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Watershed Management, Conservation, and Erosion Control: Theory, Methods, and Applications

A special issue of Sustainability (ISSN 2071-1050). This special issue belongs to the section "Soil Conservation and Sustainability".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (1 April 2023) | Viewed by 4655

Special Issue Editors


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Guest Editor
College of Forestry, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China
Interests: soil erosion; soil and water conservation; soil hydrology; underground leakage; rainfall runoff; nutrient loss; karst hydrology; rock soil interface; rocky desertification
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
College of Forestry, Guizhou University, Guiyang 550025, China
Interests: soil erosion; soil and water conservation; soil hydrology; underground leakage; rainfall runoff; nutrient loss; karst hydrology; rocky desertification; ecological restoration
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

The continuous progress of human society has also caused a certain degree of damage and pollution to the natural ecological environment. The health of the global natural environment is worrying. The typical environmental damage situation, such as the continuous occurrence of soil and water loss in small watersheds and the unreasonable utilization of resources, has gradually become an environmental protection task that people have paid attention to in recent years. The proposal and application of watershed comprehensive control in soil and water loss have made great contributions to the rational distribution and utilization of land resources and soil and water resources and have coordinated the common development of resources, population and economic construction to a great extent.

This Special Issue will mainly address new theories, methods and applications of watershed management, conservation and erosion control. The Special Issue will focus on the interaction mechanism of water, soil, gas and biology in the watershed and the response of the surface process, the watershed flood process and human activities, the ecological function of watershed resources and the eco-environmental effect of resource development, the carrying capacity and development limit of watershed resources, watershed environment and disaster evolution and watershed sustainable development mechanism and regulation. The solution of the above scientific issues will help us to understand the objective law of watershed evolution. Of course, this would benefit from the application of new research methods and advanced technologies.

We welcome original studies based on field measurements and monitoring, laboratory control experiments and numerical simulations. We also welcome the latest comprehensive reviews.

If your findings are novel or unique and your method is new, please submit your paper to our Special Issue; watersheds need to be studied to maintain their healthy and sustainable development.

Prof. Dr. Xudong Peng
Prof. Dr. Quanhou Dai
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

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Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Sustainability is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2400 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

  • watershed ecological environment
  • watershed management
  • soil and water resources
  • soil and water loss
  • soil and water conservation
  • surface process and mechanism
  • watershed flood process and response
  • ecological function of watershed resources
  • production and construction activities
  • ecological environment restoration and reconstruction

