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31 July 2022, Volume 14 Issue 7 Previous Issue    Next Issue
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Research article
Impact of land use/land cover types on surface humidity in northern China in the early 21st century
JIN Junfang, YIN Shuyan, YIN Hanmin
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (7): 705-718.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0055-3
Abstract ( 116 )   HTML ( 299 )     PDF (1567KB) ( 191 )  

In the context of global change, it is essential to promote the rational development and utilization of land resources, improve the quality of regional ecological environment, and promote the harmonious development of human and nature for the regional sustainability. We identified land use/land cover types in northern China from 2001 to 2018 with ENVI images and ArcGIS software. Meteorological data were selected from 292 stations in northern China, the potential evapotranspiration was calculated with the Penman-Monteith formula, and reanalysis humidity and observed humidity data were obtained. The reanalysis minus observation (RMO, i.e., the difference between reanalysis humidity and observed humidity) can effectively characterize the impact of different land use/land cover types (forestland, grassland, cultivated land, construction land, water body and unused land) on surface humidity in northern China in the early 21st century. The results showed that from 2001 to 2018, the area of forestland expanded (increasing by approximately 1.80×104 km2), while that of unused land reduced (decreasing by approximately 5.15×104 km2), and the regional ecological environment was improved. Consequently, land surface in most areas of northern China tended to be wetter. The contributions of land use/land cover types to surface humidity changes were related to the quality of the regional ecological environment. The contributions of the six land use/land cover types to surface humidity were the highest in northeastern region of northern China, with a better ecological environment, and the lowest in northwestern region, with a fragile ecological environment. Surface humidity was closely related to the variation in regional vegetation coverage; when the regional vegetation coverage with positive (negative) contributions expanded (reduced), the land surface became wetter. The positive contributions of forestland and water body to surface humidity were the greatest. Unused land and construction land were associated with the most serious negative contributions to surface humidity. Affected by the regional distribution pattern of vegetation, surface humidity in different seasons decreased from east to west in northern China. The seasonal variation in surface humidity was closely related to the growth of vegetation: surface humidity was the highest in summer, followed by autumn and spring, and the lowest in winter. According to the results, surface humidity is expected to increase in northeastern region of northern China, decrease in northern region, and likely increase in northwestern region.

Effect of topography on the changes of Urumqi Glacier No. 1 in the Chinese Tianshan Mountains
LI Hongliang, WANG Puyu, LI Zhongqin, JIN Shuang, XU Chunhai, MU Jianxin, HE Jie, YU Fengchen
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (7): 719-738.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0068-y
Abstract ( 80 )   HTML ( 114 )     PDF (1881KB) ( 436 )  

Topography plays an important role in determining the glacier changes. However, topography has often been oversimplified in the studies of the glacier changes. No systematic studies have been conducted to evaluate the relationship between the glacier changes and topographic features. The present study provided a detailed insight into the changes in the two branches (east branch and west branch) of Urumqi Glacier No. 1 in the Chinese Tianshan Mountains since 1993 and systematically discussed the effect of topography on the glacier parameters. This study analyzed comprehensive recently observed data (from 1992/1993 to 2018/2019), including mass balance, ice thickness, surface elevation, ice velocity, terminus, and area, and then determined the differences in the changes of the two branches and explored the effect of topography on the glacier changes. We also applied a topographic solar radiation model to analyze the influence of topography on the incoming shortwave radiation (SWin) across the entire glacier, focusing on the difference in the SWin between the two branches. The glacier mass balance of the east branch was more negative than that of the west branch from 1992/1993 to 2018/2019, and this was mainly attributed to the lower average altitude of the east branch. Compared with the west branch, the decrease rate of the ice velocity was lower in the east branch owing to its relatively increased slope. The narrow shape of the west branch and its southeast aspect in the earlier period resulted in a larger glacier terminus retreat of the west branch. The spatial variability of the SWin across the glacier surface became much larger as altitude increased. The SWin received by the east branch was slightly larger than that received by the west branch, and the northern aspect could receive more SWin, leading to glacier melting. In the future, the difference of the glacier changes between the two branches will continue to exist due to their topographic differences. This work is fundamental to understanding how topographic features affect the glacier changes, and provides information for building different types of relationship between the glacier area and ice volume to promote further studies on the basin-scale glacier classification.

