A. Huo, X. Wang, W. Guan*, J. Zhong, X. Yi and Y. Wen

Natural vegetation is one of the key factors in the conservation of biological diversity and desertification control. In order to study the physical and chemical properties of soil and their effects on the growth of Populus euphratica in desertification-prone areas, this paper took Tarim National Nature Reserve as the research area. Through the field investigation and sample collection, the results by analyzing and comparing indicated as following: Soil grain in the south bank of middle reach of Tarim River mainly composed of silt particles, however, fine sand particles preponderated in the north bank. Populus euphratica grew well in the silty loam and sandy loam; the pH value of soil between 7.83 and 8.00 was suitable for the growth of Populus euphratica; the soil salinity totality of 0~20 cm deep was greater than 0.4%, and the content of soil organic matters was between 0.33%~0.80% in the studied area; the salt took hydrosoluble sulfate and chloride as the principal substance; they were statistically different in the soil physical and chemical properties of different regions. In the middle reach of Tarim River, soil salinization and alkalization were the dominant factors inhibiting the growth of Populus euphratica forest. Reducing the salt amount in soil was a preferential measure for ecological recovery.

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