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Impacts of livestock grazing on a savanna grassland in Kenya
John KIOKO, John Warui KIRINGE, Simon Ole SENO
Journal of Arid Land    2012, 4 (1): 29-35.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00029
Abstract4039)      PDF(pc) (662KB)(7166)       Save
The dynamics of most rangelands in Kenya remain to be poorly understood. This paper provides baseline information on the response of a semiarid rangeland under different livestock grazing regimes on land inhabited by the Massai people in the east side of Amboseli National Park in Kenya. The data were collected from grasslands designated into four types: (1) grassland from previous Massai settlements that had been abandoned for over twenty years; (2) grassland excluded from livestock grazing for eight years; (3) a dry season grazing area; and (4) a continuous grazing area where grazing occurred throughout all seasons. Collected data included grass species composition, grass height, inter-tuft distance, standing grass biomass and soil characteristics. The results indicated that continuous grazing area in semiarid rangelands exhibited loss of vegetation with negative, long-term effects on grass functional qualities and forage production, whereas grassland that used traditional Maasai grazing methods showed efficiency and desirable effects on the rangelands. The results also showed that abandoned homestead sites, though degraded, were important nutrient reservoirs.
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Effect of vegetation on soil water retention and storage in a semi-arid alpine forest catchment
Chao WANG, ChuanYan ZHAO, ZhongLin XU, Yang WANG, HuanHua PENG
Journal of Arid Land    2013, 5 (2): 207-219.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0151-5
Abstract3205)      PDF(pc) (2341KB)(6620)       Save
The runoff generated from mountainous regions is recognized as the main water source for inland river basins in arid environments. Thus, the mechanisms by which catchments retain water in soils are to be understood. The water storage capacity of soil depends on its depth and capacity to retain water under gravitational drainage and evapotranspiration. The latter can be studied through soil water retention curve (SWRC), which is closely related to soil properties such as texture, bulk density, porosity, soil organic carbon content, and so on. The present study represented SWRCs using HYDRUS-1D. In the present study, we measured physical and hydraulic properties of soil samples collected from Sabina przewalskii forest (south-facing slope with highest solar radiation), shrubs (west-facing slope with medium radiation), and Picea crassifolia forest (north-facing slope with lowest radiation), and analyzed the differences in soil water storage capacity of these soil samples. Soil water content of those three vegetation covers were also measured to validate the soil water storage capacity and to analyze the relationship between soil organic matter content and soil water content. Statistical analysis showed that different vegetation covers could lead to different soil bulk densities and differences in soil water retention on the three slope aspects. Sand content, porosity, and organic carbon content of the P. crassifolia forest were relatively greater compared with those of the S. przewalskii forest and shrubs. However, silt content and soil bulk density were relatively smaller than those in the S. przewalskii forest and shrubs. In addition, there was a significant linear positive relationship between averaged soil water content and soil organic matter content (P<0.0001). However, this relationship is not significant in the P. crassifolia forest. As depicted in the SWRCs, the water storage capacity of the soil was 39.14% and 37.38% higher in the P. crassifolia forest than in the S. przewalskii forest and shrubs, respectively, at a similar soil depth.
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The impact of land use change on soil organic carbon and labile organic carbon stocks in the Longzhong region of Loess Plateau
LiHua ZHANG, ZhongKui XIE, RuiFeng ZHAO, YaJun WANG
Journal of Arid Land    2012, 4 (3): 241-250.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00241
Abstract3485)      PDF(pc) (4241KB)(6253)       Save
Land use change (LUC) is widely recognized as one of the most important driving forces of global carbon cycles. The soil organic carbon (SOC) and labile organic carbon (LOC) stores were investigated at arable land (AL), artificial grassland (AG), artificial woodland (AW), abandoned arable land (AAL) and desert steppe (DS) in the Longzhong region of the Loess Plateau in Northwest China. The results showed that conversions from DS to AL, AL to AG and AL to AAL led to an increase in SOC content, while the conversion from DS to AW led to a decline. The differences in SOC content were significant between DS and AW at the 20–40 cm depth and between AL and AG at the 0–10 cm depth. The SOC stock in DS at the 0–100 cm depth was 39.4 t/hm 2, increased by 28.48% after cultivation and decreased by 19.12% after conversion to AW. The SOC stocks increased by 2.11% from AL to AG and 5.10% from AL to AAL. The LOC stocks changed by a larger magnitude than the SOC stocks, which suggests that it is a more sensitive index of carbon dynamics under a short-term LUC. The LOC stocks increased at 0–20 cm and 0–100 cm depths from DS to AW, which is opposite to that observed for SOC. The proportion of LOC to SOC ranged from 0.14 to 0.20 at the 0–20 cm depth for all the five land use types, indicating low SOC dynamics. The allocation proportion of LOC increased for four types of LUC conversion, and the change in magnitude was largest for DS to AW (40.91%). The afforestation, abandonment and forage planting on arable land led to sequestration of SOC; the carbon was lost initially after afforestation. However, the carbon sink effect after abandonment may not be sustainable in the study area.
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Monophyly and infrageneric variation of Corispermum L. (Chenopodiaceae), evidence from sequence data psbB-psbH, rbcL and ITS
JuanJuan XUE, MingLi ZHANG
Journal of Arid Land    2011, 3 (4): 240-253.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2011.00240
Abstract3273)      PDF(pc) (1766KB)(5666)       Save
Corispermum is one of the most problematic taxonomic genera in Chenopodiaceae. To understand the phylogeny and infrageneric variation of Corispermum, we sequenced the nuclear ribosomal ITS region and two chloroplast DNA regions (rbcL and psbB-psbH) of 22 species and three varieties of Corispermum and the related genus Agriophyllum. Several representative species of Salsola, Suaeda, Chenopodium, Kalidium and Camphorosma served as outgroups. Our phylogenetic trees confirm that the tribe Corispermeae is monophyletic, Corispermum and Agriophyllum have a close relationship. Corispermum is demonstrated to be monophyletic, and contains at least four clades which, consequently, are served as the foundation of the infrageneric sectional variation of Corispermum, in terms of a combination of molecular data and morphological characters. The evolution of morphological characters for fruit wing and apex, two important characters in generic classification, is consistent with the sectional division of Corispermum, especially to the East Asian and Chinese taxa.
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Spatial distribution of vegetation and the influencing factors in Qaidam Basin based on NDVI
WenBin ZHU, AiFeng LV, ShaoFeng JIA
Journal of Arid Land    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2011.00085
Abstract5870)      PDF(pc) (377KB)(5663)       Save
The spatial distribution of vegetation in Qaidam Basin was analyzed using GIMMS (Global Inventory Modeling and Mapping Studies) / NDVI (Normalized Difference Vegetation Index) data set from January 1982 to December 2006. Based on the data of precipitation, terrain, stream systems, land use and the map of vegetation distribution in Qaidam Basin, we studied the factors influencing the spatial distribution of vegetation. The results showed that the vegetation was generally low in Qaidam Basin and there was a clear semi-ring structure from southeast to northwest. In some areas, the existence of rivers, lakes and spring belts turned this semi-ring structure into a non-continuous state and formed distinct bright spots and continuous linear features. There were four main factors that affected the spatial distribution of vegetation coverage in Qaidam Basin, i.e., precipitation, hydrological conditions, altitude and human activities. Precipitation and altitude have a correlation and determine the basic pattern of vegetation distribution in Qaidam Basin. The impacts of hydrological conditions and human activities were mainly embodied in partial areas, and often broke the pattern of vegetation distribution dominated by precipitation and altitude.
