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Journal of Arid Land  2018, Vol. 10 Issue (6): 921-931    DOI: 10.1007/s40333-018-0016-z
Research article     
Effect of soil management on soil erosion on sloping farmland during crop growth stages under a large-scale rainfall simulation experiment
Linhua WANG1,2, Yafeng WANG1, SASKIA Keesstra3,4, ARTEMI Cerdà5, Bo MA1, Faqi WU6,*()
1 State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China
2 Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China;
3 Civil, Surveying and Environmental Engineering, The University of Newcastle, Callaghan 2308, Australia
4 Soil Physics and Land Management Group, Wageningen University, Wageningen 6708 PB, The Netherlands
5 Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Valencia, Valencia 46010, Spain
6 College of Natural Resources and Environment, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, China;
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Soil erosion on farmland is a critical environmental issue and the main source of sediment in the Yellow River, China. Thus, great efforts have been made to reduce runoff and soil loss by restoring vegetation on abandoned farmland. However, few studies have investigated runoff and soil loss from sloping farmland during crop growth season. The objective of this study was to investigate the effects of soil management on runoff and soil loss on sloping farmland during crop growth season. We tested different soybean growth stages (i.e., seedling stage (R1), initial blossoming stage (R2), full flowering stage (R3), pod bearing stage (R4), and initial filling stage (R5)) and soil management practice (one plot applied hoeing tillage (HT) before each rainfall event, whereas the other received no treatment (NH)) by applying simulated rainfall at an intensity of 80 mm/h. Results showed that runoff and soil loss both decreased and infiltration amount increased in successive soybean growth stages under both treatments. Compared with NH plot, there was less runoff and higher infiltration amount from HT plot. However, soil loss from HT plot was larger than that from NH plot in R1-R3, but lower in R4 and R5. In the early growth stages, hoeing tillage was effective for reducing runoff and enhancing rainfall infiltration. By contrast, hoeing tillage enhanced soil and water conservation during the late growth stages. The total soil loss from HT plot (509.0 g/m2) was 11.1% higher than that from NH plot (457.9 g/m2) in R1-R5. However, the infiltration amount from HT plot (313.9 mm) was 18.4% higher than that from NH plot (265.0 mm) and the total runoff volume from HT plot was 49.7% less than that from NH plot. These results indicated that crop vegetation can also act as a type of vegetation cover and play an important role on sloping farmland. Thus, adopting rational soil management in crop planting on sloping farmland can effectively reduce runoff and soil loss, as well as maximize rainwater infiltration during crop growth period.

Key wordshoeing tillage      soil erosion      simulated rainfall      crop growth stages      Loess Plateau     
Received: 09 July 2017      Published: 07 November 2018
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Cite this article:

Linhua WANG, Yafeng WANG, SASKIA Keesstra, ARTEMI Cerdà, Bo MA, Faqi WU. Effect of soil management on soil erosion on sloping farmland during crop growth stages under a large-scale rainfall simulation experiment. Journal of Arid Land, 2018, 10(6): 921-931.

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