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Journal of Zhejiang University SCIENCE A 2004 Vol.5 No.10 P.1191-1198


Species-diversified plant cover enhances orchard ecosystem resistance to climatic stress and soil erosion in subtropical hillside

Author(s):  CHEN Xin, YANG Yi-song, TANG Jian-jun

Affiliation(s):  Department of Bioscience, College of Life Science, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou 310029, China

Corresponding email(s):   chen-tang@zju.edu.cn

Key Words:  Diversified cover plant, Soil erosion, Antiscourability, Stress alleviation, Subtropical area

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CHEN Xin, YANG Yi-song, TANG Jian-jun. Species-diversified plant cover enhances orchard ecosystem resistance to climatic stress and soil erosion in subtropical hillside[J]. Journal of Zhejiang University Science A, 2004, 5(10): 1191-1198.

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publisher="Zhejiang University Press & Springer",

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%DOI 10.1631/jzus.2004.1191

T1 - Species-diversified plant cover enhances orchard ecosystem resistance to climatic stress and soil erosion in subtropical hillside
A1 - CHEN Xin
A1 - YANG Yi-song
A1 - TANG Jian-jun
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DOI - 10.1631/jzus.2004.1191

Naturally occurring plants in agroecosystem evidently play an important role in ecosystem stability. Field studies on the ecological effects of native plants conserved in orchard and their resistance to adverse climatic stress, and soil erosion were conducted from 1998 to 2001 in a newly developed Changshan-huyou (Citrus changshan-huyou Y.B. Chang) orchard. The experimental area covered 150 ha in typical red soil hilly region in southeastern China. The experimental design was a randomized complete block with six combinations of twelve plant species with four replications. All species used were native in the orchard. Plots were 15×8 m2 and separated by 2 m buffer strips. Precipitation, soil erosion in rainstorm days and aboveground biomass of plant community when rainstorm days ended, soil temperature and moisture under various plant covers during seasonal megathermal drought period, antiscourability of soil with different root density under various simulated rainfalls were measured. Plant cover significantly decreased the daily highest and mean soil temperature and its daily variation in hot-drought season, but there was no significant difference of the alleviation among various plant covers. Plant covers significantly increased the soil moisture in seasonal megathermal drought period. Better moisture maintenance and soil erosion reduction was found when the plant species numbers in cover plant communities increased from one to eight. Higher root density in plant communities with higher species richness increased significantly the antiscourability of the soil. It was suggested that conserving plant communities with diversified native species could produce the best positive ecological effects on citrus orchard ecosystem stability.

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