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1. chinaXiv:202101.00072 [pdf]

How precipitation and grazing influence the ecological functions of drought-prone grasslands on the northern slopes of the Tianshan Mountains, China?

HUANG Xiaotao; LUO Geping; CHEN Chunbo; PENG Jian; ZHANG Chujie; ZHOU Huakun; YAO Buqing; MA Zhen; XI Xiaoyan
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Drought-prone grasslands provide a critical resource for the millions of people who are dependent on livestock for food security. However, this ecosystem is potentially vulnerable to climate change (e.g., precipitation) and human activity (e.g., grazing). Despite this, the influences of precipitation and grazing on ecological functions of drought-prone grasslands in the Tianshan Mountains remain relatively unexplored. Therefore, we conducted a systematic field investigation and a clipping experiment (simulating different intensities of grazing) in a drought-prone grassland on the northern slopes of the Tianshan Mountains in China to examine the influences of precipitation and grazing on aboveground biomass (AGB), soil volumetric water content (SVWC), and precipitation use efficiency (PUE) during the period of 2014–2017. We obtained the meteorological and SVWC data using an HL20 Bowen ratio system and a PR2 soil profile hydrometer, respectively. We found that AGB was clearly affected by both the amount and seasonal pattern of precipitation, and that PUE may be relatively low in years with either low or excessive precipitation. The PUE values were generally higher in the rapid growing season (April–July) than in the entire growing season (April–October). Overall, moderate grazing can promote plant growth under water stress conditions. The SVWC value was higher in the clipped plots than in the unclipped plots in the rapid growing season (April–July), but it was lower in the clipped plots than in the unclipped plots in the slow growing season (August–October). Our findings can enhance the understanding of the ecological effects of precipitation and grazing in drought-prone grasslands and provide data that will support the effective local grassland management.

submitted time 2021-01-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits72Downloads37 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:202101.00074 [pdf]

Long-term variations in runoff of the Syr Darya River Basin under climate change and human activities

Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

In this study, we analyzed the hydrological and meteorological data from the Syr Darya River Basin during the period of 1930–2015 to investigate variations in river runoff and the impacts of climate change and human activities on river runoff. The Syr Darya River, which is supplied by snow and glacier meltwater upstream, is an important freshwater source for Central Asia, as nearly half of the population is concentrated in this area. River runoff in this arid region is sensitive to climate change and human activities. Therefore, estimation of the climatic and hydrological changes and the quantification of the impacts of climate change and human activities on river runoff are of great concern and important for regional water resources management. The long-term trends of hydrological time series from the selected 11 hydrological stations in the Syr Darya River Basin were examined by non-parametric methods, including the Pettitt change point test and Mann-Kendall trend tests. It was found that 8 out of 11 hydrological stations showed significant downward trends in river runoff. Change of river runoff variations occurred in the year around 1960. Moreover, during the study period (1930–2015), annual mean temperature, annual precipitation, and annual potential evapotranspiration in the river basin increased substantially. We employed hydrological sensitivity method to evaluate the impacts of climate change and human activities on river runoff based on precipitation and potential evapotranspiration. It was estimated that human activities accounted for over 82.6%–98.7% of the reduction in river runoff, mainly owing to water withdrawal for irrigation purpose. The observed variations in river runoff can subsequently lead to adverse ecological consequences from an ecological and regional water resources management perspective.

submitted time 2021-01-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits57Downloads27 Comment 0

3. chinaXiv:202101.00076 [pdf]

Investigation of crop evapotranspiration and irrigation water requirement in the lower Amu Darya River Basin, Central Asia

Durdiev KHAYDAR; CHEN Xi; HUANG Yue; Makhmudov ILKHOM; LIU Tie; Ochege FRIDAY; Abdullaev FARKHOD; Gafforov KHUSEN; Omarakunova GULKAIYR
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

