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Research Project: Uncertainty of Future Water Availability Due to Climate Change and Impacts on the Long Term Sustainability and Resilience of Agricultural Lands in the Southern Great Plains

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Title: Effect of grass roots of re-vegetation on the soil detachment during concentrated flow

item LIU, JUNE - Shaanxi Normal University
item ZHOU, ZHENGCHAO - Shaanxi Normal University
item Zhang, Xunchang

Submitted to: American Geophysical Union
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/11/2018
Publication Date: 10/1/2018
Citation: Liu, J., Zhou, Z., Zhang, X.J. 2018. Effect of grass roots of re-vegetation on the soil detachment during concentrated flow [abstract]. American Geophysical Union. Available at:

Interpretive Summary: Abstract only

Technical Abstract: Plant roots improve soil structures and increase erodibility of soil. In the present study the quantification of the impact of roots parameters on soil detachability was attempted for understanding of the effectiveness of plants to control erosion during concentrated flow. However, the root density parameter (root mass density, root length density and root surface area density) selected for prediction of rill detachment differed in the literature. The objectives of this study were to investigate the effects of roots on soil physical properties and soil detachment, and to quantify the best predictor of root parameter to describe the rill detachment. Laboratory concentrated flow flume tests were performed with undisturbed soil samples from natural restored field (12, 18, 24, 36 a, and an uncultivated natural land) in a loess area, Ansai, China. Meanwhile, soil characteristics and root parameters were measured. The results showed that root systems of restored field could significantly ameliorate soil properties, including aggregates and organic matter. This effect reached a steady state or equilibrium level after about 12 years of natural restoration, as there were no differences between all restoration periods for all three root parameters. Due to the bonding and binding effect of root, soil detachment decreased with root parameters. Relative soil detachment (RSD) could be used to estimate the exclusive effects of roots on rill detachment. Root length density (RLD) is the most suitable parameter to represent the effects of root architecture on soil detachment, with exponential decay equations.