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Water 2015, 7(5), 1969-1990; doi:10.3390/w7051969

The Stability of Revegetated Ecosystems in Sandy Areas: An Assessment and Prediction Index

1,2,* and 1,2
1
Shapotou Desert Research and Experimental Station, Cold and Arid Regions Environmental and Engineering Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Lanzhou 730000, China
2
Key Laboratory of Stress Physiology and Ecology in Cold and Arid Regions Gansu Province, Lanzhou 730000, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Lutz Breuer
Received: 28 December 2014 / Revised: 15 April 2015 / Accepted: 15 April 2015 / Published: 30 April 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Hydro-Ecological Modeling)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [1291 KB, uploaded 9 June 2015]   |  

Abstract

The stability and sustainability of revegetated ecosystems is a central topic in ecological research. In this study, long-term monitoring and focused research on vegetation, soil and soil moisture from 2006 to 2012 were used to develop a model for evaluating indices of ecosystem stability using the analytical hierarchy process method. The results demonstrated that rainfall (R), vegetation coverage (C), and surface soil moisture (S) were the three most influential factors among the 14 indicators considered in a revegetated desert area in the Tengger Desert, China. A stability index (SI) was defined as SI = VAR (R) × VAR (C)/VAR (S), and a comparative study was conducted to examine the stability index of the natural vegetation community. The SI was divided into three regimes: SI < 0.006 was stable, 0.006 ≤ SI < 0.015 was semi-stable, and 0.015 ≤ SI was unstable. The stable, semi-stable and unstable periods of revegetated ecosystems in our simulations were 191, 17 and 11 years, respectively, within the total modeling period of 219 years. These results indicated that the revegetated desert ecosystem would be stable in most years during the vegetation succession, and this study presents new ideas for future artificial vegetation management in arid desert regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: sand-fixing vegetation; ecosystem stability; analytical hierarchy process; dynamical model sand-fixing vegetation; ecosystem stability; analytical hierarchy process; dynamical model
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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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Huang, L.; Zhang, Z. The Stability of Revegetated Ecosystems in Sandy Areas: An Assessment and Prediction Index. Water 2015, 7, 1969-1990.

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