Special Issue "Soil Erosion Processes and Rates in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems"

A special issue of Land (ISSN 2073-445X).

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 August 2020.

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Hamid Reza Pourghasemi
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Guest Editor
Department of Natural Resources and Environmental Engineering, College of Agriculture, Shiraz University, Shiraz, Iran
Interests: landslide modeling; natural and man-made hazards; spatial modeling in GIS and R; data mining/machine learning techniques; multihazard modeling, remote sensing applications
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Dr. Jesús Rodrigo-Comino
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Guest Editor
Soil Erosion and Degradation Research Group, Department of Geography, University of Valencia,46010 Valencia, Spain
Physische Geographie und Wissens- und Technologietransfer D - 54296 Trier, Universität Trier, Deutschland
Interests: Soil geography, soil erosion, land degradation
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Dr. Erick R. Bandala
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Guest Editor
Division of Hydrologic Sciences, Desert Research Institute, 755 E. Flamingo Road, 89119-7363 Las Vegas, NV, USA
Interests: water quality; water security; the food–energy–water nexus; nanosized materials; site restoration
Special Issues and Collections in MDPI journals
Dr. Yang Yu
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Guest Editor
Department of Sediment Research, China Institute of Water Resources and Hydropower Research (IWHR), Beijing, 100038, China
Interests: vegetation restoration; eco-hydrology; soil and water conservation; dryland ecology

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Soil erosion is a key process that controls biogeochemical cycles in the Earth System and is relevant when it comes to understanding land degradation processes and soil fertility. Agricultural and forestal soils sustainability is related to erosion rates, and land management should be carefully designed and implemented to achieve the United Nations’ Sustainable Development Goals. The significance of soil erosion processes and rates is magnified in arid and semiarid ecosystems because of the lack of vegetation cover acting as a buffer during high-magnitude, low-frequency rainfall events. Little is known about sustainable managements in arid and semiarid enviroments, and this Special Issue welcomes original research on: (i) soil erosion measurements; (ii) soil erosion modeling; (iii) experimental research; (iv) assessing sustainable management in agricultural and forestal land; (v) land use changes and impact on soil erosion rates; and (vi) holistic approaches to achieve sustainable management on the urban–rural interfaces.

Land degradation processes and rates in Arid and Semiarid areas of the world.

Prof. Dr. Artemi Cerdà
Assoc. Prof. Dr. Hamid Reza Pourghasemi
Dr. Jesús Rodrigo-Comino
Dr. Erick R. Bandala
Dr. Yang Yu
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 1000 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • land degradation
  • soil erosion
  • rates
  • measurements
  • arid and semiarid lands

