Articles | Volume 13, issue 16
Research article
23 Aug 2016
Research article |  | 23 Aug 2016

Moderate topsoil erosion rates constrain the magnitude of the erosion-induced carbon sink and agricultural productivity losses on the Chinese Loess Plateau

Jianlin Zhao, Kristof Van Oost, Longqian Chen, and Gerard Govers

Data sets

China's land-use/cover Datasets National Science and Technology Infrastructure of China

China's SRTM DEM data Cold and Arid Regions Sciences Data Center

Short summary
We used a novel approach to reassess erosion rates on the CLP. We found that both current average topsoil erosion rates and the maximum magnitude of the erosion-induced carbon sink are overestimated on the CLP. Although average topsoil losses on the CLP are still high, a major increase in agricultural productivity occurred since 1980. Hence, erosion is currently not a direct threat to agricultural productivity on the CLP but the long-term effects of erosion on soil quality remain important.
Final-revised paper