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

16 pages, 4393 KiB  
Article
Feasibility Assessment of a Magnetic Layer Detection Method for Field Applications
by Chenhui Li, Liang Liu, Mingbin Huang and Yafang Shi
Sustainability 2023, 15(19), 14263; https://doi.org/10.3390/su151914263 - 27 Sep 2023
Viewed by 725
Abstract
The lack of current data on the spatial distribution of soil erosion hinders the ability to predict soil erosion on slopes. To address this problem, we present a simple and sensitive soil erosion measurement method called the magnetic layer detection (MLD) method. This [...] Read more.
The lack of current data on the spatial distribution of soil erosion hinders the ability to predict soil erosion on slopes. To address this problem, we present a simple and sensitive soil erosion measurement method called the magnetic layer detection (MLD) method. This method can measure the changes in soil layer thickness (SLT) at a site featuring a pre-buried magnetic layer (ML) using the relationship between magnetic susceptibility and soil thickness, and then use this information to determine the erosion or accumulation at that point. To verify the adaptability and accuracy of this method, we designed three field tests. First, we conducted a simulated sediment siltation experiment using the erosion pin (EP) method as the control. This experiment demonstrated the accuracy of the MLD method for measuring SLT (Rad2 = 0.97, NSE = 88.14%, and RMSE = 1.17 mm). Next, a simulated rainfall experiment with the runoff plot (RP) method as a control was used to demonstrate the effectiveness of the MLD method under water erosion. The results demonstrated that this method can reliably estimate soil erosion on both bare plots (Rad2 = 0.83, NSE = 71.78%, and RMSE = 0.56 mm) and sparse grass plots (Rad2 = 0.90, NSE = 81.77%, and RMSE = 0.25 mm), with performance that is better than that of the traditional EP method. Finally, a soil scouring experiment, again with the RP method as a control, was designed to verify whether the MLD method could accurately measure the erosion of a slope after the soil was scoured by surface runoff. The MLD method could accurately measure the slope erosion (Rad2 = 0.91, NSE = 89.55%, and RMSE = 0.42 mm), with results superior to those of the traditional EP method. The MLD method’s results were similar to those from the laser scanner (LS) method, but more accurate and with less associated cost and data processing time. Therefore, the MLD method has potential as a reliable measurement method that can provide useful guidance for elucidating the spatial distribution of soil erosion and predicting slope soil erosion. This approach could be used to obtain raw data to quantify soil erosion on the Loess Plateau of China and beyond. Full article
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14 pages, 2430 KiB  
Article
Variations and Factors Characterizing Ecological Niches of Understory Herbaceous Species in Plantation Forests
by Cheng Sun, Long Li, Xiaoyu Dong, Fucang Qin and Zhenqi Yang
Sustainability 2022, 14(17), 10719; https://doi.org/10.3390/su141710719 - 29 Aug 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1686
Abstract
Plant ecological niche characteristics are powerful representations of plant survival status. Understory herbaceous species in plantation forests are sensitive to local ecological environment changes; patterns of ecological niche changes of herbaceous plants under plantation forests are of great significance for maintaining the stability [...] Read more.
Plant ecological niche characteristics are powerful representations of plant survival status. Understory herbaceous species in plantation forests are sensitive to local ecological environment changes; patterns of ecological niche changes of herbaceous plants under plantation forests are of great significance for maintaining the stability and sustainable development of plantation forest ecosystems. This study aims to explore the ecological niche characteristics of understory herbaceous species in plantation forests and their influencing factors. Six different site types of Pinus tabulaeformis plantations were selected from a stable plantation community in the feldspathic sandstone area of the Loess Plateau (China). The relative importance value and niche breadth were used as comprehensive quantitative indices to characterize the status, role, and degree of dominance of understory herbaceous species in plantation forests. We found few dominant species of understory herbaceous species in plantation forests, mostly companion species. The niche characteristics of understory herbaceous species in plantation forests varied significantly. For understory herbaceous species, the niche width was positively correlated with slopes and the niche overlap of the sunny slopes was positively relevant with slopes, while that of the shady slopes was negatively correlated. A canonical correspondence analysis indicated that several major factors influencing the niche breadth and niche overlap of understory herbaceous species in plantation forests were different. The canopy density and slope of plantation played a major role in the niche breadth and niche overlap of understory herbaceous species in plantation forests. In summary, the species distribution of understory herbaceous species in plantation forests was determined by site type. The canopy density and geographical slope were the dominant environmental factors for different ecological niche characteristics of understory herbaceous species. The ecological niche variation of different herbaceous species was the consequence of the integrated effects of the plantation and geographical environment. Full article
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14 pages, 2098 KiB  
Article
Multi-Scale Characterization of Spatial Variability of Soil Organic Carbon in a Semiarid Zone in Northern China
by Long Li, Yongjie Yue, Fucang Qin, Xiaoyu Dong, Cheng Sun, Yanqi Liu and Peng Zhang
Sustainability 2022, 14(15), 9390; https://doi.org/10.3390/su14159390 - 31 Jul 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1535
Abstract
The variation of soil organic carbon (SOC) spatial distribution is dependent on the relative contributions of different environmental factors, and the dominant factors change according to study scales. Here, geostatistical and remote sensing techniques were used to gain deep knowledge about SOC spatial [...] Read more.
The variation of soil organic carbon (SOC) spatial distribution is dependent on the relative contributions of different environmental factors, and the dominant factors change according to study scales. Here, geostatistical and remote sensing techniques were used to gain deep knowledge about SOC spatial distribution patterns and their dominant determinants at different study scales; specifically, the structure of the spatial variability of SOC content at the county, regional, and watershed scales in Aohan, China were analyzed. The results show that altitude and normalized difference vegetation index (NDVI) are the key predictors explaining 49.6% of the SOC variability at the county scale; NDVI and slope are the key predictors explaining 36.2% of the SOC variability at the regional scale; and terrain factors are the most significant factors at the watershed scale. These three scales have a moderate spatial correlation in terms of SOC content. As the study scale widens, the spatial variability attributable to the random factors increases gradually, whereas the variability attributable to the structural factors gradually weakens. Soil type and land use type are the key factors influencing the SOC content at these three scales. At all scales, the SOC contents of the different land use types differ significantly in the order forestland > shrubland > grassland. Conservation of regional soil and water and prevention of soil desertification are effective measures for improving SOC content. Full article
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