Dynamics of groundwater recharge near a semi-arid Mediterranean intermittent stream under wet and normal climate conditions
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (7): 739-752.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0067-z
Abstract ( 99 )   HTML ( 11 )     PDF (1327KB) ( 186 )  

In arid and semi-arid stream-dominated systems, the temporal variability in groundwater recharge has not been widely addressed. Various questions remain about the sources of groundwater recharge, its patterns, and the appropriate measuring techniques. Hence, the main objective of the present study was to assess the changes that might affect the pattern of groundwater recharge under wetter than normal surface water availability. Therefore, the groundwater depth was monitored near a semi-arid Mediterranean intermittent stream on the piedmont of the High Atlas Mountains in the mountain catchment of the Wadi Rheraya over two hydrological years (2014-2016) with different climate conditions: extreme wet and normal conditions. Groundwater recharge was assessed using the episodic master recession algorithm. During the two years, the pattern of groundwater recharge was dominated by episodic events and by a high seasonality from wet seasons to dry seasons. In the wet year (2014-2015), the highest groundwater recharge was recorded following an extreme flood, which deeply replenished groundwater. Furthermore, an exceptional steady state of the groundwater depth was induced by a steady groundwater recharge rate. For several groundwater recharge events, the assessed recharge had multiple sources, mainly from streamflow at the local scale, but possibly from precipitation, underflow, deep percolation or irrigation return from the upstream part of the catchment. Local recharge by streamflow was likely to be short-lived, and lateral recharge was likely to last longer. Consequently, the episodic master recession algorithm estimated the total groundwater recharge that could encompass various sources. In the future, more studies and multidisciplinary approaches should be carried out to partition these sources and determine their specific contributions. In semi-arid stream-dominated systems, different groundwater recharge patterns induced by extreme hydrological events (e.g., wet events) and various potential sources of groundwater recharge should be considered when assessing and predicting groundwater recharge.

Dew amount and its long-term variation in the Kunes River Valley, Northwest China
FENG Ting, HUANG Farong, ZHU Shuzhen, BU Lingjie, QI Zhiming, LI Lanhai
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (7): 753-770.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0099-4
Abstract ( 134 )   HTML ( 7 )     PDF (1687KB) ( 277 )  

Dew is an essential water resource for the survival and reproduction of organisms in arid and semi-arid regions. Yet estimating the dew amount and quantifying its long-term variation are challenging. In this study, we elucidate the dew amount and its long-term variation in the Kunes River Valley, Northwest China, based on the measured daily dew amount and reconstructed values (using meteorological data from 1980 to 2021), respectively. Four key results were found: (1) the daily mean dew amount was 0.05 mm during the observation period (4 July-12 August and 13 September-7 October of 2021). In 35 d of the observation period (i.e., 73% of the observation period), the daily dew amount exceeded the threshold (>0.03 mm/d) for microorganisms; (2) air temperature, relative humidity, and wind speed had significant impacts on the daily dew amount based on the relationships between the measured dew amount and meteorological variables; (3) for estimating the daily dew amount, random forest (RF) model outperformed multiple linear regression (MLR) model given its larger R2 and lower MAE and RMSE; and (4) the dew amount during June-October and in each month did not vary significantly from 1980 to the beginning of the 21st century. It then significantly decreased for about a decade, after it increased slightly from 2013 to 2021. For the whole meteorological period of 1980-2021, the dew amount decreased significantly during June-October and in July and September, and there was no significant variation in June, August, and October. Variation in the dew amount in the Kunes River Valley was mainly driven by relative humidity. This study illustrates that RF model can be used to reconstruct long-term variation in the dew amount, which provides valuable information for us to better understand the dew amount and its relationship with climate change.

