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Spatial and temporal change patterns of net primary productivity and its response to climate change in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China from 2000 to 2015
GUO Bing, ZANG Wenqian, YANG Fei, HAN Baomin, CHEN Shuting, LIU Yue, YANG Xiao, HE Tianli, CHEN Xi, LIU Chunting, GONG Rui
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (1): 1-17.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0070-1
Abstract357)   HTML20)    PDF (861KB)(1046)      

The vegetation ecosystem of the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau in China, considered to be the ′′natural laboratory′′ of climate change in the world, has undergone profound changes under the stress of global change. Herein, we analyzed and discussed the spatial-temporal change patterns and the driving mechanisms of net primary productivity (NPP) in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau from 2000 to 2015 based on the gravity center and correlation coefficient models. Subsequently, we quantitatively distinguished the relative effects of climate change (such as precipitation, temperature and evapotranspiration) and human activities (such as grazing and ecological construction) on the NPP changes using scenario analysis and Miami model based on the MOD17A3 and meteorological data. The average annual NPP in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau showed a decreasing trend from the southeast to the northwest during 2000-2015. With respect to the inter-annual changes, the average annual NPP exhibited a fluctuating upward trend from 2000 to 2015, with a steep increase observed in 2005 and a high fluctuation observed from 2005 to 2015. In the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, the regions with the increase in NPP (change rate higher than 10%) were mainly concentrated in the Three-River Source Region, the northern Hengduan Mountains, the middle and lower reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River, and the eastern parts of the North Tibet Plateau, whereas the regions with the decrease in NPP (change rate lower than -10%) were mainly concentrated in the upper reaches of the Yarlung Zangbo River and the Ali Plateau. The gravity center of NPP in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau has moved southwestward during 2000-2015, indicating that the increment and growth rate of NPP in the southwestern part is greater than those of NPP in the northeastern part. Further, a significant correlation was observed between NPP and climate factors in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. The regions exhibiting a significant correlation between NPP and precipitation were mainly located in the central and eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, and the regions exhibiting a significant correlation between NPP and temperature were mainly located in the southern and eastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Furthermore, the relative effects of climate change and human activities on the NPP changes in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau exhibited significant spatial differences in three types of zones, i.e., the climate change-dominant zone, the human activity-dominant zone, and the climate change and human activity interaction zone. These research results can provide theoretical and methodological supports to reveal the driving mechanisms of the regional ecosystems to the global change in the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

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Effects of biochar on water movement characteristics in sandy soil under drip irrigation
Shenghai PU, Guangyong LI, Guangmu TANG, Yunshu ZHANG, Wanli XU, Pan LI, Guangping FENG, Feng DING
Journal of Arid Land    2019, 11 (5): 740-753.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0106-6
Abstract192)   HTML4)    PDF (869KB)(523)      

Biochar addition can improve the physical and hydraulic characteristics of sandy soil. This study investigated the effects of biochar on water holding capacity and water movement in sandy soil under drip irrigation. By indoor simulation experiments, the effects of biochar application at five levels (0%, 1%, 2%, 4%and 6%) on the soil water retention curve, infiltration characteristics of drip irrigation and water distribution were tested and analyzed. The results showed thatbiochar addition rate was positively correlated with water holding capacity of sandy soil and soil available water. Within the same infiltration time, with an increasing amount of added biochar, the diffusion distance of the horizontal wetting front (HWF) tended to decrease, but the infiltration distance of vertical wetting front (VWF) initially declined and then rose. The features of wetted bodies changed from "broad-shallow" to "narrow-deep" type. The relationship between the transport distance of HWF and VWF and the infiltration time was described by a power function. At the same distance from the point source, the larger was the amount of added biochar, the higher was the soil water content. Biochar had a great influence on the water content of the layer with biochar (0-200mm) and had some effects at 200-250mm without biochar; but had less influence on the soil water content deeper than 250mm. For the application rate of biochar of 4%, most water was retained within 0-250mm soil layer. However, when biochar application amount was high (6%), it would be helpful for water infiltration. During the improvement of sandy soil, biochar application rate of 4% in the plow layer had the best effect.

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Mesophyll thickness and sclerophylly among Calotropis procera morphotypes reveal water-saved adaptation to environments
Marcelo F POMPELLI, Keila R MENDES, Marcio V RAMOS, José N B SANTOS, Diaa T A YOUSSEF, Jaqueline D PEREIRA, Laurício ENDRES, Alfredo JARMA-OROZCO, Rodolfo SOLANO-GOMES, Betty JARMA-ARROYO, André L J SILVA, Marcos A SANTOS, Werner C ANTUNES
Journal of Arid Land    2019, 11 (6): 795-810.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0016-7
Abstract285)   HTML23)    PDF (3195KB)(781)      

Calotropis procera (Aiton) Dryand (Apocynaceae) is a native species in tropical and subtropical Africa and Asia. However, due to its fast growing and drought-tolerant, it has become an invasive species when it was introduced into Central and South America, as well as the Caribbean Islands. Currently, C. procera displays a wide distribution in the world. Invasiveness is important, in particular, because many invasive species exert a high reproductive pressure on the invaded communities or are highly productive in their new distributed areas. It has been suggested that a very deep root system and a high capacity to reduce stomatal conductance during water shortage could allow this species to maintain the water status required for a normal function. However, the true mechanism behind the successful distribution of C. procera across wet and dry environments is still unknown. C. procera leaves were collected from 12 natural populations in Brazil, Colombia and Mexico, ranging from wet to dry environments during 2014-2015. Many traits of morphology and anatomy from these distinct morphotypes were evaluated. We found that C. procera leaves had a considerable capacity to adjust their morphological, anatomical and physiological traits to different environments. The magnitude of acclimation responses, i.e., plasticity, had been hypothesized to reflect the specialized adaptation of plant species to a particular environment. However, allometric models for leaf area (LA) estimation cannot be grouped as a single model. Leaves are narrower and thicker with low amounts of air spaces inside the leaf parenchyma in wet environments, while they are broader and thinner with a small number of palisade cell layers in dry environments. Based on these, we argue that broader and thinner leaves of C. procera dissipate incident energy at the expense of a higher rate of transpiration to survive in environments in which water is the most limiting factor and to compete in favorable wet environments.

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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
Abstract686)   HTML22)    PDF (475KB)(6173)      

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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Desert vegetationdistribution and species-environment relationshipsinan oasis-desert ecotone ofnorthwestern China
Peng ZHAO, Jianjun QU, Xianying XU, Qiushi YU, Shengxiu JIANG, Heran ZHAO
Journal of Arid Land    2019, 11 (3): 461-476.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0055-0
Abstract231)   HTML15)    PDF (452KB)(1013)      

Environmental heterogeneity significantly affects the structure of ecological communities. Exploring vegetationdistribution and its relationship with environmental factorsis essential to understanding the abiotic mechanism(s)driving vegetation succession, especially in the ecologically fragile areas. In this study, based on the quantitative analysis of plant community and environmental factors in 68 plots at 10 different transects in the Minqin oasis-desert ecotone (ODE) of northwestern China, we investigated desert vegetation distribution and species-environment relationships using multivariate analysis.Two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN), detrended correspondence analysis (DCA), and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) methods were used. A total of 28 species, belonging to 27 genera in 8families,were identified. Chenopodiaceae, Zygophyllaceae, Gramineae, and Leguminosae were the largest families. Annual and perennial herbs accounted for 28.60% of the total number of plants, while shrubs (42.90%) werethe most dominant. Nitrariatangutorum was the constructive species of the desert plant community. We divided the 68plots surveyed in this study into 7 community types,according to the results of TWINSPAN. The distribution of these 7 communities in theDCAordination graph showed that species with a similar ecotype were clustered together. Results of CCA indicated that groundwater wasthe dominant factor influencing vegetation distribution, while distance between plot and oasis(Dis) and soil electrical conductivity (EC)were the local second-order factors. Our study suggests that optimizing the utilization of groundwater in oases is key to controlling the degradation of desert vegetation.The favorable topographic conditions of sand dunes should be fully utilized for vegetal dune stabilization, and the influence of soil salinity on the selection of afforestation tree species should be considered.

