Impacts of eucalyptus (Eucalyptus exserta) plantation on sediment yield in Guangdong Province, Southern China – a kinetic energy approach

Zhou, G. Y., et al., 2002. CATENA

Original research (primary data)
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The relationship between the kinetic energy of waterdrops (rainfall and throughfall) and sediment yield (suspended solid (SS) and bed load (BL)) was studied in paired watersheds (one without vegetation and the other covered by an eucalyptus (Eucalyptus exserta) plantation) in Guangdong Province, Southern China. The results showed that there was a significant correlation between the kinetic energy of waterdrops and sediment yield in both watersheds. Sediment yield in the unvegetated watershed is significantly affected by the kinetic energy of atmospheric raindrops. Sediment yield in the plantation watershed, however, is significantly related to the kinetic energy of throughfall waterdrops, but not to the atmospheric rainfall intensity or the rainfall kinetic energy. When rainfall amount is greater than 5 mm, and their intensities are bless than 20 mim h(-1), the single-layer eucalyptus plantations significantly increased the kinetic energy of waterdrops to the land surface, and consequently, accelerated soil erosion. However, these plantations do have positive impacts on the reduction of soil erosion for the rainfall events of larger intensities (particularly > 40 mm h(-1)). Management implications of these results are discussed in the context of soil protection and ecosystem rehabilitation.

Case studies

Basic information

  • Case ID: INT-189-1
  • Intervention type: Created habitats
  • Intervention description:

    Eucalyptus exserta plantation - The eucalyptus forest watershed (3.78 ha) was established by the plantation in 1964. Prior to 1964, its surface was also totally bare and eroded

  • Landscape/sea scape ecosystem management: No
  • Climate change impacts Effect of Nbs on CCI Effect measures
    Soil erosion  Mixed results Percentages of soil erosion
  • Approach implemented in the field: Yes
  • Specific location:

    The two neighboring experimental watersheds studied belong to the Xiaoliang ecological experimental station located on the coastal highland of Dianbei County, Guangdong Province, China, northern border of the tropic zone (Fig. 1). Their geographic position is 110j54V18UE, 212j7V49UN.

  • Country: China
  • Habitat/Biome type: Created forest |
  • Issue specific term: Not applicable


  • Notes on intervention effectivness: Effectiveness determined by comparing to unplanted bareground controls Results mixed – at low rainfall intensities is was worse than controls but at high intensities it was better “the forest canopy increased the soil erosion on the plantation land when the rainfall intensity is less than 10 mm h 1, otherwise, there is a decreased in soil erosion in the plantation watershed.”
  • Is the assessment original?: Yes
  • Broadtype of intervention considered: Not applicable
  • Compare effectivness?: No
  • Compared to the non-NBS approach: Not applicable
  • Report greenhouse gas mitigation?: No
  • Impacts on GHG: Not applicable
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on natural ecosystems: No
  • Impacts for the ecosystem: Not reported
  • Ecosystem measures: n/a
  • Assess outcomes of the intervention on people: No
  • Impacts for people: Not reported
  • People measures: n/a
  • Considers economic costs: No
  • Economic appraisal conducted: No
  • Economic appraisal described:
  • Economic costs of alternative considered: No
  • Compared to an alternative: Not reported

Evaluation methodology

  • Type of data: Quantitative
  • Is it experimental: Yes
  • Experimental evalution done: In-situ/field
  • Non-experimental evalution done: Not applicable
  • Study is systematic: