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Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15(11), 2504; https://doi.org/10.3390/ijerph15112504

Study on Water Suitability of Apple Plantations in the Loess Plateau under Climate Change

1
Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
2
College of Water Resources and Architectural Engineering, Northwest A&F University, Yangling 712100, Shaanxi, China
3
State Key Laboratory of Simulation and Regulation of Water Cycle in River Basin, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research, Beijing 100038, China
These authors contributed equally to this work.
*
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 1 October 2018 / Revised: 31 October 2018 / Accepted: 5 November 2018 / Published: 8 November 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Climate Change Impacts on Hydrology and Water Resources Management)
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Abstract

With the implementation of the Grain for Green Project, the apple plantation area is increasing in Loess Plateau. However, due to severe water scarcity, the sustainability of apple tree growth is threatened. In this paper, we used meteorological data (1990–2013) and forecasted climate data (2019–2050) to estimate water demand and establish a water suitability model to study the water balance between available water and water consumption of the apple trees. The results show that: (i) the order of the average water demand of apple plantation in each subarea is Shaanxi Province > Yuncheng area > Gansu Province > Sanmenxia Region, ranging from 500 to 950 mm; (ii) the temporal variability of water suitability from 1990 to 2013 is large, and the higher values are concentrated in the late growth stage of the apple trees and the lower values are concentrated in the early growth stage; (iii) the temporal and spatial distribution of water suitability is relatively stable and even in the Loess Plateau in the period of 2019–2050; (iv) the water suitability is mainly affected by effective precipitation and reference evapotranspiration and the reference evapotranspiration is mainly affected by the solar radiation (36%) and average temperature (38%). Furthermore, due to the joint influence of precipitation increases and solar radiation (average temperature) increases, the future water suitability of the apple plantation area in the Loess Plateau is showing a non-significant downward trend under RCP4.5 scenario. View Full-Text
Keywords: water balance; apple plantation; water suitability; climate change; the Loess Plateau water balance; apple plantation; water suitability; climate change; the Loess Plateau
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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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Gao, X.; Wang, A.; Zhao, Y.; Zhao, X.; Sun, M.; Du, J.; Gang, C. Study on Water Suitability of Apple Plantations in the Loess Plateau under Climate Change. Int. J. Environ. Res. Public Health 2018, 15, 2504.

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