Most Read

Published in last 1 year |  In last 2 years |  In last 3 years |  All
Please wait a minute...
For Selected: Toggle Thumbnails
Prediction of meteorological drought in arid and semi-arid regions using PDSI and SDSM: a case study in Fars Province, Iran
Sheida DEHGHAN, Nasrin SALEHNIA, Nasrin SAYARI, Bahram BAKHTIARI
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (2): 318-330.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0095-5
Abstract716)   HTML17)    PDF (921KB)(847)      

Drought is one of the most significant environmental disasters, especially in arid and semi-arid regions. Drought indices as a tool for management practices seeking to deal with the drought phenomenon are widely used around the world. One of these indicators is the Palmer drought severity index (PDSI), which is used in many parts of the world to assess the drought situation and continuation. In this study, the drought state of Fars Province in Iran was evaluated by using the PDSI over 1995-2014 according to meteorological data from six weather stations in the province. A statistical downscaling model (SDSM) was used to apply the output results of the general circulation model in Fars Province. To implement data processing and prediction of climate data, a statistical period 1995-2014 was considered as the monitoring period, and a statistical period 2019-2048 was for the prediction period. The results revealed that there is a good agreement between the simulated precipitation (R2>0.63; R2, determination coefficient; MAE<0.52; MAE, mean absolute error; RMSE<0.56; RMSE, Root Mean Squared Error) and temperature (R2>0.95, MAE<1.74, and RMSE<1.78) with the observed data from the stations. The results of the drought monitoring model presented that dry periods would increase over the next three decades as compared to the historical data. The studies showed the highest drought in the meteorological stations Abadeh and Lar during the prediction period under two future scenarios representative concentration pathways (RCP4.5 and RCP8.5). According to the results of the validation periods and efficiency criteria, we suggest that the SDSM is a proper tool for predicting drought in arid and semi-arid regions.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Drought trend analysis in a semi-arid area of Iraq based on Normalized Difference Vegetation Index, Normalized Difference Water Index and Standardized Precipitation Index
Ayad M F AL-QURAISHI, Heman A GAZNAYEE, Mattia CRESPI
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (4): 413-430.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0062-9
Abstract368)   HTML31)    PDF (3359KB)(518)      

Drought was a severe recurring phenomenon in Iraq over the past two decades due to climate change despite the fact that Iraq has been one of the most water-rich countries in the Middle East in the past. The Iraqi Kurdistan Region (IKR) is located in the north of Iraq, which has also suffered from extreme drought. In this study, the drought severity status in Sulaimaniyah Province, one of four provinces of the IKR, was investigated for the years from 1998 to 2017. Thus, Landsat time series dataset, including 40 images, were downloaded and used in this study. The Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) and the Normalized Difference Water Index (NDWI) were utilized as spectral-based drought indices and the Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI) was employed as a meteorological-based drought index, to assess the drought severity and analyse the changes of vegetative cover and water bodies. The study area experienced precipitation deficiency and severe drought in 1999, 2000, 2008, 2009, and 2012. Study findings also revealed a drop in the vegetative cover by 33.3% in the year 2000. Furthermore, the most significant shrinkage in water bodies was observed in the Lake Darbandikhan (LDK), which lost 40.5% of its total surface area in 2009. The statistical analyses revealed that precipitation was significantly positively correlated with the SPI and the surface area of the LDK (correlation coefficients of 0.92 and 0.72, respectively). The relationship between SPI and NDVI-based vegetation cover was positive but not significant. Low precipitation did not always correspond to vegetative drought; the delay of the effect of precipitation on NDVI was one year.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Glacier variations and their response to climate change in an arid inland river basin of Northwest China
ZHOU Zuhao, HAN Ning, LIU Jiajia, YAN Ziqi, XU Chongyu, CAI Jingya, SHANG Yizi, ZHU Jiasong
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (3): 357-373.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0061-2
Abstract261)   HTML24)    PDF (1389KB)(440)      

Glaciers are a critical freshwater resource of river recharge in arid areas around the world. In recent decades, glaciers have shown evidence of retreat due to climate change, and the accelerated ablation of glaciers and associated impacts on water resources have received widespread attention. Glacier variations result from climate change, so they can serve as an indicator of climate change. Considering the climatic differences in different elevation ranges, it is worthwhile to explore whether different responses exist between glacier area and air temperature in each elevation zone. In this study, we selected a typical arid inland river basin (Sugan Lake Basin) in the western Qilian Mountains of Northwest China to analyze the glacier variations and their response to climate change. The glacier area data from 1989 to 2016 were delineated using Landsat Thematic Mapper (TM), Enhanced TM+ (ETM+) and Operational Land Imager (OLI) images. We compared the relationships between glacier area and air temperature at seven meteorological stations in the glacier-covered areas and in the Sugan Lake Basin, and further analyzed the relationship between glacier area and mean air temperature of the glacier surfaces in July-August in the elevation range of 4700-5500 m a.s.l. by the linear regression method and correlation analysis. In addition, based on the linear regression relationship established between glacier area and air temperature in each elevation zone, we predicted glacier areas under future climate scenarios during the periods of 2046-2065 and 2081-2100. The results indicate that the glaciers experienced a remarkable shrinkage from 1989 to 2016 with a shrinkage rate of -1.61 km2/a (-0.5%/a), and the rising temperature is the decisive factor dominating glacial retreat; there is a significant negative linear correlation between glacier area and mean air temperature of the glacier surfaces in July-August in each elevation zone from 1989 to 2016. The variations in glaciers are far less sensitive to changes in precipitation than to changes in air temperature. Due to the influence of climate and topographic conditions, the distribution of glacier area and the rate of glacier ablation first increased and then decreased in different elevation zones. The trend in glacier shrinkage will continue because air temperature will continue to increase in the future, and the result of glacier retreat in each elevation zone will be slightly slower than that in the entire study area. Quantitative glacier research can more accurately reflect the response of glacier variations to climate change, and the regression relationship can be used to predict the areas of glaciers under future climate scenarios. These conclusions can offer effective references for assessing glacier variations and their response to climate change in arid inland river basins in Northwest China as well as other similar regions in the world.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Ridge-furrow plastic mulching with a suitable planting density enhances rainwater productivity, grain yield and economic benefit of rainfed maize
ZHENG Jing, FAN Junliang, ZOU Yufeng, Henry Wai CHAU, ZHANG Fucang
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (2): 181-198.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0001-1
Abstract260)   HTML13)    PDF (805KB)(477)      

Soil surface mulching and planting density regulation are widely used for effective utilization of limited rainwater resources and improvement of crop productivity in dryland farming. However, the combined effects of mulching type and planting density on maize growth and yield have been seldom studied, especially in different hydrological years. A field experiment was conducted to evaluate the effects of mulching type and planting density on the soil temperature, growth, grain yield (GY), water use efficiency (WUE) and economic benefit of rainfed maize in the drylands of northern China during 2015-2017. Precipitation fluctuated over the three years. There were four mulching types (NM, flat cultivation with non-mulching; SM, flat cultivation with straw mulching; RP, plastic-mulched ridge plus bare furrow; RPFS, plastic-mulched ridge plus straw-mulched furrow) and three planting densities (LD, low planting density, 45.0×103 plants/hm2; MD, medium planting density, 67.5×103 plants/hm2; HD, high planting density, 90.0×103 plants/hm2). Results showed that soil temperature was higher with RP and lower with SM compared with NM, but no significant difference was found between RPFS and NM. More soil water was retained by soil mulching at the early growth stage, but it significantly varied at the middle and late growth stages. Maize growth was significantly improved by soil mulching. With increasing planting density, stem diameter, net photosynthetic rate and chlorophyll content tended to decline, whereas a single-peak trend in biomass yield was observed. Mulching type and planting density did not have significant effect on evapotranspiration (ET), but GY and WUE were significantly affected. There were significant interacting effects of mulching type and planting density on biomass yield, GY, ET and WUE. Compared with NM, RPFS, RP and SM increased GY by 57.5%, 50.8% and 18.9%, and increased WUE by 66.6%, 54.3% and 18.1%, respectively. At MD, GY increased by 41.4% and 25.2%, and WUE increased by 38.6% and 22.4% compared with those of at LD and HD. The highest maize GY (7023.2 kg/hm2) was observed under MD+RPFS, but the value (6699.1 kg/hm2) was insignificant under MD+RP. Similar trends were observed for WUE under MD+RP and MD+RPFS, but no significant difference was observed between these two combinations. In terms of economic benefit, net income under MD+RP was the highest with a 9.8% increase compared with that of under MD+RPFS. Therefore, we concluded that RP cultivation pattern with a suitable planting density (67.5×103 plants/hm2) is promising for rainwater resources utilization and maize production in the drylands of northern China.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Vegetation dynamics of coal mining city in an arid desert region of Northwest China from 2000 to 2019
ZHOU Siyuan, DUAN Yufeng, ZHANG Yuxiu, GUO Jinjin
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (5): 534-547.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0007-3
Abstract240)   HTML12)    PDF (3342KB)(322)      

