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2015, 7 (2) Online: 01 April 2015 Next issue
  • Estimate the influence of snow grain size and black carbon on albedo
  • ZhongMing Guo, NingLian Wang, XiaoBo Wu, HongBo Wu, YuWei Wu
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00111
  • 2015, Vol.7 (2): 111–120 Abstract ( 27) HTML PDF (393 KB) ( 5 )
  • Estimation of the influence of snow grain size and black carbon on albedo is essential in obtaining the accurate albedo. In this paper, field measurement data, including snow grain size, snow depth and density was obtained. Black carbon samples were collected from the snow surface. A simultaneous observation using Analytical Spectral Devices was employed in the Qiyi Glacier located in the Qilian Mountain. Analytical Spectral Devices spectrum data were used to analyze spectral reflectance of snow for different grain size and black carbon content. The measurements were compared with the results obtained from the Snow, Ice, and Aerosol Radiation model, and the simulation was found to correlate well with the observed data. However, the simulated albedo was near to 0.98 times of the measured albedo, so the other factors were assumed to be constant using the corrected Snow, Ice, and Aerosol Radiation model to estimate the influence of measured snow grain size and black carbon on albedo. Field measurements were controlled to fit the relationship between the snow grain size and black carbon in order to estimate the influence of these factors on the snow albedo.
  • Heavy metal accumulation in the above-ground vegetation and soil around an iron smelting factory in Ile-Ife, southwestern Nigeria
  • Emmanuel F. Isola, Olusanya A. Olatunji, Akinjide M. Afolabi, Ademayowa A. Omodara
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00121
  • 2015, Vol.7 (2): 121–127 Abstract ( 29) HTML PDF (312 KB) ( 7 )
  • This study investigated the accumulation of heavy metals in the above-ground vegetation and soil around an iron smelting factory located at the Fashina Area, Ile-Ife, Osun State, southwestern Nigeria. This was with a view to establish baseline data which can be used for assessing the impact of the steel processing industry in the area. Samples of the two most common herbaceous species (Chromolaena odorata and Aspilia africana) around the factory were randomly collected at 10 m away from the wall of the factory, and soil samples were randomly collected at 0-15 cm depths in the same area. The plant species were oven-dried, put through a mixed acid digestion procedure, and, along with soil samples, were analyzed for N, P, K, C, Zn, Pb, Cd, Ni, and Cr using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. The data obtained were subjected to appropriate descriptive and inferential statistical analyses. The results revealed that the soils were slightly acidic, with pH values of 6.23±0.24 in the dry season and 6.10±0.16 in the rainy season. There was a significant difference (P <0.05) in the percentage content of total N, total P, K, and organic matter values in the soil samples collected in the two seasons. The Cd, Pb, and Cr contents in the soil samples from the rainy season were significantly higher (P <0.05) than those of the dry season. The analyzed plant species showed a progressive decrease in the concentration of the elements tested, with percentage content of C > P > N in both Aspilia africana and Chromolaena odorata. In the dry season, C percentage concentration was higher in Aspilia africana, while the other elements followed the trend observed in the rainy season. The concentration of Zn was higher in Aspilia africana in both the polluted site and the control site in the rainy season, while the concentrations of the other heavy metals were higher in Chromolaena odorata in the dry season. This study revealed that the heavy metal concentration varied with the plant species and also with the prevailing seasonal conditions. Also, the accumulation and concentration of heavy metals in both plant species and in the soil indicated a potential hazard of the factory to the local environment.
