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31 January 2022, Volume 14 Issue 1 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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Research article
Spatiotemporal variation of forest land and its driving factors in the agropastoral ecotone of northern China
WANG Shiqing, TAO Zefu, SUN Piling, CHEN Sijia, SUN Huiying, LI Nan
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (1): 1-13.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0001-4
Abstract ( 72 )   HTML ( 15 )     PDF (1545KB) ( 112 )  

As an important natural resource, forest land plays a key role in the maintenance of ecological security. However, variations of forest land in the agropastoral ecotone of northern China (AENC) have attracted little attention. Taking the AENC as an example and based on remote-sensing images from 2000, 2010 to 2020, we explored the spatiotemporal variation of forest land and its driving factors using the land-use transfer matrix, spatial autocorrelation analysis and spatial error model. The results showed that from 2000 to 2020, the total area of forest land in the AENC increased from 75,547.52 to 77,359.96 km2 and the changes were dominated by the transformations among forest land, grassland and cropland, which occurred mainly in areas with the elevation of 500-2000 m and slope of 15°-25°. There was obvious spatial agglomeration of forest land in the AENC from 2000 to 2020, with hot spots of forest land gathered in the southern marginal areas of the Yanshan Mountains and the low mountainous and hilly areas of the Loess Plateau. The sub-hot spots around hot spots moved southward, the sub-cold spots spread to the surrounding areas and the cold spots disappeared. The spatiotemporal variation of forest land resulted from the interactions of natural environment, socioeconomic and policy factors from 2000 to 2020. The variables of average annual precipitation, slope, terrain relief, ecological conversion program and afforestation policy for barren mountains affected the spatial pattern of forest land positively, while those of annual average temperature, slope and road network density influenced it negatively.

Ecological environment quality evaluation of the Sahel region in Africa based on remote sensing ecological index
WU Shupu, GAO Xin, LEI Jiaqiang, ZHOU Na, GUO Zengkun, SHANG Baijun
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (1): 14-33.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0057-1
Abstract ( 40 )   HTML ( 9 )     PDF (2139KB) ( 76 )  

Long-term monitoring of the ecological environment changes is helpful for the protection of the ecological environment. Based on the ecological environment of the Sahel region in Africa, we established a remote sensing ecological index (RSEI) model for this region by combining dryness, moisture, greenness, and desertification indicators. Using the Moderate-resolution Imaging Spectroradiometer (MODIS) data in Google Earth Engine (GEE) platform, this study analyzed the ecological environment quality of the Sahel region during the period of 2001-2020. We used liner regression and fluctuation analysis methods to study the trend and fluctuation of RSEI, and utilized the stepwise regression approach to analyze the contribution of each indicator to the RSEI. Further, the correlation analysis was used to analyze the correlation between RSEI and precipitation, and Hurst index was applied to evaluate the change trend of RSEI in the future. The results show that RSEI of the Sahel region exhibited spatial heterogeneity. Specifically, it exhibited a decrease in gradient from south to north of the Sahel region. Moreover, RSEI in parts of the Sahel region presented non-zonal features. Different land-cover types demonstrated different RSEI values and changing trends. We found that RSEI and precipitation were positively correlated, suggesting that precipitation is the controlling factor of RSEI. The areas where RSEI values presented an increasing trend were slightly less than the areas where RSEI values presented a decreasing trend. In the Sahel region, the areas with the ecological environment characterized by continuous deterioration and continuous improvement accounted for 44.02% and 28.29% of the total study area, respectively, and the areas in which the ecological environment was changing from improvement to deterioration and from deterioration to improvement accounted for 12.42% and 15.26% of the whole area, respectively. In the face of the current ecological environment and future change trends of RSEI in the Sahel region, the research results provide a reference for the construction of the ''Green Great Wall'' (GGW) ecological environment project in Africa.

Isotope implications of groundwater recharge, residence time and hydrogeochemical evolution of the Longdong Loess Basin, Northwest China
LING Xinying, MA Jinzhu, CHEN Peiyuan, LIU Changjie, Juske HORITA
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (1): 34-55.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0051-7
Abstract ( 29 )   HTML ( 4 )     PDF (1908KB) ( 176 )  

