Soil erosion and surface runoff on different vegetation covers and slope gradients: A field experiment in Southern Shaanxi Province, China

Hany El Kateb, Haifeng Zhang, Pingcang Zhang, Reinhard Mosandl

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

303 Scopus citations

Abstract

The southern of the Shaanxi Province in central China is a region of great magnitude for water conservation. Long term anthropogenic interference in terms of deforestation and inappropriate land use has dramatically accelerated soil erosion in this region. A field experiment in the Shangnan County using 33 small erosion plots of 7m2 in size was carried out to determine and compare the soil loss and surface runoff from five vegetation covers and three levels of slope gradient (>10°-≤20°, >20°-≤30°, and >30°). The five vegetation covers embraced the most frequent rural land-use forms in the study area: farmlands including horticulture (tea plantation with peanut as an intercrop) and agriculture (maize in a winter-wheat-summer-maize rotation) activities, grasslands that have developed on abandoned farmlands, and forestlands including low and high forests (Chinese cork-oak coppices and pine plantations, respectively). The change in the runoff among the vegetation covers and slope gradients was high but not as significantly pronounced as for the change in the soil loss. Results showed that the slope gradient has an impact on the runoff and soil loss: the greater the slope gradient the higher the potential for runoff and soil loss. In addition, results exhibited that the rate of erosion is substantially affected by changes in vegetation cover. Farmlands generated the highest runoff and soil loss, whereas the tea plantations at slopes >30° were most susceptible to erosion. Grasslands had less runoff and soil loss than farmlands. Forestlands provided evidence for their suitability for soil and water conservation in the study area, as negligible soil-losses in comparison to the other vegetation covers were generated.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1-10
Number of pages10
JournalCatena
Volume105
DOIs
StatePublished - Jun 2013

Keywords

  • Farmland
  • Field erosion plots
  • Forestland
  • Soil erosion
  • Surface runoff
  • The Qinling mountains

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Soil erosion and surface runoff on different vegetation covers and slope gradients: A field experiment in Southern Shaanxi Province, China'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this