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Assessment of desertification in Eritrea: land degradation based on Landsat images
G GHEBREZGABHER Mihretab, Taibao YANG, Xuemei YANG, Congqiang WANG
Journal of Arid Land    2019, 11 (3): 319-331.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0096-4
Abstract418)   HTML32)    PDF (461KB)(990)      

Remote sensing is an effective way in monitoring desertification dynamics in arid and semi-arid regions. In this study, we used a decision tree method based on NDVI (normalized difference vegetation index), SAVI (soil adjusted vegetation index), and vegetation cover proportion to quantify and analyze the desertification in Eritrea using Landsat data of the 1970s, 1980s and 2014. The results demonstrate that the NDVI value and the annual mean precipitation declined while the temperature increased over the past 40 a. Strongly desertified land increased from 4.82×104 km2 (38.5%) in the 1970s to 8.38×104 km2(66.9%) in 2014: approximately 85% of the land of the countrywas under serious desertification, which significantly occurred in arid and semi-arid lowlands of the country (eastern, northern, and western lowlands)withrelatively scarce precipitation and high temperature. The non-desertified area, mostly located in the sub-humid eastern escarpment, also declined from approximately 2.1% to 0.5%. The study concludes that the desertification is a cause of serious land degradation in Eritrea and may link to climate changes, such as low and unpredictable precipitation, and prolonged drought.

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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
Abstract3717)      PDF (239KB)(5691)      
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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Environmental factors influencing snowfall and snowfall prediction in the Tianshan Mountains, Northwest China
Xueting ZHANG, Xuemei LI, Lanhai LI, Shan ZHANG, Qirui QIN
Journal of Arid Land    2019, 11 (1): 15-28.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-018-0110-2
Abstract444)   HTML9)    PDF (484KB)(1162)      

Snowfall is one of the dominant water resources in the mountainous regions and is closely related to the development of the local ecosystem and economy. Snowfall predication plays a critical role in understanding hydrological processes and forecasting natural disasters in the Tianshan Mountains, where meteorological stations are limited. Based on climatic, geographical and topographic variables at 27 meteorological stations during the cold season (October to April) from 1980 to 2015 in the Tianshan Mountains located in Xinjiang of Northwest China, we explored the potential influence of these variables on snowfall and predicted snowfall using two methods: multiple linear regression (MLR) model (a conventional measuring method) and random forest (RF) model (a non-parametric and non-linear machine learning algorithm). We identified the primary influencing factors of snowfall by ranking the importance of eight selected predictor variables based on the relative contribution of each variable in the two models. Model simulations were compared using different performance indices and the results showed that the RF model performed better than the MLR model, with a much higher R2 value (R2=0.74; R2, coefficient of determination) and a lower bias error (RSR=0.51; RSR, the ratio of root mean square error to standard deviation of observed dataset). This indicates that the non-linear trend is more applicable for explaining the relationship between the selected predictor variables and snowfall. Relative humidity, temperature and longitude were identified as three of the most important variables influencing snowfall and snowfall prediction in both models, while elevation, aspect and latitude were of secondary importance, followed by slope and wind speed. These results will be beneficial to understand hydrological modeling and improve management and prediction of water resources in the Tianshan Mountains.

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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
Abstract1628)      PDF (485KB)(4728)      
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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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
Abstract3475)      PDF (210KB)(4131)      
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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Long-term variations in runoff of the Syr Darya River Basin under climate change and human activities
Sanim BISSENBAYEVA, Jilili ABUDUWAILI, Assel SAPAROVA, Toqeer AHMED
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (1): 56-70.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0050-0
Abstract125)   HTML10)    PDF (1334KB)(656)      

In this study, we analyzed the hydrological and meteorological data from the Syr Darya River Basin during the period of 1930-2015 to investigate variations in river runoff and the impacts of climate change and human activities on river runoff. The Syr Darya River, which is supplied by snow and glacier meltwater upstream, is an important freshwater source for Central Asia, as nearly half of the population is concentrated in this area. River runoff in this arid region is sensitive to climate change and human activities. Therefore, estimation of the climatic and hydrological changes and the quantification of the impacts of climate change and human activities on river runoff are of great concern and important for regional water resources management. The long-term trends of hydrological time series from the selected 11 hydrological stations in the Syr Darya River Basin were examined by non-parametric methods, including the Pettitt change point test and Mann-Kendall trend tests. It was found that 8 out of 11 hydrological stations showed significant downward trends in river runoff. Change of river runoff variations occurred in the year around 1960. Moreover, during the study period (1930-2015), annual mean temperature, annual precipitation, and annual potential evapotranspiration in the river basin increased substantially. We employed hydrological sensitivity method to evaluate the impacts of climate change and human activities on river runoff based on precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. It was estimated that human activities accounted for over 82.6%-98.7% of the reduction in river runoff, mainly owing to water withdrawal for irrigation purpose. The observed variations in river runoff can subsequently lead to adverse ecological consequences from an ecological and regional water resources management perspective.

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Prediction of meteorological drought in arid and semi-arid regions using PDSI and SDSM: a case study in Fars Province, Iran
Sheida DEHGHAN, Nasrin SALEHNIA, Nasrin SAYARI, Bahram BAKHTIARI
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (2): 318-330.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0095-5
Abstract937)   HTML21)    PDF (921KB)(1031)      

