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1. chinaXiv:202110.00024 [pdf]

Spatiotemporal changes in water, land use, and ecosystem services in Central Asia considering climate changes and human activities

YU Yang; CHEN Xi; Ireneusz MALIK; Malgorzata WISTUBA; CAO Yiguo; HOU Dongde; TA Zhijie; HE Jing; ZHANG Lingyun; YU Ruide; ZHANG Haiyan; SUN Lingxiao
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Central Asia is located in the hinterland of Eurasia, comprising Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, and Tajikistan; over 93.00% of the total area is dryland. Temperature rise and human activities have severe impacts on the fragile ecosystems. Since the 1970s, nearly half the great lakes in Central Asia have shrunk and rivers are drying rapidly owing to climate changes and human activities. Water shortage and ecological crisis have attracted extensive international attention. In general, ecosystem services in Central Asia are declining, particularly with respect to biodiversity, water, and soil conservation. Furthermore, the annual average temperature and annual precipitation in Central Asia increased by 0.30°C/decade and 6.9 mm/decade in recent decades, respectively. Temperature rise significantly affected glacier retreat in the Tianshan Mountains and Pamir Mountains, which may intensify water shortage in the 21st century. The increase in precipitation cannot counterbalance the aggravation of water shortage caused by the temperature rise and human activities in Central Asia. The population of Central Asia is growing gradually, and its economy is increasing steadily. Moreover, the agricultural land has not been expended in the last two decades. Thus, water and ecological crises, such as the Aral Sea shrinkage in the 21st century, cannot be attributed to agriculture extension any longer. Unbalanced regional development and water interception/transfer have led to the irrational exploitation of water resources in some watersheds, inducing downstream water shortage and ecological degradation. In addition, accelerated industrialization and urbanization have intensified this process. Therefore, all Central Asian countries must urgently reach a consensus and adopt common measures for water and ecological protection.

submitted time 2021-10-11 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1031Downloads63 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:202109.00014 [pdf]

Spatial-temporal variations of ecological vulnerability in the Tarim River Basin, Northwest China

BAI Jie; LI Junli; BAO Anmin; CHANG Cun
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

As the largest inland river basin of China, the Tarim River Basin (TRB), known for its various natural resources and fragile environment, has an increased risk of ecological crisis due to the intensive exploitation and utilization of water and land resources. Since the Ecological Water Diversion Project (EWDP), which was implemented in 2001 to save endangered desert vegetation, there has been growing evidence of ecological improvement in local regions, but few studies have performed a comprehensive ecological vulnerability assessment of the whole TRB. This study established an evaluation framework integrating the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and entropy method to estimate the ecological vulnerability of the TRB covering climatic, ecological, and socioeconomic indicators during 2000–2017. Based on the geographical detector model, the importance of ten driving factors on the spatial-temporal variations of ecological vulnerability was explored. The results showed that the ecosystem of the TRB was fragile, with more than half of the area (57.27%) dominated by very heavy and heavy grades of ecological vulnerability, and 28.40% of the area had potential and light grades of ecological vulnerability. The light grade of ecological vulnerability was distributed in the northern regions (Aksu River and Weigan River catchments) and western regions (Kashgar River and Yarkant River catchments), while the heavy grade was located in the southern regions (Kunlun Mountains and Qarqan River catchments) and the Mainstream catchment. The ecosystems in the western and northern regions were less vulnerable than those in the southern and eastern regions. From 2000 to 2017, the overall improvement in ecological vulnerability in the whole TRB showed that the areas with great ecological improvement increased by 46.11%, while the areas with ecological degradation decreased by 9.64%. The vegetation cover and potential evapotranspiration (PET) were the obvious driving factors, explaining 57.56% and 21.55% of the changes in ecological vulnerability across the TRB, respectively. In terms of ecological vulnerability grade changes, obvious spatial differences were observed in the upper, middle, and lower reaches of the TRB due to the different vegetation and hydrothermal conditions. The alpine source region of the TRB showed obvious ecological improvement due to increased precipitation and temperature, but the alpine meadow of the Kaidu River catchment in the Middle Tianshan Mountains experienced degradation associated with overgrazing and local drought. The improved agricultural management technologies had positive effects on farmland ecological improvement, while the desert vegetation in oasis-desert ecotones showed a decreasing trend as a result of cropland reclamation and intensive drought. The desert riparian vegetation in the lower reaches of the Tarim River was greatly improved due to the implementation of the EWDP, which has been active for tens of years. These results provide comprehensive knowledge about ecological processes and mechanisms in the whole TRB and help to develop environmental restoration measures based on different ecological vulnerability grades in each sub-catchment.