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Interaction between Cd and Pb in the soil-plant system: a case study of an arid oasis soil-cole system
ZhuanJun ZHAO, ZhongRen NAN, ZhaoWei WANG, YiMing YANG, Masayuki SHIMIZU
Journal of Arid Land    2014, 6 (1): 59-68.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0194-7
Abstract1757)      PDF(pc) (488KB)(5034)       Save
The Hexi Corridor, our study area, is located in Northwest China and is also the most developed area of oasis farming in arid regions of Northwestern China. However, the rapid development of metallurgy and chemical industries in this region poses a great threat to the accumulation of heavy metals in crops. The objectives of this study are (1) to determine the influence of heavy metals on plant growth; (2) to assess the translocation capability of heavy metals in soil-plant system; and (3) to investigate the interaction between heavy metals. Pot experiments were conducted on cole ( Brassica campestris L.) grown in the arid oasis soils singly and jointly treated with cadmium (Cd) and lead (Pb). Nine treatments were applied into the pots. Under the same planting conditions, three scenarios of Cd, Pb and Cd–Pb were designed to compare the interaction between Cd and Pb. The results showed that the response of cole weights to Cd, Pb and Cd–Pb treatments was slight, while Cd and Pb uptakes in cole were more sensitive to the single effects of Cd and Pb concentration in soils from the lower treatment levels. Under the influence of the single Cd, Pb and joint Cd–Pb treatments, Cd concentrations were lower in the cole roots than in the shoots, while for Pb, the results were opposite. Comparison studies revealed that the interaction of Cd and Pb could weaken the cole’s ability to uptake, concentrate and translocate heavy metals in arid oasis soils.
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Anatomical and morphological characteristics of Populus euphratica in the lower reaches of Tarim River under extreme drought environment
Li ZHUANG, YaNing CHEN, WeiHong LI, ZhongKe WANG
Journal of Arid Land    2011, 3 (4): 261-267.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2011.00261
Abstract3850)      PDF(pc) (1268KB)(4914)       Save
Populus euphratica Oliv. is an old desert tree species that has been naturalized and invades zones along the watercourses in many arid and semiarid regions. The plant species developed some plasticity to adapt to the gradual environmental gradients. The aim of this study was to test the hypothesis that the changes in leaf morphology of P. euphratica reflect the adaptability of the plant to the unique environment of the lower reaches of Tarim River in China. The foliar architecture, blade epidermal and internal anatomies of P. euphratica were analyzed at different sites along the Tarim River. Compared with the abaxial surface of the leaves, their adaxial surface has more hairs, a greater stomatal density and opening, higher mesophyll proportion, and increased blade thickness, palisade width, and epidermal thickness. The long trichome of the roots found at site 6 in the Yinsu section may be an adapted structure of the plants in arid areas. The mature leaves of P. euphratica have comparatively more epidermis and cuticles, well developed palisades and more chloroplasts at different sites compared to the young leaves. Foliar morphological and anatomical variability in P. euphratica may be considered an adaptive advantage that enables leaves to develop and function in different habitats, marked by strong variations in solar radiation, air temperature, humidity and water table.
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Impact factors of soil wind erosion in the center of Taklimakan Desert
Qing HE, XingHua YANG, Ali Mamtimin, ShiHao TANG
Journal of Arid Land    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2011.00009
Abstract3527)      PDF(pc) (239KB)(4465)       Save
The development and progress of soil wind erosion are influenced by the factors of climate, terrain, soil and vegetation, etc. This paper, taking Tazhong region, a town in the centre of the Taklimakan Desert, as an example and using comparative and quantitative methods, discussed the effects of climate, surface roughness (including vegetation cover) and surface soil properties on soil wind erosion. The results showed that the climate factor index C of annual wind erosion is 28.3, while the maximum of C is 13.9 in summer and it is only 0.7 in winter. The value of C has a very good exponential relationship with the wind speed. In Tazhong region, the surface roughness height is relatively small with a mean of 6.32 × 10-5 m, which is in favor of soil wind erosion. The wind erosion is further enhanced by its sandy soil types, soil particle size, lacking of vegetation and low soil moisture content. The present situation of soil wind erosion is the result of concurrent effects of climate, vegetation and surface soil properties.
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Rare and endangered plant species of the Chinese Altai Mountains
Marina V. OLONOVA, DaoYuan ZHANG, ShiMing DUAN, LinKe YIN, BoRong PAN
Journal of Arid Land    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2010.00222
Abstract3930)      PDF(pc) (442KB)(4412)       Save
Altai (also named Altay in China) Mountain Country (Mountain System) is a unique natural region, located on the border between different floristic regimes of the Boreal and ancient Mediterranean sub-kingdoms, where distribution of plant species is actually limited. It is known to have sufficient endemic floral biodiversity in the Northern Asia. Many plants of Altai Mountain System need effective care and proper conservation measures for their survival and longer-term protection. Important Plant Area identified as the IUCN (the International Union for Conservation of Nature), specified criteria attract global attention for protection of floral biodiversity across the world. The records of 71 plant species from the Chinese Altai Mountains attributed to the criterion A and the dark conifer forests of Chinese Altai Mountains satisfied the criterion C, which may help qualify to fulfill the national obligation of the Convention on Biological Diversity.
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The qanats of Xinjiang: historical development, characteristics and modern implications for environmental protection
WenJun HU, JieBin ZHANG, YongQiang LIU
Journal of Arid Land    2012, 4 (2): 211-220.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00211
Abstract3320)      PDF(pc) (343KB)(4336)       Save
In China, qanats (kan’erjing/karez) exist only in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region, being one form of traditional irrigation technology that made great contributions to oasis civilizations. There are different opinions on the origin and date of the qanats in Xinjiang due to a lack of adequate evidences. And uncontrolled over-exploitation of groundwater by pumping wells, as well as the expansion of surface water interventions nowadays, has caused serious impacts on not only the qanats, but also local ecological environments. There exist long-time arguments on whether the qanats should be restored or preserved. This study aimed to examine the historical development, geological conditions and characteristics, and modern implications of the qanats for oasis environmental protection, and to discuss the initiatives taken by local governments. The whole Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region was included as the study area, with a specific focus on Turpan prefecture. The materials and data were obtained from literature review and governmental documentation. Based on a systematic examination of three prevailing theories on the origination of Xinjiang’s qanats, it is suggested modern archaeological techniques could be good solutions to explore the origination in addition to historical records used normally. Although qanats fail to fully meet today’s enormous water demands, their rich historical, cultural, ecological and environmental implications in arid areas should not be underestimated. As a cultural heritage and ecologically-friendly engineering creation, qanat systems shall be kept in good condition and function by a valuable number. Recent initiatives to protect and restore target qanat systems in Xinjiang could provide positive examples for the practices in other regions of the world where the protection and restoration of qanats or similar technologies are desired.
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Tectonic geomorphological characteristics for evolution of the Manas Lake
YongHui YAO, HuiGuo LI
Journal of Arid Land    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2010.00167
Abstract2738)      PDF(pc) (514KB)(4262)       Save
Owing to global climatic changes and human activities, the lakes have changed dramatically in the Junggar Basin of Xinjiang in recent 50 years. Based on the remote sensing images from Beijing Satellite No.1 in 2006 together with the measured topographical data in 1999 and other data since the 1950s, this paper analyzes mainly the features of landforms around the Manas Lake and the changes of feeding sources of the lake. The results are as follows: (1) Tectonic movement brought about the fundamental geomorphological basis for lacustrine evolution, and the Manas Lake is one of small lakes broken up from the Old Manas Lake due to tectonic movement and drought climate; the Manas Lake had existed before the Manas River flowed into it in 1915. The geomorphologic evidences for evolution of the Manas Lake include: (a) Diluvial fans and old channels at the north of the lake indicate that the rivers originating from the north mountains of the Junggar Basin had fed the Old Manas Lake and now still feed the lake as seasonal rivers; (b) The Old Manas Lake was fed by many rivers originating from the mountains, except for the Manas River, from the evidence of small lakes around the Manas Lake, old channels, alluvial fans, etc.; (c) The elevations of the alluvial and diluvial fans are near to the 280 m a.s.l. and all of the small lakes and lacustrine plains are within the range of the 280 m a.s.l., which may prove that the elevation of the Old Manas Lake was about 280 m a.s.l.; (d) Core analysis of the Manas Lake area also indicates that the Manas Lake has existed since Late Pleistocene epoch. (2) Analysis on the feeding relations between the lakes and the lacustrine evolution shows that human activities are one of main driving forces of the lacustrine evolution in recent 50 years, and it is the precondition of restoring and maintaining the lacutrine wetlands in the study area to satisfy the feeding of the Baiyang and Manas rivers to the Manas Lake.
