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04 May 2017, Volume 9 Issue 3 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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Orginal Article
Erratum to: Effects of freeze-thaw on soil erosion processes and sediment selectivity under simulatedrainfall
Tian WANG, Peng LI, Zongping REN, Guoce XU, Zhanbin Li, Yuanyuan YANG, Shanshan TANG, Jingwei YAO
Journal of Arid Land. 2017, 9 (3): 471-471.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0018-2
Abstract ( 249 )   HTML ( 128 )  
A remote sensing-based agricultural drought indicator and its implementation over a semi-arid region, Jordan
Journal of Arid Land. 2017, 9 (3): 319-330.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0014-6
Abstract ( 927 )   HTML ( 180 )     PDF (463KB) ( 2584 )  

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).

Sand particle lift-off velocity measurements and numerical simulation of mass flux distributions in a wind tunnel
Fengjun XIAO, Zhibao DONG, Liejin GUO, Yueshe WANG, Debiao LI
Journal of Arid Land. 2017, 9 (3): 331-344.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0096-1
Abstract ( 776 )   HTML ( 1 )     PDF (704KB) ( 1468 )  

Lift-off velocity of saltating sand particles in wind-blown sand located at 1.0 mm above the sand bed surface was measured using a phase Doppler particle analyzer in a wind tunnel. The results show that the probability distribution of lift-off velocity can be expressed as a lognormal function, while that of lift-off angle follows an exponential function. The probability distribution of lift-off angle conditioned for each lift-off velocity also follows an exponential function, with a slope that becomes steeper with increasing lift-off velocity. This implies that the probability distribution of lift-off velocity is strongly dependent on the lift-off angle. However, these lift-off parameters are generally treated as an independent joint probability distribution in the literature. Numerical simulations were carried out to investigate the effects of conditional versus independent joint probability distributions on the vertical sand mass flux distribution. The simulation results derived from the conditional joint probability distribution agree much better with experimental data than those from the independent ones. Thus, it is better to describe the lift-off velocity of saltating sand particles using the conditional joint probability distribution. These results improve our understanding of saltation processes in wind-blown sand.

Crop yields and soil organic carbon dynamics in a long-term fertilization experiment in an extremely arid region of northern Xinjiang, China
Jinling LYU, Hua LIU, Xihe WANG, OLAVE Rodrigo, Changyan TIAN, Xuejun LIU
Journal of Arid Land. 2017, 9 (3): 345-354.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0097-0
Abstract ( 878 )   HTML ( 1 )     PDF (426KB) ( 1594 )  

A long-term fertilization experiment was set up in northern Xinjiang, China to evaluate the dynamics of crop production and soil organic carbon (SOC) from 1990 to 2012 with seven fertilization treatments. The seven treatments included an unfertilized control (CK) and six different combinations of phosphorus (P), potassium (K), nitrogen (N), straw (S) and animal manure (M). The balanced fertilization treatments had significantly (P<0.05) higher average yields than the unbalanced ones. The treatment with 2/3 N from potassium sulfate (NPK) and 1/3 N from farmyard manure (NPKM) had a higher average yield than the other treatments. The average yields (over the 23 years) in the treatments of NPK, and urea, calcium superphosphate (NP) did not differ significantly (P>0.05) but were higher than that in the treatment with urea and potassium sulfate (NK; P<0.05). The results also show that the highest increases in SOC (P<0.05) occurred in NPKM with a potential increase of 1.2 t C/(hm2?a). The increase in SOC was only 0.31, 0.30 and 0.12 t C/(hm2?a) for NPKS (9/10 N from NPK and 1/10 N from straw), NPK and NP, respectively; and the SOC in the NP, NK and CK treatments were approaching equilibrium and so did not rise or fall significantly over the 23-year experiment. A complete NPK plus manure fertilization program is recommended for this extremely arid region to maximize both yields and carbon sequestration.

