in 2014 and 2015. In 2016, the total AGB in the burned plots showed a decreasing trend after fire burning compared with the unburned plots. The different plant functional groups had different responses to slope positions in terms of organic C and N contents in the plants. The lower and upper slopes differed with respect to the organic C and N contents of C3 grasses, C4 grasses, total grasses, forbs, A. frigida plants and total plants in different growing months. Slope position and spring fire significantly interacted to affect the AGB and organic C and N contents of C4 grasses and A. frigida plants. We observed the AGB and organic C and N contents in the plants in a temporal synchronized pattern. Spring fire affected the functional AGB on different slope positions, likely by altering the organic C and N contents and, therefore, it is an important process for C and N cycling in the semi-arid natural grasslands. The findings of this study would facilitate the simulation of ecosystem C and N cycling in the semi-arid grasslands in northern China.

submitted time 2019-03-28 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits9340Downloads875 Comment 0

3. chinaXiv:201807.00032 [pdf]

Characteristics of soil organic carbon and total nitrogen under various grassland types along a transect in a mountain-basin system in Xinjiang, China

BI Xu; LI Bo; NAN Bo; FAN Yao; FU Qi; ZHANG Xinshi
Subjects: Biology >> Ecology

Soil organic carbon (SOC) and soil total nitrogen (STN) in arid regions are important components of global C and the N cycles, and their response to climate change will have important implications for both ecosystem processes and global climate feedbacks. Grassland ecosystems of Funyun County in the southern foot of the Altay Mountains are characterized by complex topography, suggesting large variability in the spatial distribution of SOC and STN. However, there has been little investigation of SOC and STN on grasslands in arid regions with a mountain-basin structure. Therefore, we investigated the characteristics of SOC and STN in different grassland types in a mountain-basin system at the southern foot of the Altai Mountains, north of the Junggar Basin in China, and explored their potential influencing factors and relationships with meteorological factors and soil properties. We found that the concentrations and storages of SOC and STN varied significantly with grassland type, and showed a decreasing trend along a decreasing elevation gradient in alpine meadow, mountain meadow, temperate typical steppe, temperate steppe desert, and temperate steppe desert. In addition, the SOC and STN concentrations decreased with depth, except in the temperate desert steppe. According to Pearson's correlation values and redundancy analysis, the mean annual precipitation, soil moisture content and soil available N concentration were significantly positively correlated with the SOC and STN concentrations. In contrast, the mean annual temperature, pH, and soil bulk density were significantly and negatively correlated with the SOC and STN concentrations. The mean annual precipitation and mean annual temperature were the primary factors related to the SOC and STN concentrations. The distributions of the SOC and STN concentrations were highly regulated by the elevation-induced differences in meteorological factors. Mean annual precipitation and mean annual temperature together explained 97.85% and 98.38% of the overall variations in the SOC and STN concentrations, respectively, at soil depth of 0–40 cm, with precipitation making the greatest contribution. Our results provide a basis for estimating and predicting SOC and STN concentrations in grasslands in arid regions with a mountain-basin structure.

submitted time 2018-07-05 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits3098Downloads754 Comment 0

4. chinaXiv:201805.00407 [pdf]

Effects of grazing on net primary productivity, evapotranspiration and water use efficiency in the grasslands of Xinjiang

HUANG, Xiaotao; LUO, Geping; YE, Feipeng; HAN, Qifei
Subjects: Physics >> General Physics: Statistical and Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Information, etc.

