Permanent dry soil layer a critical control on soil desiccation on China’s Loess Plateau

A - Papers appearing in refereed journals

Zhao, C., Jia, X., Gongadze, K., Shao, M., Wu, L. and Zhu, Y. 2019. Permanent dry soil layer a critical control on soil desiccation on China’s Loess Plateau. Scientific Reports. 9, p. 3296.

AuthorsZhao, C., Jia, X., Gongadze, K., Shao, M., Wu, L. and Zhu, Y.
Abstract

The wide spread of dry soil layers (DSL) in China’s Loess Plateau region has negative effects on the ecosystem, including soil degradation and vegetation failure. To understand the temporal persistence of DSL, a ca. 860 km south-north transect was established and soil water content of the 0–5 m depth soil layer repeatedly measured for a period of four years. The results indicated that DSL varied with time and had a distribution area over 21.5–47.0% in the 860 km transect during the study period. The DSL could be divided into temporary and permanent types based on the length of period for which the soil remains dry. While temporary DSL is recoverable, permanent DSL (which existed in 47 out of 86 sites) was apparently unrecoverable as it persisted throughout the observation period. Permanent DSL was characterized by high temporal persistence, severe soil desiccation and thick dry layers; all of which suggested severe negative effect on the ecosystem. Non-climatic factors, rather than climate factors, contributed more to the formation of permanent DSL in the study area. Thus, it was suggested that policies and measures should be enacted to control especially permanent DSL formation in the region.

Year of Publication2019
JournalScientific Reports
Journal citation9, p. 3296
Digital Object Identifier (DOI)doi:10.1038/s41598-019-38922-y
Open accessPublished as ‘gold’ (paid) open access
FunderNatural Environment Research Council
Funder project or codeModelling and managing critical zone relationships between soil, water and ecosystem processes across the Loess Plateau
Publisher's version
Output statusPublished
Publication dates
Online01 Mar 2019
Publication process dates
Accepted28 Dec 2018
Copyright licenseCC BY
PublisherNature Publishing Group
ISSN2045-2322

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