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10 October 2021, Volume 13 Issue 10 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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Research article
Hydrochemical characteristics and evolution of groundwater in the dried-up river oasis of the Tarim Basin, Central Asia
WANG Wanrui, CHEN Yaning, WANG Weihua, XIA Zhenhua, LI Xiaoyang, Patient M KAYUMBA
Journal of Arid Land. 2021, 13 (10): 977-994.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0086-1
Abstract ( 107 )   HTML ( 17 )     PDF (2574KB) ( 190 )  

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

Two-dimensional hydrodynamic robust numerical model of soil erosion based on slopes and river basins
KANG Yongde, HUANG Miansong, HOU Jingming, TONG Yu, PAN Zhanpeng
Journal of Arid Land. 2021, 13 (10): 995-1014.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0085-2
Abstract ( 72 )   HTML ( 7 )     PDF (1945KB) ( 233 )  

Erosion is an important issue in soil science and is related to many environmental problems, such as soil erosion and sediment transport. Establishing a simulation model suitable for soil erosion prediction is of great significance not only to accurately predict the process of soil separation by runoff, but also improve the physical model of soil erosion. In this study, we develop a graphic processing unit (GPU)-based numerical model that combines two-dimensional (2D) hydrodynamic and Green-Ampt (G-A) infiltration modelling to simulate soil erosion. A Godunov-type scheme on a uniform and structured square grid is then generated to solve the relevant shallow water equations (SWEs). The highlight of this study is the use of GPU-based acceleration technology to enable numerical models to simulate slope and watershed erosion in an efficient and high-resolution manner. The results show that the hydrodynamic model performs well in simulating soil erosion process. Soil erosion is studied by conducting calculation verification at the slope and basin scales. The first case involves simulating soil erosion process of a slope surface under indoor artificial rainfall conditions from 0 to 1000 s, and there is a good agreement between the simulated values and the measured values for the runoff velocity. The second case is a river basin experiment (Coquet River Basin) that involves watershed erosion. Simulations of the erosion depth change and erosion cumulative amount of the basin during a period of 1-40 h show an elevation difference of erosion at 0.5-3.0 m, especially during the period of 20-30 h. Nine cross sections in the basin are selected for simulation and the results reveal that the depth of erosion change value ranges from -0.86 to -2.79 m and the depth of deposition change value varies from 0.38 to 1.02 m. The findings indicate that the developed GPU-based hydrogeomorphological model can reproduce soil erosion processes. These results are valuable for rainfall runoff and soil erosion predictions on rilled hillslopes and river basins.

Seasonal dynamics of soil water content in the typical vegetation and its response to precipitation in a semi-arid area of Chinese Loess Plateau
ZHOU Tairan, HAN Chun, QIAO Linjie, REN Chaojie, WEN Tao, ZHAO Changming
Journal of Arid Land. 2021, 13 (10): 1015-1025.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0021-5
Abstract ( 87 )   HTML ( 5 )     PDF (902KB) ( 239 )  

Soil water content is a key limiting factor for vegetation growth in the semi-arid area of Chinese Loess Plateau and precipitation is the main source of soil water content in this area. To further understand the impact of vegetation types and environmental factors such as precipitation on soil water content, we continuously monitored the seasonal dynamics in soil water content in four plots (natural grassland, Caragana korshinskii, Armeniaca sibirica and Pinus tabulaeformis) in Chinese Loess Plateau. The results show that the amplitude of soil water content fluctuation decreases with an increase in soil depth, showing obvious seasonal variations. Soil water content of artificial vegetation was found to be significantly lower than that of natural grassland, and most precipitation events have difficulty replenishing soil water content below a depth of 40 cm. Spring and autumn are the key seasons for replenishment of soil water by precipitation. Changes in soil water content are affected by precipitation, vegetation types, soil evaporation and other factors. The interception effect of vegetation on precipitation and the demand for water consumption by transpiration are the key factors affecting the efficiency of soil water replenishment by precipitation in this area. Due to artificial vegetation plantation in this area, soil will face a water deficit crisis in the future.