Grazing is a main human activity in the grasslands of Xinjiang. It is vital to identify the effects of grazing on the sustainable utilization of local grasslands. However, the effects of grazing on net primary productivity (NPP), evapotranspiration (ET) and water use efficiency (WUE) in this region remain unclear. Using the spatial Biome-BGC grazing model, we explored the effects of grazing on NPP, ET and WUE across the different regions and grassland types in Xinjiang during 1979–2012. NPP, ET and WUE under the grazed scenario were generally lower than those under the ungrazed scenario, and the differences showed increasing trends over time. The decreases in NPP, ET and WUE varied significantly among the regions and grassland types. NPP decreased as follows: among the regions, Northern Xinjiang (16.60 g C/(m2•a)), Tianshan Mountains (15.94 g C/(m2•a)) and Southern Xinjiang (−3.54 g C/(m2•a)); and among the grassland types, typical grasslands (25.70 g C/(m2•a)), swamp meadows (25.26 g C/(m2•a)), mid-mountain meadows (23.39 g C/(m2•a)), alpine meadows (6.33 g C/(m2•a)), desert grasslands (5.82 g C/(m2•a)) and saline meadows (2.90 g C/(m2•a)). ET decreased as follows: among the regions, Tianshan Mountains (28.95 mm/a), Northern Xinjiang (8.11 mm/a) and Southern Xinjiang (7.57 mm/a); and among the grassland types, mid-mountain meadows (29.30 mm/a), swamp meadows (25.07 mm/a), typical grasslands (24.56 mm/a), alpine meadows (20.69 mm/a), desert grasslands (11.06 mm/a) and saline meadows (3.44 mm/a). WUE decreased as follows: among the regions, Northern Xinjiang (0.053 g C/kg H2O), Tianshan Mountains (0.034 g C/kg H2O) and Southern Xinjiang (0.012 g C/kg H2O); and among the grassland types, typical grasslands (0.0609 g C/kg H2O), swamp meadows (0.0548 g C/kg H2O), mid-mountain meadows (0.0501 g C/kg H2O), desert grasslands (0.0172 g C/kg H2O), alpine meadows (0.0121 g C/kg H2O) and saline meadows (0.0067 g C/kg H2O). In general, the decreases in NPP and WUE were more significant in the regions with relatively high levels of vegetation growth because of the high grazing intensity in these regions. The decreases in ET were significant in mountainous areas due to the terrain and high grazing intensity.

submitted time 2018-05-18 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits9792Downloads632 Comment 0

5. chinaXiv:201804.02361 [pdf]

Grazing exclusion-induced shifts, the relative importance of environmental filtering, biotic interactions and dispersal limitation in shaping desert steppe communities, northern China

WANG Xing; SONG Naiping; YANG Xinguo; WANG Lei; CHEN Lin
Subjects: Physics >> General Physics: Statistical and Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Information, etc.

Grazing exclusion is one of the most efficient approaches to restore degraded grassland but may negatively affects the recovery of species diversity. Changes in plant species diversity should be a consequence of the ecological assembly process. Local community assembly is influenced by environmental filtering, biotic interactions, and dispersal. However, how these factors potentially contribute to changes to species diversity is poorly understood, especially in harsh environments. In this study, two management sites within a Stipa breviflora desert steppe community (typical natural steppe) were selected in northern China. In one of the two management sites, grazing has been excluded since 2010 and in the other with open grazing by sheep. In August 2016, three plots were established and 100 sampling units were created within each plot in a 5 m×5 m area at the two management sites. To assess the effects of grazing exclusion on S. breviflora steppe, we analyzed the vegetation biomass, species diversity, soil organic carbon, and soil particle size distribution using paired T-tests. In addition, variation partitioning was applied to determine the relative importance of environmental filtering and dispersal limitation. Null mode analysis was used to quantify the influence of biotic interactions in conjunction with EcoSim niche overlap and co-occurrence values. Our results demonstrated that (1) species diversity significantly decreased and the main improvements in soil quality occurred in the topsoil 0–10 cm after the grazing exclusion; (2) environmental filtering was important for community assembly between grazed and fenced grassland and this appears particularly true for soil particle size distribution, which may be well correlated with soil hydrological processes; and (3) however, competitive exclusion may play a significant role within the exclusion. The multiple pathways of assembly may collectively determine negative effects on the restoration of species diversity. Therefore, designers should be aware of the risk of reducing grazing exclusion-induced species diversity and account for manipulating processes. This in turn will reduce dominant species and promote environmental heterogeneity to maximize species diversity in semi-arid regions.

submitted time 2018-04-24 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1519Downloads553 Comment 0

6. chinaXiv:201804.02345 [pdf]

CO2, CH4 and N2O flux changes in degraded grassland soil of Inner Mongolia, China

BAI, Yunxiao; LI, Xiaobing; WEN, Wanyu; MI, Xue; LI, Ruihua; HUANG, Qi; ZHANG, Meng
Subjects: Physics >> General Physics: Statistical and Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Information, etc.

