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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
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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.

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Exploration of playa surface crusts in Qehan Lake, China through field investigation and wind tunnel experiments
LIU Dongwei, HAN Lijing, KOU Zihan, GAO Xinyu, WANG Jingjing
Journal of Arid Land    2023, 15 (5): 491-507.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-023-0055-y
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Globally, many lakes are drying up, leaving exposed lakebeds where wind erosion releases dust and sand rich in salt and harmful heavy metals into the atmosphere. Therefore, understanding the characteristics and spatial distribution of playa surface crusts is important to recognize the manifestation of salt dust storms. The objective of this study was to explore the playa surface crust types as well as their spatial distribution and evolution of Qehan Lake in Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, China to understand the salt dust release potential of different types of playa surface crusts. Various crust characteristics were investigated by field sampling in Qehan Lake, and playa surface crusts were further divided into five types: vegetated areas, salt crusts, clay flats, curly crusts, and margins. It should be noted that curly crusts were distributed in clay flats and covered only a small area in Qehan Lake. The spatial distribution characteristics of playa surface crust types were obtained by supervised classification of remote sensing images, and the salt dust release potential of crusts was explored by the wind tunnel experiments. The field investigation of Qehan Lake revealed that playa surface crust types had a circum-lake band distribution from the inside to the outside of this lake, which were successively vegetated areas, clay flats, salt crusts, and margins. The spatial distribution patterns of playa surface crust types were mainly controlled by the hydrodynamics of the playa, soil texture, and groundwater. There was a significant negative correlation between crust thickness and electrical conductivity. The results of the wind tunnel experiments showed that the initial threshold of friction wind velocity for the salt dust release was higher in clay flats (0.7-0.8 m/s) than in salt crusts (0.5-0.6 m/s). Moreover, the particle leap impact processes occurring under natural conditions may reduce this threshold value. Salinity was the main factor controlling the difference in the initial threshold of friction wind velocity for the salt dust release of clay flats and salt crusts. This study provides a scientific reference for understanding how salt dust is released from a lakebed, which may be used for ecological restoration of dry salt lakes.

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Ecological environment quality evaluation of the Sahel region in Africa based on remote sensing ecological index
WU Shupu, GAO Xin, LEI Jiaqiang, ZHOU Na, GUO Zengkun, SHANG Baijun
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (1): 14-33.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0057-1
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Long-term monitoring of the ecological environment changes is helpful for the protection of the ecological environment. Based on the ecological environment of the Sahel region in Africa, we established a remote sensing ecological index (RSEI) model for this region by combining dryness, moisture, greenness, and desertification indicators. Using the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data in Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform, this study analyzed the ecological environment quality of the Sahel region during the period of 2001-2020. We used liner regression and fluctuation analysis methods to study the trend and fluctuation of RSEI, and utilized the stepwise regression approach to analyze the contribution of each indicator to the RSEI. Further, the correlation analysis was used to analyze the correlation between RSEI and precipitation, and Hurst index was applied to evaluate the change trend of RSEI in the future. The results show that RSEI of the Sahel region exhibited spatial heterogeneity. Specifically, it exhibited a decrease in gradient from south to north of the Sahel region. Moreover, RSEI in parts of the Sahel region presented non-zonal features. Different land-cover types demonstrated different RSEI values and changing trends. We found that RSEI and precipitation were positively correlated, suggesting that precipitation is the controlling factor of RSEI. The areas where RSEI values presented an increasing trend were slightly less than the areas where RSEI values presented a decreasing trend. In the Sahel region, the areas with the ecological environment characterized by continuous deterioration and continuous improvement accounted for 44.02% and 28.29% of the total study area, respectively, and the areas in which the ecological environment was changing from improvement to deterioration and from deterioration to improvement accounted for 12.42% and 15.26% of the whole area, respectively. In the face of the current ecological environment and future change trends of RSEI in the Sahel region, the research results provide a reference for the construction of the ''Green Great Wall'' (GGW) ecological environment project in Africa.

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Hydrochemical characteristics and evolution of groundwater in the dried-up river oasis of the Tarim Basin, Central Asia
WANG Wanrui, CHEN Yaning, WANG Weihua, XIA Zhenhua, LI Xiaoyang, Patient M KAYUMBA
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (10): 977-994.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0086-1
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Intense human activities in arid areas have great impacts on groundwater hydrochemical cycling by causing groundwater salinization. The spatiotemporal distributions of groundwater hydrochemistry are crucial for studying groundwater salt migration, and also vital to understand hydrological and hydrogeochemical processes of groundwater in arid inland oasis areas. However, due to constraints posed by the paucity of observation data and intense human activities, these processes are not well known in the dried-up river oases of arid areas. Here, we examined spatiotemporal variations and evolution of groundwater hydrochemistry using data from 199 water samples collected in the Wei-Ku Oasis, a typical arid inland oasis in Tarim Basin of Central Asia. As findings, groundwater hydrochemistry showed a spatiotemporal dynamic, while its spatial distribution was complex. TDS and δ18O of river water in the upstream increased from west to east, whereas ion concentrations of shallow groundwater increased from northwest to southeast. Higher TDS was detected in spring for shallow groundwater and in summer for middle groundwater. Pronounced spatiotemporal heterogeneity demonstrated the impacts of geogenic, climatic, and anthropogenic conditions. For that, hydrochemical evolution of phreatic groundwater was primarily controlled by rock dominance and evaporation-crystallization process. Agricultural irrigation and drainage, land cover change, and groundwater extraction reshaped the spatiotemporal patterns of groundwater hydrochemistry. Groundwater overexploitation altered the leaking direction between the aquifers, causing the interaction between saltwater and freshwater and the deterioration of groundwater environment. These findings could provide an insight into groundwater salt migration under human activities, and hence be significant in groundwater quality management in arid inland oasis areas.

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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
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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.

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Effects of restoration modes on the spatial distribution of soil physical properties after land consolidation: a multifractal analysis
KE Zengming, LIU Xiaoli, MA Lihui, TU Wen, FENG Zhe, JIAO Feng, WANG Zhanli
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (12): 1201-1214.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0027-z
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Soil physical properties (SPP) are considered to be important indices that reflect soil structure, hydrological conditions and soil quality. It is of substantial interest to study the spatial distribution of SPP owing to the high spatial variability caused by land consolidation under various land restoration modes in excavated farmland in the loess hilly area of China. In our study, three land restoration modes were selected including natural restoration land (NR), alfalfa land (AL) and maize land (ML). Soil texture composition, including the contents of clay, silt and sand, field capacity (FC), saturated conductivity (Ks) and bulk density (BD) were determined using a multifractal analysis. SPP were found to possess variable characteristics, although land consolidation destroyed the soil structure and decreased the spatial autocorrelation. Furthermore, SPP varied with land restoration and could be illustrated by the multifractal parameters of D1, ∆D, ∆α and ∆f in different modes of land restoration. Owing to multiple compaction from large machinery in the surface soil, soil particles were fine-grained and increased the spatial variability in soil texture composition under all the land restoration modes. Plough numbers and vegetative root characteristics had the most significant impacts on the improvement in SPP, which resulted in the best spatial distribution characteristics of SPP found in ML compared with those in AL and NR. In addition, compared with ML, ∆α values of NR and AL were 4.9- and 3.0-fold that of FC, respectively, and ∆α values of NR and AL were 2.3- and 1.5-fold higher than those of Ks, respectively. These results indicate that SPP can be rapidly improved by increasing plough numbers and planting vegetation types after land consolidation. Thus, we conclude that ML is an optimal land restoration mode that results in favorable conditions to rapidly improve SPP.

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Tree-ring δ15N of Qinghai spruce in the central Qilian Mountains of China: Is pre-treatment of wood samples necessary?
WANG Ziyi, LIU Xiaohong, WANG Keyi, ZENG Xiaomin, ZHANG Yu, GE Wensen, KANG Huhu, LU Qiangqiang
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (6): 673-690.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0065-1
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A knowledge of the tree-ring stable nitrogen isotope ratio (δ15N) can deepen our understanding of forest ecosystem dynamics by indicating the long-term availability, cycling and sources of nitrogen (N). However, the radial mobility of N blurs the interannual variations in the long-term N records. Previous studies of the chemical extraction of tree rings before analysis had produced inconsistent results and it is still unclear whether it is necessary to pre-treat wood samples from specific tree species to remove soluble N compounds before determining the δ15N values. We compared the effects of pre-treatment with organic solvents and hot ultrapure water on the N concentration and δ15N of tree rings from endemic Qinghai spruce (Picea crassifolia) growing in the interior of the central Qilian Mountains, China, during the last 60 a. We assessed the effects of different preparation protocols on the removal of the labile N compounds and investigated the need to pre-treat wood samples before determining the δ15N values of tree rings. Increasing trends of the tree-ring N concentration were consistently observed in both the extracted and unextracted wood samples. The total N removed by extraction with organic solvents was about 17.60%, with a significantly higher amount in the sapwood section (P<0.01). The δ15N values of tree rings decreased consistently from 1960 to 2019 in both the extracted and unextracted wood samples. Extraction with organic solvents increased the δ15N values markedly by about 5.2‰ and reduced the variations in the δ15N series. However, extraction with hot ultrapure water had little effect, with only a slight decrease in the δ15N values of about 0.5‰. Our results showed that the radial pattern in the inter-ring movement of N in Qinghai spruce was not minimized by extraction with either organic solvents or hot ultrapure water. It is unnecessary to conduct hot ultrapure water extraction for the wood samples from Qinghai spruce because of its negligible effect on the removal of the labile N. The δ15N variation trend of tree rings in the unextracted wood samples was not influenced by the heartwood-sapwood transition zone. We suggest that the δ15N values of the unextracted wood samples of the climate-sensitive Qinghai spruce could be used to explore the ecophysiological dynamics while focusing on the long-term variations.