submitted time 2021-09-08 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits2843Downloads131 Comment 0

3. chinaXiv:202109.00015 [pdf]

Spatial-temporal variations of ecological vulnerability in the Tarim River Basin, Northwest China

BAI Jie; LI Junli; BAO Anmin; CHANG Cun
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

As the largest inland river basin of China, the Tarim River Basin (TRB), known for its various natural resources and fragile environment, has an increased risk of ecological crisis due to the intensive exploitation and utilization of water and land resources. Since the Ecological Water Diversion Project (EWDP), which was implemented in 2001 to save endangered desert vegetation, there has been growing evidence of ecological improvement in local regions, but few studies have performed a comprehensive ecological vulnerability assessment of the whole TRB. This study established an evaluation framework integrating the analytic hierarchy process (AHP) and entropy method to estimate the ecological vulnerability of the TRB covering climatic, ecological, and socioeconomic indicators during 2000–2017. Based on the geographical detector model, the importance of ten driving factors on the spatial-temporal variations of ecological vulnerability was explored. The results showed that the ecosystem of the TRB was fragile, with more than half of the area (57.27%) dominated by very heavy and heavy grades of ecological vulnerability, and 28.40% of the area had potential and light grades of ecological vulnerability. The light grade of ecological vulnerability was distributed in the northern regions (Aksu River and Weigan River catchments) and western regions (Kashgar River and Yarkant River catchments), while the heavy grade was located in the southern regions (Kunlun Mountains and Qarqan River catchments) and the Mainstream catchment. The ecosystems in the western and northern regions were less vulnerable than those in the southern and eastern regions. From 2000 to 2017, the overall improvement in ecological vulnerability in the whole TRB showed that the areas with great ecological improvement increased by 46.11%, while the areas with ecological degradation decreased by 9.64%. The vegetation cover and potential evapotranspiration (PET) were the obvious driving factors, explaining 57.56% and 21.55% of the changes in ecological vulnerability across the TRB, respectively. In terms of ecological vulnerability grade changes, obvious spatial differences were observed in the upper, middle, and lower reaches of the TRB due to the different vegetation and hydrothermal conditions. The alpine source region of the TRB showed obvious ecological improvement due to increased precipitation and temperature, but the alpine meadow of the Kaidu River catchment in the Middle Tianshan Mountains experienced degradation associated with overgrazing and local drought. The improved agricultural management technologies had positive effects on farmland ecological improvement, while the desert vegetation in oasis-desert ecotones showed a decreasing trend as a result of cropland reclamation and intensive drought. The desert riparian vegetation in the lower reaches of the Tarim River was greatly improved due to the implementation of the EWDP, which has been active for tens of years. These results provide comprehensive knowledge about ecological processes and mechanisms in the whole TRB and help to develop environmental restoration measures based on different ecological vulnerability grades in each sub-catchment.

submitted time 2021-09-08 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1925Downloads114 Comment 0

4. chinaXiv:202109.00017 [pdf]

Diversity of cultivable endophytic bacteria associated with halophytes in Xinjiang of China and their plant beneficial traits

LI Li; GAO Lei; LIU Yonghong; FANG Baozhu; HUANG Yin; Osama A A MOHAMAD; Dilfuza EGAMBERDIEVA; LI Wenjun; MA Jinbiao
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Endophytic bacteria from halophytes have a wide range of application prospects in various fields, such as plant growth-promoting, biocontrol activity and stress resistance. The current study aimed to identify cultivable endophytic bacteria associated with halophytes grown in the salt-affected soil in Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China and to evaluate their plant beneficial traits and enzyme-producing activity. Endophytic bacteria were isolated from Reaumuria soongorica (PalL Maxim.), Artemisia carvifolia (Buch.-Ham. ex Roxb. Hort. Beng.), Peganum harmala L. and Suaeda dendroides (C. A. Mey. Moq.) by using the cultural-dependent method. Then we classified these bacteria based on the difference between their sequences of 16S rRNA (16S ribosomal RNA) gene. Results showed that the isolated bacteria from R. soongorica belonged to the genera Brucella, Bacillus and Variovorax. The bacteria from A. carvifolia belonged to the genera Micromonospora and Brucella. The bacteria from P. harmala belonged to the genera Paramesorhizobium, Bacillus and Peribacillus. The bacteria from S. dendroides belonged to the genus Bacillus. Notably, the genus Bacillus was detected in the three above plants, indicating that Bacillus is a common taxon of endophytic bacteria in halophytes. And, our results found that about 37.50% of the tested strains showed strong protease-producing activity, 6.25% of the tested strains showed strong cellulase-producing activity and 12.50% of the tested strains showed moderate lipase-producing activity. Besides, all isolated strains were positive for IAA (3-Indoleacetic acid) production, 31.25% of isolated strains exhibited a moderate phosphate solubilization activity and 50.00% of isolated strains exhibited a weak siderophore production activity. Our findings suggest that halophytes are valuable resources for identifying microbes with the ability to increase host plant growth and health in salt-affected soils.