The main purpose of this study was to explore the dynamic changes of greenhouse gas (GHG) from grasslands under different degradation levels during the growing seasons of Inner Mongolia, China. Grassland degradation is associated with the dynamics of GHG fluxes, e.g., CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes. As one of the global ecological environmental problems, grassland degradation has changed the vegetation productivity as well as the accumulation and decomposition rates of soil organic matter and thus will influence the carbon and nitrogen cycles of ecosystems, which will affect the GHG fluxes between grassland ecosystems and the atmosphere. Therefore, it is necessary to explore how the exchanges of CO2, CH4 and N2O fluxes between soil and atmosphere are influenced by the grassland degradation. We measured the fluxes of CO2, CH4 and N2O in lightly degraded, moderately degraded and severely degraded grasslands in Inner Mongolia of China during the growing seasons from July to September in 2013 and 2014. The typical semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia plays a role as the source of atmospheric CO2 and N2O and the sink for CH4. Compared with CO2 fluxes, N2O and CH4 fluxes were relatively low. The exchange of CO2, N2O and CH4 fluxes between the grassland soil and the atmosphere may exclusively depend on the net exchange rate of CO2 in semi-arid grasslands. The greenhouse gases showed a clear seasonal pattern, with the CO2 fluxes of –33.63–386.36 mg/(m?h), CH4 uptake fluxes of 0.113–0.023 mg/(m?h) and N2O fluxes of –1.68–19.90 ?g/(m?h). Grassland degradation significantly influenced CH4 uptake but had no significant influence on CO2 and N2O emissions. Soil moisture and temperature were positively correlated with CO2 emissions but had no significant effect on N2O fluxes. Soil moisture may be the primary driving factor for CH4 uptake. The research results can be in help to better understand the impact of grassland degradation on the ecological environment.

submitted time 2018-04-24 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1405Downloads547 Comment 0

7. chinaXiv:201804.02347 [pdf]

Interactive effects of wind speed, vegetation coverage and soil moisture in controlling wind erosion in a temperate desert steppe, Inner Mongolia of China

MENG, Zhongju; DANG, Xiaohong; GAO, Yong; REN, Xiaomeng; DING, Yanlong; WANG, Meng
Subjects: Physics >> General Physics: Statistical and Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Information, etc.

The rapid desertification of grasslands in Inner Mongolia of China poses a significant ecological threaten to northern China. The combined effects of anthropogenic disturbances (e.g., overgrazing) and biophysical processes (e.g., soil erosion) have led to vegetation degradation and the consequent acceleration of regional desertification. Thus, mitigating the accelerated wind erosion, a cause and effect of grassland desertification, is critical for the sustainable management of grasslands. Here, a combination of mobile wind tunnel experiments and wind erosion model was used to explore the effects of different levels of vegetation coverage, soil moisture and wind speed on wind erosion at different positions of a slope inside an enclosed desert steppe in the Xilamuren grassland of Inner Mongolia. The results indicated a significant spatial difference in wind erosion intensities depending on the vegetation coverage, with a strong decreasing trend from the top to the base of the slope. Increasing vegetation coverage resulted in a rapid decrease in wind erosion as explained by a power function correlation. Vegetation coverage was found to be a dominant control on wind erosion by increasing the surface roughness and by lowering the threshold wind velocity for erosion. The critical vegetation coverage required for effectively controlling wind erosion was found to be higher than 60%. Further, the wind erosion rates were negatively correlated with surface soil moisture and the mass flux in aeolian sand transport increased with increasing wind speed. We developed a mathematical model of wind erosion based on the results of an orthogonal array design. The results from the model simulation indicated that the standardized regression coefficients of the main effects of the three factors (vegetation coverage, soil moisture and wind speed) on the mass flux in aeolian sand transport were in the following order: wind speed>vegetation coverage>soil moisture. These three factors had different levels of interactive effects on the mass flux in aeolian sand transport. Our results will improve the understanding of the interactive effects of wind speed, vegetation coverage and soil moisture in controlling wind erosion in desert steppes, and will be helpful for the design of desertification control programs in future.

submitted time 2018-04-24 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits892Downloads390 Comment 0

8. chinaXiv:201712.00324 [pdf]