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Isotope implications of groundwater recharge, residence time and hydrogeochemical evolution of the Longdong Loess Basin, Northwest China
LING Xinying, MA Jinzhu, CHEN Peiyuan, LIU Changjie, Juske HORITA
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (1): 34-55.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0051-7
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Groundwater plays a dominant role in the eco-environmental protection of arid and semi-arid regions. Understanding the sources and mechanisms of groundwater recharge, the interactions between groundwater and surface water and the hydrogeochemical evolution and transport processes of groundwater in the Longdong Loess Basin, Northwest China, is of importance for water resources management in this ecologically sensitive area. In this study, 71 groundwater samples (mainly distributed at the Dongzhi Tableland and along the Malian River) and 8 surface water samples from the Malian River were collected, and analysis of the aquifer system and hydrological conditions, together with hydrogeochemical and isotopic techniques were used to investigate groundwater sources, residence time and their associated recharge processes. Results show that the middle and lower reaches of the Malian River receive water mainly from groundwater discharge on both sides of valley, while the source of the Malian River mainly comes from local precipitation. Groundwater of the Dongzhi Tableland is of a HCO3-Ca-Na type with low salinity. The reverse hydrogeochemical simulation suggests that the dissolution of carbonate minerals and cation exchange between Ca2+, Mg2+ and Na+ are the main water-rock interactions in the groundwater system of the Dongzhi Tableland. The δ 18O (from -11.70‰ to -8.52‰) and δ2H (from -86.15‰ to -65.75‰) values of groundwater are lower than the annual weighted average value of precipitation but closer to summer-autumn precipitation and soil water in the unsaturated zone, suggesting that possible recharge comes from the summer-autumn monsoonal heavy precipitation in the recent past (≤220 a). The corrected14C ages of groundwater range from 3,000 to 25,000 a old, indicating that groundwater was mainly from precipitation during the humid and cold Late Pleistocene and Holocene periods. Groundwater flows deeper from the groundwater table and from the center to the east, south and west of the Dongzhi Tableland with estimated migration rate of 1.29-1.43 m/a. The oldest groundwater in the Quaternary Loess Aquifer in the Dongzhi Tableland is approximately 32,000 a old with poor renewability. Based on the δ 18O temperature indicator of groundwater, we speculate that temperature of the Last Glacial Maximum in the Longdong Loess Basin was 2.4°C-6.0°C colder than the present. The results could provide us the valuable information on groundwater recharge and evolution under thick loess layer, which would be significative for the scientific water resources management in semi-arid regions.

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Geochronology, geochemistry, and Sr-Nd isotopes of Early Carboniferous magmatism in southern West Junggar, northwestern China: Implications for Junggar oceanic plate subduction
LIU Pengde, LIU Xijun, XIAO Wenjiao, ZHANG Zhiguo, SONG Yujia, XIAO Yao, LIU Lei, HU Rongguo, WANG Baohua
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (11): 1163-1182.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0069-2
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West Junggar is a key area for understanding intra-oceanic plate subduction and the final closure of the Junggar Ocean. Knowledge of the Carboniferous tectonic evolution of the Junggar Ocean region is required for understanding the tectonic framework and accretionary processes in West Junggar, Central Asian Orogenic Belt. A series of Early Carboniferous volcanic and intrusive rocks, namely, basaltic andesite, andesite, dacite, and diorite, occur in the Mayile area of southern West Junggar, northwestern China. Our new LA-ICPMS zircon U-Pb geochronological data reveal that diorite intruded at 334 (±1) Ma, and that basaltic andesite was erupted at 334 (±4) Ma. These intrusive and volcanic rocks are calc-alkaline, display moderate MgO (1.62%-4.18%) contents and Mg# values (40-59), and low Cr (14.5×10-6-47.2×10-6) and Ni (7.5×10-6-34.6×10-6) contents, and are characterized by enrichment in light rare-earth elements and large-ion lithophile elements and depletion in heavy rare-earth elements and high-field-strength elements, meaning that they belong to typical subduction-zone island-arc magma. The samples show low initial 87Sr/86Sr ratios (range of 0.703649-0.705008), positive εNd(t) values (range of 4.8-6.2 and mean of 5.4), and young TDM Nd model ages ranging from 1016 to 616 Ma, indicating a magmatic origin from depleted mantle involving partial melting of 10%-25% garnet and spinel lherzolite. Combining our results with those of previous studies, we suggest that these rocks were formed as a result of northwestward subduction of the Junggar oceanic plate, which caused partial melting of sub-arc mantle. We conclude that intra-oceanic arc magmatism was extensive in West Junggar during the Early Carboniferous.

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Assessing the response of dryland barley yield to climate variability in semi-arid regions, Iran
Mohammad KHEIRI, Jafar KAMBOUZIA, Reza DEIHIMFARD, Saghi M MOGHADDAM, Seyran ANVARI
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (9): 905-917.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0017-1
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Precipitation and temperature are the most abiotic factors that greatly impact the yield of crop, particularly in dryland. Barley, as the main cereal is predominantly cultivated in dryland and the livelihood of smallholders depends on the production of this crop, particularly in arid and semi-arid regions. This study aimed to investigate the response of the grain yield of dryland barley to temperature and precipitation variations at annual, seasonal and monthly scales in seven counties of East and West Azerbaijan provinces in northwestern Iran during 1991-2010. Humidity index (HI) was calculated and its relationship with dryland barley yield was evaluated at annual and monthly scales. The results showed that the minimum, maximum and mean temperatures increased by 0.19°C/a, 0.11°C/a and 0.10°C/a, respectively, while annual precipitation decreased by 0.80 mm/a during 1991-2010. Climate in study area has become drier by 0.22/a in annual HI during the study period. Negative effects of increasing temperature on the grain yield of dryland barley were more severe than the positive effects of increasing precipitation. Besides, weather variations in April and May were related more to the grain yield of dryland barley than those in other months. The grain yield of dryland barley was more drastically affected by the variation of annual minimum temperature comparing with other weather variables. Furthermore, our findings illustrated that the grain yield of dryland barley increased by 0.01 t/hm2 for each unit increase in annual HI during 1991-2010. Finally, any increase in the monthly HI led to crop yield improvement in the study area, particularly in the drier counties, i.e., Myaneh, Tabriz and Khoy in Iran.

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Modeling and analyzing supply-demand relationships of water resources in Xinjiang from a perspective of ecosystem services
LI Feng, LI Yaoming, ZHOU Xuewen, YIN Zun, LIU Tie, XIN Qinchuan
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (2): 115-138.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0059-z
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Water shortage is one bottleneck that limits economic and social developments in arid and semi-arid areas. As the impacts of climate change and human disturbance intensify across time, uncertainties in both water resource supplies and demands increase in arid and semi-arid areas. Taking a typical arid region in China, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, as an example, water yield depth (WYD) and water utilization depth (WUD) from 2002 to 2018 were simulated using the Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Tradeoffs (InVEST) model and socioeconomic data. The supply-demand relationships of water resources were analyzed using the ecosystem service indices including water supply-demand difference (WSDD) and water supply rate (WSR). The internal factors in changes of WYD and WUD were explored using the controlled variable method. The results show that the supply- demand relationships of water resources in Xinjiang were in a slight deficit, but the deficit was alleviated due to increased precipitation and decreased WUD of irrigation. WYD generally experienced an increasing trend, and significant increase mainly occurred in the oasis areas surrounding both the Junggar Basin and Tarim Basin. WUD had a downward trend with a decline of 20.70%, especially in oasis areas. Water resources in most areas of Xinjiang were fully utilized and the utilization efficiency of water resources increased. The water yield module in the InVEST model was calibrated and validated using gauging station data in Xinjiang, and the result shows that the use of satellite-based water storage data helped to decrease the bias error of the InVEST model by 0.69×108 m3. This study analyzed water resource supplies and demands from a perspective of ecosystem services, which expanded the scope of the application of ecosystem services and increased the research perspective of water resource evaluation. The results could provide guidance for water resource management such as spatial allocation and structural optimization of water resources in arid and semi-arid areas.

