Preprints
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-266
https://doi.org/10.5194/hess-2020-266
01 Oct 2020
 | 01 Oct 2020
Status: this discussion paper is a preprint. It has been under review for the journal Hydrology and Earth System Sciences (HESS). The manuscript was not accepted for further review after discussion.

Preferential water flow through decayed root channels enhances soil water infiltration: Evaluation in distinct vegetation types under semi-arid conditions

Gao-Lin Wu, Manuel López‐Vicente, Ze Huang, Zeng Cui, and Yu Liu

Abstract. Topsoil desiccation alters soil physical characteristics and seriously limits plant growth in semi-arid and arid areas. The phenomenon of dried soil layer has generated increasing attention, but the process of preferential flow through decayed root channels – when the plants decompose after death – and its benefits on soil water supply in the soil dry layers are rarely evaluated. This study examines the effects of root channels on soil infiltrability in three contrasted vegetation types developed in a loessial soil, namely: Scrubland (Caragana korshinskii), fruit tree plantation (Armeniaca vulgaris) and grassland (Medicago sativa; using data from a previous study); setting bare land as control. The infiltration rates of the alive and decayed specimens were measured using a double-ring infiltrometer, and methylene blue allowed us to trace the pathways of water flow. Results indicated that scrubland species had the highest steady infiltration rates, which were about 23 % and 83 % higher than those rates measured in the fruit tree plantation and grasslands, respectively. Regarding root geometry, the steady infiltration rates were significantly and positively correlated with the average root channel diameter (ARCD) and area (RCA). Under the same root diameter conditions, soil water infiltrability significantly improved in the decayed root plots and compared with the alive root plots. Our findings contribute to a better understanding of the effects of root channels of different degraded vegetation types on soil moisture and infiltrability, which are conductive to provide knowledge base in the research of hydrological processes in degraded soils in water-scarce regions.

Publisher's note: Copernicus Publications remains neutral with regard to jurisdictional claims made in the text, published maps, institutional affiliations, or any other geographical representation in this preprint. The responsibility to include appropriate place names lies with the authors.
Gao-Lin Wu, Manuel López‐Vicente, Ze Huang, Zeng Cui, and Yu Liu
 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
 
Status: closed
Status: closed
AC: Author comment | RC: Referee comment | SC: Short comment | EC: Editor comment
Printer-friendly Version - Printer-friendly version Supplement - Supplement
Gao-Lin Wu, Manuel López‐Vicente, Ze Huang, Zeng Cui, and Yu Liu
Gao-Lin Wu, Manuel López‐Vicente, Ze Huang, Zeng Cui, and Yu Liu

Viewed

Total article views: 1,342 (including HTML, PDF, and XML)
HTML PDF XML Total BibTeX EndNote
1,059 251 32 1,342 37 36
  • HTML: 1,059
  • PDF: 251
  • XML: 32
  • Total: 1,342
  • BibTeX: 37
  • EndNote: 36
Views and downloads (calculated since 01 Oct 2020)
Cumulative views and downloads (calculated since 01 Oct 2020)

Viewed (geographical distribution)

Total article views: 1,227 (including HTML, PDF, and XML) Thereof 1,224 with geography defined and 3 with unknown origin.
Country # Views %
  • 1
1
 
 
 
 

Cited

Latest update: 17 May 2024