  • Effects of sawdust soil amendment on the soil, growth and yield of Solanum esculentum Linn. in waste engine oil-polluted soil
  • Babalola E. Akinpelumi, Olusanya A. Olatunji
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00128
  • 2015, Vol.7 (2): 128–136 Abstract ( 36) HTML PDF (299 KB) ( 4 )
  • This study investigated the effects of sawdust as a soil amendment on certain growth parameters of Solanum esculentum Linn. grown in soil polluted with various concentrations of waste engine oil, and changes in the physicochemical properties of the soil. The purpose was to assess the soil remediation potentials of sawdust in waste engine oil-polluted soil. The experiment was divided into three regimes: control (air-dried soil without waste engine oil and with clean sawdust), polluted (waste engine oil-contaminated soil), and amended (oil-polluted soil amended with sawdust). Enough 3-kg soil samples were sieved and air-dried to prepare five treatment levels of waste engine oil-contaminated soil (30 mL, 1%; 60 mL, 2%; 90 mL, 3%; 120 mL, 4%; and 150 mL, 5%), as well as five additional treatment levels (the same amounts of oil contamination) in soil amended with sawdust. The treatment levels were replicated five times in a completely randomized design. A nursery bed was planted with a hybrid tomato variety (Roma V F) obtained from National Horticultural Research Institute (NIHORT) in Ibadan, Nigeria. During the maturation period, the growth parameters such as plant height, number of leaves, and number of branches per plant were determined and then the harvested plants were oven dried at 70 ℃ for 48 hours to determine their dry weights. The effects of the sawdust amendment on the soil were assessed by determining the soil pH (glass electrode pH meter), total nitrogen (Kjeldahl method), total phosphorus (Bray-1 solution), and potassium (on the leacheate by a flame photometer). Chromium, lead, and cadmium contents were determined using an atomic absorption spectrophotometer. Analysis of variance and a Duncan multiple-range test were employed to test significant differences in the soil properties of the three regimes. The growth performance of Solanum esculentum Linn. in the amended regime (soil with sawdust) at the 150-mL waste engine oil-contamination level was significantly higher than in the polluted regime (soil without sawdust). After plant harvest, the pH of the soil was shown to be clearly affected by the addition of waste engine oil. The control soil (air-dried only, no sawdust, no oil) had the highest pH value, 6.60, which was significantly different from the pH values at other levels of waste engine oil contamination. However, when amended with sawdust, the control soil had a significantly lower pH value than the unamended control soil. This study further demonstrates that sawdust has the potential of amending waste engine oil-contaminated soil for increasing tomato growth performance because it is capable of increasing the soil nutrient content and reducing the soil total hydrocarbon content.
  • Effects of nitrogen nutritional stress on the morphological and yield parameters of tomato (Solanum lycopersicum L.)
  • Gideon O. Okunlola, Olusanya A. Olatunji, Akinjide M. Afolabi, Kolade K. Gbadegesin
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00137
  • 2015, Vol.7 (2): 137–145 Abstract ( 29) HTML PDF (429 KB) ( 5 )
  • This investigation was carried out to better understand the effects of nitrogen stress on the growth and yield of tomato (Solanum lycopersicon L.). Seeds of S. lycopersicon (Ife No. 1 variety) were collected from the Osun-State Ministry of Agriculture, Oshogbo, Nigeria and planted in analyzed top soil. The plants were grown for a period of five weeks within which they were supplied with water and kept under optimum environmental conditions that enhanced normal growth. After this period, the plants were subjected to different levels of nitrogen stress which include: plants supplied with distilled water only (n), plants supplied with complete nutrient solution (N), plants supplied with nutrient solution in which nitrogen concentration sources was increased by a factor of 5 (N5), and plants supplied with nutrient solution in which nitrogen concentration sources was increased by a factor of 10 (N10). Analysis of Variance (ANOVA) results shows that there is no significant effect of stress on the growth and morphological parameters of tomato plants. However, there was a significant effect of nitrogen stress on the yield parameters. Nitrogen stress also caused an increase in the number and size of fruits produced in plants subjected with high nitrogen concentration.
