Pedosphere 20(6): 736--746, 2010
ISSN 1002-0160/CN 32-1315/P
©2010 Soil Science Society of China
Published by Elsevier B.V. and Science Press
Effect of soil erosion on soil properties and crop yields on slopes in the Sichuan Basin, China
SU Zheng-An1,2, ZHANG Jian-Hui1, NIE Xiao-Jun1,2
1 Institute of Mountain Hazards and Environment, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Conservancy, Chengdu 610041 (China)
2 Graduate University of the Chinese Academy of Sciences, Beijing 100049 (China)
      Roles of tillage erosion and water erosion in the development of within-field spatial variation of surface soil properties and soil degradation and their contributions to the reduction of crop yields were studied on three linear slopes in the Sichuan Basin,southwestern China.Tillage erosion was found to be the dominant erosion process at upper slope positions of each linear slope and on the whole short slope (20 m).On the long slope (110 m) and medium slope (40 m),water erosion was the dominant erosion process.Soil organic matter and soil nutrients in the tillage layer were significantly related to slope length and 137Cs inventories on the long slope; however,there was no significant correlation among them on the short slope,suggesting that water erosion lowered soil quality by transporting SOM and surface soil nutrients selectively from the upper to lower slope positions,while tillage erosion transported soil materials unselectively.On the medium slope,SOM,total N,and available N in the tillage layer were correlated with slope length and the other properties were distributed evenly on the slope,indicating that water erosion on this slope was still the dominant soil redistribution process.Similar patterns were found for the responses of grain yield,aboveground biomass,and harvest index for slopes.These results indicated that tillage erosion was a major cause for soil degradation and grain yield reduction on the linear slopes because it resulted in displacement of the tillage layer soil required for maintaining soil quality and plant growth.
Key Words:  137Cs inventory, linear slope, soil degradation, tillage erosion, water erosion
Citation: Su, Z. A., Zhang, J. H. and Nie, X. J. 2010. Effect of soil erosion on soil properties and crop yields on slopes in the Sichuan Basin, China. Pedosphere. 20(6): 736-746.
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