Coal mining has led to serious ecological damages in arid desert region of Northwest China. However, effects of climatic factor and mining activity on vegetation dynamics and plant diversity in this region remain unknown. Wuhai City located in the arid desert region of Northwest China is an industrial city and dominated by coal mining. Based on Landsat data and field investigation in Wuhai City, we analyzed the vegetation dynamics and the relationships with climate factors, coal mining activity and ecological restoration projects from 2000 to 2019. Results showed that vegetation in Wuhai City mostly consisted of desert plants, such as Caragana microphylla, Tetraena mongolica and Achnatherum splendens. And the vegetation fractional coverage (VFC) and greenness rate of change (GRC) showed that vegetation was slightly improved during the study period. Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) was positively correlated with annual mean precipitation, relative humidity and annual mean temperature, indicating that these climate factors might play important roles in the improved vegetation. Vegetation coverage and plant diversity around the coal mining area were reduced by coal mining, while the implementation of ecological restoration projects improved the vegetation coverage and plant diversity. Our results suggested that vegetation in the arid desert region was mainly affected by climate factors, and the implementation of ecological restoration projects could mitigate the impacts of coal mining on vegetation and ecological environment.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Changes in rainfall partitioning caused by the replacement of native dry forests of Lithraea molleoides by exotic plantations of Pinus elliottii in the dry Chaco mountain forests, central Argentina
Samia S CORTéS, Juan I WHITWORTH-HULSE, Eduardo L PIOVANO, Diego E GURVICH, Patricio N MAGLIANO
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (5): 717-729.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0070-1
Abstract233)   HTML19)    PDF (440KB)(434)      

The replacement of native dry forests by commercial (exotic) tree plantations could generate changes in rainfall partitioning, which further affects the water cycle. In this study, we determined (i) the rainfall partitioning into interception, throughfall and stemflow, (ii) the role of rainfall event size on rainfall partitioning, (iii) the pH of water channelized as throughfall and stemflow, and (iv) the runoff in Lithraea molleoides (a native species) and Pinus elliottii (an exotic species) stands in the dry Chaco mountain forests, central Argentina. On average, interception, throughfall and stemflow accounted for 19.3%, 79.5% and 1.2% of the gross rainfall in L. molleoides stand, and 32.6%, 66.7% and 0.7% of the gross rainfall in P. elliottii stand, respectively. Amounts of interception, throughfall and stemflow presented positive linear relationships with the increment of rainfall event size for both tree species (P<0.01 in all cases). Percentages of interception, throughfall and stemflow were all related to the increment of rainfall event size, showing different patterns. With increasing rainfall event size, interception exponentially decreased, throughfall asymptotically increased and stemflow linearly increased. Both P. elliottii and L. molleoides stands presented significant differences in the pH values of water channelized as throughfall (6.3 vs. 6.7, respectively; P<0.01) and stemflow (4.5 vs. 5.8, respectively; P<0.01). Runoff occupied only 0.3% of the gross rainfall in P. elliottii stand and was zero in L. molleoides stand. Our results showed that the native species L. molleoides presented 13.6% more water reaching the topsoil (i.e., net rainfall; net rainfall=gross rainfall-interception-runoff) than the exotic species P. elliottii. This study improves our understanding of the effects of native vegetation replacement on the local water balance in the dry forest ecosystems.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Origin and circulation of saline springs in the Kuqa Basin of the Tarim Basin, Northwest China
SHAN Junjie, WANG Jianping, SHAN Fashou, TENG Xueming, FAN Qishun, LI Qingkuan, QIN Zhanjie, ZHANG Xiangru
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (2): 331-348.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0067-9
Abstract223)   HTML5)    PDF (1093KB)(362)      

It is widely accepted that hydrogeochemistry of saline springs is extremely important to understand the water circulation and evolution of saline basins and to evaluate the potential of potassium-rich evaporites. The Kuqa Basin, located in the northern part of the Tarim Basin in Northwest China, is a saline basin regarded as the most potential potash-seeking area. However, the origin and water circulation processes of saline springs have yet to be fully characterized in this saline basin. In this study, a total of 30 saline spring samples and 11 river water samples were collected from the Qiulitage Structural Belt (QSB) of the Kuqa Basin. They were analyzed for major (K+, Ca2+, Na+, Mg2+, SO42-, Cl- and HCO3-) and trace (Sr2+ and Br-) ion concentrations, stable H-O-Sr isotopes and tritium concentrations in combination with previously published hydrogeochemical and isotopic (H-O) data in the same area. It is found that the water chemical type of saline springs in the study area belonged to the Na-Cl type, and that of river water belonged to the Ca-Mg-HCO3-SO4 type. The total dissolved solid (TDS) of saline springs in the QSB ranged from 117.77 to 314.92 g/L, reaching the brine level. On the basis of the general chemical compositions and the characteristics of the stable H-O-Sr isotopes of saline springs, we infer that those saline springs mainly originated from precipitation following river water recharging. In addition, we found that saline springs were not formed by evapo-concentration because it is unlikely that the high chloride concentration of saline springs resulted in evapo-concentration and high salinity. Therefore, we conclude that saline spring water may have experienced intense evapo-concentration before dissolving the salty minerals or after returning to the surface. The results show that the origin of salinity was mainly dominated by dissolving salty minerals due to the river water and/or precipitation that passed through the halite-rich stratum. Moreover, there are two possible origins of saline springs in the QSB: one is the infiltration of the meteoric water (river water), which then circulates deep into the earth, wherein it dissolves salty minerals, travels along the fault and returns to the surface; another is the mixture of formation water, or the mixture of seawater or marine evaporate sources and its subsequent discharge to the surface under fault conditions. Our findings provide new insight into the possible saltwater circulation and evolution of saline basins in the Tarim Basin.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Maternal salinity improves yield, size and stress tolerance of Suaeda fruticosa seeds
Syed Z SHAH, Aysha RASHEED, Bilquees GUL, Muhammad A KHAN, Brent L NIELSEN, Abdul HAMEED
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (2): 283-293.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0054-1
Abstract212)   HTML4)    PDF (1014KB)(456)      

Shrubby seablite or lani (Suaeda fruticosa Forssk) is a perennial euhalophyte with succulent leaves, which could be planted on arid-saline lands for restoration and cultivated as a non-conventional edible or cash crop. Knowledge about the impacts of maternal saline environment on seed attributes of this important euhalophyte is lacking. This study investigated the effects of maternal salinity on yield, size and stress tolerance of S. fruticosa seeds. Seedlings of S. fruticosa were grown in a green net house under increasing maternal salinity levels (0, 300, 600 and 900 mM NaCl) until seed production. Total yield, size, stress tolerance and germination of the descended seeds under different maternal saline conditions were examined. Plants grown under saline conditions (300, 600 and 900 mM NaCl) produce a substantially higher quantity of seeds than plants grown under non-saline condition (0 mM NaCl). Low maternal salinity (300 mM NaCl) improves seed size. Seeds produced under all maternal salinity levels display a higher tolerance to low temperature (night/day thermoperiod of 10°C/20°C), whereas seeds produced under 300 mM NaCl maternal saline condition show a better tolerance to high temperature (night/day thermoperiod of 25°C/35°C) during germination. Seeds from all maternal saline conditions germinate better in the 12 h photoperiod (12 h light/12 h dark) than in the dark (24 h dark); however, seeds produced from low and moderate maternal saline conditions (300 and 600 mM NaCl) show a higher germination in the dark than those from control and high maternal saline conditions (0 and 900 mM NaCl). In general, maternal salinity is found to improve yield, size and stress tolerance of S. fruticosa seeds.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Effect of vegetation on soil bacteria and their potential functions for ecological restoration in the Hulun Buir Sandy Land, China
YAN Ru, FENG Wei
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (3): 473-494.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0011-z
Abstract210)   HTML8)    PDF (4755KB)(305)      

To date, much of research on revegetation has focused on soil microorganisms due to their contributions in the formation of soil and soil remediation process. However, little is known about the soil bacteria and their functions respond to the diverse vegetational types in the process of vegetation restoration. Effects of dominated vegetation, i.e., Artemisia halodendron Turcz Ex Bess, Caragana microphylla Lam., Hedysarum fruticosum Pall. and Pinus sylvestris L. on bacterial community structures and their potential functions in the Hulun Buir Sandy Land, China were determined using high-throughput 16S rRNA gene sequencing and phylogenetic investigation of communities by reconstruction of unobserved states (PICRUSt) in 2015. Although the dominant phyla of soil bacterial community among different types of vegetation, including Proteobacteria, Actinobacteria, Acidobacteria, Bacteroidetes and Firmicutes, were similar, the relative abundance of these dominant groups significantly differed, indicating that different types of vegetation might result in variations in the composition of soil bacterial community. In addition, functional genes of bacterial populations were similar among different types of vegetation, whereas its relative abundance was significantly differed. Most carbon fixation genes showed a high relative abundance in P. sylvestris, vs. recalcitrant carbon decomposition genes in A. halodendron, suggesting the variations in carbon cycling potential of different types of vegetation. Abundance of assimilatory nitrate reduction genes was the highest in P. sylvestris, vs. dissimilatory nitrate reduction and nitrate reductase genes in A. halodendron, indicating higher nitrogen gasification loss and lower nitrogen utilization gene functions in A. halodendron. The structures and functional genes of soil bacterial community showed marked sensitivities to different plant species, presenting the potentials for regulating soil carbon and nitrogen cycling.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Spatiotemporal variation in snow cover and its effects on grassland phenology on the Mongolian Plateau
SA Chula, MENG Fanhao, LUO Min, LI Chenhao, WANG Mulan, ADIYA Saruulzaya, BAO Yuhai
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (4): 332-349.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0056-7
Abstract203)   HTML17)    PDF (2744KB)(351)      

