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Distribution and Management of Drylands in the People’s Republic of China

  • Li Shengxiu
  • Xiao Ling
Chapter
Part of the Advances in Soil Science book series (SOIL, volume 18)

Abstract

The drylands, referred to in this review as arid and semiarid lands, as well as subhumid lands prone to drought, are widely distributed in China. The arid and semiarid areas cover 52.2% of its total (arid area 30.8% and semiarid area 21.4%), based on either precipitation of 400mm as the rainfall line or 1.5 aridity (defined as evaporation/precipitation). Although the arid and semiarid areas occupy a wide range of the total lands, the arable portion of these areas is much less, only 30 million ha, about 30% of the total arable land in China. Together with the subhumid area, 74.24% of the total area of the country falls into this category of drylands (Working Committee of Natural Regionalization, Academia Sinica, 1959); these are mainly distributed in north China, including 15 provinces, municipalities, and autonomous regions with a population of 140 million, representing 17% of the total population of the country. As the lands in most of these areas cannot be irrigated, rainfed agriculture remains the main system of farming. The development of agriculture in these vast areas is very important for the national economy.

Keywords

Loess Plateau Wind Erosion Ming Dynasty Hexi Corridor Shelter Belt 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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© Springer-Verlag New York, Inc. 1992

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  • Li Shengxiu
  • Xiao Ling

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