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Water 2017, 9(2), 92; doi:10.3390/w9020092

Soil Moisture Variation in a Farmed Dry-Hot Valley Catchment Evaluated by a Redundancy Analysis Approach

1
Yunnan Key Laboratory of International Rivers and Trans-boundary Eco–security, Kunming 650091, China
2
Institute of International Rivers and Eco–security, Yunnan University, Kunming 650091, China
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Timothy R. Green
Received: 24 October 2016 / Revised: 6 January 2017 / Accepted: 3 February 2017 / Published: 7 February 2017
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Abstract

Farmed catchments have greater temporal and spatial heterogeneity of soil moisture than natural catchments. Increased knowledge about the variation of soil moisture in farmed catchments has important implications for the adoption of appropriate tillage measures for agriculture. The purpose of this study was to determine the spatial and temporal variability of soil moisture as controlled by the environment on a farmed catchment in a typical dry-hot valley (DHV) by integrating geostatistical and redundancy analysis (RDA). We monitored soil moisture in topsoil (0–20 cm) and subsoil (20–40 cm) layers at 51 points on eight occasions from July 2012 to March 2014, and determined the environmental factors of soil particle-size distribution, soil organic matter, slope aspect, slope gradient, elevation, and a topographic wetness index (WI) modified for semiarid conditions at each point. The results showed that, under the influence of high evaporation, soil moisture in the topsoil was significantly lower than that of subsoil in the DHV. In this study, we observed a strong temporal variation of soil moisture, which was influenced by the seasonal variation of crop cover and lagged behind that of rainfall. Relatively high soil moisture levels were found on the watershed divide and hillside sites of the catchment, and lower on the valleyside sites. Different from other studies, RDA analysis indicated that the WI was not correlated with soil moisture in the DHV; instead, clay and sand levels were the dominant control factor of soil moisture in the farmed DHV. We proposed that soil erosion in the DHV could lead to such increases of sand and decreases of clay content, thus influencing soil moisture content. Soil and water conservation measures will be especially important for valleyside sites with steep slopes. View Full-Text
Keywords: soil moisture; farmed catchment; redundancy analysis; upper red river soil moisture; farmed catchment; redundancy analysis; upper red river
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Rong, L.; Duan, X.; Feng, D.; Zhang, G. Soil Moisture Variation in a Farmed Dry-Hot Valley Catchment Evaluated by a Redundancy Analysis Approach. Water 2017, 9, 92.

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