Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Effects of shrub species and microhabitats on dew formation in a revegetation-stabilized desert ecosystem in Shapotou, northern China


Dew is an important supplement water source in arid and semi-arid areas. In order to determine the dew formation on different kinds of soils associated with various shrub species and microhabitats, we performed measurement of accumulated dew formation amount and duration in October 2009 in a revegetation-stabilized arid desert ecosystem in Shapotou area, northern China. The results indicated that the accumulated dew formation amount was four times larger at open spaces as compared to under the canopy, and it was nearly twice as much under living Artemisia ordosica plants (L.A.) as compared to under living Caragana korshinskii plants (L.C.). The opposite characteristics were found for dew duration between different microhabitats. Dew amounts at different vertical heights around the shrub stands were in the order of 50 cm above the canopy>the canopy edge>under the canopy. Dew amount continued to increase after dawn, and the proportion of average accumulated dew amount after dawn accounting for the average maximum amount increased from above the canopy to under the canopy. Dew formation duration after sunrise accounted for more than 50% of the total formation duration during the day time. Contrary to the distribution characteristics of dew amount, dew duration after dawn and total dew formation duration during the day time were both highest under the canopy, followed by at the canopy edge and then at 50 cm above the canopy. The portion of dew duration after dawn accounting for the total dew duration during the day time increased from above the canopy to under the canopy. From these results, we may conclude that dew availability as a supplemental water resource for improving the microhabitats in water-limited arid ecosystems is position dependent especially for the plant microhabitats at different stands layers.


dew amount; dew duration; shrub species; microhabitat; soil surface type

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