On change of soil moisture distribution with vegetation reconstruction in Mu Us sandy land of China, with new designed Lysimeter
Background China's so-called Three North Shelterbelt Program (3NSP) has produced a vast area of lined forest reconstruction in the semi-arid regions. This study uses the lined rain-fed Pinus sylvestris var. mongolica (PSM) sand-fixing forest in the eastern part of Mu Us sandy land in Northwestern China as an example. Rain gauges, newly designed lysimeters and soil moisture sensors are used to monitor precipitation, deep soil recharge (DSR) and soil water content, where DSR specifically refers
... ecifically refers to recharge that can reach a depth more than 200 cm and eventually replenish the underneath groundwater reservoir.Results This study shows that there are two obvious moisture recharge processes in an annual base for the PSM forest soil: a snowmelt-related recharge process in the spring and a precipitation-related recharge process in the summer. The recharge depth of the first process can reach 180 cm without DSR occurring (in 2018). The second process results in noticeable DSR in 2018. Specifically, the DSR values over 2016–2018 are 1.4 mm, 0.2 mm, 1.2 mm, respectively. To reach the recharge depths of 20 cm, 40 cm, 80 cm, 120 cm, 160 cm, and 200 cm, the required precipitation intensities have to be 2.6 mm/d, 3.2 mm/d, 3.4 mm/d, 8.2 mm/d, 8.2 mm/d, and 13.2 mm/d, respectively. The annual evapotranspiration in the PSM forest is 466.94 mm in 2016, 324.60 mm in 2017, and 183.85 mm in 2018.Conclusions This study concludes that under the current precipitation conditions (including both dry- and wet- years such as 2016–2018), water consumption of PSM somewhat equals to the precipitation amount, and PSM has evolved over years to regulate its evapotranspiration in response to annual precipitation fluctuations in Mu Us sandy land of China.