High water consumption and inefficient irrigation management in the agriculture sector of the middle and lower reaches of the Amu Darya River Basin (ADRB) have significantly influenced the gradual shrinking of the Aral Sea and its ecosystem. In this study, we investigated the crop water consumption in the growing seasons and the irrigation water requirement for different crop types in the lower ADRB during 2004–2017. We applied the FAO Penman–Monteith method to estimate reference evapotranspiration (ET0) based on daily climatic data collected from four meteorological stations. Crop evapotranspiration (ETc) of specific crop types was calculated by the crop coefficient. Then, we analyzed the net irrigation requirement (NIR) based on the effective precipitation with crop water requirements. The results indicated that the lowest monthly ET0 values in the lower ADRB were found in December (18.2 mm) and January (16.0 mm), and the highest monthly ET0 values were found in June and July, with similar values of 211.6 mm. The annual ETc reached to 887.2, 1002.1, and 492.0 mm for cotton, rice, and wheat, respectively. The average regional NIR ranged from 514.9 to 715.0 mm in the 10 Irrigation System Management Organizations (UISs) in the study area, while the total required irrigation volume for the whole region ranged from 4.2×109 to 11.6×109 m3 during 2004–2017. The percentages of NIR in SIW (surface irrigation water) ranged from 46.4% to 65.2% during the study period, with the exceptions of the drought years of 2008 and 2011, in which there was a significantly less runoff in the Amu Darya River. This study provides an overview for local water authorities to achieve optimal regional water allocation in the study area.

submitted time 2021-01-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits62Downloads31 Comment 0

4. chinaXiv:202011.00131 [pdf]

Can climate change influence agricultural GTFP in arid and semi-arid regions of Northwest China?

FENG,Jian; ZHAO,Lingdi; ZHANG,Yibo; SUN,Lingxiao; YU,Xiang; YU,Yang
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

There are eight provinces and autonomous regions (Gansu Province, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, Inner Mongolia Autonomous Region, Tibet Autonomous Region, Qinghai Province, Shanxi Province, and Shaanxi Province) in Northwest China, most areas of which are located in arid and semi-arid regions (northwest of the 400 mm precipitation line), accounting for 58.74% of the country's land area and sustaining approximately 7.84×106 people. Because of drought conditions and fragile ecology, these regions cannot develop agriculture at the expense of the environment. Given the challenges of global warming, the green total factor productivity (GTFP), taking CO2 emissions as an undesirable output, is an effective index for measuring the sustainability of agricultural development. Agricultural GTFP can be influenced by both internal production factors (labor force, machinery, land, agricultural plastic film, diesel, pesticide, and fertilizer) and external climate factors (temperature, precipitation, and sunshine duration). In this study, we used the Super-slacks-based measure (Super-SBM) model to measure agricultural GTFP during the period 2000–2016 at the regional level. Our results show that the average agricultural GTFP of most provinces and autonomous regions in arid and semi-arid regions underwent a fluctuating increase during the study period (2000–2016), and the fluctuation was caused by the production factors (input and output factors). To improve agricultural GTFP, Shaanxi, Shanxi, and Gansu should reduce agricultural labor force input; Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Gansu, and Shanxi should decrease machinery input; Shaanxi, Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, and Shanxi should reduce fertilizer input; Shaanxi, Xinjiang, Gansu, and Ningxia should reduce diesel input; Xinjiang and Gansu should decrease plastic film input; and Gansu, Shanxi, and Inner Mongolia should cut pesticide input. Desirable output agricultural earnings should be increased in Qinghai and Tibet, and undesirable output (CO2 emissions) should be reduced in Inner Mongolia, Xinjiang, Gansu, and Shaanxi. Agricultural GTFP is influenced not only by internal production factors but also by external climate factors. To determine the influence of climate factors on GTFP in these provinces and autonomous regions, we used a Geographical Detector (Geodetector) model to analyze the influence of climate factors (temperature, precipitation, and sunshine duration) and identify the relationships between different climate factors and GTFP. We found that temperature played a significant role in the spatial heterogeneity of GTFP among provinces and autonomous regions in arid and semi-arid regions. For Xinjiang, Inner Mongolia, and Tibet, a suitable average annual temperature would be in the range of 7°C–9°C; for Gansu, Shanxi, and Ningxia, it would be 11°C–13°C; and for Shaanxi, it would be 15°C–17°C. Stable climatic conditions and more efficient production are prerequisites for the development of sustainable agriculture. Hence, in the agricultural production process, reducing the redundancy of input factors is the best way to reduce CO2 emissions and to maintain temperatures, thereby improving the agricultural GTFP. The significance of this study is that it explores the impact of both internal production factors and external climatic factors on the development of sustainable agriculture in arid and semi-arid regions, identifying an effective way forward for the arid and semi-arid regions of Northwest China.