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Application of stable isotope techniques to the study of soil salinization
YongQin CUI, JianYing MA, Wei SUN
Journal of Arid Land    2011, 3 (4): 285-291.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2011.00285
Abstract2884)      PDF(pc) (426KB)(4243)       Save
 In this paper, we reviewed the progress in the application of stable isotope techniques to the study of soil salinization. As a powerful technique, stable isotopes have been widely used in the studies of soil water evaporation, the dynamics of soil salinization and salt-tolerant plant breeding. The impact of single environmental factors on plant isotope composition has been the focus of previous studies. However, the impact of multiple environmental factors on plant isotope composition remains unclear and needs to be carefully studied. In order to gain insights into soil salinization and amelioration, especially soil salinization in arid and semiarid areas, it is essential to employ stable isotope techniques and combine them with other methods, such as located field observation and remote sensing technology.
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Biofilter: a promising tool for mitigating methane emission from manure storage
Qiang HUANG, Qiang ZHANG, Nazim CICEK, Danny MANN
Journal of Arid Land    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2011.00061
Abstract2662)      PDF(pc) (177KB)(4179)       Save
Liquid manure storage may contribute to methane (CH4) emission and this emission can be greatly reduced if appropriate management practices are applied. Biofiltration has been used in other fields for mitigating greenhouse gas (GHG) emission (e.g., landfill) and shown promise for mitigation CH4 emission from liquid manure storage. It has been reported that biofilter was capable of reducing 80% of CH4 emissions from manure storage. The CH4 removal efficiency is influenced by many factors, including CH4 and O2 concentrations, temperature, moisture, composition of the filter bed, nutrient, and empty bed residency time (EBRT). Biological conversion of methane of a biofilter is a slow process due to the low water solubility of methane. The residence times (EBRT) between 5 min and 5 h have been used, whereas a typical EBRT of 25 s is used for common biofilter applications. Temperature at which methanotrophic bacteria are active ranges from 10oC to 45oC. The maximum activity is found at around 30oC. The optimal filter bed water content depends on both the gas flow rate and the type of filter bed (soil, compost, etc.) and ranges from 30%–70% of the water holding capacity. Compost is the best material for filter bed. The optimal pH for methanotrophic bacteria is neutral to slightly acidic. Copper and nitrogen compounds especially nitrate are important nutrients to methanotrophic bacteria but their optimal concentrations have not been founded. Phosphorus and other elements such as potassium and manganese are reported to affect the performance of methanotrophic bacteria but need further confirmation.
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Annual-perennial plant relationships and species selection for desert restoration
Scott R ABELLA, Stanley D SMITH
Journal of Arid Land    2013, 5 (3): 298-309.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0172-0
Abstract1771)      PDF(pc) (2068KB)(4138)       Save
Exotic plant invasion is a growing concern in the conservation and management of indigenous arid land ecosystems. By creating areas of ameliorated microclimates and fertile soil below their canopies, perennial plants might influence exotic annual plant invasions. We conducted a quantitative literature review of studies that compared exotic annual plant abundance among native perennial plant species and interspace (open areas) microsites in North America’s Mojave Desert, where exotic plant invasion has corresponded with increasing extent of wildfire and broad-scale ecosystem transformation. Ten studies compared exotic annual plant abundance between interspaces and below a total of 36 native perennial species. These studies revealed that: (1) With few exceptions, most native perennial species supported a greater abundance of exotic annuals than interspaces, indicating overall facilitation of exotic species by native perennials. (2) Exotic species abundance varied by orders of magnitude among native perennial species, with some perennial species harboring amounts of exotics similar to interspaces. (3) Dis-tributions of dominant exotic species varied, where Bromus rubens displayed a greater affinity for below-perennial microsites than did Schismus spp. and Erodium cicutarium that often were most abundant in interspaces. Results suggest that the degree of facilitation of exotic plants warrants consideration when selecting native perennial spe-cies for revegetation and restoration projects.
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Vegetation cover change and the driving factors over northwest China
ShengPei DAI, Bo ZHANG, HaiJun WANG, YaMin WANG, LingXia GUO, XingMei WANG, Dan LI
Journal of Arid Land    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2011.00025
Abstract6371)      PDF(pc) (468KB)(4074)       Save
In this paper the spatio-temporal variation of vegetation cover in northwest China during the period of 1982-2006 and its driving factors were analyzed using GIMMS/NDVI data. The annual average NDVI was increased with a rate of 0.0005/a in northwest China and there was an obvious difference between regions. The trend line slopes of NDVI were higher than 0.0005 in the Tianshan Moutains and Altay Mountains of Xinjiang, the Qilian Mountains of Gansu and the eastern part of Qinghai, which indicated the vegetation cover was significantly increased in these areas. The trend line slopes of NDVI were lower than -0.0005 in the southern region of Qinghai, the border regions of Shaanxi and Ningxia, the parts of Gansu and Tarim Basin, Turpan and Tuoli in Xinjiang, which indicated the vegetation cover was declined in these areas. The NDVI of woodland, grassland and cultivated land had an ascending tendency during the study period. The study shows that the vegetation cover change was caused by both natural factors and human activities in northwest China. The natural vegetation change, such as forests was influenced by climate change, while human activities were the main reason to the change of planting vegetation. The changes of vegetation covers for different elevations, slopes and slope aspects were quite different. When the elevation is exceeded to 4,000 m, the NDVI increasing trend was very low; the NDVI at the slope of less than 25° was increased by the ecological construction; the variation of NDVI on sunny slope was stronger than that on shady slope. The temperature rose significantly in recent 25 years in northwest China by an average rate of 0.67oC/10a, and precipitation increased by an average rate of 8.15 mm/10a after 1986. There was positive correlation between vegetation cover and temperature and annual precipitation changes. Rising temperature increased the evaporation and drought of soils, which is not conducive to plant growth, and the irrigation in agricultural areas reduced the correlation between agricultural vegetation NDVI and precipitation. The improvement of agricultural production level and the projects of ecological construction are very important causes for the NDVI increase in northwest China, and the ecological effect of large-scale ecological construction projects has appeared.
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Effects of deficit irrigation with saline water on spring wheat growth and yield in arid Northwest China
Jing JIANG, ZaiLin HUO, ShaoYuan FENG, ShaoZhong KANG, FenXing WANG, ChaoBo ZHANG
Journal of Arid Land    2013, 5 (2): 143-154.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0152-4
Abstract3450)      PDF(pc) (420KB)(3975)       Save
Field experiments were conducted in 2008 and 2009 to study the effects of deficit irrigation with saline water on spring wheat growth and yield in an arid region of Northwest China. Nine treatments included three salinity levels s1, s2 and s3 (0.65, 3.2, and 6.1 dS/m) in combination with three water levels w1, w2 and w3 (375, 300, and 225 mm). In 2008, for most treatments, deficit irrigation showed adverse effects on wheat growth; meanwhile, the effect of saline irrigation was not apparent. In 2009, growth parameters of w1 treatments were not always optimal under saline irrigation. At 3.2 and 6.1 dS/m in 2008, the highest yield was obtained by w1 treatments, however, in 2009, the weight of 1,000 grains and wheat yield both followed the order w2 > w1 > w3. In this study, spring wheat was sensitive to water deficit, especially at the booting to grain-filling stages, but was not significantly affected by saline irrigation and the combination of the two factors. The results demonstrated that 300-mm irrigation water with a salinity of less than 3.2 dS/m is suitable for wheat fields in the study area.