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

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Modeling spatio-temporal distribution of soil moisture by deep learning-based cellular automata model
SONG Xiaodong, ZHANG Ganlin, LIU Feng, LI Decheng, ZHAO Yuguo, YANG Jinling
Journal of Arid Land    2016, 8 (5): 734-748.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-016-0049-0
Abstract1538)      PDF (524KB)(2889)      
Soil moisture content (SMC) is a key hydrological parameter in agriculture, meteorology and climate change, and understanding of spatio-temporal distributions of SMC in farmlands is important to address the precise irrigation scheduling. However, the hybrid interaction of static and dynamic environmental parameters makes it particularly difficult to accurately and reliably model the distribution of SMC. At present, deep learning wins numerous contests in machine learning and hence deep belief network (DBN), a breakthrough in deep learning is trained to extract the transition functions for the simulation of the cell state changes. In this study, we used a novel macroscopic cellular automata (MCA) model by combining DBN to predict the SMC over an irrigated corn field (an area of 22 km 2) in the Zhangye oasis, Northwest China. Static and dynamic environmental variables were prepared with regard to the complex hydrological processes. The widely used neural network, multi-layer perceptron (MLP), was utilized for comparison to DBN. The hybrid models (MLP-MCA and DBN-MCA) were calibrated and validated on SMC data within four months, i.e. June to September 2012, which were automatically observed by a wireless sensor network (WSN). Compared with MLP-MCA, the DBN-MCA model led to a decrease in root mean squared error (RMSE) by 18%. Thus, the differences of prediction errors increased due to the propagating errors of variables, difficulties of knowing soil properties and recording irrigation amount in practice. The sequential Gaussian simulation (sGs) was performed to assess the uncertainty of soil moisture estimations. Calculated with a threshold of SMC for each grid cell, the local uncertainty of simulated results in the post processing suggested that the probability of SMC less than 25% will be difference in different areas at different time periods. The current results showed that the DBN-MCA model performs better than the MLP-MCA model, and the DBN-MCA model provides a powerful tool for predicting SMC in highly non-linear forms. Moreover, because modeling soil moisture by using environmental variables is gaining increasing popularity, DBN techniques could contribute a lot to enhancing the calibration of MCA-based SMC estimations and hence provide an alternative approach for SMC monitoring in irrigation systems on the basis of canals.
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Rangelands of Central Asia: challenges and opportunities
Alisher MIRZABAEV, Mohamed AHMED, Jutta WERNER, John PENDER, Mounir LOUHAICHI
Journal of Arid Land    2016, 8 (1): 93-108.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-015-0057-5
Abstract1436)      PDF (258KB)(2229)      
Rangelands of Central Asia (referring to Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan in this study), the largest contiguous area of grazed land in the world, serve as an important source of livelihood for pastoral and agro-pastoral communities in this region. They also play an important role in absorbing CO 2 as a global carbon sink. However, unsustainable management of rangelands has led to their degradation hugely by downgrading their potential agro-ecological, environmental and socio-economical roles. This paper reviewed the rangeland degradation in Central Asia, a topic which so far has received only scant coverage in the international scientific literature. It also provided examples of successful experiences and outlined possible options that land managers can adopt to enhance the sustainable management of these vast degraded rangelands. The experiences and lessons described in this paper may also be relevant for other degraded rangeland areas, especially in the developing countries. The causes of rangeland degradation within the Central Asian region are numerous, complex and inter-related. Therefore, while addressing the factors associated with improper rangeland management may shed some light on the causes of rangeland degradation, the scope of this paper would not be all-encompassing for the major causes of degradation. There is a need to develop and widely apply the viable and locally accepted and adapted packages of technical, institutional and policy options for sustainable rangeland management. Incentivizing the collective action of small-scale pastoralists who group together to facilitate access to remote pastures can reduce the degree of overgrazing within community pastures, such as those near the settlements. We also found that migratory grazing through pooling of resources among small-scale pastoralists can increase household income. After their independence, most Central Asian countries adopted various rangeland tenure arrangements. However, the building of enhanced capacities of pasture management and effective local rangeland governance structures can increase the likelihood, which will be sustainable and equitable. Finally, this paper presented several promising technical options, aiming at reversing the trend of rangeland degradation in Central Asia.
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Source identification of nitrate in the upper aquifer system of the Wadi Shueib catchment area in Jordan based on stable isotope composition
Mutawakil OBEIDAT, Muheeb AWAWDEH, Noor AL-KHARABSHEH, Ahmad AL-AJLOUNI
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (4): 350-374.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0055-8
Abstract252)   HTML9)    PDF (1114KB)(673)      

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

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Mechanisms of bush encroachment and its inter-connection with rangeland degradation in semi-arid African ecosystems: a review
BELAYNEH Anteneh, K TESSEMA Zewdu
Journal of Arid Land    2017, 9 (2): 299-312.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-016-0023-x
Abstract939)   HTML1)    PDF (159KB)(2080)      

Many studies show that semi-arid rangelands throughout the world have been rapidly converted from a grassland state to a bush encroachment state during the past 50 years. Bush encroachment includes the spread of local woody species and/or incursion of woody species introduced from other ecosystems into semi-arid savannas and grassland ecosystems. Rangeland degradation due to bush encroachment causes several challenges, affecting the production of livestock and pastoral people livelihoods in most parts of Africa. Scientists have long been attempting to develop schematic and mathematical theories to explain the observed phenomenon of bush encroachment, and several theories were proposed and developed. The well-regarded theories include: (1) Walter’s two-layer model, (2) Moir’s one-layer model, (3) state-and-transition theory, (4) equilibrium theory, (5) disequilibrium theory, and (6) non-equilibrium theory. Within those theories, the most frequently-indicated driving factors that explain bush encroachment include over-grazing, availability of soil nutrient and moisture, elevated CO2 levels, frequency and intensity of fire, spread of seeds of woody species by livestock and wild animals. It should be stressed that couplings and interactions among diverse driving factors are more often at work in determining the condition of bush encroachment. To summarize, the effort in managing semi-arid ecosystems needs critical knowledge to understand the cause-effect relationships of underlying factors through integrated approach. Therefore, future research on encroachment of woody plants should be multi-discipline oriented and multi-partnership involved.

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Performance of different drought indices for agriculture drought in the North China Plain
Xianfeng LIU, Xiufang ZHU, Yaozhong PAN, Jianjun BAI, Shuangshuang LI
Journal of Arid Land    2018, 10 (4): 507-516.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-018-0005-2
Abstract545)   HTML12)    PDF (400KB)(1786)      

The Palmer drought severity index (PDSI), standardized precipitation index (SPI), and standardized precipitation evapotranspiration index (SPEI) are used worldwide for drought assessment and monitoring. However, substantial differences exist in the performance for agricultural drought among these indices and among regions. Here, we performed statistical assessments to compare the strengths of different drought indices for agricultural drought in the North China Plain. Small differences were detected in the comparative performances of SPI and SPEI that were smaller at the long-term scale than those at the short-term scale. The correlation between SPI/SPEI and PDSI considerably increased from 1- to 12-month lags, and a slight decreasing trend was exhibited during 12- and 24-month lags, indicating a 12-month scale in the PDSI, whereas the SPI was strongly correlated with the SPEI at 1- to 24-month lags. Interestingly, the correlation between the trend of temperature and the mean absolute error and its correlation coefficient both suggested stronger relationships between SPI and the SPEI in areas of rapid climate warming. In addition, the yield-drought correlations tended to be higher for the SPI and SPEI than that for the PDSI at the station scale, whereas small differences were detected between the SPI and SPEI in the performance on agricultural systems. However, large differences in the influence of drought conditions on the yields of winter wheat and summer maize were evident among various indices during the crop-growing season. Our findings suggested that multi-indices in drought monitoring are needed in order to acquire robust conclusions.