Assessment of drought and its impact on winter wheat yield in the Chinese Loess Plateau
WANG Fengjiao, FU Bojie, LIANG Wei, JIN Zhao, ZHANG Liwei, YAN Jianwu, FU Shuyi, GOU Fen
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (7): 771-786.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0021-0
Abstract ( 137 )   HTML ( 6 )     PDF (2254KB) ( 210 )  

Drought has pronounced and immediate impacts on agricultural production, especially in semi-arid and arid rainfed agricultural regions. Quantification of drought and its impact on crop yield is essential to agricultural water resource management and food security. We investigated drought and its impact on winter wheat (Triticum aestivum L.) yield in the Chinese Loess Plateau from 2001 to 2015. Specifically, we performed a varimax rotated principal component analysis on drought severity index (DSI) separately for four winter wheat growth periods: pre-sowing growth period (PG), early growth period (EG), middle growth period (MG), and late growth period (LG), resulting in three major subregional DSI dynamics for each growth period. The county-level projections of these major dynamics were then used to evaluate the growth period-specific impacts of DSI on winter wheat yields by using multiple linear regression analysis. Our results showed that the growth period-specific subregions had different major DSI dynamics. During PG, the northwestern area exhibited a rapid wetting trend, while small areas in the south showed a slight drying trend. The remaining subregions fluctuated between dryness and wetness. During EG, the northeastern and western areas exhibited a mild wetting trend. The remaining subregions did not display clear wetting or drying trends. During MG, the eastern and southwestern areas showed slight drying and wetting trends, respectively. The subregions scattered in the north and south had a significant wetting trend. During LG, large areas in the east and west exhibited wetting trends, whereas small parts in south-central area had a slight drying trend. Most counties in the north showed significant and slight wetting trends during PG, EG, and LG, whereas a few southwestern counties exhibited significant drying trends during PG and MG. Our analysis identified close and positive relationships between yields and DSI during LG, and revealed that almost all of the counties were vulnerable to drought. Similar but less strong relationships existed for MG, in which northeastern and eastern counties were more drought-vulnerable than other counties. In contrast, a few drought-sensitive counties were mainly located in the southwestern and eastern areas during PG, and in the northeastern corner of the study region during EG. Overall, our study dissociated growth period-specific and spatial location-specific impacts of drought on winter wheat yield, and might contribute to a better understanding of monitoring and early warning of yield loss.

Effects of the growing-maize canopy and irrigation characteristics on the ability to funnel sprinkler water
ZHU Zhongrui, ZHU Delan, GE Maosheng, LIU Changxin
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (7): 787-810.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0022-z
Abstract ( 66 )   HTML ( 6 )     PDF (2966KB) ( 183 )  

Stemflow is vital for supplying water, fertilizer, and other crop essentials during sprinkler irrigation. Exploring the spatial and temporal variations of crop stemflow and its influencing factors will be essential to preventing soil water and nutrient ion's migration to deeper layers, developing, and optimizing effective sprinkler irrigation schedules. Based on the two-year experimental data, we analyzed the variation patterns (stemflow amount, depth, rate, and funneling ratio) of maize stemflow during the growing season, and clarified its vertical distribution pattern. Meanwhile, effects of sprinkler irrigation and maize morphological parameters on stemflow were investigated. The results showed that stemflow increased gradually as maize plant grew. Specifically, stemflow was small at the pre-jointing stage and reached the maximum at the late filling stage. The upper canopy generated more stemflow than the lower canopy until the flare opening stage. After the tasseling stage, the middle canopy generated more stemflow than the other positions. Variation in canopy closure at different positions was the main factor contributing to the above difference. As sprinkler intensity increased, stemflow also increased. However, the effect of droplet size on stemflow was inconsistent. Specifically, when sprinkler intensity was less than or equal to 10 mm/h, stemflow was generated with increasing droplet size. In contrast, if sprinkler intensity was greater than or equal to 20 mm/h, stemflow tended to decreased with increasing droplet size. Compared with other morphological parameters, canopy closure significantly affected the generation of stemflow. Funneling ratio was not significantly affected by plant morphology. Based on the results of different sprinkler intensities, we developed stemflow depth versus canopy closure and stemflow rate versus canopy closure power function regression models with a high predictive accuracy. The research findings will contribute to the understanding of the processes of stemflow involving the hydro-geochemical cycle of agro-ecosystems and the implementation of cropland management practices.

Characteristics of root pullout resistance of Caragana korshinskii Kom. in the loess area of northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China
LIU Yabin, SHI Chuan, YU Dongmei, WANG Shu, PANG Jinghao, ZHU Haili, LI Guorong, HU Xiasong
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (7): 811-823.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0023-y
Abstract ( 80 )   HTML ( 4 )     PDF (1562KB) ( 139 )  

Roots exert pullout resistance under pullout force, allowing plants to resist uprooting. However, the pullout resistance characteristics of taproot-type shrub species of different ages remain unclear. In this study, in order to improve our knowledge of pullout resistance characteristics of taproot systems of shrub species, we selected the shrub species Caragana korshinskii Kom. in different growth periods as the research plant and conducted in situ root pullout test. The relationships among the maximum pullout resistance, peak root displacement, shrub growth period, and aboveground growth indices (plant height and plant crown breadth) were analyzed, as well as the mechanical process of uprooting. Pullout resistance of 4-15 year-old C. korshinskii ranged from 2.49 (±0.25) to 14.71 (±4.96) kN, and the peak displacement ranged from 11.77 (±8.61) to 26.50 (±16.09) cm. The maximum pullout resistance and the peak displacement of roots increased as a power function (R2=0.9038) and a linear function (R2=0.8242) with increasing age, respectively. The maximum pullout resistance and the peak displacement increased with increasing plant height; however, this relationship was not significant. The maximum pullout resistance increased exponentially (R2=0.5522) as the crown breadth increased. There was no significant relationship between the peak displacement and crown breadth. The pullout resistance and displacement curve were divided into three stages: the initial nonlinear growth, linear growth, and nonlinear stages. Two modes of failure of a single root occurred when the roots were subjected to vertical loading forces: the synchronous breakage mode and the periderm preferential breakage mode. These findings provide a foundation for further investigation of the soil reinforcement and slope protection mechanisms of this shrub species in the loess area of northeastern Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China.

Spatiotemporal variation and correlation of soil enzyme activities and soil physicochemical properties in canopy gaps of the Tianshan Mountains, Northwest China
ABAY Peryzat, GONG Lu, CHEN Xin, LUO Yan, WU Xue
Journal of Arid Land. 2022, 14 (7): 824-836.   DOI: 10.1007/s40333-022-0098-5
Abstract ( 94 )   HTML ( 6 )     PDF (883KB) ( 249 )  

The study of the heterogeneity of soil enzyme activities at different sampling locations in canopy gaps will help understand the influence mechanism of canopy gaps on soil ecological processes. In this paper, we analyzed the spatiotemporal variation of soil enzyme activities and soil physicochemical properties at different sampling locations (closed canopy, expanded edge, canopy edge, gap center) in different sampling time (December, February, April, June, August, and October) on the northern slope of the Tianshan Mountains, Northwest China. The results showed that soil catalase, cellulase, sucrase, and acid phosphatase activities were relatively high from June to October and low from December to April, and most of soil enzyme activities were higher at closed canopy than at gap center. Soil urease activity was high during December-February. The soil temperature reached the highest value during June-August and was relatively high at gap center in October, December, and February. Soil water content was significantly higher in December and April than in other months. Soil bulk density was higher at gap center than at closed canopy in December. Soil pH and soil electrical conductivity in most months were higher at closed canopy than at gap center. Soil organic carbon, soil total nitrogen, and soil total phosphorus were generally higher at gap center than at closed canopy. Furthermore, sampling time played a leading role in the dynamic change of soil enzyme activity. The key factors affecting soil enzyme activity were soil temperature and soil water content, which were governed by canopy gaps. These results provide important support for further understanding the influence mechanism of forest ecosystem management and conservation on the Tianshan Mountains.