Published Papers (5 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Airflow Field Around Hippophae rhamnoides in Alpine Semi-Arid Desert
Land 2020, 9(5), 140; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9050140 - 06 May 2020
Abstract
The research on wind regimes and the wind protection mechanism of sand-fixing plants has mainly relied on wind tunnel experiments; few observations have been made in the field. At the same time, airflow around individual standing vegetation elements and communities is relatively lacking [...] Read more.
The research on wind regimes and the wind protection mechanism of sand-fixing plants has mainly relied on wind tunnel experiments; few observations have been made in the field. At the same time, airflow around individual standing vegetation elements and communities is relatively lacking in alpine semi-arid deserts. Therefore, this paper selected 10-year-old Hippophae rhamnoides (sea buckthorn) on sandy land on the eastern shore of Qinghai Lake as the study object. Based on spatial and temporal changes of wind regime in the afforestation forest, a structural simulation of airflow near the plant and at different layers above the ground, and the annual changes in wind protection, we studied the wind protection mechanisms of H. rhamnoides as single elements or communities. The results were as follows: the effective protection length of the sublayer of H. rhamnoides was 1.0 to 1.8 m. The higher the layer, the smaller the decrease in wind velocity behind elements, and the smaller the effective protection length. Wind velocity downwind of H. rhamnoides increased, with height increasing where the airflow decreases rate (R) decreased in the sublayer, and increasing in the middle layer as plant height increased. Meanwhile, the airflow decreases rate (R) was negative in the upper layer because it decreased as the plant height increased. The airflow movement between elements had various directions because the upper layer was prone to fluctuations due to the swinging of the crown and branches, and turbulence was seen at the sublayers owing to the mechanical resistance of the elements. When the wind speed at the standard point was 8.5 m/s and the wind direction was east (E), the increase of airflow velocity at the side and center in the upper layer was more significant, and there was a strong wind zone in the azimuth of NW‒N‒NE‒E‒SE, while the S‒SW‒W azimuth zone was weaker. The sand-fixing shrub H. rhamnoides had a significant windproof function, and the 1.5 m square interval density of H. rhamnoides was suitable for alpine desert control projects. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion Processes and Rates in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems)
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Open AccessFeature PaperArticle
Applying the RUSLE and ISUM in the Tierra de Barros Vineyards (Extremadura, Spain) to Estimate Soil Mobilisation Rates
Land 2020, 9(3), 93; https://doi.org/10.3390/land9030093 - 23 Mar 2020
Cited by 1
Abstract
Spain is one of the largest wine producers in the world, with Extremadura (south-west Spain) being its second-largest producing region after Castilla La Mancha. Within Extremadura, the most traditional and productive viticulture region is the Tierra de Barros, which boasts an annual production [...] Read more.
Spain is one of the largest wine producers in the world, with Extremadura (south-west Spain) being its second-largest producing region after Castilla La Mancha. Within Extremadura, the most traditional and productive viticulture region is the Tierra de Barros, which boasts an annual production of 3×106 litres. However, no soil erosion assessment has been undertaken in any vineyard in the region to ascertain environmental sustainability. Therefore, the Improved Stock Unearthing Method (ISUM) and the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) were applied to assess the long-term soil erosion rates. Both methods were applied using an experimental plot (2.8 m × 148.5 m) encompassing 99 paired vines in a 20-year-old vineyard under a tillage management system and on bare soils throughout the year. The ISUM and RUSLE found total soil mobilization values of 45.7 Mg ha−1 yr−1 and 17.4 Mg ha−1 yr−1, respectively, a difference of about 5 times. Mapping techniques showed that soil surface declined to an average of −6.2 cm, with maximum values of −28 cm. The highest values of soil depletion were mainly observed in the upper part and the form of linear features following the hillslope direction. On the other hand, under the vines, the soil surface level showed accumulations of up to +2.37 cm due to tillage practices. Our study demonstrated the potential of high soil erosion rates occurring in conventional vineyards managed with tillage in the inter-row areas and herbicides under the vines within the Tierra de Barros. Also, we demonstrated the elevated differences in soil mobilisation rates using the ISUM and RUSLE. Therefore, further research must be conducted in other vineyards to determine the suitability of the models for assessing soil erosion rates. Undoubtedly, soil conservation measures must be designed and applied immediately due to high erosion rates. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion Processes and Rates in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Temporal Variation in Preferential Water Flow during Natural Vegetation Restoration on Abandoned Farmland in the Loess Plateau of China
Land 2019, 8(12), 186; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8120186 - 06 Dec 2019
Abstract
The restoration of vegetation in abandoned farmlands is an effective approach to control soil erosion on the Chinese Loess Plateau. However, few studies have investigated the effect of natural restoration age on the infiltration patterns and preferential flow in soil layers. This study [...] Read more.