submitted time 2021-09-08 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1867Downloads138 Comment 0

5. chinaXiv:202109.00018 [pdf]

Soil quality assessment in different dammed-valley farmlands in the hilly-gully mountain areas of the northern Loess Plateau, China

CHEN Shumin; JIN Zhao; ZHANG Jing; YANG Siqi
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

There are numerous valley farmlands on the Chinese Loess Plateau (CLP), where suffers from low soil quality and high risk of soil salinization due to the shallow groundwater table and poor drainage system. Currently, research on the evolution processes and mechanisms of soil quality and salinization in these dammed-valley farmlands on the CLP is still inadequately understood. In this study, three kinds of dammed-valley farmlands in the hilly-gully areas of the northern CLP were selected, and the status of soil quality and the impact factors of soil salinization were examined. The dammed-valley farmlands include the new farmland created by the project of Gully Land Consolidation, the 60-a farmland created by sedimentation from check dam, and the 400-a farmland created by sedimentation from an ancient landslide-dammed lake. Results showed that (1) the newly created farmland had the lowest soil quality in terms of soil bulk density, porosity, soil organic carbon and total nitrogen among the three kinds of dammed-valley farmlands; (2) soil salinization occurred in the middle and upper reaches of the new and 60-a valley farmlands, whereas no soil salinization was found in the 400-a valley farmland; and (3) soil salinization and low soil nutrient were determined to be the two important factors that impacted the soil quality of the valley farmlands in the hilly-gully mountain areas of the CLP. We conclude that the dammed-valley farmlands on the CLP have a high risk of soil salinization due to the shallow groundwater table, alkalinity of the loessial soil and local landform feature, thus resulting in the low soil quality of the valley farmlands. Therefore, strengthening drainage and decreasing groundwater table are extremely important to improve the soil quality of the valley farmlands and guarantee the sustainable development of the valley agriculture on the CLP.

submitted time 2021-09-08 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1921Downloads115 Comment 0

6. chinaXiv:202108.00008 [pdf]

Contrasting effects of nitrogen addition on litter decomposition in forests and grasslands in China

SU Yuan; MA Xiaofei; GONG Yanming; LI Kaihui; HAN Wenxuan; LIU Xuejun
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Nitrogen (N) addition has profound impacts on litter-mediated nutrient cycling. Numerous studies have reported different effects of N addition on litter decomposition, exhibiting positive, negative, or neutral effects. Previous meta-analysis of litter decomposition under N addition was mainly based on a small number of samples to allow comparisons among ecosystem types. This study presents the results of a meta-analysis incorporating data from 53 published studies (including 617 observations) across forests, grasslands, wetlands, and croplands in China, to investigate how environmental and experimental factors impact the effects of N addition on litter decomposition. Averaged across all of the studies, N addition significantly slows litter decomposition by 7.02%. Considering ecosystem types, N addition significantly accelerates litter decomposition by 3.70% and 11.22% in grasslands and wetlands, respectively, clearly inhibits litter decomposition by 14.53% in forests, and has no significant effects on litter decomposition in croplands. Regarding the accelerated litter decomposition rate in grasslands due to N addition, litter decomposition rate increases slightly with increasing rates of N addition. However, N addition slows litter decomposition in forests, but litter decomposition is at a significantly increasing rate with increasing amounts of N addition. The responses of litter decomposition to N addition are also influenced by the forms of N addition, experiential duration of N addition, humidity index, litter quality, and soil pH. In summary, N addition alters litter decomposition rate, but the direction and magnitude of the response are affected by the forms of N addition, the rate of N addition, ambient N deposition, experimental duration, and climate factors. Our study highlights the contrasting effects of N addition on litter decomposition in forests and grasslands. This finding could be used in biogeochemical models to better evaluate ecosystem carbon cycling under increasing N deposition due to the differential responses of litter decomposition to N addition rates and ecosystem types.

submitted time 2021-08-06 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits2411Downloads188 Comment 0

7. chinaXiv:202108.00010 [pdf]

Response of plant physiological parameters to soil water availability during prolonged drought is affected by soil texture

