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1. chinaXiv:202101.00071 [pdf]

Damage by wind-blown sand and its control measures along the Taklimakan Desert Highway in China

LI Congjuan; WANG Yongdong; LEI Jiaqiang; XU Xinwen; WANG Shijie; FAN Jinglong; LI Shengyu
Subjects: Geosciences >> Geography

Desertification is one of the most serious environmental problems in the world, especially in the arid desert regions. Combating desertification, therefore, is an urgent task on a regional or even global scale. The Taklimakan Desert in China is the second largest mobile desert in the world and has been called the ''Dead Sea'' due to few organisms can exist in such a harsh environment. The Taklimakan Desert Highway, the longest desert highway (a total length of 446 km) across the mobile desert in the world, was built in the 1990s within the Taklimakan Desert. It has an important strategic significance regarding oil and gas resources exploration and plays a vital role in the socio-economic development of southern Xinjiang, China. However, wind-blow sand seriously damages the smoothness of the desert highway and, in this case, mechanical sand control system (including sand barrier fences and straw checkerboards) was used early in the life of the desert highway to protect the road. Unfortunately, more than 70% of the sand barrier fences and straw checkerboards have lost their functions, and the desert highway has often been buried and frequently blocked since 1999. To solve this problem, a long artificial shelterbelt with the length of 437 km was built along the desert highway since 2000. However, some potential problems still exist for the sustainable development of the desert highway, such as water shortage, strong sandstorms, extreme environmental characteristics and large maintenance costs. The study aims to provide an overview of the damages caused by wind-blown sand and the effects of sand control measures along the Taklimakan Desert Highway. Ultimately, we provide some suggestions for the biological sand control system to ensure the sustainable development of the Taklimakan Desert Highway, such as screening drought-resistant species to reduce the irrigation requirement and ensure the sound development of groundwater, screening halophytes to restore vegetation in the case of soil salinization, and planting cash crops, such as Cistanche, Wolfberry, Apocynum and other cash crops to decrease the high cost of maintenance on highways and shelterbelts.

submitted time 2021-01-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits367Downloads178 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:201804.02360 [pdf]

Growth and sustainability of Suaeda salsa in the Lop Nur, China

LI, Congjuan; LIU, Ran; WANG, Shijie; SUN, Yongqiang; LI, Shengyu; ZHANG, Heng; GAO, Jie; DANG, Yanxi; ZHANG, Lili
Subjects: Physics >> General Physics: Statistical and Quantum Mechanics, Quantum Information, etc.

Extremely saline soils are very harsh environments for the growth and survival of most plant species, however, halophytes can grow well. The underlying mechanism of halophyte to resist high saline is not well understood by us. This study was conducted at the potash mine near the Lop Nur, China, where the effects of the halophyte Suaeda salsa L. on the saline-alkaline soils and its growth and sustainability were investigated. Four plots (in which the salt encrustation layers were removed), with different soil treatments were evaluated: (1) undisturbed soil, with no additional treatment (T1); (2) the slag soil zone, in which a 40-cm layer of slag was placed on the undisturbed soil surface (T2); (3) slag+sandy soil, in which a 20-cm layer of slag was placed in the lower layer and 20 cm of sandy soil, taken from an area about 70 km away from Lop Nur potash mine, where Tamarix species were growing, was placed in the upper layer (T3); and (4) a 40-cm sandy soil layer taken from the area where Tamarix species were growing was placed on undisturbed soil (T4). Soil nutrient contents increased in the four treatments, but salt content only decreased in the T1 treatment. Salt content in the T4 treatment increased over the two-year period, which may be partly attributed to salt deposition from wind-blown dust within the mine and salt accumulation within the surface soil (0–20 cm) in response to high evaporative demands. The S. salsa plants exhibited greater improvements in growth under the T4 treatment than under the T1, T2, and T3 treatments, which demonstrated that low levels of salinity are beneficial for the growth of this species. The T1 treatment was sustainable because of its low cost and superior soil improvement characteristics. Therefore, S. salsa plants not only reduced soil salinity and increased soil nutrient levels, but also ameliorated the plant growth environment, which would be beneficial for both the ecological restoration of the Lop Nur area and similar areas throughout the world.

submitted time 2018-04-24 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits2064Downloads742 Comment 0

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