Soil Grain-Size Characteristics of Nitraria tangutorum Nebkhas with Different Degrees of Vegetation Coverage in a Desert-Oasis Ecotone
Xiaoxi Liu 1, 2  
,   Yunhu Xie 2, 3  
,   Dandan Zhou 1  
,   Xiaojia Li 1  
,   Jing Ding 1, 2  
,   Xueqin Wu 1, 2  
,   Ji Wang 3  
,   Chunxing Hai 1  
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Inner Mongolia Normal University, Hohhot, China
Inner Mongolia Repair Engineering Laboratory of Wetland Eco-Environment System
Inner Mongolia Agricultural University, Hohhot, China
Chunxing Hai   

Inner Mongolia Normal University, China
Submission date: 2019-09-19
Final revision date: 2019-12-17
Acceptance date: 2019-12-26
Online publication date: 2020-04-10
Publication date: 2020-06-08
Pol. J. Environ. Stud. 2020;29(5):3703–3714
Wind erosion is an important part of environmental change research and represents a key destabilizing factor in arid and semi-arid ecosystems. The desert-oasis ecotone is an ecological barrier that protects oases from sandstorms. Nitraria tangutorum nebkhas help mitigate the impacts of wind erosion in desert-oasis ecotones. This study analyzed the relationship between vegetation coverage and soil grain size in a desert-oasis ecotone along the southeastern margin of the Tengger Desert. The results showed that the soil grain size distributions for nebkhas consisted primarily of fine, medium and very fine sand. The measured proportion of fine sand increased as vegetation coverage increased. The trailing edge of leeward slope and leading edge of windward slope positions contained higher proportions of coarse-grained material relative to other slope positions. Samples collected 0-5 cm depth contained higher proportions of fine-grained material than those collected at 5-10 cm depth. The average particle size ranges for nebkhas with low, medium, and high vegetation coverage were 1.644-2.430 φ, 1.601-2.911 φ, and 1.752-2.871 φ, respectively. Soil sorting degree was categorized as medium. Skewness values were extremely negative, negative, and positive respectively, and kurtosis levels were medium, narrow and medium, respectively. Samples collected from windward slope positions gave higher mean grain size values than those measured from samples collected along leeward slope and the top positions.