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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13(8), 785; doi:10.3390/ijerph13080785

Land-Use Conversion Changes the Multifractal Features of Particle-Size Distribution on the Loess Plateau of China

1
,
1,2
and
1,*
1
State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland Farming on the Loess Plateau of Northwest A & F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
2
Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Education, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Yu-Pin Lin
Received: 19 April 2016 / Revised: 28 July 2016 / Accepted: 2 August 2016 / Published: 5 August 2016
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Abstract

Analyzing the dynamics of soil particle-size distributions (PSDs), soil nutrients, and erodibility are very important for understanding the changes of soil structure and quality after long-term land-use conversion. We applied multifractal Rényi spectra (Dq) and singularity spectra (f(α)) to characterize PSDs 35 years after conversions from cropland to shrubland with Caragana microphylla (shrubland I), shrubland with Hippophae rhamnoides (shrubland II), forested land, and grassland on the Loess Plateau of China. Multifractal parameters (capacity dimension (D0), entropy dimension (D1), D1/D0, correlation dimension (D2), and Hölder exponent of order zero (α0)) were used to analyze the changes of PSDs. Dq and f(α) characterized the PSDs well and sensitively represented the changes in PSDs after conversion. All types of land-use conversion significantly improved the properties of the topsoil (0–10 cm), but the effect of shrubland I and even forested land decreased with depth. All types of land-use conversion significantly increased D1 and D2 in the topsoil, and D1 and D2 in the 10–50 cm layers of shrubland II, forested land, and grassland and D1 in the 50–100 cm layers of shrubland II were significantly higher relative to the control. Both D1 and D2 were positively correlated with the contents of soil nutrients and fine particles and were negatively correlated with soil erosion, indicating that D1 and D2 were potential indices for quantifying changes in soil properties and erosion. In conclusion, all types of land-use conversion significantly improved the conditions of the topsoil, but conversion from cropland to shrubland II, forested land, and grassland, especially shrubland II and grassland, were more effective for improving soil conditions in deeper layers. View Full-Text
Keywords: particle-size distribution; Grain for Green project; multifractal feature; soil erosion particle-size distribution; Grain for Green project; multifractal feature; soil erosion
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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Sun, C.; Liu, G.; Xue, S. Land-Use Conversion Changes the Multifractal Features of Particle-Size Distribution on the Loess Plateau of China. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2016, 13, 785.

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