RESEARCH PAPER
Quantifying the structural characteristics and hydraulic properties of shallow Entisol in a hilly landscape
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College of Resources and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, No.1,Shizishan Street, Hongshan District, Wuhan, Hubei Province 430070, China
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School of Geographic Sciences, Hunan Normal University, Mulanlou, 36 Lushan Rd., Yuelu District, Changsha, Hunan 410081, China
CORRESPONDING AUTHOR
Zhaoxia Li   

College of Resources and Environment, Huazhong Agricultural University, No.1 Shizishan Street,Hongshan District, 430070, Wuhan, China
Final revision date: 2022-03-31
Acceptance date: 2022-04-04
Publication date: 2022-05-04
 
Int. Agrophys. 2022, 36(2): 105–113
 
HIGHLIGHTS
  • For the studied Entisol, the pore diameter of > 4 mm contributed the largest to the total macroporosity.
  • The largest Ksat was observed in the forest land with a larger pore size and better pore connectivity.
  • The Ksat was well correlated with the total porosity, degree of anisotropy, and fractal dimension.
KEYWORDS
TOPICS
ABSTRACT
Entisols are widely distributed in the hilly areas of southern China. They are affected by serious soil erosion and extensive agricultural activities, the structural and hydraulic properties of particular Entisols may differ. Characterizing soil structure and hydraulic properties is important with regard to the development of an understanding of the hydrology and ecosystem functions of shallow Entisols. X-ray computed tomography was used to characterize and quantify the soil pore structure under four typical land use types (cropland, grassland, tea orchard and forest land) from a hilly landscape in South China and the hydraulic properties of the soil including its saturated hydraulic conductivity and water retention curve were measured. The results showed that the soils under the grassland retained 14 and 21% more water at saturation than those under the cropland and tea orchard, respectively. The Entisol in the forest land had a significantly larger macroporosity (0.214 mm3 mm–3) compared with that in the cropland (0.117 mm3 mm–3) and tea orchard (0.131 mm3 mm–3). The contribution of pores with a diameter >4 mm as compared to the total computed tomography derived porosity was 62.4% in the forest land, while this size class contributed 69 and 47.3% to the total porosity in the tea orchard and grassland, respectively. The saturated hydraulic conductivity value was well correlated with the degree of anisotropy and the fractal dimension.
FUNDING
This work was funded by: the National Natural Science Foundation of China 42077065 (2021.01-2024.12), 41877071 (2019.01-2022.12), 41877084 (2019.01-2022.12).
CONFLICT OF INTEREST
The authors declare no conflict of interest.
 
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