  • Water use measurement by non-irrigated Tamarix ramosissima in arid regions of Northwest China
  • Shuang Li, HongLang Xiao, YiBen Cheng, Fang Wang
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00146
  • 2015, Vol.7 (2): 146–156 Abstract ( 24) HTML PDF (378 KB) ( 3 )
  • Tamarix ramosissima Ledeb. is a typical hardy desert plant growing in arid regions of Northwest China. Sap flow in stems of T. ramosissima plants were measured continuously to determine the diurnal and seasonal variations of sap flow and to understand the water requirements of this species and the response of sap flow to meteorological factors. This article compared the sap flow rate measured by the heat balance method with the transpiration rate measured by rapid weighing, and validated that heat balance sap flow gauges were reliable for monitoring transpiration. The influence of meteorological factors on stem sap flow during the growing season was: solar radiation > vapor pressure deficit > air temperature > relative humidity > wind speed. Bidirectional sap flows occurred at night, and negative sap flow generally corresponded to high atmospheric humidity. The average error in predicted sap flow rate ranged from -0.78% to 14.00% from June to September and for transpiration the average error was 8.19%. Therefore, based on the functional equations between sap flow and meteorological factors as well as sapwood area, transpiration of an individual plant, and even the stand-level transpiration, can be estimated accurately through extrapolation.
  • Accuracy evaluation of two precipitation datasets over upper reach of Heihe River Basin, northwestern China
  • SiWei He, ZhuoTong Nan, YuTing Hou
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00157
  • 2015, Vol.7 (2): 157–169 Abstract ( 26) HTML PDF (808 KB) ( 3 )
  • As an important forcing data for hydrologic models, precipitation has significant effects on model simulation. The China Meteorological Forcing Dataset (ITP) and Global Land Data Assimilation System (GLDAS) precipitation data are the two commonly used data sources in the Heihe River Basin (HRB). This paper focused on evaluating the accuracy of these two precipitation datasets. A set of metrics were developed to characterize the trend, magnitude, annual allocation, event matching, frequency, and spatial distribution of the two datasets. Meanwhile, such accuracy evaluation was performed at various scales, i.e., daily, monthly, and yearly. By comparing with observations, this study concluded that: first, both ITP and GLDAS precipitation data well represented the trends at corresponding sites, and GLDAS underestimated precipitation in most regions except the east tributary headwater region; second, unusual annual precipitation distribution was observed in both datasets with overestimation of precipitation in May through September and GLDAS appeared to be much severe; third, the ITP data seriously over-predicted the precipitation events; fourth, the ITP data have better spatial distribution than GLDAS in the upper reach area of HRB. Overall, we recommended ITP precipitation data for the land surface study in the upper reach of HRB.
  • Assessing changes in extreme precipitation over Xinjiang using regional climate model of PRECIS
  • YanWei Zhang, QuanSheng Ge, FengQing Jiang, JingYun Zheng, WenShou Wei
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00170
  • 2015, Vol.7 (2): 170–179 Abstract ( 27) HTML PDF (564 KB) ( 2 )
  • In this paper, an analysis, with the simulation of PRECIS (Providing Regional Climate for Impact Studies), was made for future precipitation extremes, under SRES (Special Report on Emission Scenarios) A2 and B2 in IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) AR4. The precipitation extremes were calculated and analyzed by ETCCDI (Climate Change Detection and Indices). The results show that: (1) In Present Scenario (1961-1900), PRECIS could capture the spatial pattern of precipitation in Xinjiang. (2) The simulated annual precipitation and seasonal precipitation in Xinjiang had a significantly positive trend and its variability had been deeply impacted by terrain. There was a strong association between increasing trend and the extreme precipitation's increase in frequency and intensity during 1961-2008. Under SRES A2 and B2, extreme precipitation indicated an increasing tendency at the end of the 21st century. The extreme summer precipitation increased prominently in a year. (3) PRECIS's simulation under SRES A2 and B2 indicated increased frequency of heavy precipitation events and also enhancement in their intensity towards the end of the 21st century. Both A2 and B2 scenarios show similar patterns of projected changes in precipitation extremes towards the end of the 21st century. However, the magnitude of changes in B2 scenario was on the lower side. In case of extreme precipitation, variation between models can exceed both internal variability and variability of different SRES.
