Effects of terracing on soil water and canopy transpiration of Chinese pine plantation in the Loess Plateau, China
Handan Zhang1,2, Wei Wei1, Liding Chen1, and Lixin Wang31State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco-Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100085, China 2University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China 3Department of Earth Sciences, Indiana University - Purdue University Indianapolis (IUPUI), Indianapolis 46202, United States
Received: 12 May 2016 – Accepted for review: 13 May 2016 – Discussion started: 18 May 2016
Abstract. Terracing has long been considered one of the most effective measures for soil water conservation and site improvement. However, the quantitative effects of terracing on soil water dynamics and vegetation water use have not been reported. To fill these knowledge gaps, in this study, soil water content and canopy transpiration were monitored in both terrace and slope environments in the semiarid Loess Plateau of China in 2014 and 2015. Results showed that terracing increased soil water content of different soil layers. Mean soil water content of the terrace site was 25.4 % and 13.7 % higher than that in the slope site in 2014 and 2015, and canopy transpiration at the terrace site increased by 9.1 % and 4.8 %, respectively. Canopy conductance at the terrace site was 3.9 % higher than that at the slope site and it decreased logarithmically with vapor pressure deficit. This study highlighted the critical role of terracing in increasing the soil water content and mitigating water stress in semiarid environments. Thus, terracing has the potential to enhance sustainable vegetation restoration in water-limited regions.
Zhang, H., Wei, W., Chen, L., and Wang, L.: Effects of terracing on soil water and canopy transpiration of Chinese pine plantation in the Loess Plateau, China, Hydrol. Earth Syst. Sci. Discuss., doi:10.5194/hess-2016-223, 2016.