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Forests 2016, 7(1), 6; doi:10.3390/f7010006

Streamflow Regime Variations Following Ecological Management on the Loess Plateau, China

1
State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dry land Farming in Loess Plateau, Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources, Yang ling 712100, Shaanxi, China
2
Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A & F University, Yangling 712100, China
3
University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editors: Ge Sun and James M. Vose
Received: 6 September 2015 / Revised: 15 December 2015 / Accepted: 17 December 2015 / Published: 25 December 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Forest Management and Water Resources in the Anthropocene)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1370 KB, uploaded 28 December 2015]   |  

Abstract

The continuous ecological management of the Loess Plateau is known throughout the world for two strategies: the integrated soil conservation project that began in the 1970s, and the “Grain for Green” project that began in the 1990s. Six sub-catchments nested in the Beiluo River basin were selected to investigate streamflow regime variations during the two project periods. The annual streamflow trends and change points were detected using a bootstrap-based Mann-Kendall test and Pettitt test. Annual streamflow (from the 1950s to 2011) exhibited significantly negative trends in five out of six catchments, varying from −0.15 to −0.30 mm/a. During the integrated soil conservation period, the annual streamflow was reduced due to high flow decreases (5% of time exceeded), whereas in the low flows (95%) it increased in all sub-catchments. During the “Grain for Green” period, the annual streamflow decreased due to daily streamflow reductions at four stations. In addition to high flow and low flow decreases at the Wuqi and Liujiahe stations during the “Grain for Green” period, it is significant that the low flows continuously increased. Compared with trends from the forestry area, which includes the Zhangcunyi and Huangling stations, incremental annual streamflow reductions were observed in other sub-catchments, which can be linked to ecological management. This result implies that streamflow can be moderated by appropriate management options, even in semiarid areas. It was concluded that a stable streamflow regime can be achieved in vegetated areas, and streamflow moderation is dependent on ecological management practices. View Full-Text
Keywords: ecological management; climate variability; streamflow regime; Loess Plateau ecological management; climate variability; streamflow regime; Loess Plateau
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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Zhang, J.; Zhang, T.; Lei, Y.; Zhang, X.; Li, R. Streamflow Regime Variations Following Ecological Management on the Loess Plateau, China. Forests 2016, 7, 6.

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