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Title

Solar photovoltaic panels significantly promote vegetation recovery by modifying the soil surface microhabitats in an arid sandy ecosystem

AuthorsLiu, Yu; Zhang, Rui‐Qi; Huang, Ze; Cheng, Zhen; López-Vicente, Manuel ; Ma, Xiao‐Rong; Wu, Gao‐Lin
KeywordsMicrohabitats
Photovoltaic panels
Sandy ecosystem
Soil water content
Vegetation recovery
Issue DateDec-2019
PublisherJohn Wiley & Sons
CitationLiu Y, Zhang RQ, Huang Z, Cheng Z, López‐Vicente M, Ma XR, Wu GL. Solar photovoltaic panels significantly promote vegetation recovery by modifying the soil surface microhabitats in an arid sandy ecosystem. Land Degradation & Development 30 (18): 2177-2186 (2019)
AbstractThe arid sandy areas have great potential for producing solar power, and a large number of solar photovoltaic (PV) power (SPP) stations have been set‐up in these regions across the world. Construction of SPP at large scale certainly changes the land surface with consequences on the local ecosystem. However, few studies have focused on these impacts. This study explored the influence of SPP on vegetation by modifying microhabitats. The soil water content (SWC), evaporation, photosynthetically active radiation (PAR), soil and air temperature (AT), vegetation coverage, biomass, and species richness were measured under different positions of the SPP and outside. The results showed that SWC in the station was much higher than that observed outside the SPP, and the evaporation in the SPP was lower than outside (P < .05). The PAR below the PV panel line zone is much lower than the interval (IT) zone. The surface coverage, biomass, and species richness were significantly higher in the SPP than outside the IT zone and outside the SPP (P < .05). The AT under the panel was 1.67 times lower than above during the plant growing season. The microhabitat index has a high correlation with biomass, coverage, and species richness. PV panels could impact microhabitat in arid sandy areas and accelerate vegetation recovery progress and quality. The SPP construction would not only supply clean energy but also bring unintended ecological benefits in the future.
Description19 Pags.- 1 Tabl.- 5 Figs. The definitive version is available at: https://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/journal/1099145x
Publisher version (URL)https://doi.org/10.1002/ldr.3408
URIhttp://hdl.handle.net/10261/208018
DOI10.1002/ldr.3408
ISSN1085-3278
E-ISSN1099-145X
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