submitted time 2020-11-25 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits2731Downloads259 Comment 0

5. chinaXiv:202011.00133 [pdf]

Impacts of snow on seed germination are independent of seed traits and plant ecological characteristics in a temperate desert of Central Asia

ANNIWAER,Anlifeire ANNIWAER; SU,Yangui; ZHOU,Xiaobing; ZHANG,Yuanming
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Seed germination profoundly impacts plant community composition within the plant life cycle. Snow is an important source of water for seed germination in the temperate deserts of Central Asia. Understanding how seed germination responds to variations in snow cover in relation to seed traits and plant ecological characteristics can help predict plant community sustainability and stability in Central Asia under a scenario climate change. This study investigated the seed germination of 35 plant species common to the Gurbantunggut Desert in Central Asia under the three snow treatments: (1) snow addition; (2) ambient snow; and (3) snow removal. Two-way analysis of variance (ANOVA) tests were performed to assess interactions among the impacts of snow treatments, seed traits and plant ecological characteristics on seed germination. Phylogenetic generalized least-squares (PGLS) model was used to test the relationships between seed traits and seed germination. The results demonstrated that snow variations had no significant impacts on seed germination overall. Seed germination under the snow addition treatment was similar with that under the ambient snow treatment, irrespective of seed traits and plant ecological characteristics. Snow removal only had negative impacts on seed germination for certain groups of seed traits and plant ecological characteristics. Seed mass positively affected seed germination, showing a linear increase of arcsin square root-transformed seed germination with log-transformed seed mass. Seed shape also profoundly impacted seed germination, with a higher germination percentage for elongated and flat seeds. Seed germination differed under different plant life forms, with semi-shrub species showing a significantly higher germination percentage. Most importantly, although snow treatments, seed traits and plant ecological characteristics had no interactive effects on seed germination overall, some negative impacts from the snow removal treatment were detected when seeds were categorized on the basis of seed mass and shape. This result suggests that variations of snow cover may change plant community composition in this temperate desert due to their impacts on seed germination.

submitted time 2020-11-25 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits2083Downloads273 Comment 0

6. chinaXiv:202010.00036 [pdf]

Spatial-temporal characteristics and influencing factors of relative humidity in arid region of Northwest China during 1966–2017

CHEN,Ditao; LIU,Wenjiang; HUANG,Farong; LI,Qian; UCHENNA-OCHEGE,Friday ; LI,Lanhai
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Playing an important role in global warming and plant growth, relative humidity (RH) has profound impacts on production and living, and can be used as an integrated indicator for evaluating the wet-dry conditions in the arid and semi-arid area. However, information on the spatial-temporal variation and the influencing factors of RH in these regions is still limited. This study attempted to use daily meteorological data during 1966–2017 to reveal the spatial-temporal characteristics of RH in the arid region of Northwest China through rotated empirical orthogonal function and statistical analysis method, and the path analysis was used to clarify the impact of temperature (T), precipitation (P), actual evapotranspiration (ETa), wind speed (W) and sunshine duration (S) on RH. The results demonstrated that climatic conditions in North Xinjiang (NXJ) was more humid than those in Hexi Corridor (HXC) and South Xinjiang (SXJ). RH had a less significant downtrend in NXJ than that in HXC, but an increasingly rising trend was observed in SXJ during the last five decades, implying that HXC and NXJ were under the process of droughts, while SXJ was getting wetter. There was a turning point for the trend of RH in Xinjiang, which occurred in 2000. Path analysis indicated that RH was negatively correlated to T, ETa, W and S, but it increased with increase of P. S, T and W had the greatest direct effects on RH in HXC, NXJ and SXJ, respectively. ETa was the factor which had the greatest indirect effect on RH in HXC and NXJ, while T was the dominant factor in SXJ.