Response of ecosystem service value to land use/cover change in the northern slope economic belt of the Tianshan Mountains, Xinjiang, China
SUN Chen, MA Yonggang, GONG Lu
Journal of Arid Land. 2021, 13 (10): 1026-1040.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0082-5
Abstract ( 95 )   HTML ( 6 )     PDF (835KB) ( 137 )  

Land use/cover change (LUCC) is becoming more and more frequent and extensive as a result of human activities, and is expected to have a major impact on human welfare by altering ecosystem service value (ESV). In this study, we utilized remote sensing images and statistical data to explore the spatial-temporal changes of land use/cover types and ESV in the northern slope economic belt of the Tianshan Mountains in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China from 1975 to 2018. During the study period, LUCC in the study region varied significantly. Except grassland and unused land, all the other land use/cover types (cultivated land, forestland, waterbody, and construction land) increased in areas. From 1975 to 2018, the spatial-temporal variations in ESV were also pronounced. The total ESV decreased by 4.00×108 CNY, which was primarily due to the reductions in the areas of grassland and unused land. Waterbody had a much higher ESV than the other land use/cover types. Ultimately, understanding the impact of LUCC on ESV and the interactions among ESV of different land use/cover types will help improve existing land use policies and provide scientific basis for developing new conservation strategies for ecologically fragile areas.

Effect of nitrogen and phosphorus addition on leaf nutrient concentrations and nutrient resorption efficiency of two dominant alpine grass species
LIU Yalan, LI Lei, LI Xiangyi, YUE Zewei, LIU Bo
Journal of Arid Land. 2021, 13 (10): 1041-1053.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0080-7
Abstract ( 92 )   HTML ( 4 )     PDF (605KB) ( 313 )  

Nitrogen (N) and phosphorus (P) are two essential nutrients that determine plant growth and many nutrient cycling processes. Increasing N and P deposition is an important driver of ecosystem changes. However, in contrast to numerous studies about the impacts of nutrient addition on forests and temperate grasslands, how plant foliar stoichiometry and nutrient resorption respond to N and P addition in alpine grasslands is poorly understood. Therefore, we conducted an N and P addition experiment (involving control, N addition, P addition, and N+P addition) in an alpine grassland on Kunlun Mountains (Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China) in 2016 and 2017 to investigate the changes in leaf nutrient concentrations (i.e., leaf N, Leaf P, and leaf N:P ratio) and nutrient resorption efficiency of Seriphidium rhodanthum and Stipa capillata, which are dominant species in this grassland. Results showed that N addition has significant effects on soil inorganic N (NO3--N and NH4+-N) and leaf N of both species in the study periods. Compared with green leaves, leaf nutrient concentrations and nutrient resorption efficiency in senesced leaves of S. rhodanthum was more sensitive to N addition, whereas N addition influenced leaf N and leaf N:P ratio in green and senesced leaves of S. capillata. N addition did not influence N resorption efficiency of the two species. P addition and N+P addition significantly improved leaf P and had a negative effect on P resorption efficiency of the two species in the study period. These influences on plants can be explained by increasing P availability. The present results illustrated that the two species are more sensitive to P addition than N addition, which implies that P is the major limiting factor in the studied alpine grassland ecosystem. In addition, an interactive effect of N+P addition was only discernable with respect to soil availability, but did not affect plants. Therefore, exploring how nutrient characteristics and resorption response to N and P addition in the alpine grassland is important to understand nutrient use strategy of plants in terrestrial ecosystems.

