DEC 19, 2017 05:40 AM PST

How China is successfully growing forests in salty soil


In Shandong Province in China, one city called Dongying is redefining what it means to be a forest. Due to its geographic location and confluence of the Yellow River meeting the Bohai Sea, as much as 40% of Dongying's land has a saline level of over 0.5%. This vast area of coastal land with saline soil is not the prime place for trees to thrive. But this changed in 2011 when the Shandong Ecological Afforestation Project was launched with support from the World Bank. This project intended to reforest parts of the city, focusing specifically on the saline soil regions.

In order to achieve their goal in foresting these saline soils, engineers worked together with botanists and local communities, using various methods to decrease the salinity level to below 0.3% (the level at which trees can survive). Working with plant experts, the project bred and introduced roughly 200 salt-tolerant species to the region, including 60 species that are able to grow in areas with higher than 0.3% saline. Along the way, this project proved the ecological and economic benefits of mixed-species forest, which are better able to withstand disease and pests. Over the last six years, from 2011-2016, over 13,800 hectares of saline soil were forested with plants and shrubs from the project. The project also benefited local communities by getting farmers involved in the planting processes. To learn more about Dongying's success, watch the video!
About the Author
  • Kathryn is a curious world-traveller interested in the intersection between nature, culture, history, and people. She has worked for environmental education non-profits and is a Spanish/English interpreter.
You May Also Like
JUL 07, 2018
Videos
JUL 07, 2018
Can Sending Plants to Space Reveal a Cancer Treatment?
When plants are grown in a totally different environment, it may stimulate new effects....
JUL 18, 2018
Videos
JUL 18, 2018
What Does it Take to Burst a Stomach?
People often say they feel like they feel like they’re going to burst after consuming a large meal, but is it really possible for your stomach to bur...
JUL 22, 2018
Videos
JUL 22, 2018
Goodbye to Louisiana
One-fourth of Louisiana’s coastline has already disappeared since just the 1930s. Every hour, Louisiana loses about a football field of land to the s...
AUG 02, 2018
Videos
AUG 02, 2018
Pregnancy-Related Deaths High in the United States
Among the industrialized countries, the US has the most maternal deaths, with 26.4 deaths per 100,000 live births. How can this rate be so high in a countr...
AUG 02, 2018
Videos
AUG 02, 2018
Which is More Damaging to Your Health, Alcohol or Weed?
Marijuana is classified as a Schedule 1 drug under the federal government, making it a challenger for scientists to conduct further studies and gather stat...
AUG 11, 2018
Videos
AUG 11, 2018
How Is Sugar Extracted?
How is sugar extracted? Well, sugar is extracted from a root vegetable, the sugar beet. However, the whole extraction process is a precise procedure that i...
Loading Comments...