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Journal of Environmental Biology

pISSN: 0254-8704 ; eISSN: 2394-0379 ; CODEN: JEBIDP

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        Abstract - Issue Jul 2014, 35 (4)                                                                                                             Back

nstantaneous and historical temperature effects on a-pinene

Characteristics of soil moisture in relation to microtopography in

the Loess region of Northern Shaanxi, China


Yaojun Bo1,2, Qingke Zhu2* and Weijun Zhao2

1College of Life Sciences, Yulin University, Yulin, Shaanxi-719 000, China

2College of Water and Soil Conservation, Beijing Forestry University, Beijing-100 083, China

*Corresponding Author E-mail:





Publication Data

Paper received:

24 January 2014


Revised received:

14 March 2014



19 March 2014




Soil moisture is the primary factor limiting plant growth and vegetation rehabilitation in the loess region of northern Shaanxi, China. This 5-year (20082012) study investigated methods of selecting appropriate microsites for vegetation restoration based on efficient use of soil moisture; 5-year data were compared with 56 years of precipitation data using standardized precipitation index. In addition, the effects of microtopography on the spatiotemporal variations of soil moisture were analyzed at the Wuqi Ecological Station of Beijing Forestry University. Results showed that average annual precipitation during last 5 years fell by 12.4% during the growing season compared with 19572012 data and soil moisture content at depth of 0160 cm under went dramatic changes and became relatively low in July and August. Soil moisture content varied in different microtopographical units as follows: gullies > gently-sloped terraces > collapsed soils > undisturbed slopes (control) > furrows > escarpments. The vertical distribution of soil moisture content in different microtopographical units showed dramatic changes at depth of 040 cm. Soil moisture content of gently-sloped terraces, gullies, collapsed areas, furrows, and undisturbed slopes was highest at depth of 80160 cm with a level of instability at depth of 4080 cm. For gently-sloped terraces and gullies, soil moisture content followed the order of 4080 cm > 040 cm; for collapsed areas, furrows, and undisturbed slopes, soil moisture content follows the order of 040 cm > 4080 cm. For escarpments, soil moisture content varied with depth in a different pattern: 040 cm > 80160 cm > 4080 cm. This study is of theoretical significance and will help guide the sustainable development of ecological restoration and vegetation rehabilitation in the Loess region.


 Key words


Microtopography, Rainfall characteristics, Soil moisture, Topography


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