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Monitoring the impact of climate change andhuman activities on grassland vegetation dynamics in the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateauof China during 2000-2015
Qinli XIONG, Yang XIAO, Waseem A HALMY Marwa, A DAKHIL Mohammed, Pinghan LIANG, Chenggang LIU, Lin ZHANG, PANDEY Bikram, Kaiwen PAN, B EL KAFRAWAY Sameh, Jun CHEN
Journal of Arid Land    2019, 11 (5): 637-651.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0061-2
Abstract1113)   HTML51)    PDF (1276KB)(1419)      

Climate change and human activities can influence vegetation net primary productivity (NPP), a key component of natural ecosystems. The Qinghai-Tibet Plateau of China, in spite of its significant natural and cultural values, is one of the most susceptible regions to climate change and human disturbancesin the world. To assess the impact of climate change and human activities on vegetation dynamics in the grassland ecosystems ofthe northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, we applied a time-series trend analysis to normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) datasets from 2000 to 2015 and compared these spatiotemporal variations with trends in climatic variables over the same time period. The constrained ordination approach (redundancy analysis) was used to determine which climatic variables or human-related factors mostly in?uenced the variation of NDVI. Furthermore, in order to determine whether current conservation measures and programs are effectivein ecological protection and reconstruction, we divided the northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau into two parts: the Three-River Headwater conservation area (TRH zone) in the south and the non-conservation area (NTRH zone) in the north. The results indicatedan overall (73.32%)increasing trend of vegetation NPP in grasslands throughout the study area. During the period 2000-2015, NDVI in the TRH and NTRH zones increased at the rates of 0.0015/aand 0.0020/a, respectively.Specifically, precipitation accounted for 9.2% of the total variation in NDVI, while temperature accounted for 13.4%. In addition, variation in vegetation NPP of grasslands responded not only to long- and short-term changes in climate, as conceptualized in non-equilibrium theory, but also to the impact of human activities and their associated perturbations. The redundancy analysis successfully separated the relative contributions of climate change and human activities, of whichvillage populationand agricultural gross domestic product were the two most important contributors to the NDVI changes, explaining 17.8% and 17.1% of the total variationof NDVI (with the total contribution >30.0%), respectively. The total contributionpercentages of climate change and human activitiesto the NDVI variation were27.5% and 34.9%, respectively, inthe northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Finally, our study shows that the grassland restoration in the study area was enhanced by protection measures and programs in the TRH zone, which explained 7.6% of the total variation in NDVI.

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Assessment of drought hazard, vulnerability and risk in Iran using GIS techniques
Esmail HEYDARI ALAMDARLOO, Hassan KHOSRAVI, Sahar NASABPOUR, Ahmad GHOLAMI
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (6): 984-1000.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0096-4
Abstract236)   HTML12)    PDF (2750KB)(936)      

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

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Potential of rooftop rainwater harvesting to meet outdoor water demand in arid regions
TAMADDUN Kazi, KALRA Ajay, AHMAD Sajjad
Journal of Arid Land    2018, 10 (1): 68-83.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0110-7
Abstract365)   HTML9)    PDF (762KB)(1432)      

The feasibility of rooftop rainwater harvesting (RRWH) as an alternative source of water to meet the outdoor water demand in nine states of the U.S. was evaluated using a system dynamics model developed in Systems Thinking, Experimental Learning Laboratory with Animation. The state of Arizona was selected to evaluate the effects of the selected model parameters on the efficacy of RRWH since among the nine states the arid region of Arizona showed the least potential of meeting the outdoor water demand with rain harvested water. The analyses were conducted on a monthly basis across a 10-year projected period from 2015 to 2024. The results showed that RRWH as a potential source of water was highly sensitive to certain model parameters such as the outdoor water demand, the use of desert landscaping, and the percentage of existing houses with RRWH. A significant difference (as high as 37.5%) in rainwater potential was observed between the projected wet and dry climate conditions in Arizona. The analysis of the dynamics of the storage tanks suggested that a 1.0-2.0 m3 rainwater barrel, on an average, can store approximately 80% of the monthly rainwater generated from the rooftops in Arizona, even across the high seasonal variation. This interactive model can be used as a quick estimator of the amount of water that could be generated, stored, and utilized through RRWH systems in the U.S. under different climate conditions. The findings of such comprehensive analyses may help regional policymakers, especially in arid regions, to develop a sustainable water management infrastructure.

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Distribution of soil aggregates and organic carbon in deep soil under long-term conservation tillage with residual retention in dryland
Bisheng WANG, Lili GAO, Weishui YU, Xueqin WEI, Jing LI, Shengping LI, Xiaojun SONG, Guopeng LIANG, Dianxiong CAI, Xueping WU
Journal of Arid Land    2019, 11 (2): 241-254.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0094-6
Abstract292)   HTML5)    PDF (389KB)(860)      

To ascertain the effects of long-term conservation tillage and residue retention on soil organic carbon (SOC) content and aggregate distribution in a deep soil (>20-cm depth) in a dryland environment, this paper analyzed the SOC and aggregate distribution in soil, and the aggregate-associated organic carbon (OC) and SOC physical fractions. Conservation tillage (reduced tillage with residue incorporated (RT) and no-tillage with residue mulch (NT)) significantly increased SOC sequestration and soil aggregation in deep soil compared with conventional tillage with residue removal (CT). Compared with CT, RT significantly increased the proportion of small macroaggregates by 23%-81% in the 10-80 cm layer, and the OC content in small macroaggregates by 1%-58% in the 0-80 cm layer. RT significantly increased (by 24%-90%) the OC content in mineral-SOC within small macroaggregates in the 0-60 cm layer, while there was a 23%-80% increase in the 0-40 cm layer with NT. These results indicated that: (1) conservation tillage treatments are beneficial for soil aggregation and SOC sequestration in a deep soil in a dryland environment; and (2) the SOC in mineral-associated OC plays important roles in soil aggregation and SOC sequestration. In conclusion, RT with NT is recommended as an agricultural management tool in dryland soils because of its role in improving soil aggregation and SOC sequestration.

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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
Abstract3860)      PDF (537KB)(3840)      
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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Effects of different loading rates and types of biochar on passivations of Cu and Zn via swine manure composting
CHEN Yan, XU Yongping, QU Fangjing, HOU Fuqin, CHEN Hongli, LI Xiaoyu
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (6): 1056-1070.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0026-5
Abstract81)   HTML4)    PDF (694KB)(632)      

Pollution of arable land caused by heavy metals in livestock and poultry manure has become a potential threaten to human health in China. Safe disposal of the contained toxic pollution with animal manure by co-composting with biochar is one of the alternative methods. Biochars from different sources (wheat straw, peanut shells and rice husks) amended with different loading rates were investigated for passivations of copper and zinc (Cu and Zn) in swine manure composting. Results showed that the passivation effects of the three types of biochar on Cu and Zn were enhanced with increasing biochar dose. Contents of Cu and Zn measured by diethylenetriaminepentaacetic acid (DTPA) and Community Bureau of Reference (CBR) showed that wheat straw biochar with the loading rates of 10%-13% (w/w) was superior to the other two types of biochar in this study. Compared with the control, sample from wheat straw biochar was more favorable for the bacterial growth of Proteobacteria, Firmicutes and Actinobacteria. In addition, pot experiment showed that organic fertilizer amended with wheat straw biochar could significantly improve the growth of Chinese pakchoi and enzyme activities (superoxide dismutase, peroxidase, polyphenol oxidase and catalase) as compared with the control. Cu and Zn contents of Chinese pakchoi in the organic fertilizer group containing wheat straw biochar reduced by 73.2% and 45.2%, 65.8% and 33.6%, respectively, compared with the group without loading biochar. There was no significant difference in the contents of vitamin C and reducing sugar between the groups of organic fertilizer amended with/without wheat straw biochar, however, there was significant difference compared with the heavy metal addition group. The application of organic fertilizer formed by adding biochar can effectively reduce the adverse effects of heavy metals on crops.

