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J Environ Manage ; 288: 112416, 2021 Jun 15.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-33831641


This study focused on evaluating factors influencing the growth of perennial shrubs by integrating field-based experiments and spatial analysis using unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) to identify ecological indicators that can help detect potential locations for restoration and revegetation of native plants. The experiment was implemented in the Al-Abduli protected area in Kuwait, which is mainly dominated by a Rhanterium epapposum community (desert shrub). Aerial imagery of the study site was acquired using UAVs during the growing season to estimate the desert shrub biomass and carbon stock. Then, soil samples were collected based on vegetation density to determine the impact of the soil's physical and chemical properties on vegetation biomass, growth, and distribution. It was found that shrub biomass was significantly correlated with crown area and shrub volume. We also observed that annual plants support the growth of perennial shrubs, as the mean shrub height and crown area (CA) are significantly higher, with averages of 0.7 m and 3 cm, respectively, in the presence of high annual plant density. However, shrubs in plots with low annual density had an average shrub height of 0.5 m and CA of 1.4 cm. Annual plants also enhance the soil by providing approximately 50% higher soil moisture, phosphorous (P), organic matter (OM), and carbon dioxide (CO2) sequestration. In addition, annual plants are mainly supported by loamy soils in the deeper soil layers. We concluded that locations covered with annual plants represent suitable soils and that this can be considered a biological indicator for convenient locations for restoration and revegetation of native perennial shrubs. Remote sensing technologies could be utilized for initial assessments to detect sites that may support annual plant growth over a large scale for classification as potential restoration and revegetation areas.

Ecossistema , Biomarcadores Ambientais , Biomassa , Clima Desértico , Fósforo , Solo
MethodsX ; 5: 950-958, 2018.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-30167385


Soil aggregates structure (pedostructure) plays a pivotal role in regulating water and nutrient circulation, and consequently defines soil health, productivity, and water use efficiency. However, the soil aggregates structure is not currently considered in the quantification of soil-water holding properties. The authors applied a thermodynamic and soil structure-based approach to quantify soil-water holding properties. The paper provides a methodology, based on pedostructure concept, to quantify field capacity (FC), permanent wilting point (PWP), and available water (AW). The validity of the developed method was tested through application to two types of soil: a loamy fine sand soil and a silt loam soil. The calculated values for FC, PWP, and AW were compared with the FAO recommended values of FC, PWP and AW. For the loamy fine sand, the calculated values were: FC = 0.208 m3/m3, PWP = 0.068 m3/m3, and AW = 0.140 m3/m3 all of which fall within the recommended values of FAO for such a soil type. Similarly, the calculated values for the silt loam were: FC = 0.283 m3/m3, PWP = 0.184 m3/m3, and AW = 0.071 m3/m3 all were in agreement with the FAO recommended ranges for such a soil type. •A thermodynamic, structure-based approach for soil water holding properties.•Unique solutions for quantifying both field capacity and permanent wilting point.

Sci Total Environ ; 643: 807-818, 2018 Dec 01.
Artigo em Inglês | MEDLINE | ID: mdl-29958169


Wastewater reuse is a practice that has been gaining attention for the past few decades as the world's population rises and water resources become scarce. Wastewater application on soil can affect soil health, and the manner and extent to which this occurs depends heavily on soil type and water quality. This study compared the long-term (15+ years) effects and suitability of using secondary-level treated municipal wastewater and brackish groundwater for irrigation on the water holding capacity of a clayey, calcareous soil on a cotton farm near San Angelo, Texas. The soil-water holding properties were determined from the extracted hydrostructural parameters of the two characteristic curves: water retention curve and soil shrinkage curve based on the pedostructure concept. In the pedostructure concept, these hydrostructural parameters are characteristic properties of the soil aggregates structure and its thermodynamic interactions with water. Results indicate that use of secondary treated wastewater increased available water capacity in the top horizon (0-15 cm) and decreased the available water holding capacity of this particular soil in the sub-horizons (15-72 cm). The brackish groundwater irrigation resulted in no effect on available water capacity in the top horizon, but significantly decreased it in the sub-horizons as well. The rainfed soil was the healthiest soil in terms of water holding capacity, but rainfall conditions do not produce profitable cotton yields. Whereas, treated wastewater irrigated soil is producing the highest yields for the farmer. Thus, this treated wastewater source and irrigation system can serve as a suitable irrigation alternative to using brackish groundwater, enhancing the water resource sustainability of this region.