Characteristics of soil seed banks at different geomorphic positions within the longitudinal sand dunes of the Gurbantunggut Desert, China
Fengqin JIA, TIYIP Tashpolat, Nan WU, Changyan TIAN, Yuanming ZHANG
Journal of Arid Land. 2017, 9 (3): 355-367.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0055-x
Abstract ( 776 )   HTML ( 1 )     PDF (343KB) ( 1453 )  

Understanding the characteristics of soil seed banks in sand dunes is crucial to stabilize the dune systems and maintain the plant populations in deserts. In this study, we conducted a survey investigation in the field and a seed germination experiment in the laboratory to explore the characteristics of soil seed banks at various geomorphic positions of longitudinal sand dunes in the Gurbantunggut Desert, China. Totally, 17 plant species belonging to 17 genera and 9 families were identified in soil seed banks, and 35 plant species belonging to 34 genera and 17 families were identified in aboveground vegetation. Plant species richness in soil seed banks decreased with increasing soil depth. The highest species richness was presented in the upper slope of the windward slope and the lowest species richness was presented in the base of the windward slope. There was no significant difference in seed density of soil seed banks among the examined seven geomorphic positions. The highest seed density occurred in the lower slope of the leeward slope while the lowest occurred in the crest. Moreover, seed density decreased with increasing soil depth, being the highest in the upper soil layer (0-2 cm). For both soil seed banks and aboveground vegetation, there was no significant difference in Simpson’s diversity index among the seven geomorphic positions; however, Shannon-Wiener diversity index and Pielou’s evenness index showed significant differences among the seven geomorphic positions. Those results showed that although there was no significant difference in seed density of soil seed banks among the seven geomorphic positions, the geomorphic positions significantly affected the species richness, diversity and distribution of soil seed banks. Therefore, understanding the characteristics of soil seed banks at different geomorphic positions of sand dunes is essential to vegetation restoration or reestablishment. Furthermore, the Jaccard’s similarity coefficients of plant species between soil seed banks and aboveground vegetation at the seven geomorphic positions were low, suggesting that vegetation restoration or reestablishment processes should be promoted through adding seeds to surface layers.

Effects of vegetation patterns and environmental factors on woody regeneration in semi-arid oak-dominated forests of western Iran
JAVAD Mirzaei, MEHDI Heydari, PREVOSTO Bernard
Journal of Arid Land. 2017, 9 (3): 368-378.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0013-7
Abstract ( 719 )   HTML ( 2 )     PDF (375KB) ( 1446 )  

This study assesses the effects of vegetation patterns and environmental factors on the abundance of natural tree and shrub regeneration in semi-arid forests of the Zagros Mountains, western Iran. We sampled 120 releves at different topographic positions in a protected area of the studied region. Floristic composition, slope, elevation and soil properties were recorded at each releve, and woody seedling density was measured. We have first discerned five floristic groups using two-way indicator species analysis (TWINSPAN), detrended correspondence analysis (DCA), and canonical correspondence analysis (CCA) and then explored the relationships among the floristic group compositions, environmental factors and seedling densities. The indicator species of the five groups were Quercus brantii, Acer monspessulanum, Cerasus microcarpa, Rhamnus arvensis and Astragalus licyoides. Our results indicated that these groups were significantly affected by elevation and soil properties and the soil properties refer to: EC (electrical conductivity), N (nitrogen), K (potassium), OM (organic matter), and bulk density. Woody regeneration was composed of Q. brantii, A. monspessulanum, C. microcarpa, Amygdalus scoparia and Crataegus pontica seedlings. The highest density of seedlings was found for Q. brantii (97.14 (±48.00) plants/hm2) and the lowest for A. scoparia (2.28 (±1.50) plants/hm2). Quercus brantii was the dominant species and the seedling density was positively correlated with soil pH and P (phosphorus) values. Amygdalus scoparia regeneration was negatively correlated with elevation, and the seedling density peaked in C. microcarpa group. There was no significant variation in distribution of C. pontica seedlings among the groups, but the seedling density of this species was positively correlated with slope and K. Cerasus microcarpa seedlings were more abundant in the Q. brantii group than in other groups. This study showed that the regeneration of tree and shrub species was unequally distributed in different floristic groups for some species (A. scoparia and C. microcarpa) but not for other (Q. brantii and C. pontica) and was generally correlated with some environmental factors, particularly elevation, slope and soil nutrients (P and K). These results are a first step to implement future management and restoration strategies for promoting forest regeneration.