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Spatial dynamics of aboveground carbon stock in urban green space: a case study of Xi’an, China
ZhengYang YAO, JianJun LIU, XiaoWen ZHAO, DongFeng LONG, Li WANG
Journal of Arid Land    2015, 7 (3): 350-360.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-014-0082-9
Abstract1644)      PDF (1573KB)(2480)      
Greenhouse gas emission of carbon dioxide (CO2) is one of the major factors causing global climate change. Urban green space plays a key role in regulating the global carbon cycle and reducing atmospheric CO2. Quantifying the carbon stock, distribution and change of urban green space is vital to understanding the role of urban green space in the urban environment. Remote sensing is a valuable and effective tool for monitoring and estimating aboveground carbon (AGC) stock in large areas. In the present study, different remotely-sensed vegetation indices (VIs) were used to develop a regression equation between VI and AGC stock of urban green space, and the best fit model was then used to estimate the AGC stock of urban green space within the beltways of Xi’an city for the years 2004 and 2010. A map of changes in the spatial distribution patterns of AGC stock was plotted and the possible causes of these changes were analyzed. Results showed that Normalized Difference Vegetation Index (NDVI) correlated moderately well with AGC stock in urban green space. The Difference Vegetation Index (DVI), Ratio Vegetation Index (RVI), Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (SAVI), Modified Soil Adjusted Vegetation Index (MSAVI) and Renormalized Difference Vegetative Index (RDVI) were lower correlation coefficients than NDVI. The AGC stock in the urban green space of Xi’an in 2004 and 2010 was 73,843 and 126,621 t, respectively, with an average annual growth of 8,796 t and an average annual growth rate of 11.9%. The carbon densities in 2004 and 2010 were 1.62 and 2.77 t/hm 2, respectively. Precipitation was not an important factor to influence the changes of AGC stock in the urban green space of Xi’an. Policy orientation, major ecological greening projects such as “transplanting big trees into the city” and the World Horticultural Exposition were found to have an important impact on changes in the spatiotemporal patterns of AGC stock.
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Effects of native and invasive Prosopis species on topsoil physiochemical properties in an arid riparian forest of Hormozgan Province, Iran
Maryam MOSLEHI JOUYBARI, Asgahr BIJANI, Hossien PARVARESH, Ross SHACKLETON, Akram AHMADI
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (10): 1099-1108.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0104-y
Abstract42)   HTML4)    PDF (1453KB)(308)      

Biological invasions can alter soil properties within the range of their introduced, leading to impacts on ecosystem services, ecosystem functions, and biodiversity. To better understand the impacts of biological invasions on soil, we compared topsoil physiochemical properties at sites with invasive alien tree species (Prosopis juliflora), native tree species (Prosopis cineraria, Acacia tortilis, and Acacia ehrenbergiana), and mixed tree species in Hormozgan Province of Iran in May 2018. In this study, we collected 40 soil samples at a depth of 10 cm under single tree species, including P. juliflora, P. cineraria, A. tortilis, and A. ehrenbergiana, as well as under mixed tree species. The results showed that organic matter, moisture, potassium, calcium, nitrogen, and magnesium in topsoil at sites with A. tortilis and A. ehrenbergiana growing in combination with P. cineraria were higher than that at sites where P. juliflora was present (P<0.05). Sodium at sites with A. tortilis and A. ehrenbergiana growing in combination with P. cineraria and P. juliflora was lower as compared to that at sites with just A. tortilis and A. ehrenbergiana. Electrical conductivity was lower at sites with A. tortilis and A. ehrenbergiana growing in combination with P. cineraria, and it was higher at sites with mixed Acacia and P. juliflora trees. Based on the generally more positive effect of native Acacia and P. cineraria on topsoil physiochemical properties as compared to the P. julifora, afforestation with native tree species is preferable for soil restoration. In addition, due to the negative effects of P. julifora on soil properties, P. julifora spread should be better managed.

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Seasonal changes in the water-use strategies of three herbaceous species in a native desert steppe of Ningxia, China
HU Haiying, ZHU Lin, LI Huixia, XU Dongmei, XIE Yingzhong
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (2): 109-122.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0051-z
Abstract195)   HTML25)    PDF (1483KB)(891)      

Frequent periods of drought conditions are known to limit plant performance, primary production, and ecosystem stability in arid and semi-arid desert steppe environments. Plants often avoid competition by shifting their water use seasonally, which affects the water-use patterns of dominant species as well as the composition and structure of plant communities. However, the water-use strategies of dominant herbaceous species, which grow under natural field conditions in the desert steppe region of Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China, are poorly known. Here, we explored the possible sources of water uptake and water-use efficiency (WUE) of three dominant herbaceous plant species (Stipa breviflora, Agropyron mongolicum, and Glycyrrhiza uralensis) in a native desert steppe in the semi-arid area of Ningxia through an analysis of multiple parameters, including (1) the stable isotopic oxygen and hydrogen (δ 18O and δ 2H) compositions of precipitation, soil water, and stem water, (2) the carbon isotope ( 13C) composition of leaves, and (3) the soil water contents, based on field sampling across varying water conditions from June to September, 2017. Frequent small precipitation events replenished shallow soil water, whereas large events only percolated down to the deep soil layers. Changes in soil water availability affected the water-use patterns of plants. Generally, during light precipitation periods, the deep root system of G. uralensis accessed deeper (>80 cm) soil water, whereas S. breviflora and A. mongolicum, which only have shallow roots, primarily absorbed water from the shallow and middle soil layers. As precipitation increased, all three plant species primarily obtained water from the shallow soil layers. Variation in soil water uptake between the dry and wet seasons enabled plants to make better use of existing satoil water. In addition, the δ 13C values of G. uralensis and S. breviflora were higher than those of A. mongolicum. The δ 13C values of the three plant species were significantly negatively correlated with soil water content. Therefore, G. uralensis and S. breviflora maintained a higher WUE through their conservative and water-saving strategies across the entire growing season. In contrast, A. mongolicum, with a relatively low WUE in the wet season but a high WUE in the dry season, exhibited a more flexible water-use strategy. The different water-use strategies of these dominant plant species demonstrated the mechanisms by which plant communities can respond to drought.

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Mulching mode and planting density affect canopy interception loss of rainfall and water use efficiency of dryland maize on the Loess Plateau of China
Jing ZHENG, Junliang FAN, Fucang ZHANG, Shicheng YAN, Jinjin GUO, Dongfeng CHEN, Zhijun LI
Journal of Arid Land    2018, 10 (5): 794-808.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-018-0122-y
Abstract512)   HTML7)    PDF (768KB)(1261)      