submitted time 2020-10-20 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits335Downloads197 Comment 0

7. chinaXiv:202010.00037 [pdf]

Performance and uncertainty analysis of a short-term climate reconstruction based on multi-source data in the Tianshan Mountains region, China

LI,Xuemei; SIMONOVIC,Slobodan P; LI,Lanhai; ZHANG,Xueting; QIN,Qirui
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Short-term climate reconstruction, i.e., the reproduction of short-term (several decades) historical climatic time series based on the relationship between observed data and available longer-term reference data in a certain area, can extend the length of climatic time series and offset the shortage of observations. This can be used to assess regional climate change over a much longer time scale. Based on monthly grid climate data from a Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) dataset for the period of 1850–2000, the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) dataset for the period of 1901–2000 and the observed data from 53 meteorological stations located in the Tianshan Mountains region (TMR) of China during the period of 1961–2011, we calibrated and validated monthly average temperature (MAT) and monthly accumulated precipitation (MAP) in the TMR using the delta, physical scaling (SP) and arti?cial neural network (ANN) methods. Performance and uncertainty during the calibration (1971–1999) and verification (1961–1970) periods were assessed and compared using traditional performance indices and a revised set pair analysis (RSPA) method. The calibration and verification processes were subjected to various sources of uncertainty due to the influence of different reconstructed variables, different data sources, and/or different methods used. According to traditional performance indices, both the CRU and CMIP5 datasets resulted in satisfactory calibrated and verified MAT time series at 53 meteorological stations and MAP time series at 20 meteorological stations using the delta and SP methods for the period of 1961–1999. However, the results differed from those obtained by the RSPA method. This showed that the CRU dataset produced a low degree of uncertainty (positive connection degree) during the calibration and verification of MAT using the delta and SP methods compared to the CMIP5 dataset. Overall, the calibrated and verified MAP had a high degree of uncertainty (negative connection degree) regardless of the dataset or reconstruction method used. Therefore, the reconstructed time series of MAT for the period of 1850 (or 1901)–1960 based on the CRU and CMIP5 datasets using the delta and SP methods could be used for further study. The results of this study will be useful for short-term (several decades) regional climate reconstruction and longer-term (100 a or more) assessments of regional climate change.

submitted time 2020-10-20 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits272Downloads156 Comment 0

8. chinaXiv:202006.00222 [pdf]

Global Dryland Ecosystem Programme (G-DEP): Africa consultative meeting report

PENG Yu; FU Bojie; ZHANG Linxiu; YU Xiubo; FU Chao; Salif DIOP; Hubert HIRWA; Aliou GUISSE; LI Fadong
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

In order to enhance and restore the ecosystems of natural capital in African arid regions, the Global Dryland Ecosystem Programme (G-DEP) consultative meeting was hosted in Dakar, Senegal, from 23 to 25 September 2019. This paper details the first African meeting of the G-DEP. Consultative meeting reviewed preceding dryland ecosystems case studies, identified vulnerable arid and semi-arid regions, and proposed sustainable solutions to problems. It also identified the successes and failures of previous attempts to improve vulnerable ecosystems and ultimately formed an action plan to improve these attempts. Climate, ecosystems, and livelihoods for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI) for Sahara and Sahel, and China-Africa cooperation on science, technology, and innovation are three extra main sections concerned of the meeting. Separately, more specific topics as the complicated relationship between these natural processes and human activity, including pastoralism, soil restoration, and vegetation regenerate techniques, were fully discussed. Consultative meeting also identified the positive effects international collaboration can have on dryland regions, specifically in the capacity of sharing information, technology, and innovation on purpose to develop a joint proposal for long-term research programs in African arid and semi-arid areas. Moreover, meetings that review the progress made on ecosystem management for the sustainable livelihoods in Africa, identification of priority areas, and the development and implementation of ecosystem programs for proper research and collaboration in African arid and semi-arid zones, have been proposed as strategic recommendations to enhance the global partnership for sustainable development. Furthermore, as the outcomes of the workshop, there are three steps proposed to handle African dryland climate changes, several aspects suggested to solve current dilemmas of the GGWI, and a series of actions recommended for G-DEP related activities in Africa.