Snow cover is an important water source for vegetation growth in arid and semi-arid areas, and grassland phenology provides valuable information on the response of terrestrial ecosystems to climate change. The Mongolian Plateau features both abundant snow cover resources and typical grassland ecosystems. In recent years, with the intensification of global climate change, the snow cover on the Mongolian Plateau has changed correspondingly, with resulting effects on vegetation growth. In this study, using MOD10A1 snow cover data and MOD13A1 Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) data combined with remote sensing (RS) and geographic information system (GIS) techniques, we analyzed the spatiotemporal changes in snow cover and grassland phenology on the Mongolian Plateau from 2001 to 2018. The correlation analysis and grey relation analysis were used to determine the influence of snow cover parameters (snow cover fraction (SCF), snow cover duration (SCD), snow cover onset date (SCOD), and snow cover end date (SCED)) on different types of grassland vegetation. The results showed wide snow cover areas, an early start time, a late end time, and a long duration of snow cover over the northern Mongolian Plateau. Additionally, a late start, an early end, and a short duration were observed for grassland phenology, but the southern area showed the opposite trend. The SCF decreased at an annual rate of 0.33%. The SCD was shortened at an annual rate of 0.57 d. The SCOD and SCED in more than half of the study area advanced at annual rates of 5.33 and 5.74 DOY (day of year), respectively. For grassland phenology, the start of the growing season (SOS) advanced at an annual rate of 0.03 DOY, the end of the growing season (EOS) was delayed at an annual rate of 0.14 DOY, and the length of the growing season (LOS) was prolonged at an annual rate of 0.17 d. The SCF, SCD, and SCED in the snow season were significantly positively correlated with the SOS and negatively correlated with the EOS and LOS. The SCOD was significantly negatively correlated with the SOS and positively correlated with the EOS and LOS. The SCD and SCF can directly affect the SOS of grassland vegetation, while the EOS and LOS were obviously influenced by the SCOD and SCED. This study provides a scientific basis for exploring the response trends of alpine vegetation to global climate change.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Spatiotemporal changes in water, land use, and ecosystem services in Central Asia considering climate changes and human activities
YU Yang, CHEN Xi, Ireneusz MALIK, Malgorzata WISTUBA, CAO Yiguo, HOU Dongde, TA Zhijie, HE Jing, ZHANG Lingyun, YU Ruide, ZHANG Haiyan, SUN Lingxiao
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (9): 881-890.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0084-3
Abstract202)   HTML22)    PDF (472KB)(425)      

Central Asia is located in the hinterland of Eurasia, comprising Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan; over 93.00% of the total area is dryland. Temperature rise and human activities have severe impacts on the fragile ecosystems. Since the 1970s, nearly half the great lakes in Central Asia have shrunk and rivers are drying rapidly owing to climate changes and human activities. Water shortage and ecological crisis have attracted extensive international attention. In general, ecosystem services in Central Asia are declining, particularly with respect to biodiversity, water, and soil conservation. Furthermore, the annual average temperature and annual precipitation in Central Asia increased by 0.30°C/decade and 6.9 mm/decade in recent decades, respectively. Temperature rise significantly affected glacier retreat in the Tianshan Mountains and Pamir Mountains, which may intensify water shortage in the 21st century. The increase in precipitation cannot counterbalance the aggravation of water shortage caused by the temperature rise and human activities in Central Asia. The population of Central Asia is growing gradually, and its economy is increasing steadily. Moreover, the agricultural land has not been expended in the last two decades. Thus, water and ecological crises, such as the Aral Sea shrinkage in the 21st century, cannot be attributed to agriculture extension any longer. Unbalanced regional development and water interception/transfer have led to the irrational exploitation of water resources in some watersheds, inducing downstream water shortage and ecological degradation. In addition, accelerated industrialization and urbanization have intensified this process. Therefore, all Central Asian countries must urgently reach a consensus and adopt common measures for water and ecological protection.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Performance and uncertainty analysis of a short-term climate reconstruction based on multi-source data in the Tianshan Mountains region, China
LI Xuemei, Slobodan P SIMONOVIC, LI Lanhai, ZHANG Xueting, QIN Qirui
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (3): 374-396.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0065-y
Abstract201)   HTML7)    PDF (1311KB)(539)      

Short-term climate reconstruction, i.e., the reproduction of short-term (several decades) historical climatic time series based on the relationship between observed data and available longer-term reference data in a certain area, can extend the length of climatic time series and offset the shortage of observations. This can be used to assess regional climate change over a much longer time scale. Based on monthly grid climate data from a Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) dataset for the period of 1850-2000, the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) dataset for the period of 1901-2000 and the observed data from 53 meteorological stations located in the Tianshan Mountains region (TMR) of China during the period of 1961-2011, we calibrated and validated monthly average temperature (MAT) and monthly accumulated precipitation (MAP) in the TMR using the delta, physical scaling (SP) and artificial neural network (ANN) methods. Performance and uncertainty during the calibration (1971-1999) and verification (1961-1970) periods were assessed and compared using traditional performance indices and a revised set pair analysis (RSPA) method. The calibration and verification processes were subjected to various sources of uncertainty due to the influence of different reconstructed variables, different data sources, and/or different methods used. According to traditional performance indices, both the CRU and CMIP5 datasets resulted in satisfactory calibrated and verified MAT time series at 53 meteorological stations and MAP time series at 20 meteorological stations using the delta and SP methods for the period of 1961-1999. However, the results differed from those obtained by the RSPA method. This showed that the CRU dataset produced a low degree of uncertainty (positive connection degree) during the calibration and verification of MAT using the delta and SP methods compared to the CMIP5 dataset. Overall, the calibrated and verified MAP had a high degree of uncertainty (negative connection degree) regardless of the dataset or reconstruction method used. Therefore, the reconstructed time series of MAT for the period of 1850 (or 1901)-1960 based on the CRU and CMIP5 datasets using the delta and SP methods could be used for further study. The results of this study will be useful for short-term (several decades) regional climate reconstruction and longer-term (100 a or more) assessments of regional climate change.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Assessing the collapse risk of Stipa bungeana grassland in China based on its distribution changes
QIAO Xianguo, GUO Ke, LI Guoqing, ZHAO Liqing, LI Frank Yonghong, GAO Chenguang
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (2): 303-317.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0121-7
Abstract199)   HTML3)    PDF (588KB)(308)      

The criteria used by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for its Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) are the global standards for ecosystem-level risk assessment, and they have been increasingly used for biodiversity conservation. The changed distribution area of an ecosystem is one of the key criteria in such assessments. The Stipa bungeana grassland is one of the most widely distributed grasslands in the warm-temperate semi-arid regions of China. However, the total distribution area of this grassland was noted to have shrunk and become fragmented because of its conversion to cropland and grazing-induced degradation. Following the IUCN-RLE standards, here we analyzed changes in the geographical distribution of this degraded grassland, to evaluate its degradation and risk of collapse. Past (1950-1980) distribution areas were extracted from the Vegetation Map of China (1:1,000,000). Present realizable distribution areas were equated to these past areas minus any habitat area losses. We then predicted the grassland's present and future (under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 scenario) potential distribution areas using maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt), based on field survey data and nine environmental layers. Our results showed that the S. bungeana grassland was mainly distributed in the Loess Plateau, Hexi Corridor, and low altitudes of the Qilian Mountains and Longshou Mountain. This ecosystem occurred mainly on loess soils, kastanozems, steppe aeolian soils and sierozems. Thermal and edaphic factors were the most important factors limiting the distribution of S. bungeana grassland across China. Since 56.1% of its past distribution area (4.9×104 km2) disappeared in the last 50 a, the present realizable distribution area only amounts to 2.2×104 km2. But only 15.7% of its present potential distribution area (14.0×104 km2) is actually occupied by the S. bungeana grassland. The future potential distribution of S. bungeana grassland was predicted to shift towards northwest, and the total area of this ecosystem will shrink by 12.4% over the next 50 a under the most pessimistic climate change scenario. Accordingly, following the IUCN-RLE criteria, we deemed the S. bungeana grassland ecosystem in China to be endangered (EN). Revegetation projects and the establishment of protected areas are recommended as effective ways to avert this looming crisis. This empirical modeling study provides an example of how IUCN-RLE categories and criteria may be valuably used for ecosystem assessments in China and abroad.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Effects of long-term warming on the aboveground biomass and species diversity in an alpine meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau of China
WEN Jing, QIN Ruimin, ZHANG Shixiong, YANG Xiaoyan, XU Manhou
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (2): 252-266.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0064-z
Abstract197)   HTML3)    PDF (922KB)(334)      

Ecosystems in high-altitude regions are more sensitive and respond more rapidly than other ecosystems to global climate warming. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau (QTP) of China is an ecologically fragile zone that is sensitive to global climate warming. It is of great importance to study the changes in aboveground biomass and species diversity of alpine meadows on the QTP under predicted future climate warming. In this study, we selected an alpine meadow on the QTP as the study object and used infrared radiators as the warming device for a simulation experiment over eight years (2011-2018). We then analyzed the dynamic changes in aboveground biomass and species diversity of the alpine meadow at different time scales, including an early stage of warming (2011-2013) and a late stage of warming (2016-2018), in order to explore the response of alpine meadows to short-term (three years) and long-term warming (eight years). The results showed that the short-term warming increased air temperature by 0.31°C and decreased relative humidity by 2.54%, resulting in the air being warmer and drier. The long-term warming increased air temperature and relative humidity by 0.19°C and 1.47%, respectively, and the air tended to be warmer and wetter. The short-term warming increased soil temperature by 2.44°C and decreased soil moisture by 12.47%, whereas the long-term warming increased soil temperature by 1.76°C and decreased soil moisture by 9.90%. This caused the shallow soil layer to become warmer and drier under both short-term and long-term warming. Furthermore, the degree of soil drought was alleviated with increased warming duration. Under the long-term warming, the importance value and aboveground biomass of plants in different families changed. The importance values of grasses and sedges decreased by 47.56% and 3.67%, respectively, while the importance value of weeds increased by 1.37%. Aboveground biomass of grasses decreased by 36.55%, while those of sedges and weeds increased by 8.09% and 15.24%, respectively. The increase in temperature had a non-significant effect on species diversity. The species diversity indices increased at the early stage of warming and decreased at the late stage of warming, but none of them reached significant levels (P>0.05). Species diversity had no significant correlation with soil temperature and soil moisture under both short-term and long-term warming. Soil temperature and aboveground biomass were positively correlated in the control plots (P=0.014), but negatively correlated under the long-term warming (P=0.013). Therefore, eight years of warming aggravated drought in the shallow soil layer, which is beneficial for the growth of weeds but not for the growth of grasses. Warming changed the structure of alpine meadow communities and had a certain impact on the community species diversity. Our studies have great significance for the protection and effective utilization of alpine vegetation, as well as for the prevention of grassland degradation or desertification in high-altitude regions.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Application of SALTMED and HYDRUS-1D models for simulations of soil water content and soil salinity in controlled groundwater depth
Masoud NOSHADI, Saghar FAHANDEJ-SAADI, Ali R SEPASKHAH
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (3): 447-461.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0002-0
Abstract191)   HTML6)    PDF (757KB)(511)      

