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The effect of Robinia pseudoacacia afforestation on soil, water and vegetation on Chinese hilly-gullied Loess Plateau

AuthorsGarcía-Fayos, P. ; Kou, Men; Hu, Shu; Jiao, Juying
Plant communities
Soil nutrients
Soil moisture
Soil erosion
Issue Date13-Sep-2016
Citation4th Biohydrology Conference (2016)
AbstractRevegetation is one of the primary management approaches for solving the problems caused by severe soil erosion worldwide. Robinia pseudoacacia was considered a promising tree for afforestation in the highly eroded region of the Loess Plateau due to its fast growth and ability to fix atmospheric nitrogen. In this study we aimed to analyze the effects of R. pseudoacacia plantation on plant community composition and dynamics through its effects on light, soil fertility and soil water availability. We used a chronosequence of plantations from 10 to 40 years and compared the environmental characteristics and vegetation composition of those areas along the chronosequence and with those of similar-year-old natural areas that were used as control. The results showed that R. pseudoacacia plantations reached maturity around 30 years and then declined in density and canopy cover. We also found that soil nutrients and moisture at the superficial soil layer improved with age until maturity of plantations, but that photosynthetically active radiation at the ground level and soil moisture at deeper soil layers decreased with maturity in relation to control conditions. Plots with R. pseudoacacia of all ages had higher cover values, lower number of species but higher bdiversity ( β -diversity) values than control plots and they also differed in species composition. We concluded that revegetation with R. pseudoacacia dramatically changed the environment where plantations were established, thus favoring plant communities that played not a general higher protective role against soil erosion than natural vegetation but a negative effect on soil water storage of deep soil layers.
DescriptionTrabajo presentado en la 4th Biohydrology Conference: Walking in drylands, celebrada en Almería (España) del 13 al 16 de septiembre de 2016
Appears in Collections:(CIDE) Comunicaciones congresos
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