Groundwater plays a dominant role in the eco-environmental protection of arid and semi-arid regions. Understanding the sources and mechanisms of groundwater recharge, the interactions between groundwater and surface water and the hydrogeochemical evolution and transport processes of groundwater in the Longdong Loess Basin, Northwest China, is of importance for water resources management in this ecologically sensitive area. In this study, 71 groundwater samples (mainly distributed at the Dongzhi Tableland and along the Malian River) and 8 surface water samples from the Malian River were collected, and analysis of the aquifer system and hydrological conditions, together with hydrogeochemical and isotopic techniques were used to investigate groundwater sources, residence time and their associated recharge processes. Results show that the middle and lower reaches of the Malian River receive water mainly from groundwater discharge on both sides of valley, while the source of the Malian River mainly comes from local precipitation. Groundwater of the Dongzhi Tableland is of a HCO3-Ca-Na type with low salinity. The reverse hydrogeochemical simulation suggests that the dissolution of carbonate minerals and cation exchange between Ca2+, Mg2+ and Na+ are the main water-rock interactions in the groundwater system of the Dongzhi Tableland. The δ 18O (from -11.70‰ to -8.52‰) and δ2H (from -86.15‰ to -65.75‰) values of groundwater are lower than the annual weighted average value of precipitation but closer to summer-autumn precipitation and soil water in the unsaturated zone, suggesting that possible recharge comes from the summer-autumn monsoonal heavy precipitation in the recent past (≤220 a). The corrected14C ages of groundwater range from 3,000 to 25,000 a old, indicating that groundwater was mainly from precipitation during the humid and cold Late Pleistocene and Holocene periods. Groundwater flows deeper from the groundwater table and from the center to the east, south and west of the Dongzhi Tableland with estimated migration rate of 1.29-1.43 m/a. The oldest groundwater in the Quaternary Loess Aquifer in the Dongzhi Tableland is approximately 32,000 a old with poor renewability. Based on the δ 18O temperature indicator of groundwater, we speculate that temperature of the Last Glacial Maximum in the Longdong Loess Basin was 2.4°C-6.0°C colder than the present. The results could provide us the valuable information on groundwater recharge and evolution under thick loess layer, which would be significative for the scientific water resources management in semi-arid regions.

Lithic soils in the semi-arid region of Brazil: edaphic characterization and susceptibility to erosion
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (1): 56-69.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0002-3
Abstract ( 29 )   HTML ( 4 )     PDF (3140KB) ( 62 )  

Soils (Leptosols or Epileptic Regosols) with lithic contact at a depth of 50 cm occupy almost 20% of the Brazilian semi-arid region. These lithic soils are susceptible to erosion due to faster saturation of water-holding capacity during rainfall, which accelerates the beginning of runoff. However, erosion traits of lithic soils in the semi-arid region of Brazil are less studied. The aim of this study was to characterize the soil and landscape attributes in areas with Neossolos Litólicos (Entisols) in the Caatinga biome to identify region of high susceptibility to erosion. Results showed that the soils were characterized by a sandy texture, soil structure with poor development and low content of organic carbon. These attributes increase susceptibility to erosion and reduce water storage capacity, especially in the states of Ceará and Sergipe. In these states, the content of rock fragments in the soil reaches 790 g/kg. High contents of silt and fine sand, high silt/clay ratio, predominance of Leptosols and strong rainfall erosivity were observed in Piauí and northwestern Ceará. A very high degree of water erosion was observed in the states of Pernambuco and Paraíba. Despite the low degree of erosion observed in the state of Bahia, it is highly susceptible to erosion due to the predominance of very shallow soils, rugged relief and high values of rainfall erosivity. Lower vulnerability was observed in the state of Alagoas because of its more smoothed relief, greater effective soil depth, thicker A horizon of soil and lower rainfall erosivity. In general, the characteristics that intensify the susceptibility to erosion in the Caatinga biome are those soil structures with poor development or without aggregation, low contents of organic carbon, high contents of silt and fine sand, high values of silt/clay ratio and rugged relief in some regions. This study collected information contributing to a better characterization of soils with lithic contact in the semi-arid region of Brazil. In addition, regions with a higher susceptibility to erosion were identified, revealing insights that could help develop strategies for environmental risk mitigation.

Spatial variability of leaf wetness under different soil water conditions in rainfed jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.) in the loess hilly region, China
GAO Zhiyong, WANG Xing
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (1): 70-81.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0003-2
Abstract ( 39 )   HTML ( 7 )     PDF (1421KB) ( 126 )  

Leaf wetness provides a wide range of benefits not only to leaves, but also to ecosystems and communities. It regulates canopy eco-hydrological processes and drives spatial differences in hydrological flux. In spite of these functions, little remains known about the spatial distribution of leaf wetness under different soil water conditions. Leaf wetness measurements at the top (180 cm), middle (135 cm), and bottom (85 cm) of the canopy positions of rainfed jujube (Ziziphus jujuba Mill.) in the Chinese loess hilly region were obtained along with meteorological and soil water conditions during the growing seasons in 2019 and 2020. Under soil water non-deficit condition, the frequency of occurrence of leaf wetness was 5.45% higher at the top than at the middle and bottom of the canopy positions. The frequency of occurrence of leaf wetness at the top, middle and bottom of the canopy positions was over 80% at 17:00-18:00 (LST). However, the occurrence of leaf wetness at the top was earlier than those at the middle and bottom of the canopy positions. Correspondingly, leaf drying at the top was also latter than those at the middle and bottom of the canopy positions. Leaf wetness duration at the middle was similar to that at the bottom of the canopy position, but about 1.46-3.01 h less than that at the top. Under soil water deficit condition, the frequency of occurrence of leaf wetness (4.92%-45.45%) followed the order of top>middle>bottom of the canopy position. As the onset of leaf wetness was delayed, the onset of wet leaf drying was advanced and the leaf wetness duration was shortened. Leaf wetness duration at the top was linearly related (R2>0.70) to those at the middle and bottom of the canopy positions under different soil water conditions. In conclusion, the hydrological processes at canopy surfaces of rainfed jujube depended on the position of leaves, thus adjusting canopy structure to redistribute hydrological process is a way to meet the water need of jujube.