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Spatial pattern of soil organic carbon in desert grasslands of the diluvial-alluvial plains of northern Qilian Mountains
Rong YANG, YongZhong SU, Min WANG, Tao WANG, Xiao YANG, GuiPing FAN, TianChang WU
Journal of Arid Land    2014, 6 (2): 136-144.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0200-0
Abstract2157)      PDF(pc) (1357KB)(3957)       Save
The soil properties in arid ecosystems are important determinants of vegetation distribution patterns. Soil organic carbon (SOC) content, which is closely related to soil types and the holding capacities of soil water and nutrients, exhibits complex variability in arid desert grasslands; thus, it is essentially an impact factor for the distri-bution pattern of desert grasslands. In the present study, an investigation was conducted to estimate the spatial pattern of SOC content in desert grasslands and the association with environmental factors in the diluvial-alluvial plains of northern Qilian Mountains. The results showed that the mean values of SOC ranged from 2.76 to 5.80 g/kg in the soil profiles, and decreased with soil depths. The coefficients of variation (CV) of the SOC were high (ranging from 48.83% to 94.67%), which indicated a strong spatial variability. SOC in the desert grasslands of the study re-gion presented a regular spatial distribution, which increased gradually from the northwest to the southeast. The SOC distribution had a pattern linked to elevation, which may be related to the gradient of climate conditions. Soil type and plant community significantly affected the SOC. The SOC had a significant positive relationship with soil moisture ( P<0.05); whereas, it had a more significant negative relationship with the soil bulk density (BD) ( P<0.01). However, a number of the variations in the SOC could be explained not by the environmental factors involved in this analysis, but rather other factors (such as grazing activity and landscape). The results provide important references for soil carbon storage estimation in this study region. In addition, the SOC association with environmental variables also provides a basis for a sustainable use of the limited grassland resources in the diluvial-alluvial plains of north-ern Qilian Mountains.
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Land surface temperature retrieval for arid regions based on Landsat-8 TIRS data: a case study in Shihezi, Northwest China
Lei YANG, YunGang CAO, XiaoHua ZHU, ShengHe ZENG, GuoJiang YANG, JiangYong HE, XiuChun YANG
Journal of Arid Land    2014, 6 (6): 704-716.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-014-0071-z
Abstract2128)      PDF(pc) (5399KB)(3954)       Save
Scientific interest in geophysical information about land surface temperature (LST) is ever increasing, as such information provides a base for a large number of applications, including environmental and agricultural monitoring. Therefore, the research of LST retrieval has become a hot topic. Recent availability of Landsat-8 satellite imagery provides a new data source for LST retrieval. Hence, exploring an adaptive method with reliable accuracy seems to be essential. In this study, basing on features of Landsat-8 TIRS thermal infrared channels, we re-calculated parameters in the atmospheric transmittance empirical models of the existing split-window algorithm, and estimated the ground emissivity with the help of the land cover classification map of the study area. Furthermore, a split-window algorithm was rebuilt by virtual of the estimation model of the updated atmospheric transmittance and the ground emissivity, and then a remote sensing retrieval for the LST of Shihezi city in Xinjiang Uygur autonomous region of Northwest China was conducted on the basis of this modified algorithm. Finally, precision validation of the new model was implemented by using the MODIS LST products. The results showed that the LST retrieval from Landsat-8 TIRS data based on our algorithm has a higher credibility, and the retrieved LST is more consistent with the MODIS LST products. This indicated that the modified algorithm is suitable for retrieving LST with competitive accuracy. With higher resolutions, Landsat-8 TIRS data may provide more accurate observation for LST retrieval.
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Identification of sand and dust storm source areas in Iran
CAO Hui, LIU Jian, WANG Guizhou, YANG Guang, LUO Lei
Journal of Arid Land    2015, 7 (5): 567-578.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-015-0127-8
Abstract1468)      PDF(pc) (485KB)(3810)       Save
Sand and dust storms (SDS) are common phenomena in arid and semi-arid areas. In recent years, SDS frequencies and intensities have increased significantly in Iran. A research on SDS sources is important for understanding the mechanisms of dust generation and assessing its socio-economic and environmental impacts. In this paper, we developed a new approach to identify SDS source areas in Iran using a combination of nine related datasets, namely drought events, temperature, precipitation, location of sandy soils, SDS frequency, human-induced soil degradation (HISD), human influence index (HII), rain use efficiency (RUE) and net primary productivity (NPP) loss. To identify SDS source areas, we firstly normalized these datasets under uniform criteria including layer reprojection using Lambert conformal conic projection, data conversion from shapefile to raster, Min-Max Normalization with data range from 0 to 1, and data interpolation by Kriging and images resampling (resolution of 1 km). After that, a score map for the possibility of SDS sources was generated through overlaying multiple datasets under average weight allocation criterion, in which each item obtained weight equally. In the score map, the higher the score, the more possible a specific area could be regarded as SDS source area. Exceptions mostly came from large cities, like Tehran and Isfahan. As a result, final SDS source areas were mapped out, and Al-Howizeh/Al-Azim marshes and Sistan Basin were identified as main SDS source areas in Iran. The SDS source area in Al-Howizeh/Al-Azim marshes still keeps expanding. In addition, Al-Howizeh/Al-Azim marshes are now suffering rapid land degradation due to natural and human-induced factors and might totally vanish in the near future. Sistan Basin also demonstrates the impacts of soil degradation and wind erosion. With appropriate intensity, duration, wind speed and altitude of the dust storms, sand particles uplifting from this area might have developed into extreme dust storms, especially during the summer.
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Comparison of seed germination of four Artemisia species (Asteraceae) in northeastern Inner Mongolia, China
XueHua LI, DeMing JIANG, Alamusa, QuanLai ZHOU, Toshio OSHIDA
Journal of Arid Land    2012, 4 (1): 36-42.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00036
Abstract2873)      PDF(pc) (505KB)(3808)       Save
Two psammophile-dominated Artemisia semi-shrubs (A. wudanica and A. halodendron) and two annual Artemisia forbs (A. sieversiana and A. scoparia) bear significant ecological functions in Horqin Sandy Land, but systematical information on their achenes’ germination is very limited. A set of studies were conducted to evaluate seed germination responses to storage periods and methods, different temperatures, lights conditions and sand burial depths, in order to determine inter-specific germination variation in the same genus and to explain how the species adapt to its microhabitat. Fresh achenes of A. wudanica, A. halodendron and A. sieversiana showed high germination capacities, but those of A. scoparia had obvious innate dormancy, which could be broken by chilling and dry storage, especially long-term dry storage. Achene germination of the two semi-shrubs preferred lower temperature fluctuation (10 to 22ºC) and was not sensitive to light. But the two annuals preferred higher temperature fluctuation (34 to 22ºC) and strong light for their achene germination. These four Artemisia species showed similar responses to sand burial, i.e. soil surface was most favorable for seedling emergence, and the deeper the sand burial, the fewer the seedling emergence. For the two semi-shrubs, their microhabitats are sand dunes with high temperature and intense light, which are not favorable for germination and seedling survival. Only rainfall contributes to temporary decrease of temperature and then triggers germination. We deduced that germination is not the main but a supplementary reproductive mode for the two semi-shrubs in sand dunes. For the two annuals, achene germination is the only reproductive mode, but different responses have been developed for microhabitat adaptation. For A. sieversiana, high germination capacities in wide temperature ranges and all light conditions could improve its competition and advancement in the wettest microhabitats. For A. scoparia, obvious innate dormancy of fresh achenes and germination inhabitation under unfavorable conditions are important adaptation to environmental disturbances.