Spatial pattern of plant species diversity and the influencing factors in a Gobi Desert within the Heihe River Basin, Northwest China
Pingping ZHANG, Ming’an SHAO, Xingchang ZHANG
Journal of Arid Land. 2017, 9 (3): 379-393.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0056-9
Abstract ( 755 )   HTML ( 4 )     PDF (394KB) ( 1414 )  

Understanding the spatial pattern of plant species diversity and the influencing factors has important implications for the conservation and management of ecosystem biodiversity. The transitional zone between biomes in desert ecosystems, however, has received little attention in that regard. In this study, we conducted a quantitative field survey (including 187 sampling plots) in a 40-km2 study area to determine the spatial pattern of plant species diversity and analyze the influencing factors in a Gobi Desert within the Heihe River Basin, Northwest China. A total of 42 plant species belonging to 16 families and 39 genera were recorded. Shrub and semi-shrub species generally represented the major part of the plant communities (covering 90% of the land surface), while annual and perennial herbaceous species occupied a large proportion of the total recorded species (71%). Patrick richness index (R), Shannon-Wiener diversity index (H'), Simpson’s dominance index (D), and Pielou’s evenness index (J) were all moderately spatially variable, and the variability increased with increasing sampling area. The semivariograms for R and H' were best fitted with Gaussian models while the semivariograms for D and J were best fitted with exponential models. Nugget-to-still ratios indicated a moderate spatial autocorrelation for R, H', and D while a strong spatial autocorrelation was observed for J. The spatial patterns of R and H' were closely related to the geographic location within the study area, with lower values near the oasis and higher values near the mountains. However, there was an opposite trend for D. R, H', and D were significantly correlated with elevation, soil texture, bulk density, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and total porosity (P<0.05). Generally speaking, locations at higher elevations tended to have higher species richness and diversity and the higher elevations were characterized by higher values in sand and gravel contents, bulk density, and saturated hydraulic conductivity and also by lower values in total porosity. Furthermore, spatial variability of plant species diversity was dependent on the sampling area.

Spatial and temporal variations of vegetation cover and the relationships with climate factors in Inner Mongolia based on GIMMS NDVI3g data
Siqin TONG, Jiquan ZHANG, Yuhai BAO, Wurina, Terigele, Weilisi, Lianxiao
Journal of Arid Land. 2017, 9 (3): 394-407.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0016-4
Abstract ( 861 )   HTML ( 2 )     PDF (1069KB) ( 1953 )  

Variation in vegetation cover in Inner Mongolia has been previously studied by the remote sensing data spanning only one decade. However, spatial and temporal variations in vegetation cover based on the newly released GIMMS NDVI3g data spanning nearly thirty years have yet to be analyzed. In this study, we applied the methods of the maximum value composite (MVC) and Pearson’s correlation coefficient to analyze the variations of vegetation cover in Inner Mongolia based on GIMMS NDVI3g data spanning from 1982 to 2013. Our results indicate that the normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) increased at a rate of 0.0003/a during the growing seasons despite of the drier and hotter climate in Inner Mongolia during the past three decades. We also found that vegetation cover in the southern agro-pastoral zone significantly increased, while it significantly decreased in the central Alxa. The variations in vegetation cover were not significant in the eastern and central regions. NDVI is positively correlated with precipitation (r=0.617, P=0.000) and also with air temperature (r=0.425, P=0.015), but the precipitation had a greater effect than the air temperature on the vegetation variations in Inner Mongolia.

aloxylon ammodendron (Amaranthaceae) fruit development delay caused by post-flowering non-inductive photoperiod
Cai REN, Tian YU, Guanghang QU, Shuang WANG, Ze WANG, MIJITI Abudoukeyumu, Hua ZHANG, Lin MA, Xiaoling HE, Hao MA
Journal of Arid Land. 2017, 9 (3): 408-418.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0093-4
Abstract ( 840 )   HTML ( 2 )     PDF (304KB) ( 1133 )  