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Identifying water vapor sources of precipitation in forest and grassland in the north slope of the Tianshan Mountains, Central Asia
CHEN Haiyan, CHEN Yaning, LI Dalong, LI Weihong, YANG Yuhui
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (3): 297-309.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0090-0
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Identifying water vapor sources in the natural vegetation of the Tianshan Mountains is of significant importance for obtaining greater knowledge about the water cycle, forecasting water resource changes, and dealing with the adverse effects of climate change. In this study, we identified water vapor sources of precipitation and evaluated their effects on precipitation stable isotopes in the north slope of the Tianshan Mountains, China. By utilizing the temporal and spatial distributions of precipitation stable isotopes in the forest and grassland regions, Hybrid Single-Particle Lagrangian Integrated Trajectory (HYSPLIT) model, and isotope mass balance model, we obtained the following results. (1) The Eurasia, Black Sea, and Caspian Sea are the major sources of water vapor. (2) The contribution of surface evaporation to precipitation in forests is lower than that in the grasslands (except in spring), while the contribution of plant transpiration to precipitation in forests (5.35%) is higher than that in grasslands (3.79%) in summer. (3) The underlying surface and temperature are the main factors that affect the contribution of recycled water vapor to precipitation; meanwhile, the effects of water vapor sources of precipitation on precipitation stable isotopes are counteracted by other environmental factors. Overall, this work will prove beneficial in quantifying the effect of climate change on local water cycles.

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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
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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.

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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
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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.

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Study of the intensity and driving factors of land use/cover change in the Yarlung Zangbo River, Nyang Qu River, and Lhasa River region, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China
LUO Jing, XIN Liangjie, LIU Fenggui, CHEN Qiong, ZHOU Qiang, ZHANG Yili
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (4): 411-425.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0093-x
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Land use/land cover (LULC) is an important part of exploring the interaction between natural environment and human activities and achieving regional sustainable development. Based on the data of LULC types (cropland, forest land, grassland, built-up land, and unused land) from 1990 to 2015, we analysed the intensity and driving factors of land use/cover change (LUCC) in the Yarlung Zangbo River, Nyang Qu River, and Lhasa River (YNL) region, Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China, using intensity analysis method, cross-linking table method, and spatial econometric model. The results showed that LUCC in the YNL region was nonstationary from 1990 to 2015, showing a change pattern with "fast-slow-fast" and "U-shaped". Built-up land showed a steady increase pattern, while cropland showed a steady decrease pattern. The gain of built-up land mainly came from the loss of cropland. The transition pattern of LUCC in the YNL region was relatively single and stable during 1990-2015. The transition pattern from cropland and forest land to built-up land was a systematic change process of tendency and the transition pattern from grassland and unused land to cropland was a systematic change process of avoidance. The transition process of LUCC was the result of the combined effect of natural environment and social economic development in the YNL region. This study reveals the impact of ecological environment problems caused by human activities on the land resource system and provides scientific support for the study of ecological environment change and sustainable development of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

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Effects of mixed-based biochar on water infiltration and evaporation in aeolian sand soil
ZOU Yiping, ZHANG Shuyue, SHI Ziyue, ZHOU Huixin, ZHENG Haowei, HU Jiahui, MEI Jing, BAI Lu, JIA Jianli
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (4): 374-389.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0060-6
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Aeolian sandy soil in mining areas exhibits intense evaporation and poor water retention capacity. This study was designed to find a suitable biochar application method to improve soil water infiltration and minimize soil water evaporation for aeolian sand soil. Using the indoor soil column method, we studied the effects of three application patterns (A (0-20 cm was a mixed sample of mixed-based biochar and soil), B (0-10 cm was a mixed sample of mixed-based biochar and soil and 10-20 cm was soil), and C (0-10 cm was soil and 10-20 cm was a mixed sample of mixed-based biochar and soil)), four application amounts (0% (control, CK), 1%, 2%, and 4% of mixed-based biochar in dry soil), and two particle sizes (0.05-0.25 mm (S1) and <0.05 mm (S2)) of mixed-based biochar on water infiltration and evaporation of aeolian sandy soil. We separately used five infiltration models (the Philip, Kostiakov, Horton, USDA-NRCS (United States Department of Agriculture-Natural Resources Conservation Service), and Kostiakov-Lewis models) to fit cumulative infiltration and time. Compared with CK, the application of mixed-based biochar significantly reduced cumulative soil water infiltration. Under application patterns A, B, and C, the higher the application amount and the finer the particle size were, the lower the migration speed of the wetting front. With the same application amount, cumulative soil water infiltration under application pattern A was the lowest. Taking infiltration for 10 min as an example, the reductions of cumulative soil water infiltration under the treatments of A2%(S2), A4%(S1), A4%(S2), A1%(S1), C2%(S1), and B1%(S1) were higher than 30%, which met the requirements of loess soil hydraulic parameters suitable for plant growth. The five infiltration models well fitted the effects of the treatments of application pattern C and S1 particle size (R2>0.980), but the R2 values of the Horton model exceeded 0.990 for all treatments (except for the treatment B2%(S2)). Compared with CK, all other treatments reduced cumulative soil water infiltration, except for B4%(S2). With the same application amount, cumulative soil water evaporation difference between application patterns A and B was small. Treatments of application pattern C and S1 particle size caused a larger reduction in cumulative soil water evaporation. The reductions in cumulative soil water evaporation under the treatments of C4%(S1), C4%(S2), C2%(S1), and C2%(S2) were over 15.00%. Therefore, applying 2% of mixed-based biochar with S1 particle size to the underlying layer (10-20 cm) could improve soil water infiltration while minimizing soil water evaporation. Moreover, application pattern was the main factor affecting soil water infiltration and evaporation. Further, there were interactions among the three influencing factors in the infiltration process (application amount×particle size with the most important interaction), while there were no interactions among them in the evaporation process. The results of this study could contribute to the rational application of mixed-based biochar in aeolian sandy soil and the resource utilization of urban and agricultural wastes in mining areas.

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Antelope adaptations to counteract overheating and water deficit in arid environments
David BLANK, LI Yaoming
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (10): 1069-1085.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0076-y
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Many arid areas have very severe climates with extremely high summer temperatures, strong solar radiation, and a lack of drinking water during the driest season. Therefore, antelopes living in arid areas are forced to solve two main problems: avoiding overheating and maintaining water balance. Generally, there are physiological, morphological, and behavioral mechanisms for antelope adaptations to arid environments. Among the mechanisms, behavioral adjustments have a minimal cost and are activated first, while physiological mechanisms are the most energetically costly and involve adaptations to high temperatures when other mechanisms are insufficient. In previous publications, some examples of the antelope behavioral adaptations have been described only rarely, while in this review, we try to clarify all available information on the adaptations of antelopes living in arid areas to their native environments, paying particular attention to behavioral adjustments. Behavioral mechanisms, especially daily activity, diet and microclimate selection, and migrations, are so important and commonly used by antelopes in natural conditions, in which physiological mechanisms are usually not involved. Antelopes adjust their behaviors according to environmental changes so successfully that purely physiological mechanisms are discovered under laboratory conditions; for example, adaptive heterothermia or selective brain cooling phenomenon is difficult to observe in their natural habitats. This review provides a better understanding of the main behavioral mechanisms of antelope adaptations to arid environments and allows for the identification of the key factors for successful conservation of antelopes in their natural habitats.

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Lithic soils in the semi-arid region of Brazil: edaphic characterization and susceptibility to erosion
Carlos R PINHEIRO JUNIOR, Conan A SALVADOR, Tiago R TAVARES, Marcel C ABREU, Hugo S FAGUNDES, Wilk S ALMEIDA, Eduardo C SILVA NETO, Lúcia H C ANJOS, Marcos G PEREIRA
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (1): 56-69.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0002-3
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Soils (Leptosols or Epileptic Regosols) with lithic contact at a depth of 50 cm occupy almost 20% of the Brazilian semi-arid region. These lithic soils are susceptible to erosion due to faster saturation of water-holding capacity during rainfall, which accelerates the beginning of runoff. However, erosion traits of lithic soils in the semi-arid region of Brazil are less studied. The aim of this study was to characterize the soil and landscape attributes in areas with Neossolos Litólicos (Entisols) in the Caatinga biome to identify region of high susceptibility to erosion. Results showed that the soils were characterized by a sandy texture, soil structure with poor development and low content of organic carbon. These attributes increase susceptibility to erosion and reduce water storage capacity, especially in the states of Ceará and Sergipe. In these states, the content of rock fragments in the soil reaches 790 g/kg. High contents of silt and fine sand, high silt/clay ratio, predominance of Leptosols and strong rainfall erosivity were observed in Piauí and northwestern Ceará. A very high degree of water erosion was observed in the states of Pernambuco and Paraíba. Despite the low degree of erosion observed in the state of Bahia, it is highly susceptible to erosion due to the predominance of very shallow soils, rugged relief and high values of rainfall erosivity. Lower vulnerability was observed in the state of Alagoas because of its more smoothed relief, greater effective soil depth, thicker A horizon of soil and lower rainfall erosivity. In general, the characteristics that intensify the susceptibility to erosion in the Caatinga biome are those soil structures with poor development or without aggregation, low contents of organic carbon, high contents of silt and fine sand, high values of silt/clay ratio and rugged relief in some regions. This study collected information contributing to a better characterization of soils with lithic contact in the semi-arid region of Brazil. In addition, regions with a higher susceptibility to erosion were identified, revealing insights that could help develop strategies for environmental risk mitigation.

