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Open AccessArticle

Assessment of Reclamation Treatments of Abandoned Farmland in an Arid Region of China

1
Agricultural College, Shihezi University, Shihezi City 832003, China
2
CSIRO Land and Water, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
3
Fenner School of Environment and Society, The Australian National University, Canberra, ACT 2601, Australia
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Michael A. Fullen
Sustainability 2016, 8(11), 1183; https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111183
Received: 24 July 2016 / Revised: 10 November 2016 / Accepted: 10 November 2016 / Published: 16 November 2016
(This article belongs to the Section Sustainable Agriculture)
Reclamation of abandoned farmland is crucial to a sustainable agriculture in arid regions. This study aims to evaluate the impact of different reclamation treatments on abandoned salinized farmland. We investigated four artificial reclamation treatments, continuous cotton (CC), continuous alfalfa (CA), tree-wheat intercropping (TW) and trees (TS), which were conducted in 2011–2012 in the Manasi River Basin of Xinjiang Province, China. Soil nutrient, microorganism and enzyme activity were examined in comparison with natural succession (CK) in an integrated analysis on soil fertility improvement and soil salinization control with these reclamations. Results indicate that the four artificial reclamation treatments are more effective approaches than natural restoration to reclaim abandoned farmland. TW and CA significantly increased soil nutrient content compared to CK. CC reduced soil salinity to the lowest level among all treatments. TW significantly enhanced soil enzyme activity. All four artificial reclamations increased soil microbial populations and soil microbial biomass carbon. TW and CA had the greatest overall optimal effects among the four treatments in terms of the ecological outcomes. If both economic benefits and ecological effects are considered, TW would be the best reclamation mode. The findings from this study will assist in selecting a feasible method for reclamation of abandoned farmland for sustainable agriculture in arid regions. View Full-Text
Keywords: abandoned farmland; reclamation treatment; salinity; arid zone; sustainable agriculture abandoned farmland; reclamation treatment; salinity; arid zone; sustainable agriculture
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MDPI and ACS Style

Yang, H.; Zhang, F.; Chen, Y.; Xu, T.; Cheng, Z.; Liang, J. Assessment of Reclamation Treatments of Abandoned Farmland in an Arid Region of China. Sustainability 2016, 8, 1183. https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111183

AMA Style

Yang H, Zhang F, Chen Y, Xu T, Cheng Z, Liang J. Assessment of Reclamation Treatments of Abandoned Farmland in an Arid Region of China. Sustainability. 2016; 8(11):1183. https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111183

Chicago/Turabian Style

Yang, Haichang; Zhang, Fenghua; Chen, Yun; Xu, Tingbao; Cheng, Zhibo; Liang, Jing. 2016. "Assessment of Reclamation Treatments of Abandoned Farmland in an Arid Region of China" Sustainability 8, no. 11: 1183. https://doi.org/10.3390/su8111183

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