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Index-based assessment of agricultural drought in a semi-arid region of Inner Mongolia, China
Rui LI, Atsushi TSUNEKAWA, Mitsuru TSUBO
Journal of Arid Land    2014, 6 (1): 3-15.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0193-8
Abstract2301)      PDF(pc) (711KB)(3763)       Save
Agricultural drought is a type of natural disaster that seriously impacts food security. Because the relationships among short-term rainfall, soil moisture, and crop growth are complex, accurate identification of a drought situation is difficult. In this study, using a conceptual model based on the relationship between water deficit and crop yield reduction, we evaluated the drought process in a typical rainfed agricultural region, Hailar county in Inner Mongolia autonomous region, China. To quantify drought, we used the precipitation-based Standardized Precipitation Index (SPI), the soil moisture-based Crop Moisture Index (CMI), as well as the Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI). Correlation analysis was conducted to examine the relationships between dekad-scale drought indices during the growing season (May–September) and final yield, according to data collection from 2000 to 2010. The results show that crop yield has positive relationships with CMI from mid-June to mid-July and with the NDVI anomaly throughout July, but no correlation with SPI. Further analysis of the relationship between the two drought indices shows that the NDVI anomaly responds to CMI with a lag of 1 dekad, particularly in July. To examine the feasibility of employing these indices for monitoring the drought process at a dekad time scale, a detailed drought assessment was carried out for selected drought years. The results confirm that the soil moisture-based vegetation indices in the late vegetative to early reproductive growth stages can be used to detect agricultural drought in the study area. Therefore, the framework of the conceptual model developed for drought monitoring can be employed to support drought mitigation in the rainfed agricultural region of Northern China.
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Estimation of meteorological drought indices based on AgMERRA precipitation data and station-observed precipitation data
SALEHNIA Nasrin, ALIZADEH Amin, SANAEINEJAD Hossein, BANNAYAN Mohammad, ZARRIN Azar, HOOGENBOOM Gerrit
Journal of Arid Land    2017, 9 (6): 797-809.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0070-y
Abstract540)   HTML19)    PDF(pc) (475KB)(3709)       Save

Meteorological drought is a natural hazard that can occur under all climatic regimes. Monitoring the drought is a vital and important part of predicting and analyzing drought impacts. Because no single index can represent all facets of meteorological drought, we took a multi-index approach for drought monitoring in this study. We assessed the ability of eight precipitation-based drought indices (SPI (Standardized Precipitation Index), PNI (Percent of Normal Index), DI (Deciles index), EDI (Effective drought index), CZI (China-Z index), MCZI (Modified CZI), RAI (Rainfall Anomaly Index), and ZSI (Z-score Index)) calculated from the station-observed precipitation data and the AgMERRA gridded precipitation data to assess historical drought events during the period 1987-2010 for the Kashafrood Basin of Iran. We also presented the Degree of Dryness Index (DDI) for comparing the intensities of different drought categories in each year of the study period (1987-2010). In general, the correlations among drought indices calculated from the AgMERRA precipitation data were higher than those derived from the station-observed precipitation data. All indices indicated the most severe droughts for the study period occurred in 2001 and 2008. Regardless of data input source, SPI, PNI, and DI were highly inter-correlated (R2=0.99). Furthermore, the higher correlations (R2=0.99) were also found between CZI and MCZI, and between ZSI and RAI. All indices were able to track drought intensity, but EDI and RAI showed higher DDI values compared with the other indices. Based on the strong correlation among drought indices derived from the AgMERRA precipitation data and from the station-observed precipitation data, we suggest that the AgMERRA precipitation data can be accepted to fill the gaps existed in the station-observed precipitation data in future studies in Iran. In addition, if tested by station-observed precipitation data, the AgMERRA precipitation data may be used for the data-lacking areas.

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Spatio-temporal pattern and changes of evapotranspiration in arid Central Asia and Xinjiang of China
Xi CHEN, BaiLian LI, Qin LI, JunLi LI, Saparnov ABDULLA
Journal of Arid Land    2012, 4 (1): 105-112.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00105
Abstract4392)      PDF(pc) (8278KB)(3617)       Save
Accurate inversion of land surface evapotranspiration (ET) in arid areas is of great significance for understanding global eco-hydrological process and exploring the spatio-temporal variation and ecological response of water resources. It is also important in the functional evaluation of regional water cycle and water balance, as well as the rational allocation and management of water resources. This study, based on model validation analysis at varied scales in five Central Asian countries and China’s Xinjiang, developed an appropriate approach for ET inversion in arid lands. The actual ET during growing seasons of the study area was defined, and the changes in water participating in evaporation in regional water cycle were then educed. The results show the simulation error of SEBS (Surface Energy Balance System) model under cloud amount consideration was 1.34% at 30-m spatial scale, 2.75% at 1-km spatial scale and 6.37% at 4-km spatial scale. ET inversion for 1980–2007 applying SEBS model in the study area indicates: (1) the evaporation depth (May–September) by land types descends in the order of waters (660.24 mm) > cultivated land (464.66 mm) > woodland (388.44 mm) > urbanized land (168.16 mm) > grassland (160.48 mm) > unused land (83.08 mm); and (2) ET during the 2005 growing season in Xinjiang and Central Asia was 2,168.68×108 m3 (with an evaporation/precipitation ratio of 1.05) and 9,741.03×108 m3 (with an evaporation/precipitation ratio of 1.4), respectively. The results unveiled the spatio-temporal variation rules of ET process in arid areas, providing a reference for further research on the water cycle and water balance in similar arid regions.
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Fauna of Heteroptera in the deserts of Kazakhstan
Yesenbekova Perizat Abdykairovna
Journal of Arid Land    2011, 3 (4): 303-305.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2011.303
Abstract3042)      PDF(pc) (349KB)(3607)       Save
Heteroptera is an important group among the insect orders, not only for its number of species, but also for its distribution and food preference. A total of 405 species of Heteroptera were identified in the desert areas of Kazakhstan, in which 158 species are distributed in the sandy deserts, 105 species in the Solonchak deserts, 75 species in the clay deserts, and 67 species in the rocky-rubbly deserts.
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Dynamics of arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi associated with desert ephemeral plants in Gurbantunggut Desert
Tao ZHANG, ChangYan TIAN, Yu SUN, DengSha BAI, Gu FENG
Journal of Arid Land    2012, 4 (1): 43-51.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00042
Abstract3909)      PDF(pc) (596KB)(3573)       Save
Previous studies documented that most desert plants can be colonized by arbuscular mycorrhizal (AM) fungi, however, little is known about how the dynamics of AM fungi are related to ephemerals in desert ecosystems. The dynamics of AM fungi with desert ephemerals were examined to determine the effects of host plant life stages on the development of AM fungi. Mean colonization of ephemeral annual plants was 45% lower than that of ephemeral perennial plants. The colonizations were much higher in the early part of the growing season than in later parts, peaking at flowering times. The phenology of AM fungi in root systems varied among different ephemerals. The density of AM fungal spores increased with the development of ephemeral annual plants, reached its maximum at flowering times, and then plateaued about 20 days after the aboveground senescence. A significant positive correlation was found between AM fungi spore density and biomass of ephemeral annual plants. The life cycles of AM fungi associated with desert ephemerals were very short, being about 60–70 days. Soil temperature and water content had no direct influence on the development of AM fungal spores. We concluded that the development of AM fungi was in response to desert ephemeral phenology and life history strategy.
