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1. chinaXiv:202010.00036 [pdf]

Spatial-temporal characteristics and influencing factors of relative humidity in arid region of Northwest China during 1966–2017

CHEN,Ditao; LIU,Wenjiang; HUANG,Farong; LI,Qian; UCHENNA-OCHEGE,Friday ; LI,Lanhai
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Playing an important role in global warming and plant growth, relative humidity (RH) has profound impacts on production and living, and can be used as an integrated indicator for evaluating the wet-dry conditions in the arid and semi-arid area. However, information on the spatial-temporal variation and the influencing factors of RH in these regions is still limited. This study attempted to use daily meteorological data during 1966–2017 to reveal the spatial-temporal characteristics of RH in the arid region of Northwest China through rotated empirical orthogonal function and statistical analysis method, and the path analysis was used to clarify the impact of temperature (T), precipitation (P), actual evapotranspiration (ETa), wind speed (W) and sunshine duration (S) on RH. The results demonstrated that climatic conditions in North Xinjiang (NXJ) was more humid than those in Hexi Corridor (HXC) and South Xinjiang (SXJ). RH had a less significant downtrend in NXJ than that in HXC, but an increasingly rising trend was observed in SXJ during the last five decades, implying that HXC and NXJ were under the process of droughts, while SXJ was getting wetter. There was a turning point for the trend of RH in Xinjiang, which occurred in 2000. Path analysis indicated that RH was negatively correlated to T, ETa, W and S, but it increased with increase of P. S, T and W had the greatest direct effects on RH in HXC, NXJ and SXJ, respectively. ETa was the factor which had the greatest indirect effect on RH in HXC and NXJ, while T was the dominant factor in SXJ.

submitted time 2020-10-20 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits16Downloads5 Comment 0

2. chinaXiv:202010.00037 [pdf]

Performance and uncertainty analysis of a short-term climate reconstruction based on multi-source data in the Tianshan Mountains region, China

LI,Xuemei; SIMONOVIC,Slobodan P; LI,Lanhai; ZHANG,Xueting; QIN,Qirui
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Short-term climate reconstruction, i.e., the reproduction of short-term (several decades) historical climatic time series based on the relationship between observed data and available longer-term reference data in a certain area, can extend the length of climatic time series and offset the shortage of observations. This can be used to assess regional climate change over a much longer time scale. Based on monthly grid climate data from a Coupled Model Inter-comparison Project phase 5 (CMIP5) dataset for the period of 1850–2000, the Climatic Research Unit (CRU) dataset for the period of 1901–2000 and the observed data from 53 meteorological stations located in the Tianshan Mountains region (TMR) of China during the period of 1961–2011, we calibrated and validated monthly average temperature (MAT) and monthly accumulated precipitation (MAP) in the TMR using the delta, physical scaling (SP) and arti?cial neural network (ANN) methods. Performance and uncertainty during the calibration (1971–1999) and verification (1961–1970) periods were assessed and compared using traditional performance indices and a revised set pair analysis (RSPA) method. The calibration and verification processes were subjected to various sources of uncertainty due to the influence of different reconstructed variables, different data sources, and/or different methods used. According to traditional performance indices, both the CRU and CMIP5 datasets resulted in satisfactory calibrated and verified MAT time series at 53 meteorological stations and MAP time series at 20 meteorological stations using the delta and SP methods for the period of 1961–1999. However, the results differed from those obtained by the RSPA method. This showed that the CRU dataset produced a low degree of uncertainty (positive connection degree) during the calibration and verification of MAT using the delta and SP methods compared to the CMIP5 dataset. Overall, the calibrated and verified MAP had a high degree of uncertainty (negative connection degree) regardless of the dataset or reconstruction method used. Therefore, the reconstructed time series of MAT for the period of 1850 (or 1901)–1960 based on the CRU and CMIP5 datasets using the delta and SP methods could be used for further study. The results of this study will be useful for short-term (several decades) regional climate reconstruction and longer-term (100 a or more) assessments of regional climate change.

submitted time 2020-10-20 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits11Downloads3 Comment 0

3. chinaXiv:202010.00002 [pdf]

Brain networks underlying the differences in audiovisual integration for reading between children and adults and its disruption in dyslexia

Hong-Yan Bi; Junjun Li; Yang Yang; Nestor Vi?as-Guasch; Yinghui Yang
Subjects: Psychology >> Developmental Psychology