Salinization is a gradual process that should be monitored. Modelling is a suitable alternative technique that saves time and cost for the field monitoring. But the performance of the models should be evaluated using the measured data. Therefore, the aim of this study was to evaluate and compare the SALTMED and HYDRUS-1D models using the measured soil water content, soil salinity and wheat yield data under different levels of saline irrigation water and groundwater depth. The field experiment was conducted in 2013 and in this research three controlled groundwater depths, i.e., 60 (CD60), 80 (CD80) and 100 (CD100) cm and two salinity levels of irrigation water, i.e., 4 (EC4) and 8 (EC8) dS/m were used in a complete randomized design with three replications. Soil water content and soil salinity were measured in soil profile and compared with the predicted values by the SALTMED and HYDRUS-1D models. Calibrations of the SALTMED and HYDRUS-1D models were carried out using the measured data under EC4-CD100 treatment and the data of the other treatments were used for validation. The statistical parameters including normalized root mean square error (NRMSE) and degree of agreement (d) showed that the values for predicting soil water content and soil salinity were more accurate in the HYDRUS-1D model than in the SALTMED model. The NRMSE and d values of the HYDRUS-1D model were 9.6% and 0.64 for the predicted soil water content and 6.2% and 0.98 for the predicted soil salinity, respectively. These indices of the SALTMED model were 10.6% and 0.81 for the predicted soil water content and 11.0% and 0.97 for the predicted soil salinity, respectively. According to the NRMSE and d values for the predicted wheat yield (9.8% and 0.91, respectively) and dry matter (2.9% and 0.99, respectively), we concluded that the SALTMED model predicted the wheat yield and dry matter accurately.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Tree ring based drought variability in Northwest Tajikistan since 1895 AD
YANG Meilin, YU Yang, ZHANG Haiyan, WANG Qian, GAN Miao, YU Ruide
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (3): 413-422.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0062-1
Abstract190)   HTML9)    PDF (624KB)(481)      

Determining the mechanisms controlling the changes of wet and dry conditions will improve our understanding of climate change over the past hundred years, which is of great significance to the study of climate and environmental changes in the arid regions of Central Asia. Forest trees are ecologically significant in the local environment, and therefore the tree ring analysis can provide a clear record of regional historical climate. This study analyzed the correlation between the tree ring width chronology of Juniperus turkestanica Komarov and the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) in Northwest Tajikistan, based on 56 tree ring samples collected from Shahristan in the Pamir region. Climate data including precipitation, temperature and the SPEI were downloaded from the Climate Research Unit (CRU) TS 4.00. The COFECHA program was used for cross-dating, and the ARSTAN program was used to remove the growth trend of the tree itself and the influence of non-climatic factors on the growth of the trees. A significant correlation was found between the radial growth of J. turkestanica trees and the monthly mean SPEI of February-April. The monthly mean SPEI sequence of February-April during the period of 1895-2016 was reconstructed, and the reconstruction equation explained 42.5% of the variance. During the past 122 a (1895-2016), the study area has experienced three wetter periods (precipitation above average): 1901-1919, 1945-1983 and 1995-2010, and four drier periods (precipitation below average): 1895-1900, 1920-1944, 1984-1994 and 2011-2016. The spatial correlation analysis revealed that the monthly mean SPEI reconstruction sequence of February-April could be used to characterize the large-scale dry-wet variations in Northwest Tajikistan during the period of 1895-2016. This study could provide comparative data for validating the projections of climate models and scientific basis for managing water resources in Tajikistan in the context of climate change.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Source identification of nitrate in the upper aquifer system of the Wadi Shueib catchment area in Jordan based on stable isotope composition
Mutawakil OBEIDAT, Muheeb AWAWDEH, Noor AL-KHARABSHEH, Ahmad AL-AJLOUNI
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (4): 350-374.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0055-8
Abstract189)   HTML8)    PDF (1114KB)(468)      

Groundwater forms the main freshwater supply in arid and semi-arid areas, and contamination of this precious resource is complicated by the slow rate of recharge in these areas. Nitrate contamination of groundwater is a global water quality problem, as it entails threat to human health as well as aquatic ecosystems. Source identification of contamination is the cornerstone and a prerequisite for any effective management program of water quality. Stable isotope composition of the dissolved nitrate (δ15N-NO3- and δ 18O-NO3-) has been applied to identify NO3- sources and the main transformation processes in the upper aquifer system (A1/2, A4, and B2/A7 aquifers) in the Wadi Shueib catchment area, Jordan. Moreover, the stable isotope compositions of the groundwater (δ2H-H2O and δ18O-H2O) in conjunction with the groundwater hydrochemistry were integrated to investigate the origin and evolution of the groundwater. Results revealed that groundwater in the study area is fresh and hard-very hard water, and mainly a Ca-Mg-Cl type. NO3- concentration was in the range of 7.0-74.0 mg/L with an average of 37.0 mg/L. Most of the samples showed concentration higher than the natural background concentration of NO3- (5.0-10.0 mg/L). The δ 2H-H2O and δ18O-H2O values indicated that the groundwater is meteoric, and of Mediterranean origin, with a strong evaporation effect. The δ15N-NO3- values ranged between 6.0‰ and 11.3‰ with an average of 8.7‰, and the δ18O-NO3- values ranged between 1.6‰ and 5.9‰ with an average of 3.4‰. These values are in conformity with the stable isotope composition of nitrate derived the nitrification of wastewater/manure, and soil NH4. Nitrification and denitrification are the main transformation processes affecting nitrogen species. Statistical analysis revealed no significant differences in the δ2H-H2O and δ18O-H2O values, and δ15N-NO3- and δ 18O-NO3- values for the three aquifers (A1/2, A4, and B2/A7), indicating that the groundwater of these aquifers has the same origin, and a common source of pollution.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Responses of leaf water potential and gas exchange to the precipitation manipulation in two shrubs on the Chinese Loess Plateau
LI Yangyang, CHEN Jiacun, AI Shaoshui, SHI Hui
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (2): 267-282.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0008-7
Abstract186)   HTML3)    PDF (657KB)(288)      

Regulation of leaf gas exchange plays an important role in the survival of trees and shrubs under future climate change. However, the responses of leaf water potential and gas exchange of shrubs in semi-arid areas to the precipitation alteration are not clear. Here, we conducted a manipulated experiment with three levels of precipitation, i.e., a control with ambient precipitation, 50% above ambient precipitation (irrigation treatment), and 50% below ambient precipitation (drought treatment), with two common shrubs, Salix psammophila C. Wang & C. Y. Yang (isohydric plant, maintaining a constant leaf water potential by stomatal regulation) and Caragana korshinskii Kom. (anisohydric plant, having more variable leaf water potential), on the Chinese Loess Plateau in 2014 and 2015. We measured the seasonal variations of predawn and midday leaf water potential (Ψpd and Ψmd), two parameters of gas exchange, i.e., light-saturated assimilation (An) and stomatal conductance (gs), and other foliar and canopy traits. The isohydric S. psammophila had a similar An and a higher gs than the anisohydric C. korshinskii under drought treatment in 2015, inconsistent with the view that photosynthetic capacity of anisohydric plants is higher than isohydric plants under severe drought. The two shrubs differently responded to precipitation manipulation. Ψpd, An and gs were higher under irrigation treatment than control for S. psammophila, and these three variables and Ψmd were significantly higher under irrigation treatment and lower under drought treatment than control for C. korshinskii. Leaf water potential and gas exchange responded to manipulated precipitation more strongly for C. korshinskii than for S. psammophila. However, precipitation manipulation did not alter the sensitivity of leaf gas exchange to vapor-pressure deficit and soil moisture in these two shrubs. Acclimation to long-term changes in soil moisture in these two shrubs was primarily attributed to the changes in leaf or canopy structure rather than leaf gas exchange. These findings will be useful for modeling canopy water-carbon exchange and elucidating the adaptive strategies of these two shrubs to future changes in precipitation.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Morphological characteristics and dynamic changes of seif dunes in the eastern margin of the Kumtagh Desert, China
PANG Yingjun, WU Bo, LI Yonghua, XIE Shengbo
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (5): 887-902.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0099-1
Abstract185)   HTML5)    PDF (1113KB)(328)      

