Main content area

Effects of terracing on soil water and canopy transpiration of Pinus tabulaeformis in the Loess Plateau of China

Zhang, Handan, Wei, Wei, Chen, Liding, Wang, Lixin
Ecological engineering 2017 v.102 pp. 557-564
Pinus tabuliformis, canopy, ecological restoration, semiarid zones, soil water, soil water content, terraces, terracing, transpiration, vapor pressure, vegetation, water conservation, water stress, water use efficiency, China
Terracing has long been considered one of the most effective measures for soil water conservation and site improvement. However, few studies regarding the quantitative effects of terracing on soil water dynamics and vegetation water use efficiency were reported. To fill these knowledge gaps, in this study, soil water content and canopy transpiration from 2014 to 2015 were monitored in both terrace and slope environments in the semiarid Loess Plateau of China. Results showed that terracing had positive influences on soil water content among layers. Mean soil water content of the terrace site was 25.4% and 13.7% higher than that in the slope site in 2014 and 2015, and canopy transpiration at the terrace site increased by 9.1% and 4.8%, respectively. Canopy conductance at the terrace site was 3.9% higher than that at the slope site and it decreased logarithmically with the increase of vapor pressure deficit. This study highlighted the critical role of terracing in soil-water improvement and water-stress mitigation in semiarid environments. Thus, terracing has the potential to enhance sustainable vegetation restoration in water-limited regions.