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Song N.-P.,State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Land Degradation and Ecological Restoration of Northwest China | Song N.-P.,Ningxia University | Yang M.-X.,State Key Laboratory Breeding Base of Land Degradation and Ecological Restoration of Northwest China | Yang M.-X.,Ningxia University | And 8 more authors.
Chinese Journal of Ecology | Year: 2014

Caragana shrub has been widely planted to prevent ecological deterioration in desert steppe. However, water capacity is the most important factor limiting the development of Caragana in this area. Annual variations of soil moisture in Caragana stands with different ages (9, 16 and 26 years old) and natural grassland in April, August, October in 2012 and March, April in 2013 were studied. The results showed that: (1) Similar soil moisture dynamic pattern was observed in the different Caragana stands in an annual cycle. Soil moisture was dramatically depleted from May to August and recovered in September. Soil water underwent slight depletion from October in 2012 to February in 2013. The depleting process of soil moisture was accelerated from March to April. (2) There was no significant difference in soil moisture between grassland and Caragana stands, while a significant difference in soil moisture was found between the Caraganast ands with different ages. (3) The annual closure errors of soil moisture for the different Caragana stands were under deficit. The least soil water deficit was recorded for the 26-year-old Caragana stand, indicating its low water consumption and strong ability to keep soil water balance. (4) The precipitation distribution, soil texture and rooting character had profound effects on the soil moisture in desert steppe. © 2014, Editorial Board of Chinese Journal of Ecology. All rights reserved. Source

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