Chin J Plan Ecolo ›› 2013, Vol. 37 ›› Issue (1): 45-51.DOI: 10.3724/SP.J.1258.2013.00005

• Research Articles • Previous Articles     Next Articles

Water storage capacity of the canopy dominated by Caragana korshinskii and Hippophae rhamnoides in hilly and gully region on the Loess Plateau of Northwest China

JIAN Sheng-Qi1, ZHAO Chuan-Yan1*, FANG Shu-Min1,2, YU Kai3, and MA Wen-Ying1   

  1. 1State Key Laboratory of Grassland Agro-ecosystems, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China;

    2College of Resource and Environmental Sciences, Gansu Agricultural University, Lanzhou 730000, China;

    3Key Laboratory of Western China’s Environmental Systems of Ministry of Education, Lanzhou University, Lanzhou 730000, China
  • Received:2012-10-22 Revised:2012-12-10 Online:2013-01-01 Published:2013-01-15
  • Contact: ZHAO Chuan-Yan


Aims Our objective is to study the canopy water storage capacity of shrubs, a key factor controlling rainfall interception, which affects a variety of hydrological processes in water-limited arid and semi-arid ecosystems. Vast areas of revegetated desert ecosystems in northwestern China are occupied by shrub and dwarf shrub communities. Yet, data are scarce regarding their rainwater storage capacity.
Methods From May to October 2011, the methods of Pereira regression and direct measurement were used to research water storage capacity by the interception data and water storage capacity of each component of Caragana korshinskii and Hippophae rhamnoides, the main artificial afforestation tree species in the Loess Plateau.
Important findings There were some differences among the two methods due to effects of different factors. The regression analysis was mainly impacted by the measurement approaches of throughfall and leaf area index (LAI), with the maximum water storage capacity of 0.68 mm and 0.72 mm for C. korshinskii and H. rhamnoides, respectively. The direct measurement was mainly impacted by the canopy structure; the maximum water storage capacity was estimated to be 0.73 mm and 0.76 mm for C. korshinskii and H. rhamnoides, respectively. The direct measurement showed that the maximum water storage capacity per unit area of the canopy components was in the order of branches (0.31 mm) > leaves (0.27 mm) > trunks (0.15 mm) for C. korshinskii, and trunks (0.33 mm) > branches (0.29 mm) > leaves (0.14 mm) for H. rhamnoides.