HUANG Laiming; ZHAO Wen; SHAO Ming'an
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Soil water deficit is increasingly threatening the sustainable vegetation restoration and ecological construction on the Loess Plateau of China due to the climate warming and human activities. To determine the response thresholds of Amygdalus pedunculata (AP) and Salix psammophila (SP) to soil water availability under different textural soils, we measured the changes in net photosynthetic rate (Pn), stomatal conductance (Gs), intercellular CO2 concentration (Ci), leaf water potential (ψw), water use efficiency (WUE) and daily transpiration rate (Td) of the two plant species during soil water content (SWC) decreased from 100% field capacity (FC) to 20% FC in the sandy and loamy soils on the Loess Plateau in the growing season from June to August in 2018. Results showed that Pn, Gs, WUE and Td of AP and SP remained relatively constant at the beginning of soil water deficit but decreased rapidly as plant available soil water content (PASWC) fell below the threshold values in both the sandy and loamy soils. The PASWC thresholds corresponding to Pn, Gs and Ci of AP in the loamy soil (0.61, 0.62 and 0.70, respectively) were lower than those in the sandy soil (0.70, 0.63 and 0.75, respectively), whereas the PASWC thresholds corresponding to Pn, Gs and Ci of SP in the loamy soil (0.63, 0.68 and 0.78, respectively) were higher than those in the sandy soil (0.58, 0.62 and 0.66, respectively). In addition, the PASWC thresholds in relation to Td and WUE of AP (0.60 and 0.58, respectively) and SP (0.62 and 0.60, respectively) in the loamy soil were higher than the corresponding PASWC thresholds of AP (0.58 and 0.52, respectively) and SP (0.55 and 0.56, respectively) in the sandy soil. Furthermore, the PASWC thresholds for the instantaneous gas exchange parameters (e.g., Pn and Gs) at the transient scale were higher than the thresholds for the parameters (e.g., Td) at the daily scale. Our study demonstrates that different plant species and/or different physiological parameters exhibit different thresholds of PASWC and that the thresholds are affected by soil texture. The result can provide guidance for the rational allocation and sustainable management of reforestation species under different soil conditions in the loess regions.

submitted time 2021-08-06 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits1063Downloads201 Comment 0

8. chinaXiv:202107.00021 [pdf]

Assessment of organic compost and biochar in promoting phytoremediation of crude-oil contaminated soil using Calendula officinalis in the Loess Plateau, China

WANG Jincheng; JING Mingbo; ZHANG Wei; ZHANG Gaosen; ZHANG Binglin; LIU Guangxiu; CHEN Tuo; ZHAO Zhiguang
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

The Loess Plateau, located in Gansu Province, is an important energy base in China because most of the oil and gas resources are distributed in Gansu Province. In the last 40 a, ecological environment in this region has been extremely destroyed due to the over-exploitation of crude-oil resources. Remediation of crude-oil contaminated soil in this area remains to be a challenging task. In this study, in order to elucidate the effects of organic compost and biochar on phytoremediation of crude-oil contaminated soil (20 g/kg) by Calendula officinalis, we designed five treatments, i.e., natural attenuation (CK), planted C. officinalis only (P), planted C. officinalis with biochar amendment (PB), planted C. officinalis with organic compost amendment (PC), and planted C. officinalis with co-amendment of biochar and organic compost (PBC). After 152 d of cultivation, total petroleum hydrocarbons (TPH) removal rates of CK, P, PB, PC and PBC were 6.36%, 50.08%, 39.58%, 73.10% and 59.87%, respectively. Shoot and root dry weights of C. officinalis significantly increased by 172.31% and 80.96% under PC and 311.61% and 145.43% under PBC, respectively as compared with P (P<0.05). Total chlorophyll contents in leaves of C. officinalis under P, PC and PBC significantly increased by 77.36%, 125.50% and 79.80%, respectively (P<0.05) as compared with PB. Physical-chemical characteristics and enzymatic activity of soil in different treatments were also assessed. The highest total N, total P, available N, available P and SOM (soil organic matter) occurred in PC, followed by PBC (P<0.05). C. officinalis rhizospheric soil dehydrogenase (DHA) and polyphenol oxidase (PPO) activities in PB were lower than those of other treatments (P<0.05). The values of ACE (abundance-based coverage estimators) and Chao 1 indices for rhizospheric bacteria were the highest under PC followed by PBC, P, PB and CK (P<0.05). However, the Shannon index for bacteria was the highest under PC and PBC, followed by P, PB and CK (P<0.05). In terms of soil microbial community composition, Proteiniphilum, Immundisolibacteraceae and Solimonadaceae were relatively more abundant under PC and PBC. Relative abundances of Pseudallescheria, Ochroconis, Fusarium, Sarocladium, Podospora, Apodus, Pyrenochaetopsis and Schizothecium under PC and PBC were higher, while relative abundances of Gliomastix, Aspergillus and Alternaria were lower under PC and PBC. As per the nonmetric multidimensional scaling (NMDS) analysis, application of organic compost significantly promoted soil N and P contents, shoot length, root vitality, chlorophyll ratio, total chlorophyll, abundance and diversity of rhizospheric soil microbial community in C. officinalis. A high pH value and lower soil N and P contents induced by biochar, altered C. officinalis rhizospheric soil microbial community composition, which might have restrained its phytoremediation efficiency. The results suggest that organic compost-assisted C. officinalis phytoremediation for crude-oil contaminated soil was highly effective in the Loess Plateau, China.