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Neoproterozoic I-type granites in the Central Tianshan Block (NW China): geochronology, geochemistry, and tectonic implications
SONG Yujia, LIU Xijun, XIAO Wenjiao, ZHANG Zhiguo, LIU Pengde, XIAO Yao, LI Rui, WANG Baohua, LIU Lei, HU Rongguo
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (1): 82-101.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0071-8
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The Central Tianshan Block is one of numerous microcontinental blocks within the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) that overlies Precambrian basement rocks. Constraining the evolution of these ancient basement rocks is central to understanding the accretionary and collisional tectonics of the CAOB, and their place within the Rodinia supercontinent. However, to date, the timing and tectonic settings in which the basement rocks in the Central Tianshan Block formed are poorly constrained, with only sparse geochemical and geochronological data from granitic rocks within the northern segment of the block. Here, we present a systematic study combining U-Pb geochronology, whole-rock geochemistry, and the Sr-Nd isotopic compositions of newly-identified granitic gneisses from the Bingdaban area of Central Tianshan Block. The analyzed samples yield a weighted mean Neoproterozoic 206Pb/238U ages of 975-911 Ma. These weakly-peraluminous granitic rocks show a common geochemical I-type granite affinity. The granitic gneisses are calc-alkaline and enriched in large ion lithophile elements (LILEs) and light rare earth elements (LREEs), but they are depleted in high field strength elements (HFSEs); these characteristics are similar to those of typical subduction-related magmatism. All samples show initial (87Sr/86Sr)(t) ratios between 0.705136 and 0.706745. Values for ƐNd(t) in the granitic gneisses are in the range from -5.7 to -1.2, which correspond to Nd model ages of 2.0-1.7 Ga, indicating a role for Mesoproterozoic to Paleoproterozoic rocks in the generation of the granitic protoliths. The documented geochemical features indicate that the protoliths for the gneisses have a similar petrogenesis and magmatic source, which may reflect partial melting of thickened crust with the addition of small amounts of mantle-derived material. The Central Tianshan Block probably constitute part of an exterior orogen that developed along the margin of the Rodinian supercontinent during the Early Neoproterozoic and underwent a transition from subduction to syn-collision compression at 975-911 Ma.

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Grazing and heat stress protection of native grass by a sand-fixing shrub in the arid lands of northern China
Keiichi KIMURA, Akito KONO, Susumu YAMADA, Tomoyo F KOYANAGI, Toshiya OKURO
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (8): 867-876.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0024-x
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Shrub species are used in restoration projects on dryland for their facilitation effects, which include environmental improvements and protection from herbivore feeding. Facilitation effects on forage grasses are potentially important in improving grazing capacity on rangelands. However, the morphology-dependent performance of benefactor plants in facilitating forage species growth and supplementation under moderate grazing intensity remains unclear. Here, our main purpose was to measure facilitation performance in terms of the survival of a native forage grass, Agropyron cristatum (L.) Gaertn. (Gramineae)., in accordance with the growth conditions of a sand-fixing benefactor shrub, Caragana microphylla Lam., in the Hulun Buir Grassland, northern China. Six study sites with patches of A. cristatum and C. microphylla were established at the foot of fixed sand dunes. At each site, five quadrats were set in places where C. microphylla coverage was 100% and A. cristatum grew among the shrubs (shrub quadrats), and another five were set where A. cristatum grew alone without C. microphylla (grass quadrats). We measured the morphological traits of C. microphylla and A. cristatum in all 60 quadrats, along with the soil water content and soil temperature. The data were compared between the shrub and grass quadrats by generalized linear mixed-effect models to assess the shrub's facilitation effects. We also used such models to elucidate the relationship between the average height of C. microphylla and the morphological traits of A. cristatum in the shrub quadrats. The maximum height, average grazed height, and the number of seed heads of A. cristatum were greater in the shrub quadrats than in the grass quadrats. The soil surface temperature was lower in the shrub quadrats. The maximum height and seed head number of A. cristatum were positively associated with the average height of C. microphylla. These results suggest that the grazing impact and heat stress were smaller in shrub quadrats than in grass quadrats, and that the degree of this protective effect depended on the shrub height. The shrub canopy seemed to reduce the increase in soil temperature and keep the grass vigorous. Livestock likely avoided grazing grasses in the C. microphylla patches because of the shrub's spiny leaves; only the upper parts of the grass stems (including the seed heads) protruding from the shrub canopy were grazed. The sand-fixing shrub thus moderates the grazing impact and soil temperature, and contributes to vegetation restoration and grazing system sustainability.

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Diversity of cultivable endophytic bacteria associated with halophytes in Xinjiang of China and their plant beneficial traits
LI Li, GAO Lei, LIU Yonghong, FANG Baozhu, HUANG Yin, Osama A A MOHAMAD, Dilfuza EGAMBERDIEVA, LI Wenjun, MA Jinbiao
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (8): 790-800.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0016-2
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Endophytic bacteria from halophytes have a wide range of application prospects in various fields, such as plant growth-promoting, biocontrol activity and stress resistance. The current study aimed to identify cultivable endophytic bacteria associated with halophytes grown in the salt-affected soil in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China and to evaluate their plant beneficial traits and enzyme-producing activity. Endophytic bacteria were isolated from Reaumuria soongorica (PalL Maxim.), Artemisia carvifolia (Buch.-Ham. ex Roxb. Hort. Beng.), Peganum harmala L. and Suaeda dendroides (C. A. Mey. Moq.) by using the cultural-dependent method. Then we classified these bacteria based on the difference between their sequences of 16S rRNA (16S ribosomal RNA) gene. Results showed that the isolated bacteria from R. soongorica belonged to the genera Brucella, Bacillus and Variovorax. The bacteria from A. carvifolia belonged to the genera Micromonospora and Brucella. The bacteria from P. harmala belonged to the genera Paramesorhizobium, Bacillus and Peribacillus. The bacteria from S. dendroides belonged to the genus Bacillus. Notably, the genus Bacillus was detected in the three above plants, indicating that Bacillus is a common taxon of endophytic bacteria in halophytes. And, our results found that about 37.50% of the tested strains showed strong protease-producing activity, 6.25% of the tested strains showed strong cellulase-producing activity and 12.50% of the tested strains showed moderate lipase-producing activity. Besides, all isolated strains were positive for IAA (3-Indoleacetic acid) production, 31.25% of isolated strains exhibited a moderate phosphate solubilization activity and 50.00% of isolated strains exhibited a weak siderophore production activity. Our findings suggest that halophytes are valuable resources for identifying microbes with the ability to increase host plant growth and health in salt-affected soils.

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Spatial-temporal variations of ecological vulnerability in the Tarim River Basin, Northwest China
BAI Jie, LI Junli, BAO Anmin, CHANG Cun
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (8): 814-834.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0079-0
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As the largest inland river basin of China, the Tarim River Basin (TRB), known for its various natural resources and fragile environment, has an increased risk of ecological crisis due to the intensive exploitation and utilization of water and land resources. Since the Ecological Water Diversion Project (EWDP), which was implemented in 2001 to save endangered desert vegetation, there has been growing evidence of ecological improvement in local regions, but few studies have performed a comprehensive ecological vulnerability assessment of the whole TRB. This study established an evaluation framework integrating the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and entropy method to estimate the ecological vulnerability of the TRB covering climatic, ecological, and socioeconomic indicators during 2000-2017. Based on the geographical detector model, the importance of ten driving factors on the spatial-temporal variations of ecological vulnerability was explored. The results showed that the ecosystem of the TRB was fragile, with more than half of the area (57.27%) dominated by very heavy and heavy grades of ecological vulnerability, and 28.40% of the area had potential and light grades of ecological vulnerability. The light grade of ecological vulnerability was distributed in the northern regions (Aksu River and Weigan River catchments) and western regions (Kashgar River and Yarkant River catchments), while the heavy grade was located in the southern regions (Kunlun Mountains and Qarqan River catchments) and the Mainstream catchment. The ecosystems in the western and northern regions were less vulnerable than those in the southern and eastern regions. From 2000 to 2017, the overall improvement in ecological vulnerability in the whole TRB showed that the areas with great ecological improvement increased by 46.11%, while the areas with ecological degradation decreased by 9.64%. The vegetation cover and potential evapotranspiration (PET) were the obvious driving factors, explaining 57.56% and 21.55% of the changes in ecological vulnerability across the TRB, respectively. In terms of ecological vulnerability grade changes, obvious spatial differences were observed in the upper, middle, and lower reaches of the TRB due to the different vegetation and hydrothermal conditions. The alpine source region of the TRB showed obvious ecological improvement due to increased precipitation and temperature, but the alpine meadow of the Kaidu River catchment in the Middle Tianshan Mountains experienced degradation associated with overgrazing and local drought. The improved agricultural management technologies had positive effects on farmland ecological improvement, while the desert vegetation in oasis-desert ecotones showed a decreasing trend as a result of cropland reclamation and intensive drought. The desert riparian vegetation in the lower reaches of the Tarim River was greatly improved due to the implementation of the EWDP, which has been active for tens of years. These results provide comprehensive knowledge about ecological processes and mechanisms in the whole TRB and help to develop environmental restoration measures based on different ecological vulnerability grades in each sub-catchment.