High and efficient use of limited rainwater resources is of crucial importance for the crop production in arid and semi-arid areas.To investigate the effects of different soil and crop management practices (i.e., mulching mode treatments: flat cultivation with non-mulching, flat cultivation with straw mulching, plastic-covered ridge with bare furrow and plastic-covered ridge with straw-covered furrow; and planting density treatments: low planting density of 45,000 plants/hm2, medium planting density of 67,500 plants/hm2 and high planting density of 90,000 plants/hm2) on rainfall partitioning by dryland maize canopy, especially the resulted net rainfall input beneath the maize canopy, we measured the gross rainfall, throughfall and stemflow at different growth stages of dryland maize in 2015 and 2016 on the Loess Plateau of China. The canopy interception loss was estimated by the water balance method. Soil water storage, leaf area index, grain yield (as well as it components) and water use efficiency of dryland maize were measured or calculated. Results showed that the cumulative throughfall, cumulative stemflow and cumulativecanopy interception loss during the whole growing season accounted for 42.3%-77.5%, 15.1%-36.3% and 7.4%-21.4% of the total gross rainfall under different treatments, respectively. Soil mulching could promote the growth and development of dryland maize and enhance the capability of stemflow production and canopy interception loss, thereby increasing the relative stemflow and relative canopy interception loss and reducing the relative throughfall. The relative stemflow and relative canopy interception loss generally increased with increasing planting density, while the relative throughfall decreased with increasing planting density. During the two experimental years, mulching mode had no significant influence on net rainfall due to the compensation between throughfall and stemflow, whereas planting density significantly affected net rainfall. The highest grain yield and water use efficiency of dryland maize were obtained under the combination of medium planting density of 67,500 plants/hm2 and mulching mode of plastic-covered ridge with straw-covered furrow. Soil mulching can reduce soil evaporation and retain more soil water for dryland maize without reducing the net rainfall input beneath the maize canopy, which may alleviate the contradiction between high soil water consumption and insufficient rainfall input of the soil. In conclusion, the application of medium planting density (67,500 plants/hm2) under plastic-covered ridge with bare furrow is recommended for increasing dryland maize production on the Loess Plateau of China.

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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
Abstract178)   HTML20)    PDF (1407KB)(469)      

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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Vertical root distribution and root cohesion of typical tree species on the Loess Plateau, China
ChaoBo ZHANG, LiHua CHEN, Jing JIANG
Journal of Arid Land    2014, 6 (5): 601-611.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-014-0004-x
Abstract2067)      PDF (986KB)(2945)      
Black locust ( Robinia pseudoacacia L.) and Chinese pine ( Pinus tabulaeformis Carr.) are two woody plants that are widely planted on the Loess Plateau for controlling soil erosion and land desertification. In this study, we conducted an excavation experiment in 2008 to investigate the overall vertical root distribution characteristics of black locust and Chinese pine. We also performed triaxial compression tests to evaluate the root cohesion (additional soil cohesion increased by roots) of black locust. Two types of root distribution, namely, vertical root (VR) and horizontal root (HR), were used as samples and tested under four soil water content (SWC) conditions (12.7%, 15.0%, 18.0% and 20.0%, respectively). Results showed that the root lengths of the two species were mainly concentrated in the root diameter of 5–20 mm. A comparison of root distribution between the two species indicated that the root length of black locust was significantly greater than that of Chinese pine in nearly all root diameters, although the black locust used in the comparison was 10 years younger than the Chinese pine. Root biomass was also significantly greater in black locust than in Chinese pine, particularly in the root diameters of 3–5 and 5–10 mm. These two species were both found to be deep-rooted. The triaxial compression tests showed that root cohesion was greater in the VR samples than in the HR samples. SWC was negatively related to both soil shear strength and root cohesion. These results could provide useful information on the architectural characteristics of woody root system and expand the knowledge on shallow slope stabilization and soil erosion control by plant roots on the Loess Plateau.
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Estimation of spatial and temporal changes in net primary production based on Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach (CASA) model in semi-arid rangelands of SemiromCounty, Iran
HADIAN Fatemeh, JAFARI Reza, BASHARI Hossein, TARTESH Mostafa, D CLARKE Kenneth
Journal of Arid Land    2019, 11 (4): 477-494.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0060-3
Abstract349)   HTML39)    PDF (1966KB)(824)      

Net primary production (NPP) is an indicator of rangeland ecosystem function. This research assessed the potential of the Carnegie Ames Stanford Approach (CASA) model for estimating NPP and its spatial and temporal changes in semi-arid rangelands of Semirom County, Iran. Using CASA model, we estimated the NPP values based on monthly climate data and the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) obtained from the MODIS sensor. Regression analysis was then applied to compare the estimated production data with observed production data. The spatial and temporal changes in NPP and light utilization efficiency (LUE) were investigated in different rangeland vegetation types. The standardized precipitation index (SPI) was also calculated at different time scales and the correlation of SPI with NPP changes was determined. The results indicated that the estimated NPP values varied from 0.00 to 74.48 g C/(m2?a). The observed and estimated NPP values had different correlations, depending on rangeland conditions and vegetation types. The highest and lowest correlations were respectively observed in Astragalus spp.-Agropyronspp. rangeland (R2=0.75) with good condition and Gundeliaspp.-Cousiniaspp. rangeland (R2=0.36) with poor and very poor conditions. The maximum and minimum LUE values were found in Astragalus spp.-Agropyronspp. rangeland (0.117 g C/MJ) with good condition and annual grasses-annual forbs rangeland (0.010 g C/MJ), respectively. According to the correlations between SPI and NPP changes, the effects of drought periods on NPP depended on vegetation types and rangeland conditions. Annual plants had the highest drought sensitivity while shrubs exhibited the lowest drought sensitivity. The positive effects of wet periods on NPP were less evident in degraded areas where the destructive effects of drought were more prominent. Therefore, determining vegetation types and rangeland conditions is essential in NPP estimation. The findings of this study confirmed the potential of the CASA for estimating rangeland production. Therefore, the model output maps can be used to evaluate, monitor and optimize rangeland management in semi-arid rangelands of Iran where MODIS NPP products are not available.

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Dieback intensity but not functional and taxonomic diversity indices predict forest productivity in different management conditions: Evidence from a semi-arid oak forest ecosystem
Mona KARAMI, Mehdi HEYDARI, Ali SHEYKHOLESLAMI, Majid ESHAGH NIMVARI, Reza OMIDIPOUR, YUAN Zuoqiang, Bernard PREVOSTO
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (2): 225-244.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0006-z
Abstract70)   HTML5)    PDF (2332KB)(458)      

The relationships between different aspects of diversity (taxonomic, structural and functional) and the aboveground biomass (AGB) as a major component of global carbon balance have been studied extensively but rarely under the simultaneous influence of forest dieback and management. In this study, we investigate the relationships between taxonomic, functional and structural diversity of woody species (trees and shrubs) and AGB along a gradient of dieback intensity (low, moderate, high and no dieback as control) under two contrasted management conditions (protection by central government vs. traditional management by natives) in a semi-arid oak (Quercus brantii Lindl.) forest ecosystem. AGB was estimated and taxonomic diversity, community weighted average (CWM) and functional divergence indices were produced. We found that the aerial biomass was significantly higher in the intensively used area (14.57 (±1.60) t/hm2) than in the protected area (8.70 (±1.05) t/hm2) due to persistence of some large trees but with decreasing values along the dieback intensity gradient in both areas. CWM of height (H), leaf nitrogen content (LNC) and leaf dry matter content (LDMC) were also higher in the traditional managed area than in the protected area. In contrast, in the protected area, the woody species diversity was higher and the inter-specific competition was more intense, explaining a reduced H, biomass and LDMC. Contrary to the results of CWM, none of the functional diversity traits (FDvar) was affected by dieback intensity and only FDvar values of LNC, leaf phosphorus content (LPC) and LDMC were influenced by management. We also found significantly positive linear relationships of AGB with CWM and FDvar indices in the protected area, and with taxonomic and structural diversity indices in the traditional managed area. These results emphasize that along a dieback intensity gradient, the leaf functional traits are efficient predictors in estimating the AGB in protected forests, while taxonomic and structural indices provide better results in forests under a high human pressure. Finally, species identity of the dominant species (i.e., Brant's oak) proves to be the main driver of AGB, supporting the selection effect hypothesis.