Haloxylon ammodendron (C. A. Mey.) is one of the economically and ecologically important desert trees used for sand fixation. The ovary of H. ammodendron is found not to swell after flowering in spring until at the end of August or early September in western China. However, what happens for ovary at anatomic level in that period and which crucial ecological factor regulates the phenomenon of H. ammodendron have not been fully understood. To characterize the phenomenon and explore the crucial environmental regulating factors, we carried out the morphological and anatomic observations at the different development stages of the fruits and three single-factor experiments (low air temperature, sufficient soil moisture, and short day length). Our results showed that under the natural conditions, the ovary of H. ammodendron after flowering developed slowly and the morphological changes of fruits were not significant for the period from May to August and after late August or early September; and then the ovary developed rapidly and matured in October. Cell division in embryo was observed to start approximately 25 days after flowering (DAF) and just developed to globular embryo stage at mid-August. Photoperiod was identified as the pivotal environmental factor regulating the fruit development of H. ammodendron. Moreover, the threshold value of day length for the fruit development was 14.0 h. A long day (>14.0 h) treatment began from 5 DAF could delay fruit development of H. ammodendron while a short day (<14.0 h) treatment could accelerate it. Moreover, a further longer day treatment (>15.0 h) could also delay fruit development even when they had developed for a long time (110 DAF). The present study indicated that H. ammodendron adopted a reproductive strategy of delayed fruit development and this strategy helps it survive and obtain offspring in harsh desert habitats.

Physiological responses of artificial moss biocrusts to dehydration-rehydration process and heat stress on the Loess Plateau, China
Chongfeng BU, Chun WANG, Yongsheng YANG, Li ZHANG, A BOWKER Matthew
Journal of Arid Land. 2017, 9 (3): 419-431.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0057-8
Abstract ( 897 )   HTML ( 2 )     PDF (340KB) ( 1811 )  

Ex-situ cultivation of biological soil crusts (biocrusts) is a promising technology to produce materials that can induce the recovery of biocrusts in the field for the purposes of preventing soil erosion and improving hydrological function in degraded ecosystems. However, the ability of artificially cultivated biocrusts to survive under adverse field conditions, including drought and heat stresses, is still relatively unknown. Mosses can bolster biocrust resistance to the stresses (e.g., drought and heat) and the resistance may be introduced prior to field cultivation. In this study, we subjected the well-developed artificial moss biocrusts (dominant species of Didymodon vinealis (Brid.) Zand.) that we cultivated in the phytotron to a dehydration-rehydration experiment and also a heat stress experiment and measured the activities of protective enzymes (including peroxidase (POD), superoxide dismutase (SOD), and catalase (CAT)) and the contents of osmoregulatory substances (including soluble proteins and soluble sugars) and malondialdehyde (MDA, an indicator of oxidative stress) in the stem and leaf fragments of mosses. The results showed that, during the dehydration process, the activities of protective enzymes and the contents of osmoregulatory substances and MDA gradually increased with increasing duration of drought stress (over 13 days). During the rehydration process, values of these parameters decreased rapidly after 1 d of rehydration. The values then showed a gradual decrease for 5 days, approaching to the control levels. Under heat stress (45°C), the activities of protective enzymes and the content of soluble proteins increased rapidly within 2 h of heat exposure and then decreased gradually with increasing duration of heat exposure. In contrast, the contents of soluble sugars and MDA always increased gradually with increasing duration of heat exposure. This study indicates that artificial moss biocrusts possess a strong drought resistance and this resistance can be enhanced after a gradual dehydration treatment. This study also indicates that artificial moss biocrusts can only resist short-term heat stress (not long-term heat stress). These findings suggest that short-term heat stress or prolonged drought stress could be used to elevate the resistance of artificial moss biocrusts to adverse conditions prior to field reintroduction.

Endophytic bacteria associated with endangered plant Ferula sinkiangensis K. M. Shen in an arid land: diversity and plant growth-promoting traits
Yonghong LIU, Jianwei GUO, Li LI, D ASEM Mipeshwaree, Yongguang ZHANG, A MOHAMAD Osama, SALAM Nimaichand, Wenjun LI
Journal of Arid Land. 2017, 9 (3): 432-445.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0015-5
Abstract ( 840 )   HTML ( 3 )     PDF (608KB) ( 1629 )  