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Soil quality assessment in different dammed-valley farmlands in the hilly-gully mountain areas of the northern Loess Plateau, China
CHEN Shumin, JIN Zhao, ZHANG Jing, YANG Siqi
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (8): 777-789.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0014-4
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There are numerous valley farmlands on the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP), where suffers from low soil quality and high risk of soil salinization due to the shallow groundwater table and poor drainage system. Currently, research on the evolution processes and mechanisms of soil quality and salinization in these dammed-valley farmlands on the CLP is still inadequately understood. In this study, three kinds of dammed-valley farmlands in the hilly-gully areas of the northern CLP were selected, and the status of soil quality and the impact factors of soil salinization were examined. The dammed-valley farmlands include the new farmland created by the project of Gully Land Consolidation, the 60-a farmland created by sedimentation from check dam, and the 400-a farmland created by sedimentation from an ancient landslide-dammed lake. Results showed that (1) the newly created farmland had the lowest soil quality in terms of soil bulk density, porosity, soil organic carbon and total nitrogen among the three kinds of dammed-valley farmlands; (2) soil salinization occurred in the middle and upper reaches of the new and 60-a valley farmlands, whereas no soil salinization was found in the 400-a valley farmland; and (3) soil salinization and low soil nutrient were determined to be the two important factors that impacted the soil quality of the valley farmlands in the hilly-gully mountain areas of the CLP. We conclude that the dammed-valley farmlands on the CLP have a high risk of soil salinization due to the shallow groundwater table, alkalinity of the loessial soil and local landform feature, thus resulting in the low soil quality of the valley farmlands. Therefore, strengthening drainage and decreasing groundwater table are extremely important to improve the soil quality of the valley farmlands and guarantee the sustainable development of the valley agriculture on the CLP.

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Delayed seed dispersal species and related traits in the desert of the United Arab Emirates
Teresa NAVARRO, Hatem A SHABANA, Ali EL-KEBLAWY, Noelia HIDALGO-TRIANA
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (9): 962-976.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0018-0
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The ability of plants to safely retain seeds in the mother plant is an adaptive mechanism described in many desert plants. However, research about delayed seed dispersal species in the desert of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) is lacking. This study aims to identify these delayed seed dispersal species and assess the relationships of the presence of delayed seed dispersal with plant growth form, habit, spatial dispersal, antitelechoric mechanism, and seed release time. The relationships between the presence of delayed seed dispersal and the above studied traits were assessed by using the Pearson Chi-square test and Nonlinear Principal Components Analysis (NLPCA). Results showed that a total of 46 delayed seed dispersal species were recorded (15.0% of 307 studied species) and the highest incidence occurred in the Fabaceae family (17.4%). Delayed seed dispersal species were predominantly perennial plants (73.9%) with spatial restricted dispersal (67.4%), which released seed in the dry season (45.7%). The dominant groups of delayed seed dispersal species were persistent fruits species and synaptospermy (28.3%). All graminoids showed persistent lignified fruits, while prostrate annuals were basicarpic species with myxospermy. Sandy habitats had the highest number of delayed seed dispersal species (54.3%), whereas salt flats had the lowest (23.9%). In the desert of the UAE, delayed seed dispersal species spread seeds until the end of the dry and windy season, thus breaking seed dormancy at this time and ensuring seed germination in the next arrival of the rainy season. This morphological and ecological adaptation of delayed dispersal species is essential to the survival and sustainable development of vegetation in desert environments.

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Spatiotemporal changes of typical glaciers and their responses to climate change in Xinjiang, Northwest China
HUANG Xiaoran, BAO Anming, GUO Hao, MENG Fanhao, ZHANG Pengfei, ZHENG Guoxiong, YU Tao, QI Peng, Vincent NZABARINDA, DU Weibing
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (5): 502-520.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0056-2
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Glaciers are highly sensitive to climate change and are undergoing significant changes in mid-latitudes. In this study, we analyzed the spatiotemporal changes of typical glaciers and their responses to climate change in the period of 1990-2015 in 4 different mountainous sub-regions in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of Northwest China: the Bogda Peak and Karlik Mountain sub-regions in the Tianshan Mountains; the Yinsugaiti Glacier sub-region in the Karakorum Mountains; and the Youyi Peak sub-region in the Altay Mountains. The standardized snow cover index (NDSI) and correlation analysis were used to reveal the glacier area changes in the 4 sub-regions from 1990 to 2015. Glacial areas in the Bogda Peak, Karlik Mountain, Yinsugaiti Glacier, and Youyi Peak sub-regions in the period of 1990-2015 decreased by 57.7, 369.1, 369.1, and 170.4 km², respectively. Analysis of glacier area center of gravity showed that quadrant changes of glacier areas in the 4 sub-regions moved towards the origin. Glacier area on the south aspect of the Karlik Mountain sub-region was larger than that on the north aspect, while glacier areas on the north aspect of the other 3 sub-regions were larger than those on the south aspect. Increased precipitation in the Karlik Mountain sub-region inhibited the retreat of glaciers to a certain extent. However, glacier area changes in the Bogda Peak and Youyi Peak sub-regions were not sensitive to the increased precipitation. On a seasonal time scale, glacier area changes in the Bogda Peak, Karlik Mountain, Yinsugaiti Glacier, and Youyi Peak sub-regions were mainly caused by accumulated temperature in the wet season; on an annual time scale, the correlation coefficient between glacier area and annual average temperature was -0.72 and passed the significance test at P<0.05 level in the Karlik Mountain sub-region. The findings of this study can provide a scientific basis for water resources management in the arid and semi-arid regions of Northwest China in the context of global warming.

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Assessment of ecological quality in Northwest China (2000-2020) using the Google Earth Engine platform: Climate factors and land use/land cover contribute to ecological quality
WANG Jinjie, DING Jianli, GE Xiangyu, QIN Shaofeng, ZHANG Zhe
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (11): 1196-1211.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0085-x
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The ecological quality of inland areas is an important aspect of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals (UN SDGs). The ecological environment of Northwest China is vulnerable to changes in climate and land use/land cover, and the changes in ecological quality in this arid region over the last two decades are not well understood. This makes it more difficult to advance the UN SDGs and develop appropriate measures at the regional level. In this study, we used the Moderate Resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) products to generate remote sensing ecological index (RSEI) on the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform to examine the relationship between ecological quality and environment in Xinjiang during the last two decades (from 2000 to 2020). We analyzed a 21-year time series of the trends and spatial characteristics of ecological quality. We further assessed the importance of different environmental factors affecting ecological quality through the random forest algorithm using data from statistical yearbooks and land use products. Our results show that the RSEI constructed using the GEE platform can accurately reflect the ecological quality information in Xinjiang because the contribution of the first principal component was higher than 90.00%. The ecological quality in Xinjiang has increased significantly over the last two decades, with the northern part of this region having a better ecological quality than the southern part. The areas with slightly improved ecological quality accounted for 31.26% of the total land area of Xinjiang, whereas only 3.55% of the land area was classified as having a slightly worsen (3.16%) or worsen (0.39%) ecological quality. The vast majority of the deterioration in ecological quality mainly occurred in the barren areas Temperature, precipitation, closed shrublands, grasslands and savannas were the top five environmental factors affecting the changes in RSEI. Environmental factors were allocated different weights for different RSEI categories. In general, the recovery of ecological quality in Xinjiang has been controlled by climate and land use/land cover during the last two decades and policy-driven ecological restoration is therefore crucial. Rapid monitoring of inland ecological quality using the GEE platform is projected to aid in the advancement of the comprehensive assessment of the UN SDGs.

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Effect of sand-fixing vegetation on the hydrological regulation function of sand dunes and its practical significance
Alamusa , SU Yuhang, YIN Jiawang, ZHOU Quanlai, WANG Yongcui
Journal of Arid Land    2023, 15 (1): 52-62.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-023-0002-y
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Soil water content is a key controlling factor for vegetation restoration in sand dunes. The deep seepage and lateral migration of water in dunes affect the recharge process of deep soil water and groundwater in sand dune ecosystems. To determine the influence of vegetation on the hydrological regulation function of sand dunes, we examined the deep seepage and lateral migration of dune water with different vegetation coverages during the growing season in the Horqin Sandy Land, China. The results showed that the deep seepage and lateral migration of water decreased with the increase in vegetation coverage on the dunes. The accumulated deep seepage water of mobile dunes (vegetation coverage<5%) and dunes with vegetation coverage of 18.03%, 27.12%, and 50.65% accounted for 56.53%, 51.82%, 18.98%, and 0.26%, respectively, of the rainfall in the same period. The accumulated lateral migration of water in these dunes accounted for 12.39%, 6.33%, 2.23%, and 7.61% of the rainfall in the same period. The direction and position of the dune slope affected the soil water deep seepage and lateral migration process. The amounts of deep seepage and lateral migration of water on the windward slope were lower than those on the leeward slope. The amounts of deep seepage and lateral migration of water showed a decreasing trend from the bottom to the middle and to the top of the dune slope. According to the above results, during the construction of sand-control projects in sandy regions, we suggest that a certain area of mobile dunes (>13.75%) should be retained as a water resource reservoir to maintain the water balance of artificial fixed dune ecosystems. These findings provide reliable evidence for the accurate assessment of water resources within the sand dune ecosystem and guide the construction of desertification control projects.

