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Response of Surface Soil Hydrology to the Micro-Pattern of Bio-Crust in a Dry-Land Loess Environment, China.

Wei W, Yu Y, Chen L - PLoS ONE (2015)

Bottom Line: Such effects, however, are not yet fully studied.We re-confirmed that mosses functioned better than lichens, partly due to their higher successional stage and deeper biomass accumulation.Fully-covered bio-crust pattern provides the best option for soil loss reduction and runoff retention, while a combination of upper bio-crust and lower bare soil pattern is the least one.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT
The specific bio-species and their spatial patterns play crucial roles in regulating eco-hydrologic process, which is significant for large-scale habitat promotion and vegetation restoration in many dry-land ecosystems. Such effects, however, are not yet fully studied. In this study, 12 micro-plots, each with size of 0.5 m in depth and 1 m in length, were constructed on a gentle grassy hill-slope with a mean gradient of 8° in a semiarid loess hilly area of China. Two major bio-crusts, including mosses and lichens, had been cultivated for two years prior to the field simulation experiments, while physical crusts and non-crusted bare soils were used for comparison. By using rainfall simulation method, four designed micro-patterns (i.e., upper bio-crust and lower bare soil, scattered bio-crust, upper bare soil and lower bio-crust, fully-covered bio-crust) to the soil hydrological response were analyzed. We found that soil surface bio-crusts were more efficient in improving soil structure, water holding capacity and runoff retention particularly at surface 10 cm layers, compared with physical soil crusts and non-crusted bare soils. We re-confirmed that mosses functioned better than lichens, partly due to their higher successional stage and deeper biomass accumulation. Physical crusts were least efficient in water conservation and erosion control, followed by non-crusted bare soils. More importantly, there were marked differences in the efficiency of the different spatial arrangements of bio-crusts in controlling runoff and sediment generation. Fully-covered bio-crust pattern provides the best option for soil loss reduction and runoff retention, while a combination of upper bio-crust and lower bare soil pattern is the least one. These findings are suggested to be significant for surface-cover protection, rainwater infiltration, runoff retention, and erosion control in water-restricted and degraded natural slopes.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus

Runoff process under different types of fully-covered surface crust.
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pone.0133565.g005: Runoff process under different types of fully-covered surface crust.

Mentions: The specific process of runoff generation was captured by the rainfall simulation experiments in situ (Figs 2 and 5). In general, surface runoff under the different crusted and non-crusted soils differed significantly. Mosses had the least runoff loss, followed by lichens and non-crusted bare soils, whereas PCs had the highest surface runoff loss. This indicates that BSCs are more effective in reducing runoff than non-crusted bare soil, while PCs can generate runoff due to their poor infiltration and water holding capacities (Table 1). The runoff for mosses and lichens appeared more stable across the simulation period. The runoff process for PCs and non-crusted bare soils, on the other hand, varied significantly during the simulated 60 minutes (Fig 5A). The rates of cumulative runoff under PCs and non-crusted soils were similar during the simulation, while the values for mosses and lichens were closer to each other (Fig 5B).


Response of Surface Soil Hydrology to the Micro-Pattern of Bio-Crust in a Dry-Land Loess Environment, China.

Wei W, Yu Y, Chen L - PLoS ONE (2015)

Runoff process under different types of fully-covered surface crust.
© Copyright Policy
Related In: Results  -  Collection

License
Show All Figures
getmorefigures.php?uid=PMC4514780&req=5

pone.0133565.g005: Runoff process under different types of fully-covered surface crust.
Mentions: The specific process of runoff generation was captured by the rainfall simulation experiments in situ (Figs 2 and 5). In general, surface runoff under the different crusted and non-crusted soils differed significantly. Mosses had the least runoff loss, followed by lichens and non-crusted bare soils, whereas PCs had the highest surface runoff loss. This indicates that BSCs are more effective in reducing runoff than non-crusted bare soil, while PCs can generate runoff due to their poor infiltration and water holding capacities (Table 1). The runoff for mosses and lichens appeared more stable across the simulation period. The runoff process for PCs and non-crusted bare soils, on the other hand, varied significantly during the simulated 60 minutes (Fig 5A). The rates of cumulative runoff under PCs and non-crusted soils were similar during the simulation, while the values for mosses and lichens were closer to each other (Fig 5B).

Bottom Line: Such effects, however, are not yet fully studied.We re-confirmed that mosses functioned better than lichens, partly due to their higher successional stage and deeper biomass accumulation.Fully-covered bio-crust pattern provides the best option for soil loss reduction and runoff retention, while a combination of upper bio-crust and lower bare soil pattern is the least one.

View Article: PubMed Central - PubMed

Affiliation: State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, China.

ABSTRACT
The specific bio-species and their spatial patterns play crucial roles in regulating eco-hydrologic process, which is significant for large-scale habitat promotion and vegetation restoration in many dry-land ecosystems. Such effects, however, are not yet fully studied. In this study, 12 micro-plots, each with size of 0.5 m in depth and 1 m in length, were constructed on a gentle grassy hill-slope with a mean gradient of 8° in a semiarid loess hilly area of China. Two major bio-crusts, including mosses and lichens, had been cultivated for two years prior to the field simulation experiments, while physical crusts and non-crusted bare soils were used for comparison. By using rainfall simulation method, four designed micro-patterns (i.e., upper bio-crust and lower bare soil, scattered bio-crust, upper bare soil and lower bio-crust, fully-covered bio-crust) to the soil hydrological response were analyzed. We found that soil surface bio-crusts were more efficient in improving soil structure, water holding capacity and runoff retention particularly at surface 10 cm layers, compared with physical soil crusts and non-crusted bare soils. We re-confirmed that mosses functioned better than lichens, partly due to their higher successional stage and deeper biomass accumulation. Physical crusts were least efficient in water conservation and erosion control, followed by non-crusted bare soils. More importantly, there were marked differences in the efficiency of the different spatial arrangements of bio-crusts in controlling runoff and sediment generation. Fully-covered bio-crust pattern provides the best option for soil loss reduction and runoff retention, while a combination of upper bio-crust and lower bare soil pattern is the least one. These findings are suggested to be significant for surface-cover protection, rainwater infiltration, runoff retention, and erosion control in water-restricted and degraded natural slopes.

No MeSH data available.


Related in: MedlinePlus