Crop types and tillage measures on slopes have significant impacts on regional water and soil conservation. In this study, we investigated the influences of multiple crop types and tillage measures on water and sediment yields based on plot-scale experiments under artificial rainfall. The objective of the study is to find the best combination of crop type and tillage measure from the perspective of reducing soil erosion. We performed artificial rainfall experiments under eight slope treatments, which are the bare-land (BL, as a reference), peanut monoculture (PL), corn monoculture (CL), bare land (upper slope) mixed with peanut monoculture (lower slope) (BP), corn and peanut intercropping (TCP), corn and soybean intercropping (TCS), downslope ridge cultivation (BS) slope, and straw-mulched (SC), respectively. Under similar rainfall intensity and initial soil moisture conditions, these treatments except for BS efficiently reduced sediment yield compared to the BL slope. In comparison, the most effective slope treatment to reduce soil erosion is TCP, followed by PL and TCS. The amount of sediment yielded from the three treatments accounts for 0.4%, 2.0%, and 3.3% of the sediment yielded from BL. We recommend the three slope treatments as the preferred choices among eight treatments. Also, the lower sediment yield in the three slope treatments benefits from their higher vegetation coverage. Vegetation coverage plays a greater role in regulating sediment yield than the surface runoff at a plot scale.
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