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Ecosystem service values of gardens in the Yellow River Basin, China
GE Qianqian, XU Wenjie, FU Meichen, HAN Yingxin, AN Guoqiang, XU Yuetong
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (3): 284-296.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0061-5
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Studies on the ecosystem service value (ESV) of gardens are critical for informing evidence- based land management practices based on an understanding of the local ecosystem. By analyzing equivalent value factors (EVFs), this paper evaluated the values of 11 ecosystem services of gardens in the Yellow River Basin of China in 2019. High-precision land use survey data were used to improve the accuracy of the land use classification, garden areas, and spatial distribution of the ESVs of gardens. The results showed that garden ecosystem generally had high ESVs, especially in terms of the ESV of food production, which is worthy of further research and application to the practice of land use planning and management. Specifically, the value of one standard EVF of ecosystem services in 2019 was 3587.04 CNY/(hm2•a), and the ESV of food production of gardens was much higher than that of croplands. Garden ecosystem provided an ESV of 1348.66×108 CNY/a in the Yellow River Basin. The areas with the most concentrated ESVs of gardens were located in four regions: downstream in the Shandong-Henan zone along the Yellow River, mid-stream in the Shanxi-Shaanxi zone along the Yellow River, the Weihe River Basin, and upstream in the Qinghai-Gansu-Ningxia-Inner Mongolia zone along the Yellow River. The spatial correlation of the ESVs in the basin was significant (global spatial autocorrelation index Moran's I=0.464), which implied that the characteristics of high ESVs adjacent to high ESVs and low ESVs adjacent to low ESVs are prominent. In the Yellow River Basin, the contribution of the ESVs of gardens to the local environment and economy varied across regions. We also put forward some suggestions for promoting the construction of ecological civilization in the Yellow River Basin. The findings of this study provide important contributions to the research of ecosystem service evaluation in the Yellow River Basin.

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Runoff characteristics and its sensitivity to climate factors in the Weihe River Basin from 2006 to 2018
WU Changxue, Xu Ruirui, QIU Dexun, DING Yingying, GAO Peng, MU Xingmin, ZHAO Guangju
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (12): 1344-1360.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0109-6
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Exploring the current runoff characteristics after the large-scale implementation of the Grain for Green (GFG) project and investigating its sensitivities to potential drivers are crucial for water resource prediction and management. Based on the measured runoff data of 62 hydrological stations in the Weihe River Basin (WRB) from 2006 to 2018, we analyzed the temporal and spatial runoff characteristics in this study. Correlation analysis was used to investigate the relationships between different runoff indicators and climate-related factors. Additionally, an improved Budyko framework was applied to assess the sensitivities of annual runoff to precipitation, potential evaporation, and other factors. The results showed that the daily runoff flow duration curves (FDCs) of all selected hydrological stations fall in three narrow ranges, with the corresponding mean annual runoff spanning approximately 1.50 orders of magnitude, indicating that the runoff of different hydrological stations in the WRB varied greatly. The trend analysis of runoff under different exceedance frequencies showed that the runoff from the south bank of the Weihe River was more affluent and stable than that from the north bank. The runoff was unevenly distributed throughout the year, mainly in the flood season, accounting for more than 50.00% of the annual runoff. However, the trend of annual runoff change was not obvious in most areas. Correlation analysis showed that rare-frequency runoff events were more susceptible to climate factors. In this study, daily runoff under 10%-20% exceeding frequencies, consecutive maximum daily runoff, and low-runoff variability rate had strong correlations with precipitation, aridity index, and average runoff depth on rainy days. In comparison, daily runoff under 50%-99% exceeding frequencies, consecutive minimum daily runoff, and high-runoff variability rate had weak correlations with all selected impact factors. The sensitivity analysis results suggested that the sensitivity of annual runoff to precipitation was always higher than that to potential evaporation. The runoff about 87.10% of the selected hydrological stations were most sensitive to precipitation changes, and 12.90% were most sensitive to other factors. The spatial pattern of the sensitivity analysis indicated that in relatively humid southern areas, runoff was more sensitive to potential evaporation and other factors, and less sensitive to precipitation.

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Assessment of river basin habitat quality and its relationship with disturbance factors: A case study of the Tarim River Basin in Northwest China
HE Bing, CHANG Jianxia, GUO Aijun, WANG Yimin, WANG Yan, LI Zhehao
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (2): 167-185.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0058-0
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The status of regional biodiversity is determined by habitat quality. The effective assessment of habitat quality can help balance the relationship between economic development and biodiversity conservation. Therefore, this study used the InVEST model to conduct a dynamic evaluation of the spatial and temporal changes in habitat quality of the Tarim River Basin in southern Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region of China by calculating the degradation degree levels for habitat types that were caused by threat factors from 1990 to 2018 (represented by four periods of 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2018). Specifically, we used spatial autocorrelation analysis and Getis-Ord G* i analysis to divide the study area into three heterogeneous units in terms of habitat quality: cold spot areas, hot spot areas and random areas. Hemeroby index, population density, gross domestic product (GDP), altitude and distance from water source (DWS) were then chosen as the main disturbance factors. Linear correlation and spatial regression models were subsequently used to analyze the influences of disturbance factors on habitat quality. The results demonstrated that the overall level of habitat quality in the TRB was poor, showing a continuous degradation state. The intensity of the negative correlation between habitat quality and Hemeroby index was proven to be strongest in cold spot areas, hot spot areas and random areas. The spatial lag model (SLM) was better suited to spatial regression analysis due to the spatial dependence of habitat quality and disturbance factors in heterogeneous units. By analyzing the model, Hemeroby index was found to have the greatest impact on habitat quality in the studied four periods (1990, 2000, 2010 and 2018). The research results have potential guiding significance for the formulation of reasonable management policies in the TRB as well as other river basins in arid areas.

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Effects of climate change and land use/cover change on the volume of the Qinghai Lake in China
WANG Hongwei, QI Yuan, LIAN Xihong, ZHANG Jinlong, YANG Rui, ZHANG Meiting
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (3): 245-261.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0062-4
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Qinghai Lake is the largest saline lake in China. The change in the lake volume is an indicator of the variation in water resources and their response to climate change on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP) in China. The present study quantitatively evaluated the effects of climate change and land use/cover change (LUCC) on the lake volume of the Qinghai Lake in China from 1958 to 2018, which is crucial for water resources management in the Qinghai Lake Basin. To explore the effects of climate change and LUCC on the Qinghai Lake volume, we analyzed the lake level observation data and multi-period land use/land cover (LULC) data by using an improved lake volume estimation method and Integrated Valuation of Ecosystem Services and Trade-offs (InVEST) model. Our results showed that the lake level decreased at the rate of 0.08 m/a from 1958 to 2004 and increased at the rate of 0.16 m/a from 2004 to 2018. The lake volume decreased by 105.40×108 m3 from 1958 to 2004, with the rate of 2.24×108 m3/a, whereas it increased by 74.02×108 m3 from 2004 to 2018, with the rate of 4.66×108 m3/a. Further, the climate of the Qinghai Lake Basin changed from warm-dry to warm-humid. From 1958 to 2018, the increase in precipitation and the decrease in evaporation controlled the change of the lake volume, which were the main climatic factors affecting the lake volume change. From 1977 to 2018, the measured water yield showed an "increase-decrease-increase" fluctuation in the Qinghai Lake Basin. The effects of climate change and LUCC on the measured water yield were obviously different. From 1977 to 2018, the contribution rate of LUCC was -0.76% and that of climate change was 100.76%; the corresponding rates were 8.57% and 91.43% from 1977 to 2004, respectively, and -4.25% and 104.25% from 2004 to 2018, respectively. Quantitative analysis of the effects and contribution rates of climate change and LUCC on the Qinghai Lake volume revealed the scientific significance of climate change and LUCC, as well as their individual and combined effects in the Qinghai Lake Basin and on the QTP. This study can contribute to the water resources management and regional sustainable development of the Qinghai Lake Basin.