The restoration of vegetation in abandoned farmlands is an effective approach to control soil erosion on the Chinese Loess Plateau. However, few studies have investigated the effect of natural restoration age on the infiltration patterns and preferential flow in soil layers. This study examined the effect of the temporal variations in the degree of preferential flow and their contribution on the total infiltration in abandoned farmlands restored with different vegetation communities. In total, four sites were investigated, namely site AF3, AF12, AF18 and AF25 of restoration age of 3, 12, 18 and 25 years, respectively. A traditional dye tracer experiment was adopted to visualize the water flow behavior in the four sites. A semi-variance analysis was conducted to interpret the spatial variability of the soil water induced by infiltration. The results showed that both the soil properties and the root systems improved with the increased natural restoration ages combined with the effect of the plant species. The degree of preferential flow from the lowest to the highest occurred in AF3, AF12, AF18 and AF25, which was mainly affected by the development of root systems. Also, the abundant lateral root and steeper slope may have caused the presence of lateral flow in AF18 and AF25. Meanwhile, the spatial variability of the soil water in the infiltration patterns through vertical soil profiles increased from AF3 to AF25. Compared to AF3, the infiltration volume through preferential pathways in AF12, AF18 and AF25 increased by 1.73 times, 1.94 times and 4.09 times, respectively. Therefore, the preferential flow was improved in abandoned farmland in the presence of natural vegetation restoration that can increase water storage in the deep soil layer and reduce surface runoff and erosion. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion Processes and Rates in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
The Ecosystem Effects of Sand-Binding Shrub Hippophae rhamnoides in Alpine Semi-Arid Desert in the Northeastern Qinghai–Tibet Plateau
Land 2019, 8(12), 183; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8120183 - 29 Nov 2019
Abstract
The planting of sand-binding vegetation in the Qinghai Lake watershed at the northeastern edge of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau began in 1980. For this paper, we took the desert on the eastern shore of Qinghai Lake as the study area. We analyzed a variety [...] Read more.
The planting of sand-binding vegetation in the Qinghai Lake watershed at the northeastern edge of the Qinghai–Tibet Plateau began in 1980. For this paper, we took the desert on the eastern shore of Qinghai Lake as the study area. We analyzed a variety of aged Hippophae rhamnoides communities and aeolian activities, and we discuss the relationship between them. The main conclusions are as follows: (1) With an increasing number of binding years, the species composition became more abundant, natural vegetation began to recover, and biodiversity increased year by year. At the same time, plant height, canopy width, and community coverage increased, but H. rhamnoides coverage was reduced to 36.70% as coverage of Artemisia desertorum increased to 25.67% after 10 years of fixing. The biomass of H. rhamnoides increased significantly, especially the underground biomass. For example, the biomass of area 15a was about 10 to 30 times that of area 1a. (2) Plants are a useful obstacle to aeolian activity. The presence of plants reduced the wind flow in the upper parts of the plants, but it did not have obvious regular characteristics. The longer the fixation term, the lower the surface sediment transport. It is significant that the sediment transport amount in winter was four times that in the summer. After 15 years of binding, H. rhamnoides grows well, and the community is still stable in the study area. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion Processes and Rates in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems)
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Open AccessArticle
Influence of Landscape Pattern Changes on Runoff and Sediment in the Dali River Watershed on the Loess Plateau of China
Land 2019, 8(12), 180; https://doi.org/10.3390/land8120180 - 24 Nov 2019
Abstract
The large-scale Grain for Green project on the Loess Plateau of China significantly changes the regional landscape pattern, which has a profound impact on runoff and sediment process. The relationship between landscape pattern and runoff and sediment in the Dali River watershed is [...] Read more.
The large-scale Grain for Green project on the Loess Plateau of China significantly changes the regional landscape pattern, which has a profound impact on runoff and sediment process. The relationship between landscape pattern and runoff and sediment in the Dali River watershed is established. Cropland and grassland areas in the watershed show a downward trend, whereas the woodland and building land increases continuously. The Number of Patches (NP), Patch Density (PD) and Landscape Diversity (SHDI), Landscape Division Index (DIVISION) increase significantly. The Largest Patch Index (LPI) and Landscape Shape Index (LSI) show overall change in the rising and falling rule. The Contagion Index (CONTAG) and Cohesion Index (COHESION) first increase, then decrease. A decreasing trend is shown by runoff and sediment. The annual runoff in 2010 was 29.76% less than in 1960, and the annual sediment load was 84.87% less. NP, PD, COHESION, DIVISION and SHDI have a significant negative correlation with runoff and sediment, and CONTAG and runoff sediment are positively related. This study could provide theoretical support for guiding watershed land use and landscape planning to effectively reduce runoff and sediment transport. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Soil Erosion Processes and Rates in Arid and Semiarid Ecosystems)
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