Effects of afforestation on soil bulk density and pH in the Loess Plateau, China

Zhang, Xiaofang and Adamowski, Jan F. and Deo, Ravinesh C. and Xu, Xueyun and Zhu, Guofeng and Cao, Jianjun (2018) Effects of afforestation on soil bulk density and pH in the Loess Plateau, China. Water, 10 (12 - Article 1710).

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Sustainable land management requires a clear understanding of the changes in soil quality. In exploring whether afforestation has the potential to improve the soil quality in China’s Loess Plateau, soil bulk density ( ρs ) and pH were compared under five treatments: three forested treatments (16-and 40-year-old apricot stands, and 40-year-old poplar stands), and individual abandoned and cultivated treatments, serving as the controls. Bulk density across the 0–1.0 m soil profile under the 16-year-old apricot treatment (1.12 Mg m−3) and 40-year-old poplar treatment (1.16 Mg m−3) were significantly smaller than their counterparts under the cultivated (1.20 Mg m−3) and abandoned treatments (1.23 Mg m−3). Soil pH of the cultivated treatment (8.46) was significantly lower than that of the abandoned treatment (8.51) or than that of any forested treatment. The ρs and pH were both affected by stand age, with the ρs and pH of the 40-year-old apricot treatment being 0.10 Mg m−3 and 0.05 units greater, respectively, than those of the 16-year-old apricot treatment. Treatment and soil depth appeared to interact to influence the ρs , but this same interaction did not influence the soil pH. This study suggested that afforestation species and stand age should be taken into consideration to harvest maximum benefits from the afforestation efforts.

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Item Type: Article (Commonwealth Reporting Category C)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Institute for Life Sciences and the Environment
Date Deposited: 10 Dec 2018 03:09
Last Modified: 13 Jun 2019 05:13
Uncontrolled Keywords: soil erosion; soil quality; stand type; stand age; tree plantation
Fields of Research : 07 Agricultural and Veterinary Sciences > 0701 Agriculture, Land and Farm Management > 070102 Agricultural Land Planning
04 Earth Sciences > 0402 Geochemistry > 040299 Geochemistry not elsewhere classified
Socio-Economic Objective: E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970104 Expanding Knowledge in the Earth Sciences
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/35221

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