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2016, 8 (1) Online: 01 February 2016 Previous issue Next issue
  • Agroecosystem research in Uppsala, Sweden and Naiman, China:Some observations 1987-2014
  • Olof Andrén, XueYong Zhao, Thomas Kätterer, Martin Bolinder
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00001
  • 2016, Vol.8 (1): 1–8 Abstract ( 34) HTML PDF (1305 KB) ( 16 )
  • The recent economic progress in China has stimulated scientific research in sandy lands in Inner Mongolia, where the Institute of Desert Research, Chinese Academy of Sciences (now CAREERI) has a leading position. Economic progress naturally creates financial resources for research, and also a dire need for solutions to emerging environmental problems following development, where wind-blown dust from Inner Mongolia adds to the severe particle air pollution in many Chinese cities. This paper presents selected results and observations made during Chinese-Swedish cooperation projects spanning 25 years. Results and experiences from sandy land research concerning climate, vegetation, root dynamics, soil carbon balances, etc. are briefly presented. The evolution of the Naiman Desertification Research Station, 520 km northeast of Beijing, from 1988 to 2013 is duly noted and commented. An overview of the ICBM soil carbon model concept follows and a few recommendations for future scientific advancement in Chinese arid lands are given.
  • Characterization of contemporary aeolian dust deposition on mountain glaciers of western China
  • JianZhong Xu, ShiChang Kang, ShuGui Hou, QiangGong Zhang, Jie Huang, CunDe Xiao, JiaWen Ren, DaHe Qin
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00009
  • 2016, Vol.8 (1): 9–21 Abstract ( 40) HTML PDF (4150 KB) ( 24 )
  • From 2008 to 2010, a total of 15 snow pit samples were collected from 13 mountain glaciers in western China. In this study these samples are used to determine the spatial distribution of insoluble particle concentrations and dust deposition fluxes in western China. The results show that the mass concentrations of insoluble particles exhibit high spatial variation and strongly decrease (by a factor of approximately 50) from the north (Tienshan Mountains) to the south (Himalayas). However, the insoluble particles concentrations at the southeastern Tibetan Plateau (TP) sites are also high and approximately 30 times greater than those in the Himalayas. The spatial distribution of the dust flux is similar to that of the mass concentrations; however, the high dust deposition rate in the southeastern TP is very significant as a result of the extensive snow accumulation (precipitation) in this region. The average sizes of the insoluble particles at each site generally exhibit bimodal distributions with peaks at approximately 5 μm and 10 μm, which can be explained as resulting from dust emissions from regional and local sources, respectively. The enrichment factors for most of the elements measured in insoluble particles are less than 10 at all of the study sites, indicating primarily crustal sources. However, the sites located in the peripheral mountains of western China, such as the Tienshan Mountains and the Himalayas, are characterized by high levels of certain enrichment elements (e.g., Cu, Zn, Cr, and V) indicative of sources related to the long-range transport of pollutants.
  • Soil water deficit and vegetation restoration in the refuse dumps of the Heidaigou open-pit coal mine, Inner Mongolia, China
  • Lei Huang, Peng Zhang, YiGang Hu, Yang Zhao
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00022
  • 2016, Vol.8 (1): 22–35 Abstract ( 30) HTML PDF (755 KB) ( 8 )
  • The sustainability of ecosystem restoration of refuse dumps in open-pit coal mines depends on plant species selection, their configuration, and the optimal usage of water resources. This study is based on field experiments in the northern refuse dump of the Heidaigou open-pit coal mine in Inner Mongolia of China established in 1995. Eight plant configurations, including trees, shrubs, grasses, and their combinations, as well as the adjacent community of natural vegetation, were selected. The succession of the revegetated plants, soil water storage, the spatiotemporal distribution of plant water deficits degree and its compensation degree were also studied. Results indicated that the vegetation cover (shrubs and herbaceous cover), richness, abundance, soil nutrients (soil organic matter, N and P), and biological soil crust coverage on the soil surface are significantly influenced by the vegetation configurations. The average soil water storage values in the shrub+grass and grass communities throughout the growing season are 208.69 mm and 206.55 mm, which are the closest to that of in the natural vegetation community (215.87 mm). Plant water deficits degree in the grass and shrub+grass communities were the lowest, but the degrees of water deficit compensation in these configuration were larger than those of the other vegetation configurations. Differences in plant water deficit degree and water compensation among the different configurations were significant (P<0.05). Plant water deficit degrees were predominantly minimal on the surface, increased with increasing soil depth, and remained stable at 80 cm soil depth. The soil moisture compensation in the natural vegetation, shrub+grass, and grass communities changed at 10%, while that in other vegetation communities changed between 20% and 40%. Overall, we conclude that the shrub+grass and grass configuration modes are the optimal vegetation restoration models in terms of ecohydrology for future ecological engineering projects.
