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Sustainability 2014, 6(12), 8951-8966; doi:10.3390/su6128951

Wind Erosion Induced Soil Degradation in Northern China: Status, Measures and Perspective

1
College of Resource and Environmental Sciences/Hebei Key Laboratory of Environmental Change and Ecological Construction, Hebei Normal University, Shijiazhuang 050024, China
2
Key Laboratory of Mechanics on Disaster and Environment in Western China, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
3
Key Laboratory of Desert and Desertification, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
4
Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Big Spring, TX 79720 USA
5
Wind Erosion and Water Conservation Research Unit, Agricultural Research Service, United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), Lubbock, TX 79415, USA
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 31 October 2014 / Revised: 20 November 2014 / Accepted: 26 November 2014 / Published: 4 December 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Enhancing Soil Health to Mitigate Soil Degradation)
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Abstract

Soil degradation is one of the most serious ecological problems in the world. In arid and semi-arid northern China, soil degradation predominantly arises from wind erosion. Trends in soil degradation caused by wind erosion in northern China frequently change with human activities and climatic change. To decrease soil loss by wind erosion and enhance local ecosystems, the Chinese government has been encouraging residents to reduce wind-induced soil degradation through a series of national policies and several ecological projects, such as the Natural Forest Protection Program, the National Action Program to Combat Desertification, the “Three Norths” Shelter Forest System, the Beijing-Tianjin Sand Source Control Engineering Project, and the Grain for Green Project. All these were implemented a number of decades ago, and have thus created many land management practices and control techniques across different landscapes. These measures include conservation tillage, windbreak networks, checkerboard barriers, the Non-Watering and Tube-Protecting Planting Technique, afforestation, grassland enclosures, etc. As a result, the aeolian degradation of land has been controlled in many regions of arid and semiarid northern China. However, the challenge of mitigating and further reversing soil degradation caused by wind erosion still remains. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil degradation; wind erosion; northern China soil degradation; wind erosion; northern China
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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

Guo, Z.; Huang, N.; Dong, Z.; Van Pelt, R.S.; Zobeck, T.M. Wind Erosion Induced Soil Degradation in Northern China: Status, Measures and Perspective. Sustainability 2014, 6, 8951-8966.

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