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Journal of Arid Land  2015, Vol. 7 Issue (4): 421-428    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-015-0043-y
Research Articles     
Effects of aeolian processes on nutrient loss from surface soils and their significance for sandy desertification in Mu Us Desert, China: a wind tunnel approach
LANG Lili1, WANG Xunming1,2*, WANG Guangtao2, HUA Ting2, WANG Hongtao2
1 Key Laboratory of Water Cycle & Related Land Surface Processes, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100101, China;
2 Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
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Abstract  Mu Us Desert, a region with high aeolian activity, is at extremely high risk of sandy desertification. Using surface soil samples collected from Mu Us Desert of northern China, we evaluated the effects of aeolian processes on nutrient loss from surface soils by employing wind tunnel experiments. The experiments were conducted using free-stream wind velocities of 14, 16, 18 and 22 m/s. Our results showed that the fine particles (<50 μm in diameter; 12.28% of all transported materials) carrying large nutrient loadings were exported outside the study area by aeolian processes. After the erodible fine particles were transported away from the soil surfaces at low wind velocity (i.e. 14 m/s), the following relatively high wind velocity (i.e. 22 m/s) did not have any significant effect on nutrient export, because the coefficients of variation for soil organic matter, total phosphorus, total nitrogen and available potassium were usually <5%. Our experimental results confirmed that aeolian processes result in a large amount of nutrient export, and consequently increase the risk of sandy desertification in arid and semi-arid ecosystems.

Key wordssediment delivery modulus (SDM)      Yellow River      hydrological station(s)-controlled sub-area      soil and water conservation     
Received: 08 October 2014      Published: 10 August 2015

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (41225001).

Corresponding Authors: WANG Xunming     E-mail:
Cite this article:

LANG Lili, WANG Xunming, WANG Guangtao, HUA Ting, WANG Hongtao. Effects of aeolian processes on nutrient loss from surface soils and their significance for sandy desertification in Mu Us Desert, China: a wind tunnel approach. Journal of Arid Land, 2015, 7(4): 421-428.

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