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Adjustment of precipitation measurements using Total Rain weighing Sensor (TRwS) gauges in the cryospheric hydrometeorology observation (CHOICE) system of the Qilian Mountains, Northwest China
ZHAO Yanni, CHEN Rensheng, HAN Chuntan, WANG Lei
Journal of Arid Land    2022, 14 (3): 310-324.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0010-3
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Precipitation is one of the most important indicators of climate data, but there are many errors in precipitation measurements due to the influence of climatic conditions, especially those of solid precipitation in alpine mountains and at high latitude areas. The measured amount of precipitation in those areas is frequently less than the actual amount of precipitation. To understand the impact of climatic conditions on precipitation measurements in the mountainous areas of Northwest China and the applicability of different gauges in alpine mountains, we established a cryospheric hydrometeorology observation (CHOICE) system in 2008 in the Qilian Mountains, which consists of six automated observation stations located between 2960 and 4800 m a.s.l. Total Rain weighing Sensor (TRwS) gauges tested in the World Meteorological Organization-Solid Precipitation Intercomparison Experiment (WMO-SPICE) were used at observation stations with the CHOICE system. To study the influence of climatic conditions on different types of precipitation measured by the TRwS gauges, we conducted an intercomparison experiment of precipitation at Hulu-1 station that was one of the stations in the CHOICE system. Moreover, we tested the application of transfer functions recommended by the WMO-SPICE at this station using the measurement data from a TRwS gauge from August 2016 to December 2020 and computed new coefficients for the same transfer functions that were more appropriate for the dataset from Hulu-1 station. The new coefficients were used to correct the precipitation measurements of other stations in the CHOICE system. Results showed that the new parameters fitted to the local dataset had better correction results than the original parameters. The environmental conditions of Hulu-1 station were very different from those of observation stations that provided datasets to create the transfer functions. Thus, root-mean-square error (RMSE) of solid and mixed precipitation corrected by the original parameters increased significantly by the averages of 0.135 (353%) and 0.072 mm (111%), respectively. RMSE values of liquid, solid and mixed precipitation measurements corrected by the new parameters decreased by 6%, 20% and 13%, respectively. In addition, the new parameters were suitable for correcting precipitation at other five stations in the CHOICE system. The relative precipitation (RP) increment of different types of precipitation increased with rising altitude. The average RP increment value of snowfall at six stations was the highest, reaching 7%, while that of rainfall was the lowest, covering 3%. Our results confirmed that the new parameters could be used to correct precipitation measurements of the CHOICE system.

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Climate change and its impacts on mountain glaciers during 1960-2017 in western China
Yinge LIU, Ninglian WANG, Junhui ZHANG, Lingang WANG
Journal of Arid Land    2019, 11 (4): 537-550.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0025-6
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Mountain glaciers are highly sensitive to climate change. In this paper, we systematically analyzed and discussed the responses of glaciers to climate change during 1960-2017 in western China by the methods of least squares and correlation analysis. Results show that the maximum temperature, minimum temperature, average temperature, and precipitation significantly increased in western China at the rates of 0.32°C/10a, 0.48°C/10a, 0.39°C/10a, and 11.20 mm/10a, respectively. However, the wind speed, hours of sunshine, snowfall, and snowy days displayed decreasing trends at the rates of -0.53 m/(s?10a), 3.72 h/10a, -2.90 mm/10a, and -0.10 d/10a, respectively. The annual percentage of glacier area decreased by approximately 0.42%, and the average glacier area decreased by 2.76 km2/a. Meanwhile, glacial shrinkages were greater in the Altay Mountains, Tanggula Mountains, and Qilian Mountains than in the other mountainous regions. Glacier accumulation decreased while melt volume increased at a rate of 2.7×104 m3/a. The area of melt volume was 1.3 times that of the glacier accumulation area. The glacier mass balance (GMB) decreased substantially at a rate of -14.0 mm/a, whereas the equilibrium line altitude (ELA) showed an increasing trend at a rate of 0.5 mm/a. After 1997, the mass was smaller than -500.0 mm, indicating a huge loss in glaciers. Furthermore, relationships between ELA and GMB and various climatic factors were established. Temperature and precipitation demonstrated a significantly negative correlation, whereas wind speed and snowy days had significantly positive correlations with GMB. Snowy days also exhibited a remarkably negative correlation with ELA. The strong warming trend and less snowy days were thought to be the main factors leading to glacial melting, whereas the increase in precipitation, and reductions of sunshine hours and wind speed might slow glacial melting.

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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
Abstract3549)      PDF (343KB)(4854)      
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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Efficiency of soil and water conservation practices in different agro-ecological environments in the Upper Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopia
DagnenetSULTAN, TSUNEKAWA Atsushi, HAREGEWEYN Nigussie, ADGO Enyew, TSUBO Mitsuru, T MESHESHA Derege, MASUNAGA Tsugiyuki, AKLOG Dagnachew, A FENTA Ayele, EBABU Kindiye
Journal of Arid Land    2018, 10 (2): 249-263.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-018-0097-8
Abstract711)   HTML11)    PDF (662KB)(1310)      

In developing countries such as Ethiopia, research to develop and promote soil and water conservation practices rarely addressed regional diversity. Using a water-balance approach in this study, we used runoff plots from three sites, each representing a different agro-ecological environment, e.g.,high, mid and low in both elevation and rainfall, in the Upper Blue Nile Basin of Ethiopiato examine the runoff response and runoff conservation efficiency of a range of different soil and water conservation measures and their impacts on soil moisture. The plots at each site represented common land use types (cultivated vs. non-agricultural land use types) and slopes (gentle and steep). Seasonal runoff from control plots in the highlands ranged 214-560 versus 253-475 mm at midlands and 119-200 mm at lowlands. The three soil and water conservation techniques applied in cultivated land increased runoff conservation efficiency by 32% to 51%, depending on the site. At the moist subtropical site in a highland region, soil and water conservation increased soil moisture enough to potentially cause waterlogging, which was absent at the low-rainfall sites. Soil bunds combined with Vetiveriazizanioides grass in cultivated land and short trenches in grassland conserved the most runoff (51% and 55%, respectively). Runoff responses showed high spatial variation within and between land use types, causing high variation in soil and water conservation efficiency. Our results highlight the need to understand the role of the agro-ecological environment in the success of soil and water conservation measures to control runoff and hydrological dynamics. This understanding will support policy development to promote the adoption of suitable techniques that can be tested at other locations with similar soil, climatic, and topographic conditions.

