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Temporal-spatial variability and fractal characteristics of soil nitrogen and phosphorus in Xinji District, Hebei Province, China

Gao, Rutai, Liu, Shuqing, Zhang, Yigong, Li, Huizhuo, Huang, Yuanfang, Xia, Xunfeng, Jiang, Tiantian, Zhang, Hui
Environmental monitoring and assessment 2011 v.174 no.1-4 pp. 229-240
analysis of variance, fractal dimensions, geographic information systems, geostatistics, kriging, land use, lognormal distribution, nitrogen, nitrogen content, nutrient content, phosphorus, soil heterogeneity, soil nutrients, China
Traditional statistics, geostatistics, fractal dimensions, and geographic information systems (GIS) were employed to study the temporal-spatial variability of soil total nitrogen (TN) and total phosphorus (TP) levels in Xinji District, Hebei Province area of the North China Plain from 1980 to 2007. The results indicate that nutrient levels follow normal or lognormal distributions. The TN content was 0.59 ±0.155 g kg ⁻ ¹ in 2007, an increase of 0.44 g kg ⁻ ¹ compared with that of 1980. In 2007, the TP content was 1.21 ±0.227 g kg ⁻ ¹, an increase of 0.01 g kg ⁻ ¹ from 1980. The geostatistical analysis showed that the distribution of these soil nutrients in the study area exhibits a trend and anisotropy. The range and [C ₀/(C ₀ + C)] of TN and TP in 1980 were all less than in 2007. The ordinary kriging interpolation method was used to analyze the nutrient contents differences between 1980 and 2007. The results indicate that soil TN levels have increased over the 27-year period, and the area where the TN level had increased by at least 0.4 g kg ⁻ ¹ was about 61.7% of the district. The area where the TP content increased covered about 58.4% of the district. The variance analysis indicated that land-use type had a clear influence on the distribution and change in TN and TP content. Using the 3-D box-counting dimension method combined with GIS, the fractal dimension of soil nutrient spatial distribution over the two periods showed that in 27 years, the fractal dimension of TN increased from 1.95 to 2.02, and the fractal dimension of TP increased from 1.89 to 2.01, indicating that the complexity of the spatial distribution of all nutrient contents had increased. This study can provide a basis for accurate fertilizing and to enhance the conversion of soil characteristics under different spatial scales.