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Wind-proof and sand-fixing effects of Artemisia ordosica with different coverages in the Mu Us Sandy Land, northern China
PANG Yingjun, WU Bo, JIA Xiaohong, XIE Shengbo
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (8): 877-893.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0070-4
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Wind erosion is a key global environmental problem and has many adverse effects. The Mu Us Sandy Land of northern China is characterized by an arid climate, where vegetation patches and bare sand patches are usually distributed mosaically, and aeolian activities occur frequently. Vegetation plays a significant role in controlling wind erosion. Artemisia ordosica is the most dominant native plant species in the Mu Us Sandy Land. It is urgent to study the wind-proof and sand-fixing effects of Artemisia ordosica in the Mu Us Sandy Land. This study analyzed the wind-proof and sand-fixing effects of Artemisia ordosica based on the field data of wind regimes, aeolian sediment transport, and surface change of Artemisia ordosica plots with four coverages (denoted as site A, site B, site C, and site D) in the Mu Us Sandy Land during the period from 1 June 2018 to 29 June 2019. The coverages of Artemisia ordosica at site A, site B, site C, and site D were 2%, 16%, 29%, and 69%, respectively. The annual average wind speeds at 2.0 m height above the ground for site A, site B, site C, and site D were 3.47, 2.77, 2.21, and 1.97 m/s, respectively. The annual drift potentials were 193.80, 69.72, 15.05, and 6.73 VU at site A, site B, site C, and site D, respectively. The total horizontal aeolian sediment fluxes during the period from 2-3 June 2018 to 6 June 2019 at site A, site B, site C, and site D were 4633.61, 896.80, 10.54, and 6.14 kg/m, respectively. Site A had the largest surface changes, and the surface changes at site B were significantly weaker than those at site A, whereas the surface changes at site C and site D were minimal. The results indicated that Artemisia ordosica significantly reduced the wind speed, drift potential, aeolian sediment transport, and surface changes. The higher the coverage of Artemisia ordosica is, the more obvious the effects of wind-proof and sand-fixing. Wind erosion would be effectively controlled in the Mu Us Sandy Land if the coverage of Artemisia ordosica is greater than 29%. These results provide a scientific basis for evaluating the ecosystem service function of Artemisia ordosica and the vegetation protection and construction projects in the Mu Us Sandy Land.

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Plant cover as an estimator of above-ground biomass in semi-arid woody vegetation in Northeast Patagonia, Argentina
Laura B RODRIGUEZ, Silvia S TORRES ROBLES, Marcelo F ARTURI, Juan M ZEBERIO, Andrés C H GRAND, Néstor I GASPARRI
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (9): 918-933.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0083-4
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The quantification of carbon storage in vegetation biomass is a crucial factor in the estimation and mitigation of CO2 emissions. Globally, arid and semi-arid regions are considered an important carbon sink. However, they have received limited attention and, therefore, it should be a priority to develop tools to quantify biomass at the local and regional scales. Individual plant variables, such as stem diameter and crown area, were reported to be good predictors of individual plant weight. Stand-level variables, such as plant cover and mean height, are also easy-to-measure estimators of above-ground biomass (AGB) in dry regions. In this study, we estimated the AGB in semi-arid woody vegetation in Northeast Patagonia, Argentina. We evaluated whether the AGB at the stand level can be estimated based on plant cover and to what extent the estimation accuracy can be improved by the inclusion of other field-measured structure variables. We also evaluated whether remote sensing technologies can be used to reliably estimate and map the regional mean biomass. For this purpose, we analyzed the relationships between field-measured woody vegetation structure variables and AGB as well as LANDSAT TM-derived variables. We obtained a model-based ratio estimate of regional mean AGB and its standard error. Total plant cover allowed us to obtain a reliable estimation of local AGB, and no better fit was attained by the inclusion of other structure variables. The stand-level plant cover ranged between 18.7% and 95.2% and AGB between about 2.0 and 70.8 Mg/hm2. AGB based on total plant cover was well estimated from LANDSAT TM bands 2 and 3, which facilitated a model-based ratio estimate of the regional mean AGB (approximately 12.0 Mg/hm2) and its sampling error (about 30.0%). The mean AGB of woody vegetation can greatly contribute to carbon storage in semi-arid lands. Thus, plant cover estimation by remote sensing images could be used to obtain regional estimates and map biomass, as well as to assess and monitor the impact of land-use change on the carbon balance, for arid and semi-arid regions.

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Assessment of drought and its impact on winter wheat yield in the Chinese Loess Plateau
WANG Fengjiao, FU Bojie, LIANG Wei, JIN Zhao, ZHANG Liwei, YAN Jianwu, FU Shuyi, GOU Fen
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (7): 771-786.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0021-0
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Drought has pronounced and immediate impacts on agricultural production, especially in semi-arid and arid rainfed agricultural regions. Quantification of drought and its impact on crop yield is essential to agricultural water resource management and food security. We investigated drought and its impact on winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) yield in the Chinese Loess Plateau from 2001 to 2015. Specifically, we performed a varimax rotated principal component analysis on drought severity index (DSI) separately for four winter wheat growth periods: pre-sowing growth period (PG), early growth period (EG), middle growth period (MG), and late growth period (LG), resulting in three major subregional DSI dynamics for each growth period. The county-level projections of these major dynamics were then used to evaluate the growth period-specific impacts of DSI on winter wheat yields by using multiple linear regression analysis. Our results showed that the growth period-specific subregions had different major DSI dynamics. During PG, the northwestern area exhibited a rapid wetting trend, while small areas in the south showed a slight drying trend. The remaining subregions fluctuated between dryness and wetness. During EG, the northeastern and western areas exhibited a mild wetting trend. The remaining subregions did not display clear wetting or drying trends. During MG, the eastern and southwestern areas showed slight drying and wetting trends, respectively. The subregions scattered in the north and south had a significant wetting trend. During LG, large areas in the east and west exhibited wetting trends, whereas small parts in south-central area had a slight drying trend. Most counties in the north showed significant and slight wetting trends during PG, EG, and LG, whereas a few southwestern counties exhibited significant drying trends during PG and MG. Our analysis identified close and positive relationships between yields and DSI during LG, and revealed that almost all of the counties were vulnerable to drought. Similar but less strong relationships existed for MG, in which northeastern and eastern counties were more drought-vulnerable than other counties. In contrast, a few drought-sensitive counties were mainly located in the southwestern and eastern areas during PG, and in the northeastern corner of the study region during EG. Overall, our study dissociated growth period-specific and spatial location-specific impacts of drought on winter wheat yield, and might contribute to a better understanding of monitoring and early warning of yield loss.

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Check dam extraction from remote sensing images using deep learning and geospatial analysis: A case study in the Yanhe River Basin of the Loess Plateau, China
SUN Liquan, GUO Huili, CHEN Ziyu, YIN Ziming, FENG Hao, WU Shufang, Kadambot H M SIDDIQUE
Journal of Arid Land    2023, 15 (1): 34-51.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-023-0091-7
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Check dams are widely used on the Loess Plateau in China to control soil and water losses, develop agricultural land, and improve watershed ecology. Detailed information on the number and spatial distribution of check dams is critical for quantitatively evaluating hydrological and ecological effects and planning the construction of new dams. Thus, this study developed a check dam detection framework for broad areas from high-resolution remote sensing images using an ensemble approach of deep learning and geospatial analysis. First, we made a sample dataset of check dams using GaoFen-2 (GF-2) and Google Earth images. Next, we evaluated five popular deep-learning-based object detectors, including Faster R-CNN, You Only Look Once (version 3) (YOLOv3), Cascade R-CNN, YOLOX, and VarifocalNet (VFNet), to identify the best one for check dam detection. Finally, we analyzed the location characteristics of the check dams and used geographical constraints to optimize the detection results. Precision, recall, average precision at intersection over union (IoU) threshold of 0.50 (AP50), IoU threshold of 0.75 (AP75), and average value for 10 IoU thresholds ranging from 0.50-0.95 with a 0.05 step (AP50-95), and inference time were used to evaluate model performance. All the five deep learning networks could identify check dams quickly and accurately, with AP50-95, AP50, and AP75 values higher than 60.0%, 90.0%, and 70.0%, respectively, except for YOLOv3. The VFNet had the best performance, followed by YOLOX. The proposed framework was tested in the Yanhe River Basin and yielded promising results, with a recall rate of 87.0% for 521 check dams. Furthermore, the geographic analysis deleted about 50% of the false detection boxes, increasing the identification accuracy of check dams from 78.6% to 87.6%. Simultaneously, this framework recognized 568 recently constructed check dams and small check dams not recorded in the known check dam survey datasets. The extraction results will support efficient watershed management and guide future studies on soil erosion in the Loess Plateau.

