A Study on Water Use Efficiency of Seabuckthorn
Woodland in Semiarid Region of the Loess Plateau in
(Institute of Soil and Water Conservation, Chinese Academy of Sciences and Ministry of Water Resources,
Yangling, 712100, Shaanxi Province, China)
: This study was carried out in Wuqi, Ansai and Guyuan counties in the semi-arid region of
the Loess Plateau from 1986-1998. Transpiration, net aboveground primary production (NAPP), soil
moisture and water use efficiency (WUE) of seabuckthorn (Hippophae rhamnoides L.) woodland have
been observed and studied. The results show that the total amount of water consumption of se-
abuckthorn woodland for producing 1g of aboveground dry material is 711
829g. The amount of
water consumption for transpiration accounts for 551
654g. Transpiration of wasteland vegetation
producing 1g aboveground dry material is 343
709g, but total water consumption is 2,450
WUE of seabuckthorn is 1.21
.mm, and 3.1
6.4 times that of wasteland vegetation. Se-
abuckthorn is better suited for the semi-arid region of the Loess Plateau. Therefore, seabuckthorn
woodlands in barren hills and gullies in the semi-arid region of the Loess Plateau can utilize water and
soil resources effectively, which is also an effective way to improve land productivity and to speed up
control of the barren hills.
Semi-arid region of the Loess Plateau, seabuckthorn, water use efficiency
Seabuckthorn is a suitable species for soil and water conservation, wind break and sand fixation
and eco-environmental improvement due to adaptability, fast growth, root shoot propagation and high
canopy density. In order to speed up large-scale vegetation re-establishment, the author has studied
water use efficiency and the characteristics of water physiological ecology of seabuckthorn in Wuqi,
Ansai and Guyuan in the semi-arid region of the Loess Plateau from 1980-1998 (Li et al. 1986)
Natural Conditions in the Experimental Areas
Wuqi Experimental Areas are located in the air-seeding and artificial seabuckthorn woodland of
Wuqi county, Shaanxi Province. The vegetation belongs to the temperate shrub grassland zone.
Elevation is 1,365
1,650m, the soil is loess loam. The mean annual temperature is 7.5°C (the
minimum is -27°C and the maximum is 35.5°C), the mean annual precipitation is 380mm, the frost-
free period is 120 days.
Guyuan Experimental Area is located in the artificial seabuckthorn woodland of Hechuan town,
Guyuan County, Ningxia Hui Autonomous Region, with an elevation of 1,600
1,880m, the vegetation
is forest steppe of grassland zone. The mean annual temperature and precipitation are 7°C and
450mm, respectively. The frost-free period is 130 days.
Ansai Experimental Area is located in the loess hill and gully region of Ansai county, Shaanxi
province. Vegetation is warm temperate forest steppe zone with an elevation of 1,013
Annual precipitation and the frost-free period are 531.4mm and 159 days, respectively.
2.1 Determination of transpiration and NAPP
During the growing season of seabuckthorn, transpiration was determined 2-3 times per month
(every 2 hours starting at 8 a.m. and ending at 18 p.m.) using an accurate balance by means of fast
weighting. Using the results, the transpiration intensity and water consumption could be calculated.