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Soil conservation on the Loess Plateau and the regional effect: impact of the ‘Grain for Green' Project

Published online by Cambridge University Press:  10 October 2018

Xiaofeng WANG
Affiliation:
School of Earth Science and Resources, Chang'an University, Xi'an, 710054, China. Shaanxi Key Laboratory of Land Consolidation, Xi'an, 710054, China.
Feiyan XIAO
Affiliation:
School of Earth Science and Resources, Chang'an University, Xi'an, 710054, China.
Xiaoming FENG*
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco–Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China. Email: fengxm@rcees.ac.cn
Bojie FU
Affiliation:
State Key Laboratory of Urban and Regional Ecology, Research Center for Eco–Environmental Sciences, Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing, 100085, China. Email: fengxm@rcees.ac.cn
Zixiang ZHOU
Affiliation:
College of Geomatics, Xi'an University of Science and Technology, Xi'an, 710054, China.
Chang CHAN
Affiliation:
Satellite Environment Center, Ministry of Environmental Protection, Beijing, 100094, China.
*
*Corresponding authors

Abstract

Soil conservation on the Loess Plateau is important not only for local residents but also for reducing sediment downstream in the Yellow River. In this paper, we report a decrease in soil erosion from 2000 to 2010 as a result of the ‘Grain for Green' (GFG) Project. By using the Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation and data on land cover, climate and sediment yield, we found that soil erosion decreased from 6579.55tkm–2yr–1 in 2000 to 1986.66tkm–2yr–1 in 2010. During this period, there was a major land cover change from farmland to grassland in response to the GFG. The area of low vegetation coverage with severe erosion decreased dramatically, whereas the area of high vegetation coverage with slight erosion increased. Our study demonstrates that the reduction in soil erosion on the Loess Plateau contributed to the decrease in the sediment concentration in the Yellow River.

Type
Articles
Copyright
Copyright © The Royal Society of Edinburgh 2018 

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