Determinants and rates of land degradation: Application of stationary time-series model to data from a semi-arid environment in Kenya

Mganga, Kevin; Nyariki, Dickson
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

The causes of land degradation in the African drylands have been shown to vary. Some researchers consider climate to be the major contributor to degradation, with anthropogenic factors playing a minor role. Others reverse the significance of these two factors. A third group attributes land degradation to climate and anthropogenic factors equally. This study was undertaken to establish the factors influencing land degradation in a semi-arid environment in southeastern Kenya and the rate of change in vegetation types for a period of 35 years (1973–2007). The reduction in grassland cover was used as an indicator of land degradation. Causes of land degradation were determined by a multiple regression analysis. A log-linear regression analysis was used to establish the rate of vegetation change. The multiple and log-linear regression analyses showed: (1) woody vegetation, livestock population and cultivated area to be the main contributors of reduction in grassland cover in the area, and (2) an increase in undesirable woody species, livestock population and cultivated area had a significant (P<0.05) negative effect on grassland vegetation. Increased human population, low amounts of rainfall and drought showed no significant negative effect on grassland vegetation cover. In conclusion, human and livestock population growth and increased agricultural land have contributed to intensive crop cultivation and overgrazing in the semi-arid lands. This overuse of the semi-arid rangelands has worsened the deterioration of the natural grassland vegetation.

submitted time 2017-12-18 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1127Downloads705 Comment 0

9. chinaXiv:201711.00372 [pdf]

Atmospheric deposition of inorganic nitrogen semi-arid grassland of Inner Mongolia, China

ZHANG Yibo; XU Wen; WEN Zhang; WANG Dandan; HAO Tianxiang; TANG Aohan; LIU Xuejun
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Due to increasing global demand fox crop production and energy use, more and more reactive nitrogen (Nx) has been generated and emitted to the environment. 11s a result, global atmospheric nitrogen (N) deposition has tripled since the industrial revolution and the ecological environment and human health have been harmed. In this study we measured dry and wet/bulk N deposition from July 2013 to December 2015 in a semi-arid grassland of Duolun County Inner Mongolia, China. The samples of dry and wet/bulk N deposition were collected monthly with a DELT11 (DEnudex fox Long Texm 1ltmosphexic sampling system and with Gxadko passive samplers and a precipitation gauge. The measured results show that the annual mean

submitted time 2017-11-07 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits613Downloads286 Comment 0

10. chinaXiv:201605.00529 [pdf]

Soil fungal and bacterial responses to conversion of open land to short‐rotation woody biomass crops

Chao Xue; Christopher Ryan Penton; Bangzhou Zhang; Mengxin Zhao; David E. Rothstein; David J. Mladenoff; Jodi A. Forrester; Qirong Shen; James M. Tiedje
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Plant ecology, plant geography

Short-rotation woody biomass crops (SRWCs) have been proposed as an alternative feedstock for biofuel production in the northeastern US that leads to the conversion of current open land to woody plantations, potentially altering the soil microbial community structures and hence functions. We used pyrosequencing of 16S and 28S rRNA genes in soil to assess bacterial and fungal populations when ‘marginal’ grasslands were converted into willow (Salix spp.) and hybrid poplar (Populus spp.) plantations at two sites with similar soils and climate history in northern Michigan (Escanaba; ES) and Wisconsin (Rhinelander; RH). In only three growing seasons, the conversion significantly altered both the bacterial and fungal communities, which were most influenced by site and then vegetation. The fungal community showed greater change than the bacterial community in response to land conversion at both sites with substantial enrichment of putative pathogenic, ectomycorrhizal, and endophytic fungi associated with poplar and willow. Conversely, the bacterial community structures shifted, but to a lesser degree, with the new communities dissimilar at the two sites and most correlated with soil nutrient status. The bacterial phylum Nitrospirae increased after conversion and was negatively correlated to total soil nitrogen, but positively correlated to soil nitrate, and may be responsible for nitrate accumulation and the increased N2O emissions previously reported following conversion at these sites. The legacy effect of a much longer grassland history and a second dry summer at the ES site may have influenced the grassland (control) microbial community to remain stable while it varied at the RH site.

submitted time 2016-05-04 Hits605Downloads371 Comment 0

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