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10 March 2020, Volume 12 Issue 2 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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Research article
Ridge-furrow plastic mulching with a suitable planting density enhances rainwater productivity, grain yield and economic benefit of rainfed maize
ZHENG Jing, FAN Junliang, ZOU Yufeng, Henry Wai CHAU, ZHANG Fucang
Journal of Arid Land. 2020, 12 (2): 181-198.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0001-1
Abstract ( 168 )   HTML ( 13 )     PDF (805KB) ( 322 )  

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

Coupling between the Grain for Green Program and a household level-based agricultural eco-economic system in Ansai, Shaanxi Province of China
LI Yue, WANG Jijun, HAN Xiaojia, GUO Mancai, CHENG Simin, QIAO Mei, ZHAO Xiaocui
Journal of Arid Land. 2020, 12 (2): 199-214.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0060-3
Abstract ( 115 )   HTML ( 9 )     PDF (442KB) ( 141 )  

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

Responses of plant community to the linkages in plant-soil C:N:P stoichiometry during secondary succession of abandoned farmlands, China
LIU Weichao, FU Shuyue, YAN Shengji, REN Chengjie, WU Shaojun, DENG Jian, LI Boyong, HAN Xinhui, YANG Gaihe
Journal of Arid Land. 2020, 12 (2): 215-226.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0009-6
Abstract ( 118 )   HTML ( 3 )     PDF (385KB) ( 777 )  

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

Relationship between ecological stoichiometry and plant community diversity in the upper reaches of Tarim River, northwestern China
ZHAO Jingjing, GONG Lu, CHEN Xin
Journal of Arid Land. 2020, 12 (2): 227-238.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0020-y
Abstract ( 113 )   HTML ( 3 )     PDF (367KB) ( 164 )  

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

Community structure and carbon and nitrogen storage of sagebrush desert under grazing exclusion in Northwest China
DONG Yiqiang, SUN Zongjiu, AN Shazhou, JIANG Shasha, WEI Peng
Journal of Arid Land. 2020, 12 (2): 239-251.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0123-5
Abstract ( 97 )   HTML ( 7 )     PDF (363KB) ( 155 )  

Overgrazing is regarded as one of the key factors of vegetation and soil degradation in the arid and semi-arid regions of Northwest China. Grazing exclusion (GE) is one of the most common pathways used to restore degraded grasslands and to improve their ecosystem services. Nevertheless, there are still significant controversies concerning GE's effects on grassland diversity as well as carbon (C) and nitrogen (N) storage. It remains poorly understood in the arid desert regions, whilst being essential for the sustainable use of grassland resources. To assess the effects of GE on community characteristics and C and N storage of desert plant community in the arid desert regions, we investigated the community structure and plant biomass, as well as C and N storage of plants and soil (0-100 cm depth) in short-term GE (three years) plots and adjacent long-term freely grazing (FG) plots in the areas of sagebrush desert in Northwest China, which are important both for spring-autumn seasonal pasture and for ecological conservation. Our findings indicated that GE was beneficial to the average height, coverage and aboveground biomass (including stems, leaves and inflorescences, and litter) of desert plant community, to the species richness and importance values of subshrubs and perennial herbs, and to the biomass C and N storage of aboveground parts (P<0.05). However, GE was not beneficial to the importance values of annual herbs, root/shoot ratio and total N concentration in the 0-5 and 5-10 cm soil layers (P<0.05). Additionally, the plant density, belowground biomass, and soil organic C concentration and C storage in the 0-100 cm soil layer could not be significantly changed by short-term GE (three years). The results suggest that, although GE was not beneficial for C sequestration in the sagebrush desert ecosystem, it is an effective strategy for improving productivity, diversity, and C and N storage of plants. As a result, GE can be used to rehabilitate degraded grasslands in the arid desert regions of Northwest China.