submitted time 2020-06-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits12094Downloads717 Comment 0

9. chinaXiv:202006.00234 [pdf]

Does cotton bollworm show cross-resistance to the Bacillus thuringiensis toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab? A mini review

MA Jihong; TIAN Changyan; LYU Guanghui; MAI Wenxuan
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Since 1996, transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton has been commercially grown in numerous countries in an effort to stem the losses caused by key lepidopteran pests. However, the development of pest resistance to Bt toxins has jeopardized the continued utilization of Bt cotton. As a strategy designed to circumvent the development of resistance, Bt cotton varieties expressing two or more toxins targeting the same pest have been introduced. Nevertheless, from the perspective of long-term planting of Bt cotton, the potential risk of cross-resistance to these Bt toxins is a threat that cannot be ignored. In this paper, we review current research (including that based on the analysis of protein binding sites and resistance genes) on the resistance of cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) to the Bt toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab and the interrelationship between these toxins. On the basis of existing evidence, we assume that the actions of Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab against cotton bollworm are not completely independent, and then propose the ''resistance-associated gene mutation potential hypothesis''. Although the mechanisms underlying the resistance of pests to Bt toxins are yet to be comprehensively elucidated, this hypothesis could undoubtedly have important implications for adopting ''pyramid'' strategy in the future. Further research is recommended to devise strategies to retard the development of H. armigera resistance to Bt cotton, either using different Bt toxins or their various combinations.

submitted time 2020-06-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits8643Downloads578 Comment 0

10. chinaXiv:202006.00238 [pdf]

Assessing the collapse risk of Stipa bungeana grassland in China based on its distribution changes

QIAO Xianguo; GUO Ke; LI Guoqing; ZHAO Liqing; LI Frank Yonghong; GAO Chenguang
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

The criteria used by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for its Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) are the global standards for ecosystem-level risk assessment, and they have been increasingly used for biodiversity conservation. The changed distribution area of an ecosystem is one of the key criteria in such assessments. The Stipa bungeana grassland is one of the most widely distributed grasslands in the warm-temperate semi-arid regions of China. However, the total distribution area of this grassland was noted to have shrunk and become fragmented because of its conversion to cropland and grazing-induced degradation. Following the IUCN-RLE standards, here we analyzed changes in the geographical distribution of this degraded grassland, to evaluate its degradation and risk of collapse. Past (1950–1980) distribution areas were extracted from the Vegetation Map of China (1:1,000,000). Present realizable distribution areas were equated to these past areas minus any habitat area losses. We then predicted the grassland's present and future (under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 scenario) potential distribution areas using maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt), based on field survey data and nine environmental layers. Our results showed that the S. bungeana grassland was mainly distributed in the Loess Plateau, Hexi Corridor, and low altitudes of the Qilian Mountains and Longshou Mountain. This ecosystem occurred mainly on loess soils, kastanozems, steppe aeolian soils and sierozems. Thermal and edaphic factors were the most important factors limiting the distribution of S. bungeana grassland across China. Since 56.1% of its past distribution area (4.9×104 km2) disappeared in the last 50 a, the present realizable distribution area only amounts to 2.2×104 km2. But only 15.7% of its present potential distribution area (14.0×104 km2) is actually occupied by the S. bungeana grassland. The future potential distribution of S. bungeana grassland was predicted to shift towards northwest, and the total area of this ecosystem will shrink by 12.4% over the next 50 a under the most pessimistic climate change scenario. Accordingly, following the IUCN-RLE criteria, we deemed the S. bungeana grassland ecosystem in China to be endangered (EN). Revegetation projects and the establishment of protected areas are recommended as effective ways to avert this looming crisis. This empirical modeling study provides an example of how IUCN-RLE categories and criteria may be valuably used for ecosystem assessments in China and abroad.

submitted time 2020-06-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits6906Downloads508 Comment 0

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