The Grain for Green Project May Enrich the Mercury Concentration in a Small Karst Catchment, Southwest China | Land Portal

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October 2020
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© 2020 by the authors; licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article.

The Chinese project, better known as the Grain for Green Project (GGP), has changed the land-use type in the karst area of Puding county, Guizhou province, southwest China, and this study is aimed at evaluating the Hg distribution and determining factors in soils after the land-use change. A total of ten soil profiles were selected in the typical karst region, and the land-use types were divided into native vegetation land (NVL), farmland (FL), and abandoned farmland (AFL). Total Hg concentration under different land-use types increased in the order: NVL (average 63.26 μg∙kg−1) < FL (average 71.48 μg∙kg−1) < AFL (average 98.22 μg∙kg−1). After agricultural abandonment for four to five years with a cover of native vegetation in the AFL, a higher concentration of Hg compared to the other two land-use types indicate that the Hg accumulation in soil results from vegetation restoration of AFL due to land-use change. Soil organic carbon (SOC) and macro-aggregates were highly correlated to Hg concentration in this study. Macro-aggregates can provide a stable condition for Hg due to the thin regolith and high porosity in the karst region. A high proportion of macro-aggregates can reduce the mobility of Hg in the karst area. Intense tillage can significantly reduce the formation of macro-aggregates in FL, but the macro-aggregates in AFL were recovered as well as those in NVL, resulting in the accumulation of Hg.

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Author(s), editor(s), contributor(s): 

Qu, Rui&#13;
Han, Guilin


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