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Variability and divergence in horsegram (Dolichos uniflorus)
Kanaka K DURGA
Journal of Arid Land    2012, 4 (1): 71-76.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00071
Abstract2568)      PDF(pc) (442KB)(3507)       Save
 Horsegram is an important and unexploited tropic and sub-tropic legume crop grown mostly in dry land agriculture. The study involving 23 cultivars of horsegram (Dolichos uniflorus) was conducted at the Seed Research & Technology Centre in Rajendranagar, Hyderabad, India during the early spring seasons of 2008 and 2009 to assess the nature and magnitude of variability in the existing species and also to identify diverse parents for use in further breeding programmes. The results indicated significant differences among the 23 cultivars for all characters studied, indicating the presence of sufficient genetic variation. High variability and heritability coupled with high genetic advance were reported for seed yield per plant and pod hulm per plant, indicating additive gene action and a possible scope for the improvement of these characters. Mahalanobis D2 statistics grouped all the 23 cultivars of horsegram into six clusters. The maximum inter cluster distance (62.39) was noticed between cluster IV (HG 50) and cluster V (HG 11). The maximum intra cluster distance ranged from 0 (clusters III, IV, V and VI) to 15.17 (cluster ?), indicating that the genotypes in these clusters were relatively more diverse than the genotypes within other clusters. Seed yield per plant contributed the maximum (33.20%) to the genetic divergence.
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Recommending the IHACRES model for water resources assessment and resolving water conflicts in Africa
Samir Mohammad Ali Alredaisy
Journal of Arid Land    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2011.00040
Abstract3100)      PDF(pc) (220KB)(3496)       Save
The International Association of Hydrological Sciences (IAHS) recognized the lack of hydrological data as a world-wide problem in 2002 and adopted the Prediction of Ungauged Basins (PUB) as a decadal research agenda during the period of 2003 to 2012. One of the objectives is to further develop methodologies for prediction in ungauged basins and to reduce uncertainties in model prediction. Estimation of stream flows is required for flood control, water quality control, valley habitat assessment and water budget of a country. However, the majority of water catchments, streams and valleys are ungauged in most developing countries. The main objective of this paper is to introduce the IHACRES (Identification of Hydrographs and Components from Rainfall, Evaporation and Stream) model into African hydrological planning as a methodology for water resources assessment, which in turn can be used to resolve water conflicts between communities and countries and to study the climate change issues. This is because the IHACRES model is applied for the estimation of flows in ungauged catchments whose physical catchments descriptors (PCDs) can be determined by driving variables (i.e. rainfall and temperature); and also in gauged streams but whose gauging stations are no longer operational but historical data are available for model calibration. The model provides a valuable insight into the hydrologic behaviour of the upper water sources for valleys as well as provides a useful methodology for water resources assessment in situations of scarce financial resources in developing countries. In addition, it requires relatively few parameters in its calibration and has been successful applied in previous regionalization studies. It will also make possible the equitable distribution of water resources in international basins and rivers’ catchments. This paper does not apply the model anywhere, but recommends it as a methodology for water resources assessment in order to cure water conflicts on the African continent.
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Range extension of four highland agamid lizards in Shimshal Pamir, Pakistan
Babar KHAN, Waseem AHMED, Abdukadir Ablimit, Shamim FAKHRI, Hassan ALI
Journal of Arid Land    2012, 4 (1): 77-84.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00077
Abstract2700)      PDF(pc) (5825KB)(3380)       Save
As part of the Sino-Pak trans-boundary cooperation for conservation and sustainable development in Pamir border region, World Wild Fund (WWF)-Pakistan conducted a preliminary social, economic and ecological survey in the Shimshal-Pamir Lakes area in July 2009. The purpose of the study was to explore potentials and opportunities for future collaborative conservation of some species, habitats and high altitude ecosystems in the border region between China and Pakistan. The two-week herpetological study in the Shimshal Pamir area of Khunjerab National Park (KNP) along Pakistan-China border was an integral part of the survey, conducted exclusively to document reptilian fauna with a special emphasis on investigating their occurrence, distribution and status in the study area. Field investigations were performed during daytime when it was hot enough and reptiles were active, basking or feeding. A total of 15 specimens belonging to four species of the Agamidae family were captured by striking stones and beating bushes with sticks. Collected specimens were preserved using 10% formalin solution, tagged with field information and stored in Zoological Survey Department, Karachi for future reference. Laboratory investigations were carried out for pholidosic counts and morphometric measurements. A detailed review of relevant literature, habitat characteristics and laboratory investigations revealed the occurrence of Laudakia himalayana, L. pakistanica, L. tuberculata and L. badakhshana at 4,082 m, 4,172 m, 4,005 m and 4,240 m asl, respectively, which are much higher altitudes as compared to the previously reported heights of 3,353 m, 3,200 m, 2,500 m and 2,400 m asl. The terrain offers a variety of ecological barriers, in the form of fast and freezing running waters and massive glaciers with peculiar harsh climatic conditions prevailing for nine months of the year, which restricts species migration and thus increases endemism. Although one of the four species recorded from the study area, i.e. L. pakistanica is endemic to Pakistan, L. tuberculata and L. badakhshana are new records from Shimshal, Pakistan, so a detailed investigation is suggested for further herpetological records from the study area.
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Soil water and salt distribution under furrow irrigation of saline water with plastic mulch on ridge
LiJuan CHEN, Qi FENG
Journal of Arid Land    2013, 5 (1): 60-70.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0142-6
Abstract2748)      PDF(pc) (613KB)(3357)       Save
Furrow irrigation when combined with plastic mulch on ridge is one of the current uppermost wa-ter-saving irrigation technologies for arid regions. The present paper studies the dynamics of soil water-salt trans-portation and its spatial distribution characteristics under irrigation with saline water in a maize field experiment. The mathematical relationships for soil salinity, irrigation amount and water salinity are also established to evaluate the contribution of the irrigation amount and the salinity of saline water to soil salt accumulation. The result showed that irrigation with water of high salinity could effectively increase soil water content, but the increment is limited com-paring with the influence from irrigation amount. The soil water content in furrows was higher than that in ridges at the same soil layers, with increments of 12.87% and 13.70% for MMF9 (the treatment with the highest water salinity and the largest amount of irrigation water) and MMF1 (the treatment with the lowest water salinity and the least amount of irrigation water) on 27 June, respectively. The increment for MMF9 was gradually reduced while that for MMF1 increased along with growth stages, the values for 17 August being 2.40% and 19.92%, respectively. Soil water content in the ridge for MMF9 reduced gradually from the surface layer to deeper layers while the surface soil water content for MMF1 was smaller than the contents below 20 cm at the early growing stage. Soil salinities for the treatments with the same amount of irrigation water but different water salinity increased with the water salinity. When water salinity was 6.04 dS/m, the less water resulted in more salt accumulation in topsoil and less in deep layers. When water salinity was 2.89 dS/m, however, the less water resulted in less salt accumulation in topsoil and salinity remained basically stable in deep layers. The salt accumulation in the ridge surface was much smaller than that in the furrow bottom under this technology, which was quite different from traditional furrow irrigation. The soil salinities for MMF7, MMF8 and MMF9 in the ridge surface were 0.191, 0.355 and 0.427 dS/m, respectively, whereas those in the furrow bottom were 0.316, 0.521 and 0.631 dS/m, respectively. The result of correlation analysis indicated that compared with irrigation amount, the irrigation water salinity was still the main factor influ-encing soil salinity in furrow irrigation with plastic mulch on ridge.
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Isolation and identification of desert habituated arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi newly reported from the Arabian Peninsula
Sarah SYMANCZIK, Janusz B?ASZKOWSKI, Sally KOEGEL, Thomas BOLLER, Andres WIEMKEN, Mohamed N AL-YAHYA'EI.