Disturbance of plateau zokor-made mound stimulates plant community regeneration in the Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau, China
XIANG Zeyu, Arvind BHATT, TANG Zhongbin, PENG Yansong, WU Weifeng, ZHANG Jiaxin, WANG Jingxuan, David GALLACHER, ZHOU Saixia
Journal of Arid Land. 2021, 13 (10): 1054-1070.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0020-6
Abstract ( 75 )   HTML ( 8 )     PDF (3110KB) ( 300 )  

Mounds constructed by plateau zokors, which is widely distributed in alpine meadows significantly modified plant community structure. However, the variations of plant community structure under the disturbance of plateau zokor-made mound are less concerned. Therefore, we investigated the responses of plant community on zokor-made mound of different years (1 a and 3-4 a), and compared with undisturbed sites (no mound) in an alpine meadow in the eastern Qinghai-Tibetan Plateau (QTP), China. Species richness, coverage and Simpson diversity index were all significantly reduced by the presence of zokor-made mound, but plant heights were significantly increased, particularly in grasses and sedges. Several perennial forage species showed an increased importance value and niche breadth, including Koeleria macrantha, Elymus nutans and Poa pratensis. The effect of zokor-made mound on niche overlap showed that more intense interspecific competition produced a greater utilization of environmental resources. And this interspecific niche overlap was strengthened as succession progressed. The bare mound created by zokor burrowing activities provided a colonizing opportunity for non-dominant forage species, resulting in abundant plant species and plant diversity during the succession period. We concluded that presence of zokor-made mound was conducive to regeneration and vitality of plant community in alpine meadows, thus improving their resilience to anthropogenic stress.

Succession of soil bacterial and fungal communities of Caragana korshinskii plantation in a typical agro-pastoral ecotone in northern China over a 50-a period
MA Gailing, GOU Qianqian, WANG Guohua, QU Jianjun
Journal of Arid Land. 2021, 13 (10): 1071-1086.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0022-4
Abstract ( 88 )   HTML ( 8 )     PDF (921KB) ( 155 )  

Bacterial and fungal communities play critical roles in reestablishing vegetation structure, function and biodiversity in ecosystem restoration in arid and semi-arid areas. However, the long-term successional changes in bacterial and fungal communities that occur with artificial vegetation development are not fully understood. In this study, we investigated the successional changes in bacterial and fungal communities in Caragana korshinskii Kom. plantation over a period of 50 a (6, 12, 18, 40 and 50 a) and their relationships with key soil environmental factors in a typical agro-pastoral ecotone, northern China. The results showed that bacterial and fungal diversities (α- and β-diversity) were significantly affected by plantation age; moreover, the change in fungal community was more evident than that in bacterial community. Soil samples from 12 a plantation had the highest (P<0.05) bacterial and fungal α-diversity (i.e., abundance-based coverage estimator (ACE) and Chao1 index) at 0-10 cm depth compared with other samples. However, soil samples from plantation at the late recovery stage (40-50 a) had the highest α-diversity at 10-20 cm depth. Soil bacterial community was not significantly affected by plantation age at the genus level; but, soil fungal community was significantly affected at the genus level. Overall, Mortierella and Chaetomium were the dominant genera at natural recovery stage (0 a); Inocybe was the dominant genus at the early recovery stage (6-12 a); Inocybe and Mortierella were the dominant genera at the mid-recovery stage (12-40 a); And Mortierella, Cladosporium and Humicola were the dominant genera at the late recovery stage (40-50 a). Redundancy analysis (RDA) showed that β-glucosidase activity, total nitrogen and soil organic carbon were closely associated with bacterial community composition, while alkaline phosphatase, urease activity and total nitrogen were associated with fungal community composition, indicating that changes in enzyme activity and soil nutrients were the most important determinants of dominant genera. Furthermore, pathogenic microorganisms (Cladosporium and Humicola) were dominant in soils from 40-50 a plantation, which may affect plant growth, resulting in the decline of C. korshinskii plantation. Overall, the findings of this study improve the understanding of ecological patterns of bacterial and fungal communities in artificial vegetation and provide an important scientific basis for comprehensive ecological restoration management in arid and semi-arid areas.