  • Foliar carbohydrate differs between Picea crassifolia and Sabina przewalskii with the altitudinal variation of Qilian Mountains, China
  • ManXiao Zhang, HuiJuan Pei, YouFu Zhang, Tuo Chen, GuangXiu Liu
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00180
  • 2015, Vol.7 (2): 180–188 Abstract ( 24) HTML PDF (280 KB) ( 3 )
  • Nonstructural carbohydrates (NSC) and nitrogen metabolism strongly influence growth and development in plants. The biosynthesis of cellulose and lignin (structural carbohydrates, SC) depends largely on the supply of NSC. We desire to examine which hypothesis, carbon limitation or growth limitation, best fits the alpine plant response between NSC, SC, carbon (C), nitrogen (N) and altitude. We compared the foliar concentrations of carbohydrates, C and N between the leaves of Picea crassifolia (lower-elevation tree-line species) and Sabina przewalskii (high-elevation tree-line species) in their response to changing elevation. Our site was located in the mid-northern area of Qilian Mountains, China. We found that foliar soluble sugar (SG) concentrations were significantly higher in P. crassifolia than in S. przewalskii at the 2,700-3,400 m level. Foliar NSC levels in P. crassifolia increased at the 2,700-3,100 m level, indicating that growth was limited gradually resulting in a surplus of NSC (to conform to GLH), subsequently decreasing at the 3,100-3,400 m level, the assimilation declined leading to C deficit (to conform to CLH). SC (SC metabolism disorders at 3,100-3,400 m), C, N and starch were significantly lower in P. crassifolia than in S. przewalskii. Conversely, foliar SG concentration shows a fall-rise trend with increasing elevation for S. przewalskii. SC concentration in S. przewalskii leaves decreased with an increase of elevation and has a significantly positive correlation to N concentration marking the assimilation of plants. Therefore, the high-elevation tree-line species (S. przewalskii) utilize or store more foliar SG leading to a decrease of SG concentration for survival and growth/regrowth in an adverse environment, higher total C, N, SC, starch contents and lower NSC level. Also, their change trends along the elevational gradient in leaves of S. przewalskii indicate better assimilation strategies for SG use under environmental stress compared to P. crassifolia. This indicates that foliar C metabolism along the elevation follows the principle of the growth-limitation hypothesis (GLH) or carbon limitation hypothesis (CLH), which depends on the acclimation of different alpine life-forms to the environment.
  • Research on the distribution of saline soil along the Chaerhan-Golmud Highway, northwestern China
  • Yu Zhang, JianHong Fang, JianKun Liu, AnHua Xu
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00189
  • 2015, Vol.7 (2): 189–193 Abstract ( 25) HTML PDF (389 KB) ( 5 )
  • In order to assess and improve the engineering stability of saline soil with high chloride content along a 40-km section of the Chaerhan-Golmud Highway in northwestern China, more than 200 monitoring points for saline soil soluble salt chemical tests were established. The total salt content distribution, the chloride ion content distribution, and the sulfate ion content distribution along both sides of road were determined, and the chlorine-sulfur ratio distribution and the PH value distribution along both sides of road were also determined. These chemical contents can significantly affect soil freezing temperatures, frost heave, and salt expansion, which can undermine subgrade stability, ultimately, cause subgrade damage. Therefore, when subgrade filler is selected for this highway, attention must be paid to its chemical indicators as well as its physical properties.
  • Advances in research of function and valuation of ecosystem services
  • Li Liu, Qi Feng
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2015.00194
  • 2015, Vol.7 (2): 194–198 Abstract ( 21) HTML PDF (153 KB) ( 4 )
  • It is widely accepted that there is an economic progress beyond the Gross Domestic Product (GDP), while global GDP has increased more than three-fold since 1950, whereas ecosystems have been largely occupied and depleted. Since the 1990s, emphasis has focused on function and valuation of ecosystem services, which is rarely treated as a market issue. This paper reviews recent developments on measures to evaluate and assess ecosystem services, while elucidating the function of ecosystem services. On the one hand, functions of ecosystem services are subdivided into several items such as gas regulation, water regulation, soil and nutrient recycling. Also, there exist intellectually guided functions of ecosystem services, such as culture and recreation. On the other hand, ecosystems can be viewed as a supplier in the trade between human beings and natural resources such that all resources can be labeled and quantified.