The seif dune field over the gravel desert surface in the eastern margin of the Kumtagh Desert is a valuable experimental site for the observation of dune formation and dynamics. We used high-resolution remote sensing and station observation approaches, combined with wind and grain size data, to study the characteristics of the aeolian environment and the morphologies of and dynamic changes in seif dunes. We observed the ratio of the resultant drift potential (RDP) to the drift potential (DP), which was 0.37, associated with an obtuse bimodal wind regime. The drift potentials in the west-northwest (WNW) and east-northeast (ENE) directions were dominant, and the angle between the two primary DP directions was 135.00°. The dune orientations ranged from 168.75°-213.75°, which were parallel to the resultant drift direction (186.15°). The dune lengths ranged from 51.68 to 1932.11 m with a mean value of 344.91 m. The spacings of the dunes ranged from 32.34 to 319.77 m with a mean value of 93.39 m. The mean grain size of the sediments became finer, and the sorting became better from upwind tail to downwind tip, which indicated that the sediment of the seif dunes in the study region may be transported from northward to southward. The rate of increase in the length, the mean longitudinal migration rate of the dune tail, and the mean longitudinal extension rate of the dune tip (also called elongation rate) were 4.93, 4.63, and 9.55 m/a, respectively. The mean lateral migration vector of the seif dunes was approximately 0.11 m/a towards the west (-0.11 m/a), while the mean amplitude of lateral migration was 0.53 m/a, ignoring the direction of lateral migration. We found that the seif dune field formed first beside seasonal rivers, which can provide sediment, and then expanded downwind.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Assessment of drought hazard, vulnerability and risk in Iran using GIS techniques
Esmail HEYDARI ALAMDARLOO, Hassan KHOSRAVI, Sahar NASABPOUR, Ahmad GHOLAMI
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (6): 984-1000.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0096-4
Abstract179)   HTML12)    PDF (2750KB)(772)      

The drought has enormous adverse effects on agriculture, water resources and environment, and causes damages around the world. Drought risk assessment and prioritization of drought management can help decision makers and planners to manage the adverse effects of drought. This paper aims to determine the risk of drought in Iran. At the first stage, standardized precipitation index (SPI) was calculated for the period 1981-2016. Then the probability map of different drought classes or drought hazard probability map were prepared. After that the indicator-based vulnerability assessment method was used to determine the drought vulnerability index. Five indices including climate, topography, waterway density, land use and groundwater resources were chosen as the most critical factors of drought in Iran and followed by the analytical hierarchy process questionnaire, the weights of each index were obtained based on expert opinions. Fuzzy membership maps of each index and sub-index were prepared using ArcGIS software. The drought vulnerability map of Iran was plotted using these weights and maps of each indicator. Finally, the drought risk map of Iran was provided by multiplying drought hazard and vulnerability maps. According to the 43-completed questionnaires by experts, climate index has the highest vulnerability to drought. Climate does not have an important role in drought hazard index, but it is the most crucial factor to classified drought vulnerability index. The results showed that central, northeast, southeast and west parts of Iran are at high risks of drought. There are regions with different risks in Iran due to unusual weather and climatic conditions. We realized that the climate and the groundwater situation is almost the same in the central, east and south parts of Iran, because the land use plays a crucial role in the drought vulnerability and risk in these areas. The drought risk decreases from the center of Iran to the southwest and northwest.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
A study on historical location and evolution of Lop Nor in China with maps and DEM
ZHANG Tingting, SHAO Yun, GENG Yuyang, GONG Huaze, YANG Lan
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (6): 639-652.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0099-9
Abstract178)   HTML15)    PDF (2943KB)(291)      

Lop Sea, located at the east end of the Tarim Basin, Northwest China, dried up permanently, which is the terminal lake of the Tarim River. Lop Sea was considered as the lake basin of Lop Nor since Quaternary. However, the possibility that Lop Nor was away from the Lop Sea in historical time is crucial to be discussed to interpret the proxy records in sediment profiles. To obtain a general view of the evolution of Lop Nor and Lop Sea in a historical period, several approaches were adopted in this paper. First, the Qianlong Thirteen-Row Atlas, an ancient imperial atlas of the Qing Dynasty, which was completed around 1760, indicated that the Tarim River formed a relatively large lake at its modern upstream region. Second, a Digital Elevation Model (DEM) with a 10-m spatial resolution and a relative precision of 0.42 m was derived from TanDEM-X/TerraSAR-X satellite image pairs using the interferometry method, which was verified using ICESat-GLAS laser footprints and a local DEM acquired by a drone. Finally, based on the spatial analysis of historical documents, expedition reports, sediment profiles and archaeological evidence, it can be deduced that the lacustrine deposition was discontinued in the Lop Sea. Six episodes in the evolutionary history of the drainage system in eastern Tarim Basin were summarized. The proved depositional condition variations could be used for future interpretation of proxy records in sediment. The high-accurate DEM provided a reference for the location of further fieldwork in the Lop Sea. The method proposed in this paper may be efficient for the research of inland lakes or rivers in global arid regions.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Assessing the effects of vegetation and precipitation on soil erosion in the Three-River Headwaters Region of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China
HE Qian, DAI Xiao'ai, CHEN Shiqi
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (5): 865-886.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0075-9
Abstract177)   HTML4)    PDF (2546KB)(644)      

Soil erosion in the Three-River Headwaters Region (TRHR) of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China has a significant impact on local economic development and ecological environment. Vegetation and precipitation are considered to be the main factors for the variation in soil erosion. However, it is a big challenge to analyze the impacts of precipitation and vegetation respectively as well as their combined effects on soil erosion from the pixel scale. To assess the influences of vegetation and precipitation on the variation of soil erosion from 2005 to 2015, we employed the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model to evaluate soil erosion in the TRHR, and then developed a method using the Logarithmic Mean Divisia Index model (LMDI) which can exponentially decompose the influencing factors, to calculate the contribution values of the vegetation cover factor (C factor) and the rainfall erosivity factor (R factor) to the variation of soil erosion from the pixel scale. In general, soil erosion in the TRHR was alleviated from 2005 to 2015, of which about 54.95% of the area where soil erosion decreased was caused by the combined effects of the C factor and the R factor, and 41.31% was caused by the change in the R factor. There were relatively few areas with increased soil erosion modulus, of which 64.10% of the area where soil erosion increased was caused by the change in the C factor, and 23.88% was caused by the combined effects of the C factor and the R factor. Therefore, the combined effects of the C factor and the R factor were regarded as the main driving force for the decrease of soil erosion, while the C factor was the dominant factor for the increase of soil erosion. The area with decreased soil erosion caused by the C factor (12.10×103 km2) was larger than the area with increased soil erosion caused by the C factor (8.30×103 km2), which indicated that vegetation had a positive effect on soil erosion. This study generally put forward a new method for quantitative assessment of the impacts of the influencing factors on soil erosion, and also provided a scientific basis for the regional control of soil erosion.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Endophytic bacteria associated with halophyte Seidlitzia rosmarinus Ehrenb. ex Boiss. from saline soil of Uzbekistan and their plant beneficial traits
Vyacheslav SHURIGIN, Dilfuza EGAMBERDIEVA, LI Li, Kakhramon DAVRANOV, Hovik PANOSYAN, Nils-Kåre BIRKELAND, Stephan WIRTH, Sonoko D BELLINGRATH-KIMURA
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (5): 730-740.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0019-4
Abstract173)   HTML8)    PDF (423KB)(658)      

Endophytic bacteria of halophytic plants play essential roles in salt stress tolerance. Therefore, an understanding of the true nature of plant-microbe interactions under extreme conditions is essential. The current study aimed to identify cultivable endophytic bacteria associated with the roots and shoots of Seidlitzia rosmarinus Ehrenb. ex Boiss. grown in the salt-affected soil in Uzbekistan and to evaluate their plant beneficial traits related to plant growth stimulation and stress tolerance. Bacteria were isolated from the roots and the shoots of S. rosmarinus using culture-dependent techniques and identified by the 16S rRNA gene. RFLP (Restriction Fragment Length Polymorphism) analysis was conducted to eliminate similar isolates. Results showed that the isolates from the roots of S. rosmarinus belonged to the genera Rothia, Kocuria, Pseudomonas, Staphylococcus, Paenibacillus and Brevibacterium. The bacterial isolates from the shoots of S. rosmarinus belonged to the genera Staphylococcus, Rothia, Stenotrophomonas, Brevibacterium, Halomonas, Planococcus, Planomicrobium and Pseudomonas, which differed from those of the roots. Notably, Staphylococcus, Rothia and Brevibacterium were detected in both roots and shoots, indicating possible migration of some species from roots to shoots. The root-associated bacteria showed higher levels of IAA (indole-3-acetic acid) synthesis compared with those isolated from the shoots, as well as the higher production of ACC (1-aminocyclopropane-1-carboxylate) deaminase. Our findings suggest that halophytic plants are valuable sources for the selection of microbes with a potential to improve plant fitness under saline soils.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Relationship between ecological stoichiometry and plant community diversity in the upper reaches of Tarim River, northwestern China
ZHAO Jingjing, GONG Lu, CHEN Xin
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (2): 227-238.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0020-y
Abstract173)   HTML5)    PDF (367KB)(346)      

Changes in ecological stoichiometry reflect nitrogen (N), phosphorus (P) and both N and P limitations in a plant community, which in turn affect plant diversity of the community. However, the relationship between plant community diversity and ecological stoichiometry has not yet been fully researched in arid and semi-arid regions. Ecological stoichiometry and plant community diversity indices of eighteen communities in the upper reaches of Tarim River, northwestern China, were analyzed by multivariate analysis of variance in 2016. The correlation between ecological stoichiometry and plant community diversity was assessed by redundancy analysis (RDA). Results indicated that the Margalef index was significantly correlated with carbon (C) and P concentrations, the Simpson index and Shannon-Weaner index were significantly correlated with plant C concentration, and the Pielou index was significantly correlated with plant C and N concentrations. Moreover, C:N and C:P ratios had significant impacts on plant community diversity. Our results highlight the importance of ecological stoichiometry in driving plant community diversity in the upper reaches of Tarim River, northwestern China.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Spatial-temporal characteristics and influencing factors of relative humidity in arid region of Northwest China during 1966-2017
CHEN Ditao, LIU Wenjiang, HUANG Farong, LI Qian, Friday UCHENNA-OCHEGE, LI Lanhai
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (3): 397-412.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0098-2
Abstract172)   HTML11)    PDF (1316KB)(330)      

Playing an important role in global warming and plant growth, relative humidity (RH) has profound impacts on production and living, and can be used as an integrated indicator for evaluating the wet-dry conditions in the arid and semi-arid area. However, information on the spatial-temporal variation and the influencing factors of RH in these regions is still limited. This study attempted to use daily meteorological data during 1966-2017 to reveal the spatial-temporal characteristics of RH in the arid region of Northwest China through rotated empirical orthogonal function and statistical analysis method, and the path analysis was used to clarify the impact of temperature (T), precipitation (P), actual evapotranspiration (ETa), wind speed (W) and sunshine duration (S) on RH. The results demonstrated that climatic conditions in North Xinjiang (NXJ) was more humid than those in Hexi Corridor (HXC) and South Xinjiang (SXJ). RH had a less significant downtrend in NXJ than that in HXC, but an increasingly rising trend was observed in SXJ during the last five decades, implying that HXC and NXJ were under the process of droughts, while SXJ was getting wetter. There was a turning point for the trend of RH in Xinjiang, which occurred in 2000. Path analysis indicated that RH was negatively correlated to T, ETa, W and S, but it increased with increase of P. S, T and W had the greatest direct effects on RH in HXC, NXJ and SXJ, respectively. ETa was the factor which had the greatest indirect effect on RH in HXC and NXJ, while T was the dominant factor in SXJ.

Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Spatiotemporal analysis of drought variability based on the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index in the Koshi River Basin, Nepal
Nirmal M DAHAL, XIONG Donghong, Nilhari NEUPANE, Belayneh YIGEZ, ZHANG Baojun, YUAN Yong, Saroj KOIRALA, LIU Lin, FANG Yiping
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (5): 433-454.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0065-6
Abstract169)   HTML26)    PDF (1086KB)(191)      

Drought is an inevitable condition with negative impacts in the agricultural and climatic sectors, especially in developing countries. This study attempts to examine the spatial and temporal characteristics of drought and its trends in the Koshi River Basin (KRB) in Nepal, using the standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) over the period from 1987 to 2017. The Mann-Kendall test was used to explore the trends of the SPEI values. The study illustrated the increasing annual and seasonal drought trends in the KRB over the study period. Spatially, the hill region of the KRB showed substantial increasing drought trends at the annual and seasonal scales, especially in summer and winter. The mountain region also showed a significant increasing drought trend in winter. The drought characteristic analysis indicated that the maximum duration, intensity, and severity of drought events were observed in the KRB after 2000. The Terai region presented the highest drought frequency and intensity, while the hill region presented the longest maximum drought duration. Moreover, the spatial extent of drought showed a significant increasing trend in the hill region at the monthly (drought station proportion of 7.6%/10a in August), seasonal (drought station proportion of 7.2%/10a in summer), and annual (drought station proportion of 6.7%/10a) scales. The findings of this study can assist local governments, planners, and project implementers in understanding drought and developing appropriate mitigation strategies to cope with its impacts.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Reducing water and nitrogen inputs combined with plastic mulched ridge-furrow irrigation improves soil water and salt status in arid saline areas, China
LI Cheng, WANG Qingsong, LUO Shuai, QUAN Hao, WANG Naijiang, LUO Xiaoqi, ZHANG Tibin, DING Dianyuan, DONG Qin'ge, FENG Hao
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (8): 761-776.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0015-3
Abstract168)   HTML27)    PDF (710KB)(211)      

Plastic mulched ridge-furrow irrigation is a useful method to improve crop productivity and decrease salt accumulation in arid saline areas. However, inappropriate irrigation and fertilizer practices may result in ecological and environmental problems. In order to improve the resource use efficiency in these areas, we investigated the effects of different irrigation amounts (400 (I1), 300 (I2) and 200 (I3) mm) and nitrogen application rates (300 (F1) and 150 (F2) kg N/hm2) on water consumption, salt variation and resource use efficiency of spring maize (Zea mays L.) in the Hetao Irrigation District (HID) of Northwest China in 2017 and 2018. Result showed that soil water contents were 0.2%-8.9% and 13.9%-18.1% lower for I2 and I3 than for I1, respectively, but that was slightly higher for F2 than for F1. Soil salt contents were 7.8%-23.5% and 48.5%-48.9% lower for I2 than for I1 and I3, but that was 1.6%-5.5% higher for F1 than for F2. Less salt leaching at the early growth stage (from sowing to six-leaf stage) and higher salt accumulation at the peak growth stage (from six-leaf to tasseling stage and from grain-filling to maturity stage) resulted in a higher soil salt content for I3 than for I1 and I2. Grain yields for I1 and I2 were significantly higher than that for I3 and irrigation water use efficiency for I2 was 14.7%-34.0% higher than that for I1. Compared with F1, F2 increased the partial factor productivity (PFP) of nitrogen fertilizer by more than 80%. PFP was not significantly different between I1F2 and I2F2, but significantly higher than those of other treatments. Considering the goal of saving water and nitrogen resources, and ensuring food security, we recommended the combination of I2F2 to ensure the sustainable development of agriculture in the HID and other similar arid saline areas.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Coupling between the Grain for Green Program and a household level-based agricultural eco-economic system in Ansai, Shaanxi Province of China
LI Yue, WANG Jijun, HAN Xiaojia, GUO Mancai, CHENG Simin, QIAO Mei, ZHAO Xiaocui
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (2): 199-214.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0060-3
Abstract167)   HTML11)    PDF (442KB)(241)      

The implementation of the Grain for Green Program (GGP) has changed the development track of the agricultural eco-economic system in China. In response to the results of a lag study that investigated the coupling between the GGP and the agricultural eco-economic system in a loess hilly region, we used a structural equation model to analyze the survey data from 494 households in Ansai, a district of Yan'an City in Shaanxi Province of China in 2015. The model clarified the direction and intensity of the coupling between the GGP and the agricultural eco-economic system. The coupling benefits were derived through linkages between the program and various chains in the agricultural eco-economic system. The GGP, the agroecosystem of Ansai and their potential coupling effects were in a state of general coordination. The agroecosystem directly affected the coupling effect, with the standardized path coefficient of 0.87, indicating that the agroecosystem in Ansai at this stage provided basic material support for the coupling between the GGP and the agricultural eco-economic system. The direct path coefficient of agroeconomic system impacted on the coupling effect was -0.76, indicating that partial contradictions occurred between the agroeconomic system and the coupling effect. Therefore, although the current agroecosystem in Ansai should be provided sufficient agroecological resources for the benign coupling between the program and the agricultural eco-economic system, agricultural development failed to effectively transform agroecological resources into agricultural economic advantages in this region, which resulted in a relative lag in the development of the agricultural economic system. Thus, the coupling between the GGP and the agricultural eco-economic system was poor. To improve the coupling and the sustainable development of the agricultural eco-economic system in cropland retirement areas, the industrial structure needs to be diversified, the agricultural resources (including agroecological resources, agricultural economic resources and agricultural social resources) need to be rationally allocated, and the chain structure of the agricultural eco-economic system needs to be continuously improved.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Responses of plant community to the linkages in plant-soil C:N:P stoichiometry during secondary succession of abandoned farmlands, China
LIU Weichao, FU Shuyue, YAN Shengji, REN Chengjie, WU Shaojun, DENG Jian, LI Boyong, HAN Xinhui, YANG Gaihe
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (2): 215-226.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0009-6
Abstract162)   HTML3)    PDF (385KB)(973)      

Succession is one of the central themes of ecology; however, the relationship between aboveground plant communities and underground soils during secondary succession remains unclear. In this study, we investigated the composition of plant community, plant-soil C:N:P stoichiometry and their relationships during secondary succession after the abandonment of farmlands for 0, 10, 20, 30, 40 and 50 a in China, 2016. Results showed that the composition of plant communities was most diverse in the farmlands after secondary succession for 20 and 50 a. Soil organic carbon and total nitrogen contents slightly decreased after secondary succession for 30 a, but both were significantly higher than those of control farmland (31.21%-139.10% and 24.24%-121.21%, respectively). Moreover, C:N ratios of soil and microbe greatly contributed to the changes in plant community composition during secondary succession of abandoned farmlands, explaining 35.70% of the total variation. Particularly, soil C:N ratio was significantly and positively related with the Shannon-Wiener index. This study provides the evidence of synchronous evolution between plant community and soil during secondary succession and C:N ratio is an important linkage between them.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Plant community dynamics in arid lands: the role of desert ants
Mohsen SHARAFATMANDRAD, Azam KHOSRAVI MASHIZI
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (3): 303-316.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0006-4
Abstract162)   HTML7)    PDF (499KB)(386)      

Ants (Formicidae, Hymenoptera) play an important role in seed bank, seedling establishment and plant composition of arid ecosystems. Thus, knowing plant-ant interaction provides useful information for managers to design restoration and conservation plans. In this study, the roles of desert harvester ants (Messor intermedius and Messor melancholicus) and scavenger ants (Cataglyphis nodus and Lepisiota semenovi) on plant communities were investigated in arid ecosystems of southeastern Iran. Two vegetation types were distinguished in the study area and the nest density of ant species was determined. Furthermore, plant composition and soil seed bank were estimated at different distances from the ant nests. Results showed that the density of M. intermedius and M. melancholicus nests was higher in dwarf shrub-shrub vegetation type and the density of C. nodus and L. semenovi nests was higher in dwarf shrub vegetation type. The harvester and scavenger ants had enhanced the seed bank to 55% and 70%, respectively. Therefore, the role of scavenger ants on the plant communities' seed bank was greater than that of harvester ants. Although the scavenger ants were more influential on the annuals and the invasive plant species, the radius impact of the harvester ants on the perennials was greater, i.e., a positive interaction existed between the perennial plants and the harvester ants. C. nodus and L. semenovi played an important role in enhancing the ecosystem's potential for restoration through establishment of pioneer species in early stage of succession. The activity of M. intermedius is crucial for the development and maintenance of climax plant communities in arid ecosystems through assisting the plant species' establishment in late stage of succession. It is essential to preserve the diversity of these key ant species for the maintenance and sustainability of shrubs in arid ecosystems.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Synergistic effects of multiple driving factors on the runoff variations in the Yellow River Basin, China
WANG Junjie, SHI Bing, ZHAO Enjin, CHEN Xuguang, YANG Shaopeng
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (8): 835-857.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0078-1
Abstract161)   HTML13)    PDF (8557KB)(177)      

