Coupling Relationship between Precipitation and Vegetation and the Implications in Erosion on the Loess Plateau, China

  • Institute of Geographic Sciences and Natural Resources Research, CAS; Key Laboratory of Water Cycle and Related Land Surface Processes, CAS, Beijing 100101, China

Received date: 2005-06-25

  Revised date: 2005-11-20

  Online published: 2006-01-25

Supported by

National Natural Science Foundation of China, No.50239080; No.40271019


The relationship among precipitation, vegetation and erosion is an important, unsolved issue in the field of earth surface processes. Based on data from the Loess Plateau of China, some nonlinear relationships between forest cover (Cf), rainfall erosivity (Ir) and annual precipitation (Pm) has been found. A threshold has been identified at Pm = 450 mm, that is, when Pm is smaller than 450 mm, Cf is low and basically does not vary with Pm; when Pm exceeds 450 mm, Cf increases rapidly. Furthermore, two thresholds are identified in the relationship between rainfall erosivity and annual precipitation. When Pm is smaller than 300 mm, Ir is low and basically does not vary with Pm. When Pm exceeds 300 mm, Ir increases rapidly; when Pm becomes larger than 530 mm, the rate at which Ir increases with Pm becomes higher. Based on these nonlinear relationships, the nonlinear picture of variation between erosion intensity and annual precipitation, i.e., the erosion intensity increases with annual precipitation to a peak and then declines, is explained. The implication of these thresholds for erosion control on the Loess Plateau is discussed.

Cite this article

XU Jiongxin . Coupling Relationship between Precipitation and Vegetation and the Implications in Erosion on the Loess Plateau, China[J]. Acta Geographica Sinica, 2006 , 61(1) : 57 -65 . DOI: 10.11821/xb200601006


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