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Land use model research in agro-pastoral ecotone in northern China: A case study of Horqin Left Back Banner

Zhou, Jian, Xu, Yan, Gao, Yang, Xie, Zhen
Journal of environmental management 2019 v.237 pp. 139-146
arid lands, case studies, corn, crop production, desertification, drainage, ecotones, grasses, infrastructure, land use, models, rice, soil water, surface temperature, topography, vegetation, China
The agro-pastoral ecotone in northern China is an ecological fragile region, where desertification is a prominent problem and mainly induced by extensive cultivation. The typical topography of the area is dune–interdune. The irrational land use model of dune–interdune should be investigated to benefit crop production and anti-desertification. This study investigated vegetation growth status by calculating land surface temperature and soil moisture differentiation along dune–interdune. Dry land maize growth status worsened, and grass growth status showed a trend of worsening first and then improving with increasing elevation of the dune–interdune topography; meanwhile, soil moisture decreased. A land use model was designed according to soil moisture differentiation and vegetation growth condition to obtain crop production and anti-desertification. In the top region of the dune–interdune, water tolerance grass should be maintained for anti-desertification. In the middle region, cultivated land infrastructures should be established to obtain sustainable cultivated land use and avoid frequent change in land use. In the bottom region, rice can be planted, and drainage facilities should be constructed if maize is planted. Crop production and anti-desertification can be completed simultaneously in the land use model of dune–interdune.