River runoff plays an important role in watershed ecosystems and human survival, and it is controlled by multiple environmental factors. However, the synergistic effects of various large-scale circulation factors and meteorological factors on the runoff on different time-frequency scales have rarely been explored. In light of this, the underlying mechanism of the synergistic effects of the different environmental factors on the runoff variations was investigated in the Yellow River Basin of China during the period 1950-2019 using the bivariate wavelet coherence (WTC) and multiple wavelet coherence (MWC) methods. First, the continuous wavelet transform (CWT) method was used to analyze the multiscale characteristics of the runoff. The results of the CWT indicate that the runoff exhibited significant continuous or discontinuous annual and semiannual oscillations during the study period. Scattered inter-annual time scales were also observed for the runoff in the Yellow River Basin. The meteorological factors better explained the runoff variations on seasonal and annual time scales. The average wavelet coherence (AWC) and the percent area of the significant coherence (PASC) between the runoff and individual meteorological factors were 0.454 and 19.89%, respectively. The circulation factors mainly regulated the runoff on the inter-annual and decadal time scales with more complicated phase relationships due to their indirect effects on the runoff. The AWC and PASC between the runoff and individual circulation factors were 0.359 and 7.31%, respectively. The MWC analysis revealed that the synergistic effects of multiple factors should be taken into consideration to explain the multiscale characteristic variations of the runoff. The AWC or MWC ranges were 0.320-0.560, 0.617-0.755, and 0.819-0.884 for the combinations of one, two, and three circulation and meteorological factors, respectively. The PASC ranges were 3.53%-33.77%, 12.93%-36.90%, and 20.67%-39.34% for the combinations one, two, and three driving factors, respectively. The combinations of precipitation, evapotranspiration (or the number of rainy days), and the Arctic Oscillation performed well in explaining the variability in the runoff on all time scales, and the average MWC and PASC were 0.847 and 28.79%, respectively. These findings are of great significance for improving our understanding of hydro-climate interactions and water resources prediction in the Yellow River Basin.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Impacts of snow on seed germination are independent of seed traits and plant ecological characteristics in a temperate desert of Central Asia
Anlifeire ANNIWAER, SU Yangui, ZHOU Xiaobing, ZHANG Yuanming
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (5): 775-790.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0059-9
Abstract161)   HTML4)    PDF (451KB)(555)      

Seed germination profoundly impacts plant community composition within the plant life cycle. Snow is an important source of water for seed germination in the temperate deserts of Central Asia. Understanding how seed germination responds to variations in snow cover in relation to seed traits and plant ecological characteristics can help predict plant community sustainability and stability in Central Asia under a scenario climate change. This study investigated the seed germination of 35 plant species common to the Gurbantunggut Desert in Central Asia under the three snow treatments: (1) snow addition; (2) ambient snow; and (3) snow removal. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests were performed to assess interactions among the impacts of snow treatments, seed traits and plant ecological characteristics on seed germination. Phylogenetic generalized least-squares (PGLS) model was used to test the relationships between seed traits and seed germination. The results demonstrated that snow variations had no significant impacts on seed germination overall. Seed germination under the snow addition treatment was similar with that under the ambient snow treatment, irrespective of seed traits and plant ecological characteristics. Snow removal only had negative impacts on seed germination for certain groups of seed traits and plant ecological characteristics. Seed mass positively affected seed germination, showing a linear increase of arcsin square root-transformed seed germination with log-transformed seed mass. Seed shape also profoundly impacted seed germination, with a higher germination percentage for elongated and flat seeds. Seed germination differed under different plant life forms, with semi-shrub species showing a significantly higher germination percentage. Most importantly, although snow treatments, seed traits and plant ecological characteristics had no interactive effects on seed germination overall, some negative impacts from the snow removal treatment were detected when seeds were categorized on the basis of seed mass and shape. This result suggests that variations of snow cover may change plant community composition in this temperate desert due to their impacts on seed germination.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Fetch effect on the developmental process of aeolian sand transport in a wind tunnel
CHEN Zongyan, XIAO Fengjun, DONG Zhibao
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (3): 436-446.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0102-x
Abstract157)   HTML5)    PDF (1229KB)(195)      

As the sand mass flux increases from zero at the leading edge of a saltating surface to the equilibrium mass flux at the critical fetch length, the wind flow is modified and then the relative contribution of aerodynamic and bombardment entrainment is changed. In the end the velocity, trajectory and mass flux profile will vary simultaneously. But how the transportation of different sand size groups varies with fetch distance is still unclear. Wind tunnel experiments were conducted to investigate the fetch effect on mass flux and its distribution with height of the total sand and each size group in transportation. The mass flux was measured at six fetch length locations (0.5, 1.2, 1.9, 2.6, 3.4 and 4.1 m) and at three free-stream wind velocities (8.8, 12.2 and 14.5 m/s). The results reveal that the total mass flux and the mass flux of each size group with height can be expressed by q=aexp(-bh), where q is the sand mass flux at height h, and a and b are regression coefficients. The coefficient b represents the relative decay rate. Both the relative decay rates of total mass flux and each size group are independent of fetch length after a quick decay over a short fetch. This is much shorter than that of mass flux. The equilibrium of the relative decay rate cannot be regarded as an equilibrium mass flux profile for aeolian sand transport. The mass fluxes of 176.0, 209.3 and 148.0 μm size groups increase more quickly than that of other size groups, which indicates strong size-selection of grains exists along the fetch length. The maximal size group in mass flux (176.0 μm) is smaller than the maximal size group of the bed grains (209.3 μm). The relative contribution of each size group to the total mass flux is not monotonically decreasing with grain size due to the lift-off of some small grains being reduced due to the protection by large grains. The results indicate that there are complex interactions among different size groups in the developmental process of aeolian sand transport and more attention should be focused on the fetch effect because it has different influences on the total mass flux, the mass flux profile and its relative decay rate.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Mathematical and statistical modeling of morphometric and planar parameters of barchans in Pashoeyeh Erg in the west of Lut Desert, Iran
Hossein GHAZANFARPOUR, Mohsen POURKHOSRAVANI, Sayed H MOUSAVI, Ali MEHRABI
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (8): 801-813.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0102-5
Abstract156)   HTML10)    PDF (444KB)(187)      

Barchan dunes are among the most common accumulative phenomena made by wind erosion, which are usually formed in regions where the prevailing wind direction is almost constant throughout the year and there is not enough sand to completely cover the land surface. Barchans are among the most common windy landscapes in Pashoueyeh Erg in the west of Lut Desert, Iran. This study aims to elaborate on morphological properties of barchans in this region using mathematical and statistical models. The results of these methods are very important in investigating barchan shapes and identifying their behavior. Barchan shapes were mathematically modeled by simulating them in the coordinate system through nonlinear parabolic equations, so that two separate equations were calculated for barchan windward and slip-face parabolas. The type and intensity of relationships between barchan morphology and mathematical parameters were determined by the statistical modeling. The results indicated that the existing relationships followed the power correlation with the maximum coefficient of determination and minimum error of estimate. Combining the above two methods is a powerful basis for stimulating barchans in virtual and laboratory environments. The most important result of this study is to convert the mathematical and statistical models of barchan morphology to each other. Focal length is one of the most important parameters of barchan parabolas, suggesting different states of barchans in comparison with each other. As the barchan's focal length decreases, its opening becomes narrower, and the divergence of the barchan's horns reduces. Barchans with longer focal length have greater width, dimensions, and volume. In general, identifying and estimating the morphometric and planar parameters of barchans is effective in how they move, how much they move, and how they behave in the environment. These cases play an important role in the management of desert areas.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Effect of stones on the sand saltation threshold during natural sand and dust storms in a stony desert in Tsogt-Ovoo in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia
Batjargal BUYANTOGTOKH, Yasunori KUROSAKI, Atsushi TSUNEKAWA, Mitsuru TSUBO, Batdelger GANTSETSEG, Amarsaikhan DAVAADORJ, Masahide ISHIZUKA, Tsuyoshi T SEKIYAMA, Taichu Y TANAKA, Takashi MAKI
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (7): 653-673.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0072-7
Abstract155)   HTML24)    PDF (2716KB)(195)      

Non-erodible elements such as stones and vegetation are key to controlling wind erosion and dust emission in drylands. Stony deserts are widely distributed in the Gobi Desert, but the effect of stones on wind erosion and dust emission have not been well studied, except under artificial conditions. In this study, we evaluated the effect of stones on wind erosion and dust emission by measuring the sand saltation threshold in a stony desert in Tsogt-Ovoo in the Gobi Desert, Mongolia, under natural surface conditions during sand and dust storms. We quantified the amount of stones by measuring the roughness density, and determined the threshold friction velocity for sand saltation by measuring wind speed and sand saltation count. Our results showed that the threshold friction velocity increased with the roughness density of stones. In the northern part of the study area, where neither a surface crust nor vegetation was observed, the roughness density of stones was 0.000 in a topographic depression (TD), 0.050 on a northern slope (N.SL), and 0.160 on the northern mountain (N.MT). The mean threshold friction velocity values were 0.23, 0.41, and 0.57 m/s at the TD, N.SL, and N.MT sites, respectively. In the southern part of the study area, the roughness density values of stones were 0.000 and 0.070-0.320 at the TD and southern slope sites, respectively, and the mean threshold friction velocities were 0.23 and 0.45-0.71 m/s, respectively. We further compared the observed threshold friction velocities with simulated threshold friction velocities using Raupach's theoretical roughness correction and the measured roughness density values, and found that Raupach's roughness correction worked very well in the simulation of threshold friction velocity in the stony desert. This means that the results of our stone measurement can be applied to a numerical dust model.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Snow resisting capacity of Caragana microphylla and Achnatherum splendens in a typical steppe region of Inner Mongolia, China
YAN Min, ZUO Hejun, WANG Haibing, DONG Zhi, LI Gangtie
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (2): 294-302.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0021-x
Abstract154)   HTML7)    PDF (516KB)(322)      

