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2019, 11 (2) Online: 01 April 2019 Previous issue
  • Review on simulation of land-surface processes on the Tibetan Plateau
  • Rui Chen,MeiXue Yang,XueJia Wang,GuoNing Wan
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2019.00093.
  • 2019, Vol.11 (2): 93–115 Abstract ( 85) HTML ( 9) PDF (9572 KB) ( 66 )
  • The Tibetan Plateau (TP) has powerful dynamics and thermal effects, which makes the interaction between its land and atmosphere significantly affect climate and environment in the regional or global area. By retrospecting the latest research progress in the simulation of land-surface processes (LSPs) over the past 20 years, this study discusses both the simulation ability of land-surface models (LSMs) and the modification of parameterization schemes from two perspectives, the models' applicability and improved parameterization schemes. Our review suggests that different LSMs can well capture the spatiotemporal variations of the physical quantities of LSPs; but none of them can be fully applied to the plateau, meaning that all need to be revised according to the characteristics specific to the TP. Avoiding the unstable iterative computation and determining the freeze?thaw critical temperature according to the thermodynamic equilibrium equation, the unreasonable freeze?thaw parameterization scheme can be improved. Due to the complex underlying surface of the TP, no parameterization scheme of roughness length can well simulate the various characteristics of the turbulent flux over the TP at different temporal scales. The uniform soil thermodynamic and hydraulic parameterization scheme is unreasonable when it is applied to the plateau, as a result of the strong soil heterogeneity. There is little research on the snow-cover process so far, and the improved scheme has no advantage over the original one due to the lack of some related physical processes. The constant interaction among subprocesses of LSPs makes the improvement of a multiparameterization scheme yield better simulation results. According to the review of existing research, adding high-quality observation stations, developing a parameterization scheme suitable for the special LSPs of the TP, and adjusting the model structures can be helpful to the simulation of LSPs on the TP.

  • The establishment and development of Haloxylon ammodendron promotes salt accumulation in surface soil of arid sandy land
  • YongZhong Su,TingNa Liu,JunQia Kong
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2019.00116.
  • 2019, Vol.11 (2): 116–125 Abstract ( 46) HTML ( 3) PDF (1590 KB) ( 34 )
  • Haloxylon ammodendron, a representative C4 succulent xerophyte and salt-secreting plant, is widely used in vegetation reestablishment programs to stabilize shifting sand, and is one of the dominant shrubs in the shelter belt used to control desertification in the desert-oasis ecotone in northwestern China. In this study, we collected soil samples in an age sequence of 0-, 2-, 5-, 13-, 16-, 31-, and 39-year-old H. ammodendron plantations to assess the effects of the shrub on soil fertility and salinity. Results show that SOC and total N concentrations increased significantly with increasing plantation age and increased 5.95- (in the interspaces) to 9.05-fold (under the canopy) and 6.15- to 8.46-fold at the 0?5 cm depth at the 39-year-old plantation compared with non-vegetated sandy land. Simultaneously, H. ammodendron establishment and development resulted in significant salt accumulation in the surface layer. On average, total soil salt content at the 0?5 cm and 5?20 cm depth increased 16.8-fold and 4.4-fold, respectively, compared with non-vegetated sandy land. The increase of total salt derived mostly from the accumulation of SO 4 2 - , Ca2+ and Na+ with H. ammodendron development. The accumulation in salinity was more significant than the increase in fertility, suggesting that improved soil fertility did not limit the impact of salinization. The adverse effect of salt accumulation may result in H. ammodendron plantation degradation and impact community stability in the long run.

  • Holocene climatic change reconstructed from trace elements of an aeolian deposit in the southeastern Mu Us Desert, northern China
  • Bing Liu,HeLing Jin,LiangYing Sun,WenPing Xue,ZhenYu Liu
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2019.00126.
  • 2019, Vol.11 (2): 126–138 Abstract ( 49) HTML ( 1) PDF (10837 KB) ( 19 )
  • In semi-arid and arid desert regions of northern China, aeolian deposits document the framework variation of an Asian monsoon during the late Quaternary. However, there is still a lack of detailed data pertaining to Holocene Asian monsoonal variation especial in the modern Asian summer monsoonal boundary belt. In this study, we reconstructed Holocene millennial-scale climatic changes in the Mu Us Desert, northern China, through systematic analysis of the variation of trace elements (324 samples) in different lithological units of the palaeosol-aeolian sand deposit, in combination with 14C and OSL chronology. Statistical results, correlation and clustering analysis indicate that the high content of 11 trace elements (V, Y, Cr, Nb, P, Mn, Cu, Zr, As, Ni and Rb, represented by P) and lower Sr content corresponding to periods of palaeosol development, marked increase of vegetation, weathering degree, and enhanced Asian summer monsoonal strength. In contrast, their opposed variation are coincident with accumulated aeolian sand layers, implying weaker summer monsoons and less geochemical weathering and degraded vegetation. These associations can be considered as signaling regional humid and dry changes of the Holocene environment. Accordingly, relatively arid conditions dominated the region before 7.2 ka, and there was an optimal humid climate in 7.2?4.6 ka. Afterwards, the climate became obviously dry, accompanied with several cycles of relatively wet and dry, such as relatively wet intervals around 4.1?3.7 ka, 3.5?3.3 ka and 2.5 ka. In addition, six millennial-scale dry events were recorded, and these events were consistent with weaker Asian summer monsoonal intervals in low latitudes, declined palaeosol development and precipitation in middle latitudes, as well as increased winter monsoon and periodic ice-rafting events in high latitudes of the Northern Hemisphere, within limits of accuracy of existing dating ages. This possibly suggests a noteworthy synchronism between millennial-scale climatic changes in this region and on a global scale.

