Soil organic carbon of degraded wetlands treated with freshwater in the Yellow River Delta, China

  • Wang H
  • Wang R
  • Yu Y
 et al. 
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Supplying freshwater is one of the important methods to help restore degraded wetlands. Changes in soil properties and plant community biomass were evaluated by comparing sites with freshwater treatment versus reference sites following freshwater addition to wetlands of the Yellow River Delta for 7 years. The results indicated that soil organic carbon (SOC) was significantly increased in all wetland sites that were treated with freshwater compared to the reference sites. The treatment wetlands had greater total nitrogen (TN), lower pH and electrical conductivity and higher water content in the soil compared to the reference wetlands. In general, the upper soil layer (0-20 cm) had greater SOC than the lower soil layer (20-40 cm). The increase of SOC in the freshwater reintroduction wetlands was higher in the Suaeda salsa plant community (mean ± standard error) (6.89 ± 0.63 g/kg) and Phragmites communis plant community (4.11 ± 0.12 g/kg) than in the Tamarix chinensis plant community (1.40 ± 0.31 g/kg) in the upper soil layer. The differences were especially marked between the treated and reference wetlands for SOC and TN in the P. communis plant communities. The C:N ratio of the soil was significantly greater in the treated compared to the reference wetlands for the S. salsa plant community. Although the C: N ratios increased after treatment, they were all

Author-supplied keywords

  • Degraded wetlands
  • Freshwater treatment
  • Soil organic carbon
  • Soil properties
  • Yellow River Delta

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