Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

Effects of different plantation types on soil properties after vegetation restoration in an alpine sandy land on the Tibetan Plateau, China


Large areas of Artemisia ordosica Krasch., Caragana korshinskii Kom., and Caragana intermedia Kuang and H. C. Fu plantations were established on moving sand dunes in the Gonghe Basin (northeastern Tibetan Plateau) for vegetation restoration. Elevating our understanding of the changes in soil characteristics after the establishment of different plantation types can be useful in the context of combating desertification. To assess the effects of these plantation types on the restoration of sandy land, we measured soil physical-chemical properties at four depths (0–5, 5–10, 10–20, and 20–50 cm) in each of the three plantation types and also in non-vegetated moving sand dunes (as control sites). Generally, the establishment of A. ordosica, C. korshinskii and C. intermedia plantations on sand dunes has greatly ameliorated soil quality in the Gonghe Basin. Specifically, relative to the moving sand dunes, shrub plantation has increased the silt and clay contents, total porosity and water holding capacity, soil organic matter, total nitrogen, total phosphorus and total potassium contents. The calculated soil quality index suggested that in the Gonghe Basin, C. intermedia is the best choice for soil amelioration. In all the three plantation types, soil amelioration mainly occurred in the shallow depths.


alpine sandy land; plantation types; soil property; soil amelioration

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