Li, X.R., H.L. Xiao, M.Z. He and J.G. Zhang
The results indicate that the straw checkerboard enhanced the capacity of dune systems to entrap dust deposition, leading to the accumulation of soil organic matter and nutrients and to the development of soil formation on the dune surface. The straw checkerboard increased the silt and clay content, thereby changing coarse soil texture to fine. This is one of the vital prerequisites for the invasion and establishment of herbaceous plants in desert ecosystems. When a straw checkerboard was used to stabilize the dunes before establishing sand-binding vegetation, significant differences in plant species richness, herbaceous cover, dust deposition, and soil physicochemical properties were found in this study. All of these findings suggest that the use of the straw checkerboard, as one of the key techniques for restoring desert ecosystems, will be an important component of efforts to further extend ecological engineering projects in arid desert regions.