Journal of Arid Land    2014, 6 (4): 488-497.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-014-0021-9
Abstract1841)      PDF(pc) (378KB)(3341)       Save
Arbuscular mycorrhizal fungi (AMF) are known to facilitate the growth and vigour of many plants, particularly in arid ecosystems. In a survey of AMF in a date palm plantation and two natural sites of a desert in Oman, we generated many single spore-derived cultures of AMF. We identified a number of these isolates based on spore morphotyping and molecular phylogenetic analysis using the sequence of the LSU-rDNA. Here, we presented the characteristics of four species of AMF recovered, namely Claroideoglomus drummondii, Diversispora aurantia, Diversispora spurca and Funneliformis africanum. The four species have been described previously, but for the Arabian Peninsula they are reported here for the first time. Our endeavor of isolation and characterization of some AMF habituated to arid sites of Arabia represents a first step towards application for environmental conservation and sustainable agriculture in this region.
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Molecular phylogeny of tribe Atraphaxideae (Polygonaceae) evidenced from five cpDNA genes
YanXia SUN, MingLi ZHANG
Journal of Arid Land    2012, 4 (2): 180-190.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2012.00180
Abstract3300)      PDF(pc) (175KB)(3293)       Save
Traditionally, Atraphaxis, Calligonum, Pteropyrum and Parapteropyrum are included in the tribe Atraphxideae. Recently, sequence data has revealed that this tribe is not monophyletic. The structure of the tribe was examined by adding more taxa and sequences to clarify the congruence between morphology and molecular phylogeny, the systematic placements of four genera in Polygonaceae, as well as the infra-generic relationships of Atraphaxis and Calligonum within Atraphaxideae. Five chloroplast genes, atpB- rbcL, psbA- trnH, trnL– trnF, psbK- psbI, and rbcL of Atraphaxis, Calligonum, Pteropyrum, and Parapteropyrum were sequenced. The non-monophyly of Atraphaxideae was confirmed. Atraphaxis and Calligonum, respectively, formed a monophyletic group that was well supported. Calligonum is closely related to Pteropyrum; Atraphaxis is sister to Polygonum s. str.; and Parapteropyrum is allied with Fagopyrum. Although the morphology suggested the four genera should form a tribe, the molecular data indicated Atraphaxideae was not one monophyletic group. The clades identified within Atraphaxis corresponded well with the current sectional classification based on morphological features. As for Calligonum, Medusa was identified as a non-monophyletic section
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Effects of deficit irrigation on daily and seasonal variations of trunk sap flow and its growth in Calligonum arborescens
LiShan SHAN, Yi LI, RuiFeng ZHAO, XiMing ZHANG
Journal of Arid Land    2013, 5 (2): 233-243.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0155-1
Abstract2248)      PDF(pc) (805KB)(3260)       Save
Water deficit in arid and semiarid regions affects whole-plant sap flow and leaf-level water relations. The objectives of this study were to clarify how sap flow of Calligonum arborescens responds to different drought stress conditions and to understand its acclimation mechanism to drought environments. A field experiment was conducted for C. arborescens during the growing season to evaluate the effects of deficit irrigation on the daily and seasonal variations of trunk sap flow in the shelterbelt along the Tarim Desert Highway, Xinjiang, China. Three different water regimes (2,380, 1,960 and 1,225 m 3/hm 2) were applied at different stages of plant growth. From 1 May to 30 October 2007, a heat-balance stem flow gauge was used to monitor the sap flow dynamics of C. arborescens under different water regimes. Atmospheric evaporation demand and soil moisture conditions for differentially irri-gated C. arborescens were also monitored. The result showed that sap flow exhibited a clear diurnal pattern regardless of treatments; the diurnal patterns of sap flow and vapour pressure deficit were very similar under different water regimes and growing seasons, while the slope of the linear regression of this correlation confirmed an increasing water regime. The sap flow decreased under reduced water regimes and there was nocturnal sap flow regardless of water regimes, which was mainly contributed to nocturnal transpiration and water recharge. The sap flow peaked before midnight and dropped afterwards with obviously higher values in summer than in other seasons. It is speculated that the water consumption of C. arborescens during the day can be supplemented through the sap flow at night, which increased with increasing irrigation amount. Net radiation was the most significant correlated factor that influenced sap flow velocity and transpiration under different water regimes ( R 2>0.719). Compared with the commonly practiced water regime, the growth of C. arborescens was significantly slower in the stress deficit irrigation, but not significantly different from that in the moderate deficit irrigation. The moderate deficit irrigation would not affect the stability of the shelterbelt and was a more efficient use of water resources compared with the current watering amount.
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Impacts of temperature and precipitation on runoff in the Tarim River during the past 50 years
YuTing FAN, YaNing CHEN, WeiHong LI, HuaiJun WANG, XinGong LI
Journal of Arid Land    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2011.00220
Abstract3587)      PDF(pc) (537KB)(3250)       Save
The relationship between climate change and water resources in?the Tarim River was analyzed by combining the temperature, precipitation and streamflow data from 1957 to 2007 from the four headstreams of the Tarim River (Aksu, Hotan,?Yarkant and Kaidu rivers) in the study area. The long-term trend of the hydrological?time series including temperature, precipitation and streamflow were studied using correlation analysis and partial correlations analysis. Holt double exponential smoothing was used to fit the trends between streamflow and the two climatic factors of Aksu River, Hotan River and Yarkant River. The streamflow of the main stream was forecasted by Autoregressive Integrated Moving Average Model (ARIMA) modeling by the method of time series analysis. The results show that the temperature experienced a trend of monotonic rising. The precipitation and runoff of the four headstreams of the Tarim River increased, while the inflow to the headstreams increased and the inflow into the Tarim River decreased. Changes of temperature and precipitation had a significant impact on runoff into the four headstreams of the Tarim River: the precipitation had a positive impact on water flow in the Aksu River, Hotan River and Kaidu River, while the temperature had a positive impact on water flow in the Yarkant River. The results of Holt double exponential smoothing showed that the correlation between the independent variable and dependent variable was relatively close after the model was fitted to the headstreams, of which only the runoff and temperature values of Hotan River showed a significant negative?correlation. The forecasts by the ARIMA model for 50 years of annual runoff at the Allar station followed the pattern of the measured data for the same years. The short-term forecasts beyond the observed series adequately captured the pattern in the data and showed a decreasing tendency in the Tarim River flow of 3.07% every ten years. The results showed that global warming accelerated the water recharge process of the headstreams. The special hydrological characteristics of the arid area determined the significant association between streamflow and the two climatic factors studied. Strong glacier retreat is likely to bring a series of flood disasters within the study area.
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Climate effects on an inland alpine lake in Xinjiang, China over the past 40 years
HuiXia CHAI, WeiMing CHENG, ChengHu ZHOU, ShangMin ZHAO, HaiJiang LIU
Journal of Arid Land    2013, 5 (2): 188-198.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0156-0
Abstract2897)      PDF(pc) (13350KB)(3238)       Save
Inland lakes are important water resources in arid and semiarid regions. Understanding climate effects on these lakes is critical to accurately evaluate the dynamic changes of water resources. This study focused on the changes in Sayram Lake of Xinjiang, China, and addressed the effects of climate fluctuations on the inland lake based on long-term sequenced remote sensing images and meteorological data from the past 40 years. A geo-graphic information system (GIS) method was used to obtain the hypsometry of the basin area of Sayram Lake, and estimation methods for evaporation from rising temperature and water levels from increasing precipitation were proposed. Results showed that: (1) Areal values of Sayram Lake have increased over the past 40 years. (2) Both temperature and precipitation have increased with average increases of more than 1.8°C and 82 mm, respectively. Variation of the water levels in the lake was consistent with local climate changes, and the areal values show linear relationships with local temperature and precipitation data. (3) According to the hypsometry data of the basin area, the estimated lake water levels increased by 2.8 m, and the water volume increased by 12.9×108 m3 over the past 40 years. The increasing area of Sayram Lake correlated with local and regional climatic changes because it is hardly affected by human activities.
