A novel model to assess soil productivity in the dry-hot valleys of China
Accurate evaluation of soil productivity has been a long-standing challenge. Although numerous models for productivity assessment exist, most are cumbersome to use and require substantial parameter inputs. We developed a new empirical soil productivity model based on field investigations of soil erosion, soil physicochemical properties, and crop yields in the dry-hot valleys (DHVs) in China. We found that soil pH, and organic matter and available potassium contents significantly affected crop yields under eroded conditions of the DHVs. Moreover, available potassium content was the key factor affecting soil productivity. We then modified an existing soil productivity model by adding the following parameters: contents of effective water, potassium, organic matter, and clay, soil pH, and root weighting factor. The modified soil productivity model explained 63.5% of the crop yield. We concluded that the new model was simple, realistic, and exhibited strong predictability. In addition to providing an accurate assessment of soil productivity, our model could potentially be applied as a soil module in comprehensive crop models.
KeywordsSoil productivity Productivity index model Redundancy analysis Dry-hot valleys
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This work has been supported by the National Natural Science Foundation Project of China (Grant Nos. 41561063, 41401614 and 41401560), Non-profit Industry Research Project of Chinese Ministry of Water Resources (Grant No. 201501045), and Department of Water Resources of Yunnan Province: Water Science and Technology Project.
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