Building robust letter-to-sound correspondences is a prerequisite for reading, and such audiovisual integration becomes progressively automatic with development. However, the neural mechanisms underlying the development of audiovisual integration for reading are largely unknown. This study used functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) in a lexical decision task to investigate the changes of brain functional networks that support audiovisual integration for reading between normally developing children (9-12 years old) and adults (20-28 years old). The identified networks were further examined in children with developmental dyslexia (9-12 years old). Results revealed that adults enhanced connectivity in a prefrontal-superior temporal network relative to children, reflecting the attentional modulation to the development of audiovisual integration. Moreover, this network was disrupted in dyslexics, confirming its essential role in audiovisual integration for reading. This study, for the first time, elucidates the neural basis underlying the development of audiovisual integration for reading.

submitted time 2020-10-10 Hits1590Downloads174 Comment 0

4. chinaXiv:202007.00002 [pdf]

Neuroanatomical correlates of individual differences in self-awareness of highly practiced visuomotor skills

Junjun LI; Zhenglong Lin; Ran Tao; Min Xu; Shihong Kong; Hong-Yan Bi; Yang Yang
Subjects: Psychology >> Cognitive Psychology

Metacognition refers to the ability to introspect our cognitive ability, which plays an essential role in guiding and optimizing our activities. However, little is known about metacognitive capacity for highly practiced motor behaviors and its neural correlates. Using structural and functional magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), the present study examined the brain substrates underlying individual differences in self-awareness of handwriting in adults, a highly practiced visuomotor skill. Results showed that adult writers generally overestimate their handwriting skill, which is more pronounced in males relative to females. The extent of overestimation of handwriting quality was positively correlated with grey matter volume in the left fusiform gyrus, right middle frontal gyrus and right precuneus. Moreover, the activation of these regions in a handwriting task was not correlation with self-awareness of handwriting, confirming that the identified connection between brain structures and handwriting self-awareness is independent of task performances. The left fusiform gyrus and right middle frontal gyrus are thought to represent domain-specific brain mechanisms for handwriting self-awareness, while the right precuneus is likely to be a domain-general brain mechanism, suggesting that the ability of introspect practiced visuomotor skills relies on both domain-general and domain-specific brain systems. Together, this study is the first to reveal the neuroanatomical correlates of a highly practiced motor behavior, extending our understanding about the neural basis of human metacognition.

submitted time 2020-06-30 Hits4446Downloads464 Comment 0

5. chinaXiv:202006.00222 [pdf]

Global Dryland Ecosystem Programme (G-DEP): Africa consultative meeting report

PENG Yu; FU Bojie; ZHANG Linxiu; YU Xiubo; FU Chao; Salif DIOP; Hubert HIRWA; Aliou GUISSE; LI Fadong
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

In order to enhance and restore the ecosystems of natural capital in African arid regions, the Global Dryland Ecosystem Programme (G-DEP) consultative meeting was hosted in Dakar, Senegal, from 23 to 25 September 2019. This paper details the first African meeting of the G-DEP. Consultative meeting reviewed preceding dryland ecosystems case studies, identified vulnerable arid and semi-arid regions, and proposed sustainable solutions to problems. It also identified the successes and failures of previous attempts to improve vulnerable ecosystems and ultimately formed an action plan to improve these attempts. Climate, ecosystems, and livelihoods for Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), Great Green Wall Initiative (GGWI) for Sahara and Sahel, and China-Africa cooperation on science, technology, and innovation are three extra main sections concerned of the meeting. Separately, more specific topics as the complicated relationship between these natural processes and human activity, including pastoralism, soil restoration, and vegetation regenerate techniques, were fully discussed. Consultative meeting also identified the positive effects international collaboration can have on dryland regions, specifically in the capacity of sharing information, technology, and innovation on purpose to develop a joint proposal for long-term research programs in African arid and semi-arid areas. Moreover, meetings that review the progress made on ecosystem management for the sustainable livelihoods in Africa, identification of priority areas, and the development and implementation of ecosystem programs for proper research and collaboration in African arid and semi-arid zones, have been proposed as strategic recommendations to enhance the global partnership for sustainable development. Furthermore, as the outcomes of the workshop, there are three steps proposed to handle African dryland climate changes, several aspects suggested to solve current dilemmas of the GGWI, and a series of actions recommended for G-DEP related activities in Africa.

submitted time 2020-06-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits11745Downloads532 Comment 0

6. chinaXiv:202006.00234 [pdf]

Does cotton bollworm show cross-resistance to the Bacillus thuringiensis toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab? A mini review

MA Jihong; TIAN Changyan; LYU Guanghui; MAI Wenxuan
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

