To better understand the effects of biological soil crusts (BSCs) on soil moisture and wind erosion and study the necessity and feasibility of disturbance of BSCs in the Mu Us sandland, the effects of four treatments, including moss-dominated crusts alone, Artemisia ordosica alone, bare sand, and Artemisia ordosica combined with moss-dominated crusts, on rainwater infiltration, soil moisture, and annual wind erosion were observed. The major results are as follows. (1) The development of moss-dominated crusts exacerbated soil moisture consumption and had negative effects on soil moisture in the Mu Us sandland. (2) Moss-dominated crusts significantly increased soil resistance to wind erosion, and when combined with Artemisia ordosica, this effect became more significant. The contribution of moss-dominated crusts under Artemisia ordosica was significantly lower than that of moss-dominated crusts alone in sites where vegetative coverage > 50%. (3) Finally, an appropriate disturbance of moss-dominated crusts in the rainy season in sites with high vegetative coverage improved soil water environment and vegetation succession, but disturbance in sites with little or no vegetative cover should be prohibited to avoid the exacerbation of wind erosion. © 2014 Yongsheng Yang et al.
Yang, Y., Bu, C., Mu, X., Shao, H., & Zhang, K. (2014). Interactive effects of moss-dominated crusts and Artemisia ordosica on wind erosion and soil moisture in Mu Us sandland, China. Scientific World Journal, 2014. https://doi.org/10.1155/2014/649816