  • Effects of heavy metal (Pb) concentration on some growth parameters of plants grown in lead polluted soil under organic fertilizer amendment
  • Ojo M. Oseni, Adekunle A. Adelusi, Esther O. Dada, Abdulfatai B. Rufai
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00036
  • 2016, Vol.8 (1): 36–45 Abstract ( 28) HTML PDF (303 KB) ( 34 )
  • This study investigated morphological variation and biomass accumulation that occurred in Sida acuta and Chromolaena odorata plants grown in lead polluted soil under organic fertilizer amendment. The study was carried out in the screen house at the Biological Gardens of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. The experiment was a factorial combination of one heavy metal (Pb) at five levels of concentration (0, 200, 400, 800 and 1,000 mg/kg) in a completely randomized design, and were replicated three times for each of the two plants and two levels (0 g/kg and 9.4 g/kg) of organic fertilizer (OBD-Plus). Each pot was filled with 5 kg of air-dried and sieved soil and placed on a plastic tray for the collection of excess water. Two weeks after planting, seedlings of uniform height were transplanted from the nursery to experimental pots at the rate of one seedling per pot and grown for 10 weeks. The growth parameters of the plants were biomonitored for 7 weeks. After 10 weeks of treatment, the plants were harvested and dried to calculate the biomass accumulation. The two plant species performed better under fertilizer application than without it. For each of the plant species the growth parameters decreased as the levels of Pb concentration increased. Furthermore, the plants' biomass decreased significantly (p<0.05) as the levels of Pb concentration increased. The organic fertilizer helped to improve the plants' performance in lead-polluted soil.
  • Salinity effects on soil organic carbon and its labile fractions, and nematode communities in irrigated farmlands in an arid region, northwestern China
  • YongZhong Su, TingNa Liu, XueFen Wang, Rong Yang
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00046
  • 2016, Vol.8 (1): 46–53 Abstract ( 34) HTML PDF (781 KB) ( 21 )
  • The effects of salinity on soil organic carbon (SOC) and its labile fractions including microbial biomass carbon (MBC) and easily oxidation organic carbon (EOC), basal soil respiration, and soil nematode community in the Fluvents, an oasis in an arid region of northwestern China were investigated. Five sites were selected which had a salinity gradient with different groundwater table from 1.0 m to 4.0 m. Soils were sampled at the 0-20 cm plough layer from 25 irrigated fields of five sites and electrical conductivity was measured in the saturation paste extracts (ECe). Soils were categorized into five salinity levels:(1) non-saline, (2) very slightly saline, (3) slightly saline, (4) moderately saline, and (5) strongly saline according to the values of ECe. The results show that SOC and total nitrogen concentration, cation exchange capacity (CEC), and the concentrations of labile organic fractions (MBC, EOC), and basal soil respiration decreased significantly with increasing ECe. The relationships between ECe and MBC, EOC and basal soil respiration were best described by power functions. Slight and moderate salinity had no significant impact on soil nematode abundance, but excessive salt accumulation led to a marked decline in soil nematode community diversity and abundance. Soil salinity changed soil nematode trophic groups and bacterivores were the most abundant trophic groups in salt-affected soils. Further study is necessary to identify the response of soil microbial processes and nematode community dynamics to soil salinity.
  • Effect of exogenous application of salicylic acid on the drought stress responses of Gardenia jasminoides
  • XiaMei Yao, Jing Ma, Jing Ji, Chun Ou, WenQiang Gao
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00054
  • 2016, Vol.8 (1): 54–64 Abstract ( 38) HTML PDF (520 KB) ( 32 )
  • The alleviative effects of exogenous salicylic acid (SA) on plants against drought stress were assessed in Gardenia jasminoides seedlings treated with different concentrations of SA. Drought stress was simulated to a moderate level by 15% polyethylene glycol (PEG) 6000 treatment. Seedlings exposed to 15% PEG for 14 days exhibited a decrease in aboveground and underground dry mass, seedling height, root length, relative water content, photosynthetic pigment content, net photosynthetic rate (Pn), transpiration rate (Tr), stomatal conductance (Gs), and water use efficiency. In PEG-stressed plants, the levels of proline, malondialdehyde (MDA), hydrogen peroxide (H2O2), and electrolyte leakage rose significantly, whereas antioxidative activity, including superoxide, peroxidase, and catalase activities, declined in leaves. However, the presence of SA provided an effective method of mitigating PEG-caused physiological stresses on G. jasminoides seedlings, which depended on SA levels. PEG-treated plants exposed to SA at 0.5-1.0 mmol/L significantly eased PEG-induced growth inhibition. Application of SA, especially at concentrations of 0.5-1.0 mmol/L, considerably improved photosynthetic pigments, photosynthesis, antioxidative activity, relative water content, and proline accumulation, and decreased MDA content, H2O2 content, and electrolyte leakage. By contrast, the positive effects were not evident, or even more severe, in PEG+SA4 treatment. Based on these physiological and biochemical data, a suitable concentration of SA, potential growth regulators, could be applied to enhance the drought tolerance of G. jasminoides.
