Soil reinforcement by a root system and its effects on sediment yield in response to concentrated flow in the loess plateau

DOI: 10.4236/as.2011.22013   PDF   HTML     9,116 Downloads   13,352 Views   Citations


The importance of roots in soil conservation has long been underestimated due to a lack of sys-tematic studies conducted to evaluate root dis-tribution patterns and their effects on soil ero-sion. Current knowledge regarding root mor-phology and its impact on soil erosion by water is limited; therefore, detailed analysis of the role that root systems play in controlling soil ero-sion is needed. In this study, stratified runoff scouring at different soil depths in the field was conducted in a grassland area. The results in-dicated that both root biomass and soil wa-ter-stable aggregates decreased as soil depth increased at all three sites, while there was al-most no change in soil bulk density at 1.3g/cm3. Sediment yields under different runoff dis-charge at different sites showed similar trends, and the sediment yield increased as the soil depth increased at all three sites. Further analysis revealed that close relationships ex-isted between root biomass and the amount of water-stable aggregates and soil organic matter content, and that these factors greatly influ-enced soil erosion. Based on the data generated by the experiment, equations describing the relationship between sediment production at different soil depths and root biomass were determined.

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Li, P. and Li, Z. (2011) Soil reinforcement by a root system and its effects on sediment yield in response to concentrated flow in the loess plateau. Agricultural Sciences, 2, 86-93. doi: 10.4236/as.2011.22013.

Conflicts of Interest

The authors declare no conflicts of interest.


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