Geography, geology and natural resources in Central Asia (Guest Editorial Board Member: Prof. Dr. XIAO Wenjiao)
Neoproterozoic I-type granites in the Central Tianshan Block (NW China): geochronology, geochemistry, and tectonic implications
SONG Yujia, LIU Xijun, XIAO Wenjiao, ZHANG Zhiguo, LIU Pengde, XIAO Yao, LI Rui, WANG Baohua, LIU Lei, HU Rongguo
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (1): 82-101.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-021-0071-8
Abstract ( 30 )   HTML ( 0 )     PDF (2387KB) ( 55 )  

The Central Tianshan Block is one of numerous microcontinental blocks within the Central Asian Orogenic Belt (CAOB) that overlies Precambrian basement rocks. Constraining the evolution of these ancient basement rocks is central to understanding the accretionary and collisional tectonics of the CAOB, and their place within the Rodinia supercontinent. However, to date, the timing and tectonic settings in which the basement rocks in the Central Tianshan Block formed are poorly constrained, with only sparse geochemical and geochronological data from granitic rocks within the northern segment of the block. Here, we present a systematic study combining U-Pb geochronology, whole-rock geochemistry, and the Sr-Nd isotopic compositions of newly-identified granitic gneisses from the Bingdaban area of Central Tianshan Block. The analyzed samples yield a weighted mean Neoproterozoic 206Pb/238U ages of 975-911 Ma. These weakly-peraluminous granitic rocks show a common geochemical I-type granite affinity. The granitic gneisses are calc-alkaline and enriched in large ion lithophile elements (LILEs) and light rare earth elements (LREEs), but they are depleted in high field strength elements (HFSEs); these characteristics are similar to those of typical subduction-related magmatism. All samples show initial (87Sr/86Sr)(t) ratios between 0.705136 and 0.706745. Values for ƐNd(t) in the granitic gneisses are in the range from -5.7 to -1.2, which correspond to Nd model ages of 2.0-1.7 Ga, indicating a role for Mesoproterozoic to Paleoproterozoic rocks in the generation of the granitic protoliths. The documented geochemical features indicate that the protoliths for the gneisses have a similar petrogenesis and magmatic source, which may reflect partial melting of thickened crust with the addition of small amounts of mantle-derived material. The Central Tianshan Block probably constitute part of an exterior orogen that developed along the margin of the Rodinian supercontinent during the Early Neoproterozoic and underwent a transition from subduction to syn-collision compression at 975-911 Ma.

Optimal bandwidth selection for retrieving Cu content in rock based on hyperspectral remote sensing
MA Xiumei, ZHOU Kefa, WANG Jinlin, CUI Shichao, ZHOU Shuguang, WANG Shanshan, ZHANG Guanbin
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (1): 102-114.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0050-8
Abstract ( 25 )   HTML ( 0 )     PDF (1466KB) ( 148 )  

Hyperspectral remote sensing technology is widely used to detect element contents because of its multiple bands, high resolution, and abundant information. Although researchers have paid considerable attention to selecting the optimal bandwidth for the hyperspectral inversion of metal element contents in rocks, the influence of bandwidth on the inversion accuracy are ignored. In this study, we collected 258 rock samples in and near the Kalatage polymetallic ore concentration area in the southwestern part of Hami City, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China and measured the ground spectra of these samples. The original spectra were resampled with different bandwidths. A Partial Least Squares Regression (PLSR) model was used to invert Cu contents of rock samples and then the influence of different bandwidths on Cu content inversion accuracy was explored. According to the results, the PLSR model obtains the highest Cu content inversion accuracy at a bandwidth of 35 nm, with the model determination coefficient (R2) of 0.5907. The PLSR inversion accuracy is relatively unaffected by the bandwidth within 5-80 nm, but the accuracy decreases significantly at 85 nm bandwidth (R2=0.5473), and the accuracy gradually decreased at bandwidths beyond 85 nm. Hence, bandwidth has a certain impact on the inversion accuracy of Cu content in rocks using the PLSR model. This study provides an indicator argument and theoretical basis for the future design of hyperspectral sensors for rock geochemistry.