Snow resisting capacity of vegetation is important for secondary distribution of water resources in seasonal snow areas of grassland because it affects the regeneration, growth and nutrient circulation of vegetation in grassland. This study investigated vegetation characteristics (canopy height, canopy length and crown width) of Caragana microphylla Lam. (shrub) and Achnatherum splendens (Trin.) Nevski. (herb), and snow morphologies (snow depth, snow width and snow braid length) in a typical steppe region of Inner Mongolia, China in 2017. And the influence of vegetation characteristic on snow resisting capacity (the indices of bottom area of snow and snow volume reflect snow resisting capacity) was analyzed. The results showed that snow morphology depends on vegetation characteristics of shrub and herb. The canopy height was found to have the greatest influence on snow depth and the crown width had the greatest influence on snow width. The canopy length was found to have little influence on morphological parameters of snow. When the windward areas of C. microphylla and A. splendens were within the ranges of 0.0-0.5 m2 and 0.0-8.0 m2, respectively, the variation of snow cover was large; however, beyond these areas, the variation of snow cover became gradually stable. The potential area of snow retardation for a single plant was 1.5-2.5 m2 and the amount of snow resistance was 0.15-0.20 m3. The bottom area of snow and snow volume (i.e., snow resisting capacity) of clumped C. microphylla and A. splendens was found to be 4 and 25 times that of individual plant, respectively. The results could provide a theoretical basis both for the estimation of snow cover and the establishment of a plant-based technical system for the control of windblown snow in the typical steppe region of Inner Mongolia.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Spatial-temporal characteristics of drought detected from meteorological data with high resolution in Shaanxi Province, China
WANG Yudan, KONG Yunfeng, CHEN Hao, DING Yongjian
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (4): 561-579.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0066-x
Abstract151)   HTML18)    PDF (2112KB)(464)      

The spatial pattern of meteorological factors cannot be accurately simulated by using observations from meteorological stations (OMS) that are distributed sparsely in complex terrain. It is expected that the spatial-temporal characteristics of drought in regions with complex terrain can be better represented by meteorological data with the high spatial-temporal resolution and accuracy. In this study, Standard Precipitation Evapotranspiration Index (SPEI) calculated with meteorological factors extracted from ITPCAS (China Meteorological Forcing Dataset produced by the Institute of Tibetan Plateau Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences) was applied to identify the spatial-temporal characteristics of drought in Shaanxi Province of China, during the period of 1979-2016. Drought areas detected by SPEI calculated with data from ITPCAS (SPEI-ITPCAS) on the seasonal scale were validated by historical drought records from the Chinese Meteorological Disaster Canon-Shaanxi, and compared with drought areas detected by SPEI calculated with data from OMS (SPEI-OMS). Drought intensity, trend and temporal ranges for mutations of SPEI-ITPCAS were analyzed by using the cumulative drought intensity (CDI) index and the Mann-Kendall test. The results indicated that drought areas detected from SPEI-ITPCAS were closer to the historical drought records than those detected from SPEI-OMS. Severe and exceptional drought events with SPEI-ITPCAS lower than -1.0 occurred most frequently in summer, followed by spring. There was a general drying trend in spring and summer in Shaanxi Province and a significant wetting trend in autumn and winter in northern Shaanxi Province. On seasonal and annual scales, the regional and temporal ranges for mutations of SPEI-ITPCAS were different and most mutations occurred before the year 1990 in most regions of Shaanxi Province. The results reflect the response of different regions of Shaanxi Province to climate change, which will help to manage regional water resources.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Cultivation effects on soil texture and fertility in an arid desert region of northwestern China
HE Mingzhu, JI Xibin, BU Dongsheng, ZHI Jinhu
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (4): 701-715.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0069-7
Abstract150)   HTML10)    PDF (1807KB)(383)      

In arid desert regions of northwestern China, reclamation and subsequent irrigated cultivation have become effective ways to prevent desertification, expand arable croplands, and develop sustainable agricultural production. Improvement in soil texture and fertility is crucial to high soil quality and stable crop yield. However, knowledge on the long-term effects of the conversion of desert lands into arable croplands is very limited. To address this problem, we conducted this study in an arid desert region of northwestern China to understand the changes in soil physical-chemical properties after 0, 2, 5, 10, 17, and 24 years of cultivation. Our results showed that silt and clay contents at the 17-year-old sites increased 17.5 and 152.3 folds, respectively, compared with that at the 0-year-old sites. The soil aggregate size fraction and its stability exhibited an exponential growth trend with increasing cultivation ages, but no significant change was found for the proportion of soil macroaggregates (>5.00 mm) during the 17 years of cultivation. The soil organic carbon (SOC) content at the 24-year-old sites was 6.86 g/kg and increased 8.8 folds compared with that at the 0-year-old sites. The total (or available) nitrogen, phosphorus, and potassium contents showed significant increasing trends and reached higher values after 17 (or 24) years of cultivation. Changes in soil physical-chemical properties successively experienced slow, rapid, and stable development stages, but some key properties (such as soil aggregate stability and SOC) were still too low to meet the sustainable agricultural production. The results of this long-term study indicated that reasonable agricultural management, such as expanding no-tillage land area, returning straw to the fields, applying organic fertilizer, reducing chemical fertilizer application, and carrying out soil testing for formula fertilization, is urgently needed in arid desert regions.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Global Dryland Ecosystem Programme (G-DEP): Africa consultative meeting report
PENG Yu, FU Bojie, ZHANG Linxiu, YU Xiubo, FU Chao, Salif DIOP, Hubert HIRWA, Aliou GUISSE, LI Fadong
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (3): 538-544.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0056-z
Abstract148)   HTML10)    PDF (218KB)(606)      

In order to enhance and restore the ecosystems of natural capital in African arid regions, the Global Dryland Ecosystem Programme (G-DEP) consultative meeting was hosted in Dakar, Senegal, from 23 to 25 September 2019. This paper details the first African meeting of the G-DEP. Consultative meeting reviewed preceding dryland ecosystems case studies, identified vulnerable arid and semi-arid regions, and proposed sustainable solutions to problems. It also identified the successes and failures of previous attempts to improve vulnerable ecosystems and ultimately formed an action plan to improve these attempts. Climate, ecosystems, and livelihoods for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI) for Sahara and Sahel, and China-Africa cooperation on science, technology, and innovation are three extra main sections concerned of the meeting. Separately, more specific topics as the complicated relationship between these natural processes and human activity, including pastoralism, soil restoration, and vegetation regenerate techniques, were fully discussed. Consultative meeting also identified the positive effects international collaboration can have on dryland regions, specifically in the capacity of sharing information, technology, and innovation on purpose to develop a joint proposal for long-term research programs in African arid and semi-arid areas. Moreover, meetings that review the progress made on ecosystem management for the sustainable livelihoods in Africa, identification of priority areas, and the development and implementation of ecosystem programs for proper research and collaboration in African arid and semi-arid zones, have been proposed as strategic recommendations to enhance the global partnership for sustainable development. Furthermore, as the outcomes of the workshop, there are three steps proposed to handle African dryland climate changes, several aspects suggested to solve current dilemmas of the GGWI, and a series of actions recommended for G-DEP related activities in Africa.

Reference | Related Articles | Metrics
Mapping the current and future distributions of Onosma species endemic to Iran
Farzaneh KHAJOEI NASAB, Ahmadreza MEHRABIAN, Hossein MOSTAFAVI
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (6): 1031-1045.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0080-z
Abstract147)   HTML6)    PDF (1859KB)(352)      

Climate change may cause shifts in the natural range of species especially for those that are geographically restricted and/or endemic species. In this study, the spatial distribution of five endemic and threatened species belonging to the genus Onosma (including O. asperrima, O. bisotunensis, O. kotschyi, O. platyphylla, and O. straussii) was investigated under present and future climate change scenarios: RCP2.6 (RCP, representative concentration pathway; optimistic scenario) and RCP8.5 (pessimistic scenario) for the years 2050 and 2080 in Iran. Analysis was conducted using the maximum entropy (MaxEnt) model to provide a basis for the protection and conservation of these species. Seven environmental variables including aspect, depth of soil, silt content, slope, annual precipitation, minimum temperature of the coldest month, and annual temperature range were used as main predictors in this study. The model output for the potential habitat suitability of the studied species showed acceptable performance for all species (i.e., the area under the curve (AUC)>0.800). According to the models generated by MaxEnt, the potential current patterns of the species were consistent with the observed areas of distributions. The projected climate maps under optimistic and pessimistic scenarios (RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, respectively) of 2050 and 2080 resulted in reductions and expansions as well as positive range changes for all species in comparison to their current predicted distributions. Among all species, O. bisotunensis showed the most significant and highest increase under the pessimistic scenario of 2050 and 2080. Finally, the results of this study revealed that the studied plant species have shown an acute adaptability to environmental changes. The results can provide useful information to managers to apply appropriate strategies for the management and conservation of these valuable Iranian medicinal and threatened plant species in the future.

Table and Figures | Reference | Related Articles | Metrics