Effects of Soil Organic Carbon and Moisture on Different Vegetation Restoration Types in the Mu Us Sandy Land

College of Soil and Water Conservation Science and Engineering(Institute of Soil and Water Conservation), Northwest A&F University

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    Vegetation restoration is one of the most effective measures to improve the fragile ecological environment in arid regions. Extensive vegetation restoration in the Mu Us Sandy Land has significantly influenced the soil carbon and water cycling within the area. Investigating the responses of soil organic carbon and moisture content to vegetation restoration holds crucial significance for the sustainable development of the ecological system in this region. This study focused on the natural restoration grassland and different vegetation restoration types, including Artemisia desertorum, Salix psammophila, A. desertorum-S. psammophila mixed(shrub-shrub mixed), Pinus sylvestris, S. psammophila-P. sylvestris mixed(tree-shrub mixed), in the Mu Us Sandy Land. A bare sandy area was used as the control. The aim was to investigate the effects of different vegetation restoration types on soil carbon and moisture content within the 0-5 m soil profile. The results showed that:(1)Vegetation restoration increased, with S. psammophila-P. sylvestris mixed, P. sylvestris, Grassland, A. desertorum-S. psammophila mixed, A. desertorum-S. psammophila mixed, and A. desertorum showing decreasing trends, with significant accumulation effects observed within the 0-20 cm soil depth. As soil depth increased, the organic carbon content of all vegetation types gradually decreased. Within the depth range of 80-220 cm, A. desertorum, S. psammophila, and A. desertorum-S. psammophila mixed exhibited carbon loss.(2)Different vegetation restoration types showed varying degrees of soil moisture deficit in deep soil layers, primarily concentrated at 1-3 m, with S. psammophila-P. sylvestris mixed showing the most severe deficit, followed by P. sylvestris, A. desertorum-S. psammophila, S. psammophila, Grassland, A. desertorum.(3)Root were identified as the main factors influencing soil organic carbon content and moisture consumption. Soil organic carbon content exhibited a negative correlation with soil moisture within the 0-5 m soil depth range. Vegetation carbon storage was achieved at the expense of consuming deep soil moisture, with S. psammophila-P. sylvestris mixed exhibiting the least water consumption per unit of fixed carbon. The study suggests that S. psammophila-P. sylvestris mixed exhibits favorable effects in vegetation restoration from the perspective of soil carbon retention and water retention in the Mu Us Sandy Land.

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  • Received:August 17,2023
  • Revised:October 14,2023
  • Adopted:October 18,2023
  • Online: April 29,2024
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