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Spatiotemporal changes of eco-environmental quality based on remote sensing-based ecological index in the Hotan Oasis, Xinjiang
YAO Kaixuan, Abudureheman HALIKE, CHEN Limei, WEI Qianqian
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (3): 262-283.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0011-2
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The rapid economic development that the Hotan Oasis in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China has undergone in recent years may face some challenges in its ecological environment. Therefore, an analysis of the spatiotemporal changes in ecological environment of the Hotan Oasis is important for its sustainable development. First, we constructed an improved remote sensing-based ecological index (RSEI) in 1990, 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, 2015 and 2020 on the Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform and implemented change detection for their spatial distribution. Second, we performed a spatial autocorrelation analysis on RSEI distribution map and used land-use and land-cover change (LUCC) data to analyze the reasons of RSEI changes. Finally, we investigated the applicability of improved RSEI to arid area. The results showed that mean of RSEI rose from 0.41 to 0.50, showing a slight upward trend. During the 30-a period, 2.66% of the regions improved significantly, 10.74% improved moderately and 32.21% improved slightly, respectively. The global Moran's I were 0.891, 0.889, 0.847 and 0.777 for 1990, 2000, 2010 and 2020, respectively, and the local indicators of spatial autocorrelation (LISA) distribution map showed that the high-high cluster was mainly distributed in the central part of the Hotan Oasis, and the low-low cluster was mainly distributed in the outer edge of the oasis. RSEI at the periphery of the oasis changes from low to high with time, with the fragmentation of RSEI distribution within the oasis increasing. Its distribution and changes are predominantly driven by anthropologic factors, including the expansion of artificial oasis into the desert, the replacement of desert ecosystems by farmland ecosystems, and the increase in the distribution of impervious surfaces. The improved RSEI can reflect the eco-environmental quality effectively of the oasis in arid area with relatively high applicability. The high efficiency exhibited with this approach makes it convenient for rapid, high frequency and macroscopic monitoring of eco-environmental quality in study area.

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Dew amount and its long-term variation in the Kunes River Valley, Northwest China
FENG Ting, HUANG Farong, ZHU Shuzhen, BU Lingjie, QI Zhiming, LI Lanhai
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (7): 753-770.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0099-4
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Dew is an essential water resource for the survival and reproduction of organisms in arid and semi-arid regions. Yet estimating the dew amount and quantifying its long-term variation are challenging. In this study, we elucidate the dew amount and its long-term variation in the Kunes River Valley, Northwest China, based on the measured daily dew amount and reconstructed values (using meteorological data from 1980 to 2021), respectively. Four key results were found: (1) the daily mean dew amount was 0.05 mm during the observation period (4 July-12 August and 13 September-7 October of 2021). In 35 d of the observation period (i.e., 73% of the observation period), the daily dew amount exceeded the threshold (>0.03 mm/d) for microorganisms; (2) air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed had significant impacts on the daily dew amount based on the relationships between the measured dew amount and meteorological variables; (3) for estimating the daily dew amount, random forest (RF) model outperformed multiple linear regression (MLR) model given its larger R2 and lower MAE and RMSE; and (4) the dew amount during June-October and in each month did not vary significantly from 1980 to the beginning of the 21st century. It then significantly decreased for about a decade, after it increased slightly from 2013 to 2021. For the whole meteorological period of 1980-2021, the dew amount decreased significantly during June-October and in July and September, and there was no significant variation in June, August, and October. Variation in the dew amount in the Kunes River Valley was mainly driven by relative humidity. This study illustrates that RF model can be used to reconstruct long-term variation in the dew amount, which provides valuable information for us to better understand the dew amount and its relationship with climate change.

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Carbon inputs regulate the temperature sensitivity of soil respiration in temperate forests
LIU Yulin, LI Jiwei, HAI Xuying, WU Jianzhao, DONG Lingbo, PAN Yingjie, SHANGGUAN Zhouping, WANG Kaibo, DENG Lei
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (9): 1055-1068.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0102-0
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Litter and root activities may alter the temperature sensitivity (Q10) of soil respiration. However, existing studies have not provided a comprehensive understanding of the effects of litter and root carbon inputs on the Q10 of soil respiration in different seasons. In this study, we used the trench method under in situ conditions to measure the total soil respiration (Rtotal), litter-removed soil respiration (Rno-litter), root-removed soil respiration (Rno-root), and the decomposition of soil organic matter (i.e., both litter and root removal; RSOM) in different seasons of pioneer (Populus davidiana Dode) and climax (Quercus liaotungensis Mary) forests on the Loess Plateau, China. Soil temperature, soil moisture, litter biomass, fine root biomass, litter carbon, and root carbon were analyzed to obtain the drive mechanism of the Q10 of soil respiration in the two forests. The results showed that the Q10 of soil respiration exhibited seasonality, and the Q10 of soil respiration was higher in summer. The litter enhanced the Q10 of soil respiration considerably more than the root did. Soil temperature, soil moisture, fine root biomass, and litter carbon were the main factors used to predict the Q10 of different soil respiration components. These findings indicated that factors affecting the Q10 of soil respiration highly depended on soil temperature and soil moisture as well as related litter and root traits in the two forests, which can improve our understanding of soil carbon-climate feedback in global warming. The results of this study can provide reference for exploring soil respiration under temperate forest restoration.

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Climate change impacts on the streamflow of Zarrineh River, Iran
Farhad YAZDANDOOST, Sogol MORADIAN
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (9): 891-904.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0091-4
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Zarrineh River is located in the northwest of Iran, providing more than 40% of the total inflow into the Lake Urmia that is one of the largest saltwater lakes on the earth. Lake Urmia is a highly endangered ecosystem on the brink of desiccation. This paper studied the impacts of climate change on the streamflow of Zarrineh River. The streamflow was simulated and projected for the period 1992-2050 through seven CMIP5 (coupled model intercomparison project phase 5) data series (namely, BCC-CSM1-1, BNU-ESM, CSIRO-Mk3-6-0, GFDL-ESM2G, IPSL-CM5A-LR, MIROC-ESM and MIROC-ESM-CHEM) under RCP2.6 (RCP, representative concentration pathways) and RCP8.5. The model data series were statistically downscaled and bias corrected using an artificial neural network (ANN) technique and a Gamma based quantile mapping bias correction method. The best model (CSIRO-Mk3-6-0) was chosen by the TOPSIS (technique for order of preference by similarity to ideal solution) method from seven CMIP5 models based on statistical indices. For simulation of streamflow, a rainfall-runoff model, the hydrologiska byrans vattenavdelning (HBV-Light) model, was utilized. Results on hydro-climatological changes in Zarrineh River basin showed that the mean daily precipitation is expected to decrease from 0.94 and 0.96 mm in 2015 to 0.65 and 0.68 mm in 2050 under RCP2.6 and RCP8.5, respectively. In the case of temperature, the numbers change from 12.33°C and 12.37°C in 2015 to 14.28°C and 14.32°C in 2050. Corresponding to these climate scenarios, this study projected a decrease of the annual streamflow of Zarrineh River by half from 2015 to 2050 as the results of climatic changes will lead to a decrease in the annual streamflow of Zarrineh River from 59.49 m3/s in 2015 to 22.61 and 23.19 m3/s in 2050. The finding is of important meaning for water resources planning purposes, management programs and strategies of the Lake's endangered ecosystem.

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Morphological and physiological responses to drought stress of carob trees in Mediterranean ecosystems
Khouloud ZAGOUB, Khouloud KRICHEN, Mohamed CHAIEB, Lobna F MNIF
Journal of Arid Land    2023, 15 (5): 562-577.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-023-0011-x
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The greatest failure rate of reforestation programs is basically related to water deficit, especially at the seedling stage. Therefore, the main objective of this work is to investigate the responses of three accessions of carob trees (Ceratonia siliqua L.) with 2-year-old from different climate regions to drought generated by four water treatments: Tc (250 mm), T1 (180 mm), T2 (100 mm), and T3 (50 mm). The first accession (A1) comes from the protected national park of Ichkeul in northern Tunisia. This zone belongs to the bioclimatic sub-humid stage. The second accession (A2) comes from Melloulech, located in the center-east of Tunisia, belonging to the bioclimatic semi-arid stage. The third accession (A3) comes from the mountain of Matmata, located in the south of Tunisia, belonging to the bioclimatic hyper-arid stage. The experiment was undertaken in a greenhouse. Gaz exchange indices (net photosynthesis (A), stomatal conductance (gs), transpiration rate (E), and internal CO2 concentration (Ci)) were determined. Predawn (Ψpd) and midday (Ψmd) leaf water potentials, relative soil water content (SWC), and morphological parameters (plant height (H), number of leaves (NL), number of leaflets (Nl), and number of branches (NB)) were estimated. The results showed that significant differences (P<0.001) were found between physiological and morphological parameters of each accession. The highest growth potential was recorded for Tc treatment in both accessions A1 and A2. Significant decreases in gs, E, Ci, and SWC were recorded with the increases in water stress applied from treatment T1 to T3. Positive and significant correlations were found between SWC and Ψpd for all studied accessions. Ψpd and Ψmd decreased as water stress increased, ranging from -0.96 to -1.50 MPa at sunrise and from -1.94 to -2.83 MPa at midday, respectively, under control and T3 treatments. C. siliqua accessions responded to drought through exhibiting significant changes in their physiological and morphological behavior. Both accessions A1 and A2 showed greater drought tolerance than accession A3. These seedlings exhibit different adaptive mechanisms such as stress avoidance, which are aimed at reducing transpiration, limiting leaf growth, and increasing root growth to exploit more soil water. Therefore, C. siliqua can be recommended for the ecological restoration in Mediterranean ecosystems.

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