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Impact of land use change on water resource allocation in the middle reaches of the Heihe River Basin in northwestern China
YanYun NIAN, Xin LI, Jian ZHOU, XiaoLi HU
Journal of Arid Land    2014, 6 (3): 273-286.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-013-0209-4
Abstract1954)      PDF(pc) (1241KB)(3210)       Save
In recent decades, China has been experiencing rapid economic development, population growth and urbanization. These processes have stressed the shortages of water resources in China, especially in the arid re-gions of northwestern China. In order to sustain the expanding cropland, people increased groundwater exploitation in these regions. The purpose of this study was to quantitatively analyze the changes in land use and water re-sources, and their relationship in the middle reaches of the Heihe River Basin, a typical inland river basin in northwest China. The data of land use change were interpreted using aerial photographs (1965) and Landsat TM images (1986 and 2007). The data of irrigation water volume in the irrigation districts were spatialized in the middle reaches of the Heihe River Basin. The spatial variation of the groundwater depth was interpolated using the geo-statistical method. The results showed that the cultivated cropland area along oasis fringe increased by 15.38% and 43.60% during the periods 1965–1986 and 1986–2007, respectively. Surface water amount for irrigation had almost doubled from 1956 to 2010. The decrease of grassland area mainly occurred at the alluvial fan in front of the Qilian Mountains, with 36.47% during 1965–1986 and 38.56% during 1986–2007, respectively. The groundwater depth in front of the mountain constantly increased from 1986 to 2007. We found that the overuse of surface water and overexploitation of groundwater had direct consequences on the natural environments. We suggests that the efficiency of surface water resources use among different irrigation districts needs to be improved, which will sig-nificantly ease the conflicts between increasing water demand for irrigation and a shortage of water resources in the middle reaches of the Heihe River Basin.
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Saline dust storms and their ecological impacts in arid regions
Jilili Abuduwaili, DongWei LIU, GuangYang WU
Journal of Arid Land    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2010.00144
Abstract3059)      PDF(pc) (210KB)(3201)       Save
In many arid and semiarid regions, saline playas represent a significant source of unconsolidated sediments available for aeolian transport, and severe saline dust storms occur frequently due to human disturbance. In this study, saline dust storms are reviewed systematically from the aspects of concept, general characteristics, conditions of occurrence, distribution and ecological impact. Our researches showed that saline dust storms are a kind of chemical dust storm originating in dry lake beds in arid and semiarid regions; large areas of unconsolidated saline playa sediments and frequent strong winds are the basic factors to saline dust storm occurrence; there are differentiation characteristics in deposition flux and chemical composition with wind-blown distance during saline dust storm diffusion; and saline dust storm diffusion to some extent increases glacier melt and results in soil salinization in arid regions. An understanding of saline dust storms is important to guide disaster prevention and ecological rehabilitation.
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Altitudinal patterns of stand structure and herb layer diversity of Picea schrenkiana forests in the central Tianshan Mountains, Northwest China
LiPing LI, XiangPing WANG, Stefan ZERBE, LiYun ZHANG, JingYun FANG
Journal of Arid Land    2011, 3 (4): 254-260.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2011.00254
Abstract3304)      PDF(pc) (727KB)(3191)       Save
Altitude is a useful indicator to examine patterns of forest structure and species diversity in relation to environmental factors. In this study, the altitude patterns of forest stand structure and species diversity were analyzed across 20 plots in the Tianchi Nature Reserve, Northwest China. The results showed that mean stem height (Hm), maximum stem height (Hmax) and mean stem diameter at breast height (Dm) of Picea schrenkiana trees all decreased significantly with increasing altitude. Potential tree height (H*) decreased while stem taper increased significantly as altitude increased, suggesting remarkable altitudinal changes in biomass allocation between the diameter and height growth of Picea schrenkiana. Understory herbaceous richness increased significantly with increasing altitude, or with decreasing total basal area (TBA), Hm and stand volume (Volume). High light availability for understory herbs might account for the higher species richness at high altitude. Sorensen Index decreased significantly with the increase in altitude intervals, while the Cody Index demonstrated a converse pattern, suggesting greater differences in species composition with larger distances.
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Breeding system and its consequence on fruit set of a rare sand dune shrub Eremosparton songoricum (Fabaceae: Papilionoideae): implications for conservation
DaoYuan ZHANG, Xiang SHI, JianCheng WANG, HuiLiang LIU John F GASKIN
Journal of Arid Land    2011, 3 (4): 231-239.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2011.00231
Abstract3080)      PDF(pc) (1948KB)(3188)       Save
The breeding system and its consequence on fruit set of Eremosparton songoricum (Litv.) Vass., a rare shrubby legume occurring in moving or semi-fixed sand dunes of Central Asian deserts, were examined by manipulative experiments and observational studies in natural populations during the period of 2007–2009. The results showed that E. songoricum exhibits a mixed mating system. It is self-compatible, but depends strictly on pollinators to set fruits. Only two effective pollinators were detected and they triggered the specialized pollination mechanism (a ‘brush type’ and ‘tripping mechanism’). Geitonogamy becomes predominant in natural populations, because (74.5±1.3)% of visiting activity happened within or between inflorescences and (24.3±1.4)% occurred between ramets. As a result, inbreeding depression caused by geitonogamous selfing inevitably happened under natural conditions, showing 2.36 times less fruit set than was achieved by hand cross-pollination. The results ex-plained the rarity of the species due to its breeding system, and will assist to develop suitable conservation strategies in severe desert environments.
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Regional partitioning of agricultural non-point source pollution in China using a projection pursuit cluster model
XinHu LI, ChengYi ZHAO, Bin WANG, Garry FENG
Journal of Arid Land    2011, 3 (4): 278-284.   DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2011.00278
Abstract3475)      PDF(pc) (441KB)(3185)       Save
A projection pursuit cluster (PPC) model was used to analyze the regional partitioning of agricultural non-point source pollution in China. The environmental factors impacting the agricultural non-point source pollution were compiled into a projection index to set up the projection index function. A novel optimization algorithm called Free search (FS) was introduced to optimize the projection direction of the PPC model. By making the appropriate improvements as we explored the use of the algorithm, it became simpler, and developed better exploration abilities. Thus, the multi-factor problem was converted into a single-factor cluster, according to the projection, which successfully avoided subjective disturbance and produced objective results. The cluster results of the PPC model mirror the actual regional partitioning of the agricultural non-point source pollution in China, indicating that the PPC model is a powerful tool in multi-factor cluster analysis, and could be a new method for the regional partitioning of agricultural non-point source pollution.
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Effect of crude oil pollution on organic carbon and humus content in grey-brown soils in Mangyshlak, Pre-Caspian Sea Region
Saimbulek Dosbergenov
Journal of Arid Land    DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1227.2010.00133
Abstract2571)      PDF(pc) (121KB)(3159)       Save
The organic carbon and humus content in oil polluted brown and grey-brown soils in Mangyshlak, Pre-Caspian Sea Region, was analyzed from 2000 to 2008. The results indicated that bitumen substances from crude oil pollution deteriorated the soil property, however, the organic carbon content increased significantly. The products of oil pollution changed the composition of carbonaceous substances which formed soil humus, and changed the ratios of the humus components. Residual insoluble carbon increased with the rise of oil organic carbon. The mobility of humus components was significantly increased because of the high oxidation-reduction process in the topsoil, and the humus content and microorganism activity increased. The organic carbon content increased significantly, while it decreased with the distance away from the oil well. The rearrangement of physical, physical-chemical and chemical properties of the polluted soils was significant.
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