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Plant and Soil

, Volume 332, Issue 1–2, pp 207–217 | Cite as

Effects of black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) on soil properties in the loessial gully region of the Loess Plateau, China

  • Liping Qiu
  • Xingchang Zhang
  • Jimin Cheng
  • Xianqiang Yin
Regular Article

Abstract

Black locust (Robinia pseudoacacia) has been widely planted in the Loess Plateau for soil and water conservation. The effects of black locust on soil properties has significant role in land use and ecosystem management. However, this beneficial effect has been little studied in the Loess Plateau. The soil properties below black locust and native grass growing in Nanxiaohe and Wangdonggou watersheds, located in the loessial gully region of the Loess Plateau, were studied for changes in soil properties after establishment of black locust. The black locust significantly increased soil cation exchange capacity, organic carbon, total nitrogen, nitrate, and carbon:nitrogen and carbon:phosphorus (P) ratios, as well as some enzymes like alkaline phosphatase and invertase in 0–20 cm or 0–80 cm depths of soil compared to the native grassland in Nanxiaohe and Wangdonggou watersheds. However, the effects on ammonium, total P, and extractable P and potassium were not consistent in both watersheds. There were more obvious differences in soil properties between black locust land and grassland for Nanxiaohe watershed than for Wangdonggou watershed, suggesting that the effects of black locust on most soil properties increase with black locust age. The results indicate that black locust has potential to improve soil properties in the loessial gully region of the Loess Plateau and the improvements were greater in long-term than middle-term black locust stands.

Keywords

Afforestation Black locust Native grass Soil properties The Loess Plateau 

Notes

Acknowledgement

This study was supported by the National Natural Science Foundation of China (40901145), West Light Foundation of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, and the Knowledge Innovation Program of Chinese Academy of Sciences (KZCX2-YW-441). The authors thank the anonymous reviewers of this paper for their useful suggestions.

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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2010

Authors and Affiliations

  • Liping Qiu
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xingchang Zhang
    • 1
    • 2
  • Jimin Cheng
    • 1
    • 2
  • Xianqiang Yin
    • 1
  1. 1.State Key Laboratory of Soil Erosion and Dryland FarmingNorthwest A & F UniversityYanglingChina
  2. 2.Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, CAS&MWRYanglingChina

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