Effects of long-term warming on the aboveground biomass and species diversity in an alpine meadow on the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau of China
WEN Jing, QIN Ruimin, ZHANG Shixiong, YANG Xiaoyan, XU Manhou
Journal of Arid Land. 2020, 12 (2): 252-266.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0064-z
Abstract ( 118 )   HTML ( 3 )     PDF (922KB) ( 176 )  

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

Responses of leaf water potential and gas exchange to the precipitation manipulation in two shrubs on the Chinese Loess Plateau
LI Yangyang, CHEN Jiacun, AI Shaoshui, SHI Hui
Journal of Arid Land. 2020, 12 (2): 267-282.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0008-7
Abstract ( 97 )   HTML ( 3 )     PDF (657KB) ( 146 )  

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

Maternal salinity improves yield, size and stress tolerance of Suaeda fruticosa seeds
Syed Z SHAH, Aysha RASHEED, Bilquees GUL, Muhammad A KHAN, Brent L NIELSEN, Abdul HAMEED
Journal of Arid Land. 2020, 12 (2): 283-293.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0054-1
Abstract ( 99 )   HTML ( 2 )     PDF (1014KB) ( 171 )  

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

Snow resisting capacity of Caragana microphylla and Achnatherum splendens in a typical steppe region of Inner Mongolia, China
YAN Min, ZUO Hejun, WANG Haibing, DONG Zhi, LI Gangtie
Journal of Arid Land. 2020, 12 (2): 294-302.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-019-0021-x
Abstract ( 118 )   HTML ( 7 )     PDF (516KB) ( 154 )  

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

Assessing the collapse risk of Stipa bungeana grassland in China based on its distribution changes
QIAO Xianguo, GUO Ke, LI Guoqing, ZHAO Liqing, LI Frank Yonghong, GAO Chenguang
Journal of Arid Land. 2020, 12 (2): 303-317.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0121-7
Abstract ( 123 )   HTML ( 3 )     PDF (588KB) ( 168 )  

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

Prediction of meteorological drought in arid and semi-arid regions using PDSI and SDSM: a case study in Fars Province, Iran
Journal of Arid Land. 2020, 12 (2): 318-330.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0095-5
Abstract ( 435 )   HTML ( 15 )     PDF (921KB) ( 510 )  

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.

Origin and circulation of saline springs in the Kuqa Basin of the Tarim Basin, Northwest China
SHAN Junjie, WANG Jianping, SHAN Fashou, TENG Xueming, FAN Qishun, LI Qingkuan, QIN Zhanjie, ZHANG Xiangru
Journal of Arid Land. 2020, 12 (2): 331-348.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0067-9
Abstract ( 157 )   HTML ( 4 )     PDF (1093KB) ( 177 )  

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

Does cotton bollworm show cross-resistance to the Bacillus thuringiensis toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab? A mini review
MA Jihong, TIAN Changyan, LYU Guanghui, MAI Wenxuan
Journal of Arid Land. 2020, 12 (2): 349-356.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-020-0063-0
Abstract ( 75 )   HTML ( 3 )     PDF (251KB) ( 173 )  

Since 1996, transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton has been commercially grown in numerous countries in an effort to stem the losses caused by key lepidopteran pests. However, the development of pest resistance to Bt toxins has jeopardized the continued utilization of Bt cotton. As a strategy designed to circumvent the development of resistance, Bt cotton varieties expressing two or more toxins targeting the same pest have been introduced. Nevertheless, from the perspective of long-term planting of Bt cotton, the potential risk of cross-resistance to these Bt toxins is a threat that cannot be ignored. In this paper, we review current research (including that based on the analysis of protein binding sites and resistance genes) on the resistance of cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) to the Bt toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab and the interrelationship between these toxins. On the basis of existing evidence, we assume that the actions of Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab against cotton bollworm are not completely independent, and then propose the ''resistance-associated gene mutation potential hypothesis''. Although the mechanisms underlying the resistance of pests to Bt toxins are yet to be comprehensively elucidated, this hypothesis could undoubtedly have important implications for adopting ''pyramid'' strategy in the future. Further research is recommended to devise strategies to retard the development of H. armigera resistance to Bt cotton, either using different Bt toxins or their various combinations.