A model for evaluating the influence of water and salt on vegetation in a semi-arid desert region, northern China

Dong Hui Cheng, Wen Ke Wang, Xun Hong Chen, Guang Cai Hou, Hong Bin Yang, Ying Li

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

11 Scopus citations


A model, influence of water and salt on vegetation (IWSV), was developed to evaluate their influence on plant species. The main function of this model was to calculate a comprehensive index value for evaluating the suitability of plant growth. This model consists of five explanatory variables (vadose zone moisture content, vadose zone salinity, vadose zone lithology, depth to the water table, and groundwater mineralization) and two response variables (plant species and their cover). A set of independent data on three plant species, Artemisia ordosica, Salix psammophila, and Carex enervis, which are dominant species in the Mu Us Desert of northern China, were used to validate the model. Validation results show an overall correct prediction for the distribution of these three species. The results demonstrated that the IWSV model can be a useful tool for groundwater management and nature conservation in a semi-arid desert region, especially for predicting the vegetation distribution in areas with groundwater extraction.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)337-346
Number of pages10
JournalEnvironmental Earth Sciences
Issue number2
StatePublished - Sep 1 2011



  • Comprehensive index
  • Influence of water and salt on vegetation (IWSV) model
  • The Mu Us Desert
  • Vadose zone
  • Vegetation-groundwater interaction

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Global and Planetary Change
  • Environmental Chemistry
  • Water Science and Technology
  • Soil Science
  • Pollution
  • Geology
  • Earth-Surface Processes

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