  • Effects on antioxidant enzyme activities and osmolytes in Halocnemum strobilaceum under salt stress
  • TianPeng Gao, Rui Guo, XiangWen Fang, ZhiGang Zhao, GuoHua Chang, YinQuan Chen, Qing Zhang
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00065
  • 2016, Vol.8 (1): 65–71 Abstract ( 33) HTML PDF (247 KB) ( 19 )
  • The seedlings of Halocnermum strobilaceum were cultivated in 0.5% hoagland nutrient solution containing 0.0%, 0.9%, 2.7% and 5.4% of NaCl as well as composite salt (Na+, Ca2+, K+, Si4+) for 20 days; all the contents are in weight ratio. Succulent level, inorganic ions (Na+, K+), organics such as betaine, proline, malondialdehyde, and antioxidant enzyme activities including superoxide dismutase (SOD), catalase (CAT), peroxidase (POD), betaine aldehyde dehydrogenase (BADH) were measured to reveal its salt tolerance mechanism. When the composite salt concentration reaches 5.4%, SOD activity level, and MDA content is five times the control group; when it reaches 2.7%, the succulent level of seedlings, and the content of K+ in roots is nearly two times the NaCl treatment; the dry weight is more than three times the control group; with the NaCl treatment, MDA is three times the contrast; when the salt concentration is 2.7%, POD reaches the maximum. Results indicate that Si4+, K+, and Ca2+ from composite salt in the roots of H. strobilaceum improved the water-holding capacity. The activities of antioxidant enzyme were raised by the accumulation of proline and betaine, which increased the salt tolerance. The absorption of K+ promoted the high ratio of K+/Na+ and alleviated the damage of cell membranes of H. strobilaceum, which is associated with osmotic contents such as betaine and proline.
  • Statistics of cloud heights over the Tibetan Plateau and its surrounding region derived from CloudSat data
  • ShengJie Wang, WenYing He, HongBin Chen, JianChun Bian, ZhenHui Wang
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00072
  • 2016, Vol.8 (1): 72–81 Abstract ( 25) HTML PDF (773 KB) ( 33 )
  • Cloud-radiation interaction has a large impact on the Earth's weather and climate change, and clouds with different heights cause different radiative forcing. Thus, the information on the statistics of cloud height and its variation in space and time is very important to global climate change studies. In this paper, cloud top height (CTH), cloud base height (CBH) and cloud thickness over regions of the Tibetan Plateau, south slope of the plateau and South Asian Monsoon are analyzed based on CloudSat data during the period from June 2006 to December 2007. The results show that frequency of CTH and CBH in unit area over the studied regions have certain temporal-spatial continuity. The CTH and CBH of different cloud types have different variation scopes, and their seasonal variations are distinct. Cloud thickness is large (small) in summer (winter), and the percentages of different cloud types also have certain regularity.
  • Synchronism of runoff response to climate change in Kaidu River Basin in Xinjiang, Northwest China
  • Jie Xue, JiaQiang Lei, DongWei Gui, JianPing Zhao, DongLei Mao, Jie Zhou
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2016.00082
  • 2016, Vol.8 (1): 82–94 Abstract ( 22) HTML PDF (1755 KB) ( 15 )
  • The runoff in alpine river basins where the runoff is formed in nearby mountainous areas is mainly affected by temperature and precipitation. Based on observed annual mean temperature, annual precipitation, and runoff time-series datasets during 1958-2012 within the Kaidu River Basin, the synchronism of runoff response to climate change was analyzed and identified by applying several classic methods, including standardization methods, Kendall's W test, the sequential version of the Mann-Kendall test, wavelet power spectrum analysis, and the rescaled range (R/S) approach. The concordance of the nonlinear trend variations of the annual mean temperature, annual precipitation, and runoff was tested significantly at the 0.05 level by Kendall's W method. The sequential version of the Mann-Kendall test revealed that abrupt changes in annual runoff were synchronous with those of annual mean temperature. The periodic characteristics of annual runoff were mainly consistent with annual precipitation, having synchronous 3-year significant periods and the same 6-year, 10-year, and 38-year quasi-periodicities. While the periodic characteristics of annual runoff in the Kaidu River Basin tracked well with those of annual precipitation, the abrupt changes in annual runoff were synchronous with the annual mean temperature, which directly drives glacier- and snow-melt processes. R/S analysis indicated that the annual mean temperature, annual precipitation, and runoff will continue to increase and remain synchronously persistent in the future. This work can improve the understanding of runoff response to regional climate change to provide a viable reference in the management of water resources in the Kaidu River Basin, a regional sustainable socio-economic development.