  • Shifts in community structure and function of ammonia-oxidizing archaea in biological soil crusts along a revegetation chronosequence in the Tengger Desert
  • LiNa Zhao,XinRong Li,ShiWei Yuan,YuBing Liu
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2019.00139.
  • 2019, Vol.11 (2): 139–149 Abstract ( 66) HTML ( 2) PDF (2660 KB) ( 33 )
  • Metagenomic studies have demonstrated the existence of ammonia-oxidizing archaea (AOA) and revealed they are responsible for ammoxidation in some extreme environments. However, the changes in compositional structure and ammonia-oxidation capacity of AOA communities in biological soil crusts (BSCs) of desert ecosystems remain poorly understood. Here, we utilized Illumina MiSeq sequencing and microbial functional gene array (GeoChip 5.0) to assess the above changes along a 51-year revegetation chronosequence in the Tengger Desert, China. The results showed a significant difference in AOA-community richness between 5-year-old BSCs and older ones. The most dominant phylum during BSC development was Crenarchaeota, and the corresponding species were ammonia-oxidizing_Crenarchaeote and environmental_samples_Crenarchaeota. Network analysis revealed that the positive correlations among dominant taxa increased, and their cooperation was reinforced in AOA communities during BSC succession. Redundancy analysis showed that the dominant factor influencing the change in AOA-community structure was soil texture. GeoChip 5.0 indicated that the amoA gene abundances of AOA and ammonia-oxidizing bacteria (AOB) were basically the same, demonstrating that AOA and AOB played an equally important role during BSCs development. Our study of the long-term succession of BSC demonstrated a persistent response of AOA communities to revegetation development in desert ecosystems.

  • Analysis of vegetation changes and dominant factors on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, China
  • HongWei Wang,Yuan Qi,ChunLin Huang,XiaoYing Li,XiaoHong Deng,JinLong Zhang
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2019.00150.
  • 2019, Vol.11 (2): 150–158 Abstract ( 60) HTML ( 5) PDF (34922 KB) ( 77 )
  • This research was undertaken to clarify the characteristics of vegetation change and its main influencing factors on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau. Using the greenness rate of change (GRC) and correlation factors, we analyzed the trend of vegetation change and its dominant factors from 2000 to 2015. The results indicate that the vegetation tended to improve from 2000 to 2015 on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, with the improved area accounting for 39.93% of the total; and the degraded area accounting for 19.32%. The areas of degraded vegetation are mainly concentrated in the low-relief and intermediate-relief mountains of the high-altitude and extremely high-altitude areas on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, as the vegetation characteristics are impacted by the terrain. Temperature and precipitation have obvious response mechanisms to vegetation growth, but the effects of precipitation and temperature on vegetation degradation are not significant over a short time frame. Overgrazing and population growth are the dominant factors of vegetation degradation on the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau.

  • Effects of freeze−thaw cycle and dry−wet alternation on slope stability
  • YaLing Chou,LiYuan Sun,BaoAn Li,XiaoLi Wang
  • DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1226.2019.00159.
  • 2019, Vol.11 (2): 159–172 Abstract ( 54) HTML ( 2) PDF (31417 KB) ( 30 )
  • The typical loess on high slopes along the BaoLan High-speed Rail, China, was selected as the research object. The influence of the freeze?thaw cycle and dry?wet alternation on the shear-strength parameters of the unsaturated loess was investigated by laboratory experimental methods. Moreover, the temperature field, seepage field, and stability of slopes with different gradients were simulated under the effect of the freeze?thaw cycle and dry?wet alternation by using the geotechnical analysis software Geo-Studio. The research results showed (1) when the freeze?thaw cycle was repeated on the slope, with the frozen depth increasing, the melted depth did the same; besides, the closed loop of isotherms formed on the slope; (2) under the action of dry?wet circulation, the negative pore-water pressure and volumetric water content showed an upward tendency. However, owing to the different slope gradients, rainfall infiltration was not the same. As time went by, the differences of the negative pore-water pressure and volumetric water content between the slopes of different gradients continued to increase; (3) with the freeze?thaw cycle and dry?wet alternation increasing, the slope-safety factor decreased. Especially in the early period, the slope-safety factor changed remarkably. For slopes undergoing freeze?thaw action, the slope-safety factor was negatively correlated with the gradient. However, with regard to slopes undergoing dry?wet alternation, the result became more complex because the slope-safety factor was related to both seepage strength and slope grade. Accordingly, further research is needed to study the effect of seepage strength and slope grade on the stability of loess slopes.