Ferula spp. are traditional medicinal plants found in arid land. Large-scale excavation for extracting bioactive compounds from the plants in arid regions of Xinjiang over the last few years has, however, significantly decreased their distributions. Due to the urgent need for preservation of these plant resources, along with the need of searching for alternative source of the useful metabolites, it is important to screen the endophytic microbial resources associated with the plant Ferula sinkiangensis K. M. Shen. In the study, a total of 125 endophytic bacteria belonging to 3 phyla, 13 orders, 23 families, and 29 genera were isolated based on 16S rRNA gene sequencing data. Among the different isolates, three strains isolated from roots were potential novel species of the genera Porphyrobacter, Paracoccus and Amycolatopsis. In this study, 79.4% and 57.1% of the total isolates were capable of producing indole-3-acetic acid (IAA) and siderophore, respectively. And, 40.6% of the strains inhibit the growth of fungal pathogen Alternaria alternata, 17.2% and 20.2% strains were positive for antagonism against Verticillium dahlia 991 and V. dahlia 7, respectively. These results demonstrated that F. sinkiangensis is a rich reservoir of endophytic bacterial resources with potential for production of biologically important functions such as plant growth-promoting factors.

Degree of coupling and coordination of eco-economic system and the influencing factors: a case study in Yanchi County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, China
Huiling LU, Lihua ZHOU, Yong CHEN, Yiwei AN, Caixia HOU
Journal of Arid Land. 2017, 9 (3): 446-457.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0098-z
Abstract ( 774 )   HTML ( 2 )     PDF (372KB) ( 1727 )  

Based on the statistical data, we analyzed and evaluated the degree of coupling and coordination of the eco-economic system in Yanchi County for the period spanning from 1983 to 2014. The eco-economic system can be divided into socioeconomic and ecological sub-systems and their relationship can reveal the interaction state between the two sub-systems and help the local government to establish a coordinated development mode. An index system was constructed to assess the development of the two sub-systems before the evaluation of the degree of coupling and coordination. The principal component regression analysis was adopted to quantitatively assess the influences of natural, economic and social factors on the degree of coupling and coordination of the eco-economic system. Results showed that, from 1983 to 2014, the development trends of both sub-systems were increasing with the ecological sub-system having more fluctuations. The degree of coupling and coordination of the eco-economic system in the study area increased gradually from 1983 to 2014, but experienced five different development stages from the verge of disorder to favorable coordination. The development of the local social and economic conditions was the most important factor influencing the degree of coupling and coordination. The second most important factor was the financial support from the local government. In addition, the environment protection policies also played undeniable roles. Due to the diversity of the influence factors, the government should take comprehensive measures to promote the sustainable development of the eco-economic system.

Characterizing urban expansion of Korla City and its spatial-temporal patterns using remote sensing and GIS methods
MAIMAITI Bumairiyemu, Jianli DING, SIMAYI Zibibula, KASIMU Alimujiang
Journal of Arid Land. 2017, 9 (3): 458-470.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-017-0099-y
Abstract ( 903 )   HTML ( 3 )     PDF (1895KB) ( 1563 )  

Cities provide spatial contexts for populations and economic activities. Determining the spatial-temporal patterns of urban expansion is of particular significance for regional sustainable development. To achieve a better understanding of the spatial-temporal patterns of urban expansion of Korla City, we explore the urban expansion characteristics of Korla City over the period 1995-2015 by employing Landsat TM/ETM+ images of 1995, 2000, 2005, 2010, and 2015. Urban land use types were classified using the supervised classification method in ENVI 4.5. Urban expansion indices, such as expansion area, expansion proportion, expansion speed, expansion intensity, compactness, and fractal dimension, were calculated. The spatial-temporal patterns and evolution process of the urban expansion (e.g., urban gravity center and its direction of movement) were then quantitatively analyzed. The results indicated that, over the past 25 years, the area and proportion of urban land increased substantially with an average annual growth rate of 15.18%. Farmland and unused land were lost greatly due to the urban expansion. This result might be attributable to the rapid population growth and the dramatic economic development in this area. The city extended to the southeast, and the urban gravity center shifted to the southeast as well by about 2118 m. The degree of urban compactness tended to decrease and the fractal dimension index tended to increase, indicating that the spatial pattern of Korla City was becoming loose, complex, and unstable. This study could provide a scientific reference for the studies on urban expansion of oasis cities in arid land.