PROGRESS IN GEOGRAPHY ›› 2021, Vol. 40 ›› Issue (6): 1012-1025.doi: 10.18306/dlkxjz.2021.06.011

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Effects of vegetation restoration on soil physical parameters on the Loess Plateau:A meta-analysis based on published data

ZHANG Zefan1,2(), ZHANG Xuezhen1,2,*()   

  1. 1. Key Laboratory of Land Surface Pattern and Simulation, Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS, Beijing 100101, China
    2. University of Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049, China
  • Received:2020-09-16 Revised:2021-01-12 Online:2021-06-28 Published:2021-08-28
  • Contact: ZHANG Xuezhen;
  • Supported by:
    National Natural Science Foundation of China(41790424);Strategic Priority Research Program of the Chinese Academy of Sciences(XDA20020202);Key Research Program of Frontier Sciences from Chinese Academy of Sciences(QYZDB-SSW-DQC005)


Land surface processes play an important role in climate change. Soil hydrology process is an important part of the land surface processes. However, in the current land surface models, the parameters of soil hydrology attributes only consider soil texture, and the effect of vegetation types on soil hydrology attributes is not considered. This is inconsistent with the natural processes, and therefore the understanding on the hydrological and meteorological effects of large-scale vegetation restoration is insufficient. In order to reveal the effect of vegetation restoration on soil physical parameters and improve the accuracy of soil parameter estimations in land surface models, this study took the Loess Plateau as the research object, and collected and analyzed published test data of soil physical parameters under vegetation restoration. Information such as the latitude and longitude of the sampling site, soil texture, vegetation type, restoration period, slope, porosity, and so on were extracted for a meta-analysis. The results show that vegetation restoration can promote the accumulation of soil organic matter, significantly improve soil structure and increase soil fertility, thereby increasing soil clay content, reducing sand content, and significantly increasing soil porosity, saturated hydraulic conductivity, and water holding capacity. With the increase of vegetation coverage, these effects are also enhanced. The highest level of improvement is reached at the forestland stage, and the role of broad-leaved forest is stronger than that of coniferous forest. With the increase of forest age, soil pore structure and infiltration performance are significantly improved, and soil water holding capacity is enhanced. This study clarified the impact of vegetation restoration on soil parameters on the Loess Plateau, laying a foundation for further research on the impact of large-scale vegetation restoration on surface water flux and its climate effects.

Key words: vegetation restoration, soil physical parameters, meta-analysis, Loess Plateau