submitted time 2021-07-23 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits727Downloads245 Comment 0

9. chinaXiv:202107.00022 [pdf]

Large scale sand saltation over hard surface: a controlled experiment in still air

LIU Benli; WANG Zhaoyun; NIU Baicheng; QU Jianjun
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Saltation is the major particle movement type in wind erosion process. Saltating sand grains can rebound up to tens of times larger in length and height over hard surface (such as gravel surface) than over loose sand surface. Gravels usually have different faces, causing distinct response of the impacting grains, but the effects of the grain and gravel-surface contact angle on grain rebound are not yet well quantified. We performed full-range controlled experiments of grain saltation using different contact angles, grain sizes and impact speeds in still air, to show that contact angle increases the height of representative saltation path but decreases particle travel length. The results were compared with outputs from the COMprehensive numerical model of SALTation (COMSALT). Large saltation height of 4.8 m and length of 9.0 m were recorded. The maximum and representative saltation height over the gravel surface were found to be about 4.9 times and 12.8 times those over the loose sandy surface, respectively. The maximum saltation length may be reduced by 58% and the representative saltation height may be increased by 77% as contact angle increases from 20° to 40°. We further showed that the collision inertia contributes 60% of the saltation length, and wind contributes to the other 40%. These quantitative findings have important implications for modeling saltation trajectory over gravel surface.

submitted time 2021-07-23 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits662Downloads258 Comment 0

10. chinaXiv:202107.00025 [pdf]

Adaptability of machine learning methods and hydrological models to discharge simulations in data-sparse glaciated watersheds

JI Huiping; CHEN Yaning; FANG Gonghuan; LI Zhi; DUAN Weili; ZHANG Qifei
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

The accurate simulation and prediction of runoff in alpine glaciated watersheds is of increasing importance for the comprehensive management and utilization of water resources. In this study, long short-term memory (LSTM), a state-of-the-art artificial neural network algorithm, is applied to simulate the daily discharge of two data-sparse glaciated watersheds in the Tianshan Mountains in Central Asia. Two other classic machine learning methods, namely extreme gradient boosting (XGBoost) and support vector regression (SVR), along with a distributed hydrological model (Soil and Water Assessment Tool (SWAT) and an extended SWAT model (SWAT_Glacier) are also employed for comparison. This paper aims to provide an efficient and reliable method for simulating discharge in glaciated alpine regions that have insufficient observed meteorological data. The two typical basins in this study are the main tributaries (the Kumaric and Toxkan rivers) of the Aksu River in the south Tianshan Mountains, which are dominated by snow and glacier meltwater and precipitation. Our comparative analysis indicates that simulations from the LSTM shows the best agreement with the observations. The performance metrics Nash-Sutcliffe efficiency coefficient (NS) and correlation coefficient (R2) of LSTM are higher than 0.90 in both the training and testing periods in the Kumaric River Basin, and NS and R2 are also higher than 0.70 in the Toxkan River Basin. Compared to classic machine learning algorithms, LSTM shows significant advantages over most evaluating indices. XGBoost also has high NS value in the training period, but is prone to overfitting the discharge. Compared with the widely used hydrological models, LSTM has advantages in predicting accuracy, despite having fewer data inputs. Moreover, LSTM only requires meteorological data rather than physical characteristics of underlying data. As an extension of SWAT, the SWAT_Glacier model shows good adaptability in discharge simulation, outperforming the original SWAT model, but at the cost of increasing the complexity of the model. Compared with the oftentimes complex semi-distributed physical hydrological models, the LSTM method not only eliminates the tedious calibration process of hydrological parameters, but also significantly reduces the calculation time and costs. Overall, LSTM shows immense promise in dealing with scarce meteorological data in glaciated catchments.

submitted time 2021-07-23 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits474Downloads250 Comment 0

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