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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
Abstract169)   HTML15)    PDF (4002KB)(473)      

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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A remote sensing-based agricultural drought indicator and its implementation over a semi-arid region, Jordan
HAZAYMEH Khaled, K HASSAN Quazi
Journal of Arid Land    2017, 9 (3): 319-330.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0014-6
Abstract895)   HTML7)    PDF (463KB)(2421)      

The objective of the study was to develop a remote sensing (i.e., Landsat-8 and MODIS)-based agricultural drought indicator (ADI) at 30-m spatial resolution and 8-day temporal resolution and also to evaluate its performance over a heterogeneous agriculture dominant semi-arid region in Jordan. Firstly, we used principal component analysis (PCA) to evaluate the correlations among six commonly used remote sensing-derived agricultural drought related variables. The variables included normalized difference water index (NDWI), normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), visible and shortwave drought index (VSDI), normalized multiband drought index (NMDI), moisture stress index (MSI), and land surface temperature (LST). Secondly, we integrated the relatively less correlated variables (that were found to be NDWI, VSDI, and LST) to generate four agricultural drought categories/conditions (i.e., wet, mild drought, moderate drought, and severe drought). Finally, we evaluated the ADI maps against a set of 8-day ground-based standardized precipitation index values (i.e., SPI-1, SPI-2, …, SPI-8) by use of confusion matrices and observed the best results for SPI-4 (i.e., overall accuracy and Kappa-values were 83% and 76%, respectively) and SPI-5 (i.e., overall accuracy and Kappa-values were 85% and 78%, respectively). The results demonstrated that the method would be valuable for monitoring agricultural drought conditions in semi-arid regions at both a reasonably high spatial resolution (i.e., 30-m) and a short time period (i.e., 8-day).

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Derivation of salt content in salinized soil from hyperspectral reflectance data: A case study at Minqin Oasis, Northwest China
Tana QIAN, TSUNEKAWA Atsushi, Fei PENG, TsugiyukiMASUNAGA, Tao WANG, Rui LI
Journal of Arid Land    2019, 11 (1): 111-122.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0091-9
Abstract257)   HTML6)    PDF (836KB)(770)      

Soil salinization is a serious ecological and environmental problem because it adversely affects sustainable development worldwide, especially in arid and semi-aridregions. It is crucial and urgent that advanced technologies are used to efficiently and accurately assess the status of salinization processes. Case studies to determine the relations between particular types of salinization and their spectral reflectances are essential because of the distinctive characteristics of the reflectance spectra of particular salts. During April 2015 we collected surface soil samples (0-10 cm depth) at 64 field sites in the downstream area of Minqin Oasis in Northwest China, an area that is undergoing serious salinization. We developed a linear model for determination of salt content in soil from hyperspectral data as follows. First, we undertook chemical analysis of the soil samples to determine their soluble salt contents. We then measured the reflectance spectra of the soil samples, which we post-processed using a continuum-removed reflectance algorithm to enhance the absorption features and better discriminate subtle differences in spectral features. We applied a normalized difference salinity index to the continuum-removed hyperspectral data to obtain all possible waveband pairs. Correlation of the indices obtained for all of the waveband pairs with the wavebands corresponding to measured soil salinities showed that two wavebands centred at wavelengths of 1358 and 2382 nm had the highest sensitivity to salinity. We then applied the linear regression modelling to the data from half of the soil samples to develop a soil salinity index for the relationshipsbetween wavebands and laboratory measured soluble salt content. We used the hyperspectral data from the remaining samples to validate the model. The salt content in soil from Minqin Oasis were well produced by themodel. Our results indicate that wavelengths at 1358 and 2382 nm are the optimal wavebands for monitoring the concentrations of chlorine and sulphate compounds, the predominant salts at Minqin Oasis. Our modelling provides a reference for future case studies on the use of hyperspectral data for predictive quantitative estimation of salt content in soils in arid regions. Further research is warranted on the application of this method to remotely sensed hyperspectral data to investigate its potential use for large-scale mapping of the extent and severity of soil salinity.

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Biomass and carbon stocks in three types of Persian oak ( Quercus brantii var. persica) of Zagros forests in a semi-arid area, Iran
Ali MAHDAVI, Soghra SAIDI, Yaghob IRANMANESH, Mostafa NADERI
Journal of Arid Land    2020, 12 (5): 766-774.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0027-4
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Persian oak (Quercus brantii var. persica) is a dominant tree species of Zagros forests in a semi-arid area, western Iran. However, the capacity of biomass and carbon stocks of these forests is not well studied. We selected three types of oak, i.e., seed-originated oak, coppice oak and mixed (seed-originated and coppice) oak of Zagros forests in Dalab valley, Ilam Province, Iran to survey the capacity of biomass and carbon stocks in 2018. Thirty plots with an area of 1000 m2 were systematically and randomly assigned to each type of oak. Quantitative characteristics of trees, such as diameter at breast height (DBH), height, crown diameter and the number of sprouts in each plot were measured. Then, aboveground biomass (AGB), belowground biomass (BGB), aboveground carbon stock (AGCS) and belowground carbon stock (BGCS) of each tree in plots were calculated using allometric equations. The litterfall biomass (LFB) and litterfall carbon stock (LFCS) were measured in a quadrat with 1 m×1 m in each plot. One-way analysis of variance and Duncan's test were performed to detect the differences in biomass and carbon stocks among three types of oak. Results showed that AGB, BGB and BGCS were significantly different among three types of oak. The highest values of AGB, AGCS, BGB and BGCS in seed-originated oak were 76,043.25, 14,725.55, 36,737.79 and 7362.77 kg/hm2, respectively. Also, the highest values of LFB and LFCS in seed-originated oak were 3298.33 and 1520.48 kg/hm2, respectively, which were significantly higher than those of the other two types of oak. The results imply the significant role of seed-originated oak for the regeneration of Zagros forests. Further conservation strategy of seed-originated oak is an important step in the sustainable management of Zagros forests in Iran.

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Predicting of dust storm source by combining remote sensing, statistic-based predictive models and game theory in the Sistan watershed, southwestern Asia
Mahdi BOROUGHANI, Sima POURHASHEMI, Hamid GHOLAMI, Dimitris G KASKAOUTIS
Journal of Arid Land    2021, 13 (11): 1103-1121.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0023-3
Abstract103)   HTML10)    PDF (2110KB)(497)      

Dust storms in arid and desert areas affect radiation budget, air quality, visibility, enzymatic activities, agricultural products and human health. Due to increased drought and land use changes in recent years, the frequency of dust storms occurrence in Iran has been increased. This study aims to identify dust source areas in the Sistan watershed (Iran-Afghanistan borders)-an important regional source for dust storms in southwestern Asia, using remote sensing (RS) and bivariate statistical models. Furthermore, this study determines the relative importance of factors controlling dust emissions using frequency ratio (FR) and weights of evidence (WOE) models and interpretability of predictive models using game theory. For this purpose, we identified 211 dust sources in the study area and generated a dust source distribution map-inventory map-by dust source potential index based on RS data. In addition, spatial maps of topographic factors affecting dust source areas including soil, lithology, slope, Normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI), geomorphology and land use were prepared. The performance of two models (WOE and FR) was evaluated using the area under curve (AUC) of the receiver operating characteristic curve. The results showed that soil, geomorphology and slope exhibited the greatest influence in the dust source areas. The 55.3% (according to FR) and 62.6% (according to WOE) of the total area were classified as high and very high potential dust sources, while both models displayed acceptable accuracy with subsurface levels of 0.704 for FR and 0.751 for WOE, although they predict different fractions of dust potential classes. Based on Shapley additive explanations (SHAP), three factors, i.e., soil, slope and NDVI have the highest impact on the model's output. Overall, combination of statistic-based predictive models (or data mining models), RS and game theory techniques can provide accurate maps of dust source areas in arid and semi-arid regions, which can be helpful for mitigation of negative effects of dust storms.

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