Since 1996, transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) cotton has been commercially grown in numerous countries in an effort to stem the losses caused by key lepidopteran pests. However, the development of pest resistance to Bt toxins has jeopardized the continued utilization of Bt cotton. As a strategy designed to circumvent the development of resistance, Bt cotton varieties expressing two or more toxins targeting the same pest have been introduced. Nevertheless, from the perspective of long-term planting of Bt cotton, the potential risk of cross-resistance to these Bt toxins is a threat that cannot be ignored. In this paper, we review current research (including that based on the analysis of protein binding sites and resistance genes) on the resistance of cotton bollworm (Helicoverpa armigera) to the Bt toxins Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab and the interrelationship between these toxins. On the basis of existing evidence, we assume that the actions of Cry1Ac and Cry2Ab against cotton bollworm are not completely independent, and then propose the ''resistance-associated gene mutation potential hypothesis''. Although the mechanisms underlying the resistance of pests to Bt toxins are yet to be comprehensively elucidated, this hypothesis could undoubtedly have important implications for adopting ''pyramid'' strategy in the future. Further research is recommended to devise strategies to retard the development of H. armigera resistance to Bt cotton, either using different Bt toxins or their various combinations.

submitted time 2020-06-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits8299Downloads412 Comment 0

7. chinaXiv:202006.00238 [pdf]

Assessing the collapse risk of Stipa bungeana grassland in China based on its distribution changes

QIAO Xianguo; GUO Ke; LI Guoqing; ZHAO Liqing; LI Frank Yonghong; GAO Chenguang
Subjects: Geosciences >> History of Geosciences

The criteria used by International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) for its Red List of Ecosystems (RLE) are the global standards for ecosystem-level risk assessment, and they have been increasingly used for biodiversity conservation. The changed distribution area of an ecosystem is one of the key criteria in such assessments. The Stipa bungeana grassland is one of the most widely distributed grasslands in the warm-temperate semi-arid regions of China. However, the total distribution area of this grassland was noted to have shrunk and become fragmented because of its conversion to cropland and grazing-induced degradation. Following the IUCN-RLE standards, here we analyzed changes in the geographical distribution of this degraded grassland, to evaluate its degradation and risk of collapse. Past (1950–1980) distribution areas were extracted from the Vegetation Map of China (1:1,000,000). Present realizable distribution areas were equated to these past areas minus any habitat area losses. We then predicted the grassland's present and future (under the Representative Concentration Pathway 8.5 scenario) potential distribution areas using maximum entropy algorithm (MaxEnt), based on field survey data and nine environmental layers. Our results showed that the S. bungeana grassland was mainly distributed in the Loess Plateau, Hexi Corridor, and low altitudes of the Qilian Mountains and Longshou Mountain. This ecosystem occurred mainly on loess soils, kastanozems, steppe aeolian soils and sierozems. Thermal and edaphic factors were the most important factors limiting the distribution of S. bungeana grassland across China. Since 56.1% of its past distribution area (4.9×104 km2) disappeared in the last 50 a, the present realizable distribution area only amounts to 2.2×104 km2. But only 15.7% of its present potential distribution area (14.0×104 km2) is actually occupied by the S. bungeana grassland. The future potential distribution of S. bungeana grassland was predicted to shift towards northwest, and the total area of this ecosystem will shrink by 12.4% over the next 50 a under the most pessimistic climate change scenario. Accordingly, following the IUCN-RLE criteria, we deemed the S. bungeana grassland ecosystem in China to be endangered (EN). Revegetation projects and the establishment of protected areas are recommended as effective ways to avert this looming crisis. This empirical modeling study provides an example of how IUCN-RLE categories and criteria may be valuably used for ecosystem assessments in China and abroad.

submitted time 2020-06-22 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits6622Downloads358 Comment 0

8. chinaXiv:202006.00172 [pdf]

Reconfiguration of functional brain networks underlying the distinctions between automatic and controlled handwriting

Junjun LI; Lei HONG; Hong-yang BI; Yang YANG
Subjects: Psychology >> Cognitive Psychology

This study aimed to examine the brain mechanisms underlying the distinctions between automatic and controlled handwriting. Functional magnetic resonance imaging data were collected while adult participants (n = 53) performed a copying task with varying speed control demands. Network analysis showed significant differences in functional connectivity within and between the frontoparietal network (FPN), the default mode network (DMN), the dorsal attention network (DAN), the somatomotor network (SMN) and the visual network (VN) between automatic and speed-controlled handwriting irrespective of written materials, which are thought to reflect general executive control and task-relevant visuomotor operations. However, there were no differences in brain activation between automatic and controlled handwriting. These results suggest that reconfiguration of functional network architecture, rather than regional activation, underlies the dissociations between automatic and controlled handwriting. Our findings shed new light on the neural mechanisms of handwriting mastery and handwriting impairments in individuals with neurological disorders.

submitted time 2020-06-17 Hits4574Downloads495 Comment 0

9. chinaXiv:202005.00088 [pdf]

Effect of the W-beam central guardrails on wind-blown sand deposition on desert expressways in sandy regions

