Examining Soil Erosion Responses to Grassland Conversation Policy in Three-River Headwaters, China

Yuting Zhao, Yanfei Pu, Huilong Lin, Rong Tang
2021 Sustainability  
Soil erosion in the Three-River Headwaters (TRH) region has continued to intensify in recent decades due to human activities and climate change. To reverse this situation, the Chinese central government has launched the Subsidy and Incentive System for Grassland Conservation (SISGC). As a sign of the effectiveness of SISGC implementation, the dynamic changes of soil erosion can provide timely feedback for decision makers and managers. The Revised Universal Soil Loss Equation (RUSLE) model was
more » ... ed to simulate the spatial distribution of soil erosion before and after SISGC implementation, and Mann–Kendall (MK) test to reveal the effect of policy implementation. The results showed that: (1) the soil erosion in the TRH was mainly mild (83.83% of the total eroded area), and the average soil erosion rate and the total erosion were 13.63 t ha−1 y−1 and 323.58 × 106 t y−1 respectively before SISGC implementation; (2) SISGC implementation has curbed soil erosion. After SISGC implementation, the total soil erosion decreased by 3.80%, which showed obvious differences between grassland types; (3) The influences of SISGC were mainly because it has increased vegetation cover, further decreasing soil erosion. However, soil erosion in Alpine grassland has deteriorated, indicating direct targeted policymaking should be on the agenda. Furthermore, SISGC should be continued and grassland-type-oriented to restore the grassland ecosystem.
doi:10.3390/su13052702 doaj:b3802eb0e9cc461aa2b4774f8a69eff5 fatcat:jvkwshkazzbtjkfcyjpgni2kri