Preprint Article Version 1 This version is not peer-reviewed

What do Plants Leave after Summer on the Ground? The Effect of Afforested Plants in Arid Environments

Version 1 : Received: 15 October 2019 / Approved: 16 October 2019 / Online: 16 October 2019 (10:32:02 CEST)

How to cite: Jiménez-Rodríguez, C.D.; Coenders-Gerrits, M.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Wenninger, J. What do Plants Leave after Summer on the Ground? The Effect of Afforested Plants in Arid Environments. Preprints 2019, 2019100186 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201910.0186.v1). Jiménez-Rodríguez, C.D.; Coenders-Gerrits, M.; Uhlenbrook, S.; Wenninger, J. What do Plants Leave after Summer on the Ground? The Effect of Afforested Plants in Arid Environments. Preprints 2019, 2019100186 (doi: 10.20944/preprints201910.0186.v1).

Abstract

Stable isotope concentrations in the soil, rain and ground water have been used to trace the water extraction zones of plants in different environments. The need to identify the plant water use by plants in afforestation programs to control desertification increases the importance of sap water partitioning of plants in sand dune areas. However, the introduction of new plant covers exerts pressure on the water resources and can affect the local soil water conditions. In this study, we analyzed the isotope concentrations in rain, soil, sap, and ground water after the summer of 2010. Two experimental plots established in the Hailiutu catchment (Shaanxi province, northwest China) were selected to gather the water samples between September and October 2010. One plot is dominated by Salix bushes (Salix psammophila C. Wang \& Chang Y. Yang) and the other by the tree species Willow (Salix matsudana Koidz.). The total precipitation at the experimental site was 401 mm/yr during 2010, while 88.7 mm was collected in total for the period September to October. Willow trees transpired 12.82 kg/d being almost three times larger than Salix shrubs (4.57 kg/d). Despite the transpiration rates of both plant species and the few rain events in the region, the soil water beneath the plant covers is not depleted. Stable isotope signature of soil water beneath both covers shows the fractionation front in Salix at 20 cm depth and at Willow at 40 cm depth. However, soil water signature is closer to the groundwater than the collected rain water.

Subject Areas

stable water isotopes; deuterium; oxygen-18; soil water; fine root system

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