WANG Cui; LI Shengyu; LEI Jiaqiang; LI Zhinong; CHEN Jie
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Applied botany

Many desert expressways are affected by the deposition of the wind-blown sand, which might block the movement of vehicles or cause accidents. W-beam central guardrails, which are used to improve the safety of desert expressways, are thought to influence the deposition of the wind-blown sand, but this has yet not to be studied adequately. To address this issue, we conducted a wind tunnel test to simulate and explore how the W-beam central guardrails affect the airflow, the wind-blown sand flux and the deposition of the wind-blown sand on desert expressways in sandy regions. The subgrade model is 3.5 cm high and 80.0 cm wide, with a bank slope ratio of 1:3. The W-beam central guardrails model is 3.7 cm high, which included a 1.4-cm-high W-beam and a 2.3-cm-high stand column. The wind velocity was measured by using pitot-static tubes placed at nine different heights (1, 2, 3, 5, 7, 10, 15, 30 and 50 cm) above the floor of the chamber. The vertical distribution of the wind-blown sand flux in the wind tunnel was measured by using the sand sampler, which was sectioned into 20 intervals. In addition, we measured the wind-blown sand flux in the field at K50 of the Bachu-Shache desert expressway in the Taklimakan Desert on 11 May 2016, by using a customized 78-cm-high gradient sand sampler for the sand flux structure test. Obstruction by the subgrade leads to the formation of two weak wind zones located at the foot of the windward slope and at the leeward slope of the subgrade, and the wind velocity on the leeward side weakens significantly. The W-beam central guardrails decrease the leeward wind velocity, whereas the velocity increases through the bottom gaps and over the top of the W-beam central guardrails. The vertical distribution of the wind-blown sand flux measured by wind tunnel follows neither a power-law nor an exponential function when affected by either the subgrade or the W-beam central guardrails. At 0.0H and 0.5H (where H=3.5 cm, which is the height of the subgrade), the sand transport is less at the 3 cm height from the subgrade surface than at the 1 and 5 cm heights as a result of obstruction by the W-beam central guardrails, and the maximum sand transportation occurs at the 5 cm height affected by the subgrade surface. The average saltation height in the presence of the W-beam central guardrails is greater than the subgrade height. The field test shows that the sand deposits on the overtaking lane leeward of the W-beam central guardrails and that the thickness of the deposited sand is determined by the difference in the sand mass transported between the inlet and outlet points, which is consistent with the position of the minimum wind velocity in the wind tunnel test. The results of this study could help us to understand the hazards of the wind-blown sand onto subgrade with the W-beam central guardrails.

submitted time 2020-05-31 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits11572Downloads748 Comment 0

10. chinaXiv:202005.00091 [pdf]

Crop production changes and the impact of Grain for Green program in the Loess Plateau of China

LYU Changhe; XU Zhiyuan
Subjects: Biology >> Botany >> Applied botany

Since the Grain for Green (GFG) program was implemented in 1999, most steeply sloping farmlands in the Loess Plateau of China have been returned to forestland and grassland. To understand its impact on the food production, this study analyzed the spatiotemporal changes of food crop production (FCP) in the plateau and quantified the contribution of sown area and yield changes to the total FCP during 1998–2014 using factor decomposition models, and then discussed the impact of GFG program on the FCP based on literature data. With the implementation of GFG program, total sown area in the Loess Plateau quickly deceased by 17.3% from 1998 to 2003, and then gradually restored to 1.03×107 hm2 in 2010. Thereafter, it slightly decreased to 1.02×107 hm2 (94.6% of the area in 1998) in 2014. By contrast, total FCP generally showed an apparent growth trend, averagely increased by 1.71% per year in the whole plateau during 1998–2014. This increase was jointly contributed by the improved yield of individual crops, and the adjustment of cropping structure, i.e., the expansion of high yield maize crop. The factor decomposition analysis results indicate that the sown area shrinkage only reduced the growth rate of total FCP by 0.29% per year during 1998–2014, although a significant impact was found for the early stage of 1999–2003. The results suggest that the implementation of GFG program would not induce an obvious risk of the food security. Therefore, it is suggested that the GFG program should be set as a long-term strategic policy, by not only supporting the conversion of slope farmlands, but also helping local farmers to seek sustainable ways of land use to improve the income and livelihood. It can be combined with the poverty eradication program, to simultaneously achieve the national goals of ecological civilization building and the livelihood improvement of rural people in the Loess Plateau. Considering rainfall limitation, the conversion of slope farmlands should be prioritized to grasslands.

submitted time 2020-05-31 From cooperative journals:《Journal of Arid Land》 Hits9219Downloads595 Comment 0

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